Finding The Courage 

  
I am more than half way through my fasting experience. What would seem like a really scary and difficult task has not really been all that bad. Much easier than I thought. 

 I think a lot is due to having the right perspective and mindset going in. I wanted this to be about God revealing some transforming truths in His word for me. I wanted to crucify my flesh and live in the Spirit. I wanted to not mourn what I gave up and instead be excited with the wisdom and knowledge I would gain.

 I never imagined how wonderful this could be.  

Of all the things I gave up, I gained so much more. Some revelations have been life changing, some have been AHA (a holy answer) moments, and some have been encouragement for me to keep pressing on.  

As I am no longer turning to food to fill or stuff an emotional void it is not intended to and instead using food for just nutrition, I am finding many things about myself that have seemed hidden, start to emerge.  

Today’s Life Recovery notes on my verse talk about finding the courage. 

I started to think about the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz that was in search of courage and traveled the yellow brick road to Oz, but only to realize he really had it all along. The lion had let fear crowd his courage out.  

Courage, for me too, was like the Lion, I thought I didn’t have very much, but realized, I had it all along but fear had been crowding out my courage.

What God has been showing me is that when I tune into the Spirit over my flesh, then I will find not only the Courage, but a whole lot more things, I only thought I lacked.  
Like:  
The courage to speak up when I need to

The courage to deny my flesh

The courage in asking God for bolder and bigger prayers

The courage to let go of control 

The courage to surrender my will and my emotions fully to God 

The courage to rest in His perfect peace

The courage to try new things

The courage to love others more 

The courage to take even the slightest resentment or hurt to Him first

The courage to forgive fully 

The courage to accept instead of expect 

The courage to listen more 

The courage to speak less 

The courage to realize my worth is in God and not in my own abilities

Lord, thank You for chiseling away at all the junk to reveal the facets of the diamond You are mining instead of just revealing and leaving the flaws. Your love, mercy, and grace make it all possible. Thank You for restoration and recovery and most of all salvation. Thank You for avenging me and others who are hurting and bound by secrets, sins, or struggles. Thank You for Your many promises in Your Word and the Power of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that You came to set the captives free and to give us a hope and a future.  
                       ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

But as for Judah, it will always be full of people.Eternal One: Jerusalem, too, will endure for generations to come. I will avenge those who were hurt, enslaved, exiled, and killed;I will not let the guilty go free.For the Eternal One lives in Zion. ~ Joel 3:20-21 The VOICE 

God has a good future planned for all who trust in Him. Restoration and recovery will be complete; salvation will be forever. With this hope for the future, we can find the courage we need to persevere through our problems today. Since the final goal of our recovery process is assured, we need not fear the dark days still ahead. ~Life Recovery Bible 

The Prince Of Wholeness 

  
Prince Charming. 

 Every young girls dream. 

Ever since the fairy tales of Snow White and Cinderella showed us all that a Prince rescued a poor mistreated girl with her once lost but now found glass slipper and awoke a sleeping cursed girl with a kiss, we have wanted a Prince to rescue us. 

 Story lines still today show countless movies with a modern version of Prince Charming. The most popular one I think of is Pretty Woman where a millionaire businessman rescues and falls in love with a prostitute. 

Some people say their Prince Charming hasn’t arrived or is some how delayed. Some even claim a weirdo in tin foil showed up instead of a mighty Prince in armor on a white horse. 

Of all the names for God I have seen Prince of Peace, which I totally love that Prince; but The Prince of Wholeness… I had never seen before. 
I will totally take that Prince over all the others.  He is the only one we should be waiting for because He is the only one that can save us. 

The world is full of broken hurting people shattered by past mistakes, regrets, abuse, addictions, secrets, sins, and struggles. All are waiting and wondering who will rescue them. All are dreaming of their Prince to ride in on a white horse and save them. 

The really great news is, a gift, a Son, Jesus, our Saviour has already been given to us! 

He is The “Prince of Wholeness”

The even better news is that there will be no limits to the wholeness He brings when the Prince of Wholeness comes.   

Kisses and glass slippers are so overrated.

              
                    ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

The people who walked in darkness

    have seen a great light.

For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—

    light! sunbursts of light!

You repopulated the nation,

    you expanded its joy.

Oh, they’re so glad in your presence!

    Festival joy!

The joy of a great celebration,

    sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.

The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—

    all their whips and cudgels and curses—

Is gone, done away with, a deliverance

    as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian.

The boots of all those invading troops,

    along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,

Will be piled in a heap and burned,

    a fire that will burn for days!

For a child has been born—for us!

    the gift of a son—for us!

He’ll take over

    the running of the world.

His names will be: Amazing Counselor,

    Strong God,

Eternal Father,

    Prince of Wholeness.

His ruling authority will grow,

    and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.

He’ll rule from the historic David throne

    over that promised kingdom.

He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing

    and keep it going

With fair dealing and right living,

    beginning now and lasting always.

The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies

    will do all this. ~Isaiah 9:2-7 MSG 

Unfazed And No Longer Confused 

  
This morning I woke up to day five of my fasting experience and although I am so thankful that God has been faithful on the revelations and encouragement I was wavering a bit in my resolve. 

I was tired and feeling horrible and second guessing my ability to do this. My blood sugar had been very low and this morning I just could not focus. I was rushing God through on my quiet time and when He led me to the verse I knew was my download, I was like – bingo! Wow, now we are 5 for 5! Yeah! 

You see, I recognized the verse Romans 8:37 so I thought I already knew what God wanted me to share since that is the verse for Conquering Overeating – my local emotional eating support ministry that meets every Thursday night.  

But God was saying- nope, you don’t know it all missy -read it in another translation- get to unpacking it.

So I head to the Message translation and there it was.  

Two things jumped out immediately 

hunger – because I had started to dream of carbs and sugar items and was tired and did not sleep well since my blood sugar had been dropping too low etc, and then the second thing was this phrase 
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us

Did God just try to put the ole kabash on my pity party? 

I knew God was downloading something on fazed so I thought, Alright Alright Alright –

  
God you don’t want me to be fazed – that is like not bothered by, so is that what the message is today, don’t be bothered, stop complaining and get on about Your business? 

Where exactly are we going on this, my brain is mush right now from lack of sleep and the lack of a sugar stimulant or caffeine since I am also fasting dairy, so I am Really CONFUSED! 

So I kept unpacking. In the dictionary this is what I found…..

faze

fāz/

verb informal

1. disturb or disconcert (someone).     
Ok God so none of that should faze me because Jesus loves me……

So I am to be unfazed …. Ok I sorta get it but a little confused still, so I looked up what unfazed would be … 
un·fazed

ˌənˈfāzd/

adjective

1. not disconcerted or perturbed.
not fazed :undaunted
BOOM there it was! In the definition of unfazed ……. Undaunted! That is where God is going with this…..

So I looked up undaunted and this is what it said:
undaunted

uhn-dawn-tid/-dahn-

1. undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort: 

2. undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear; intrepid

I am not to get dismayed over the daunting task of preparing fresh veggies, fruit and lean proteins. I am not to get discouraged that my family is still eating yummy foods. I am not to be forced by the enemy to give up and abandon the purpose of all of this fast or the efforts made so far. I got You lord, loud and clear! And then He brought it all home for me with …
Do not give into fear! 

So I re read the verse again and thought about the phrase 

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us

As I read it through, yet again, I finally began to start to feel unfazed and no longer confused.  

Thank you God for bringing it all into a clearer view!

                     ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Read the rest of the whole awesome promise here:

 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:  They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. 

I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. ~ Romans 8:31-39 MSG 

Joy 

  
Define

Joy can be defined as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune, the prospect of possessing what one desires, or the state of happiness. 

 

Affirm:  

James 1:2-3 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

 

Recall:  

If you haven’t taken a moment to go see the Disney Drama “Inside Out” at the movie theater, I highly recommend you go see it. What I thought was going to be a cartoon kid like— film, turned out to be movie with an adult like thought provoking plot. Without sharing all the details of the movie, I will try my best to share a quick overview and my lessons learned.  

 

The movie is about an eleven year old girl name Riley and her five emotions that are alive in her head-referred to as headquarters. Her emotions are Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. Each emotion plays an important role in her life. Joy has worked very hard to keep Riley’s memories as happy one’s; while overall Sadness feels that she has very little to no relevance.  

 

All of this changes when Riley’s family relocates from Minnesota to San Francisco. On Riley’s first day of school, Joy tries to control headquarters and orders Sadness not to touch anything. Joy advises Sadness to remain in a circle. Sadness steps out of the circle and begins touching Riley’s core memories. While trying to get Sadness back in the circle, Joy and Sadness gets carried away into Riley’s long term memories- leaving Disgust, Fear, and Anger in command at headquarters. During this time, operating on disgust, fear, and anger alone, Riley’s core memories which shaped her personality began to crumble.  

 

Joy and Sadness were then left with the pursuit of navigating through life (long term memory) to find the best route to headquarters, where core memories resided. After several days, while reviewing Riley’s long term memories, Joy gets the realization that Sadness had been necessary in Riley’s life- her realization- Sadness is the emotion that queues others to act when Riley needs help.  

 

GOD created us to be emotional beings.  Just like Riley we will feel various emotions. We will experience disgust, fear, anger, sadness, and joy. EXPECT IT. We cannot expect to grow in the spirit and live an unemotional life.  

 

Because of our emotions:

Examine our hearts.  

Become aware of carnal desires.  

Learn how to love others deeply.  

Get closer to GOD.

 

We all want to get closer to GOD. Instead of fighting our emotions, or questioning GOD about why we feel emotional, I challenge you to examine how you feel and ask GOD to help you grow in that area. Just like Riley we need to experience a little emotion in order to grow.  

 

 

 

At the end of the story, Joy and Sadness made it back safely to headquarters. Joy treats Sadness as an equal; as a result Riley’s core memories and personality were reshaped based on her experiences.    

 

When you get displaced from a place of comfort, your emotions will stir up. It is so important for us to take our emotions to GOD. Your faith is being tested and will produce steadfastness. Declare to be steadfast! Count it all as JOY! Let GOD reshape you. I DARE You!  

 

Exercise:

Dear God,

Thank you so much for allowing me to experience various trials. Your scripture commands me to count them all as Joy. For it is in those moments, that I learn to exercise my faith and remain steadfast in your word.  

 

Commit to the challenge. 

 I DARE you. ~ LeReca Monik 
#mydearestsister #Idareyou #restoredministries #itstimeforachange#anewyou #LiveRestored 

Does This Shoe Fit You? 

  


My takeaway notes from the movie: yes, I take notes at movies….don’t judge!!!

Have courage and be kind 

The greatest risk is 
to be seen as we truly are 

Take me as I am 

I forgive you 

See the world not as it is but as it could be 

If you only believe 

    I just went to see the movie Cinderella. My girls wouldn’t go with me. So my mom and I drug my seven year old niece to it yesterday. Now granted she had already seen it last week. She was doing me a favor by obliging to go with me. 
     Let me back up and say I am a huge Cinderella fan with quite the active imagination. I grew up in the 70’s watching the original Disney edition of Cinderella. We had the bulky VHS tapes back in the day of waiting to rewind and fast forward. 
I still remember that I too fell in love with the prince and cried when the clock struck midnight and Cinderella’s dream was snatched away as she raced away in her carriage through the forest. 
I have probably seen all the movies and Cinderella book editions that were ever created or published. I remember when I taught third grade language arts and we studied several different cultural adaptions of the story of Cinderella. It seems the story goes way back and continues to still resonate with a wide audience. 

I never really put much thought into the story comparing it to my relationship with Jesus until just recently I had a revelation. 

  Not too long ago I was nestled away in a cabin surrounded by a dark forest. Seven dwarfs or rather a couple of friends were spending the weekend with me. Any excuse to get away and have some fun with your friends. We had spent some time reading scripture and journaling. We purposely positioned ourselves to be alone and quiet as to hear the still voice inside of each of us. Sometimes we have to be intentional on being quiet and still to hear what the Holy Spirit is whispering to us
This day I got a whole earful on Cinderella and how Jesus wants to be my Prince Charming. 
I know your thinking, “That’s a weird thought.”.
Keep in mind God knows my inner thoughts and desires before I was even born.   
Remember He knows all my stuff all the way back to my desires and thoughts as a child. 

Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Psalm 139:2
“You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.”

Our Father knows how to individually speak to us like no one else could possibly imagine. 

I wish I could find my journal to share exactly what He revealed to me that day out in the woods.  The main point was that I got the revelation that He too was pursuing me like the prince was searching out for his lost princess. 

Does this shoe fit you?

Are you longing for someone to fill that void of discontentment ?

Are you wishing someone would come and rescue you out of your mundane life of cinders?

Maybe you never thought of Jesus being one who pursues you and desires to dance with you as you walk out the details of your everyday life. 

John 14:21 
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

Bippity boppity boo

You too can experience your Prince Charming without any midnight strikes turning you and your things back into old rags, cinders, pumpkins, lizards or rats. 

John 10:10 (The Message)
” A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

“Why do some persons ‘find’ God in a way that others do not? Why does God manifest His Presence to some and let multitudes of others struggle along in the half-light of imperfect Christian experience? Of course the will of God is the same for all. He has no favorites within His household. All He has ever done for any of His children He will do for all of His children. The difference lies not with God but with us.”
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Get out of the woods and ask Him for that first dance?

BTW, I give the Cinderella movie three thumbs up. Go see it!!

Glass Slipper On,
   Kelley Allison
    John1:4-5

  

The Story of Everything




      It’s not necessarily what you say but rather what you do.  I noticed this recently on a trip where many people did not speak the same language as me. You didn’t have to understand what they were saying but rather their expression, hand gestures and the animated tone of their conversation to figure out what they were really communicating.  
I discovered this to be true by watching the movie, “The Theory of Everything” on my plane ride to my destination. I watched on a ladies’ laptop a row in front of me.  I had to pause along with her when she shut her computer and got up or shifted around in her seat. I did not hear one word from the movie but watched in anticipation with what would happen next. I followed along holding back my tears as I watched the sacrifice this young wife made taking care of her crippled husband. I thought to myself I don’t even need to rent this and watch it again because I got main points from the story by just watching the actions and emotions of the characters unfold without hearing any words. 

Sidenote:
Then I got all choked up thinking how such a brilliant man could miss the Creator of Everything in everything. 

Hello!! Shakey Wakey!! That’s beyond me!!!

I wonder how many of us daily tell our story without any words. 
Good stories some days, not such great stories the next?

A smile
A laugh
A high five
A hug
A pat 

Or on a not so good day……

A frown 
A stare 
An evil eye
A tear
A shove

I want to tell a story everyday of thankfulness and joy as I go about my day. I carry an antidote for those who are thankless and have lost their way along the ride of life. 

I want to…….
Be a living picture that unfolds a story that is worth the watching

Let’s call it….

The Story of Everything 

I dare to pray……..
 Thank you God that you put a story in me before I was born. Help me to separate myself and get alone to hear from You in the Secret Place of Prayer. 

Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.

Let me clearly hear the deliberate chapters of my life that I am to play out in this life. I want to demonstrate the best display of Your brilliance and creation. Help me to bring out the best in others and encourage them with my actions. Even something as minor as a smile or as major as a risky detour to my regular routines that day. I want to be a part of the Story of Everything of God. 
Awake me to the possibilities of what You can do with my life. 
I strategically plan MY PART to be intentional. 
I begin today: page one. 

In Jesus Name,
Me
Kelley Allison

Check out this Video that sums it all up in less than five minutes. 

The Story of Everything

http://youtu.be/97sgcQo4GRw


May The Force Be With You 



 

Thanks to Amy Tippins for sharing her story with us from Her personal blog

  

 1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Where fear resides God cannot…unless you invite Abba to take away the fear. 

 For the past 2 years I have lived in fear. Fear that I would never be financially stable enough to become a parent. Fear of my business not being successful enough to support my family. I fear that I will run out of the mental bandwidth to handle a business and a child. I fear I will never be chosen by a birth mom. Yes, I have strong fears and sometimes they drive me to tears.

What I can attest to is that when I turn my fear over to God and asked for him to calm my heart, He always seems to come through in a way that is so much greater than I dreamed.

Society beats fear into our subconscious every step of the way in life. Growing up, it was preached to me that “certain types of girl” blessing from God never include “happily ever after” or a family. Guess what, THIS “certain type of girl” who goes against what is accepted as a “good Christian girl” found a love that accepts me in all of my faults and wonderful characteristics. I held out for what I am worthy of. I pushed forward and trusted in God despite my fear.

Fear is darkness. Think of one of the most classic movies, Star Wars, Luke lost his ability to use The Force when he allowed fear to entire his mind. When he feared his father then darkness (and sin) entered his mind and heart. When our hearts and mind fill with fear, then our actions become selfish, divisive and counter-productive to building love in our lives. To be fair, fear is as old as sin….it is the source of all sin. I lost the inability to fight fear at birth and so did you.

Most days, I have to say “This one isn’t under my control”. That scares me, but it is ok because I am not in control of this world. Somehow, when I whisper those words and ask God to fill my heart with faith then he fills my heart with peace. Most importantly, I know he won’t fail me when I invited him into my place of fear.

Fear is limits

God provided my perfect donor, a man who loves me so much that some days I shake my head at my worthiness of him, and God saved my house from going onto the auction block over a year ago. When I took the path of gratitude in my business, he tripled our business in less than 2 weeks. Yep, I think once I learned to say “Oh, I so do not have this handled” and say it with peace in my heart then he handled everything far beyond what I thought was possible.

My Abba (Father) covers my fear with His love, He is bringing my child home, and he has been creating a business that will is covering our financial needs. Yes, I don’t need to live in fear, BUT I am only human. So, He will be patient with me in the meantime and whisper into my ear “I know the plans I have for you”.  ~Amy Tippins