Shades of Sunshine

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Happy Valentine’s Day! It is quite interesting, as my life is changing, and I am celebrating my first Valentine’s with someone in quite some time, I find myself thinking on the word “love” and what it means more and more. As one who has struggled somewhat with self love in the past, and seeing myself as God sees me, I am using this change – full of compliments (or as he says, observations) to learn more and more how God sees me. For as if this human can think such great things about me, how much more than does the Father, creator of all things, truly care for His creation? For the individual, and for the whole? Well, we know the answer, enough to send His son to die, so you can be redeemed back to Him! Amen, how thankful we should all be. In this time of seeming confusion and chaos how important it is for us all to embrace God’s love to us, love ourselves as He loves us, and share that love with others! May it not be something we just say in passing, but something we all truly embrace!

1 Corinthians 13:4-13
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Today is the day that 34 years ago the good and gracious Creator of the world decided I would be born. I for one am happy, but won’t balk when I wake up in heaven and experience the glorious of the forever-after (praising God, living out eternity without sin, pure in love with all those who are saved and believed). So in reflection of the day here are all the 1-18 verses in the Bible; an interesting activity though without a doubt, though for in-depth study surrounding verses would be ideal (mmmm context). 

Blessings and peace to you as you go through-out your days, may they be full of love, laughter and thanksgiving, in Jesus’ name.

 Genesis 1:18

Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, "Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?"
Exodus 1:18 NIV

And they assembled the whole community of Israel on that very day. All the people were registered according to their ancestry by their clans and families. The men of Israel who were twenty years old or older were listed one by one.
Numbers 1:18 NLT

I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.
Deuteronomy 1:18 NASB

Anyone who rebels against your order and does not obey your words in all that you command him, will be put to death. Above all, be strong and courageous!
Joshua 1:18 HCSB

And Judah took Gaza with its territory and Ashkelon with its territory and Akron with its territory.
Judges 1:18 NASB

When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she ended the conversation.
Ruth 1:18 GWT

She said, "Let your maidservant find favor in your sight." So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
1 Samuel 1:18 NASB

(Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
2 Samuel 1:18 KJV

But instead, Adonijah has made himself king, and my lord the king does not even know about it.
1 Kings 1:18 NLT

Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2 Kings 1:18 JB2000

Arpachshad became the father of Kenan, and Kenan became the father of Shelah, and Shelah became the father of Eber.
1 Chronicles 1:18 NHEB

This very day the noble women of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s behavior will say the same to all the king’s officials, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty.
Ester 1:18 ESV

While this one was still speaking another messenger arrived and said, "Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house”.
Job 1:18 NET

These men lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush only themselves!
Proverbs 1:18 NIV

 Ecclesiastes 1:18

And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land.
Jeremiah 1:18 ESV

The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow: my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity.
Lamentations 1:18 KJV

The rims of the four wheels were tall and frightening, and they were covered with eyes all around.
Ezekiel 1:18 NLT

At the end of the time that the king had said to present them, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel 1:18 HCSB

How the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.
Joel 1:18 KJ2000

The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau stubble; they shall burn them and consume them, and there shall be no survivor for the house of Esau, for the LORD has spoken.
Obadiah 1:18 ESV

Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.
Zechariah 1:18

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 1:18 NIV

And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Mark 1:18 ESV

Zechariah said to the angel, "How can I be sure this will happen? I'm an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years."
Luke 1:18 NLT

No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
John 1:18 NAS77

With the money he received from the wrong he had done, he bought a piece of land where he fell headfirst to his death. His body split open, and all his internal organs came out.
Acts 1:18 GWT

For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all the evils and the wickedness of the children of men, those who are holding the truth in evil.
Romans 1:18 ABPE

But as God is true, our word toward you was not yes and no.
2 Corinthians 1:18 AKJV

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
Galatians 1:18 KJV

But that doesn't matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.
Philippians 1:18

He is also the head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he himself might have first place in everything.
Colossians 1:18

Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord's battles.
1 Timothy 1:18

May the Lord grant that he finds mercy on the day he comes again. You know very well how much he assisted me in Ephesus.
2 Timothy 1:18

But if he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, put that to my account.
Philemon 1:18

You know that from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors you were ransomed--not by perishable things like silver or gold.
1 Peter 1:18 NET

We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
2 Peter 1:18 NIV

They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires.
Jude 1:18 NLT

Photo Credit: StarliteGeneration

In a world surrounded by people, both in tangible-time and through our electronic screens it is a bit amazing that we could ever fill alone, but alas we do. Perhaps not everyone, but I know I have experienced my fair share of the emotion through-out my years on this globe, sometimes even when I am in the thick of a crowded room. Loneliness seesawed with depression are noted markers of those who attempt/commit suicide. It is noted that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, and that approximately 45k people pass by this method every year (Source: AFSP). It is hard to imagine that there is no one alive right now that hasn’t experienced suicidal thoughts, attempted it, known someone who has tried, or unfortunately succeeded. While I cannot say for certain that everyone has a flesh and blood human that they can trust and turn to (though it is my hope that they do), I do know that there is One we can all always talk to; the One who formed the world. He is omnipresent (aka everywhere, all the time), omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient (all knowing), and desires to be reconciled with you through Jesus Christ.

My mom is one of those women of faith who talk out loud to Father God. She doesn’t do it for show, she does it because she wants to carry on a conversation just as if He is sitting in a chair right beside her. She can be found through-out the day (or night) just speaking about life, thanking, praising, or requesting. Sometimes it isn’t much a calm dialog, but one of her crying out in pain (truthfully), but I know this He listens and brings her comfort. I commend her for this, it is not something that I have yet embraced as my default mode, I am more often the silent, mental conversationalist. She has suffered many trials and tribulations in her life, she says that God is the author of her overcoming and surviving it all, and that talking to God as such, is just what is natural, “After-all He is here with us”, she has said.

She embodies the point of this writing in full, we are not alone, regardless of what may come across our minds or what we may see with our eyes, there is a God out there that loves us, that loves you, and He is available for you to bare your burdens to. Here are a collection of verses, here is another set, and yet one more grouping for good measure that you can read, meditate on, draw encouragement from in your time of need to escape the clutches of this emotion.

There is a song by former girl group BarlowGirl, “Never Alone” that came out in 2004 that I used to play and sing along to on repeat whenever I was dealing with this. Full disclosure, I got my copy that was burnt to cd (now lost) via Limewire, but thankfully there is Youtube, so I share it with you now. May it bring peace and joy to you as you listen to it. May it warm your heart, regardless of what season or space you are in, may you have hope for the days and years to come as you read these words. May you find strength though the One who gave you the ability to stand!

Thanks be to You Father for all You have done. Through forming the world, to giving us salvation through Jesus Christ, to His peaceful Spirit that resides in the world and within those who believe. Because of You alone shall we be able to stand the test, the long haul. While we may not always get things right, Your love is always RIGHT THERE, never faltering and never failing. In Jesus name. 
Photo Credit:

So it is the 19th of December, and we are nearing THE DAY (aka the day in which we celebrate the Savior of the world being born), and I have seen the word Advent more than ever this year! It seems to have become trendy overnight, and the “calendars” can get up there in price. Admittedly, I have never celebrated the days leading up to Christmas in any particular fashion, but wanted to share with you all exactly what it is.

The following was taken from, and written by Justin Holcomb.


What Is Advent?
For many Christians unfamiliar with the liturgical year, there may be some confusion surrounding the meaning of the Advent season. Some people may know that the Advent season focuses on expectation and think that it serves as an anticipation of Christ’s birth in the season leading up to Christmas. This is part of the story, but there’s more to Advent.

The History of Advent
The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1), his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (John 1:29), and his first miracle at Cana (John 2:1). During this season of preparation, Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration; originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas.
By the 6th century, however, Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the Middle Ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas.

Advent Today
Today, the season of Advent lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas. At that time, the new Christian year begins with the twelve-day celebration of Christmastide, which lasts from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6. (Advent begins on the Sunday that falls between November 27th and December 3rd each year.) 
Advent symbolizes the present situation of the church in these “last days” (Acts 2:17Hebrews 1:2), as God’s people wait for the return of Christ in glory to consummate his eternal kingdom. The church is in a similar situation to Israel at the end of the Old Testament: in exile, waiting and hoping in prayerful expectation for the coming of the Messiah. Israel looked back to God’s past gracious actions on their behalf in leading them out of Egypt in the Exodus, and on this basis they called for God once again to act for them. In the same way, the church, during Advent, looks back upon Christ’s coming in celebration while at the same time looking forward in eager anticipation to the coming of Christ’s kingdom when he returns for his people. In this light, the Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” perfectly represents the church’s cry during the Advent season:
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
While Israel would have sung the song in expectation of Christ’s first coming, the church now sings the song in commemoration of that first coming and in expectation of the second coming in the future.

Advent Liturgy and Practice
To balance the two elements of remembrance and anticipation, the first two Sundays in Advent (through December 16th) look forward to Christ’s second coming, and the last two Sundays (December 17th – 24th) look backward to remember Christ’s first coming. Over the course of the four weeks, Scripture readings move from passages about Christ’s return in judgment, to Old Testament passages about the expectation of the coming Messiah, to New Testament passages about the announcements of Christ’s arrival by John the Baptist and the Angels.
While it is difficult to keep in mind in the midst of holiday celebrations, shopping, lights and decorations, and joyful carols, Advent is intended to be a season of fasting, much like Lent, and there are a variety of ways that this time of mourning works itself out in the season. Reflection on the violence and evil in the world cause us to cry out to God to make things right—to put death’s dark shadows to flight. Our exile in the present makes us look forward to our future Exodus. And our own sinfulness and need for grace leads us to pray for the Holy Spirit to renew his work in conforming us into the image of Christ.
One catechism describes Advent spirituality beautifully: “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating the precursor’s birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: ‘He must increase, but I must decrease.’”

Advent and the Christian Life

While Advent is certainly a time of celebration and anticipation of Christ’s birth, it is more than that. It is only in the shadow of Advent that the miracle of Christmas can be fully understood and appreciated; and it is only in the light of Christmas that the Christian life makes any sense. It is between the fulfilled promise of Christ’s first coming and the  yet-to-be-fulfilled promise of his second coming that Karl Barth penned these words: “Unfulfilled and fulfilled promise are related to each other, as are dawn and sunrise. Both are promise and in fact the same promise. If anywhere at all, then it is precisely in the light of the coming of Christ that faith has become Advent faith, the expectation of future revelation. But faith knows for whom and for what it is waiting. It is fulfilled faith because it lays hold on the fulfilled promise.” The promise for Israel and the promise for the church is Jesus Christ; he has come, and he will come again. This is the essence of Advent.
TBT Christmas Volunteers 2014

Yes, what you have heard is true, you can now get a citation ticket for handing out food to the homeless in Atlanta. Our area actually low key knew this was coming for over a month now, as another group who goes to Little 5 Points during the week got ticketed and let the grapevine know. However, want to hear a blessing? That same week one of our partners, Tapesty Church, secured a space in the community center down the street for two days a week (Sunday morning and Thursday afternoon). For over 30 years one of these rooms was served by a Rev Meeks (and his wife), who had a huge heart for Jesus and helping the downtrodden. However, he has is gotten up in age, and had a series of health issues, so he had to finally step down earlier this year. Tapestry (as they are an official 501-C) tried to get the space earlier when we informed them of the change, but were denied, however God came through right one time. :D Has it been a bit of an adjustment? Sure, as I have been standing outside on a street corner for over 6 years. However, I keep reminding myself of how warm it is going to be when winter comes and I don’t have to rock 3 pairs of pants, 2 socks, 4 shirts, a jacket, gloves and hat in order to feed the people and share the love of Jesus.

What do I think about it? I think it is ridiculous (just as I did when FL tried to pull this mess)! I have seen the city over the past 6 years try to get rid of the homeless (well poor people in general) by just trying to move them out instead of offering actual solutions. We have a homeless problem .. because we have a house problem .. we have an outreach problem both on the organization level and resource level … i.e. organizations end up fighting for the same people, organizations end up being corrupt, resources that will actually help people long-term are limited or non-existent. Do I have all the answers? I do not, but I have always said we need to stop fighting against one another, and start working together. I know that I am not alone in my efforts and know other individuals have banded together, outside of the traditional 501-C mold in order to impart real personal change/influence with the individuals living this lifestyle day in and day out. Because newsflash, there are some people out there who will ALWAYS be homeless, they live outside BY CHOICE and even a blizzard won’t bring them inside (I have seen it, and yes they were in their “right mind”).

I extend a personal invite to anyone who would like to come help out any maybe doesn’t have a place to go. We have a lovely group of folks, count varies from week to week, so just hit me up and I will be more than happy to give you the specific details.

It is easy to look around and see how the world is turning away from true love (God), but we must not lose hope. Seriously, we must not. As I keep reminding myself, since I am living right now, it was chosen by God for me to be alive during this time, and thus I have my Father’s business to carry out. This applies to you as well. The darker it gets, the more we as believers need to shine, so that we are examples of the genuine and pure love found only when you come face to face the Creator (God), Savior (Jesus), and Guide (Holy Spirit) of this world!

Dear Father God,
Personally I thank you for putting homeless outreach in my heart. I know without a doubt it came from You because I am not the best at sticking with anything, and this is something that enters my thoughts on the daily. The idea that there is someone out there that feels unworthy and unloved jars me (as I know what it feels like to have such untrue things go through your mind), and if I can change that thought for someone by showing YOUR love to them, then that is a win for You, a win for the kingdom. Strengthen us during this time, as we look about a see a world we don’t recognize. People can’t help people? What a shame that is! However, regardless of what man may say, You are God, and in You we will find our commission and way. Protect Your children as they follow your commands, solidify their faith so they have the courage and ability to stand, may their trust be in You.
In Jesus name, Amen. 

It has been a while since I have written anything.

Truth be told I haven’t wanted to. It isn’t so much that I haven’t felt that I should, but more so the human side of not wanting to .. not feeling that I am worthy to write really. After-all I have so many lessons still to learn myself, so what right do I have to act as if I know anything to impart any sort of wisdom or enlightenment on anyone else? Well that is what some less than helpful voice speaks between my ears sometimes at-least, and I reckon the absence of words on this page shows that I have listened.

The Holy Spirit though reminded me why I started writing in the first place though. It’s been well over a decade now, and I would pen a few words on something I had been recently taught, and send it out to my friends via email, post them on Livejournal , or on ChristianForum. I started writing when I “rededicated” my life (something I have come to learn as believers we should do on the daily). It didn’t matter to me if anyone commented, or even read it, it was enough to know that I MAY on some off-chance help someone else, even if in the smallest way as I knew even back then this life wasn’t easy. It was a way to keep myself in check, as if I was always (even if weekly) coming face to face with a lesson, I couldn’t sweep it under the rug. It had to be acknowledged, even if it was something akin to a pig covered in mud.

So to anyone reading this I would just like to put a disclaimer out there, that I am not perfect – except when looked at through the eyes of the Father, thanks to Jesus’s sacrifice, I will always be a person who falls short, yet I will always urge people to do better, to be better, than I may be myself, and know that I do not count myself higher than anyone else. Truth be told most days I am just happy that one day I will be in heaven and I won’t have the option to choose wrong anymore. However, does any of that (should have of that) stop me from writing? No. Just as Peter denied Jesus 3 times (after being with Him for quite some time), Saul/Paul persecuted Christians (and it took blindness to turn him around), and Mary Magdalene had an alternative beginning (do you know there is actual debate on if she had mental issues or if she actually was promiscuous), each went on to do great things for the kingdom of God. So, if there was never ending hope for them, there is never ending hope for me, and thus that same hope is extended to you.

So I conclude with this (although rest assured there will be more written about this in the future), we live in an age where everything is topsy turvy. Where it seems more acceptable to worship a tree, than to say a man came and died for your sins so you can be reconciled to the Creator of this word. I encourage you as a believer, to be strong. That if anyone tells you that you are too young, or too old, have too little knowledge because you didn’t go to school, that you can’t speak clearly, don’t dress right, so thus “you cannot speak about God and tell of the great things He has, can, and will do”, give them a good “God bless you” and continue to go about Your Father’s business (even if it is a little voice inside your head).

Dear God,
We thank you Father that we did not have to take the weight of our sins upon ourselves. Who of us could handle that load? I know I could not, if by OT standards would there even be enough time or animals to sacrifice for all that I have done? I dare not think of it, as I do not have to because we as believers have a hope and trust in Jesus. He was obedient in life and in death, knowing why He was here, and what was to be done, because of not only His love for You, but His love for Your creation. Because He bore our sins, those of us who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior, can call you Abba Father, we can commune with You, we get the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have hope eternal. Help us to grow in You. Strengthen us for the times ahead. Let us not get distracted by out shortcomings, but turn our weakness in to strength. Praise be to You Father, may Your grace abound.
In Jesus’ name, Amen. 
When God shows out (answer’s a prayer, provides a miracle, etc.) one cannot help but to give Him praise. He is awesome and without a doubt Father God watches out for His children. Regardless of what you may have heard, God does not desire for you to be hurt and in pain (mental, physical, spiritual, etc.), He desires for you to have a peaceful life in Him.  God is LOVE and that is that. 

Now Theresa (of Comfort Socks) doesn’t actually know she was an answer to a prayer, but she was and I am writing this right after finding out, so perhaps I can convey the high I am on right now of pure gratitude (though this will be posted once I get some photos to share). Now in case you aren’t aware one thing anyone experiencing homelessness can always use is socks. I have been honored to have been a part of the community for over 5 years now and there isn’t a week that goes by in which someone doesn’t ask for socks. The flip side of our efforts is that since we are volunteer supported sometimes other needs get put ahead of taking care of clothing the feets. For a few weeks (ok like a couple months) we have been sockless, even as so much as the past week I handed out some of my old socks to make up the gap. Now, admittedly I was quite amused to watch some of my dear friends slipping on my neon, knee-high, polka dotted socks (and they were very grateful), but I just kept steading asking God to provide something more suitable.
Now when I say ask God, I do not mean I got down on my knees and pleaded, I just simply kept thinking, “God you know we could really use some socks, right?” Talking to God does not have to be a long, drawn out and elaborate task. However, it is best if it is a continuous event, keeping God top of mind in all that you do, whenever you do it. The important thing is that you talk to God, He loves you and desires to hear from you ... more than just what you ‘want’ but also how you are, and of course be sure to thank Him because well, to put it bluntly, HE DESERVES IT

Ok, ok so all in all what happened was I was talking to Theresa and was delivered the news that they wanted to extend 120 pairs of socks to us for use in Little 5 Points. Admittedly, when I read the words I was grateful, speechless, and a single tear (cue the movie music) rolled down my face out of pure joy. You know that is the thing, I just wanted just about 30 socks to make their way through, but God saw fit for it to be laid on someone’s heart to increase it to so much more, so we can have them on sock for more than just one week. Now, this is not the first time we have been blessed by Comfort Socks, this however came as a surprise in abundance at just the right time.

I’ve been watching the various birds, squirrels and chipmunks from my porch on a pretty regular basis and what I see with them, just ties into this (something I have experienced perhaps a million times), but to simply trust God, His timing is good, there is no need to worry, and after all “this life” is the worst it can get for those who have accepted salvation through Jesus Christ.
To put in in verse:

Do Not Worry
[Matthew 6:25-34]
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Ok, so now let us jump to receiving the socks, in which glass almost shattered when I opened the box to find not only 120 pairs of socks but 240 pairs of socks and not just ANY socks, BOMBAS (whose mission is to help the homeless by giving them socks via their buy one, give one model)! Like I said, even my dog Penny (who is quite accustomed to my high pitch voice) stood stunned when I not so delicately opened the box and proceeded to reach the highest squeal thus far in my time upon this Earth.

The first wave of socks have now been delivered and it was just as joyous as expected. Those that received them were delighted to hear about people across the states joined together to help them out. The most common statement that followed after one of gratitude was "oh wow, these are like REALLY good socks Hollie". Which of course made me smile. These are people who sometimes don't feel worthy of life itself, much less $12 socks, so... well to say that one or two shed a tear wouldn't be an exaggeration. Out of respect we do not take many photos, but we did snap a few (with permission).

So thank you, thank you, thank you many, many times over to all the people who donates to, works at and volunteers with Comfort Socks and who does all that plus purchases from Bombas. Because of your kindness we will be able to provide much needed, awesome quality, greatly appreciated socks to those who join with us weekly in Little 5 Points, as well as, those who are traveling through and just stop off at our location (we are close to a train yard). And of course, ultimately thanks be to God who  put all of this in motion, and continues to watch out for us all daily. 

I do hope that you take a minute to check out Comfort Socks. Please donate to their efforts if you have some denero to spare, and keep them uplifted in prayer as they do help so many. On the off chance you are reading this and are from Atlanta or will be visiting Atlanta and want to check out what we do in Little 5 Points on Sundays, shoot me an email; we will be happy to have you! 

(Day 6 from 31 Rays of Hope)

One of the hardest life lessons that I have been taught is that you must always be prepared for change. After all it is the only thing constant in this world, aside from God’s love.  Well, I write taught but continuously learning this with each and every day (we all are works-in-progress, you know).  In an instant your circumstances can evolve into something that you did not foresee, whether it is pleasant or dreadful. The only way to truly be prepared is to have accepted  that  Jesus  Christ  is  the  risen  Son  of  the  only God and have the Holy Spirit reside in your heart. Why? Because it is only God who knows the past, present, and future; only He can guide you and direct you in the path you should go. He provides strength [1 Chronicles 16:11], direction [Psalm 37:23], security [Proverbs 1:33], and knowledge, and understanding [Proverbs 2:6-9]. He alone has promised “never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV).

To those who are reading this that have not yet invited Jesus in their hearts:
“For  God  so  loved  the  world,  that  He  gave  His  only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,  but  have  everlasting  life”  ( John  3:16,  KJV).  I pray that the Holy Spirit calls out to you and you answer His call…that you one day know this verse to be true.

To  those  who  are  reading  this  and  have  accepted  the free gift of eternal life:
May you seek the will of God in your everyday lives and walk in His light. May you know what His will for you is and be eager to spread the knowledge of Jesus’s saving grace to all that you meet.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for providing peace through the storms of life. Though there are just a handful of noted verses above which are meant to invoke the Spirit and mind, there are so many more in Your holy Word, Your letter to Your children.  May  we  find  rest  in  You,  Father, during all times, knowing that as Your children You always have our best in mind, and You rule, always have and always will, in Jesus's name we pray. Amen. 

Know someone in need of a little hope? Send them a Loved and Blessed box today!

I have been feeling a bit trapped in life lately, and it is one of my least favorite feelings because I know as a child of God I am free, and (not-to-mention) great, wonderful, and amazing things are still to come in my life. Alas, one can get caught up in their current situation, seasons of various tides come and one may start to feel like they will doggy paddling in the specific situation forever. However, it is important to remember that nothing ever stays the same (except God’s everlasting love). So as I have searched the interwebs for some uplifting Bible verses to encourage myself, I now share them all with you. Might we always remember to keep our focus on the Creator rather than the created, and seek to do His will, His way all of our days.

May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 (GNTD)

God is my savior; I will trust him and not be afraid. The Lord gives me power and strength; he is my savior.
Isaiah 12:2 (GNTD)

And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 (GNTD)

I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.
Philippians 4:13 (GNTD)

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (NKJ)

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Luke 11:9 (NIV)

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Psalm 28:7 (ESV)

There is none holy like the LORD: For there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.
I Samuel 2:2 (ESV)

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2

When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me.
Psalm 142:3

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
Isaiah 40:28

But they who wait for 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

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
John 14:1

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
Psalm 37:5

The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way.
Psalm 37:23

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ephesians 6:10
(via Rachel Wojo)

Can I get an AMEN on this graphic? I have been petitioning and pondering about what to write about for the last two days and a host of topics have floated through my mind, but when I saw this on muh bestie’s Pinterest page, I knew what I was to do. Don’t worry I know I will eventually talk about the awesomeness that was City Rock Fest and how God without-a-doubt uses ‘hard rock’ to reach lost souls and rejuvenate, but today is not that day. Today, we talk about FAITH IN GOD.   
It was my mom who impressed upon me that it was one thing to say you have faith in God, but a whole other level when you have to work that faith muscle (in times of distress). It is easy to start doubting … worrying .. and lack of a better phrase tripping over what may come next, when you cannot see two feet in front of your face. It is easy because in times like these you are being attacked, but you are also in growth mode. You have faith vs fear at work, and one is going to give way to other, because there is no middle ground. One of my “tells” of discontent is my mental vocab starts to put a lot of effort into what ‘I’ can (or can’t) do suddenly, instead of my more frequent shut-it-down phrases such as “God's got this”. However, do you ever wonder why we should trust in God time and time again?

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
Numbers 23:19 KJV

God has a purpose and plan for your life if you are walking, crawling, rolling aka breathing upon this Earth and guess what, God is LoveGod can do no evilGod sent His Son to save the world …  The “Hall of Famers” in Hebrews 11 surely encountered stuff along the lines that you and I do (on a psychology temptation/response scale .. golden calf after just sauntering through the parted Nile waters, anyone?), but they kept realigning themselves with the true Creator over and over and over again, no matter what they did or what they saw or what they thought. This is what it means to daily take up your cross, it means regardless be in communication with and put your ultimately trust (faith, hope, love) in the Trinity.

This is the truth, when Jesus suffered the horrific death upon the cross, was resurrected three days later and ascending to the Father a few days after that and the then Spirit of God came down, all of the divine plan came into completion (for this phase). I mean that sin (the evil one) was defeated, the possibility of an eternal life of awesomeness was opened up to all people, and that the same Spirit who rose Christ from the dead is available to live inside of us humans should we believe, ask and trust. There is no reason to NOT have faith in God. As believers, sometimes we can get caught up thinking God didn’t ‘do’ something, when a lot of the times the thing He did was protect us. There is nowhere in the Bible that says once you accept Jesus as Savior your life will be easy and that you will get so rich you can afford a mega mansion and/or a McJet, actually it can get a bit tougher, but we have the promise for a better hereafter and the available peace that comes with knowing that you are in ONE with the Creator OF THE WORLD!

So I say all of that to say this, stay strong in your faith of who God is. Do not be scared to speak the truth of salvation, even if no one wants to hear it or people tell you it is wrong to say. You are a witness of God to a lost, dying and corrupt world. You are not perfect on your own, but in God’s eyes through Jesus’ sacrifice you are. You have the right … the honor to tell about His goodness and love, do not let any doubt or fear or feelings of unworthiness silence your lips, let all of the people be reached in Jesus' name.

There are 277 bible verses in the ESV translation with the word light in them or a variation of it, below is just a sampling. It was such a delight this Sunday while we spoke it centered on just that, light... being the light, sharing the light, without a doubt truly Spirit given. To be honest I cannot remember 100% what I said, but I know it was about always standing up for Jesus, and being able to be a witness regardless of where you are in life (on the streets or in a penthouse). So in turn, I share some verses below to those who happen to stumble upon this page. I also recommend checking out this blog posting at the Unveiled Wife “Are We Living In Gods Light”, “How Bright Is Your Light” at Creative Ladies Ministry and give a little watch to this on SkitGuys.

For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. Psalm 18:28
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Psalm 118:27a
Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. Ecclesiastes 2:3
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment. Isaiah 50:10-11
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16
For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Luke 8:17
If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light. Luke 11:36
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. John 1:4-5
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

May you be engulfed in peace in the Spirit of the Lord in Jesus name. 

Yeah, so to be held accountable I have been a SLACKER at writing lately. I mean have I written what I said I was going to in the previous post? Nope. Have a written any devotionals for perhaps a future book? Nope. However, I have been binge watching Netflix and doing some craftiness here and there. However, alas spring is here and it is time to get moving! So in honor of changes, regrowth and just to get some motivation, here are a few uplifting, encouraging and hope filled items to get you pumped for today and those that are to come! J

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. Jeremiah 29:11
1 Peter 1:3-6


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11