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 

God’s View 

The reward of humility [that is, having a realistic view of one’s importance] and the [reverent, worshipful] fear of the LORD Is riches, honor, and life.” – PROVERBS‬ ‭22:4‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Misbelief……..we all struggle with it.

Inadequate pieces of our heart…….we have those places too.

The enemy likes to mirror back a reflection onto our heart that represents his lie of deception. 

The truth is that no one looks at us the way God does. 

Isn’t it wonderful to know that God sees in us what we can’t see in ourself? 

He teaches us in his love. He sees beauty and we are his magnificent masterpiece. 

~ Baring His Beauty,

    Tiffany Thomas 

What Favor Awaits You? 

Ruth left all that was familiar and comfortable to her to follow her Mother In Law Naomi, and put her trust in Naomi’s God. 

Just like us when we decide to follow Christ. We may be asked to leave behind situations or people that are not in our best interest. God may even force the separation and give us no choice but to find the courage to keep going and not go back to what was once comfortable or familiar.   

Ruth chose to be obedient and do whatever Naomi instructed her to do. Even if that meant gathering scraps in the fields or approaching Boaz on the threshing floor. 

Ruth was willing to humble herself and follow instructions, and her obedience and mercy did not go unrecognized.  

She not only gained favor in the fields, it ultimately gained her favor that radically altered her life in a very good way. 

She later married Boaz, who by those standards and that time was a pretty well off guy. She no longer had to gather scraps in the field to survive, her husband now owned the fields. 

She also restored the family name for her and Naomi with her son Obed. Obed was also the grandfather of David and is ultimately one of Jesus’ ancestors in the genealogies found in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke.

What things do you need to leave behind?

What risks are you willing to take by being obedient and follow the Lord’s direction? 

You never know what Favor awaits you if you don’t step out of fear and step into courage.

           

              Will You Answer A Call To Valor? 

                      
             ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Exert from the upcoming book : A Call To Valor by Michelle Bollom.  

#ACallToValor #LiveRestored #RestoredMinistries 

Each Word Is A Gift 

I am finding during this 2016 Presidential election season my emotions and conversations are getting turned up several notches of frustration and fury. I catch myself saying things that cause me to look around to see if those words could have possibly flew out of someone else’s mouth rather than mine. 
I’m so passionate about my opinions and how I can fix America to make it great again. (That was a plug) 

 
 I sometimes forget that my words I use may not be so uplifting and positive about the candidates and those who support them. So I keep getting reminded ever so gently by God that my words matter and I need to have control over them. I still believe you can kindly state your beliefs and opinions without being brass and rude. We find ourselves in a time where it is frustrating because whatever you may say or state can cause offense or be deemed politically incorrect. You find yourself being silent because quite honestly your candidate of choice is at times difficult to defend. If only everyone could see the workings behind the process of what is to come. 

How do you communicate your passion for justice and reform without causing offense and anger from the opposing camp of your beliefs? I admit I am stumped and frustrated!! 

When I came across this verse, God reminded me that I am in the place of power and position to choose what happens with my words. 
We all know the scriptures about holding your tongue and how words either bring life or death. 

I guess I have to decide if I want do what the Word says about watching my words. That’s the first step. Make a choice. 

Okay, yes I will do better and try. 

I am going to make this simple for myself and focus on these two points. 

Say only what helps

Each word is a gift 

So I will ask myself before I speak out loud. Is what I say helpful and is it a gift to the person I’m speaking about or to?
If the answer is no, it’s vetoed. 

That doesn’t mean we are not allowed to speak our beliefs and stand up for what we believe to be right. 

I just have to carefully choose my words so they help bring life to people. 

Is my truth gift carefully wrapped in love and taped up with helping words of encouragement? 

I can do this!! 

Well, actually I don’t think I can on my own. But God can help me and reveal to me the truth behind all the circumstances of my agendas so that I give them as a gift to others that brings them into a place of being respected and honored. 

Stand up for your beliefs but always make sure they are gifts of help to others. 

Gift on,

Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofsplendor.com

Be Lifted Up 

  
Every Sunday morning before each service our worship, media and lighting teams meet to pray over the morning service. This past Sunday morning Pastor Amy was interceding for the people who would attend and praying over everyone who would be serving and ministering. She began to pray that God be lifted up in us and through us. As I prayed in agreement with her, I heard the Holy Spirit say very clearly, “You have to bow down, before I can be lifted up.”

I was immediately reminded of a song that we used to sing when I was a little girl. The song was based around the scripture John 12:32, where Jesus says “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

In this scripture, Jesus is specifically referencing his coming death on the cross. “Lift up” and “exalt” literally means to take something that is low and raise it higher. However, “lifting up” or “exalting” is also often used to describe praise and thanksgiving. How is this possible? If the name of Jesus is above every name (Philippians 2:9-10), how can we lift the name of Jesus higher? God is called “El Elyon” or “Most High” throughout the Bible and is repeatedly referenced as being above all things. If this is the case, how can He be exalted to a higher place when he is already supreme over all things?

For something to be lifted higher, it is first positioned lower. There is a measurable increase in distance between the starting point and the end point. Praise and thanksgiving when applied to people, raises them in the esteem of others. It can bring power, position and fame. It can lift a person to a higher level. Praise and thanksgiving for people has value as a tool to manipulate the position of the person being praised.

Praise and thanksgiving to God is different. It does not add to God’s worth. He is already worthy of all praise and priceless beyond measure. It does not increase His power; He is all-powerful. Instead, His position is fixed. He is seated above all things. The measurable increase in distance that occurs is between our position as and His position. (John 3:30) Praise and thanksgiving to God is not a tool to manipulate His position, it’s a result of us changing our own position. We humble ourselves, recognizing and acknowledging our place far below Him. We decrease our own importance and power in favor of His. His position is not exalted in relation to all things as a whole, but His position on a personal level, in relation to our own life, is raised up.  

In order for God to be lifted up in us and through us, we must first surrender to Him. Our will. Our actions. Our thoughts. Our hearts. Everything about us, every area of our lives, must be surrendered to Him in order for Him to be seated in His rightful place in relation to us. 

 Jesus described it as “denying yourself, taking up your cross daily and follow Him.” (Luke 9:23) If we are saved – believing Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died and rose again, the Messiah who is seated at the right hand of the Father and our soon coming King – it is mandatory for us to surrender completely to Christ and through Him to our Father, God. Holding back even a fraction of ourselves or our lives from Him is not acceptable.  

Let’s look back at John 12:32. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” 

There are 3 key points that are significant.



There is a choice.
Jesus used the word “if.” “If” is a word of possibilities. It implies that there are options other than the one stated. I will be lifted up from the earth or I will not be lifted up from the earth. Yes, Jesus was speaking of His death and resurrection but He was also speaking about the possibilities when we apply the Word to our lives on a personal level. It comes down to our choices. We either choose to continually yield to God, repenting when we make mistakes, and daily surrendering to Him or we choose not to. This is an ongoing process. The choice for Jesus to be lifted up is one that we are continually making. (1 Corinthians 15:31) For Him to be lifted up, we have to sacrifice ourselves to Him. Holding back from Him prevents Him from being lifted up in us. God left the choice in our hands. Only by choosing to bow down, choosing to yield to Him and acknowledging where we stand in relation to Him, is His position in our lives increased.

There is a result.
The scripture says that if we make this choice and lift Him up, there is a result from that choice. The result is that all men will be drawn to Him. All men being drawn unto Him is contingent upon Him being lifted up.  
John 14:6 says that Jesus is the only way to come to God. In John 6:44 Jesus says that “no one can come to Me unless the Father draws them.” When God is lifted up in us, He draws the hearts of those who witness it. The only way for all men to be drawn to God is for Him to be lifted up. He must be lifted up – on an individual level, but it important for it to be in each and every one of us. It is imperative. 
Yielding yourself to God is important for your own life and relationship with God , but there is more at stake than us simply making a choice for ourselves. There is more riding on your sacrifice to God than just yourself. Your surrender to God can determine the hearts of those around you being drawn to Him. Your surrender to God has the potential to be a catalyst for the salvation of others.
The consequence when we hold back from God is that He is not lifted up in us. The people around us will not be drawn by His light and life through us. Fortunately, we aren’t usually a person’s sole source of seeing the light of Christ. The grace in being a many membered body of believers is that there are those that will continue to draw others to God, even when we may fall short. However, by not choosing to die to self, we are impeding the work of the Spirit of God.  

Our choice either allows or denies the Spirit of God an opportunity to work in someone else. It is much easier to see light in a dark room when there are multiple sources. A dozen candles shine a lot brighter than just one. If there is just one candle, much more is left in darkness and the light is harder to see. The more candles there are, the easier it is to see the light. It’s the same with our lives as followers of Jesus. His light is more plainly seen when it is shining brightly from more than one location. It’s harder to deny Him when evidence of Him is all around you, drawing you to the Father. We have a responsibility, not only to ourselves, but to people we care about and even people we may not even know, to choose the path of Jesus every single day.

Are you believing for God to save someone you know and love? Be faithful to the Lord. Surrender yourself completely. Repent when you fall short. Your life is an example and sermon. Your spirit is a witness of God’s goodness to people around you. Your obedience to God is an opportunity for salvation through Jesus.

There is a reward.
Jesus said that all men would be drawn unto Him. This means more than just compelling the hearts of men to turn to Him. The definition of “drawn” is to move or guide something in a specified direction. When Jesus is lifted up, He will draw all men – this includes you – unto Him. When you humble yourself before God, the Word says that He will elevate you. (James 4:10)  
In this scripture, Jesus was also telling us that when we humble ourselves to Him, He will draw us to Him. He will take us from our position of humility and elevate us to His position as Son. Our reward for our obedience is not only seeing others turning to Christ, but experiencing the fullness of a relationship with God as His child. Our daily sacrifice and humble attitude of servitude results in a correlating response from Christ, to lift us to His level. Jesus taught us that in order to walk in the full benefits and blessing of what He brings, we make a daily choice to come fully under His Lordship. Only under His Lordship do we experience His righteousness, His life, His authority, and His nature is manifested in us.

When Jesus is lifted up, He in turn lifts us up. There is no higher position than His, seated at the right hand of the Father and He raises us to share in it with Him. The righteousness and honor and worthiness belong to Him alone, but He allows us to share in His glory. When we die to ourselves, our rights, feelings, desires and preferences are dead to us, and His plans and purposes take precedence. He begins to live His life through us and transforms us into what we have been called to be. The children of God.

I encourage you to lift up the name of Jesus. Make Him known in every area of your life. Choose wisely and follow the path that He has set for you. The Bible is full of promises He has given to those who follow Him. Promises not only for you, but for those you love and those who haven’t yet accepted Him as their Savior. Lift Him up so that others might come to know Him and accept Him as Lord. Lift Him up and watch how He will raise you up. His blessings and benefits are more than you can contain and He is able to do more than you can ask or imagine. He will prove Himself to you and you will experience the awesome power and majesty of the Most High God. 

It all starts when you choose to bow down.
                   ~Dana Smith 
We tried to find the song mentioned above but only found the slide with words set to music so today for Song Sunday you get to sing along to the slides and music here 

Happy Memorial Day!

  

My hope is that today while spending time with family and loved ones, you will reflect on the following scripture: 

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.”

This scripture tells us the greatest love of all is that we would be willing to give up our own lives for others. This scripture is very deep. Christ’s life was all about sacrifice- he gave up his life so that we could have freedom. Just like Christ, many men and women gave up their lives so that we could experience freedom. How Christ like is that? 

I want to personally thank all of those whom gave up their lives so that we could have basic liberties.   

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Enjoy your day with your family…and love so deep, that you would be willing to give up your life for others! 

Have a blessed week.~ Lereca Monik 

A Mama’s Heart 

  

Spending time with you
Even for just a moment
Completes this
Mama’s heart. 
Though our moments
Are not many right now
And I dream of when
They’ll outnumber the stars,
I am thankful for having
Peace.
Peace in knowing that
God is doing a tremendous
Work in you.
A work that neither you
Nor I may understand,
But a work that shall 
Be finished in a way
That only God can finish.
I am looking into our future,
And we all look better than
We look right now.
Stand strong and remember
Whose you are,
For though you are mine,
You first were His.

~ S. Gable 



A visit from my adult son prompted these words. While his walk wasn’t showing the divine work at hand, I knew the seeds that had been sown and the Word I’d received at the altar as I’d wept.  “Stand up and rejoice, for the work is already being done!”  Not many months after his visit, my prodigal son came home. The Lord is faithful to His faithful,  and I will forever stand on His promises.💜