Cherish Time With Loved Ones by Sonya


​Going into the Thanksgiving season, it causes me reflect on the several loved ones that have passed away in the last year and being the thankful for the time I had with them! These grandparents were precious to me and I cherished the time we spent together. They taught me so much about life and to always look at the glass half full and embrace all of the goodness that life has to offer. Loved ones are a gift and blessing from God and so thankful for the time I had with them as they lived a full life. Our family was able to share a lot of memories with them over the holidays and our visits to go see them and hear all their stories. Theses stories made me realize that time was precious and that is one thing you can give to loved ones that mean the most to them is “your time.”​Taking the time to spend with the ones you love is a gift and you can’t get it back. I felt many times God nudging me to go see a loved one and when I did God filled me up in ways that I can’t explain. That time allowed me to refocus on what is important and pause in the busyness of life and focus on the ones that really matter. Investing this time in your loved ones is so essential and blessing as God has surrounded us by so many people that do care about you.  This Thanksgiving, really take the time to spend with the ones you love and tell them how much they mean to you! Alot of times we take our family and friends for granted and they don’t know how much we appreciate them. Don’t miss out on those opportunities to love on them and care for your family and friends that are close to you. God has given them to us as a gift and lets celebrate that gift this holiday season. ​”Not neglecting to meet together, as in the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25

The Blunt & The Beautiful by Bombi

I’m married to a realist. The man is passionate and has deep feelings no doubt, yet so much of his thinking is based on facing facts. Sometimes his words can come off blunt, which at first I was not used to so much. Growing up, my mom was the sugar and my dad, like my husband was the realist. I often liked hearing answers to questions or anything from my mom over my father. Until later in life. Even more so lately. I’ve come to appreciate this type of honesty on so many levels. Which brings me to a passage I read recently in Psalms. I don’t know if you think of David as a blunt writer, I would more-so think of him as the “feelings” person of Biblical history.  Yes he was a king that took action no doubt, but the man had so many thoughts, feelings, and lyrics he expressed. Recently, I found a scripture that seemed very blunt. 

“When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the LORD will take care of me.” Psalm 27:10  (NKJV)

You catch that? He didn’t say “If my parents forsake me” or “when it feels or seems like my parents are forsaking me”. No, the man said “When”. Like he knew that inevitably it was bound to happen, even expecting it. Ouch. 

I have found that in moments where life has socked the wind out of me, God has been my immediate soft and safe place. It’s been Him that has taken care of me. It hasn’t been a matter of “if” because those moments have come inevitably. I wish I could tell you that I have the same friends I started out in life with, but I don’t. I wish I could tell you that I’m super tight with every member of my family of origin, but right now, I’m not. Maybe one day that will change. I am a believer in reconciliation. In the mean time, I’m hanging tight to God’s precious hand. For anyone reading this, I want to encourage you for those harsh moments when you will find that your parents, your child, your ministry, or boss, or spouse, or friend, or anyone for that matter, decides to ditch you, the Lord Himself will surely take care of you. The beautiful thing is that you will not be alone. You will not be deserted. You will be taken care of by the very God that made you. Just like He did with David, just like He does with me, He will and is doing for you. There is the blunt in life, but God is always there to bring the beauty, always.

Safety In The Storm by Trish

Our state and surrounding states are currently facing another Hurricane and most people are running to and fro to make last minute preparations. Such details include having the essentials such as food and water, securing your home and staying closely connected to the latest new and updates. 

As people are making sure their homes are secured there’s a hint of uncertainty for many as they wait for the storm to pass. 

Hurricanes, much like life’s storms come at unexpected times and the outcome is left to the unknown. Yet in the midst of storms both naturally and figuratively, we can place our trust in the One who calms the wind and rain. 

We know that hard times will come, the Bible tells us this but we can place our confidence in Jesus, our strong tower and see victory in every situation we face!

When storms come, the enemy wants us to react in fear. But God wants us to respond in FAITH.  Faith does not deny the storm but speaks to it and commands “peace be still”. 

Whatever storm you’re facing, let your faith be bigger than your fear. You may not be able to track the direct path of the storm but you can rest knowing you are safe in the Father’s care. 

As you navigate the storm, learn from Jesus’s example and speak to it! If your storm is sickness, speak healing. If your storm is broken relationships, speak restoration. If your storm is confusion, speak wisdom and clarity. If your storm is financial lack, speak blessing and provision! We’ve been given authority to speak to the storm! 

Be encouraged! The sun shines brightest after the darkest storm!

The Power of Prayer by Trish

Just recently I was watching the news and heard the tragic story of a little boy who went missing while playing with his cousins outdoors. The family lived near a wooded area but it was unknown if he had wandered off, or if he was kidnapped. It was a tragedy and I cannot imagine the horror this family went through. Instantly I said a prayer for his safe return. As of a couple of days ago the news broke that the little boy was found, unharmed, with only scratches from his two days in the woods where he had wandered into. 

I know there were countless prayers across the country for his safe return and it was nothing short of a miracle that this young boy survived the weather conditions, and was safely returned to his family. What if there was no one praying? God longs to hear and answer the cries of His children. He delights in the faith we place in Him. In fact, without it, it’s impossible to please Him. (Hebrews 11:6) 

I was speaking to my best friend the other day who happens to be “Supermom,” she’s amazing! She was sharing how one night she encouraged her two young children to pray with her. As they sat down, she said, “Let’s just pray in the Spirit and if God reveals something to your heart, pray it out.” Her young son tapped her leg and said he felt like God was showing him a little boy in Africa and called him by name, saying he no longer wanted to go to church. My friend said, “Well, keep praying to see if God shows you anything else and we will believe that God will turn this young boy’s heart back to church.” We will never know the outcome of this story on this side of heaven, but I believe in my heart that a little boy in Africa is turning his affections back to God and to church and the prayer of little boy here in the U.S. was used by God for this to happen! 

Now, I know many of you reading this would say, “That is too far-fetched.” But as you nurture your relationship with God and spend time in prayer, the Holy Spirit will reveal things to you and teach you how to pray specific prayers in faith.  

I remember when I moved to Phoenix years ago. I was 18 years old and I move there with nothing but $500 in the bank, and a whole lot of faith. I was trusting God for a car, and I knew what I had to work with wasn’t much, but I trusted the Lord. Each morning my precious mentor would require me to meet at 5:00 am for prayer. I hated it at first because I wanted to sleep, but it instilled a lifestyle of prayer in me.  One morning, I felt God lay on my heart to spend 3 days praying in the Holy Spirit during my lunch break about a car. This was on a Monday and for 3 days I obeyed and prayed. In my mind I thought I was praying about a car I was going to get. 

The final day of my 3-day assignment was on a Wednesday and that night, coming home from church, I was in horrible car accident at one of the busiest intersections in downtown Phoenix. Someone running a red light struck us on my side of the vehicle.  That pushed our car over to the curb, beyond the lanes of where oncoming traffic would be. Thankfully, there wasn’t any oncoming traffic at that specific time. My side of the car was so damaged I couldn’t open my door.  I remember searching my body to see if anything was broken or cut and nothing.  I climbed out of the driver’s side and was completely fine.  My mentor was also coming home from church and saw the scene of a bad accident. I saw her car pass by and screamed her name. She turned around and drove me home that night. I walked away with only a bruise on my chest from the seatbelt, and a back that just needed a good adjustment. All parties involved were fine! As we drove home I was quiet and just thanking God for His protection when I heard God speak to my heart, “This is the car you’ve been praying over for 3 days.” I still get emotional when I think of this story.  

Sometimes we think of prayer as a checklist or something we do to “clock in” our time with God when actually prayer is for our benefit.  The Holy Spirit guides us and teaches us things to come. The Bible says that even now Jesus is at the right hand of the Father praying for us. If Jesus Himself has a prayer life, how much more do we need one? 

Prayer with the Father is so much more than making our requests known although that is part of it. It is communion and sweet fellowship with the Lover our souls. The One, who created us, knows us by name and even knows the number of hairs on our heads. He knows you, He loves you and He longs to hear your voice in prayer! 

By the way, the end of my story is sweeter still.  By Friday of that same week, God laid it on the hearts of a beautiful couple to give me my first car. God is good and His mercy endures forever!