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WORTHY THOUGHT: Jesus came to live and walk the ways of this earth to show us how to live.

Jesus has shown us as an example that God’s Word is life-oriented not information oriented.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” -Deuteronomy 6:4-8

We as parents need to be reminded it is not enough to tell our children how to act; we must show them just like Jesus has shown us.

~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill

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The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars

Earthly romances fascinate us.  

To find someone who thinks the world of us and who we ourselves adore.  It is the stuff of legends and glorified in a multitude of books and songs.  

Whether we know if or not, the allure might be that, for a time, we get to be the sun, the moon, and the stars for someone else, and this lover, our beloved, is our sun, moon, and stars.  

If only young lovers would listen intently to those who have been married for decades and know the realities of keeping romance alive, we would have far fewer divorces.

In Christ, the vision is more humble. We don’t get to be the sun, moon, and stars for someone else.  

In this romance, God is the sun, Christ is the moon that reflects God glory so that we can gaze upon it, and we are like the far flung-stars that illuminate the night sky.  

The sun gives us life, the moon reassures us that the sun is still there at night, and each of us, like stars, gets to play our part and demonstrate the vastness and the mystery of Our Creator.

So let us “do everything without grumbling or complaining that we may become blameless and pure, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we shine like stars in the universe”—a sobering yet exhilarating vision, a high calling, a challenge equal to the loftiest of ambitions.  

What a wonderful Creator God is Our Father!

~ Brad Heilhecker

Far Better

I got super wounded recently.

Someone’s true motives were exposed that turned out to be so different than what I had thought and I felt duped and shock and hurt, But I was determined not to get offended or take the bait.

I was crying out to God and bawling and snotting a bit over it – teetering back and forth from mad to hurt to starting to get offended to back to praying for them and their ministry

when God spoke to my heart…

”Trust me Michelle! – whatever you feel you lost or were hurt or rejected by is My hand positioning you for more and better alignments – It’s for your ultimate protection and for something far better.”

REALLY, how could that be? The devil must have gotten a hold of this person to do this… I have pretty HIGH LEVEL Discernment, How did I not see this coming?

Honestly y’all ….I wanted to shout from the rooftops that this person had Done Me Dirty! Then, when I found out they also had flat out lied to me on top of things I really felt like they had Double Done Me Dirty!.

But, God kept saying,

Let Me Fight Your Battles!”

I wanted the last word, I wanted instant vindication, I wanted them to apologize or pay or feel sorry for what they did. I wanted them to be exposed for their lies so no-one else got HoodWinked or hurt by them.

God wanted me to Forgive, Release, Bless, Pray for them and sit back and keep my mouth shut while He worked it all out for my ultimate good.

It was a few days and somedays I trusted, other days my head space got wacky and I had to step back and praise and dance through my disappointments and trust and worship Him when I felt defeated or discouraged or not seeing what possibly was He doing in this situation to speak to me or teach me or was He really doing anything about this injustice I felt had been done to me, HELLO.

I obeyed and chose to

do it God’s way.

I prayed. I forgave them for lying to me. I forgave them for doing what they did. I prayed for them and their family, their ministry and released them to God. I released the hurt and toxic emotions every time they creeped up and in. I thanked God for seeing what I didn’t and for removing this alignment.

I also unfollowed them so I wouldn’t have to see their face for awhile while God did His complete work in healing my heart.

(So, you may need to do that too to some folks.)

Within days… literally mere DAYS later I had 3 specific big answers to prayers I was waiting on from God. He answered in Crazy Big ways that I would not have even dreamed possible.

He partnered me with a couple of amazing people to finish some big projects. He even showed me a couple of crazy “God Winks” by number sequences aligning up in a HUGE blessing to me and Restored Ministries that will bless many others through this special alignment.

As I sat there just MIND BLOWN – God said –

“Who and how you thought about alignment/s is NOT how I am doing things” …. “Thanks for trusting Me and letting Me remove the old to make way for the new.”

He has taught me to Look again and Look closer… To release my control because His ways are so much better than my ways.

He taught me to wait. To Trust. To keep doing what I needed to do amidst the hurt and betrayal.

On this side of the hurt feels Oh’ so much better!

I was like, “OH YEAH…High Five Myself… BYE FELISHA …God Gots me! Oh, Won’t He Do It!!! Boom Shaka Lakka Boom. Yep, God is THE BOMB DIGGITY … and SO much more.

But I realize as I can celebrate now in my wounding, some are still deep in the betrayal and hurt side of things. Some may have not even gotten there yet. But we will, I will, you will, we all will, at some point be hurt and disappointed and hoodwinked and betrayed again.

As a dear friend felt alone and wounded and just about to throw in the towel, I told her my story and how God worked it out. That’s how we overcome, by the words of our testimonies and the blood of Jesus, and by being real and raw and taking things to God and trusted friends and praying and letting God fight our battles.

God may not work hers out the same as mine, He may do something even grander and over the top, because that is what I am praying for her. Exceedingly and abundantly more than she could hope, think or even ask for.

But, whatever it is…

God is not a respecter of persons and what He does for me He can do for her and for you and anyone else.

Hey, even for the one that “Did Me Double Dirty”…

He still loves them too.

Trust God to fight your battles. Let Him remove those alignments…Hold on loosely…and regardless how hurtful or shocking the betrayal..do the work to keep your heart unmoved by offense, stay humble, and alway Forgive, Release & Pray/Bless those that hurt you.

~ XXOO Michelle

Don’t Bite

A Humble Heart Shall Not Be Moved

This has become my favorite phrase lately!

You see, the enemy wants us offended. If we can get offended that will divide the body of Christ faster than anything.

A divided “anything” isn’t very strong. James 3:16 says:

Where there is strife there is every evil thing.

Unity really pisses the devil off.

He likes strife.

John Bevere’s best selling book “The Bait Of Satan” is so perfectly titled and truly depicts exactly what offense is and does. When we take the bait of offense it keeps us crippled and captive. It really is a deadly trap.

So, what do you do when you are stung by someone’s actions or words?

Being hurt or disappointed is very different than being offended – but it can feel very much the same and

can turn into offense if you let it fester.

You can either speak up or stay quiet – which many choose the latter because speaking up is not always well received, but what is crucial is you MUST release the emotions to God.

Let Him remove them and heal you.

Ask God to flood your heart with love and humility so that your pride doesn’t want to call the shots and tempt you to bite and take the bait.

Also, singing this Promise helps!

Great Peace have they that love thy law and NOTHING shall offend them. ~ Psalm 119:165

Try it the next time you lose your peace or feel a sting!

Spit the hook out and say with me…

“A Humble Heart Shall Not Be Moved”

Lord, help us let go of hurts and disappointments today so they don’t fester into offense and resentments. Help us to always abide in love.

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

What Kind Of Friends Do You Have?

What kind of friends do you have?

Are they people who complain or criticize a lot?

Are they people who make fun of laugh at us, gossip or put others down?

Are they flaky or are they faithful?

Are they people that live with no boundaries or moral codes and tempt you to constantly compromise? Or become a lower version of yourself? Or make you feel bad about yourself?

The kind of people we want to be will decide what kind of friends we have.

You are who you hang out with.

My daddy had a crude but true saying: “You can’t hang around 💩 poop and not expect to start smelling.”

If we want to feel sorry for ourselves, we will choose friends who will tell us how right we are and let us complain and stay stuck in self-pity or a victim mentality.

If we want to think we’re better than others, we will hang around people who laugh at and judge or gossip about others’ and think they are entitled and always justified in doing so.

If we want to be validated or feel better in our sins and shortcomings we will surround ourselves with people that have no boundaries or problem entertaining that which cheapens them.

But if we want to be the best we can be, we will pick friends who see the good in life and the good in all people. Those who will pray and encourage us to be uniquely ourselves and who will help us try harder at things that are difficult for us. Those who sharpen us on those days we are getting dull and falling short of God’s glorious standards or best for us.

Those people that don’t compete or envy and speak truth in love when we are buying lies. They don’t talk behind our backs, share our confidences with others, and always want the best for us even when we don’t see the best for ourselves in the moment.

I want to be that kind of friend.

I want to have those types of friends.

“Divine Connections”

Divinely Connected by God.

Keeping Christ first and center always. Setting each other up for success. Celebrating each other.

Crying with each other.

Holding hands up when they can’t lift them for themselves.

No pretense – no envy – no junk or gunk. No exclusion or cliques or fake and phony stuff.

Those to call me out and those that are willing to hear the hard stuff too so we can snatch others and ourselves out of isolation and darkness and bondage when we need to.

How about you?

Take an inventory of the 5 closest people in your life. What are their strengths and weaknesses.

What do you think of the moment you think of them?

Do you feel at peace and uplifted and encouraged and don’t think of having to change how you look or act before you see them?

Or are you having to feel like you must alter your authentic self in certain ways before you can be around them and have to weigh every word?

Somethings to think on today …

~ XXOO Michelle

Restored Ministries

Your Healing Hour

Character

“He has predestined us to be conformed to the image of his Son.”  That means that it is going to happen. Elsewhere it says, “May our spirit, soul, and body be kept pure until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord is faithful, and he will do it.” What a promise! What a Father we have! What a Savior we have!

So, our part is simply to yield to the Spirit’s work in us. Simple, but not easy. Our flesh, our enemy, and this world’s system all conspire to keep our hearts seeking earthly gain. It requires a conscious and ever diligent effort to “Set our affections on things above.”  

Only Our Father’s “great and precious promises” are powerful enough to pull our hearts away from “the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

The good news is that “perseverance produces proven character which produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” And, “Our faith and our love come from the hope we have in heaven.”  

So, let us “set our affections on things above, not on the things of this earth, for we have died, and our life is hidden with Christ in God above.”   

Finally, “Christ’s love compels us; one died for all, therefore all died, and he died for all that we should live for him.”

~ Brad Heilhecker

The Size Of Our Heart

We may be small in stature, limited in intellect, and have come from an impoverished background, but there are no limits to how large our heart can become, if we stay connected to Christ.

It is written, “May we be strengthened by his Spirit in our inner man that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.”  

Imagine: Christ the Lord, Christ the heir of the Father wants to come and dwell powerfully in our individual hearts and to live his life through us. If we but allow him, he will take us to the heights and depths of his earthly and heavenly realms.  

Satan is the prince and power of the air, but Christ is The King of Hearts, and he wants to make us just like him.

What we embrace will determine the size and nature of our hearts.  

If we embrace this world’s system, our hearts will shrivel and become cold. If we embrace Christ, our hearts will expand and become warm and affectionate.  

The passage quoted above continues: “As we are rooted and grounded in love, we will have power along with all the saints to know the breadth, the length, the height and the depth of the love of Christ.”

This is a project worthy of our time and attention! The promise seems almost surreal: that we will know the intricacies of the heart of Christ!

However, the passage continues: “That we may be filled with the fullness of God.” Really? Our Father doesn’t want to keep us weak and needy? He wants us to be just like him? That is “an offer that we can’t refuse.” Or, should we say, we shouldn’t refuse.  

For our eternity is going to be spent beholding the face of God and knowing him intimately. It only stands to reason that we would want to start now becoming like him, for then we will be assured of a full and exalted reward when we stand face to face with Christ on judgement day.

~ Brad Heilhecker

The Facts Of Life

The “facts of life” are more than just the delicate conversations that parents must have with their adolescent children.  

These facts include life’s responsibilities, self control, eternal judgement, and our eternal destinations. These facts must not be one time conversations that parents have with their children.

These facts must be reviewed and practiced daily with all of those whom we love. For, if we are not careful, the illusions of life will crowd out the truths of life, and we will find ourselves stranded in the wilderness wondering what happened to the path of life that we were on.

The apostle Paul spoke freely to King Felix about “righteousness, self control, and the judgement to come” when being held for trial.

Oftentimes, these are not easy subjects to broach. And it may require much patience and discretion on our part to know when the time is right.

However, if we are faithful and prayerful, the time will come when we can have these conversations with all of those that we love.  

Love and prudent concern are the hallmarks of these discussions, and they must be prefaced with lots of acceptance, kindness, and tolerance.

Learning and teaching “the facts of life” can and should be the highest aim of disciples of Christ who are to “teach others to observe all that he commanded us.”  

The Father and Son have spent an eternity planning our inheritance, and they delight in seeing us following their lead and leading others to the “bread of life” and the “water of life.”  

There is no priority that supersedes this command to make disciples.

We are not to ignore our earthly responsibilities, but our earthly ambitions should be guided by and governed by our adherence to eternal principles. No one is going to bemoan on his judgement day that he spent too much time preparing for eternity.

~ Brad Heilhecker