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!

Letting Go by Sonya

Can anyone relate that this time of year is hard? School starting up again and not ready to let go of my four kids going off to school. They are entering in 9th grade, 7th grade, 4th grade, and 2nd grade this fall made me think how fast time is going. We had an amazing summer and made so many memories together as a family that when school comes it is so hard to let them go. I am honored to be a stay at home mom so that means being with them each and every day which makes it harder to see them go off to school and gone all day.    I now have a freshman in high school and that just makes things become more real that time is going fast and I don’t have much longer with her at home and only a few more summers too!  I thought each year would get easier but it is harder letting go knowing that how fast they are growing up. You want time to stop as a mom and if your in my shoes you know the feelings and emotions that go with it.​

God has reminded me to turn to Him to carry me through this time. Also God is helping me understand the journey in letting go so He can use them in mighty ways. That is my prayer for my kids to be a “light” in the schools and be God’s vessels. I feel God gently nudging me to get out of the way so He can use their gifts and talents for His glory. Detaching is hard and doesn’t come easy especially as your kids get older since they don’t need you as much. As mom, in some way want to feel needed and wanted by your kids.  So I am learning to let go and slowly give them their independence. It is not easy but with my faith, God is guiding me through each stage.

​Lastly , don’t underestimate the power of prayer because prayer is what gives me peace when they are at school that God is taking care of them. We prayed for certain teachers for our kids and God answered our prayer and we got the teachers and some friends they wanted in their class. So remember to pray for your children and remember who is taking care of them and protecting them. God will be strong in you as a mom and be the protector for your kids. Don’t forget, Joshua 1:9 ” Have I not commanded  you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”​​

Face Time by Bombi

It’s the end of a busy work day and my husband and I decide to grab a quick sandwich from the local sub shop. As soon as we start to eat I notice the table next to us. There’s a father with his two adorable sons. A few minutes pass, no one says a word. 10 minutes pass, still nothing. By the time we finish eating barely anything was said.

What was wrong with this picture? No-one seemed mad or upset. There was no tension in the air. Dad was on his phone, scrolling away. Teenage son was texting, and the little one was on his pad watching a movie. I wondered if there was something missed. What if teenage son was worried about his test at school earlier that day? What if little one had learned something new from his teacher to share? What if dad had something meaningful to say, even encouragement to give to his sons? But there were no conversations happening at that table. 

So of course I start thinking about growing up and how other than a little television set, there were no other technological distractions around our dinner table. Matter of fact my parents intentionally left the t.v. off because it was important to them to hear about our day. They wanted to offer moments of guidance, and yes they wanted to encourage us if the moment arose. Even if we were eating out, no old school Gameboys to pass the time. It’s sad to think that this is now becoming some type of ancient practice, but face to face conversations still matter today as much as it did yesteryear. Nothing can replace it. 

The same goes for our relationship with God. Nothing can replace just talking to Him directly or spending time in His presence. No vlog, or blog, or social media post about our love for Him can take its place. I’m saying this to you and to me, don’t forget to interact face-to-face with the ones you love. Don’t forget about the original and actual “Face Time”. The next time you’re tempted to zone out at the dinner table take a moment to remind yourself, “I can never have this moment again. I can make this moment memorable with the ones I love because they are worthy of my full attention.” The world can call it ancient practice but we know it’s essential to an abundant life. 

Star Wars

Our modern-day culture is saturated with celebrities in every form. From the entertainment industry to politics and yes, even the church. We’ve sacrificed authentic relationships for superficial associations with people of notoriety and called them our “besties” because they struck a pose with us for the sake of the gram.

 I’m not saying it’s bad to admire, honor or even celebrate people who have achieved greatness. What I AM saying is that we should not idolize and chase after fame. 

We’ve trailed behind the footsteps of those seemingly important for the possibility of the attention they may give or endorsement they could provide like a dog seeking water to cool its tongue in summer’s hottest temperatures. 

As if that weren’t bad enough, innocent people have been stepped over and stepped on so to create a ladder to move closer to higher position and people of rank.

In other words, we’ve become “star struck”. We’ve created idols of people we THINK are important and by any means necessary done whatever it takes to look like, become or at best be “friends” with them.  And so now we have this war of chasing the stars. 

Remember the saying “Keeping Up with the Jones”? First of all, who is this “Jones Family” and who’s to say that while it may seem on the outside they have it all together, their lives could be falling down quicker than pantyhose at the end of a long day and yet we are trying to keep up with something that isn’t even real or furthermore FOR US! And if they really DO have it going on, good for them…we don’t know the sacrifices they’ve made to achieve this!

Somewhere a lie was believed that if looked a certain way, achieved a specific level in life and filled our social calendar with the “who’s who’” list, we have arrived. But arrived where? Chasing stars or stardom is exhausting and never-ending. What satisfaction does it bring at the end of the day knowing you have to start all over again the next morning?

 In so many attempts to be seen, recognized or validated, countless opportunities are being missed to become your authentic self, build meaningful relationships and create a culture that truly is Christ-centered. 

What does the Word say about this and what principles can we apply to our lives to protect ourselves from seeking validation from others or chasing stardom? 

Kingdom principles work opposite of the world’s system.

The world says to take and make sure you have what you need. The WORD says give. In fact, the Word says if you give to the poor you will not know lack! (Proverbs 29:27)

When the world does give they will boast about the good that has been done. The WORD says that the right hand should not let the left hand know what it is doing. When you brag on what you do, you’ve just reduced your reward to the notice taken from those you shared it with. (Matthew 6:3)

The world chooses honor those of fame. The Word teaches us to honor those who are nameless and helpless. (Luke 14:13)

If you want to achieve true greatness, learn to be a servant and clothe yourself in humility.

Luke 14:11 

11 For whoever exalts himself will be [a]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Stop people-pleasing and star-chasing. Serve to please God and seek Him only. Why chase the stars when you have the attention of the SON?

Hebrews 11:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligentlyseek Him.