When Loves Says No by Kenika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s everyone’s least favorite word.  Astonishingly it’s the same letters and basic sound in multiple languages across the world.  I’m talking about the word “no.”  Did you cringe a little just reading it? No one in his or her right mind wants to hear that word. You won’t find many people seeking out opportunities or chances to be told, “Nope, not going to happen.”  We all want a “yes,” it’s practically programmed into us.  “No” is a negative, dirty word, and “Yes” is an open door to everything we’ve hoped and dreamed of.   We want to receive positive responses to a raise, a promotion, a new relationship, inviting friends on a trip, or to the latest wacky idea you present to your significant other.  Even in times when we claim we’re just “throwing it out there” for feedback, we know deep down we want agreement.

I honestly don’t know where we get this from, because the first time in our lives that we are introduced to this word it’s typically in correction or protection which are both rooted in love.  You go to grab a hot stove as a child and you will hear, “No!”  You try to eat, drink, or touch something that will be harmful to you, get prepared for your little hand to be tapped, or for your mama or daddy to raise their voice to get your attention.  Why is it that as adults when we hear the word, it causes us to be upset?  God is the One who loved us so much that He gave His most precious gift in His Son (John 3:16).  He didn’t just send us a Savior, a Kinsman Redeemer, but He also doubles as our Heavenly Father.  Now view God through the lens of your mother or father who reprimanded you when you did something wrong, or protected you from getting into something your immature mind couldn’t fully understand.  That’s exactly what He constantly does for us!  I don’t know if it will fully change the knee-jerk reaction we have when no is the answer instead of yes, but it certainly should.  When God, who is the epitome of love, says “No” it is never to harm and always to help.  Let Him be your Father.  Leading you, guiding you, correcting you, protecting you, and loving you, just as that attentive parent did, enough to yell, “No!” when you are going astray.  Surrender to His will, His way, His timing, and His direction.  I didn’t die because my parents told me no sometimes, as a matter of fact their protection kept me here and made me the person I am today.  I also didn’t die because God told me no sometimes, as a matter of fact His protection kept me here and made me the person I am today.

 

Photo Credit:  ID 67178176 © Voyagerix | Dreamstime

You Can Make It Through The Storm by Trish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our nation has just experienced devastation at the hands of Hurricane Harvey and now we are facing the threat of Hurricane Irma. Where do you turn when your home or your very life is hit by a storm so catastrophic you’re left with rubble and remains of what was once solid and secure? Maybe it’s not a literal storm with wind and rain that has affected your life but perhaps the foundation of your home has been shaken by a negative health report, a wayward child or loss of loved one. Perhaps the one who promised “I do” now doesn’t.

Having experienced a recent storm in my life I can say I know the love of God in a way like I’ve never experienced before. I can say I know what it’s like to cry yourself to sleep and no words of comfort could console.  But when you experience God’s love you can’t articulate it with words, but you know He is surrounding you and keeping you. Many times, as believers we don’t like to have these conversations because somewhere along the way a misunderstanding was birthed that Christians and people of “faith” don’t’ struggle. Maybe that is your story but not mine. I know God to be a keeper because there have been times when I couldn’t keep myself. His grace surrounded me, His comfort upheld me when no one else could help and although the storm was all around He held me close and I knew that it was going to be okay.

As you go through your test be reminded of these things:

  • God is for you and loves you immensely

I know one of the most common questions when facing a storm is, “If God loves me, why did He allow this to happen to me?” Truth be told life happens to all of us. It doesn’t change the fact that God is sovereign and that He loves us. There are many things that can’t be explained and that is what makes faith so profound. It’s trust when you don’t see and believing beyond what you feel.  (John 3:16 NKJV)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

 

  • You are never alone

God is with you and He is your defense and rescue! He will comfort you with His great love! (Zephaniah 3:17)

 

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

  • You will win

We were created to win in life. One loss does not equate defeat. Get back up, dust yourself off and be reminded you are more than a conqueror! (Romans 8:37 NKJV)

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Whatever you are facing, run to God.  He is a shelter in the time of need. Trust Him to keep you, to make a way. This pain won’t last always. You are equipped to endure! I’d like to leave you with these lyrics penned by one of my dear friends, Martha Munizzi. Be reminded, you can make it through the storm!

“You can make it through the storm,

you can make it through the rain.

You can make it through the trials,

you can make it through the pain.

And though you may not understand,

there’s a purpose, there’s a plan;

so while you worship,

He’ll bring you through it all.”

“You Can Make It Through The Storm” by Martha Munizzi

 

Photo Credit:ID 67199460 © Galina Samoylovich | Dreamstime

 

Finding My Identity by Sonya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This new season in my life has brought me to a place of finding my new identity. I have been a stay at home mom for twelve years and my last child went off to kindergarten a week ago. I can’t describe in words the emotions I felt as my baby boy went off to school. My four kids don’t need me now like they used to but have different needs, as one is in 7th, 5th, 2nd and now kindergarten. So they are in different stages and don’t depend on mom and dad as much as before. I feel my identity has changed and I am now trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. This season has been so hard for me because you raise your kids and have invested so much time and energy into them that in the midst of it you forget what your identity is and what God created you to be.  Then I read 1 Colossians 3:1-2, “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” This verse spoke to me. As a child of God my focus is not on the worldly things but on heavenly things. I have put so much focus on my family that at times I miss what God is calling me to do beyond that. As I have reflected over the past week, God has called me to much bigger things than raising my family and has instilled in me passions that are tugging at my heart. I have been listening to His voice and praying and He has shown me opportunities. The more I am praying over these things the more God has opened doors for me to be a part of ministries that deal with human trafficking and working with single moms.  I realize after following His voice He is showing me my new identity in Him and the Kingdom work He has set in front of me. Finding my new identity has been hard because I had to cut the umbilical cord to my kids and let God grow and shape them when they are at school and anywhere. It doesn’t change the mom and wife I am but I am learning more than that and God created me to be a “light” in this dark world. Through listening to God and prayer it has helped to direct my steps and know His will for me and that He has chosen me for such a time is this. So remember your identity is in HIM and that comes first in who you are. 1 Peter 2:9 says it wonderfully, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness in to his wonderful light.”

Photo Credit:ID 78198952 © Ctvvelve | Dreamstime

The Source by Bombi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hard times have been around since the dawn of sin yet there are moments that the weight of it can seem so heavy it wants to crush the joy and spirit out of everyone in its way. So what do we do? Where can we turn to when things worldwide aren’t going up? Who do we call on when everyone and everything is failing us?

I can flip the script and talk about the best of times. The economy is at an upswing. Everyone around you is getting engaged or having a baby or getting their long, hard awaited degree. You’ve just heard news that you’ve inherited a great amount of money, so much that you and your children’s children wouldn’t have to worry or want. You are in the best shape of your life.

​You are having the time of your life, on a roll, and it seems like all of your dreams are coming true. ​

So whom do you need? Where do you turn to for inspiration or an idea of what to do with your good fortune?

If you look to this world and anything in it to be your sole source you are looking amiss. You can marry the most amazing and wonderful hardworking man, but what do you do if he breaks his back and can no longer provide?

​You can be in the roughest season and waiting on your next break, but what if it doesn’t come the way you think it should?

I’m here to tell you that if you look to God to be your source, you will lack no good thing. If your life, peace, love, and joy source depends on yourself, your president, economy, boss, job, education, friends, fiancé, spouse, etc., then you will eventually be disappointed and let down.  Man can only give, be and do so much. But God is limitless and will do and be all that we need Him to be. Make Him your source, and watch your circumstances, good or bad lose their shine in comparison to His majesty.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the rock and strength of my heart and my portion forever.” ~Psalm 73:26(AMP)