Welcome

I’ve been thinking.

Don’t laugh! I know what you might be saying! lolol… I do a LOT of “thinking”! ……As I have been speculating how many people have lost their homes, jobs, or on the verge, due to this long year of lockdown and strange circumstances we have lived with during Covid19. Even in our vibrant community, small businesses have struggled – some have shut down after years of building a wonderful rapport with the area.

Sad. Reality. Truth. How do we change and help?

There have been a few times in my life, when I knew of family who needed a place to stay. My husband and I agreed, since we had the space, even in the inconvenience of it all, they moved in with us while they got back on their feet. It’s what we are suppose to do. Yet, sadly, the majority of people don’t help – especially when it comes to having someone live with you. Why is that? What are people afraid of? Reality? Others might see how we live on the inside? Shame? Selfishness?

I’m afraid that our culture has become just that. Private. Never be inconvenienced.

As I pondered more on the subject, I realized that those who haven’t much to offer are the ones who will share the most. Those with the big houses, money, cars etc tend to keep their lives tidy within their agenda, not wanting anything to upheaval their schedule and lifestyle. Think about it…. other that throwing money at someone, do those you know help in big ways – ways that put their lives aside for the sake of someone else?

Here’s what God says about HOSPITALITY:

Acts 16 verse 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

BE JOYFUL when entertaining others. You are hosting angels in the midst of your company.

Luke 14 12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Dance with joy when you help others.

Luke 14 7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Be happy to help others
Joyfully sharing with others

The list can go on and on…. at the end of the day, ask God : Who can YOU help today? If someone is in need of a place to say, bring them in, give them food and a pillow. Help by sharing with wisdom and prayer while they get stronger and options open up. God will richly bless you more than you know!

Guest Blogger: Kelly Balarie

Kelly Balarie, Author of REST NOW is my VERY special guest today! Enjoy!

Recently, I met someone going through a hard time. God clearly put it upon my heart to set down my work and to pray with her. On the call, I listened to her heart. I allowed her to talk. The minutes ticked by, but I knew the invitation from God was for me to be present in her pain. This calling to love was clear.

At the end of the call she asked, “Kelly, can we be friends? I want to call you with my concerns and you can help me.”

I understood her heart; God had moved on the call. However, I also knew, I could not be her all-in-all. 

To be honest with myself is to say:

1. I do not have the space for a new best friend at this time.

2. I do not have the bandwidth with my family, with ministry and with all God has called me to

do — to venture into this woman &every problem. 

3. To love her this way, means I probably have scraps left-over to love my family in other ways. 

I told her: ‘I am sorry. I cannot have regular calls with you’.

I could feel her disappointment. Yet, she said, “I understand”.

After the call was done, the feelings of being a bad Christian; washed over me. 

Was I supposed to say yes, God? 

Am I selfish? 

Am I being self-centered? 

No. 

To reserve God’s love — to the person He is calling you to love — is to persevere in love.

Otherwise, I know how it goes… I’ll act passive-aggressive when all is said and done. I’ll

complain about who I had to love.  I’ll get upset at myself later for not saying no.

The burden to love is not always real love. Yet, as we are wise about: who we love, when we

love and how God is calling us to move out in love — we will live-out true love.

“If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed

all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:2)

Without real love, our acts mean nothing. We are left with nothing.

Are you truly loving? Or, are you striving and acting like you are loving? The beginning of true love starts with self-examination.

About “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy

If you feel overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Three out of five people admit to doing more than they can manage. Thinking God requires this, we say, ‘I must be everything to everyone.’ Then we struggle and feel selfish and guilty when we say no, grow weary, or snap at someone out of sheer exhaustion. Is this what God desires? Somewhere along the line of being a good Christian, wife, daughter, or friend we lose sight of who we are in Christ. We put our performance above God and who he says we are. But what if we chose a more soul-full way?

Rest Now offers permission to breathe. It exposes the lies that distract, tire, and bully us, so we don’t strive for rest but love from it, like Jesus did.

 Learn how to: 

– create boundaries that allow you to overflow with love

– say no so you don’t hate yourself later

– ditch passive-aggressive behaviors in favor of healthy conversations

– embrace permission-giving thoughts to create mental space for God

About Kelly Balarie

Kelly is a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She’s a get-on-the-gloves kind of

girl. By seeking God’s unending encouragement, she uncovers His deep callings right under the surface of her worst failings. Get all of Kelly’s Purposeful Faith blog posts by email for a dose of inspiration and encouragement. Kelly is a blogger at http://www.purposefulfaith.com, Crosswalk.com and iBelieve.com. Her work has been featured on Relevant and (in)courage.me, and as the cover story on Today’s Christian Woman.

Rest Now, Available on Amazon

Book Review of Rest Now by Kelly Balarie

This crazy busy society leaves no room to rest. Not just sleep rest, but peaceful rest. The sincere rest of the soul. How do we obtain that? Only with Christ.

Kelly offers us such a powerful, practical and sincere way to simply breath. To let go of the busy, performance mindset, to appreciate life to the fullest That can be tough. I lived through many seasons of total whacked out crazy tired, sometimes not so pretty times where I thought I might fall apart. That is not the way God intended for us to live.

There is a wholeness we gain through Christ, that offers a real rest. When we are joined with Christ, who is the Prince of Peace, we gain so much more than doing this life like a marathon race.

The Word of God offers us such wisdom on how to trust Him for peace.
When you run yourself to the ground, end up worn out and exhausted, Look to Him. He is the Master Peace Maker.

In the intro of the book, Kelly reminds us that we ALREADY have peace. We don’t have to achieve it. Nor wait for it. We do not earn it. We have it when we live in Christ.

Wouldn’t it be nice to really live life worry free, and trusting God more? Kicking anxiety to the curb, to be able to appreciate life in the now!?!? Ah, folks, we CAN have that.

Less overachieving creates a more peaceful mind. When we let God take the reigns, knowing He will guide us – IF we choose to truly LIVE IN HIM, oh……. it seems daunting, I get it! But wowza, the overflow of amazing love that flows through our soul and mind when we know our Daddy is in control. (—-> do you realize ….. y.o.u. aren’t really in control?). The more we strive, the more difficult life gets. Sigh. Been there. Done that. Ate the cake. Got sick from too much of too much of what I thought was a good thing! Big S.I.G.H. Time to breath in …. breath out. Now, sing : Let it Go, Let it GO. let it gooooooo. 🙂

Don’t allow others to control your schedule.

We need something more in life. NOT things… but ‘soul rest‘. #restnow

Acquiring more only leads to more work to maintain, and working harder to make more money for those things. God gives peace that passes all understanding. THAT is what we need. Philippians 4:7

One of my favorite parts of this book, each chapter ends in a prayer, and has focus questions for you to do personal reflections! We ALL need to take time to reflect and ask ourselves the hard questions. It’s the best way to make positive changes in our life. This book has so much more to it… please – if you are at your wits end, please please, please, go to Amazon now, and order your copy. Take time to read this book and allow God to make changes from the inside out. You’ll be glad you did!https://www.amazon.com/Rest-Now-Ways-Boundaries-Seize/dp/0801094976/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1YUEA614N1ELK&dchild=1&keywords=rest+now+kelly+balarie&qid=1601520664&sprefix=rest+now%2Caps%2C348&sr=8-1

Do any of you recognize this “Farrah Fawcett” comb from the 70’s?

The infamous Farrahhh Farrah Comb for feathered hair

The old adage, they don’t make things like they used ta, still holds true. I bought this comb back around 1977- ish- give or take a year, when I had the “Farrah Farrah” fluffy, layered long hair look.

The sturdy feathered hair comb from the 70’s

It worked for me. Not just the comb, but the hair style. Youthful, fun, wind in the hair flying in the air, like ya just don’t care! ~ good times ~ good memories and wonderful friends.

At one point in the early 80’s, I thought I lost this trusted comb. I had to succumb to buying a new one. One less sturdy, and yellow, (one of my least favorite colors). It just didn’t have the strength of my blue comb. (one of my favorite colors). Many months later, the blue comb came out of hiding; I don’t recall where it was located… but there was a bright ray of excitement when it surfaced. I could never get rid of this comb. It laid at the bottom of my treasure chest for years, when I decided to wear short hair. There was less tangling and need for such a big comb than in the Farrah days. I pulled this out of the chest the other day, and reminisced at those high school days, curling hair with girlfriends, the laughter, heartbreak and innocence.

This very many years later, I have decided to use it again, with medium length hair, it reminded me how life is when we trust in God.

God is the blue comb. Strong, mighty, unbreakable, and long lasting. Life, in its variables offers yellow combed seasons when we don’t feel so strong and secure.

I am glad I chose the “blue” combed lifestyle. Choosing to trust God during some difficult seasons in life helped me walk through it all. Endurance is key to this life. Never allowing the enemy to comb through our emotions and circumstances.

Be sure to hold on to God – he is a never ending help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1

Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

2 Corinthians 1:6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.

2 Corinthians 6:4Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;

1 Timothy 6:11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

Colossians 1:11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience

I write this story for you my friend. Never let go. God is with you. He is going to help – in the exact moment you need the answer, and when you release your arms to Him. He is a good good Father!

Father we thank you for memories that are sweet. Guide us when we feel lost, insecure and uncertain. We never want to let go of your grace, and knowledge that you will never let us fall too far you won’t save us!

Hope

0677 Red rose 2013

It’s been hot, here in Chicago this summer.

Currently, we are in the middle of the summers heat; temperatures are well into the nineties. The warmth rises from the depths of the ground.

I’m looking at the plant on my patio, realizing that it needs water every day throughout the summer; although I’m not a gardener, I’ve heard enough about the necessity of watering and how it needs to be taken place in the early hours of the morning and/or in the evening.

http://www.dbpbd.com

The timeframe is important, because if you water in the heat of the day, you can scorch the roots.

This made me think of how watering our soul is needed. In the middle of a difficult situation we too can be scorched by the words of people.

Layering harsh words can make the soul dry when added to other difficult situations that may have happened previously.

It simply adds more pain to our scars.

Speak life Here’s a great song by Toby Mac.

The Bible tells us, kind words, in the right moment can build someone up. Much like watering flowers at the right time will flourish the blooms, so they will continue to grow and open up to be beautified.

Let the roots go deep as you are watered by the Word of God.

Dig in. Dig deep.

Let the struggles of life grow you like an oak tree that is solid in its foundation. It won’t be moved when a storm comes because you stand firm in the good times and in the bad times.

You are on the right track if you’re wondering if you need to redirect, that’s OK! Because sometimes the detours in life blossom into the deepest part of our soul. Let the struggles of life grow you like that oak tree and become solid in the soul of your foundation. You will not be moved.

Are you going through some struggles or a difficult time right now?

Know that I’m sending you words of encouragement right now. Speak life into yourself. How? By speaking God’s word into your mind and soul. Pray for God to fill you up. He will!

Remember, God loves you right where you’re at. Even if you’re in the midst of the deepest darkest pit of your life, he’s with you and he loves you and he wraps his arms around you like a Daddy would.

You have life to the fullest, my friend.

Below is a set of scriptures that talk about speaking life, and the power of the tongue. I hope you will grab your journal, or a pad of paper. Take an hour and pray as you read the scriptures — write them out. Let God heal you from past words spoken over you.

I’d love to hear back from you to let me know how the healing power of Christ has helped you!

I sit at the table this morning, the screen door open to enjoy fresh air. I’m listening to the birds sing and fluttering all around. It’s was a late start to spring, and now summer is near end. The promise of green will be turning shades of orange soon. The weather forces us to be patient, appreciate and stop to smell the roses.

Listening to the sounds of nature is and can be relaxing. My thoughts brought me to the current chaos in our world and community. Corona Virus/ C19, has brought out the worst in people. Yet some folks are kinder and softer spoken as we either use our fight or flight mechanisms, to realize we have to wait this one out. But for how long? We do not know. Will the stuff hit the fan until January 2021, after the elections are over? Will it end by summer… or fall? The ‘what’ questions are endless. We have never seen such a “thing” as this happen before.

In the midst of so much fear and anger, I am at peace. I hear the birds sing, and am reminded that God tells us do not worry about this life. (Worry is a sin, after all, let’s not forget we don’t lean onto our own understanding, but must have the faith of our forefathers, who have been through it all. I

I am reminded every day, how Ecclesiastes tells us, there is NOTHING new under the sun. What we are going through are the same pangs and issues that were happening 2000 years ago. It all just goes by a different day and different name.

Autumn comes to allow things to settle.

How do we get through this without frustration, impatience or intolerance? …..Rely on God.

Psalm 119:114 (NIV) You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

What a ROCK we rely on. God is the place and the person we can be assured will be with us, even when times get tough. Stand firm. Do not waiver. Be still and know He is God. He will move and change when the appropriate time arrives. Until then, love your family. Kiss your kids a whole lot. Play games, laugh, have fun and take this laid back time to appreciate the blessings in your life. Enjoy the moment. For what it is. You are safe and secure. Praise God for that today.

Summer was…. it’s almost over… we will get through this.

These have been stressful days.

I have seen many comments, memes and blogs wanting a do over for 2020.

Interesting, isn’t it? Many of us had visions of just that: 2020 – you know.. like eyesight. If you wear glasses, as I have for fifty years now, I dream of having 2020 vision. Oh, just to wear an option cute sun glass now and again, without NEEDING clarity with those things on the bridge of my nose. Sigh. I will digress if I continue down this bunny trail! ( I say with a smile).

Let’s go back to the title that probably drew you into check out what I had to say.

Sometimes, I just like to keep it simple. Enjoy life. Can we? Yes I do believe we can.

I made a small list of suggested things to help calm your weary mind. Take the stress from the craziness in this world gone bad. Would you like to just take 20 days, and do one suggestion each day… take action: even if it be only 20 minutes a day. (get it? 2020).

for you.

breath again.

be refreshed again.

Say yes. Make this simple plan.

Enjoy the cluster of photos, grab this list. (hint take a phone shot, that way it’s with you no matter where you go).

I’d love to hear back from you; let me know how many days you took time to refresh, reflect and renew. You might gain 2020 vision again – for the better!

Remember to love.

God rewards us when we share love.

Enjoy your pet today. They adore the attention!

Remember the song by Bobby Vinton? Red Roses for A Blue Lady. It’s a sad song, but fitting for two points on the list. Music, and flowers. Both will lift us up out of the blues for the day.

Enjoy the blue skies and beautiful leaves on the trees.

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via http://www.dbpbd.com

Sticky

God keeps me safe, not matter the chaos in life. I am safe. I am secure.

It is not by my works, but with a willingness to follow Him, I will be obedient.

He keeps me. Alive. Fulfilled. I lack for no good thing.

I will obey God in all I do.

He preserves me.

He has my life in His hands.

God is faithful. He holds me close to his bosom.

I will praise the Lord – with my soul.

I am faithful to God – because he has been faithful to me, before I was in my mothers womb.

I am purified by the Blood of Jesus. Whole. Blameless.

God has set me on secure ground, and on high places. He guards me with his angels, who go before me, keeping me safe.

God delivers me from evil.

Psalm 23

To this, I sing Praises to the King.

I say Yes and Amen to his promises.

Yes and Amen is what God says when I lean into HIS word and trust Him with all of me.

In these times of restlessness and evil bouts of hatred across the world. Sickness threatens our being by the organizations that may have an agenda.

But we stand secure. With God. We stand. No fear. Only live in Hope and Faith. We stand on His Word. We praise him in the storms of life. We pray without ceasing. We love God. We trust Him. We lean on him, and ask his wisdom for what to do. We love, even when it’s hard.

God, you know all things. We trust fully in your plan. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. We, your people have the land. It belongs to us, because you said you’d take it from the wicked and give to the righteous. We / I am your righteous child. I am yours. Imperfect, but holy, because of the blood of Jesus that lives in me.

I love you Jesus. I will lay my head down to sleep tonite, and rest in your arms, keeping me safe all the days of my life. You plan my moments. You are mine and I am yours. Praise Your holy name. I say this, trusting you bring me through like a shining star. Amen.

Verse mapping and diagraming scripture!