Stop Hating Start Healing 

Rioters, let us not assume that any choice was easy for Robert E. Lee, or that he had our benefit of history on which to reflect. He did not like slavery, if you’ll read the account of his life, but said, “I will not draw my sword against Virginia.” He was a man torn by the choice he had to make. 

No one I know loves the pain in our country’s past. Maybe we should redefine what statues are for, to remind us of how far we have come as a people, and to see it as a scar on the skin of our history. 

Let’s heal the wound and leave the scar, to remind us of the pain, and to commit ourselves to healing. Just as edges of a wound bind one to the other, let’s see ourselves as humans first, and reach across the wound and grab those on the other side.

If in death we would accept the donated heart of another race to save our own life, let us accept it while it still beats in our neighbor.

Stop hating. Start healing.

~ Alane Bertrand-Roberts 

National Prayer Breakfast 2017

The National Prayer Breakfast was held yesterday. It has taken place since 1953. 

According to Wikipedia…..

The National Prayer Breakfast is a yearly event held in Washington, D.C., on the first Thursday of February each year. … The National Prayer Breakfast is hosted by members of the United States Congress and is organized on their behalf by The Fellowship Foundation, a Christian organization.

You may have heard about the annual event on the news, I was told the news was focusing on the complaints that were being made about what Trump said in his speech. I will leave that up for your own interpretation 

The livestream link is below. 

Listen for yourself and see if you don’t gain a sense of a hope and a future for our country. 

I listened to the WHOLE thing and found everyone’s songs, prayers and speeches unifying bringing both sides of the political arena together. 
The event was very inspiring to see our government officials……
Depending on God for Guidance 

I heard them putting their differences aside and praying together for the one common good of all people. It was an invitation to God to bless America and our government officials. 

Let’s join with them and lift our leaders and America up in prayer for protection and prosperity. 
One nation, 

under God, indivisible 

with liberty and justice 

for ALL. (That means everyone!)



https://livestream.com/accounts/16944724/events/6958245/videos/148328156?t=1486050754485

Listen in and be inspired, 

Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofsplendor.com 

Image -Feb. 9, 1961 President John F. Kennedy at the National Prayer Breakfast. 

Amazing Revelation Revealed 

Name History of Jesus of Nazareth:
He is the Christ, the “Anointed One,” or the “Messiah.” The name “Jesus” comes from the Hebrew-Aramaic word “Yeshua,” meaning “Yahweh [the Lord] is salvation.” “Christ” is actually a title for Jesus. It comes from the Greek word “Christos,” meaning “the Anointed One,” or “Messiah” in Hebrew.             

     During a morning quiet time this week I was visualizing myself holding onto Jesus with my head on HIs shoulder. I had the thought, “What would it feel like to be held by Jesus?”

What if He physically stood by me and reached out to me? How strong and yet soft at the same time would His shoulder feel with my head buried in it? 

Then out of no where came a thought that rushed through my thinker like a bolt of lightening. 

“THAT IS WHY I CAME TO YOU THROUGH MY SON JESUS. YOU NOW HAVE THE ABILITY TO TOUCH ME, WALK WITH ME, TALK WITH ME AND I TOO AM ABLE TO REACH OUT AND TOUCH YOU!”

     God desired intimacy with us. He sent Himself. (You have to really wrap your mind around that one.) He desired a relationship that went deeper than the Old Testament “holy visits and proclamations” through certain appointed prophets and leaders. He desires relationship with ALL of us. His children He created. You and me, each of us equally important and valuable to Him.

 

Jesus is the bridge of salvation that we can choose to cross and leave our sins behind us. We then position ourselves to be in good standing with a perfect holy God who DESIRES to hug us and hold our weary heads up to rest on His shoulders!

Lord,

   Help me to truly understand all the mysteries that surrounds your Son as You, The Father in the flesh. I can not fully comprehend this without help from the Holy Spirit to reveal all that encompasses your love for me through your Son. 

  
Reveal More To Me,

Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofsplendor.com

I John 4:2

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

Hate Never Wins 


Lord, when the world is overcome by hate and hateful acts of terrorism help us to not point fingers, sling blame, or judge someone’s lifestyle.  Let us simply stop and remember all our brothers and sisters and be moved to love and pray.   Hate never wins.  Perfect Love always Wins! Fill our hearts with a greater capacity to love.  Remove all fear and doubt and worry from us.   When chaos and confusion hover all around, remind us Lord you are still in charge. You alone calm the seas and command the winds to be still.  You are the Prince of Peace, Lord Of Lords, The Great Comforter, our Daddy God.   Bring us together in a uniting of Love.  Comfort all who are grieving.  Turn those hearts that are filled with evil.  Protect our homes and communities. Cause a revival of love to break forth and unite us. May we continue to praise You and seek Your face Lord.  Restore and heal our land.   In Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen. 

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Infallible 


WORTHY THOUGHT: The only weapon that defeats the deceivers is God’s inspired Word in the Bible. 

The Bible is the infallible Word of God.

No one in history who tried but failed has ever found fault in the Bible. The Bible is always up to date in then and today. Our foundation is under the Word of God. The Bible can touch our minds and hearts to refresh and renew our souls. 

If we didn’t have a Bible what source could bind or bring people together? 

The strength of our country was started on the Bible. Educated worldly leaders spoke greatness about the Bible. Blessed is the nation who’s God is The Lord. Our first President of the United States, George Washington said; “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” 

Today, The Bible is the most translated book in the World. Believing in God’s Word will save, mature and equip you to serve The Lord.

 The Bible is the only Authority that counts!
                   ~Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. -2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

For no prophecy was ever produced by will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. -2 Peter 1:21 ESV

I am Still Thirsty

Great blog and a great song by Heather Clark. 

Enjoy! And be sure to check out Two Rivers Blog. ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! (John 7:37) Read: 1 Kings 11:1-43, 2 Chronicles 9:29-31, Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 Relate: Every day during the Feast of the Tabernacles a group of priests would lead a procession down to the pool of Siloam to draw […]

http://tworiversblog.com/2016/05/13/john-737-thirsty/

Learning To Be Led

  
The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want

All life comes from God. God keeps faith with the birds of the air and the grass of the fields.  Jesus even asked us if God will do so much for a simple bird or wildflowers, how much more will He do for us (Matthew 6:25,26). And then Paul even tells us in (Philippians 4:19) my God shall supply all your needs.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures

Did you know that back in the days the shepherd would start the sheep grazing about 4 o’clock in the morning and the sheep walked steadily as they would graze? 

They are never still. But around 10 o’clock when the sun begins to beat down the sheep are becoming tired, hungry and thirsty. The good shepherd knew that the sheep must not drink when it was hot because their stomach was filled with undigested grass. So the shepherd would make the sheep lie down in green pastures; a cool soft spot. The sheep would not eat lying down so they would chew their cud. Nature’s way of digestion.

He leadeth me beside still waters

Sheep are very timid creatures. They are expecially afraid of swift moving waters. For them it would be like a man trying to swim with his overcoat on. The water soaks into the sheeps coat and pulls them down. Sheep will not drink from moving waters. They will only drink from still water.

He restores my soul

I have read that throughout the day each sheep would individually go up to the shepherd. The shepherd would rub their nose and lightly scratch their ears and whispered in their ears reassuring them and encouraging the sheeps to take their place. I believe that David remembered how close he once was to God and how God protected him as he went to meet the giant Goliath. But then David got busy. And he was able to look after himself therefore he felt no more need of God. So therefore he lost his nearness to God. He did wrong. He also became unhappy. His burdens of guilt became so heavy that he could not bear them. So what did he do? He repented and God heard him, forgave him and restored him. David became a new man.

He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His namesake

Sheep have no sense of direction. Horses dogs and cats can usually find their way back. Not so with sheep. Sheep have very poor eyes. They cannot see 10 or 15 yards away. Back then hills were covered with narrow paths over which the shepherds led their sheep to pasture. Some sheep might even fall to their death.

Yea though I walk through the valley of shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me

The shepherd describes an actual valley of the shadow of death in Palestine. It leads from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and is a very narrow and dangerous pathway through the mountain range. The Path is rough and there is danger that the sheep could at any moment fall to its death. It was a Forbidden Journey that one would dread to take but the sheep are not afraid because they knew the shepherd was with them.

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me

Back then sheep were helpless animals that had no weapon which to fight with. They were easy prey to any wild beasts of the field. But the shepherd carried a rod and a staff. A rod which is a heavy club 2 to 3 feet long in (1st Samuel 17) Davis tells how he slew a lion and a bear protecting his sheep. The staff was about 8 feet long and the end of the staff turned into a crook. Many paths in Palestine are along the side of a mountain. The sheep would lose their footing and slip down hanging helplessly from the steep mountain and with his staff the shepherd could reach down and place the cook over the small chest of the sheep and lift them back onto the pathways to safety. The sheep are comforted by the use of the Shepherd’s rod and staff. It is comforted knowing that the shepherd will be able to meet any emergency.

Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies

Pastures at the Holy Land were full of poisonous plants that were fatal to the sheep if they ate it. There are also plants with sharp thorns that would penetrate their soft little noses and cause ugly sores. So each spring the shepherd would first have to go dig out the enemies for the sheep, pile them up and burn them so that the pastures would be safe and prepared for the sheep to graze. It is as if a table was prepared in the presence of their enemies.

He anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over

There were times that the sheep would cut its head by the sharp edges of a stone buried in the grass. He would check them one by one as they came in from their graze. If one was injured he would apply soothing and healing oil so instead of becoming infected, the hurt would heal quickly.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life

We see so much wickedness and evil of men and destruction of this world. Bombs which can destroy cities with one blast. We tremble at the sound of the vengeful judgment of God. But if you can fill your mind with the picture of the loving Shepherd leading His sheep then we too can feel confident that God will lead us through the dark valleys.

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

These verses alone give me much comfort, but knowing that The Great Shepherd is always looking out for me guiding, protecting, and leading me is even better.    
I am so glad that I am learning to be led, and that I too have a Great Shepherd who cares so much about me, His sheep.  

                Lead me Lord,

                  -Michelle Smith 

Transformation 

  

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.

When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.  Genesis 32:24-29 NIV 

 

 

1. The Confrontation Phase – When Jacob is at the forks of Jabbok he is preparing to meet with his brother Esau, whom he had wronged. He split up his belongings, servant, and family and prepared gifts, sending them ahead, hoping that Esau would spare him the retribution he had earned. He was in fear, and was preparing for his own destruction. In verse 24 it states that he was alone. And then there came a Man who began to wrestle with him.

God initiates the wrestling match. People like to say “I found the Lord” – He found you! John 6:44 says that “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” God has already prepared a way for us! He initiates contact with us when we are looking to change into His image. When we stop in our tracks and say, “I’m going to stop making my own plans and just wait.” Be still. Be silent. When we stop our actions to self destruct, that’s when God shows up and begins to interact with us.

 
2. Internal Contesting – Have you ever “wrestled” with a thought, idea, or plan of action? The wrestling that we so often do with God is the world’s philosophy and way of doing things versus God’s way. God’s way vs. our way. What we want versus Love. When we look at verse 25 we see that the angel wrestling with Jacob wasn’t winning! We can be so steeped in what we want that it’s hard for God to get His message across to us. He won’t force you. He will wrestle with your spirit, pursue you, but not force you.

 

3. The Built-In Chastisement – In verse 25 the man/angel sees that he isn’t winning and touches Jacob’s hip so that it is injured as Jacob fights him. 

God will let you have your way. He will let your actions and defiance of Him bring you pain, but it is pain with a purpose. This pain can stop the destruction that lies in wait for us. We just have to stop fighting. This is demonstrated over and over in the Bible – the pigpen was a painful place to be before the prodigal son returned to his father. The whale’s belly was a painful place to be before Jonah repented. A lot of times we change just because we are hurting so bad. The thing is, although God initiates the struggle, we are the ones who determine how long it lasts and how bad we are injured. He leaves it in our hands.

 

4. Intense Clinging Phase – In verse 25 Jacob realizes that it is almost daybreak. His time is growing short. His window of opportunity is growing smaller. How often do we let our opportunity for God to do something in us slip by because we are too busy fighting him to realize it? Jacob’s response is “I won’t let you go unless you bless me.” Jacob is just holding on to God, because he realizes he needs Him. You can know you need God, and not give up fighting Him and cling to Him. Once you stop fighting God, you have to embrace Him. You have to acknowledge your need for Him and then hold tight to Him. 

 

5. The Request – Jacob asked for blessing. In this act, he not only acknowledged his need for God, but His Lordship. He yielded to Him, and submitted to His authority. He acknowledged that God was in charge and was superior. In his submission he asked for blessing. People’s lives change when they ask for God’s blessing. (1 Chronicles 4:10) When Jabez cried out to God and asked for blessing, God granted it to him. (Joshua 2:12-14) When Rahab asked for mercy and blessing the men of God gave it to her. (Mark 10:46-52) When Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus for mercy and healing he recieved his sight. Jeremiah 33:3 promises “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” When we are in a place of submission and brokenness before God and we cry out to Him He WILL answer that call.

 

6. Identifying Yourself – In verse 27 the reply to this request is “What is your name?” And he says “Jacob.” 

In Hebrew the name Jacob means “supplanter” “one who grasps at the heel”. The root of his name comes from the Hebrew word for “to follow” and can also mean “to cheat.” Jacob identified who he was to God. He admitted his name. He admitted that he was the trickster, the cheater, one who had robbed his very brother. Repentance starts when you ADMIT what you have done wrong. When we confess our guilt to God, He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us. 1 John 1:9 -I f we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

7. Transformation – In verse 28 Jacob is told “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel…” 

When we have done all these things, then God gives us a new name. He gives us a new identity, one working WITH God. Confess out of your mouth that you’re a new person and believe it. GOD defines your identity. Find the word and speak it until God in you outweighs your flesh. This is why God is willing to wrestle with us – it brings change.

                                        ~Dana Smith