The Wilderness Bride 

She walked with her past on her face for too long

Her pain became part of her very existence

It dimmed her eyes and flowed from her mouth

She was not nice to be around

Till He allured her into the wilderness

Where He spoke kindly to her

His heart and His arms 

transformed her

Into the daughter He created 

her to be

There is a glow on her face and her tenderness in her touch

Her eyes shine with His love 

and His grace

She is free at last from her fears and her pain

In the wilderness she discovered who she really was

His covenant daughter

An atmosphere changer

Transformed into His image

Clothed with His love

She is strong and courageous

His battle axe and His weapon 

of war

He makes her strong through intimacy

And she clings to every word that He speaks over her

She became a story of His mercy and grace

Extended to all the weary ones, 

she embraces

So that they too would be lured 

into the wilderness

Never to be the same

~ Ebigale Wilson

Restoration Stories – Deborah Rodriguez 

I was born and raised in a Christian home. My father had a good stable job in the city and we lived in a middle class neighborhood in Brooklyn, NYC. We faithfully went to church whenever there was a service and I began singing at the age of four.

Our life seemed so perfect on the outside, but it was far from perfect. Inside my home was filled with chaos, anger, pain, and misery. Most days my parents would fight over the simplest of things. I also faced abuse by my older sibling and all we ever did was fight.

My dad tried his best to keep things together but it just wasn’t enough. When I was twelve years old I remember my whole family stopped attending church. I was the only one who would go every Sunday all alone, because I loved going and I especially enjoyed singing.

Eventually my parents divorced when I was thirteen. My mother decided to leave the home and didn’t want anything to do with us. I still remember so vividly that night and how I had to stay up with my little sister as she cried uncontrollably for our mother. We didn’t understand why she chose to leave us, it took me many years to even understand why.

My life began to spiral out of control and I no longer cared about having a relationship with God. In fact, I became an atheist and had a strong hate for Christians. I would curse at them and tell them there was no God because if there was He wouldn’t allow me to go through so much.

The friends I started hanging around were drug dealers and gang members, they introduced me to a whole different lifestyle and I dug myself deeper into a pit. I started partying, drinking, and smoking marijuana. I did not care about my life anymore, I used the drugs and alcohol as an escape.

There were times I wouldn’t come home for days, because I didn’t want my dad to see me high or drunk. I lost complete control and became a terrible alcoholic. I had to have it everyday, even to the point of blanking out. I became a very violent person who constantly had fights in school and the streets. Some of my closest friends no longer wanted to be around me because they felt I was too dangerous to be around. My life was a complete mess, but I could not see how lost I was.

Until I met Jesus…

I will always remember this day like it was yesterday. My aunt purchased a brand new home and we were excited to go. She said my cousins and I could have a sleep over on the weekend, but I had to go to church on Sunday. There was no way I could agree to that so I said, “No!” My cousins begged for me to stay, so I finally agreed. We had fun just watching movies, laughing at silly jokes, and talking about random stuff. Sunday came along and I went to church begrudgingly.

I had the nastiest attitude while sitting in the youth Sunday school class. I did not want to be there at all and I made it known. The time came for the pastor to preach and I fell asleep for the whole message. Till this day I don’t remember what the message was about, but I just know that I woke up at the end of it while the pastor was making an altar call.

My aunt asked if I wanted to go up for prayer and I declined. The pastor continued speaking and I don’t know what he said, but I suddenly felt a conviction that I was a sinner and I needed to repent. I slowly began to walk up to the altar and when I got there all I saw was my whole life flashing before my eyes. I saw all the sins I was committing and how filthy I was. I did not want to be that person any longer, I began to sob uncontrollably and that day I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.

I had a long way to go, but slowly and surely all of the walls broke and my chains were lifted. I was no longer bound to the pain and sins of my past. I stopped partying, drinking and getting high. I surrounded my self with new people and gained some Godly friends. As I studied Gods Word, my anger ceased and my love for Jesus grew. I started singing once again and had a passion for street preaching. That is how I met my husband, Pastor Chris.

It took a few years but I did forgive my mother and we now have a healthy relationship. My father is saved and preaching once again. My family is back together and God has healed us of all past hurts, we all get along and enjoy our time with one another.

Today I am blessed with a wonderful marriage and ministry that reaches thousands for the glory of God. My life is dedicated to serving like Jesus does and that’s why I evangelize, feed the homeless every week, visit the sick, elderly, and those in prison.

I also am the founder of True Beauty Ministries, it is an online ministry that encourages other women to know their worth in Christ.

I give because He freely gave to me, even when I did not deserve it. Jesus restored me. The past is gone and a new woman has risen.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20

          ~ Deborah Rodriguez 

Connect with Deborah on 
Facebook– God’s True Beauty

Instagram– @TrueBeautyMinistries

An Exuberant Declaration 


The Eternal is my light amidst my darkness and my rescue in times of trouble. So whom shall I fear? He surrounds me with a fortress of protection. So nothing should cause me alarm. 

When my enemies advanced to devour me alive,They tripped and fell flat on their faces into the soil. When the armies of the enemy surround me,I will not be afraid. When death calls for me in the midst of war,my soul is confident and unmoved. I am pleading with the Eternal for this one thing,my soul’s desire: To live with Him all of my days—in the shadow of His temple,To behold His beauty and ponder His ways in the company of His people. His house is my shelter and secret retreat. It is there I find peace in the midst of storm and turmoil. Safety sits with me in the hiding place of God. He will set me on a rock, high above the fray. God lifts me high above those with thoughts of death and deceit that call for my life. I will enter His presence, offering sacrifices and praise. In His house, I am overcome with joy As I sing, yes, and play music for the Eternal alone. I cannot shout any louder. Eternal One—hear my cry and respond with Your grace. The prodding of my heart leads me to chase after You. I am seeking You, Eternal One—don’t retreat from me. You have always answered my call. Don’t hide from me now. Don’t give up on me in anger at Your servant. You have always been there for me. Don’t throw me to the side and forget me, my God and only salvation. My father and mother have deserted me, yet the Eternal will take me in. O Eternal, show me Your way, shine Your light brightly on this path, and make it level for me, for my enemies are lurking in the recesses and ravines along the way. They are watching—hoping to seize me. Do not release me to their desires or surrender me to their will! Liars are standing against me, breathing out cruel lies hoping that I will die. I will move past my enemies with this one, sure hope:that with my own eyes, I will see the goodness of the Eternal In the land of the living. Please answer me: Don’t give up. Wait for the Eternal in expectation, and be strong. Again, wait for the Eternal. ~Psalm 27:1-14 The VOICE 

The psalms provide us with a way to think about and pray through the various threats we face. Our enemies today may not be the same as in biblical times, but they are no less real. Consider the threats on the horizon. Some may be national. Others may be more personal. Still they come to surround us and destroy us if they could only get the chance. The reality is there are times when our enemies appear to have the upper hand and our cause is lost. But wait and listen to the psalm! All is not lost because, ultimately, God is our light and salvation. The darkness will lift, and our Savior will come. He will settle all scores, and we will live in the beauty of His presence. ~Psalm 27 The VOICE Commentary 

          Some translations call this Psalm
       “An Exuberant Declaration Of Faith.”

Exuberant: filled with or characterized by a lively energy and excitement.

I have to agree with that because those of us who have truly known our former hopeless and lost state and the pitiful conditions God rescued us from are now often shameless and unrelenting in our excitement and gratitude as we declare all the wonderful things he has done, is doing, and yet to do for us.  

Jesus welcomes exuberance. 

More than anything, it reflects a genuine understanding of His grace.

What are your thoughts? 

       What are you exuberantly declaring? 
                      ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Identity Theft 


Who are you? Where do you come from? When were you born? Who is your Father? What’s your identity?
identity :condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is; the qualities, beliefs, etc., that distinguish or identify a person or thing: 
This is the TRUTH of the matter of identity. 

Sins or sins done against us affect how we identity ourselves in this world. We unknowingly walk around wearing a garment of uncleanliness and despair after we have passed through the things that can so easily beset us. We dress ourselves in a cloak of deception as we walk away from our sin that entangled us into a prison of guilt or shame. We often times engage in things that later bring regret and remorse. Worse case, something was done against us willing or unwillingly in a moment of confusion or fear. It could have happened yesterday or twenty years ago. It doesn’t matter it follows us around like a dark shadow. It disappears during seasons of great days, weeks or years. We forget and think we have been dealt a bad deck of cards handed over to us. The stain of shame smears its stench of defeat on us as we try to remind ourselves that it’s a new day to a fresh start. Morning and evening showers or baths temporality wash way the slime and filth that we have picked up along the way. Subconsciously, we feel relief from the grips of grime that hold us captive. The memories, the thoughts, the smells, the iniquity washes off you and goes down the drain. We wash it away with soap and water and move forward with the hope of forgiveness and a new day. We find relief. The day ends. Lights go out. The Accuser returns. He reminds us and whispers into our ears twisted lies. 


Let me introduce you to……..
The Accuser of the Brethren
He has been around a long time wrecking havoc on the finished work of the Cross. He could be found before Christ in the Garden of Eden. 


Honestly, if he can’t keep you from hell he will do all he can to bring hell to you. 
In a basket all wrapped up with reminders of past sins. Tied up with chains and cords of shame, guilt, unworthiness, defeat, grief, self-hatred and the list goes on until you are sure the package was delivered as your fate in life. You are convinced it is the cross you must carry for the things done against you or with your permission. 

These are all LIES released from him with your permission. 

You hear them over and over in your mind. 

They speak the loudest right before you lay your head down to go to sleep. Especially after a day of defeat or misunderstanding. 

Let’s replay the possible thoughts and expose them for what they are. 
Lies from the pit of hell

You are not forgiven. 
How could you serve God after what happened to you?
You are not worthy to be called a son or daughter of God.
God has not forgotten what you did. 
You should be ashamed of what happened. 
You are dirty and used up now. 
You will never feel clean or pure again. 
You already messed up so go ahead and do it again. 
You are invisible and no one would miss you if you were gone. 
What you did is unforgivable. 
You are fat!
You are stupid! 
You are unloveable and no one cares about you. 
You deserved it. You participated and didn’t stop it. 
You will never be like _______. You messed up and this is who you are. Fill in the ___________.
God can’t use you. He only uses people who haven’t done that.  
You are all alone. 
God doesn’t hear your prayers. 

These lies will BECOME our truth about ourselves. It becomes our self-talk that shapes how we view ourselves and how others view us. 
You make a inner vow that you think protects you from another attack. 

I will never trust a man again. 
I will not let someone get that close to me again. 

The truth is it locks you into an attack against yourself. 

Let’s all welcome!

Self Hatred , Self Sabotage , Self Pity they just received their invitations from you to to join your inner thoughts. It’s becomes your new identity. 

Your inner banner becomes your walk and your talk. 

The lies turn into your declarations. 
I am unloveable 

I am not worthy of__________.

I am dirty. 

I am ashamed. 

I am not good enough. 

Unless we stop or change the record of lies playing in our mind it will stay on repeat mode over and over again. You just stepped on to the ride of your life. A merry go round of lies and deceit. It will not stop until you jump off and decide that your mirror of truth must be exchanged for something other than the negative self talk that birthed out of your hurts, traumas, and bad choices in life. 


You must make the first step towards your freedom. 

This is the Good News!! The Word of God has it all covered. If you choose to set up the Word of God as your new mirror to view yourself and others a new Christ identity emerges out of you. 
Have you ever asked Jesus to be your Savior and asked for forgiveness of you sins? Have you decided to follow Him? 
If your answer is yes, your new identity is in Christ. Everything is reflected in Him and through Him. 

Don’t let identity theft happen to you!! The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. The first thing he wants to take way for you is your identity. 

Christ in us the hope of glory! 

This is not an automatic process. 

You must choose to take every thought captive and pull down any strongholds that are not filtered through the Word of God. 

This requires action and intention. 

Work work and more work 
Work out your own salvation 

Not your eternity salvation but you becoming WHOLE in your body, spirit and soul. 
Phil 2:12-16 NIV

12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

14Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”c Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 

David from the Old Testament had his fill of sins he chose and sins done against him. After all he was a murderer, adulterer, and liar. Those are just a few of his accomplishments recorded. God chose to identify him as a man after God’s own heart. This came after countless times David confessed and lamented about his sinful ways. He turned from his ways and chose to seek after God. God gave us His Son through David’s lineage to bring salvation to the world. God obviously was able to restore David’s stolen identity. 

An opportunity to become born into a new identity in Christ was granted through David. Sons and daughters of God are given the choice to identify with all the inheritance promised to us through Jesus. 

Here’s David’s Psalm 32 slate wiped clean below. Will you allow God to give you a new slate? A new identity that comes with all the promises and truths from a Father that gave His Son to you so that you could live out your purposes and dreams He put in you before you were born!

Identified by Him,
Kelley Allison
http://www.bowlofsplendor.com

A David Psalm


32 Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—

    you get a fresh start,

    your slate’s wiped clean.

2 Count yourself lucky—

    God holds nothing against you

    and you’re holding nothing back from him.

3 When I kept it all inside,

    my bones turned to powder,

    my words became daylong groans.

4 The pressure never let up;

    all the juices of my life dried up.

5 Then I let it all out;

    I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”

Suddenly the pressure was gone—

    my guilt dissolved,

    my sin disappeared.

6 These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;

    when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts

    we’ll be on high ground, untouched.

7 God’s my island hideaway,

    keeps danger far from the shore,

    throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.

8 Let me give you some good advice;

    I’m looking you in the eye

    and giving it to you straight:

9 “Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule

    that needs bit and bridle

    to stay on track.”

10 God-defiers are always in trouble;

    God-affirmers find themselves loved

    every time they turn around.

11 Celebrate God.

    Sing together—everyone!

    All you honest hearts, raise the roof!

Restoration Stories – Tikeetha Thomas 


Just email me your story how God has restored you with your life verse. That was all they were asking.

Wow! Too many times. Too many situations. God had restored me on so many occasions could I possibly just tell one story that would make people understand? 

Nope. Not the way that you needed to hear. Not the way you needed to understand the grace and mercy that God has shown to me. So, here’s my story…

I was molested at 13. I was sexually assaulted at 13 and I was raped at 14. Three traumatic events that shaped my belief in men. Men took from you. Men didn’t value you. You were nothing more than eye candy for men. Those were all the things that ran through my mind.

At 14 my boyfriend and I broke up. He blamed me for my rape. I was devastated. I felt unloved and alone. I tried to take my life. Life had become unbearable.

I spent that summer being depressed and crying every day. I wouldn’t get dressed. I wouldn’t play with my siblings or talk to my mother. I was broken. My mother didn’t know the real reasons for my pain. I wanted to die and I cursed God for not letting that happen.

My mother came in my room one day and sat on the bed and said, “As a parent you wish that you could kiss every tear that falls from your child’s eyes. But, you can’t. I can’t. But, this is the time when you need to go to the Lord in prayer. He will help you. He will answer you. Please just pray.” She left my room.

I sat silently in the room crying. Tears falling in big drops that left stains down my face. I fell to my knees and prayed. I simply said, “God please help me.” It was in that moment that I felt God’s reassuring love and presence. He consoled me. He loved me. He had not abandoned or forgotten me. He was there.

Many years and many life lessons later God reminded me that He is still in charge. That He is always there. Ever watching. Ever waiting for me to just let go and trust. Trust that He has not forgotten me.

I was losing my cousin to cancer. We were 9 months apart. He was the only man in this world that I ever believed loved me. Not my husband but my cousin.

My marriage was in hell. We were roommates. We had tried to have a child with no luck. I cursed God for making me barren and then taking the only man in this world from me. Letting him die. Life wasn’t fair.

But God.

God interceded and worked on my spirit. I began talking to my husband again. I began trying to fix my marriage. We tried to date and love each other again. We attempted invitro fertilization (IVF) again. We got pregnant.

The moment the nurse told me that I was pregnant I said “Thank you God”. I knew it was God. I knew he was sending me a message. He was going to give my cousin his wings. I would lose the only man that ever loved me. But, He was sending me a son. Another boy who would become a man who would love me.

The moment I saw my little embryo on the screen I said “Look at my son. Thank you God.” My husband laughed and said “It could be a girl.” I replied, “Nope, it’s a boy. God is giving me a son.” The funny thing is that I didn’t doubt God’s grace and mercy on me. I knew the message he was sending. It was clear. He confirmed it when they told me that my due date was my cousin’s birthday.

But God.

I had many complications in my pregnancy and almost lost my baby. People worried. People prayed. But I knew that he would be okay. How? Because I had prayed to God that if he let my son live that I would bring him to Him. I told God I would do as Hannah did with Samuel and I would bring my son to Him. That was my fervent prayer.

He did. He let my son live. He was born prematurely and I never worried. I knew that God had us. He always had. He had never abandoned me. My son was His gift to me.

But, life didn’t always make me believe that God heard me. I suffered so much. So many trials and tribulations that I didn’t really understand the importance of trusting God with everything that I am and everything that I have. Truly trusting and leaning on His word.

My marriage ended. I was heartbroken at the way I was being treated and I felt so alone. Many days I couldn’t get out of bed. I cried incessantly and I would fall out from the overall emotional pain of my situation. I thought I was dying. All while trying to raise a 5 year old.

My son would hold my head and say “Mommy, please don’t cry. I’ll protect you.” I was a wreck. Crying and praying. Praying and crying. God spoke to my spirit and said, “Get up! It is done!” Just like that.

I did and I prayed. He reminded me how he’s never abandoned me. He’s never left me and that His anointing has always been on my life. I was alive to tell of His grace and mercy because my words are what people understand. I would be a living testimony of how He saves.  

I am a living testimony. I will tell of His grace and mercy. Our God has not forgotten. He will forever answer you. But, we all fall short. We forget how to pray. We get so consumed with our issues and situations that we don’t just pray and listen. We pray. We listen to the noise in our head. We don’t hear His voice. We think He doesn’t care. He does.

He is never changing. He never fails. Nothing will separate us from the love of God. That is my story. The life verse that reminds me of this comes from my favorite book in the Bible….Romans.

 

Romans 8:38-39 (NRSV)

38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 ~ Tikeetha Thomas 

 

 

Tikeetha Thomas is a full-time working mom with an 8 year old son who is the apple of her eye. She resides in Maryland and when she is not working and catering to her little boy, she is busy working on her unnamed novel. You can follow her on Twitter Here: https://twitter.com/mskeeinmd

 or read more about her life at her blog Here: www.athomaspointofview.com  

 

Saint

  
Worthy Thought:

Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future, we all walk in freedom under His grace.

The three questions I had in mind. 

Is the sinner and the saint the same person?

 Where does it draw the line when the sinner end’s and sainthood begins? 

How do we walk in freedom under His grace as a sinner? 

I remember years ago being a new believer in Christ. I would pray to God and ask His forgiveness for my sins but later on during the week I would still think about those sins and still feel guilty. How can I walk in freedom under His grace if I still feel like a dirty sinner?  

Jesus says in John 8:31, 36 ” If you hold my teaching, you are my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Vs 36 Jesus says ” if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” 

Sin has a way of enslaving and mastering us but Jesus took all of our sins when he went to the Calvary cross and died for us. Jesus freed us from this slavery of sin that keeps us from becoming the person God created us to be. 

Romans 6:14 NIV For sin shall no longer be your master, because your are not under the law, but under grace. 

The law does not justify or help us overcome sin, we are under God’s grace through Jesus Christ, he is our master, he gives us the power to do what is good and right. 

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift from God. 

We don’t have to feel guilt, or remorse anymore. We have the free gift from God of salvation, faith, forgiveness, love, peace, joy and eternal life. 

God’s word makes it clear our sins are forgiven and we have been set free from the power of sin. 

Romans 1:7 Apostle Paul wrote “To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus.” 


Revelation 19:7-8 Let’s rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the lamb has come. And his bride (us, the church) has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean was given us to wear: Fine linen stands for righteousness acts of the saints.


The word root ” Saint” corresponds with Latin word “Santus” which means holy or set apart, faithfulness for holy use. Christians are made holy by the atoning work of Christ at Calvary on the cross. When you become saved by believing in Jesus Christ as God’s son who died for you on the cross you are set apart for holy, used by God and that is to glorify God and spread the good news to those who are not saved. 

I John 5:3 (NIV)Loving God means keeping his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”

A saint is also a person who understands, and learns to have the mind like Christ, who is Holy. Out of love for him you will naturally keep God’s commandments. We are given the righteousness of God through the work of Jesus Christ who died on the cross. 
As a saint we learn to talk with kingdom language that is good, wholesome, clean, and uplifting. We learn to be bless-able to others, we read and meditate on scriptures and most importantly we have intimate conversations with God through prayer. 
Today, I am an Ordained minister for Christ. I am the daughter of the Most High God, He sent His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for me, I am saved and a saint. I walk in freedom under his grace. Thank you Jesus. 

              ~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

What’s Your Story

  
Do you share your story? 

You know the story of how God has saved you. The story of where you’ve been and thankfully where God is taking you. The stories that once brought you much shame and heartbreak. 

Some of us have many stories, and we know them so well. When we think upon them we get emotional. Well, have you shared that? 

Have you released the power and freedom that comes with telling people what God has done in your life?



There is so much to my story; so many ways God has shown up for me. He’s protected me time and time again from my poor choices or blessed me in ways I didn’t deserve. 

Winning Miss Texas USA; restoring my marriage, kicking alcohol to the curb, and blessing me with the richest friendships are just the highlights of my crazy story. 



If you looked at me and even the pictures I put on social media, like so many of us do, you may not believe that my story was once filled with shame, despair and turmoil. All of this brought on by sexual abuse, promiscuity, insecurity, lies and bad choices. 

If I didn’t share these stories with people who are hurting or need to hear someone say “That’s happened to me, I’ve done that, there’s a way out; they wouldn’t serve the greater purpose God had for all of it. 



I no longer carry the shame of those stories. I have released that shame and have been able to turn it into empathy and grace for others and even myself. 

I’ve only been able to do that by giving it all to Jesus; each part of my story every time I have needed to. 

Every time I’ve struggled with something I’ve had to ask God to help me. I have had to surrender to the fact that on my own I mess things up. I have to surrender to the fact that I will make mistakes, but God can use anything I give Him for my ultimate good and His glory. 



Let me encourage you to be courageous in sharing your story. Let me encourage you to lose shame and share victory with others. Let me encourage you to get vulnerable. 
I assure you that you are not alone in your struggle. You are not alone in your victory either because we all need to hear each other’s stories. 



Enjoy this beautiful song about sharing our stories. 

The grace that is greater than all my sin.

                 ~Stephanie Wanic 

Check out our Restoration Stories Series each month to hear how others have found the courage to share their story. You can search our blog by Restoration Stories or look for the (#Hashtag) #RestorationStories on social media. If you want to share your story on an upcoming blog post contact us. 
Be sure to check out more from Stephanie here on God’s Beauty Secrets https://www.facebook.com/Gods-Beauty-Secrets-739896832688981/

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All I Seek

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I am guilty of seeking other things to fill me instead of allowing God to fill me fully. It is hard not to get distracted with so many things that vie for our attention. The world shouts to us with the lure that something will make us something we are not or do something it can’t. I don’t want my soul waging war with the cravings and seeking of anything other than God. It has waged on for way too long. As I listened to the words I closed my eyes and imagined seeking God’s face. I visualized the closer and clearer God’s face came into my vision the distractions and cravings of the world disappeared.

I want to sing and mean it; Your face is All I seek!

I am passionate to share about God’s Promises in His Word are Life Giving and Transforming tools so readily available to us. I love looking at different translations of verses and studying the commentary on various scriptures. The Word is alive and powerful!

I especially love the line in the song :
“I want to take Your Word and shine it all around But first help me just to live it Lord”

That sums up my life! I want to take His word and shine it around and help people to escape the darkness. I want people to live restored and see that a relationship with Christ is so much better than religion. I also know that every day I need Him and His Word to help me to Live it too.

We are all on a journey!

May God be ALL we seek.

Enjoy today’s #SongSunday

XXOO Michelle Bollom

© RestoredMinistries

Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful- JesusCulture

Lyrics:

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful
Your face is all I seek
And when your eyes are on this child
Your grace abounds to me

I want to take your word and shine it all around
But first help me just to live it Lord
And when I’m doing well, help me to never seek a crown
For my reward is giving glory to you

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful
Your face is all I seek
And when your eyes are on this child
Your grace abounds to me

http://youtu.be/m5O9jAZ4Z7k

Flourish #FeatureFriday

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I found this amazing blog last Summer and recently connected on Twitter with Malika Cox of Flourish. I know you all will be moved not only by her story but also be incredibly blessed by her encouraging words. I am so happy to introduce you all to this weeks #FeatureFriday – Malika Cox.

~XXOO Michelle Bollom

Malika Cox lives in Oklahoma City. She spent her younger years battling addictions, self-destructive behaviors and low self-esteem; as well as in and out of emotionally abusive relationships. She was involved in the underground music and Goth scene in both New York City and New Orleans.

In December of 1996, while she was living in New Orleans, she opened the Bible for the first time in her life, and read Psalm 56:13, “For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God, In the light of the living?”

For some reason she knew that morning, after reading the Psalm, that she had to leave New Orleans immediately and go to the airport to fly home to Oklahoma City. She did not go into work that day and three of her co-workers were killed on a shift she was supposed to work.

After she learned of what had happened she was devastated. She knew her life was in shambles and at that moment she asked Jesus Christ into her life to be her Lord and Savior. She spent the first two years as a Christian in limbo. She knew God had saved her but she didn’t know God’s Word or His promises for her as a believer.

She eventually found a wonderful Bible-based church in Oklahoma City and enrolled in a two-year Bible College. After graduating, she has devoted her life to Christian ministry, service, and the study of God’s Word.

She currently writes the popular blog Flourish at Flourish.tv. She is the author of the Bible Curriculum Glow From the Inside Out. Glow is a spiritual health recipe book made up of the following four ingredients: Grace, Love, Others & Win. Glow focuses on the believer’s identity in Christ as the “Beloved,” unmerited favor, the radical love of God, intimacy with Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.

A portion of all GLOW curriculum proceeds goes towards The Harvest Gardens, a community garden and social enterprise for at risk women in Oklahoma City, http://www.theharvestgardens.com.
www.theharvestgardens.com

Malika’s upcoming book Flourish: 365 Day Devotional is coming out at the end of January 2015. It will feature a short Christian devotional for each day of the year, reminding us that God has blessed us since the beginning to grow, multiply, develop and thrive.

Malika is an anti-human trafficking advocate and she is currently pursuing her masters degree in Theological Studies at Regent University.

Connect with Malika Cox:
Malika.cox@flourish.tv

http://www.flourish.tv

Flourish & Shine!
Malika Cox

Follow on Twitter: @malikacox

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