Peace Blessed Peace 

“Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” 

 “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.”  

Peace, blessed peace. It is what we long for, what we hope for, and it is what we have with God in Christ“being justified by faith, we have peace with God.”

Peace is more than the absence of conflict. It is more than an armed truce. It is true reconciliation, atonement. God has no more argument with us. We have done what he wanted us to do. We have confessed and agreed with him about the truth – that we are sinners in need of a savior and that Christ is that savior. That is all that he wants, and, if we will continue in that truth, he will work wonders on our behalf. If we but hold on to the truth, he will perfect us in Christ; he will make us just like his Son. We will have the same intimate relationship with the Father that Christ enjoys. We will hear his voice and know his heart.
The heart of God: “peace on earth to those on whom his favor rests.” The only reason God ever goes to war is to prevent the violent from disturbing the peace of his children.

 Our heritage: a Father that loves us so much that he is willing to shake heaven and earth to ensure that his children live in safety and security. Also, it is our inheritance. “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” 
 God loves those that have forsaken violence to walk in obedient trust, suffering when necessary for the sake of Christ and his Gospel. The end result will be a world without conflict, peace loving believers living in harmony with the Father and all of his creation.

What is it going to be like living in a stress free utopia in which there will be perfect order and harmony? 

We can have a foretaste now as we give our lives to Christ and commit to loving our neighbor as ourselves. At some point, the vision will become the dream, and all those who hate peace will be removed from the scene, so that only the lovers will be left standing. “God will be with us and walk among us. He will be our God, and we will be his people.”

~ Brad Heilhecker 

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Approximations Of Our Future 


Our heart’s desire – to finally be able to cease from toilsome labor and just enjoy life, to work on building relationships, to delve into the depths of our partnership with the Almighty, to know God as Father and friend, Savior and Lord. We want to develop our hobbies and passions, to re-create ourselves, to become new, fresh, and enthusiastic about life. We need time to think, to pray, and to dream. We desire time to just be without having to do.

If nothing else, heaven will be restful. 

 Here on earth, Our Father gives us glimpses of our heavenly rest as we meditate on his word and his ways, as we explore paths of peace and love, and as we set our ambitions and affections on the things of the kingdom. If earth is the appetizer, then heaven is the five course meal, a banquet of love. If earth is our apprenticeship, then heaven is our full partnership with all that is holy and good, and with all who have been adopted into the royal family.

We are told to cease striving and to be still and just know that Our God is GOD, that he will be exalted in the earth. He is the strategist; he is the master tactician. Military geniuses, master chess players, and corporate giants are only mere shadows of our creator, sustainer, and vindicator. The Lord, the King of kings, not only sees 10 moves ahead, but he sees the end from the beginning. He knows what he is going to do today, and he knows what he is going to do on the last day of mankind’s final revolt against his authority.

We can hardly imagine the paradise awaiting us, the bliss that is our inheritance. We are so accustomed to life’s toils and troubles, we might wonder what we would do with our lives if we weren’t having to overcome some difficulty. We might wonder how we would feel if all negative emotions just ceased to exist. We might wonder what we would see if everything around us was all of a sudden infinitely beautiful.

To see the eternal, the infinite, to be children of light, to live in a kingdom of light and love, to be immortal, eternal beings like our Father – this is our inheritance. Power beyond imagination, peace which passes understanding, love so strong that it would make the mighty faint – these are only approximations of our future. We will surely be like God, for we will see him as he is.

~ Brad Heilhecker 

Now And Forever 

  
Why is there so much anger and horror in this world around us? Why all of the darkness in human hearts as the world becomes more and more secular? Why are people turning to sin for comfort rather than to the Light of Love? 
Why this?, why that?, why?, why?, why? 

I don’t know the answers to these questions. 
But I do know that wherever the Light is, the darkness always tries to snuff it out. Maybe all the terrible things that are happening are actually indeed a sign that the spirit of love is abroad.

Keep on reading!

Doing The Dash 

  
You can say that yesterday was a random Thursday. It was cloudy, overcast and average. On my morning drive I passed the cemetery just like I do every day. But this time I looked over there and I noticed some of the names. I could see the dates on a few headstones. You know the “start” and “finish” dates. I thought about the span of time that they had on this earth, however long or short. I didn’t give much thought about where they were spending eternity. Although that’s the most important question, it is a little late to think about that now.

 
I remember a sermon preached years ago. The pastor talked about the “dash” or the “space” between those two dates on a headstone, And what it represents.

 
Think about it. 

Once that stone is carved with that end date….. That’s it.  We’ve done all we can do here. That’s everything we were, our life, our legacy. The good the bad the ugly. What we stood up for. What we didn’t. What we believed. Did we lead or did we follow? Did we blend in or did we stand out? Was our love of things bigger than our love for people? 
Did we make a difference? Did we hold grudges? Were we quick to forgive? Did we love and live out loud? How did we spend our time? How about our money? What did we do with these random Thursdays?

 
“The Elephant in the room question” is ….. 

How many people did we share our faith with? 

How many times did we really get to know someone and never have the nerve to ask them about where they plan to spend eternity? 

Our question should be as simple as “We will all die one day, what do you think happens after that?” Then we can just keep talking. Who knows where that will lead? 

 
Why am I so scared? 

 
Instead of being afraid to ask them …. My prayer is that I will be more afraid not to. 

 
I went to bed last night thinking that the bad news is ….I’ve got a whole lot of work to do on my dash.

 
I woke up this morning, put my feet on the floor and realized the good news is …. I have today!!

 

                           Susan Q. Bailey

Take Me Into Glory 

  

 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant;I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you;you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel,and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you?And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail,but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

                             ~ Psalm 73:21-26

I keep thinking about how hard it would be to describe Heaven when He does take my hand. 

Makes me want to cry. 

This picture just said what I can’t. 

Peace. Stillness. Forgiveness. Protection. Perfect imperfection.   

                      ~Susan Q. Bailey 

Testimony 

  


Once upon a time 
Years ago and waiting
Prayers went forth …
Seeds sown
Water sprinkled
Weeds pulled
Love protected 
Sun and Moon
Faith tended
The Father’s Will
Being done
Not my will Lord 
But thine be done
Years pass
You see nothing 
You lose hope
You see your
Dream dying
But God….
You see He
Is the gardener
Who tends
Who gives Life 
He brings it to pass
He watches us wait
And is pleased with our waiting
He.Will.Do.It.
Finishing what He Begins
Our part is Trust 
In Him
All things become New
Only Believe
I am seeing 
Salvation
He is
Setting the captives free
Even me
His Kingdom
Living in us
Like a garden
When He is
Lord 
It thrives and is lush
That is His Way
Eternity
Reaching us
Heaven
Not only coming down
But living inside
Yay!!!!
🎆🎇

    ❤️ Krystal Lynne 

An Unfinished Life 

 

 
Like a project that never gets completed
Like a bad nightmare that keeps being repeated
A moment; A glimpse
A life taken too quick
The grief
 The tears 
The aching inside
Nothing to take it away and nowhere to hide
How do you go on after this?
How can anything ever make you feel bliss?
 
The tears they gather like a bad rain storm
The days, weeks, and months are anything but the norm
It floods your mind and captures your soul
The wrinkles and bags on your face are proof that the pain has taken its toll
Grief so great and loss so real
When you just pray each day not to feel
Why so quick, so final, so complete, the end?
How many more tears do we shed before our hearts begin to mend?
 
Why? is the questions with no answers in sight
Why that minute? that second? that night?
Didn’t we love you enough to make you want to stay?
Why did God need you and have to take you away? 
We need you We love you
 We just had you back
Why was your spirit sad and your willpower lacked?
Why and Who and When and How, in my mind play over and over
Like the endless search for a four leaf clover
 
How do we find the comfort in our hearts to know you are at peace?
When those of us left here on earth find nothing but sadness in the least
 
The unspoken words, the unfinished plans, the promising future, the smiles, hugs and kisses robbed forever
How do we pick up our broken hearts and begin the next endeavor?
Are you happy or are you sad?, do you miss us? or are you mad?
Why was 43 years all God said you could have?
Your life wasn’t finished -so much more you could have had………
 
XXOO~Michelle Bollom 

In Loving Memory of my beloved brother 
Toby Todd Fine
1.31.63 to 3.19.2006


Grab A Key

IMG_9934-0.JPG

(Keys hanging in a jewelry shop located in the old city of Jerusalem)

The function of a key as a noun is as follows:
a small piece of shaped metal with incisions cut to fit the wards of a particular lock, and that is inserted into a lock and turned to open or close.

A key will not work if it does not match to its lock.
In fact a key is fashioned and designed to fit each particular lock.

The door, safe, lockbox or gate will NOT open if locked and the correct key is not used. No matter how hard you try!!!!

With all those fun facts being said, let’s look at one place where keys are mentioned in the Bible.

Check out Matthew 16:13-19
Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of man is? (‭Matthew‬ ‭16‬:‭13‬ ASV)
Make a long story short!! Peter got it right away with saying that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God!!

It’s starts with having a revelation from above of who Jesus really is to you. That revelation has to come from above. Jesus even reminds Peter further along in the passage that the His Father revealed this to Peter.
With that being said Jesus proceeds to tell Peter….
Matthew 16:18-20
“And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Now keep in mind there are a couple sermons just in those two verses alone. But let’s just focus on the word, “key”.
Jesus is giving the specific tangible piece of metal that was cut to perfectly open up the kingdom of heaven to Peter.
Peter was the only one of the disciples at the time of asking who truly got the revelation of that Jesus was the Son of God. You know the One that Jews had been eagerly waiting thousands of years to come and save them from their enemies.
I know that as a follower of Christ being discipled by His Word and teachings that I can qualify to hold those same keys.
Part of the Lord’s Prayer that we more than likely can all recite from memory goes along this theme.
Jesus encouraging us to model our prayers after The Lord’s Prayer.
“Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

That there is a pretty big key in my mind’s eye!!! Imagine a key to the door of the kingdom of heaven.

It’s my understanding that we have permission from Jesus to have thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We as followers of Jesus seeking and knocking hold the key along with Peter to heaven that involves some binding and loosing.

Pause and think about what that means to you? Trust me, I have known these verses for over 30 years and I am just NOW receiving the understanding of the key and starting to turn the lock to loose heaven all over the earth.
(Old, slow learner would be me)
I never asked before now. dahhhh!!!

Matthew 7:7
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”

Get out your key and open that door and see what you discover on the other side.

Light On,
Kelley Allison
John1:4-5

A Dangerous Trap

 

Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety. ~ Proverbs 29:25

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. ~2 Timothy 1:7

 

Fear n. noun 1. A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger. 2. A state or condition marked by this feeling. Living in fear. 3. A feeling of disquiet or apprehension. a fear of looking foolish. V. verb 1. To be afraid or frightened of. 2. To be uneasy or apprehensive about. Feared the test results. 3. To be in awe of; revere.

WOW! That first verse really gets me. I love the straight forwardness and simplicity of it. What I love even more is how God used that verse to speak to me in some areas where I was caught in that trap of fearing man. I would not consider myself fearful. My family and I used to love the show Fear Factor. We used to laugh and say we could win as long as we did not have to eat the cockroaches. I also had people call me fearless and brave because I rapped in front of almost 30,000 people with Grammy Winner Mandisa. 

(You can view video proof on About Page at my website http://www.restoredministries.org)

I really felt no fear doing that. I am however, a recovering Approval Addict.  I spent a lot of my life performing to gain approval and did not speak up for myself or rock the boat and pretty much operated in a false self; most of my early life.

The characteristics of a False Self person are: limited ability for love/ intimacy, Needs to be in control, lives in illusions, not in reality. Birthed in fear; very insecure, unable to express needs, and prone to addictions and compulsions. Yep, that described me well. It wasn’t until my life was out of control and I finally surrendered to God and allowed God, The Holy Spirit and His word to transform my life did my True Self began to emerge.

True Self, Characteristics are: Great capacity for love/intimacy Does not need to be in control, gives other people freedom, rooted in God’s truth, identity is in God; trusts in God, lives according to personal values/beliefs and is peaceful. I am pretty much all of those True Self characteristics now thanks to God and Recovery; but I still honestly sometimes have a problem trusting God fully, which when you don’t trust God, you essentially are living in Fear. I didn’t feel fearful about situations or life in general, but God specifically wanted to show me some lessons on Fear of Man and that type of Fear, what I thought was a thing of my past; was indeed still keeping me trapped. He used two situations in the last year to bring that lesson home.

The first lesson He taught me on Fear of Man was on tithing. I have prided myself in being a cheerful giver and for almost 10 years I have followed the Biblical rule of at least 10% is given back to God in your tithe each month. I would increase the amount from time to time so I knew I did not just give 10%. Then God started showing me that I was giving out of pride. Really, God? Pride? God we can never give enough back to you… Really? God you would never asks us to adjust our giving, only to keep increasing it, Right? …Wrong!  God was asking me to review my budget and to lower the amount of my giving so that I could save for a better safeguard for my family in case of emergencies or repairs. I really thought that could not be God speaking or asking anyone to ever lessen their amount of giving so I shared this with my close friend, one of my Iron Sharpens Iron girlies that God likes to use us with each other to help us get some big God Lessons. As we talked about it, I got some clarification, and when I took it to the Lord, I got an even bigger clarification. I looked at our monthly budget and found that I was giving 18.5 % each month. I was not putting anything back for my families safeguarding. The bible instructs us to give 10% and I practice that with my children also. Some think it is harsh to make your child give 10% of all pet sitting, Birthday, or Christmas money they earn back to God, but I know in the 4 years my children have done it, that it has made for much better kids, I just wish I would have started earlier in my life and in theirs. They don’t always have to give to our church in the offering, sometimes they choose a charity, or they like to bless strangers. I think God loves all ways we give back to Him and He honors cheerful giving. So I took this knowledge I had uncovered to my husband. I told Him that this was what God was speaking to me about. He thought it should be a simple decision to lower that amount to ensure that we are paying ourselves also so that we can have a safeguard in case of emergencies and to simply obey God. I wish I could say that I did obey my husband and even God right away, but, No, I dragged my feet and wrestled with God over this decision for six more months because I was fearful our church and pastors would look at us differently if we lowered our tithes. God made it unbearable for me until I finally wanted to Obey God more than be trapped by my Fear of Man. God has blessed that decision so much and I am so happy to have God decide what He would have us give and not what I thought I should because of my pride.

When I thought I had no more problems with fear, the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart and told me that fear was indeed crippling me. The fear of man, the fear of their reactions, fear of opinions, all were hindering me from stepping into God’s full plans for me. God was asking me to take some great big steps for Him. I was so excited, but not everybody was as excited, encouraging, or happy for me. Many did not understand. Some had strong opinions, some began to distance themselves from me, and it started a wave of unfriending when I started posting on social media what I was doing for God. I wasn’t so much bothered over the unfriending’s and unfollows as I was that out of almost 1000 friends, less than 100 had actually supported me by “liking” my new Ministry Page.

(Yes, Liking a page is showing support for someone in the Social Media world & Yes I break the so called experts rules and solicit likes for my page.  How else can it grow and reach people?)

Well, that nasty fear of man, as God’s word says, is a trap! I found myself fearful of posting what I felt God would have me post, or write what I felt He wanted me to write, I was unsure of what I should do, so most days I did nothing. I had committed to God months before that if He wanted me to step out and trust Him, I will do it. I wanted to be totally obedient to Him, no matter what that looked like. So now after I had declared that and stepped out for God, I was bound by this trap of fear of people’s opinions, counting Likes, unfriending’s, unfollowing’s, comments, lack of comments etc…? I was allowing the enemy to plague me with fear. I had stopped being a warrior for God and became a worrier.  I want to be a warrior, not a worrier.  Was I going to embrace each step that God would give me on this journey and not get bound to the vicious trap of comparison and competing? Guessing and second guessing God? I spent many days and nights taking it all to God. This is what I felt God spoke to me about this 2nd Fear of Man lesson.

The world would be much better off if we would collaborate more and compete less.

God’s garden is big enough for us all. We need each other and God designed us to work together. We all have different gifting’s and abilities and strengths that are needed to advance His Kingdom and share Christ with this dark world. Some people just won’t support you, in life or with Likes. Keep Asking, Keep Seeking, And Keep Knocking. Don’t let the voices in your head and the voices of the crowds of naysayers discourage you to not fully step out for God.Don’t let the fear of people’s reactions keep you from taking action. Trust God. Obey God in the small things and everything. Keep going even when you don’t understand.  Your success is not defined by Likes & Followers, It is defined by God. 

 

I so want my hearts cry to the Lord to reflect what the song Oceans by Hillsong United, says.

 

You call me out upon the waters… The great unknown where feet may fail… And there I find You in the mystery …In oceans deep My faith will stand …Your grace abounds in deepest waters… Your sovereign hand Will be my guide ..Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me …You’ve never failed and You won’t start now ,,So I will call upon Your name And keep my eyes above the waves ..When oceans rise My soul will rest in Your embrace …For I am Yours and You are mine …Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders …Let me walk upon the waters …Wherever You would call me… Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith will be made stronger …In the presence of my Savior

 

I want to trust God, to rest in His embrace, to answer His call out upon the unknown waters. Where His promises to never leave me or fail me are so believable that I will trust without borders. My faith will be made stronger when I stay in the presence of my Savior.

I want to Trust God so much that there is never any room for Fear.

Here are some amazing affirmations that I choose to keep reminding myself of when I start to let the doubts of others discourage me.

It is not the crowd that calls you but God that calls you. And when you get to heaven you’re not going to have to answer for the crowds you’re only going to have to answer for yourself. Don’t get so hung up on the fear of what people will think that you let it paralyze and keep you from your potential and purpose for the Lord. Not everyone will understand why or how God calls you. It is ok. You don’t have to justify what God has called you to for anyone. You only need to worry about an audience of ONE! The Heavenly Father! If He called you, He will carry you through.

I leave you with this great quote.

Fear of the unknown is a dream killer. It causes people to freeze in time and one day they will wake up and realize that their opportunities have been seized by someone who was willing to look fear in the face and take the leap of faith. ~ Adonis Lenzy                                                                                                                                     

  I hope you are inspired to look fear in the face and take that leap of faith. Don’t let Fear be a dream killer anymore; remember you are fearless in Christ. Step out Big! Be Brave! XXOO ~Michelle Bollom

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