The Invisible Veil by Trish

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I realize we’ve just celebrated the Christmas season which I love but my favorite holiday to celebrate is Easter. I love the thought of a new season with fresh flowers in bloom, bright colors and spring air. As a believer, I treasure the significance of what the Resurrection season represents, which is life in Christ! I now live because HE lives! Jesus conquered death, hell and the grave so that I could have eternal life with Him!

In reading the passages found in the Bible of the crucifixion, you’ll find a portion mentioned of how the veil was torn when Jesus yielded His spirit. This is imperative for Christians to know and understand. The veil or curtain within the temple, which separated God’s people from His presence, was no longer in the way and the veil did not drop or was drawn back, but it was torn from the top to the bottom. This tells us that nothing now separates us from a personal encounter with the true and living God!

I get excited when I think about the magnitude of my King and His majesty. He’s all-powerful and there is no one or nothing higher than Him. Yet, in all of His splendor and sovereignty, I’m not looked upon as just a servant but a daughter of His. He longs for me to come and have conversation with Him. He rejoices over me with singing. His thoughts are always on me. He’s so acquainted with every detail of my life that He’s numbered the hairs on my head. He watches over me as I sleep and guides the path throughout my day. Oh, how I love Him so!

My Heavenly Father, Master of the Universe, loves Trish Davis and calls me His own! He says that I can come boldly into His throne room. The beautiful thing is that I’m not an only child, there’s a place for you as well! All who accept Him have this same privilege! There is no waiting list or VIP line. We have direct access to the Father at any given moment. All of this is accessible to us because of what Christ has done through His death and resurrection.

So what is it that sometimes hinders us from direct and daily fellowship with God? While there is no longer a physical veil separating us, could it be that we’ve designed our own veils not made from fabric, but personal issues that have created separation?

As we go into this New Year, let’s be mindful of any invisible veils we’ve established knowingly and unknowingly in our hearts that could be separating us from the true relationship and unguarded communion with God.

  • The invisible veil of PRIDE

Oftentimes we become lifted in pride thinking, “I’ve got this” and we can manage just fine on our own. Pride stands in the way of close relationship with God because it doesn’t acknowledge our dependency on Him. The truth is I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Phil 4:13)

  • The invisible veil of DISAPPOINTMENT

A seed of disappointment left unattended in the heart blooms into resentment. There have been times in my life when I found it difficult to talk to God. When I searched my heart, I found disappointment. One time specifically, I had prayed to God about a matter and my prayer wasn’t answered the way I desired and it hurt. I felt as though I had been let down and yes, I was disappointed with God. You might say that is an arrogant thing to say but I firmly believe that when you have a real relationship with God, you can be honest about your feelings. I always say, “tell God what’s in your heart and how you feel, He already knows anyhow.” Stop being fake with what you’re facing and being religious, God can handle our emotions!

What I found is that when I cried out to God (literally), He ran to my rescue! He knew things in my future that I did not and although I did not know the big picture, I had to trust that, “Father knows best.” There will be things in life that will have no explanation, there will be prayers that may not be answered the way we expect, but this does not make God any less powerful, our prayers any less significant or faith any less important!

My mentor used to tell me a common quote, “Trish, even when you can’t trace God’s hand, you can always trust His heart.”

Maybe some of you are dealing with the question “God, why did you let this happen?” or “If you really love me, you wouldn’t allow me to go through this.” Talk to God about it, lay it at His feet and let His love wash over you. Don’t allow disappointment to create a veil of separation.

  • The invisible veil of a BUSY LIFE

We fill our calendars with our to-do lists and time with God ranks at the bottom. I can always tell when I’ve not had my adequate, quality time with God. I’m irritable, stressed out, impatient and so on. I’m not that sweet and I’m not “good.” Anything good in my life is because of Jesus. If I don’t spend time with Him, and allow His presence to fill up my life, I’m left to my own ways of thinking. In His presence there is fullness of joy not calendars, time clocks, and digital reminders. Tear down that busy lifestyle and focus on living according to your purpose and not just “doing.”

It is my desire to know God better in this year of 2015, and to not let the distractions of life create a veil that hinders me from the ultimate love of my life. I encourage you to do the same!

Happy New Year ladies, let’s do this!

 

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Difference Maker by Sonya

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2015 is the year to be a “Difference Maker.” Think about it, if life is like a vapor would this world notice if you were gone? Does the impact we have on life matter? Is your life a reflection of Christ? Are we world changers or are we sitting back and letting others make the difference? These are questions that God has asked me and made me think about.

Being a difference maker was God’s business. He didn’t sit around waiting for someone else to perform that miracle or save that person or help that person in need. He just went out and did it and sent His son to make the sacrifice for you and me. Are we sacrificing anything in our life to make a change and be the light for the world to see? Our life on earth is so very short and if we don’t step up, and be that light that God has called us to be, then He will use someone else. I desire to be first in line that God wants to use because I want all of HIM. I don’t want to wait to see if someone else can do the job or assignment God has given me. If He chose me to do it, I don’t want to let Him down. God has given me assignments to make awareness about Human Trafficking and serving our community and I have acted on it and seen the fruit multiply from being obedient and the difference HE has made in our community. Also I have seen the difference in my private life as well like being honest, not sugarcoating the truth, controlling my tongue and thinking before I speak. He has given each of us assignments and how we choose to act on them is up to us.

As we are sensitive to what God is urging and calling us to do, we can see where He wants to make the difference in our lives and in other people’s lives through us. It is exciting! Let 2015 be the year where YOU are the difference maker and let God’s light shine through you, causing a radical change and impact, so the world will see and know that there is a God. A God that loves them and cares about where they are going in this New Year! BE THE CHANGE!

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Indestructible: A Message of Hope by Kenika

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The most powerful, indivisible, monumental thing of all is hope. I was pondering what keeps people going. What helps them to move forward? Which will be the thing that gives them the courage to carry on? The simplest, yet frequently overlooked, answer is hope. There is no other rational way to describe why we keep getting up every morning and going about our days, living our lives and doing the best we can, even after the many obstacles we’ve overcome. Whether it was something we faced over a decade ago or the day before, there is something in us that tells us things will get better.

If it weren’t for hope, there would be no point. No point to life, no point to love, no point to the future. We have to be in a place where we still believe that things will get better, continuing being as wonderful as they are, or that situations will eventually turn around. Romans 5:3-5 (KJV) says, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed;” Hope will not make you ashamed. What that says to me is that if I can still manage to have hope for myself, for my family, for the community, for the Church, for the nation, for the world, I will never be ashamed of having that sense of expectation. Hope will produce fruit. Hope will provide a favorable outcome.

I was watching a movie over the holidays with my mom. The premise of the movie was the good old fight between good and evil. At one point the evil/demon-type character implies that no matter how hard evil tries to fight against good, evil never wins. Because hope spreads among the good like “the flu at summer camp.” Hope spreads like the flu at summer camp? Love it! Hope is contagious, and as long as we have hope, we cannot be dismayed, deterred or destroyed.

I have determined that hope makes me a force to be reckoned with. No one stands a chance against my hope. Nothing can stop or block me if after all is said and done, I still believe. No matter what you’ve faced in your personal life, or dealing with family or friends, do not lose hope. People really can change and so can situations, but it is all predicated on your hope. Whatever it takes, don’t stop believing, you will never be ashamed!

 

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Your Trust Belongs To God by Bombi

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John 2:23-25 (NIV)

23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.

Trust is something that is hard to come by these days. We start out life full of faith and trust that our wants and needs will be met. As time and life happen we soon learn that not everyone will come through on their word, not everyone has our best interest at heart.

This lesson in life is no respecter of persons. Most everyone gets to experience this whether they are the president of the United States, or the beggar on the corner of the highway. Even Jesus experienced it. Just because He had droves of people following Him around witnessing His miracles, did not mean they would actually be His true witnesses. I’m talking about the busy bodies and “looky loos” in your life. Jesus had tons of them. When the rubber met the road, just a few of the so-called fans were on His team when He was dying for their very sins at the cross. He had more haters than lovers, but He still did it.

Sometimes I forget this detail of the gospel. I forget that when Jesus was telling us to love, bless and not curse, and love those that sin against us, He was talking from His very heart and life. He was saying this with full knowledge that among the very community that did life with Him would be backstabbing betrayers. He knew that there would be people that would tell Him that they would never deny Him with one breath, and then less than 24 hours later deny Him not once, but three times. It’s no wonder that the Bible calls Him a man of sorrows and well acquainted with grief.

Yet, even though Judas would betray, and even though the “looky loos” would soon cry, “crucify Him!” He still went to that bloody cross. He still bled for them. He still took all the pain and sin on Himself. He did it with them spitting at Him and watching Him die. He did it with all the love that any being could ever imagine having in their heart.

What a sobering truth, that even though we have betrayed Jesus in our own ways, He still keeps all the betrayers in the story. He didn’t omit the haters and back stabbers. He kept every hurtful detail in the gospel. Ultimately He sees even beyond what we see. He sees our hearts. He discerns our thoughts and sees His grace for you and me. It’s that amazing grace that covers your sins and betrayals, so that when you can receive that grace, you are telling Him and the entire world, “Lord I trust you, even when you could not trust me.”

Would you start of a prayer with me, and then end it with your own words? “Lord, I want to say thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for me. Thank you for being the one I can trust when everyone else has let me down. Thank you for entrusting your life to the Father and dying for me even when I was your enemy. I want to trust you more and more every single day. I receive your grace today…”

 

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