Basic Training 

In the military, you begin by going through Basic Training. Basic skills are taught such as physical fitness, marching, marksmanship, rifle maintenance, and war maneuvers.  

Perhaps the greatest objective of Basic Training is to teach young recruits to fear the commands of the drill sergeant more than any other thing.  
Swift and severe punishment is given to those who would dare disobey his orders.  


This aspect of training is critical to the success of the military’s mission, for war involves great fear and danger, and if the soldier gives in to fear and disobeys an order, he threatens not only his life but the lives of countless others.

In the spiritual life, there is a corresponding objective. As we begin our journeys with The Lord, he trains us diligently to heed his words, for disobedience to his words and inner voice will result in the endangerment of everyone that is associated with us.  

It is written, “Watch your lives and doctrines carefully, for if you do so, you will save not only yourself, but everyone that hears you”.  

Our lives and doctrines must line up with the precepts of the Lord, or many others will be led astray from the devotion to Christ and the faithfulness to his words that are critical to the success of the mission of the church.

The objective of military training is to produce a military that operates as a single unit and can accomplish great objectives. The objective of spiritual disciplines is to create a church that can move and pray as one, a church that hears and responds obediently to The Master’s voice, a church that lives and breathes to bring glory to the Father and salvation to men.  

This is no small undertaking and must not be taken lightly, for Our Father is un-distractibly devoted to this objective.  

He will not be denied.  
No matter how long it takes, his will will be done; the church will be disciplined and perfected to live and move as one.  

It is to our advantage that we get onboard early and enthusiastically, for then we will avoid many un-necessary growing pains.

~ Brad Heilhecker 

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2 3 4 Get Ready For More

          

This morning I awoke at 2:34 am and I heard the Lord say…. 234 Get ready for more.

I got excited because I have been getting a whisper from the Lord for months now with the word “Windfall“.   

wind·fall

ˈwin(d)fôl/

noun

    * a piece of unexpected good fortune, typically one that involves receiving a large amount of money.”windfall profits”

    * synonyms:

    * bonanza, jackpot, pennies from heaven, stroke/piece of luck, godsend, manna from heaven

As I looked up the definition these 2 synonyms are what caught my attention.

           godsend, manna from heaven. 

So I asked the Lord to unpack this MORE; and Windfall for me….
I was taken to Deuteronomy 11. 
 “And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. ~ Deuteronomy 11:13-15

 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known. ~ Deuteronomy 11:26-28
                    Bingo! Jackpot!
                    The godsend

god·send

ˈɡädˌsend/

noun

1. a very helpful or valuable event, person, or thing.

2. synonyms:

3. boon, blessing, bonus, plus, benefit, advantage, help, aid, asset; More
Did you catch that right there in the synonyms? -MORE 

The benefit, bonus, advantage, help and MORE is in the godsend, God himself and also His Angels He has put on assignment for you. 

The manna from heaven (miraculous provision from God) that’s our windfall. 

The building up for us to receiving more, the key that unlocks the more, the open heaven that makes way for the windfall is in our obedience to God and His Word. 
We build upon each right choice, each moment of uncomfortable obedience we tackle, that is what makes room for more and opens up the blessings of the Lord, our manna from heaven, our windfalls to fall down. 

Where there once was / God now supplies:

Lack / Abundance

Division / Divine Connections

Weakness / Strength

Curses / Blessings 

Fear / Courage

Grief / Hope

Confusion / Clarity

Despair / New Resolve

Disappointments / Determination

Sickness / Health 

Brokenness / Wholeness

Rejection / Protection

Rebellion / Obedience

Worry / Peace 

        2…3..4… Get ready for more! 
        ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

           

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 

Wait On The Promise 

Faith is sometimes waiting in the Promise and doing something against what the World seems best or is even best for you, to instead do something else that could be best to help someone else.  

Today God showed me that what looked like an immediate answer to my families prayers with everything lining up perfectly wasn’t all there was to the story. He prompted me to make a call which opened up another conversation and presented another possibility and alternative that helps someone else and answers their prayers immediately.  

I would have missed the answer and this opportunity to be obedient to God had I not read His Word or made the calls when the Spirit promoted me.  

God then told me to go back and keep reading. I almost didn’t because of time crunches and knew that I was now to do the opposite of what we thought we should do, but the Spirit told me to go back and keep reading. So I stomped back to my farm table and continued to read His Word and that is where He clearly confirmed in His Word what was opposite of the choice we thought or the World thinks we should have made was what we were to make.   

Emotional and Mind blown how awesome God works and this time running late and an emotional mess-I felt His Peace flood over me by His confirmation in His Word that this choice was a choice of simply being obedient to His Word that goes against everything else and that is what builds our faith.   

I knew that I could continue to wait in the Promise longer now that my waiting allowed someone else to get an immediate answer. 

I want to encourage everyone. Keep reading! Keep reading His Word. Don’t stop when you think you have the answer. Don’t base your choice or make a decision just because everything is lining up and the voice of reason or the World tells you to take the deal- God could be asking you to wait longer in your Promise so someone else can have their answer to their Promise and prayers now. 

                     ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Joshua 

WORTHY THOUGHT:  Great leaders are often rare. To be strong leaders we must be ready to listen and move when God instructs us. 

After the death of Moses, the Lord’s disciple, God spoke to Moses’ assistant, who’s name is Joshua (The son of Nun) and said to him, now that my disciple is dead, (you are the new leader of Israel). Lead my people across the Jordan River into the promised land. -Joshua 1:1-2

In The book of Joshua we see he succeeds Moses as Israel’s leader. Joshua was Moses’ assistant for 40 years, whether he was prepared or not Joshua must thought to himself those are big shoes to fill in to be a great leader like Moses. 

But the Bible is clear that God was not asking Joshua to follow in the same shoes as his previous leader Moses. 

No two leaders are the same.

Joshua knew to succeed as a leader was to be lead by God, obey scriptures of God’s law, be strong and brave because the task ahead is not easy, and to constantly lead God’s people in the Word. 

Faith and obedience to God brings victory.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made, no two people are alike or created the same. 

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” -Ephesians 2:10

Joshua’s new job faced many challenges. One of them consisted of leading more than a million people to a strange new land and conquering it. Without God this could be dangerous and frightening. However with God we are assured just like He assured Joshua that He is with us. We face many challenges but God also promises He would never abandon or leave us. 

Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.-Joshua 1:9 

We may not conquer nations but we do face many difficulties. By asking God to direct us we will conquer many of life’s challenges.

        ~Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

Your Calling 

So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.” (1 Kings 19:19)

Are you in search of your calling? Possibly even wondering if you’ve missed your calling?

When I meet with a group of young people, I’ll often tell them, “Ask me anything,” and the concept of calling always comes up. “How do I know my calling? How do I step into my calling?”

And I always tell them, “Your attitude and approach toward what you’re doing now is more important than your speculation about what’s next.”

Elisha wasn’t necessarily looking for his “calling.” He was simply completing a simple assignment in his current season of life. And God knew how to find him. He knew Elisha was in a field plowing.

Now maybe you’re thinking, “How could plowing have prepared him for prophecy?” Elisha may have been tilling hard dirt, but he would soon be tilling hard hearts.

There’s always a connection between what you’re doing now and what you’ll be doing next. Faith enables you to believe this even when you can’t see it.

Where did Elijah find Elisha? He found him in the field. The mundane preceded the miraculous.

Have you been tempted to fantasize about what might be next and neglect what God is doing now? If so, you may be short-circuiting the process that God is using to prepare you for the promise.

What you need for the next season is what God is doing now. 

              ~ Thomas Joel Trevino 

A Journey Of The Heart 

Have you ever been so badly wounded by someone that you grieved at the same depths you did for a devastating death? A betrayal so hurtful you just could not ever imagine a rainbow ever reappearing after the soul-damaging storm?  

The long road to recovery and forgiveness is brutal and this journey of the heart is not always a quick trip. 

 
My head knows that no one is perfect. We are all fallible and fall short. We all say and do things we regret. My head knows people will disappoint us, but God never does. 

 
I don’t want to walk this journey of forgiveness to recover from being wounded. I want to do like my kids did when they were little and grab God’s face with both my hands and give a deep eye-to-eye stare. I want God’s full attention! 

My heart wants an instant miracle! 

I want to say : “Look God, I need You! I am drowning here! I am hurt. It is not well with my soul! I am trying to forgive, I am trying to forget. I am trying to pray for those that hurt me and love them and live life but right now I am anything but fine! If You are counting all my tears and saving them in a bottle, I think You got more than you or I bargained for on this one.” 

 
My head knows that God restores every heart that is broken. His word promises that.  

However, healing takes time and restoration comes only in God’s perfect timing.  

But right now, my heart is not too excited or happy about it. My heart is aching and I am just plain miserable. My heart feels like it got trapped and shipwrecked somewhere on a distant shore. 
 

We are to forgive even when sometimes we don’t ever get the apology we hoped for or deserved.

 
God is the only One that rights our wrongs. 

 

My heart wants the situation changed now, but My head knows the journey of the heart to forgiveness is not an easy or quick one.

 
The head knowledge that has to come first is this: forgiveness is the ultimate act of obedience to the Father.  

He forgave us freely and commands us to forgive those who trespass against us. 

The journey from head knowledge to heart knowing is a much longer and more tedious process. It is a long, winding and, at times, unsteady road. It takes time, tears, much prayer, and a constant surrendering of our jumbled-up, raw emotions to God.  

There will be days you will feel like you can barely grasp enough air to keep breathing or the strength to even stand. That’s okay.  

The fragments of your shattered and wounded soul, like the potholes or deep grooves on a rough road, are in the process of being slowly filled and smoothed away. Forgiveness is a process, not an instantaneous feeling.  

It can’t be rushed. 

Just as you have to navigate a rough road slowly, so is the same with the road to forgiveness. Each encounter with rough terrain can only be navigated from God’s perspective and with His help.  

The restoration in the forgiveness process is something that only He can do to heal us properly.  

Eventually, the road to recovery and to forgiveness is complete when the head knowledge is now your heart-knowing that God is the Great Restorer of all things broken.  

The journey of the heart must be traveled in order to reach full forgiveness and wholeness again. 

         ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

 

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. – Psalm 56:8

It is true that you planned to do something bad to me. But really, God was planning good things. God’s plan was to use me to save the lives of many people. And that is what happened. -Genesis 50:20 ERV

 
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. -Matthew 6:14-15 NIV

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. -Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV 

 
I will make their going easy, level the mountain road and smooth the path that leads them home. -Isaiah 49:11

I wrote this last year as a guest blog for Compassion That Compels and have revamped it to encourage others on this journey of the heart to forgiveness. 

 It is a journey so worth taking! 
               

Wisdom


WORTHY THOUGHT:  Listening to God is the way of wisdom. 

Wisdom is made available to everyone who is willing to hear God and obey. 

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk up rightly. Proverbs 2:6-7 NKJV 
       ~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

Surrendered Moments 


Are you drowning in a massive “To-Do” list? 

Are you finding yourself tired and worn out with not enough hours in the day? 

Has your mind been wracked with fear and worry? 

God will give you the grace and strength you need for each moment surrendered unto Him. 

Stop fighting the currents and working against the tides. Surrender each moment of doubt, worry, fear, and control to God, and allow Him to carry you safely where He needs you to go.        

        Things are never forced with God.  

               ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 
I give the moments of my life over to You, Eternal One. Rescue me….~Psalm 31:15 The VOICE

Obedience 


WORTHY THOUGHT: Late obedience is still disobedience.

When I heard those words “Late obedience is still disobedience” from a wise friend I met on a mission trip in Guatemala. I had a sense of conviction and God’s spirit spoke to my heart to write about it. The question I had even as a Christian, when have I disobeyed God?’ 

Maybe God wants to remind me and others as Christians it is easy to delay obedience. Sometimes we know the right thing to do but we don’t want to do it or Satan will always put things in our paths to distract us from doing God’s important work or we will get to it as soon as we are done with our daily tasks. 

Then it came to my mind and I started to remember. God has asked me to read and study my Bible on book of Matthew for my ministry but instead my husband and I went out to the movies. When I came back home from the movies I will read up on the book of Mathew before my bedtime a sentence or two later, I fall asleep . Next day I will be on Facebook for two hours checking to see who liked my picture’s instead of reading my Bible. Yep! Convicted!! It grieves me now that I am aware of this. 

Delayed obedience it is still disobedience. 

I do ministry work to disciple others and again we must value obedience. I have read book of Mathew before but that week I disobeyed, since I have not read the book of Mathew like God asked me too. 

I could not give out His message to my ministry, I panicked, I couldn’t speak, it was like empty words coming out of my mouth. I’m so thankful for my Christian co-leader who did read the Book of Matthew and she was able to give a great message what God was speaking in Book of Matthew. My co-leader valued obedience and by obeying God, He blessed her. By her example my co-leader obeyed Jesus and taught others to obey Jesus.  
I knew after I repented to the Lord I had learned my lesson. God gives us His grace and mercy and loves and forgives each of us. He is still willing to use me and you to obey His commandments and we will be blessed.

Jesus replied,” Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” – John 14:23

“Whoever heeds discipline shows way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. ” -Proverbs 10:17 

If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.    – Deuteronomy 5:33 

Keep this Book of the law on your lips; meditate on it day or night, so that you may be careful to do everything in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful . -Joshua 1:8

 ~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill