Jesus always took the side of the despised sinner against the moralistic champions of law. ~Langdon Gilkey
It is my experience and understanding that different versions serve different occasions.
I memorize the King James Version because it’s most familiar to me growing up. I do not read it daily because it is too formal and difficult to understand. However; if I set out to study a particular passage then I might use several different versions. I could also add a dictionary and reliable commentaries to help me accomplish that goal.
Let’s get real and into my personal space of confession.
I have always struggled with making time each day to read the Word and really mediating on it over and over.
Well help is on the way!!
At least for me and my style of reading anyway!! It is different strokes for different folks.
Progress can be defined as to advance or develop toward a better, more complete, or more modern state.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 “Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
A year ago, Michelle invited me to be a guest blogger for Restored Ministries. While extremely thankful, honesty I felt like I wasn’t in the best place to be able to pour into other people. My relationship with GOD at the time seemed to be somewhat shaky, I felt like my life was a little shattered, and I had a heart full of sorrow.
Little did I know, this opportunity would lead to growth and progress in all areas of my life! I created goals in five key areas of my life. My life drastically improved. Let me share how this journey has impacted my…
FAITH: A year ago, my relationship with GOD and my faith relied heavily on what I thought was the right thing to do. At the time, I read the bible and fellowshipped because it looked good. I desired a true relationship with GOD; however I felt stuck. My goal for the year was to increase my faith and to let GOD’s light be so evident in me that others will see how amazing he is. Let me tell you, my faith has grown because the spirit moved me to study more, worship more, and love more.
FAMILY: A year ago, my relationship with family members were volatile. It’s as if I felt like our love for one another had diminished. Additionally, because I lost my mother when I was young, I felt empty and motherless. I felt like Lereine was grandmother less. I prayed for the healing of my relationship with my family and I asked GOD to bring someone in my life that would love Lereine and I unconditionally like a daughter and granddaughter. Now, my family relationships are better and Lereine has not just one grandmother; but three grandmothers- she calls them “granny, nanna, and me-ma!” God is so good!
FINANCES: A year ago, I was playing catch up with my finances. Last year I was so behind on bills and I had loaned so much to other people, that I could not afford a Christmas for my daughter. I made a pledge to GOD- I said to him GOD, if I am a good steward of my finances; then will you please make it possible for my daughter to have a Christmas next year. This year, not only have I received a raise, my business is exploding, I have received new paying contracts—and yes, Lereine has a Christmas tree with gifts. I am so grateful!
FITNESS: Last year, I was physically tired, mentally tired. I was in a mental state of depression that affected my health. I didn’t have zest for life, and I was tired. I asked GOD to give me strength and to help me with my wellness goals. I now have energy and I am back to my old self again. Eating well, moving, and praising! I am thanking GOD for my progress as he is perfecting my health!
FRIENDS: After bouncing back from experiencing my greatest character building phase in life- I felt friendless. I felt like my relationships with others had faded or were put to rest. I felt like I had been carrying relationships that GOD no longer wanted me to carry. These relationships were heavy and burdensome. I asked GOD to show me who he wanted me to be around, I asked him for healthy relationships and good mentors. GOD made it apparent to me that not everybody is supposed go with me on my life’s journey. He made it clear that some relationships are about reasons, seasons, and lifetimes. I let go of a few relationships and let GOD direct me with the other relationships! Here I am growing strong with those that are supposed to go!
My life has progressed because I made a decision to grow closer to Christ. This opportunity has moved me from feeling shaky to being sturdy, feeling shattered to being satisfied, feeling sorrow to experiencing spunk. For those of you that have been on this journey with me for the past year, I thank you for allowing me to be tenacious, transparent, and transformed. Hopefully in addition to saving my own soul, I have been able to bless a few other people along the way!
In the New Year, I encourage you to be diligent in growing closer to Christ. Let him do the work, so that others may witness your progress! I DARE YOU!
Thank you for giving me your word. Thank you for allowing your word to be so deeply rooted, that when others see me, they see you! Thank for blessing me so that I can bless others!
Commit to the challenge. I DARE you.
#lerecamonik #Idareyou #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou #LiveRestored
Read here on Keeping it Simple!
Take ten minutes and go someplace where you won’t be distracted and play your favorite worship song. You know the one you hear and it lifts your spirit right out of you to high five whoever is standing closest to you. The song you know all the words and you are convinced you sound like a good singer who might audition for “The Voice”. You find yourself quite proudly singing it at the top of all two of your lungs!!
Usually for me that’s when I hear, “Mom, please stop you don’t sound as good as you think!!”.
Today my song I choose is “Oceans” by Hillsong.
I go to my upper room. (a room without kids, food and distractions)
I play the song first just listening and imagining me in the song with the words washing over me.
I ask God to speak to me and show me something through the song.
Maybe I love this song because I love water. I love lakes, oceans, rivers, creeks, streams, waterfalls, ponds, fountains, pools, bathtubs full of water and splashing in puddles. I love the smell of rain and the sound of the rain hitting the roof.
Not a fan of water balloons.
It’s easy to hear from God when you place yourself somewhere that feels like home or where you belong.
So choose a song that resonates with you and you love!!
Even if your a land lover you could give this song a go around. It does have 53 million hits so it must stoke a popular chord with the masses. Just allow the music to splash over your thoughts and imagination.
Here’s the link below.
Three Easy Steps:
1) Listen once to song.
Then get a journal ready and be prepared to write a rushing flood of thoughts or little splashes of revelation that God will give you as you position yourself to hear from Him.
2) Listen again and write what comes to your mind or what you imagined.
Expect to hear from God and you will.
Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
3) Be amazed where He leads you in your imagination and encourages you as you surrender your time and attention to Him.
Take a dive into the deep deep waters in your mind and take a risk. Do the things He asks of you and trust that He will lead you and not allow you to drown or abandon you.
Take The Plunge,
Don’t forget your snorkel and mask!❤️
Better can be defined as superior quality, improved in health/healthier, and/or to increase the good qualities of.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
Growing up, people would often ask me…do you think you are better? At the time I did not understand exactly what that meant; but I remember always answering that question with “no, I don’t think I am better!” Honestly, I would get offended when people would ask me that. Some of you may have heard the same question growing up and like me felt extremely uncomfortable with the question and answering the question. Many of you may have answered the question the same way I did-some of you may have simply brushed the question off-some of you may have stopped becoming a better you and remain stagnant or remained average or what was considered norm at the time- and the rest of you may have replied with a serious, yes I am. I am not sure what your response was at the time; but I can tell you that my response to that same question has changed over the years.
About one month ago, someone asked me the same question… Do you think you are better? In the context of the conversation I again answered the question by saying, “no, I don’t think I am better!” This time however, I pondered on the question differently. I thought to myself, why would someone ask me that? What did I do to make them feel like I am being better? What exactly does being better mean?
Here’s what I discovered. In life, many of us are striving to become better people. As our expectations of change, our desire for a superior quality of life changes as well. Many of us desire to have:
• A better relationship with GOD
• Healthier relationships with others
• Physical, emotional, and spiritual health
• A better relationship with our children
• A better relationship with our spouses
• Increased finances
When you have a desire to become a better you, and align yourself with GOD, he will begin stripping away your past armor and re-coat you with your new armor. Many people will not understand why you are wearing a new armor and will ridicule what you have on because they don’t understand or they haven’t accepted the new you. When you are stripped away from past encounters, do not discredit your past or pass judgement on others, simply allow GOD to continue to do his work. Be sure to always express his love. So here’s the new response to being asked “do you think you are better?”. Yes, I am better and I am working on becoming a better me! Instead of dimming your light; be thankful of GOD’s grace, mercy, and favor on your life. There’s no need to be boastful or prideful; but you should be unapologetically bold about letting people know that your vision for your life aligns with GOD’s vision for your life and that GOD wants you to be the best you- you can be! The scripture tells us that the end of a thing is better than its beginning. Thank GOD for a strong ending…
Thank you so much for helping me become a better me. Thank you for helping me see myself the way you see me. I might have had rough beginnings, but I am so grateful that my story ends with a better ending. I love you.
Commit to the challenge.
I DARE you. ~Lereca Monik
#mydearestsister #Idareyou #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou #LiveRestored
Emptiness can be defined as the state of containing nothing; the quality of lacking meaning; or the quality of having no value or purpose.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
When Michelle, asked me share stories on Restored Ministries, I initially thought about what my platform needed to be. I think I really overly thought about what her followers wanted me to write about. Now that I have been sharing stories for nearly 10 months–during this time, I have learned that people need authenticity. People need disciples that are REAL. People need to know that they are not alone in life’s journey. People need…real people…sharing…real stories…about…real life dilemmas. So in my quest to be real, authentic, and open- I invite you learn more about me.
For years, I was an addict of perfection. I wanted to look perfect. I wanted my life to appear perfect. I wanted perfect parents. I wanted to meet the perfect person. I wanted the perfect job. I wanted the perfect friends. I wanted the perfect relationship with GOD. This need to be perfect was just a manifestation of insecurities that was embraced over the years. This need for a “perfect” life kept me stuck, depressed, lonely, and often feeling empty.
No matter how perfect I looked or it looked or how perfected I wanted it- I always was seeking more or something better. I could not accept that in my quest for perfection, I was truly living in emptiness. So then I embraced empty relationships, empty friendships, empty career choices, empty conversations, and empty expectations…the list can go on and on.
Although, everything looked good, a piece of me was missing. I felt like a piece of my soul was missing. I blamed my emptiness on things like:
• Losing my mom at an early age.
• Blaming myself for having an alcohol addiction.
• Manipulating people with my tenderness only for personal gain.
• Aborting a child that I might not ever know.
• Not having the friendships that I wanted or just flat out not being a good friend.
• Living in guilt because of sexual immortality and creating soul ties that become soul burdens.
• Giving up on my dreams.
• Being dissatisfied with my daily routine- whatever it was at the time, work, family, social life, school, etc.
When I began thinking about life and the life I wanted to design for myself. I realized my life was empty because I selfishly had carnal desires of the heart. Carnal desires will leave you feeling empty. I was tired of emptiness. Just like the readers of RESTORED are hoping to connect to a real person, I was seeking something real.
I knew my life would only be satisfied with encountering GOD and developing a more perfected- not perfect relationship with him. I knew that I could not any longer seek fleshly relationships- I need a spiritual breakthrough. I didn’t know where to start; but I started in Psalms 23.
I meditated and studied PSALMS 23 for several days. In this passage, it helped me understand that sheep are helpless without their shepherd. The shepherd is the protector of his sheep. And just like the sheep, we are helpless with our shepherd- the Lord thy GOD.
The passage begins with…”The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” As a sheep (child) in the Shepherd’s (fathers) care, we can rest in knowing that we will lack nothing. If you are experiencing emptiness in your life, or if you ever come to a point where you are feeling empty, please rest in this scripture. Spend time in Psalms 23.
You no longer need to fill empty, GOD promises that your cup will runneth over! Let GOD restore you, lead you, comfort you, and anoint you.
So it is! Commit to the change. I DARE YOU!
Thank you for showing me the empty spaces in my life. Thank you for helping me find rest in your scripture and restoration in my life. Please keep me on the path of living a fulfilled life. Thank you for your goodness and mercy. I love you.
~ Lereca Monik
#lerecamonik #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou #mydearestsister #Idareyou #LiveRestored
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Enjoy! XXOO Michelle Bollom
Happy Birthday Lereca!
Every now and then on special days like today, I like to go off line. Today I would like to open with a quote from Marianne Williamson. For some of you, it might be new and for others, it might be review.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
As I move into this new season of life…below are my prayers for myself.
• My faith: that it is so powerful and infectious that it illuminates others.
• My words: that they are intentional and are words of peace and words of sound wisdom.
• My friends: that I learn how to discern areas of their lives in which they need my support.
• My family: that they love unconditionally.
• My daughter: that she continues to develop into the beautiful, smart, loving, woman that GOD wants her to be.
• My husband: that I learn how to be the godly wife he desires.
• My church: that I serve like no other.
• My relationships: that I continue to plant seeds of life.
• My heart: that I remain open and willing to learn.
• My dreams: that I have the courage to move towards them daily.
• My light: that I let it shine brightly.
I want to consciously live in the light. This can only be delivered if I continue to live in GOD’s perfect will. I have committed myself to surrendering to his plan for my life. I am so grateful for everything GOD has blessed me with. I am so grateful that I am able to share a little example of his grace weekly with all of you. I am so grateful for this new season, this new chapter.
Happy Birthday to myself!
Thank you for allowing me to share! Enjoy your week! ~Lereca Monik