If You’ve Ever Lost Your Way by Bombi

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There was a time years ago when I forgot who I was. I began to lose my appetite for a faith-filled life. I grew apathetic to the challenging Christian walk and began to slowly grow a desire for an easier path. Looking back I can see that I had let grief and pain get to me. I let doubt seep into the cracked places of my then broken heart. My faith walk was turning into a lost walk, and when I looked in the mirror I felt as if I no longer knew who the girl was staring back.

Praise the Lord for good friends! For the “irons” in our life that come to sharpen us when we’ve become used and dull. As I was lying low and out of people’s way, one by one my friends began to contact me, asking to meet up and talk. In a matter of a few weeks I started to hear the same message from each person. It seemed like they all had the same thing in mind, to remind me of who I was despite who I thought I was becoming.

It was during this same time that I decided to seek out some Godly counsel. I felt like I had nothing more to lose, so I found a great Christian therapist and confessed it all. I poured out all of my woes, doubts, and sinful heart. I was convinced that since I came in such a busted up state that she would have counsel of rebuke or at least correction. What happened instead remains to be one of the pivotal points of my walk with Christ. Instead of admonishment, she told me that she was honored to meet me. HONORED? I was taken aback at her words. She went on to say that I am still the Lord’s, I am still in His hand, I still hear His voice, and I need to learn to listen again, because He is still speaking. “Wow,” I immediately thought, “Did she not just hear what I’ve been telling her?” But she went on to tell me that God has not left me.

At this point I wanted to fall on my face and break down, but she kept on. She even told me that she saw me as an eagle. An eagle? Eagles fly, eagles are majestic, eagles soar. I wasn’t soaring I was sinking. Yet she smiled and continued to prophesy life into my dry and dead bones. She ended the counseling session by reminding me that through God’s word I will be able to look in the mirror and see what God sees, Jesus in me.

That visit was nothing short of a miracle. I’m certain that had God not intervened through my friends and that therapist, I would have gotten further from His truth. I don’t know all that would have happened to me, but I can only imagine that it would not have been good. The scariest place in the world is being outside of His will, and I want to be right in the center of His will.

If you’ve ever lost your way, I’m here to tell you that He came to find you. You are no longer lost but found. You don’t belong to a lost way, you belong to His way. You belong to Him.

“I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick;” Ezekiel 34:16 (NKJV)

 

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This Thing Called Life by Trish

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There’s something about the seasons changing, specifically the transition of winter to spring and then spring to summer, that offers the hope of a new and bright beginning. Perhaps it’s the extra amount of sunshine in our day or the appearance of freshly bloomed flowers that have broken through the once frozen soil.

I’m very attentive to my surroundings and such things tend to lighten my day and increase anticipation of good things to be discovered within the new season.

Ironically enough, the joy that a new season brings can wear off quickly. What once held us awe-struck and filled with hope can be passed by with no second glance or thought as this has now become familiar.

Such is life… a new car, home, relationship, career, etc. The newness of each of these things can fill us with such a sense of happiness and gratitude as we celebrate the dawn of something new. But what happens when the newness of a thing wears off? Are our hearts filled with gratitude? Do we appreciate life for what it truly is with or without the “things”?

There appears to be a race in life, a race that drives us to the next biggest, newest and greatest thing. For each of us that “thing” is different. While I’m a firm believer in setting goals and dreaming big, I am also learning the value of taking time to smell the roses, well… for me, that would be gardenias. There is so much joy to be discovered in such little pleasures that we pass by each day.

As you embark on new endeavors and begin achieving those life goals, be ever mindful of the importance of remaining grateful and appreciating the fullness of all you are blessed with.

You may be a stay at home mom and at one time this was your greatest dream. Now, after the newness has worn off, some days feel as though your life is less than glamorous. You’ve traded your days of stilettos and red lipstick for flip-flops and topknot buns. Understand you’ve been given a gift in being the one who guides your children and setting the standard for how they will learn and develop in life. Don’t allow TV, social media or any other outside influence make you feel as though you have a less than perfect life just because your daily routine does not include a red carpet fashion fair.

Sometimes we don’t appreciate the warmth of the sun until we have days when all we see are clouds. So learn to live in the moment, take in what appears to be mundane and seek out the value of what each experience has to offer. Some of the greatest treasures  are found in the little things in this thing called life.

 

Photo Credit:ID 21102222 © Irinaroibu | Dreamstime.comMay

Joy Unspeakable by Sonya

 

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“God will live among us with great joy.” Zephaniah 3:17

 Having inner joy can only come from God! This is not a feeling we are talking about because happiness can fade away, but lasting joy comes from a relationship with our Heavenly Father. Only through Him we can have that unspeakable joy because if we focus elsewhere we won’t find it. We can search for that joy in relationships but you will come back empty unless it comes from a relationship with Christ, which is everlasting.

“The joy of the Lord is our strength” Nehemiah 8:10. This verse has been repeated over and over in my mind in the last months as close friends have family members fighting serious illnesses and even deadly cancer. I think, “How can we have joy in those moments?” but God says in His word, “Brothers and sisters whenever trials come your way consider it pure joy” James 1:2. That is not what came to mind when I found out the news of each of these friends. I thought why God? Why that person? Then God asked why not? We don’t determine who gets sick or gets cancer. God is the author of our life and He writes our story so who are we to question His will for someone’s life? Don’t get me wrong, it is normal to question and wonder why. God isn’t in the business to get us sick and create trials but He is in the business of character building and using these trials to grow and teach us things. As James goes on it says, “For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” James 1:3-4 Be strong and courageous and let God’s joy be your strength and don’t doubt or worry, but focus on Him during those hardships!

Unspeakable joy comes from those trials and understanding God is good all the time and realizing He has our best interest in mind when we face those situations and temptations as we follow Him. That is when we can stand strong and be full of His joy because that” is who we depend and lean on! “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again rejoice!” Philippians 4:4. Highlight the word “Always” in this verse because it is in the good times and bad times we are to rejoice and say, “God you are Good!” As you live in Christ Jesus and in Him alone this unspeakable joy will be with you wherever you go! So today rejoice say it again, “ Rejoice!”

 

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A Mother’s Love by Kenika

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 God is our Father, and we know that no one can love us more than He does. However in day-to-day life, most kids would classify their mother as the one who loves them the most. We think of mothers standing by their children no matter what. It’s the mothers that visit trials, make phone calls and send letters to the child on death row. It’s the mother that shows up when the kids have done something unspeakable. It is the mothers that give birth and never walk away, at least that is the general perception, of course not always being the absolute.

We celebrated Resurrection Sunday not too long ago and spent weeks talking about the life and death of Jesus. There is much to marvel about all that is involved with that, but as we approach Mother’s Day I can’t help but think about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Knowing that she gave birth to a child, immaculately mind you, and understanding that even though she nurtured Him, raised Him, and cared for Him, that she would also one day have to give Him up. I sympathize and advocate for adoption in cases where a mother doesn’t feel fit to raise a child, but I personally don’t understand it. It baffles my mind to have to muster up the amount of courage it would take to give your child up. The emotional turmoil would be too unbearable for me I think. Again, I am very proud of young ladies and women that make this decision for the good of the child, especially considering the alternative.

Back to Mary, she knew from the beginning that He was a gift from God that belonged to and would have to return to God. She was giving birth to a promise child, who came to save the people from their sins by offering His own life. I could go off on what Jesus did! However I am fascinated with the strength Mary had to demonstrate. Not only did she have to give her son up, she had to watch Him die. Why? Because it’s an instinct that (some) mothers have. She was there for His first breaths and stood by His whipped, beat, bloodied side as He gave up His last. She cheered Him on when He took His first steps and she looked on in agony as He approached Calvary for His last. There is something so impressive about a mother’s love.

It’s your tender love and care that can raise boys and girls to one day become influential men and women. It’s the support you provide that can produce world changers. It’s your attention to detail and your determination to “never let go” that give your kids the example to always believe. Nothing compares to the love of the Heavenly Father, but I would venture to say that the love of a good mother comes very close. To every mother who won’t ever give up, could never let go, and believes hope against hope in the greatness of her children, Happy Mother’s Day! Your love makes the world a much better place.

 

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