“Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.” ~ Psalm 86:4-5
4 parts Humbleness
3 parts Love
2 parts Patience
unlimited and measureless amounts of Jesus
We have all been hurt at one point or another in our life. We have been betrayed by loved ones, wounded by the painful words of someone whom we believed truly cared about us and witnessed acts of hatred that left us feeling cold and empty inside.
Our natural reaction is to turn away, walk away and shut out the agony that an event or action of another has caused us, but in reality it only prolongs the suffering versus ending it. When we hold a grudge, when we refuse to speak to someone ever again, when we fail to forgive ourselves or another we end up hurting ourselves. There is freedom to be found and that is contained within the act of forgiving. It’s not always easy, but it’s always necessary because it allows you to surrender the pain and move on from the situation. You have the opportunity to bless others by this selfless act as well, when they understand what they have done and see that you have made a choice to forgive. This doesn’t mean we have to forget, we need to remember what occurred, so we set healthy boundaries and live our life accordingly. We need to be able to hold people accountable so that although they have been forgiven, if certain behaviors continue there can be consequences. And if it’s ourselves that we need to forgive for doing something that hurt or impacted another, we need to accept that forgiveness and understand that the event happened, a lesson was learned from it and with God’s guidance we can grow and move forward despite it. We also need to seek forgiveness from others. They may not immediately provide this to us, in fact, they need time to process what happened before they can really forgive and let go of it themselves, so be patient and soon enough the release will be there. Know that some may not choose to grant this and that will be their choice. For you, remember to forgive yourself and strive to change.
So how do we forgive? First you will take the event or situation and crack it in half, separating the humbleness from the pride. Save the humbleness and mix well with love and patience. Add unlimited amounts of Jesus and together you will find release, you will find hope, you will find the ability to love in ways you never thought imaginable. Here is a great link from Ron Edmondson, a pastor who shares on 7 ways to offer true forgiveness, click here!
“Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.” ~ Psalm 25:16-17
3 parts Faith
2 parts Surrender
1 part Hope
measureless and unlimited amounts of Jesus
How many of us have told someone, “I just want to be alone?” Why would we do that? Perhaps, it’s to decompress and come down from a very stressful situation or we may be grieving loss and need some time to process. We may seek alone time as we take a walk through the woods, clearing our mind, focusing on God, seeking answers and guidance in our life. Whatever the reason, some alone time is healthy and necessary. There does come a time when we feel alone and this isn’t our desire. We live in a world bustling with people, yet amidst the crowds, we sense an overwhelming presence of loneliness; isolation. Some may feel no one understands them or what they’ve gone through. They may feel like the only person on their particular journey and yearn for someone to empathize and truly hear what they are saying. For many, they may feel that not even God is listening…….
We will all encounter times in our lives where alone is the only reality we know. The good news is with the proper mix of ingredients consisting of Faith, Surrender and Hope along with measureless amounts of Jesus, one can graduate out of isolation and into community. With letting go of trying to control and figure out your situation and giving it to God, true freedom is suddenly found! The heaviness can be lifted and a sensation of flight becomes our reality. Imagine holding 2 heavy 5 gallon buckets of water up a hill. The weight of the water as you make your way up a steep embankment is not easy as your muscles flex and struggle to remain balanced and successful in reaching the top. Now, picture yourself simply setting it down and progressing up that hill knowing, there is someone right behind you to pick it up and set it on top of the mountain for you. How do you feel as you walk? Lighter? Your muscles no longer ache, your breathing is no longer labored, you feel a huge weight lifted and you actually make your way to your destination faster. God is there to pick up those burdens, those obstacles, those challenges, those hopeless situations. He wants you to “let go” and drop what you’re holding on to and allow Him to carry it! He wants you to see that you, in fact are never alone, He is right there with you, carrying those heavy buckets of water, and when you reach the top, its no longer heavy buckets being carried but rather it becomes a breakthrough for you. A transformation takes place in your life because you followed the recipe of surrender and faith, believing that Jesus can carry all things that could possibly weigh us down and will stand by our side no matter what!
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” ~ Psalm 143:8
3 parts faith
2 parts patience
unlimited and measureless amounts of Jesus!
Life can be very challenging, with it’s imminent twists and turns. We are all traveling down a road that does not provide us with a view of the end. We aren’t privy to what lies ahead so that we can properly prepare and thus possibly avoid pain, loss or hurt. We can’t see the breakthrough and how there will be a personal release for baggage that we’ve been clutching to. We aren’t given glimpses into our successes, our failures, our opportunities, our joy, our sorrow. So what are we given? We are provided a road to walk and a guidebook to assist us on this journey. The road is life, the guidebook is the bible. Contained within it’s pages are instructions for putting one foot in front of the other and it clearly states, this is not going to be easy, John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” But with Jesus, we can make it and if something knocks us off our feet, we are shown how to get back up and continue walking. So how does this recipe work? First it begins with faith, adding this ingredient to our daily walk is what will enable us to persevere understanding that He is with us every step of the way despite what our circumstances may dictate. Next, add patience. This is a key ingredient because we all want the answers and results expedited, we don’t want to wait for what we desire now. But with patience, you have the opportunity to grow, and get to the place where God has called you to be so that when what you seek does come to pass, you are truly ready! And this recipe requires unlimited amounts of Jesus, seeking Him and his counsel in everything you do. The road may be long, but you are never alone on this adventure!
“Life is not merely to be alive, but to be well.”~Marcus Valerius Martial (Latin poet, lived between 38 A.D. and 104 A.D.)
3 parts Commitment
4 parts Discipline
5 parts Knowledge
Measureless amounts of Jesus
Taking care of ones self is vital to truly living. In I Corinthians 6: 19-20, it reads, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” This scripture can refer to many things but I see it as most importantly taking care of yourself mind, body and soul. It’s important that we pay attention to the foods we eat, that we exercise daily or as often as possible and most importantly rest! I know we all live very busy lives and if we could possible gain a few more hours in a day we’d be happy, but somehow; someway we must carve out that time for us to decompress and rejuvenate! If we do this, I guarantee you will feel better, stronger and energized which will enable you to carry out what it is you have been called to do in this life. In order to do this, you must first add to the mix, commitment and discipline without these key ingredients you won’t have the follow through or drive to make this happen. Next add knowledge, this assists you in knowing what exercise regiment is best for you, what you should and should not eat along with what are some restful and relaxing things you can do. Always include limitless amounts of Jesus who will walk with you every step of the way and you are well on your way to maintaining the lifestyle that God desires for you.
One of our Family Resource Center partners is the Shade Tree Clinic. The Shade Tree Clinic is a FREE health clinic run by Vanderbilt medical students. They strive to be the medical home for many Nashville residents with limited resources by providing exemplary care for acute & chronic illnesses, social services, and health education. This clinic also partners with us by hosting health fairs and offering classes that provide resources and tools on nutrition and exercise.
Serves anyone who strives to maintain a healthy lifestyle no matter their circumstances!
“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender that you are for what you could become.” Author Unknown
4 parts Commitment
5 parts Faith
6 parts Perseverance
Measureless Amounts of Jesus
Surrender. It’s not an easy word to say let alone put into action. In the context of war for instance, to surrender, would mean to “give up”, “give in” to the opponent. It’s like saying I can’t go on any longer for I am outnumbered, out skilled and the odds are not in my favor. But when it comes to God and surrendering to His will, the word takes on a whole other meaning. To surrender to Him means that you have “accepted” not “resigned” to the fact that God knows what’s best for your life. You are handing the keys to the one who has been driving for years, He knows the potholes, He knows when the road curves, where the bridge is out, what path leads to destruction and which path leads to blessing. That is not to say the road may not be bumpy and that doors may not always open right away but through it all you have someone to join you on the ride. In order to accomplish this feat one must first add commitment to this recipe; make a decision that God knows what’s best for your life and stand firm. Next stir in some faith and perseverance believing and pressing forward knowing that God wants only the best for you, Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Throw in cupfuls of Jesus and soon enough you will see your life unfold in ways that go beyond anything you could ever imagine in your mind.
During our Angel Tree season, close to 250 families a day for 3 weeks sit in a warehouse waiting for their number to be called so they can sit at a table and register their children for Angel Tree. They have to sift through all of their paperwork to show why they need help, while stating, "they never imagined having to do this." What's awesome about this process is we have so many families who come back to volunteer within the program that once provided them with a hand up. They didn't "give up" or "give in" to their circumstance, they surrendered to Him and he provided the way and soon enough they experienced their breakthrough and they've never been the same!
Serves those ready to accept that God loves us and desires only but the best for our lives.
My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return. “ ~Maya Angelou
3 parts Brokenness
4 parts Humbleness
5 parts Understanding
6 parts Determination
7 parts Faith
8 parts Patience
Measureless amounts of Jesus
In life, we have the opportunity to make a number of choices that can produce either a negative or positive impact on our current circumstance. A walk through the wrong door can lead to heartbreak, regret and loss while another door can lead to prosperity, blessing and fulfillment. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and once the path has been chosen it becomes so much clearer on down the road as to what we should have done or aren’t we glad we didn’t go down that particular road. At The Salvation Army, many people end up on our doorsteps on the worst day of their life after a life choice or choices has affected them in a less than desirable manner. For so many, they arrive with everything they own contained in small grocery bags or a handful of boxes. The home they once occupied has been taken from them because of money that couldn’t be paid as a result of not being employed. Food is a luxury and generally involves decisions in a grocery store as to whether to purchase a box of macaroni and cheese or diapers. Pride is left at the door once they enter and tears flow without ceasing as they struggle to figure out what to do for themselves and the family they are trying to raise. No one is perfect and no one is exempt from this type of situation. Millions of Americans live pay check to paycheck and with one hiccup in the system could lose everything.
But here’s the thing, regardless of the choices or paths we felt we should take at the time but now regret we did, this doesn’t have to be the end. It can just as easily be the beginning; an opportunity for you to learn, to grow and to achieve even greater things than you could ever imagine. In order to do this you must first begin the process with realizing and admitting you’re broken from the inside out and are ready for a change; to be pieced back together, the way God designed us to be. Next, it’s important to add humbleness to the mix, to see that this can happen to anyone; it’s no respecter of persons. Now, add Understanding, determination, faith and patience, key ingredients to this recipe. Understanding what has happened and how you can move forward, determination in seeing this through; never quitting. Faith; believing that God can move mountains and will equip you on this journey and patience along with unlimited amounts of Jesus, knowing that He will provide; your breakthrough is coming!
Our Salvation Army Emergency Services Center serves families and individuals from 6 counties within the Middle Tennessee area. We provide food boxes, rent/mortgage assistance and utility assistance. On average, this office receives 180 calls a day, 3600 calls a month from those seeking this type of assistance.
Serves those are seeking new direction; new beginnings and a break from the choices of their past!
“You’ve gotta be original, because if you’re like someone else, what do they need you for?” ~Bernadette Peters (Tony award winning Broadway performer)
3 parts Dedication
5 parts Creativity
6 parts Self Confidence
Measureless Amounts of Jesus
So what does it take for someone to be considered an original? Many may wonder, what could possibly make them stand out amongst the masses. They go to work, pay their bills, put their pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else, so what makes me different? I believe that to be an original, first and foremost means to be yourself; delightful levels of self confidence. This means, love yourself, believe in your self and do not allow lies about your self to have any foothold in your life. No matter where you came from, rich or poor, the color of your skin, the language you may speak, you are an original; a masterpiece in God’s eyes. Next be dedicated to something outside yourself, that resembles you, not anyone else. Be sure and research how you could be a part of the bigger picture and how you could play a role in it’s mission. Then be creative in how you will share of yourself and your amazing gifts to not only the life you are leading but also to the people around you that you seek to serve. Add cup after cup of Jesus to the mix and I guarantee, you’ll be one of a kind!
This is Jamont at 12 years of age. That's when his mother learned that he would be moved into his neighborhood school's special education program. The family was shaken. The Salvation Army Magness-Potter Community Center staff, volunteer tutors and a male mentor tightened their embrace around Jamont and his family. Jamont adjusted and responded to his new academic program by making great grades, consistently. He graduated. Jamont, now at 21 years of age, has just received his certification in auto detailing. He will earn his own way through life at his own pace. He knows his strengths and weaknesses. Self-esteem, positive thinking and a strong spiritual core are among his strengths. Jamont is an original. His infectious smile lights up any room and can alter any mood. He's making a difference in the lives of others with his beautiful presence; kind and gentle spirit and his love for life.
Serves those who dare to be be different and are never content with the normal way of doing things!