This section includes guest blogger discussions on the spiritual matters, the christian experience, devotional readings and much more!
Thank You Jesus
Guest Blogger ~ George Michael Hooks
December 6, 2017
Lord, I just want to say thank you….
Thank you for all that you have done
Thanks for the strength to struggle…Some people can’t
Thank you for the tears that I have cried….Some people are still crying
Thank you for your mercy, because I don’t deserve it
Thank you for redemption…Without it, I wouldn’t be here
Thank you for love–past, present and future
Thank you for faith
Thank you for learning…Learning that everyone can’t handle my testimony, but I must
Some people ask me how I still put my life in your hands after losing everything…
My answer? Nothing I lost compares…. I still have you, God, and….
In closing…. Again, Thank You
A.B.I.D.E. – Always Be In Divine Energy
Guest Blogger ~ Nicole “Nikki” Ballance
July 12, 2016
In 2006, I traveled to the City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia, PA) to attend my very first Delta National Convention. Far be it for me to say that for a brief moment in time, this wonderful group of ladies transformed Philly PA into the City of Sisterly (Delta) Love.
It was during this moment that I remember attending our worship service where the sorority’s chaplain, Bishop Vashti T. Murphy, encouraged and offered guidance to the sisters of how to ABIDE (Always Be in Divine Energy) in our daily routines, fellowships, and encounters.
As I recently began to reflect and remember these words imparted to us on that day…I’m often faced with the relevant question…How can I ABIDE when…
1. Workplace shenanigans are pulling at you from every direction;
2. Personal struggles are trying to take you out;
3. The people you call “friend” throw under a bus for personal gain/satisfaction, or
4. You allow frustrations to manifest themselves into hurtful words toward another?
WOW!!! Hard to imagine anything close to Divine Energy surrounding this, RIGHT??
Well…the great news is that in spite of all these examples, there was a Divine Energy always there, unbeknownst to us, just overlooked and ignored in a moment of forgetfulness.
When I looked up the word “divine” in Merriam-Webster, I found “heavenly, godlike.” Then I looked up “energy” and found “a usually positive spiritual force.” It is this heavenly force that can stop you dead in your tracks in between those two directions to remind you “I Got You” in example 1. It is this heavenly force the helps you find peace in the midst of struggle & tears letting you know to just trust ME (Him) in example 2. It is heavenly force that reminds us to forgive others & more importantly yourself when the hurt seems unbearable in example 3. And it is this same heavenly force in example 4 that helps you muster up enough courage to say ” I’m sorry & I hope that one day you can forgive me.”
This Divine Energy as we know it is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient – when we hurt, laugh, love, pray, and even YES – when we reject it. It is a constant reminder that in spite of, He still IS and on the other end of that direction, pain, person, and apology everything will be ok. We, you & I, just have to remain in energy.
Some reference points to help us all remember how important it is to ABIDE:
John 15:4-5 – “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
John 15:10 – “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My father’s commandments and abide in His love.”
1 John 3:24 – “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He is him We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”
I hope that in some way this little piece will touch you in such a way that you begin to ‘always be in’ and crave more Divine Energy in your life.
Effectual Calling…Even Me
Guest Blogger ~ Carolyn “Cookey” Johnson
June 18, 2016
I felt so honored when Lisa Cherry Ballance asked me to share a word of Inspiration to her readers on her Unique and Amazing Blog…”The Cherry Vine”. It truly has blessed me and I am so happy that the Lord has His hands wrapped securely around her, His good and faithful servant.
When the Holy Spirit allows you to minister Words of encouragement, it is usually for you first. I have not always had confidence in myself and have recently, in my older age, gained what I call “Godfidence”. The fact that God Himself stepped into my life and directly wrapped me in His Amazing arms, as I suffered pain in my life that would probably make a weak Christian throw in the towel. I was a Sunday and Wednesday night church hopper. I had nooooo idea how much God loved me and that everything that happened in my life was pre-destined by the Lord. There was no way possible that I could learn everything about the Word of God nor the Father’s purpose and plans for my life going to church two days a week. I started studying, reading, and living the Word for the last 8 years and counting into the Kingdom.
I went through two divorces and sold a mega-business that was prosperous to move over 3000 miles from my home in NC to Los Angeles, CA. to obey the call of God over my life. My family and friends that had always supported me over the years literally dropped me like a hotcake after things did not go as well for me as I thought they should. But, how many of you have experienced that God’s timing and purpose does not always line up with our own?
To make a long story short, for the last 8 years my life has turned from blessed to stressed, bruised, broken, and just HORRIFIC! While all this has been happening, I still kept my Faith in the Promises of God and I had to continue to Encourage people who gave up on me. You would be surprised how family and friends turn on you if they think you have been down on your luck long enough. The fact that they refer to your longsuffering as Luck is a joke. They also think the devil is punishing you for something. Somewhat like Job’s friends did him when God allowed the devil to take from him. I am a living witness to tell all of you who are reading this and might be going through a difficult time, it is Not always the devil who is coming at you. The Lord sometimes will use you as a Sacrifice to reveal the Hearts of those closest, nearest, and dearest to you. They are the ones who actually fail the test with God. He sits High and truly Looks low—there is nothing that we can get past God.
It is imperative, my friends, that whatever it is that you are going through…Count it all Joy. (James 1:2-8). Have “Godfidence” in our Agape, Unconditional Loving God and know that He Never leaves or forsakes us, no matter what it looks like. Trust God and Believe in your heart, confess Jesus is Lord and coast right into His Kingdom…It is ETERNAL! Philippians 4:13
A Great Devotional Resource!
Blogger ~ “Voice of the Vine”
One of the best daily devotionals on the shelf today is “hearing from God each morning –365 Daily Devotions”, by Joyce Meyers. It’s an easy “read” with a simplistic approach to guiding readers through devotions that will certainly change your life! Give it a try. You won’t regret it!