All posts filed under: Living

Jesus in the Leaves: Seeing Christ in the Season of Transition by Regina Hernandez

Autumn and Spring are my two favorite seasons. I love them for so many reasons but mostly because they both represent transformation. My one complaint about Autumn is: it feels like the shortest of all the seasons, especially in the south where it seems to last only a week or two at best. One of my favorite facts about autumn is: the green in leaves of trees comes from the chlorophyll; so when a tree begins the process of dying for winter and produces less and less chlorophyll, the yellow and orange we see are the true colors of the tree’s leaves.  In the process of a tree dying, of losing life, we see it’s true colors. Those colors have always been there, they have just been hidden by the overabundance of life-giving chlorophyll. Even better yet, those true colors are a little different from year to year depending on how much the sun, heat, weather, and other factors have played a role in that tree’s life for the past three seasons. When I enter …

Treasures in Transition: Discovering the Glory of Changing Seasons

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ~ANNE OF GREEN GABLES There is something so magical and wonderful about the changing of seasons. For me, I especially love when Winter turns into Spring, or my absolute favorite when Summer puts on her comfy clothes and dresses up for Autumn or Fall. Greens that have been scorched by the heat suddenly burst forth with a new vibrancy and dancy on the limbs of trees in fiery rays of ochres and reds. The scent in the air shifts to something sweet that smells of apples and smoke. The chill that kisses away the heat teases with a fresh effervescence. The season of Harvest is upon us. TREASURES IN THE TRANSITION Harvesting one last time: As I have mentioned before, there is something grand that I love about this season. It’s a moment of pause, a time to pull up from our soil the last seeds planted and turn the soil once again in preparation for another season of sowing that will come in …

Seeing Through the Fog of Fear

*Revised from January 6, 2014 “If you are willing to go where God leads, He will see you through the journey.” ~PASTOR JESSE DUPLANTIS Writing is what I love. Sharing is what I love. Creating is what I love. However even in the face of things we love there can at times be a cloud of fog that blinds our direction. We start off heading one way with excitement and hope, and somewhere down the road, we end up choking on the fog of fear. For many years I battled with the foggy fear of failure. I knew that I was capable as a writer and storyteller. I knew I had many great stories to tell, but I had stumbled on the stones that said, “What if you don’t tell the story right?” or “What if you mess up that really expensive piece of cotton rag artist paper you just purchased?” The fear was paralyzing. It kept me still and inactive in my creativity for far too many years. I wished I had pushed through …

A word on Contentment

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”    ~HEBREWS 13:5 Be content. The statement can be seen as a command or a verbalized form of permission. Be happy. Be wise. Be joyful. Be content. One of the biggest mountains that I face is the mountain whose shadow attempts to cast its darkness upon my garden of contentment. Lack of contentment, for me and I am certain many if not all of you, comes from the need to “do more.” I seem to be in a constant state of growth as I divorce myself from this out ‘need’, but there are a few straggly roots that are still present in my heart. The need to do more makes me measure and count and compare, as if my life is on some scale. And we all know that comparison kills. This attitude and mid-set, like that mountain, stands in opposition to my faith. …It is a hard …

Fire Through The Window: The Season of Preparation

  The Fall By Candice Coates, written September 28, 2015 The world looked like fire from the view of her bedroom window. The leaves on the trees had been set ablaze by the match called Fall. Life as she had known it, of thin layers and barefoot days, was slowly burning to smoke, leaving behind ashes of leather boots, sweaters and the scent of earth in the air. “I love the fall,” she said. “There is something lovely about it. It reminds me of the perfect kiss; sweet and intimate, zestful with the shock of chilled lips that slowly ebb into a warmth that leaves you hypnotized, never wanting to let go.” She closed her eyes to the warm caress of the sun’s rays sliding over her eyelids like the softest silk before she pushed away from the window. She wrapped herself within her own arms and smiled brightly. No one was there with her, no one except God, the One who had created the Fall with her in mind and heart. The Beginning. THE BLESSING …

What It Takes: A Message For Success

“It takes time to be a success, but time is all it takes.” ~UNKNOWN What we desire in this life, what we aim to achieve if it is truly a worthy and honest endeavor it is worth the time it will take to make it manifest. Don’t allow the progress of others to discourage you in your journey. You are in a race against only one person; yourself. The prize at the end of this race is having achieved your highest potential. This crown only fits your head. The choice is yours. Time is in your hands. Determine to take one step at a time. *Revised from November 6, 2015 *Photo by Leon Macapagal on Unsplash

Guard Your Heart: Journies of Faith

“Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it spring forth the issues of life.” ~PROVERBS 4:23 The Lord has been telling me during this season not to allow the enemy to steal my joy. On the cuffs of that admonition, He in His grace, also reminds me that He has also been telling me to “not be nervous but to be expectant.” In all of this, with the ringing of the divine message saying, “guard your heart”, what came to mind was the image and scripture regarding the full armor of God. FULLY ARMED Reading the scriptures about the Armor the Lord calls us to equip ourselves with is how although He has instructed us to be fully dressed in this armor, He doesn’t tell us to fight. In fact, what He instructs us to do is to stand! “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” ~EPHESIANS 6:13 (See Eph. 6:10-20) The Lord wants us to …

Knowing God or Knowing About God by Bri Lassiter

*Originally published April 14, 2019 I feel like I’ve spent a lot of my life knowing about God but not actually knowing Him. It’s as if I’ve somehow thought I could have a relationship with God by knowing as many facts as I can about Him, and then “living right” in accordance with the facts I knew. It’s laughable how unrealistic that thinking is! Imagine approaching ANY other relationship in your life the same way, or imagine trying to apply any Christian catchphrase that we try so hard to live by, to an actual relationship like a husband, wife or friend. What if you tried to function in your human relationships by attempting to just work hard, sacrifice, conform, or serve and please them? What if you just came to them and begged to be used a lot? Or if you just came to them begging for them to fix you and make you clean? Those would sound like red flag signals of a dysfunctional or abusive relationship, void of feelings and necessary love. Yet …

Inevitable Change: Encouragement in Transition

Revised from August 18, 2015 “Change is inevitable, Growth is optional.”~JOHN C. MAXWELL Change. The only time that most people search out change and willingly run with it is when unsavory circumstances have begun to dim the light and joy form their life and they are desperate to get it back. Otherwise, change is seen as the unwelcome guest who showed up at your perfectly numbered dinner party, uninvited. Change requires sacrifice, which generally goes hand and hand with discomfort and for some of us, discombobulation. But change is necessary. It is going to happen whether we like it or not, whether we are prepared or not. Think about an infant in their mother’s womb. Change comes and is without a doubt a straining shock to everything within the infant and around them. But what awaits them at the end of their travailing journey is something far greater. Consider the caterpillar who crawls through life, knowing in the core of their being that they are meant for greater heights. They must burn with the urge to …

A Word to the Waiting: by Briana Lassiter

Have you received promises from the Lord that your breakthrough will come this year? Has He given you specific impartations, specific instructions and specific direction about what to look forward to? Have you received attack on attack? Have you felt in a fog? Have your promises seemed untrue? Has the voice of the Lord–however He speaks to you–grown dim and hard to hear? Have you experienced pain and hindrances like never before? Beloved, we are shifting. We are moving. We are coming out and we are breaking forth in a historical move of God. We are like waves crashing on the shore, sometimes being pulled back, but gaining in momentum and power and height with each crash. We feel as if we are walking alone at times, we feel blindsided and oppressed by the enemy. We may carry the fear of being hindered and fear that we will forfeit the promises by how we are getting through this time. But we are being called forth in a new glorious way. We are being called out …