To Whom Much Is Given by Kenika

Fall is typically the time in which we focus on the changing of the seasons
and the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Thanksgiving is a time where we reflect on how
grateful we are to have family and friends and all the blessings of God. As I
reflect on what it means to be thankful for what’s been given, I am reminded of
Luke 6:48 (NKJV), “…For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will
be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the
I have asked God for a lot over the years.  Whether it was for finances,
healing, career choices, family issues or matters of the heart, I have not been shy
with my requests.  Never realizing that the more that was given to me, the more
would be required of me.  So many times we ask for more of anything, you name
it, but hardly every realize the great responsibility that goes along with it.
Regardless of the responsibility we remain grateful for the gifts that God gives,
however as we are reflecting on His incredible generosity, it is not a bad idea to
think of ways that we too can give back.  The verse says that to whom much is
given much is required, but it doesn’t say the same is required in return. We
could never repay God on our best day. After all, what value can you place on
salvation, victory, deliverance, stability, peace, or healing? We could never in a
million years match God’s level of giving, however, I do believe that we can be
inspired by His gifts to give at our particular level.
God loved us so much, that He gave us His very best as an expression  (John 3:16).
With this He presented us with a model on giving to others.  Give
your very best.  We are blessed more than we acknowledge or realize, and
especially in comparison to some others who have much less than we do. We
have been given much, and during this season, and for the rest of our lives, we
should always have in mind the requirement to give back.
God has given us a beautiful and unflawed system for giving and
receiving. Some of the most generous people on the planet are also some of the
wealthiest people on the planet.  Calculations can be made to determine the truth
of that statement, but I would venture to say that the wealth of the incalculable
(love, time, relationships) could be found with those most generous as well.    No
matter what you’ve been given as a gift the more of it you have, the more will be
required of you.  This holiday season remain grateful and thankful for the needs
God has met in your life and be willing and obedient to the Word of God that
requires us to give because we have first been given.

How Children Shape Us by Sonya

God has been teaching me a lot about myself through parenting. I really thought that my
main focus in parenting was that God was going to use me to shape and mold my kids
and I was going to teach them everything about God.  Boy was I wrong because when I
started parenting I realized they were actually teaching me things about myself. Don’t get
me wrong, yes we want to raise our children to know the Lord and shape their character,
but there is much more to it.
My four children have taught me to be selfless, patient, wise, loving, kind and respectful
and the list goes on. They have shown my weaknesses on a daily basis and how I fail
every day in parenting. God’s grace and love gets me through each day. He strengthens
my character and shapes my soul on a daily basis.  He shapes my soul into being a
woman of God that is devoted to prayer and in His word. I could not parent if I was not in
the word and praying. Each day God has to be at the center and putting Him first allows
my day to go so much smoother.
I am a more mature Christian by being a parent because I realize the act of parenting is
sacrificial and it allows me to see a glimpse of God’s wonderful sacrifice for us all. The
parental sacrifice that Paul speaks of: “Children should not have to save up for their
parents, but parents for their children. So I will very gladly spend for you everything I
have and expend myself as well.” (2 Corinthians 12:14-15)  This is Christ’s sacrifice Paul
is amazed by: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in
me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave
himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) These verses allow me to reshape my thinking about
parenting and how sacrificing our time and energy into our children truly shapes our
character in becoming more Christ like. It tunes us into God’s sacrifice and how He lives
in us through our parenting and as we draw closer to HIM, our children will see His face
in us. This understanding shapes our souls and allows our children to mold us by the
everyday tasks of parenting.
At the end of the day, I want to hear “Well done good and faithful servant” from God.
My youngest daughter says to me almost every day, “Mommy, you are the best parent,”
and I feel God smiles down at me at that moment letting me know that no matter the
mistakes I made that day I am deeply loved by the God of the universe and this 4 year old
girl. It melts my heart and opens my eyes to the spiritual formation that God is using
parenting to make me more holy and shape my soul.


Gratitude- An Antidote For Pride by Trish


It’s that time of year when the fall season is in full effect. The leaves are turning
beautiful colors of rich hues and the crisp feeling in the air invites us to adorn
ourselves with fun boots and scarves.  If you’re anything like me you have a
cinnamon or pumpkin scented candle burning at all times so the house actually
says with its warm flavor in the air… “Fall has arrived”.
In case you couldn’t tell by my descriptive opening …I LOVE FALL. The reasons
above are just highlights but at the core of this season is a time dedicated to being
grateful. I would like to think that we are capable of counting our blessings not just
during this season but all year long.
However with a holiday marked on the calendar and family gatherings soon to be
underway, we can’t help but be presented with the thoughts of what we are truly
grateful for.
The heart of gratitude serves so many purposes in life. I believe gratitude is one of
the greatest antidotes against the issue of pride.
Recently I had the opportunity to spend just a few moments with one of my youth.
He is an incredibly talented actor, director and model at such a young age. He has a
great opportunity that he’s preparing for and as he began to share, he said he felt
this door had opened to him because he allowed God to deal with pride in his heart.
There had been hidden traces of pride that he felt held him back from doing more.
What a profound statement from such a young leader! When you remove pride from
your heart, you make room for greater blessings!
In our efforts to achieve great things and accomplish goals it can be easy to be
lifted up in pride when such things have been completed. Gratitude brings us back
to the point of realizing that behind every success was someone who helped us
along the way AND a gracious God that gave us the strength and talent to achieve
such things.
When your heart is full of gratitude it causes you to be “others minded”. You have a
sense of endearment toward those who have paved a road for you to walk on.
Gratitude takes the focus off of you and places your appreciation in proper
As you gather around family dinner tables this holiday season, I encourage you to
be mindful of the faces seated around you and appreciate the contribution they
have made to your life. Tell them with your words and show them with your actions.
Serve with gratitude and as a wise young man reminded me, watch the
opportunities that come your way when you deal with any pride you may have in
your heart.
Happy THANKSgiving!



God’s Got This by Bombi


As a kid, you may remember growing up hearing the cheers of your parents or teachers telling
you “don’t give up” or “good job!” Maybe you were never encouraged. Perhaps you experienced
the exact opposite and were only told horrible things or simply ignored. I believe people are born
with a need for encouragement and affirmation, yet so many go without and become adults with
broken hearts who somehow need to make it in the world, determined to pull themselves up “by
their own boot straps”. Even commercial messaging surrounds us speaking to our desire to
purely self-motivate, as we hear them say “Just do it”, “We can do it”, and the newly popular “You
got this”.

For many when we come to Christ we find it very hard to shed this self-reliant life. Although we have received Christ in our hearts, we have yet to truly surrender our brokenness so we can find affirmation and significance in Him. We have yet to become God-reliant. However, once you are a Christian you no longer call the shots, God does. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that “we walk by faith, not by sight.” We know that there are places we need to go in life and things we need to do that will take great strength and great faith. There are bridges to cross that our own two feet and self-reliance will not get us over. We need faith in Christ. We need God’s power to give us wings to fly. However, the longer we keep our perceived grip of control on the wheel of our lives, we will continue to drive ourselves in ditches all the while telling ourselves, “I got this”.

I want to encourage you today to take a look at the socially accepted mantras and quotes of our day and challenge them with the word of God. As you examine your heart and your walk, see if there are ways in which you’ve adopted the disillusionment and lie that you can be both a Christian and the boss of your own life. I want to take you back to the scripture that trumps all mantras. Commit to memory once again;

(Philippians 4:13 (NKJV), “I can do all things *through Christ* who gives me strength.”

Yes you can do it, but only through Christ. Despite the strides you’ve made on your own and all by yourself, you don’t “got this” God’s got this. God and His word will encourage you like no coach, parent, spouse, or teacher ever will. When you realize this, you can open your arms in surrender and take flight.