Reflecting And Releasing 


Here are some “takeaway’s” that have really encouraged me this last week and year as I have been doing some reflecting and releasing in my life. 

            May they encourage you too. 

               **************************
God does have a purpose for every gift. Even the Gift of Goodbye.  

Don’t hold too tightly to things God is trying to move out of your life. Hold on loosely to everyone and everything but God.  

Offense is the enemies biggest method of destruction. Be unoffendable.   

Don’t let those that mistreat you defeat you.

Don’t rehearse your hurts- Release to be Restored. Release and forgive and don’t hold on to anger and bitterness. 

You can’t change anything by worrying or reasoning. 

God’s purposes and plans are perfect. Trust God Fully in EVERYTHING. 

Redemption(making something better) does not always look like we want it to.  

People will judge and reject you unfairly- Rejection is God’s protection. Embrace it! 

Not everyone will like you, wants to like you, or needs to like you. But always remember God loves you! 

The people in our life are like shadows shifting- some for a season, some for a lesson, and sometimes the shadows have to be shifted so you can fully shine. 

Perceptions Are Full of Deceptions.

Discernment is a great gift.  

Don’t apologize for anything God has revealed or spoken to you. Even if it isn’t believed or received by others. 

Not everyone can go where God is calling you. 

Thank God for answered prayers even if they aren’t how we wanted them answered. 

Strife opens the door to every evil thing- aim to live a Strife Free Life! 

Silence speaks volumes. Save your voice and know when to shut up and just walk away. 

Let the Lord fight your battles.  

Far greater is for you than against you. 

Obedience to God always Trumps the Opinions of others. Be obedient even when it’s uncomfortable. 

Christ first- Christ center! 

Praise God in everything- the good and the bad.

Hurting people hurt people. 

People disappoint- God never does.

Negativity is contagious- be careful who you surround yourself with. 

Always Keep Your Love On.

And as my daddy used to say- 


When you get punched in the lip baby girl- you just keep on a whistling.  
                ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

No RSVP Required 

  
I was reminded this morning of a time many years ago when I would hear someone say: “well the Lord told me….” And I would think, and even sometimes ask, “Really? How did you hear and know it was Him?”

Most could not explain to me how. They would say that you will just know. 

 That didn’t help me at all. So I bought every book I could get my hands on that dealt with “How to hear from God.” I read, prayed, pleaded and sat in uncomfortable silence. I even did the ole ‘ flip your bible and whatever page it landed on was the answer. I can’t even now recall if one specific book helped me with that other than beginning to read my Bible.  

The Lord’s number one way He speaks to us is through His written word- The Bible. 

He also uses people to confirm and speak to me, but in the last few years I have been hearing God on a much clearer frequency and almost like His audible voice is in my ear. I have to keep a notebook next to my bed now. 

In the last 16 days of my Fasting Experience, it has become so much clearer and a little hyper sensitive to me that my ears are feeling reverberations from all the downloads. 

I have been using the phrase lately “having the mind of Christ”. So when this was a verse for my 16 of 16 downloads, I knew it was confirmation from God that I was on the right track with today’s unpacking.

But the spiritual man [the spiritually mature Christian] judges all things [questions, examines and applies what the Holy Spirit reveals], yet is himself judged by no one [the unbeliever cannot judge and understand the believer’s spiritual nature]. For who has known the mind and purposes of the Lord, so as to instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ [to be guided by His thoughts and purposes]. ~1 Corinthians 2:15-16 AMP 

I also believe the Altar’d study by Jennifer Kennedy Dean along with my fast is also playing a huge role in removing my fleshly desires and responses and by being more in tune with the Spirit has removed much of the old static.

I have been a little shocked by things coming out of my mouth because they are not in my normal character. They are not bad things, they are very good things and I believe they are 100% from God, but it seems almost surreal when it is as though you say something that you don’t recognize until it is out there.  

So thinking back, for me, it was a process, a quiet growth if you will, of just learning to be still, be in God’s presence, reading His word, and being in tune with the spirit more by removing the distractions of the world and denying my fleshly desires to make way for me to hear Him as He speaks. 

My second verse today sort of summed it all up for me….

 You’ve always given me breathing room,
    a place to get away from it all,
A lifetime pass to your safe-house,
    an open invitation as your guest.
You’ve always taken me seriously, God,
    made me welcome among those who know and love you. ~Psalm 61:3-5

God always gives us breathing room. He doesn’t force us to be with Him or to desire Him above everything else. He lets us make that choice. He is always offering us a place to get away from it all. We have a lifetime pass and an open invitation.  

The only question is…. 

Will you take Him up on His offer? 

No RSVP required, it’s always an open and standing invitation.  
You just come as you are.

No dress code is required either! 
                     ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

No Shilly-Shallying 

  
I tell my children if it matters to you, it matters to God.  

I don’t believe any prayer with a right heart is too trivial or insignificant to God.

What I do struggle with is the shilly-shallying part.

I know what God’s word says, but sometimes I let fear and doubt creep in. They are master creepers too. Like those super quiet ninjas disguised and they just jump right out and before you know it they are swirling ninja stars at your head. I was a pretty good dodger in my dodge ball days…. but those red balls rarely hurt as I can only imagine what a ninja star would feel like. Yikes!

Lately, the Lord has been telling me – “No Divided Loyalties”- you cannot say My word and declare something if you really don’t believe it or Me. You live by My ways or the worlds ways -but not both.  
Another Yikes! 
So I can’t just cover up my shilly-shallying with another prayer of -Lord, I believe – help my unbelief? 

Nope, It’s all about growth, believing, trust, and your heart.  

I can pray that prayer genuinely – but not as a cover up for my unbelief and doubt, which is how I mostly use it.

God has been speaking so many truths and revelations to my heart lately and one He is speaking very loudly to me is that if I take God at His word for all His other promises, why do I think some things are just beyond His control? I am being double minded and that is not the mind of Christ.  

I have wrestled with this in my own life and in my own healing, and I am also seeing it wrestled with by many of my friends and family too.
So today’s 15 of 15 of My Fasting Experience downloads, these two verses were unpacked to bring me back to reflect on many answered prayers and many unanswered prayers.   

I started to think back that when I was not double minded and let the doctors, or specialist, or opinions of others sway me, or my own pre-judgements, deter me; I actually saw God move some incredible mountains.   

So today was a confirmation for me that we take EVERYTHING to God in prayer. We ask the Holy Spirit to help us when we don’t even know how or what to pray. We ask the Holy Spirit to reveal ANYTHING that is hindering our prayers, and repent and rectify those things. We keep declaring His Word over our situations and asking those mountains to move. We have No Divided Loyalties- and there is to be absolutely none of this shilly-shallying mess going on.

               

Lord, help me to have no divided loyalties when it comes to You, my life, or my prayers. No fear or doubt when it comes to You and Your word. Reveal to me anything hindering my prayers. Show me if a spiritual conflict is delaying Your answer. Show me how to fight these battles that rage with Your Holy Spirit and Your Word. Give me boldness to declare Your promises over anything and everything in my life and in the lives of others without any doubt. Thank you for answered prayers and unanswered prayers. Help me to trust that You work EVERYTHING out for my good. Let me remember to take it all to the throne and not the phone. To vent it all vertically and keep my heart free from anything that would take place over You. Thank You for giving me ALL power and authority over the enemy. May I continue to suit up in Your armor daily to fight the good fight of faith. In Your Son’s Mighty Name. Amen. 

        

                         ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you have it; it’s yours!~ Mark 11:24 TLB 

Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.” ~ Mark 11:22-25 MSG 

It is God’s will to remove mountains of resistance or denial from our life. God has the power to do miracles – but not as a result of a positive mental attitude. The God of the kingdom in our recovery is the God of the impossible. If we want God to work a miracle of healing in our life, we cannot just pretend to believe. We need to admit our helplessness and put our life into God’s hands. He will then walk with us as we face each new step in recovery. ~Life Recovery Bible 

We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28 CEB

Prayer is listed in Romans 8:26-28 as one of the ways we improve our conscious contact with God, and Paul assures us that the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit is at work within us as we pray. We are not left alone to work out our problems. As we entrust our life to God, He directs the events of our life, even the painful ones, for our good. He can turn even our mistakes into the means for our growth and blessing. ~ Life Recovery Bible  

A Hard Life With Many Tears 

  
By this time Eli was very old. He kept getting reports on how his sons were ripping off the people and sleeping with the women who helped out at the sanctuary. Eli took them to task: “What’s going on here? Why are you doing these things? I hear story after story of your corrupt and evil carrying on. Oh, my sons, this is not right! These are terrible reports I’m getting, stories spreading right and left among God’s people! If you sin against another person, there’s help—God’s help. But if you sin against God, who is around to help?”

But they were far gone in disobedience and refused to listen to a thing their father said. So God, who was fed up with them, decreed their death. But the boy Samuel was very much alive, growing up, blessed by God and popular with the people.~ 1 Samuel 2:22-26 MSG 

Today’s download came a little differently.  
My waking time verse was 1 Samuel 22:23; Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.  

But I wrote it down as 1 Samuel 2:23.

I had actually wrote the verse down wrong- …or did I? 

When unpacking I found the verse above in the Message translation. The subtitle was “A Hard Life With Many Tears”.  
I could relate to those words.  My life was hard and filled with many tears before God.  Sometimes it can still be very much hard and full of tears but thankfully now I have a Helper and Hope.  
So my verse for today for my 13 of 13 Fasting Experience Downloads, strangely came about by my error but I believe God loves to even use our mistakes for good! 

Here are the notes on this passage:  
Eli exercised “tough-love as he confronted his sons about their blatant sin. He surely hoped they would make significant changes in their lives. Unfortunately, they didn’t listen to their father. The young men refused to set boundaries on their behavior, and they displayed no desire to change. Their choice to go their own way brought dire consequences – ultimately, physical death. Eli, too, made a choice: he opted to ignore his sons continued disobedience. Thus the high priest failed in his responsibility to God and was eventually judged for it. Eli was told that his descendants would bring him tears of grief and would die in the prime of their life. What a bitter harvest we reap when we refuse to turn from temptation and embrace God’s power to change. ~Life Recovery Bible 

Lord, may we always speak the truth in love and give us ears to hear the truth, even when it’s tough. I desire to change Lord. Help me to set boundaries with my behaviors. Help me not to overlook or ignore disobedience, in myself or in my children that You have given me responsibility over. Lead me from temptation Lord, as I embrace You and Your power to change. Amen.  
                       ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

A Day Of Reckoning 

  
Day Of Reckoning n. the time when one is called to account for one’s actions, to pay one’s debts, or to fulfill one’s promises or obligations.

Today’s download brought a double dose of the Holy Ghost! 

12 for 12 of My Fasting Experience. God is proving faithful each and every day.  

My first verse seemed strange, until I unpacked the notes in the Life Recovery Bible.

And there was an incredible hailstorm from heaven; Hailstone’s weighing a hundred pounds fell from the sky onto the people below, and they cursed God because of the terrible hail. ~ Revelations 16:21 TLB 

As sure as the coming of dawn, the day of reckoning will arrive. Those in denial tend to live as though things will continue forever just the way they are. But there is always a day of reckoning. We cannot live forever under the control of sin or in bondage to powerful addictions. There will be a day when we have to face the truth about our life. We have the choice to submit our life to God and His good plan before the bottom drops out from under us. ~Life Recovery Bible  

Yes, I agree, it is a day of reckoning for me. Although it seems daunting and I am only 1/3 of the way through my fast. I know I have to be accountable and account for my actions and pay my debt. I did not get this way over night.  

Then my second verse seemed equally as strange-
So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet and peaceful because Queen Athaliah was dead. ~2 Chronicles 23:21 TLB

It felt sort of like the Wizard of Oz here, like rejoicing because the witch is dead??? Ding Dong! 
God you will need to unpack this one some more…. 

The results of conflict are not always negative. After the overthrow of Athaliah, the people rejoiced and there was peace in Jerusalem. We should use conflicts to pinpoint the problems in our life. Then we should take steps to root them out. Hiding from conflict or denying its existence will never lead to personal growth or to victory over our dependencies. ~ Life Recovery Bible 

Now this brought some clarity, and I understood better why this was my download.
I am oh so Happy Happy Happy- especially since no 100 pound hail had to fall on me first! 

Lord, forgive me for thinking that I could just keep going in my current state of destruction and sin without facing a day of reckoning. I must be held accountable for vandalizing my temple. I know that I must pay the debt for this. I am so glad that I don’t have to do it on my own or in my own strength.  Help me to see the conflicts I face as a positive. A blessing in disguise that forces me to take better care of Your home, my heart, and my body, Your temple. Help me during this time of personal growth and give me victory over my dependencies. In Jesus’ Name. Amen 
                 ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

An Overload Of Downloads 

  
Today is my 8th day of the fasting experience.

Today was also weigh in day. I am happy to report that I am -7 lbs. I was a little discouraged because it was very hard and I was really wanting to pull a double digit on the scale, but as I went to the Lord with my feelings, I felt the verse “don’t grow weary in well doing” settle in my spirit. I knew later I would look up that for verse reference, as well as (5) other verses I had received from my waking times or dreams. It was going to be a full day of unpacking but first I was off to church. 

During the message my pastor referenced my first verse! I did not even have to look it up! Confirmation! 
Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up.~ Galatians 6:9 The Berean Study Bible 
I was so excited. I also thought, ok no need to unpack the others this must be the one for today so I thought I had my 8 for 8 download and I was done.

Below is the notes in the Life Recovery Bible for Galatians 6:9:
Paul left an important reminder for us all. We will always reap what we have sown. In other words, sins and addictions have painful consequences. We might be able to fool ourselves for a while into thinking that certain activities in relationships are all right. But when the consequences catch up with us, there will be no denying the facts. We need to take this warning seriously and take steps to change now. We don’t have to wait to hit bottom before we act. Using God’s word as a measuring stick, we can take a fearless moral inventory and make the necessary adjustments before it’s too late. ~Life Recovery Bible 
But not so fast…..
When I got home I felt led to start to unpack the other verses. Right away I knew with each one that it was going to be a significant download and confirmation party. 
So today an overload of downloads came rushing in from all the verses. (6) in total. 

The 2nd verse:
But the world must know that I love the Father. So I do exactly what the Father told me to do.

“Come now, let’s go.” ~ John 14:31 ERV 
I did what the Lord told me to do. I was obedient and it bore fruit! 
Come now let’s go….to the next verse 

I made sure the altar was supplied with the offering of wood and the offerings of firstfruits, too—each at the right time.

Nehemiah: O God—my God—remember me with favor. ~ Nehemiah 13:31 The VOICE 
Nehemiah was a great rebuilder. He reconstructed the wall of Jerusalem. He helped the people to rebuild their broken lives. There is no question that God gave credit to his good and faithful servant! And God will honor our attempts to rebuild, too. We also will experience God’s kindness in our life. ~Life Recovery Bible 

I understood this verse, and from a conversation at church when giving an offering of my kiddos first fruits from their babysitting money and how years ago we instilled in our children the importance of taking 10 % off every dollar they earn, be it Christmas, birthday, dog sitting or babysitting. 10% goes back to the Lord. So today they turned in an offering from all their first fruits within the last month. Then the LRB notes are what solidified the download for me. 

 Today was a day of so many confirmations.  

A woman approached me and said how much she loves the Restored Ministries Facebook page and blog. Just like Nehemiah helped rebuild broken lives, that is our mission for Restored Ministries. I thanked her and thanked God now for confirming I was in His will.
The 4th verse was:
Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!~ Isaiah 60:1 AMPC 
Gods people are called to let their light shine to the nations. God’s desire is to transform all of us and then to use us to bring his truth to others. ~Life Recovery Bible 
The LRB again confirmed what God has placed on my heart. Real People Real Stories Real Healing. Sharing His transformational truths with others. When we share our stories we repair our stories. Living Restored, mind, body and soul. Everyone has a restoration story. 

Then the 5th verse was: 
And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.~ Ephesians 4:11 AMPC 
We have been gifted in ways that make us necessary to others. Others have been gifted in ways that make them necessary to us. Some of us have special gifts for teaching others about God. Others of us may have the gift of caring for hurting people. Whatever gifts we might have, they are important for the emotional and spiritual growth of others. Since God has a purpose for each of us, it is important that we strive to know him better through prayer and meditation on His word. As we seek him, he will show us what our gifts are and how we can use them to help others. As we share our gifts and receive the benefits of other peoples gifts, we will find the body of Christ growing stronger and healthier. ~Life Recovery Bible 

I have had quite a few people in the last week tell me that they were thankful for my gifts. Exhortation, helping others, teaching, bringing them a word in due season. So I knew this verse and LRB notes were confirming all that. A word caught my eye and so I looked up expounder– I again laughed and thanked God for making me an expounder! I never want to leave a detail out when I tell a story. I can be long winded for sure! Learning that actually can be a gift is good news for me! It also is a person who actively supports or favors a cause, which again full circle confirmation on Restored Ministries Mission. 
Expounder- explain in detail; elucidate: 

a person who actively supports or favors a cause. 

Then the final and 6th verse was:
Oh, come back to God. Live by the principles of love and justice, and always be expecting much from Him, your God. Hosea 12:6 TLB 
God asks His people to love Him by loving others. It is only through God that we will treat others as God would have them treated. ~Life Recovery Bible 
It was a total confirmation to me about giving up the idol of food or other things and coming back full force to all things of God. Don’t limit God, expect much from Him.  
When we love others, even those hard to love, those that reject you and can’t even give you a warm smile back or acknowledge you, or support what you have been called to do, you just ask God to help you love them and show you what He loves about them. As we grow in love for God we naturally grow in love for others too. 

So for my overload of downloads here is the recap:
Keep going, don’t grow weary in well doing, don’t give up. 
Keep being obedient, it bears fruit and unlocks blessings. 
Give God the first fruits of everything. Keep helping to reach people with the message of Jesus and how He restores and rebuild lives. 
Keep shining- shine your Light. God is transforming you so you can share with others His transformational truths. Keep paying it forward.
Keep studying and learning to know God deeper. Share your gifts and embrace others gifts. We all need each other to grow healthier and stronger. Stay in community, stay connected. Keep teaching, preaching, sharing messages, introducing people to Jesus and expounding on all the goodness of God. 
And bring it all back to square one-
Love God 

Love Others 

                     ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Victory Secured 

  
Can you imagine a world free from war? 

Everywhere we look there is some type of war somewhere breaking out or raging on. War against countries, war against people, war against families. 

 We can even wage wars against ourselves.  

Today is day 7 of my fasting experience and God is now 7 for 7 on the downloads! 

This morning my waking time was 2:24 am. The verse was- 
Now the name of Hebron formerly was Kiriath-arba.(Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim.) And the land had rest from war.~ Joshua 14:15 ESV

And the land had rest from war…..
My war seems to be with my myself and my emotions.
My emotions can be so out of control at times they feel like they are running straight for the battle lines and then back to retreating at warped speed. Almost like those dreaded sprints I had to run in track as a teenager. 

 That makes my legs hurt just thinking about them! 

Then there is the war I seem to fight on the battlefield of my mind. That is the one that my flesh and my spirit like to also war in, in addition to my emotions!

Somedays that feels like playing a pin ball machine. The fancy double ball release kind. 

A stressful moment and wham and I could ping off a dozen different emotions. Not one will land me into that little “sweet spot” that releases the bells to go off and the machine to shake and the score board to advance and you get another ball to keep playing. 
No, Instead it is like they ping around and go into the gutter ball area of pin ball and I have to keep pulling back the spring to release another ball and press buttons to move levers frantically to keep my ball moving and hope I don’t run out of balls.

Victory on those days seems so far away when the war is raging on. 

My unpacking took me to look up the Life Recovery Bible notes:

Age alone does not make a person feel or act old. In fact, Caleb willingly sought to enter into battle against some of the more powerful armies that inhabited the land. Because he trusted God fully, Caleb succeeded in securing his promised inheritance. We need to continue to realize that in our own life, if God wants to grant us victory over any problem we encounter, that victory is already secured. 

                ~The Life Recovery Bible 

God is showing me through this fast that there will be stressful days and stress less days, happy days and not so happy days. Each day we need to navigate through His word and His truths instead of pinging off our emotions. Then we will land in that “sweet spot” – the spot of resting and living in His resurrection power. The spot where our victory is already secured. The spot where the land is at rest from all war.   

God actually loves when we run out of balls. That is when He steps in and takes over. He is the Original Pin Ball Wizard after all.  

                  ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Some Unpleasant Things 

  
Those of you following my fasting experience, I am excited to say that God is 6 for 6! 

This unpacking revelations is so much fun! 

Today’s unpacking has a little bit of a back story.   
Yesterday I woke up again feeling horrible. Huge dips in my blood sugar and well some unpleasant things for sure!  Let’s just say there was a lack of downloads in a certain department and coupled with feeling crummy I was ready to call it all quits. 

My friend arrived and noticed something wrong, she prayed over me and I started to feel better… I soon had a download in that other department too! God was moving quick answering our prayers.  
We then proceeded to “pray it down” for several other people and situations. I headed out to run errands after our three hours of a divine delay and awesome prayer time. I could not stop praying in my car and under my breath everywhere I went. So My next stop was to drop off something for my friend and instead of just sitting it on her porch I waited. When she opened the door I saw so much angst and sadness and instantly knew something was up. She barely got words out when I just grabbed her and started to pray. That turned out to be another two plus hour Divine delay.  

At one point she said she felt like she can’t hear God’s direction or answers on certain situations she has been praying for and showed me the Bible verse she read that morning. 

Here is a picture of it below-

  

The Verse is in Psalm 119

In the picture you can see the underlined sections she showed me-

My mind was stirred remembering that there was a Living Bible in a supply box at my Thursday night support group. It being Thursday I would look for it when I got there to take and read more of her verse.  
As I rushed now from the store and home to make dinner and eat and head back out the door to get to my class and look for the bible, I was so excited when my ministry partner and friend found it and said I could have it. So that is how today’s unpacking all got pre-unpacked. 

Those Divine Encounters and Divine Delays were all a bigger part by God so I could not only obtain this bible and use it to unpack today’s revelation…. but God also used them for some mighty powerful prayers, revelations, and unpleasant truths for all of us.  

So last night my waking time was 1:19 am- the verse that correlated with was Jeremiah 27:22.  

They will be taken to Babylon and there they will remain until the day I come for them,’ declares the LORD. ‘Then I will bring them back and RESTORE them to this place.'”~ Jeremiah 27:22 NIV 

I unpacked it in Bible Hub on my phone and the very first listed translation was NIV – and as you all can guess, the word that jumped out and confirmed I was on my way to my next download was- yep- RESTORE

Then the commentary had another favorite word- gracious promise

Jeremiah assures them that the brazen vessels should go after the golden ones. All shall be carried to Babylon. But he concludes with a gracious promise, that the time would come when they should be brought back. ~Matthew Henry Commentary 

So I finally was led to open the new to me Living Bible and wham! This is what the notes on that verse and passage of scriptures is telling us.

The people of Judah chose to listen to the pleasant messages of the false prophets, but this only blinded them to their sins and its inevitable consequences. All of us are impressionable, and even more so when we are young or going through difficult times. It is important that we build our life on a foundation of truth rather than on convenient or pleasant messages. God calls us to do some unpleasant things. He requires that we take an honest look at our life, admit our sin, and humbly seek to make amends for those we have hurt. Recovery is never easy; it is always painful. We would be wise to face the truth. The road of pleasant experiences will only lead to denial and destruction. ~ The Life Recovery Bible. 

Wow! God is so awesome! 

We can be so impressionable. We can allow other people or situations to influence us in either good or bad behaviors. We can be quick to swallow sometimes any ole thing someone is trying to force feed us. Whether that be a false prophet or the enemies lies. It’s also much easier to lose our resolve when things are difficult too. 
God does call us to do some unpleasant and inconvenient and out of our comfort zone things. 
(I can vouch for that – today is day 6 of my fast! This is a double Amen Brother Ben and a Glory and Hallelujah all said together now on that statement!) 

He also requires us to take an honest look at our lives and admit our sins, make amends, and also to release those secrets, sins, and struggles to Him. He is the only One that restores. He is the only One that delivers us. The road of pleasant experiences will only lead to more denial and destruction. So keep doing the unpleasant things- they will all pay off in the end. 

 Embrace the Divine Delays too because they can bring about a ton of great things.  

Until our next unpacking- travel light! 
                     ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

In Tune 

  

The more in tune we are with God, the more we are aware of His divine movement. Even the smallest, most minute thing may be the very mustard seed we need to grab hold of. The enemy wants to keep all these things hidden in order to rob us of any hope.

These are the words the Lord gave me. The message is simple, but there is a significance like no other. He woke me with these words in the night, and though I vowed to remember them in the morning, He insisted I write them down (He knows me well)!

He woke me at 2 a.m., after crying out to Him the evening before about how I recognize that while I speak to him 24/7, and I acknowledge Him 24/7, I don’t necessarily give Him much time to speak. Lately, it’s just been me, me, me doing all the talking! I repented and asked that He help me to be a better listener. I asked that He speak to me once again through dreams and visions, as it had been a while. Little did I know He would take me up on it that very night!
~

The more in tune we are with Him…yep…that’s right…the more I LISTEN, the more aware of His divine movement…ahem…the more I SEE Him.

Even the smallest, most minute thing…ok, I got it…that simple little thing that I either didn’t notice OR chose to write off as “coincidental” OR didn’t believe had anything to do with God, may be the very mustard seed we need to grab hold of…ummm…that little thing may well have been the piece of hope I was longing for!

The enemy wants to keep these things hidden in order to rob us of any hope…of course…I should have known, for he comes to steal, kill, and destroy!

~
As I continue to meditate on this simple Word, worthy of interrupting my sleep, I focus on Him and know that he has heard me. I know that He forgives me, and I know that He longs for me to SEE His divine hand in my life.

Lord, thank you for hearing us! Thank you for forgiving us! Thank you for always having your divine hand upon us! Help us to fully be in tune with you! Help us to LISTEN in order to SEE, so that we will never be robbed of hope! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
                                ~Stephanie Gable 

  

Sitting This One Out 



 
You remember those old movies where the romantic rivals always end up on the dance floor with the same girl.  Each one is taking a turn twirling around the dance floor all smiles, and then the one not dancing is tapping on the other ones shoulder wanting to cut in.  The first dancer discouraged retreats and lets the new guy take the girl around a few times, and then it gets too much to watch so the guy goes back and starts tapping on that guys shoulder.  They repeat this maneuver over and over until the girl gets fed up, confused, her head is spinning, and her feet are busted.  The two guys never stop wanting to cut in, they both want her love and affection.  The poor girl is getting worn out.
I am that girl, worn out; feet are busted up, confused and fed up.  I have been dancing with two competing rivals and I am at the point where I just want to sit this one out.   Or, I like to daydream that as I am dancing and the tapping and switching that keeps going back and forth is wearing me out and then the really handsome gentleman with my best interest at heart would just punch the other one in the face and take him out of the equation.   I know, sort of drastic, but that is what I envision.  After all the other dude just does not have my best interest in mind.
The two rivals I am dealing with in this dance are my flesh and The Holy Spirit.  The Spirit is the really handsome guy with so much potential and a very bright future.  The Flesh is the mysterious intriguing guy that is a bad boy that really is not good for me; he really is just a bum in disguise.  
My daddy used to say I had a bum magnet attracting bums when I made poor dating choices as a young girl.  Thankfully I was done with that bum magnet when I happily hit the hubby jackpot almost 20 years ago. But in the two rivals situation, that describes exactly how it feels, like a magnetic pull towards this bum cutting in on the great potential and handsome guy.  
I get frustrated and I feel like I do not want my dance card punched anymore.   I feel like I wore the wrong shoes and my corns and bunions are screaming at me for taking too many twirls around the dance floor with this bum.  I want to run away, escape but that dang bum my flesh keeps running after me screaming SHOTGUN!  I want to speed away so fast and leave it behind!   I really want to be riding shotgun letting that handsome Spirit with my best interest with all the potential and bright future drive me around. 
This Lenten season has me pondering all this flesh vs Spirit stuff.  We all have found ourselves in this dance with these two rivals.   These two don’t play nice together, well, actually, they don’t play together at all.  The Spirit and flesh don’t like to share.   Our flesh and The Holy Spirit are never in agreement.  It is always one or the other. The presence of one always means the absence of the other.
When God tells us one thing and our internal compulsions tell us another, why do we often choose our compulsions, our flesh, over God?  That is what sin is still all about- choosing the flesh over the Spirit. Inconsistency is the work of the flesh. Our life will always be a struggle until we know deep down in our hearts that His commands – even the hard ones – are ultimately for our benefit.
 
I have been twirled and dipped too much.  I have been inconsistent!  I seem to flip flop from feeling like a Rock Star one day, and a begging street performer on a rainy day, the next.
I want God’s direction and guidance, but too often I am not willing to deny my self anything or even wait for it.  I keep letting the flesh cut in on the Spirit instead of telling the flesh, “No Such Luck Chuck- This is now a One Person dance.  I am not going to allow my own desires, impulses, or reasoning’s to direct and guide me so you sure can’t twirl me around this dance floor anymore- I will not settle for second best.  I am sitting this one out!”
 
So while I am sitting this one out- I will meditate on these Promises so I can dance more beautifully with the rhythm of the Holy Spirit. 
 
Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is Spirit. ~ John 3:6 CEB 
 
A person’s selfish desires are set against the Spirit, and the Spirit is set against one’s selfish desires. They are opposed to each other, so you shouldn’t do whatever you want to do. ~ Galatians 5:17 CEB 
 
If you live your life animated by the flesh—namely, your fallen, corrupt nature—then your mind is focused on the matters of the flesh. But if you live your life animated by the Spirit—namely, God’s indwelling presence—then your focus is on the work of the Spirit.~ Romans 8:5 The VOICE
 
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
— 2 Corinthians 13:14 KJB 
 
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. ~ Romans 8:14 NIV 
 
May my obedience to your Word and Your Spirit be so complete that it shapes my every thought, word, and action Lord. May I give myself fully and wholly to Your Word and Holy Spirit so that You may wholly transform and restore me.   I thank You for Your patience with me.  Thank You for loving me so much that you want only the best for me.  Help me to choose the Spirit over my flesh.  Amen 
~XXOO Michelle Bollom