Happy 3rd day of 2018 dear reader!
I want to take a moment to thank God for these people He has placed in my life. He allowed me to meet them (each of them for His glory and for a reason) as He has used His hand to order my footsteps for His will for my life: from 2018 and beyond! 🙂
~”In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”~1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV~
In 2016, God planted a seed within me. It gave birth in Lebanon and took off in the United States and beyond. I went to Lebanon with my home church for a short term missions trip. I served with a team of six and did ministry with refugee children and families there. Each person on my team inspired me (Dave, Kim, Valhalla, Deborah, and Jeri)———-each in many and different ways as this was my first missions trip and being away from the United States. Each of them taught me and showed me who God was in different ways and I am thankful to Him that the hand of God’s Holy Spirit used each of these people to touch my life. 🙂
Dave led devotionals and gave each of us a turn to lead devotionals. I thank God for Dave because his leadership was a skill that I learned and that God allowed his leadership to be passed on from him to me as I became a leader for others around me (even as I started writing this blog in 2016 as a way to encourage others through the good and bad times of my life). I thank God for Dave because if it were not for him leading the team, I would not have been inspired to lead others and inspire them through my writing in these blogs, both as a testimony and a witness of Jesus Christ for everyone to see and know His character. Kim inspired me too. She encouraged me with a Scripture from 2 Timothy 1:7 as me, Valhalla, Dave, and I took a walk, admiring the beauty of Lebanon that God created it to be: from its hills, to its mountaintops, and little houses and flowers along the sides of its roads. The Word of God states in 2 Timothy 1:7: “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” After hearing these words from Kim, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit speaking these words from that Scripture to me thorough her. I felt empowered afterwards and is the reason why I thank God for Kim.———because she taught me to walk in step with the Spirit, even as we were taking that particular walk on that day with other members of the team. 🙂
~”The Lord gives strength to his people, the Lord blesses his people with peace.”~Psalm 29:11, NIV~
Valhalla planted a seed and unlocked within my heart my love for children and children’s ministry (a passion that I did not realize I had further until I went to Japan for a short term missions trip for two months in 2017 and taught/did life with the children there! 🙂 ) I have a deep respect for this woman, mainly because she does children’s ministry so well, as I observed in Lebanon. I remember one time when she gave a very large hug to a refugee child when we had the game day with the refugee children.———this warmed my heart because I saw Jesus through this woman.————-loving on children who needed love and to know and experience God’s love so that they can be the next inspirations and doers of God’s Word as they take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the next level and love on their families and beyond. The Heaven of Jesus Christ shined on them as the love of Jesus beamed from this woman on them. The love of Christ is evident through this woman. Even when I got back from Lebanon, God led me to continue keeping in contact with Valhalla in order to further my prayer life and other issues I was dealing with at the time. She has been a tremendous inspiration on my life and I thank God for her impact she has had on my life. One of the things she taught me is that God is love and that He sees me as valued when others do not see me in the same light as God does for me. She taught me to be a fighter for God’s Word and the truths of what God says about me. I thank God for Valhalla because she allowed me to see that when the enemy blinded me from the truth of God. She taught me that God is truth because His Son, Jesus, is the truth, through His Word, which is always alive and sharpens us to make us stronger in Christ who strengthens us: always. God bless Valhalla. 🙂
~”For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”~Hebrews 4:12, KJV~
I remember when Deborah, who roomed with me for most of the trip, shared bits and pieces of her life with me that gave me the courage to open up more about issues that I was dealing with in that time of my life (most of which were personal), as the Holy Spirit of God showed us ways we can pray for each other.————she taught me how to be prayerful for others around me, all while showing me to be comfortable with myself. She grew me in that God through her showed me how to love me for me and for how God created me to be. Out of many people I have met in my life, Deborah taught me that God is love and that He loves me, regardless of my own issues and what others say or think of me. She told me one time to not pay attention to what others say about me because it is what God thinks of me that counts (she told me this about one year and a half later, after the missions trip). I thank God for Deborah. 🙂
~”I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”~Psalm 139:14, ESV~
I also remember Jeri. She is a lovely person. Even after the missions trip, she makes it a point to keep in contact with me on Facebook and encourage me, even as I write blog posts for this blog and edit for Atlanta Christian Voice. She loves my writing because I make it a full effort to be Jesus through my writings. Jesus speaks to her through my writings. Every time she presses the like button on a blog post I have written or makes a comment, this motivates me more to keep on writing, for Jesus so that His light can shine in the light He put in me to shine for others around me. She is light in my life and my soul ( almost like a 2nd grandmother to me!) I thank God for Jeri because even though I do not know her on a personal level, I do know that she has inspired me to keep on being the love of Jesus to everyone in and through my writing.————-both young and old. Praise God for Jeri! 🙂
I now want to take a moment and lift up names of people I know from my church. I remember and bless them, in the name of Jesus Christ! 🙂
I remember Daniella. She is super in that she ignited my passion for dancing. I never knew I could dance until she showed me and I took a couple of dance lessons for a season. She taught me empowerment through the Holy Spirit of God, which has guided me to dance for Jesus. I remember when we went to a dance social together one night and how she told me that King David (from the Bible) danced for Jesus! I do not know the Scripture that she quoted this from, but that motivated me to keep calm and keep on dancing as a hobby and for the glory of Jesus Christ. Daniella is also a very kind person. I admire her boldness and confidence for the Lord. It is so strong and has inspired me so much to be confident as my light shines for Jesus.————for my twin sister, Rachel, family, and beyond. 🙂 God bless Daniella! 🙂
I also remember Kelly. I have my own issues I deal with. She told me (on Christmas Day 2017), that God is going to use me to bring healing, help, and hope to others who are hurting and struggling with the same issues I have. At first, I did not understand what she meant by this nor did I want to accept this fact due to insecurities that I was dealing with that God FINALLY REMOVED at the end of 2017. Then, I accepted it as God’s will for my life because I know that someday (even now), God is using me to inspire others around me……maybe even as I write this blog post and whoever is reading it. Kelly is so brave and so honest. I thank God for her because she has inspired me to pray, even as she texted me one day that she is always praying for me. She is a bundle of joy in my life and I thank God for her and her courage to be honest with me in that time of my life…….simply because it helped me to GET OVER myself as I am confident that God will use me to help others around me, who are going through similar issues in order to inspire, encourage, and motivate them, to be their best and brightest selves. 🙂
~”I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”~Philippians 4:13, KJV~
I remember Ann. She is like a 2nd mother to me because she deeply cares about me and is always praying for me. I remember one time I had a medical crisis occur in my life and I happened to run into her one Wednesday night at church. She thanked God for my life. She also told me that she liked a blog post I wrote one time (even though I do not remember which one), she told me this which I will never forget, “You never know who you are inspiring.” Ann also taught me to pray for others around me and not just myself. As a result, I have a deep compassion for others who go through similar issues like myself and make it a priority to pray for others around me in my notebooks as I write the prayers down and make their visions plain (mainly people at my church…..and I do not have to tell them I am praying for them because that is between myself and God……only as the Spirit leads me. God bless Ann. 🙂
I remember Liz. She taught me love. Tough and unconditional love because the love of Christ does not always have to be tender, but it can be tough too as it disciplines us to be our best selves as we serve the Kingdom of God. She taught me to totally trust God and surrender to His will (not my will, but His will be done) for my life. I had an idea of what she meant, but did not understand what it would cost me for the Gospel of Jesus Christ’s sake as I serve others around me who like me, those who do not like me, and those who do not look or think like myself. I went through some pretty rough trials in 2017 that gave me better understanding of myself, God’s will for me, and a heart for others around me. I thank God for them, even though I did not like what God chose to put me through in that moment of my life, because they made me a wiser woman of greater discernment of the voice and will of God for my life. I thank God that I met her not just because of her experience in ministry, but also because of the wisdom she has gained from serving in ministry for many years. I praise and thank God for her training me to be my best self for ministry. 🙂
~”And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”~2 Corinthians 5:18, KJV~
I remember Tina. She taught me to guard my heart from all evil in the world because the world is vicious and can take advantage of you without a care. She taught me to be strong in the Lord as I guard my heart. I remember when I was dealing with issues at the time when I did not listen to her advice, but I remember what her advice taught me about making wise decisions and for protecting all of me, even as the enemy tried to slander and degrade my integrity and make me feel down and bad about myself. I eventually got over myself and rebuked the enemy (all of the enemy), humbled myself, and decided to give Tina a Christmas card to show my love and appreciation for this great and fantastic woman of God. She is a woman of deep faith and promising in the eyes of God ( I say this about her because she told me one time that she did not give up on me and kept on praying for me, even when others turned their back on me during the bad in 2017).———-she encouraged me to go into 2018, bold, and confident, in the Lord, and NOT LOOK BACK at the horrible past and mistakes of 2017. 🙂
~”Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”~Proverbs 4:23, NIV~
There are many other people from my church, who I could write about, but will write about later as the Holy Spirit leads me (in and outside of my church).
The future is bright and so is 2018. I am thankful that God put it on my heart to write about these people. Each of them are special to me and I love them very much. Even those who I did not write about YET, just know that God put you on my heart and you are near and dear to me. 🙂
I now want to pray for the future of my life concerning 2018. I encourage you also to pray for me too, as God orders my steps into 2018 (even though it is only the 3rd day of the year, I want to take this moment to pray over my life. I invite you join me in prayer too).
~”The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and he delighteth in his way.”~Psalm 37:23, KJV~
I thank You for each of these people from my church who you led me to write about, who have had an impact on my life. Bless them. Bless them and their homes, families, lives, and children. I pray that if they are reading this that you will bless them for leading them to open up this blog post and read it. I pray that even if they do not read this blog post that Your hand will be upon their lives and bless them.—————mightily, as I am with them and praying for them in Spirit. I pray that the memories with each of these people will live forever. I pray that the moments shared with them (past, present, and future), will live on until that day of Jesus Christ, when we all come together to worship God together: for eternity. I pray that Your eternity will live on forever in their hearts and that they will know Jesus through this writing that Your Holy Spirit has led me to write. They do not have to acknowledge that I wrote this, but I pray that they continue to keep on giving you all of the glory through this writing. May it bless them. Both richly and abundantly. May Your Living Word keep them covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Thank You Lord for allowing me to meet them. Bless them.
In Jesus’ Name,
God bless you! 🙂 ❤
~”Nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”~Romans 8:37, KJV~