Feature Friday – Kathryn Howley

I am so excited to share my friend Kathryn Howley with you all!

Kathy told me a few weeks ago that she wanted to type up some stories for her kiddos and grandkids and I simply suggested- How about you write a book?

And so I freed up my schedule a few days the last few weeks and did what I could do to help and other friends pitched in to help edit and of course God definitely had His hand of Favor all over this endeavor.

So, just like that her stories have now birthed 2 books!

These stories are fun for the whole family and will definitely encourage you.

You can purchase a copy of them here now On Amazon

We are bringing back the #FeatureFriday series and if you are an author or artist or have a Ministry, we want to feature you!

Email us your info if interested at contact@restoredministries.org

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

What Favor Awaits You? 

Ruth left all that was familiar and comfortable to her to follow her Mother In Law Naomi, and put her trust in Naomi’s God. 

Just like us when we decide to follow Christ. We may be asked to leave behind situations or people that are not in our best interest. God may even force the separation and give us no choice but to find the courage to keep going and not go back to what was once comfortable or familiar.   

Ruth chose to be obedient and do whatever Naomi instructed her to do. Even if that meant gathering scraps in the fields or approaching Boaz on the threshing floor. 

Ruth was willing to humble herself and follow instructions, and her obedience and mercy did not go unrecognized.  

She not only gained favor in the fields, it ultimately gained her favor that radically altered her life in a very good way. 

She later married Boaz, who by those standards and that time was a pretty well off guy. She no longer had to gather scraps in the field to survive, her husband now owned the fields. 

She also restored the family name for her and Naomi with her son Obed. Obed was also the grandfather of David and is ultimately one of Jesus’ ancestors in the genealogies found in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke.

What things do you need to leave behind?

What risks are you willing to take by being obedient and follow the Lord’s direction? 

You never know what Favor awaits you if you don’t step out of fear and step into courage.

           

              Will You Answer A Call To Valor? 

                      
             ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Exert from the upcoming book : A Call To Valor by Michelle Bollom.  

#ACallToValor #LiveRestored #RestoredMinistries 

Another Music Legend Has Died


Grammy-winner, Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame member, Academy of Country Music Poet’s Award honoree, and fearless raconteur – Guy Charles Clark…. AKA… “Uncle Guy” died today. 

I am not sure if this is where I get my love of poetry, of songs, of writing and rhymes. I have always as far back as I can remember been a lover of words.  


When I was a child my dad remarried when my twin sister and I were almost 7. We had a new Aunt and Uncle and Cousins and even three Step Brothers. 

 Our new Uncle was Guy Clark.  


Fast forward many years and most of the world now knows the legendary Guy Clark too.  


Sadly, I awoke this morning to an email from my former step-mother Jan. She let me know that Uncle Guy had passed. I knew he was on hospice and was getting close and had been praying for them all-but that probably explained why I barely slept a wink last night and found myself praying most of the night. 


Although I had not seen Guy in many years, the flood of childhood memories flooded my mind as big tears streamed my cheeks. I remembered so many fun times growing up and one especially favorite memory was learning to dance by standing on Uncle Guy’s feet as he twirled me around the old hard wood floors. I remember being mesmerized when he would rattle off such amazing lyrics and rhymes while playing his guitar and telling such amazing stories.  


The world lost another musical great today.  
Go rest high on that mountain Uncle Guy! 

          ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 
                    Guy Charles Clark

November 6, 1941 – Tuesday May 17, 2016
Grammy-winner, Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame member, Academy of Country Music Poet’s Award honoree, and fearless raconteur Guy Charles Clark died Tuesday after a long illness. 

He was born in the dusty west Texas town of Monahans on November 6, 1941. The family lived at his grandmother’s 13-room shotgun hotel; home to bomber pilots, drifters, oilmen and a wildcatter named Jack Prigg, the subject of Clark’s famous song “Desperados Waiting For A Train.” When Guy’s father returned from WWII and graduated from law school, the Clarks moved to the Gulf coast town of Rockport, Texas. Guy came of age in the pretty little beach town. As captain and center, Guy led the football team. He played guard in basketball, ran the 100-yard dash and threw discus in track and field. He won science fairs, joined the Explorer’s club, presided over the junior class as president, acted in school plays, excelled on the debate team, illustrated the yearbook, and fell in love with Mexican folk songs and the Flamenco guitar.

After a couple of false starts at university, Guy joined the Peace Corps in 1963. He trained in Rio Abajo, Puerto Rico, practicing water survival, rock climbing and trekking, followed by a month of book learning at the University of Minnesota. After turning down an assignment in Punjab, India, Guy moved to Houston, where he opened a guitar repair shop with his friend Minor Wilson. He played guitar and sang folk songs at the Houston Folklore Society, Sand Mountain coffee shop and the Jester Lounge, where he began life long friendships with fellow struggling songwriters and musicians Mickey Newbury, Townes Van Zandt, Jerry Jeff Walker, Kay Oslin, Frank Davis, Gary White and Crow Johnson. He married his first wife, folksinger Susan Spaw, and they had a son Travis in 1966.

In 1969, after splitting with Susan, Guy moved to San Francisco and again joined Minor Wilson in a guitar repair shop. Within a year, he moved back to Houston, met and fell in love with a beautiful dark haired painter named Susanna Talley. Susanna moved from Oklahoma City to Houston to be with Guy and after a few months, she sold a painting to fund the couple’s move to Los Angeles. Guy landed a job building Dobros at the Dopyera Brothers Original Musical Instruments Company. He played with a bluegrass band on the weekends and pitched his songs to publishing companies in between. 

He signed a publishing deal with Sunbury Dunbar and moved to Nashville in the fall of 1971. He and Susanna crashed on songwriter Mickey Newbury’s houseboat for a few weeks and then moved into a small rental house at 1307 Chapel Avenue in East Nashville. Guy and Susanna returned to Newbury’s houseboat on January 14, 1972 along with Mickey and Susan Newbury and Townes Van Zandt as best man; the five friends sailed up the Cumberland River to the Sumner County Courthouse where Guy Clark and Susanna Talley married.

In that first year in East Nashville Susanna and Townes wrote “Heavenly Houseboat Blues,” while Guy turned out “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” “L.A. Freeway,” and “That Old Time Feeling.” By the time Guy released Old No. 1, his debut critically acclaimed album for RCA Records in 1975, he had written several soon-to-be classic songs including “She Ain’t Going Nowhere,” “Let Him Roll,” “Rita Ballou,” and “Texas 1947.”

He jumped from RCA to Warner Brothers in 1978, scoring a number one song with Ricky Skaggs’s take on “Heartbroke” in 1982 and breaking into the Billboard country chart with “Homegrown Tomatoes” in 1983. Clark hit his stride when he signed with Sugar Hill Records in 1989, and then released a string of significant folk and Americana albums with Sugar Hill, Asylum Records and Dualtone Music Group during the next two-and-a-half decades: Old Friends, Boats to Build, Dublin Blues, Keepers, Cold Dog Soup, The Dark, Workbench Songs, Somedays the Song Writes You and his final 2013 Grammy-winning Best Folk Album, My Favorite Picture of You.

For more than forty years, the Clark home was a gathering place for songwriters, folk singers, artists and misfits; many who sat at the feet of the master songwriter in his element, willing Guy’s essence into their own pens. Throughout his long and extraordinary career, Guy Clark blazed a trail for original and groundbreaking artists and troubadours including his good friends Rodney Crowell, Jim McGuire, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, Verlon Thompson, Shawn Camp, and Vince Gill.

His beloved Susanna died from complications of lung cancer in 2012. Due to ongoing health problems, Guy stopped touring and recording shortly thereafter. He is survived by his son Travis and daughter-in-law Krista McMurtry Clark; grandchildren Dylan and Ellie Clark; sisters Caroline Clark Dugan and Jan Clark; manager and friend Keith Case; caretaker and sweetheart Joy Brogdon; nieces, nephews and many, many dear friends, colleagues and fans.

Funeral arrangements are pending.  

        Obituary Written by Tamara Saviano 

Your Masterpiece 

  
Good Morning,
I am so grateful that I’ve made it here.  
I am so happy that I am willing to share my imperfections with you. People often judge people based on how they look, the character that’s portrayed, or the story we form based on our personal perception of them. 

Many of us are not comfortable with acknowledging our truths or hidden secrets. Some of us go to sleep every night with some form of struggle. Some of us are dealing with baggage and issues that stem from our past like: addictions, mommy/daddy problems, mental health/suicidal concerns, poverty mentalities, physical ailments, molestation, lack of self-esteem, anger, spiritual warfare, generational bondage, adulterous behaviors, bitterness, jealousy, worthlessness…..the list goes on and on.  
I want YOU to know. It will be okay. Do not let your HISTORY dictate your future STORY.   
As I invite you into another dimension of my life, I hope that my story will encourage or inspire you or at least change your perspective on sharing your story.    
For years, people would say “Lereca you are so beautiful. Lereca you have such a beautiful smile!” While I am so glad I am blessed with this smile, my smile was also something that I could project to hide my truths. Behind the smile, I was broken and I was a mess.  

My story is a story of struggle and strength, tests and testimony, fear and faith, problems and promise, and most importantly lust and HIS LOVE.

This is my public declaration of saying….BUT GOD! I am allowing him to turn my broken pieces into masterpieces. Make each day your masterpiece. 
 ~Lereca Monik 

Join me for Behind The Smile-this week at 11 am

#11AMSmile #LearningToLoveYourself #anewme #anewyou #lerecasmiles #itstimeforachange #liverestored #maven2016 #youreign

Happy Birthday Daddy

  
My daddy would be 70 years old today.  

I am sure he is celebrating Big if they celebrate birthdays in Heaven. If they celebrate homecomings, this November will be his 8th homecoming anniversary. 

 I miss hearing his voice and his great big hugs and kisses and even his sneaky mischievous bite of my nose. I miss all his silly rhymes and poems and his calls just to say nothing but “It’s Your Daddy & I love you

I miss the emails and the phone conversations that lasted for hours and hours never running out of things to say. I miss that he loved large and always tried to help someone even in the times he had not much to give. I miss sharing recipes and what new music we found. I love that he never ever made me wonder if I was loved or special or the apple of his eye. He always said or signed his pictures “My favorite daughter” which he also did that to my sisters too! 

He gave me a love for all sorts of music and taught me to never despise the hard times. I loved how he could tell a story and make you feel like you were right there. He always made sure I knew he was one of my biggest fans. 

Sometimes I imagine my dad and my brother Toby (whose 10th homecoming is in a few weeks) and the amazing mansions with elaborate gardens and koi ponds and all the amazing art Dad is now creating for Jesus and my brother Toby playing and loving on all the animals and babies in Heaven. 

I spent far too many years very sad on their birthdays and homecoming anniversaries. I grieved my brother’s death in 2006 without hope and was able to grieve my dad’s death in 2008 with much hope. 

I am comforted now that because of the sting of their deaths I have come to know Jesus on a much more personal and deeper level. Because of my trust and their trust in Jesus, we will all one day be reunited. The more time I spend in my Heavenly Father’s presence the closer I feel to my earthly Father and my brother Toby. 

I am thankful for the moments that I see my dad’s dimple and quirky smile, his funny and hilarious personality and of course his True Die Hard Dallas Cowboys fan in my son, And I see his amazing artistic talent and fix anything, so creative and kind loving spirit in my daughter.  

Happy Birthday Daddy! No sad tears today –

 I promise not to be a squall monkey.  
   XXOO ~ Your Favorite Daughter, 

                        Michelle Bollom 

Restoration Stories- Laura Gallier 

  
You know how certain seemingly random memories stay with you for a lifetime? Well, for whatever reason, I vividly remember being twelve years old, alone and bored in my bedroom one summer afternoon. I was doodling and daydreaming, mulling over what my future might look like, particularly my love life, and I distinctly recall having this thought: 

I suppose I’ll have sex in the next few years, probably by the time I’m sixteen—for sure by eighteen. No one’s still a virgin at eighteen.

Who in the world instilled such a notion in me? I can’t pin it on a certain person. My perspective on sexuality was shaped by my culture, namely the media and my peers. A movie here, a sitcom there, a detailed account from a student two desks over—these influences combined to shape my worldview of romance and sexuality. Like a dry sponge, I soaked it all in, having no contrary teaching or instruction to call into question what I was absorbing.
As it turned out, sexual activity was not years away for me, but rather, months. I began having sex with my eighth grade boyfriend. I knew where babies came from and also knew a thing or two about sexually transmitted diseases, but nothing like that was going to happen to me, I concluded. And if it did, I’d figure it out—as teens, we’re sure we can handle anything, right?

I dove headfirst into what I believed would be a lifelong love relationship because I was absolutely convinced that all the misery, depression, and longings of my heart would be cured indefinitely if I could just get married to the one. This one in particular was a drug user, given to violent outbursts and verbal abuse, but oh, the elation when he would say he loved me and called me baby.

I wasn’t used to receiving words of affection from a male. My parents separated when my mother was pregnant with me, and on the occasional weekends when I would see my dad, our visits always ended with a sorrowful goodbye and parting of ways. What I needed, I was sure, was a man in my life for good. And what better way to draw a man to me than through seduction? It worked like magic. So after lamenting the shocking breakup with my eighth grade boyfriend, I used my powers of seduction to start over again with someone else. I didn’t set out to be promiscuous; I was looking for lasting love. Unfortunately none of my relationships lasted.

By the time I started college, I’d developed a cycle that went something like this: find a guy who looks good and get him to notice me, hold nothing back in the relationship—soul and body—and hope it works out, and when it doesn’t, get a tan and some highlights and get back out there, looking for someone new. While humiliating to admit, I had a sexual addiction. I knew sexual relationships left me empty, but I felt helpless to stop my behavior—hence, the term addiction is fitting, although I’d have denied it profusely at the time.

I didn’t grow up in church, but I did stay the night with a friend in elementary school whose mother shared the gospel with me, prompting me to want to receive Christ as my Savior. As we clasped hands to pray, three times the phone rang, interrupting the moment even though there was no one on the line each time she answered (till this day, I wonder if Satan was behind that somehow). After jerking the phone cord from the wall, she led me in a prayer, and I asked Jesus into my heart. Unfortunately,upon returning home, I learned very little about God, the Bible, or living the Christian life, and as a result, there was no real outward sign that I was saved at all.

But I was saved, which is why every act of sin and rebellion ate away at my conscience as the indwelling Spirit of God lovingly convicted me of my need for repentance and change. Nonetheless, I continued in my destructive life path.

As a sophomore in college, a tenderhearted woman came to my campus to speak to a handful of girls about her past struggles with sexual sin and how the Lord had set her free. I was deeply moved but not willing to end my sexual relationship with my boyfriend at the time. Don’t get me wrong; I wanted to change, but the prevailing thought was that I couldn’t and wouldn’t, no matter what effort I made.
A few months later, I was starting my fourth college semester and enjoying being on a prestigious dance team at school when I began feeling dizzy and sick to my stomach. Before practice one afternoon, I took a pregnancy test to rule out the possibility of morning sickness—only the result was positive. 

Within an hour, I was packed up and headed home to break my mother’s heart with the shocking news. Whereas I had been entertaining thoughts of breaking it off with my boyfriend due to the constant strife and turmoil between us, I dropped out of school and married him instead, hoping to salvage the situation. After all, I didn’t want my child to grow up without a father, like I did.
The next two years proved to be some of the hardest in my life. Sure, caring for a baby was challenging at times, but it was the volatile, unhealthy nature of my marital relationship that took the biggest toll. I was absolutely miserable, and in my agony, I cried out to God. That’s when I made another memory that has never left me.

I was 21 years old, sitting on my sofa in my tiny apartment, lamenting my circumstances. How did my pursuit of lasting love lead me down such a dark path, I wanted to know. And that’s when I finally opened my heart and spiritual ears so that I could hear from the Holy Spirit. He revealed to me that God’s commandments and boundaries regarding sex and romantic relationships were for my protection. Case in point, the biblical mandate to save sex for marriage was not God’s way of restricting my freedom or sucking the fun out of my teen years. It was His plan to safeguard me, a loving boundary designed to spare me the very heartache I was suffering—not just me but my child as well. She deserved two loving parents, not a dysfunctional mom and dad who fought continuously.

I repented for my rebellion and sought to serve God with my whole heart. I made a sincere effort at turning my marriage around, but two years after we said I do, we separated, then he quickly moved on with someone else. By the age of 22, I was a single mom.

I had hopes that it was not too late for me to experience lasting love, but I knew I had to do things God’s way. That meant turning away from the world’s approach to finding a match: meeting guys at bars and clubs, dating whoever whenever, using seduction to lure a man—you get the point. I trusted that at the right time, in the right way, God would send the right guy across my path. In the meantime, I wore a silver cross ring on my wedding finger, a reminder that the Lord was my husband (Isaiah 54:5), and I immersed myself in getting to know God and His Word.

Having become active in church, I eventually met a lady there who insisted on introducing me to a certain friend of hers—a young man who was passionate about the Lord and easy on the eyes. Sure enough, Patrick and I hit it off. Early in our newly-forming relationship, he brought up the subject of sex-related boundaries and informed me he wasn’t willing to have sex outside of marriage. That was good news because I wasn’t willing either!
On January 12, 2001, Patrick and I became husband and wife. He not only had vows and a ring for me but for my three-year-old daughter as well. That day, she became our daughter as he committed to love her as his own.

Now, you may think that Patrick is the hero of my life story, and rightfully so—he swooped in and made many of my longstanding dreams come true. But Jesus Christ gets the glory for turning my life around. He’s the one who saved me as a child, drew me by His Spirit into repentance as a broken young adult, and gave me a renewed hope for my future. He’s the one who has kept my marriage going strong all these years—because no matter who we marry or how godly he is, marriage gets tough at times.
Like the woman caught in the act of adultery, covering her head for fear of being stoned, Jesus found me wallowing in my sin and told me to stand and sin no more, silencing my accusers. And as the shame, guilt, and baggage over my past tried to haunt and destroy me in the years that followed, Jesus delivered me time and time again, restoring my soul.

As only God could do, he took a little girl from a broken family who bought into the most pernicious lies about sex and relationships and called me to devote my life to the decimation of those lies. I now travel near and far speaking to teens and parents about God’s biblical plan for sex and family, availing the materials I’ve developed to help build a biblical worldview in young people and empower households to embrace sexual purity as a family value. I’ve even been led to embark on a major movie-making project, all for the purpose of sharing God’s love and salvation with the masses.

This isn’t the work of irony, human ambition, or some goal of mine to pay it forward. This is what happens when we reach up from the dirt and take hold of Christ’s hand, allowing Him to lead the way.

                          ~ Laura Gallier

“I brought glory to You here on earth by doing everything You told me to.” ~ John 17:4 

 

“Today your work begins, to warn the nations and the kingdoms of the world. In accord with my words spoken through your mouth I will tear down some and destroy them, and plant others, nurture them, and make them strong and great.” ~Jeremiah 1:10 

To learn more about Laura and her ministry visit :

http://www.lauragallier.com

Rock-Firm And Faithful 

  
“You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth! 

When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, 

GOD is rock-firm and faithful. 

Look! Those who left you are falling apart! 

Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again. 

But I’m in the very presence of GOD — oh, how refreshing it is!

 I’ve made Lord GOD my home. 
GOD, I’m telling the world what you do!”

‭‭ ~Psalm‬ ‭73:25-28‬ ‭MSG‬‬
  
When I was not walking with God, I really was falling apart. When we stick with God and learn to stay in His presence, it is refreshing to know He is always Rock-Firm and faithful. He is the Great Restorer! We will want to tell the world what He can do. 

 We believe that with Real People, sharing Real Stories, it can bring Real Healing to others. 

  
We would love to feature how God has Restored you with others. 

 Ready to share your Restoration Story? 

If so, Email us at contact@restoredministries.org

  

                 ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom