Category Archives: Safety

Despite the Storm

The western sky gives up it’s last shades of summer evening light as twilight steals across the land covering the earth with darkness. A sliver of a moon appears for a short time, then disappears as storm clouds began to form in the northern sky.

Thunder begins to rumble and lightening streaks illuminate the night sky. In place of the gentle breeze that was barely rustling the leaves, there is now a strong wind blowing dust and trash across the land.

Within minutes, the thunder intensifies, the lightening streaks become more frequent and the wind continues to rise and within seconds the Storm is upon us in all its fury, raindrops pelting against the windows, and the wind causing the house to shake ever so slightly.

As I stand by the window and watch the above scene unfold, I know that if I were to dare venture outside, I would be soaked within moments of being in the elements of this storm. Suddenly, something catches my eye in the branches of the tree right next to the window. Somehow amidst the branches that are being blown to and fro violently, in the storms fury, I catch a glimpse of a bird’s nest with something in it.

Within moments the rain and wind slowed ever so slightly and I was able to see a mama bird peacefully sitting on her nest, faithfully keeping her young ones safe, no fear of the Storm.

So my friends, what could this mean for us individually? My mind is drawn to Psalm 91 and how the writer of that particular psalm may have possibly been facing tremendous storms that could have taken his life, yet he knew that in abiding in the presence of Jesus, there is safety, no matter the winds and rain.

“He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler” -Psalms 91:4

So as that mama bird upon her nest, peacefully waiting out the Storm, her nest obviously was well made and fastened properly to that branch. What is our foundation? Is it in the Father, knowing that no matter what the Storm, you are safe in His presence?

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You”
-Isaiah 26:3

Advertisements

Africa-Part 3

In Kenya, April is one of the months of the rainy season there, not to mention it rained almost daily while we were there. The mud was a constant challenge, but it added plenty of adventure to our African experience.

That Wednesday morning, we awoke to the sound of rain, so we waited until mid forenoon to head out, and still it was raining, so we had our first supermarket experience and each member of the team got a pair of boots, because there was mud everywhere.

Eventually we were on the road, heading back to the Masai village where we were to have a church service. It truly was a trip, we will never forget. Nine people packed into a vehicle (in Kenya there’s always room for one more), and once we hit the dirt roads the adventure began as we slid all over the muddy road, with 3 to 4 foot gullies on either side of the road.

We got stuck a number of times, I eventually lost track of how many times we got out and walked, the sticky mud slowing our walking progress. We were determined to not give up and about 4 hours after we first began the journey we reached our destination; tired, sweaty and covered in mud. We were served coffee and refreshments, then later a meal, by our dear African sister Ann, who served us so well. ❤

Our destination was a church in this particular Masai village and driving up to it, I didn’t see exactly what I expected but in that building was a service unlike I have ever experienced in my life. The building itself could not have been more then 14-16 feet wide and maybe 32 feet long, but it held over 250 adults plus all the darling children.

In this building is where I got my first experience of African worship, it was so amazing, God did incredible things there❤ Some of the girls on the team got to dress up as the Masai ladies do, plus we all got Masai jewelry, which is absolutely beautiful.

We had the opportunity to pass ou candy and some small gifts to the children, seeing their faces as each one was presented with something was incredible to see.

We then headed back to our hotel for the evening, this time we didn’t get stuck, although there was still so much mud everywhere. I am convinced the enemy was desperately trying to deter us from going. Praise God🙌 he was defeated and God did incredible things in each of our hearts and lives.

That evening as the team debriefed over the delightful evening meal they prepared for us, we all agreed our faith was strengthened, because of the experiences we had through the mud and mire on the road that day.

Below is a video that one of our incredibly talented team members did, and if you want a great visual of what all took place, please watch it 😊

https://youtu.be/d6ZgOCyIMzY

“Mama”

First I want to honor each and every Mother that reads this. And let me start by saying this, you are Amazing! Motherhood is a very high calling, not only are you training the next generation of the church, but you are raising godly men and women who will impact the world. The level of serving and dedication you put into being a mother, truly is changing the world!

Thank you for serving and loving your family well! I know there have to be days you literally almost fall over from exhaustion, because you feel like you have given every last drop you ever had within you, but the next morning you are back up and going with renewed energy and a rejuvenated spirit. You are such an example of Jesus! Thank you! I pray blessing and a fresh annointing from the Father over you!

To every Mother, who hears “Mama,Mama” multiple times of day and it feels like your supply of patience and grace have been completely emptied and sucked dry. Thank you! Thank you for taking the time to minister to every need your child has, I promise you, it will make a difference in their life, even if you never get thanked for it. I pray the Father would give you even greater levels of grace for each day that is difficult! “His Grace is Sufficient”

Thank you for keeping things running smoothly at home, while your husband is working to provide for his family. Thank you! All the behind the scenes things you faithfully do, that noone ever thanks you for, like the toilet paper ministry, as I call it (you know, always changing the empty roll to a new one). The delicious meals you prepare to nourish your family, the endless stacks of dishes you wash and the never ending loads of laundry you wash and fold on a weekly basis. Thank you, for being willing to do all the things that don’t get noticed, yet you serve willingly and well!

Thank you for pouring into your children’s lives daily, for encouraging the gifts that you see rising in them. Thank you for nurturing each one of the souls that were granted into your care. Thank you for loving the ones who are away from their Mama! ❤

From the bottom of my heart, I again say Thank you! And I pray that the Father would pour out abundant blessings upon you as a Mother, that you could continue to serve and love well. ❤

The Hurt and The Healer

It was early morning, the stars were still shining, the moon so full and bright, and the first light of dawn was just coloring the eastern horizon. All was peaceful and quiet, but that was about to be shattered!

Inside The house, a young lady was fast asleep, but suddenly she awoke with a start! Almost Breathless by the pain and the intense ache she felt within her heart, a pain unlike she had ever felt before! Whatever was this and what could possibly be happening to her? As she lay there, quite uncertain what could be happening, the tears began to stream down her young face.

The pain was so real and so intense! Her chest felt like it had a gaping, raw wound that was steadily growing larger as her heart was ripped from her body, shredded into millions of pieces and then demolished completely with the biggest and heaviest piece of equipment in the world.

The tears continued and so did the questions. What was happening? Why this intense ache and pain deep within? How could she possibly go on? What about the shattered pieces of her heart that were hardly recognizable as the life-giving organ it was intended to be? What good could come from any of this?

Through the tears and pain she heard the Father speaking to her, in the most gentle and loving voice; “Daughter, will you allow Me to Heal? Will you trust me with the shattered pieces? Will you accept my Love?”

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
~Psalms 34:18

Totally spent of all energy and battle weary, she spoke a barely audible, “Yes” and that very instant she felt the presence of the FATHER! It was so real and she felt the Father’s LOVE embracing her. In that embrace, she felt Loved, Secure and at rest. A rest so beautiful, so full of peace, and so refreshing. As she drifted off to sleep, she felt strong arms ever so gently rocking her.

Brothers and sisters, we all have had things happen to us that cause hurts, pain, and scars. I know it sounds scary to walk through those painful things, in fact some of them are so painful that we have locked them into this little room in our heart and have vowed to never let anyone see it.

May I encourage you, there is a Healer that can heal every painful wound that we have There is a great Physician that can make ALL things new, even the most shattered and broken parts within us!

Will you allow Him to have the key to that room within your heart that has been locked for so long? Will you allow Him to hold you as you walk through that pain and find freedom?

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord , thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
~Jeremiah 29:11

The Father loves you❤

“I am not a theologian or a scholar, but I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary to all of us. In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God” ~Elliott

The Rose

It’s the close of day, the Gardner strolls through His Garden, His eye upon each plant, each blossom and each new bud. He keeps close watch on His rose garden, for it is His Masterpiece.

As He strolls along, He notices a bud, about to burst forth into full bloom. Immediately He stops, checking the structure of the plant, giving it life giving water, adding some extra love(fertilizer) to aid in it reaching its full potential.

“The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change: Yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is” ~Coelho

Each rose and each new bud in this garden is so special to the Master and He will do whatever it takes to help it reach it’s full potential, whether that be through pruning or transplanting, each step of the process will be done with Love❤

The following morning as the sun rises, the Gardner enters His Garden once more and begins his morning stroll, admiring the works of His Hands, but suddenly He notices something very startling, for where there was a clean swept path before, there are now wilted petals lying along the path he is walking, so he follows the trail and the sight that meets his eye is horrifying!

The very bud, that was about to burst into full bloom the night before, is Gone! And upon further inspection, it appears hands crushed it, because where there had been potential beauty, there was now utter destruction. Not only was the bud completely gone, the plant itself was already wilted and it looked like life was gone.

The Gardner sprang into immediate action! With the gentlest and most loving hands he picks up the pieces, the broken, the wilted and the crushed. He begins to breathe Life, mending each wounded part, and the pieces that seemed so devoid of life begin to start changing from dark to beautiful. What had been crushed, began to be restored and come back into alignment. Color and life begin to come forth, and as the Master continues His work, the bud begins to show signs of blossoming once again.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord , thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”
~Jeremiah 29:11

With the Master’s gentle and loving care, the blossom begins to open and a flower emerges, a rose more beautiful then ever blooms. Its stem stronger then before, its roots deeply rooted, and its colors more vibrant then ever before, it is the proof that despite the destruction, the Master redeems and restores Everything, even to deeper levels then before.

My brothers and sisters, the Master’s Garden is the earth and we are the roses! And you are not reading this by mistake, because this message is for you!

“Of one thing I am perfectly sure of, God’s Story never ends with Ashes” ~Elliott

We all have a heart, a spirit and emotions, and unfortunately we all have hurts and pain, and each of those hurts affect us emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Will you allow the Father to gather the broken pieces of your heart, your spirit and your emotions? Will you allow Him to hold you in His loving hands? To restore what is broken and shattered?

He delights in making beauty from the ashes! He restores! He redeems!

“And provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor” ~Isaiah 61:3

“Fear Not”

•Fear• an unpleasant emotion caused by belief that someone or something is dangerous, be afraid of, painful, threatening

My friend, have you ever been so afraid, so scared that you literally trembled in your shoes? Maybe it was something the Father was asking you to do, and you were positive you could not do it, and the Spirit of fear took over, because it was just too scary and out of the box for you.

My brother, my sister, let me remind you of something:You Are Not Alone! Just listen to the words in Isaiah:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~Isaiah 41:10

Now let the words penetrate your heart, soul and spirit, allow them to take root in your heart!

Did you know Fear is actually, False Evidence Appearing Real? See, it even spells fear! And here’s something else to consider, when something is false, that means it’s not true!

Is it any wonder that the phrase, Fear Not, appears in the Bible 365 times? A new promise for Every Day of the Year! I believe that the FATHER knew that fear was going to be a struggle for all of us, and if we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that we struggle with fear. Yes, I know that’s not an easy thing to do, but when you admit something, you recognize that there is a problem and there is tremendous freedom in that.

So in this very moment, Where ever you are, whatever you are facing! REMEMEBER! The FATHER is on your side and He is saying, “My Child, I am with You! You are Not Alone!”

Even now, as I am writing this, I am reminding my own heart to not be Afraid, but to take the Father’s hand, and allow Him to lead me, because the Father has asked me to do some things that are scary and my heart wants to be fearful, but I will not walk in fear, but in freedom! My spirit is encouraged by the words in Isaiah,

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” ~Isaiah 43:19

Finally, my friends, Rejoice! Rejoice in the fact that you are not alone and that we serve a God who is mightier then any mountain you may face! He loves you unconditionally and your Name is written in the palm of His hand🖐❤

Rest in His Arms, allow Him to hold you, still your heart and feel His Love❤

Because of Him!

Vinny

Isaiah 40

Have you found yourself wondering just how you were going to do that one specific thing, one more time? Or that thing you are currently facing, you know it’s just about to be a reality and you know it’s going to a tough climb?

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.” -Isaiah 40:28

Brother and Sisters, Rejoice! Our Father does not weary! He is the Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the end of the earth. He created the trees, the water, the animals and He created you and I, and He will Not leave us! He understands our struggles, our problems and etc., He understands so well, that our humans minds can not possibly grasp how much He cares and understands what we are going through.

“He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall.”
-Isaiah 40:29‭-‬30

Take Heart, dear friends! The Father knows our physical bodies get weary, that’s why He gives us Strength to keep on going, even when times are hard and the Storm is raging.

“But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” -Isaiah 40:31

Oh my heart leaps with Joy at these words! But those who wait upon the Lord, shall renew their Strength… Such beautiful words of Life and Comfort!

“…the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by his letting us have our way in the end, but by his making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly pray what he taught his disciples to pray: Thy will be done.” -Elliott

Whatever season of life you are in, May the Father give you supernatural strength and courage to keep on walking forth.

“You are loved with an everlasting love. And underneath are the everlasting arms.” -Elliott

He Will

Cover- conceal, hide, protect, secure,to muffle

Refuge- shelter, safety, protection from danger

Faithfulness- loyal in affection, constant, reliable

The Holiday season is nearly upon us and for some it is a joyous, delightful time, yet for others it is a season that is difficult and my prayer is that you would comfort in the words below.

“God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.”

-Spurgeon

Some of you are anticipating the holiday season, yet there is a pain in your heart, a loss that is so keenly felt. It may be the first, third or fifth holiday season without that dear loved one, whom the Father has taken home. Oh my friend, my heart hurts for you and the cry of my heart is that you would find REFUGE in the arms of “Jehovah-Rophe” The Lord who Heals you. -Exodus 15:26 I pray that the Father would give you an abundant portion of Grace and Strength through this holiday season.

For some of you, this season of waiting and learning to TRUST, isn’t exactly where you thought you would find yourself this holiday season. Oh my friends, it is my prayer that even in this season of Learning to Trust, that the Faithfulness of the Father would be more real to you than ever before. Just listen to these words: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
-Lamentations 3:22‭-‬24

For some of you the Holiday season is one you tend to dread, whether it be becausr of strained family relationships, your own life status, or whatever the case may be. Oh my friend, you ARE NOT ALONE! The Father sees, hears and feels your pain, He’s gently knocking on the door of your heart, asking, “will you allow me to heal those wounds, mend those relationships and carry that burden?” I pray that you would feel the COVERED by the Love of the Father unlike ever before. He Loves you and just let these words bring Comfort and Healing to your heart. “And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
-2 Corinthians 6:18

And in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place. Deuteronomy 1:31

“No faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs through adversity. Tested faith brings experience. You would never have believed your own weakness had you not needed to pass through trials. And you would never have known God’s strength had His strength not been needed to carry you through.” -Spurgeon