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Kind Words are Like Honey| By Jasmine Beard

“You are such an accepting person. I know and feel like I can tell you anything,” my friend said.

I smiled and thought to myself, “If only she knew all the thoughts and judgements I thought of throughout the day. My heart is not pure. I wish I wasn’t judgemental. I’m so far from where I should be in my walk with God.”

You read that correctly. Someone gave me a compliment, and instead of receiving it, I rejected their words and reversed what they spoke over me. Instead of allowing the words of affirmation and blessing to sink into my mind, heart, and spirit, I let who I believed I was to sink into my mind, heart, spirit, and eventually into my identity.

I wish I could say this type of dialogue was a rare happening in my life, but truthfully it is far more common than I would like to admit. And what is even more hard to admit is that I am only now just realizing it.

“I’m so mean to myself and because of the way I view myself, I tend to judge others through that same lens,” I listened on the other end of the phone as another friend shared those words with me. Her words did not resonate with me immediately, but overtime I understood more and more what she meant.

Behaviors, circumstances, and interactions can become familiar to us. And when something becomes familiar, it does not appear abnormal. Take for instance, a woman’s husband has been wearing the same cologne for the last six years. After six years, she may not even smell the fragrance, but simply identify the smell with her husband. However, let’s say that same woman’s husband walked in their home wearing a different cologne than the one he had wore for the past six years, and she’d probably notice instantly.

This same familiarity can be true in our dialogues with ourselves. We can get so use to speaking harsh words to ourselves that we no longer see them as harsh, but as normal. The reality is that the words we speak to ourselves can be anything but normal and are actually cruel and self-loathing behavior.

It was not until my friend mentioned to me how mean she was to herself that I began to notice my very own self-loathing behavior. I have always chalked my inner dialogue with myself to have something to do with my perfectionist mindset and less to do with my self-esteem and value of myself.

The Bible tells us that, “kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)

Are your words like honey?

Are they sweet to your soul and bringing nourishment to your body?

Are you the person who can shower others with compliments, but can’t receive one?

Do you smile and immediately disregard the kind comment someone has relayed to you?

This was me, and it may be you today. But friend, I want to encourage you to fall in love with you, the person you are today, not the woman you aspire to become. Fall in love with the journey. And most importantly, fall in love with the King, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

His word tells us that we are made in His image. We are a reflection of His splendor and beauty, and as we fall more in love and awe with the King, the more we reflect His marvelous light.

So when you find that you have nothing kind to say to yourself or about yourself pray what the Psalmist wrote in Psalms 139:14 (TPT)

“I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking. It simply amazes me to think about it! How thoroughly you know me, Lord!”

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Warfare Advantage| By Chelsea Verdin

“Swiper no swiping!”

I can hear the voice of Dora yelling as she catches a sneaky fox trying to hinder her mission. And in the midst of my chaotic, busy life, I can hear myself yelling it to my very own enemy.

In John 10:10, it says that the enemy’s main objective is to steal, kill and destroy.

Like Swiper, our own enemy runs rampant throughout our journey trying to hinder the mission that has been set before us by Christ. Using specific tactics, he slides through our lives stealing our peace, killing our joy and destroying our hope. Not only does Christ fully know us, but the enemy has studied every aspect of our lives in order to initiate a successful attack on us.

In the Bible, David knows too well about attacks from the enemy. Anointed to be King as a child, he went his whole life attacked by people, situations, and his own consequences. In 1 Samuel 30, we find David and his men returning home to Ziklag after being kicked out of Aphek. They enter their city to find it desolate and destroyed. The Amalekites who had been on a raiding spree, stole everything from their camp and kidnapped all of the women and children. Nothing was left to be salvaged. Out of anger, David’s men sought to kill him, but David sought the Lord. Instead of staying bitter and depressed, David went straight to the altar and got into the presence of God. With God’s favor and permission, he and his men went after the Amalekites and fought for everything that was taken from them. They redeemed what had been stolen and gained the rations that were raided from other camps. Not only did God grant them favor to redeem their own lost good, but He blessed them with the bounty from other camps.

Several years before, David had spent his time alone in a pasture with sheep before actually stepping into his calling. This, I believe, is where his foundation and heart after God was developed. And when he was beside Saul fighting, calming him, and running for his life at times, I believe he never forgot what was promised him. His focus was sometimes misplaced as we learn about his mistakes, but he always went before God with a vulnerable heart and repentance. He had a warfare advantage over his enemies because He knew the Victor. This is how we fight our battles. This is how we redeem what the enemy tries to destroy. We stay focused on the Victor instead of becoming a victim.

So many times the enemy will use our anxiety, our fears, our failures, past, addictions, limitations and doubts to keep us from walking into what God has called us to. Each of us have a purpose, gifts,and inheritance that God has chosen for us. When we open doors to the enemy’s taunts, we are allowing him the opportunity to invade our camp.

He can’t steal our purpose, or gifts and definitely not our inheritance as children of God. He has no authority to take what has been granted ours by the King of Kings. We don’t have to ask him to kindly give us back our peace, our joy, or our hope. We have all authority and power to storm the enemy’s camp and demand back what he has taken from us. It takes knowing who you are, Whose you are and what has rightfully been promised to you. It takes courage and will to fight.

Friend, you may have had a rough year, month, week, day even and felt like nothing could be redeemed, but I’m here to tell you that you have all power and authority over the enemy and his schemes. Your fight isn’t over.

“I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace as you trust in Him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

Forged in the Fire| By Heaven Harris

Did you know that to purify gold, you must heat it up to over 1800 degrees Fahrenheit to allow the impurities to rise and solidify into pure gold? Crazy huh? 1800 degrees! I cannot even fathom anything reaching such temperatures. How amazing that when put through the fire, the gold remains in tact and only the impurities fall off and rise to be removed.  

In almost all of my writings, I never try to hide or belittle the season I am currently walking in. With that being said, since my move out of state, just when I thought life could not get much more difficult, and hoping this move was me entering a season of rest and peace, there I was in the midst of what felt like a hurricane trying desperately to destroy me.

I stand knowing that I know my Father’s voice, and I know He sent me here. However, I was quickly losing sight of any idea of the purpose of this move, and quite honestly, I found myself slipping into bitterness wondering why I was still having to walk through such a hard time. I mean, haven’t I had enough?!

How often do you ask yourself that? How often do we feel tested by the flames only to feel like God is turning up the heat?

John 16:33 (NLT) says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

While in my secret place of prayer and crying out, God brought me to the book of Daniel and the story of three brave men who endured the fire in a very literal way. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego loved God fiercely and with hearts ablaze. They had a good life, good positions, and everything seemed to be going in their favor until King Nebuchadnezzar made a decree that at the sound of any musical instrument, everyone would be required to bow down and worship the golden image he created. If anyone refused, they were to be thrown into a fiery furnace to be burned alive.

This was these three men’s test. This is where it was up to them to either fight fire with fire or dance to the tune of the world’s song and forfeit their faith or trust in the One who had yet to abandon them.  They chose the former. They refused to let the world’s song be music to their ears and they refused to bow to anyone who wasn’t the Lord Most High. One faithful decision left them to be consumed by the flames. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s response…“If the God we serve wishes to save us, then so be it.” And into the fire they were thrown.  

That sounds about right! How many times are we walking faithfully with our King, and it seems He is bringing on the heat? Sweet daughter, there is a purpose in this.  

“Then I, myself, will be a protective wall of fire around Jerusalem, says the Lord. And I will be the glory inside the city!’”- Zechariah 2:5 (NLT)

The ending to the scriptural story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is this…God rescued them and protected them. The fire of God inside them overcame the fire they were thrown in.

How incredible of the God we serve! These men did not falter. They did not give in. They stood on the truths that their hearts burned for, and they fought King Nebuchadnezzar’s fire with the Blazing Son and prevailed! Amen!

If we stand on the promises that have, in the past, burned up every lie the enemy has thrown at us, God promises to be a wall of fire ALL around us, protecting us from any fiery dart the enemy wants to throw at us.

I leave you with a sweet story: I read years ago in New Day New You written by Joyce Meyer, the story shared was about a cute little teacup, shaped and formed in the potter’s hand perfectly, yet had it’s discomforts.  


“A couple went into an antique shop and saw this BEAUTIFUL, MAGNIFICENT little tea cup sitting high on a shelf. And they fell in love with this teacup. As they were admiring this teacup, it began to talk to them. It said, “You know, I have not always been like this! There was a time when I was not attractive at all. You see there was a time in my life when I was just a hard lump of clay. And the master potter came along, and he picked me up and began to pat and reshape me; and I said,” STOP IT! What are you doing? THAT HURTS!  Leave me alone! And he simply looked at me and said, “Not yet.” And then he put me on this wheel, and he began to spin me around, and around and around! And I got so dizzy and could hardly see where I was going anymore! I was losing it! Everything was spinning around and around, and I felt sick to my stomach. And I said; “LET ME OFF HERE!” and he said: “Not yet!”.

Finally, the day came when I had taken on another shape. All of that spinning around finally gave me another shape. All of that patting and molding and squeezing and pinching gave me another shape. And suddenly – he put me into this FURNACE! It is called the first firing. And ‘twas SO HOT in there! Oh, I could not believe how hot it was. I thought, “I can’t stand this! I’m going to DIE in here! ‘GET ME OUT OF HERE!!! Don’t you love me?? Why are you leaving me in here?’ You see, the oven door had glass in it and the master would just look in his eyes AND HE WOULDN’T LET ME OUT!! But he would just smile at me and say, ‘Not yet!!

FINALLY, the oven door opened, and he took me out – set me on a shelf and I thought, ‘Whew! Thank God that is over!’. Then he began to paint me all over with this stinky paint! Changing my color from gray to this pretty blue that I am now! And I said: ‘This stuff STINKS! It is choking me! I don’t like this smell! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!’ He would just say: ‘Not yet!’.

Then he put me back in a SECOND oven. It is called the second firing, and ‘twas TWICE as hot as the first oven! And I thought, ‘Now, I will DIE in here for sure! This is the end of me. This will finish me off! GET ME OUT OF HERE! I CAN’T STAND IT! I CAN’T STAND IT! Really – I am telling you – I can’t stand it! This is going to kill me! GET ME OUT OF HERE!’ And he would just look through that glass and say: ‘Not yet!’

Then one day the door finally opened – he took me out and he put me up here on this shelf to let me cool off. After I cooled off, one day he came by and he handed me this mirror and I looked at myself and I could not believe how BEAUTIFUL I was! I could not BELIEVE how I have CHANGED! Why, I did not look anything at all like that old gray clay that I started out to be!

Now, I am this beautiful, little, delicate teacup! And EVERYBODY wants me now! But there was a time in my life when NOBODY wanted me; NOBODY liked me; NOBODY paid any attention to me! They just kicked me around; walked on me.  But now- I AM SPECIAL!”

If God is whispering to you, “Not yet,” know that His delicate hands have an intricate plan, and the final result will be more BEAUTIFUL than you could ever imagine.  

Life Is Not a Race| By Jasmine Beard

We live in a world that is super fast-paced. So long dial-up internet, buffering, and anything that brings the slightest inconvenience. We now carry the internet in the palm of our hands and can get any fancy restaurant to deliver us meals to our home.

I have often considered myself a runner. Not in the athletic way (although that is a goal in 2019), but just in a life sort of way. I have often wanted to pass through circumstances and situations in my life, skip chapters, peek to the next page, or to the end of the book.

I often say, “I am not in a competition with others, but in a competition all on my own.”

However, something I have noticed while running is that I miss things, I overlook things, and I forget to catch my breath and appreciate where I am, who I am with, and the journey we call life.

When the Bible talks about Jesus traveling, it never mentions that he ran somewhere. Think about it. He walked, and walked, and sometimes took a boat or a donkey. But never ever ran (atleast to my knowledge).

Jesus was not anxious as I can sometimes find myself to be, he did not worry about tomorrow, when His arrival time was, or what others were doing or saying about Him.

He simply walked. He walked the path God had paved for Him since the creation of the earth. Jesus had a certainty and a trust in God for where His life was headed and the miracles He could do without Him being in a hurry.

I think my nature to plan and run everywhere is because I sometimes think I have something to prove naysayers wrong and push my potential to its peak. Instead of fully relying on God in my life journey, I can at times rush to accomplish what my mind is set on.

This is a ploy from the enemy. He loves to see us run, gasping for breath, and losing stamina. If we run and even walk in our own strength, it is vain. We are instead to walk with God and allow Him to be the light unto our paths, no matter the pace we are going.

Jesus walked many places and was never in a hurry. The death and resurrection of Lazarus in John 11:1-41 (read here) reminds me of Jesus’ lack of urgency.

When Jesus got word that Lazarus (a dear friend of his) was sick, He did not urgently run to his aid. He trusted the word of the Lord and chose to wait and then walk.

John 41:4-11 (NLT) says,

4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”

5 So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus,

6 he stayed where he was for the next two days.

7 Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”

8 But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”

9 Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world.

10 But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.”

11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.”

Wow, not a sense of panic or a desire to run in urgency. Jesus did not allow other people’s anxieties, thoughts of/for Him, or urgencies to cause Him to rush God’s plan to bring resurrection life back to Lazarus. He simply walked at the pace He felt led to and let God lead His path.

Maybe you are in life, and you feel less accomplished than most. People tell you you need to hurry up, that you are losing time, or maybe these are words you speak to yourself. I want to encourage you today to pause, wait, and walk. Walk the path that God paved for you since the creation of the earth. No competition, just you and God, walking this life journey out together.

New Year Reminders|By Stephanie Cain

We are freshly into a new year. I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly sure where 2018 went. Nevertheless, the new year is here, and with it comes the wave of “New Year, New Me” resolutions. Discounts on gym memberships and things to help you organize every part of your life are at an all time high. In the middle of all of that, I would like to take a moment to remind us of a few things.

First, just breathe and be still. The Lord says to “Be still.” In the our society today it can be so easy to get caught up in striving for “perfection” which often means pushing yourself, your time, your body, and your money to the max. Be sure to take time to also be still with the Lord.

Second, you do not have to have your entire life planned out for the next 365 days. You don’t have to have all your meals planned, workout days mapped, and new routines scheduled to the minute. The Bible says,

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)

Please do not take this as me saying planning and goal setting is wrong. Laying out steps to reach goals is important and often requires taking control of the flesh which is an important spiritual discipline.However, what would our 2019 look like if we took time out to seek the Lord for what His plans are for us this year? Maybe He’s calling you to a new ministry in your church, or to open up your home more for fellowship. Maybe He wants you to take a year to focus on prayer. Walking in and fulfilling God’s purposes for our lives will bring a much bigger sense of accomplishment, joy, and peace than reaching any of our goals.

Lastly, if you are like the majority of us, and you give up on your resolutions by January 16th, please know that you are not defined by that failure. Remember that you are chosen, cherished, loved, and purchased with an immeasurable price. Hold fast to the truths that nothing is impossible through Christ and in Him we can overcome the world because He already has! You do not have to accept defeat. This life on earth is a race with many legs. Keep going with the Lord!

I pray that 2019 is a year of spiritual growth for you. That this year would be a year of overcoming the world. Most of all, I pray that this year is a year of salvation. Salvation for those around you, and if you haven’t accepted Christ, that it is a year of salvation for you. Looking forward to all that God is going to do in our lives this year.

Praying With Boldness| By Tori Savoy

Throughout my life, I have come against some mighty adversities. I have learned that no matter the battle, the outcome is determined by fighting on my knees in prayer. When I began to come before the Lord with boldness and confidence in prayer, I saw mighty things changing in my life.


As Christians, I think we sometimes take prayer for granted. It is something we do from the moment we are saved, but sometimes it so easily becomes a chore. We begin to recite typical Christian phrases to sound “holy” in our prayers and feel good about our prayer quality. It can so easily become a rehearsed speech rather than a conversation with our loving father.

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” Matthew 6:7

As a young child, I would pray fervently – believing all my prayers would come to pass. However, as some prayers over the years went unanswered, I began to doubt the importance of my prayers. Instead of believing what I was praying, I slipped into a routine of praying passively. I would only pray for the things that seemed attainable – mostly things that I could control the outcome of.

Although I did not suffer from deferred hope with this method of prayer, I also did not see the hand of God in my life. It was not until into my early marriage that I truly began to see the power of my prayers. I am sure you’re thinking my mind was changed when God miraculously answered one of my prayers. Actually, no. I realized the power of my prayers when I saw that the devil was threatened by them.

Early in my marriage, God placed on my heart to pray for my husband and our marriage. At first, I did not understand why. We had no specific marital problems and were still basically in that newlywed  stage. Nonetheless, I listened to the leading of the Holy Spirit and prayed over my marriage and truly believed every word I spoke over my husband and I.

Later that evening, something broke loose between the two of us. I do not remember the exact circumstances, but both of us became edgy with one another. Sitting up that night, frustrated at my husband, God revealed to me that this very thing happened because of my prayers.

The devil, seeing how powerful my faith was during that prayer time earlier that morning, decided to shake my faith and put a stop to my prayers.

If the devil becomes threatened by your faith, he will do everything in his power to remove the source of your faith. He wants to leave you hopeless. Your faith and your prayers will stop him right in his tracks and leave him powerless.

Once I realized this, I knew the devil, not my husband, was the real enemy. In that moment, I rebuked the devil and began to pray even harder. If my one little prayer that morning intimidated him, I would pray several more times a day until he was powerless. Never had my faith in prayer been stronger.

Today, not only have I seen the benefits of praying for my marriage, but as well as other areas of my life. When I turned my prayers from praying passively to praying with boldness and confidence that God can accomplish the impossible, I began to see chains break and things restored.

“…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” James 5:16

At the head of 2019, I am proclaiming this the “year of prayer”. I encourage you to join me in praying with boldness and faith as we see strongholds break and lives made new this year. I pray over each of you proclaiming freedom, peace, abundance, joy, success, and unending love.

“Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.’ If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.’’ Matthew 21:21-22

Dealing with Depression During the Holidays| By Jasmine Beard

From our family to yours MERRY CHRISTMAS!

‘Tis the season for family, yuletide carols, loneliness and depression. What?! Unfortunately, here at Unveiling Eden, we know that the holidays can be an exciting time for some, but also a dreaded season for others- especially if a person does not have family, friends or a significant other to celebrate with.

If you are feeling or dealing with depression this Holiday Season, we want you to know that you are not alone. We want to encourage you to share with someone how you are feeling. Often times, when we share our emotions with just one individual the weight of our feelings can be easier to bare.

Also, if you can push through the crippling effects of depression for a moment and give back, we believe your spirits will be uplifted this Holiday Season. Whether, it be volunteering at a homeless shelter, Christmas caroling at a nursing home, or by simply calling someone who doesn’t have loved ones. We know when we take our eyes off our circumstances and focuses on the needs of others, it can at times change our own perspective.

Lastly, we’d like to encourage you to read and meditate on the word of God. His word is full of promises and encouragement that He has purposed for all of us. Take the scriptures down below as a gift from us to you, and a gift from God to you, as well.

Psalm 30:11 

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,

Deuteronomy 31:8 

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Isaiah 40:31 

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.

Philippians 4:13 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

John 16:33 

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Isaiah 41:10 

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Matthew 11:28 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Jeremiah 29:11 

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.

Proverbs 3:5-6 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Also check out our latest video discussing this very topic.

Reflecting for the New Year|By Heaven Harris

The Christmas season is the perfect time to reflect on the year as it comes to a close, and the perfect opportunity to dream for the year ahead. Every year, I pray that God blesses me with a word and/or scripture that will mark the year and season I am stepping into or still walking in. Every year, He is exceedingly faithful in my request. For 2018, my words were JOY and ROMANCE, and my scriptures encompassed those very words.

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.” -Hosea 2:14

“He brought me to the banquet hall, and he looked on me with love.” -Song of Solomon 2:4

This year, my divorce was finalized. As that part of my life was coming to a permanent close, I struggled to understand how joy and romance could possibly be what God was trying to incorporate in my life.  I felt empty and void of either. However, God knew the place He wanted in my life. He wanted to be my husband and show me a different side of His perfect and true love.

For the entirety of this year, I let Him pursue me and allure me through every high and low. I let Him romance my heart straight into the healing I was longing for. As my heart healed, my joy was daily renewed in ways I never experienced. It has not been easy. It has taken intentionality.  It has also taken honesty. There have been days when I have thrown my hands in the air yelling, not wanting His love or presence.

My intention is never to hurt Him, but in the humanity of it all, sometimes I feel I have nothing to give or even the energy to receive. Can we just take a moment to be thankful that even in those vulnerable moments, He never leaves or forsakes?

Actually, it has been the most vulnerable moments that He shows Himself a strong tower, and I can be nothing but thankful.

As the scripture goes, His grace is sufficient, and His strength and power are made perfect through our weaknesses. My heart simply desires that He shines bright through my pain and weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9 paraphrased)

That wilderness spoken of in Hosea 2 was lonely at times, yet I never felt more surrounded. As I reflect on 2018, there were so many opportunities for me to let God in and romance me more.  Yet, I sit with contentment that He has my heart in a way that He never has. I sit knowing that there are worldly desires I never thought would be quenched that He miraculously replaced with an urgency for Him and His touch. I find myself hungry more for a touch of Heaven and less for pleasing people. I want eternity to be my mark.  

My prayer for you in this season of reflection is that you can see His hand in everything you have encountered this year, even those hard parts.  Even more, I pray that 2019 has your heart fluttering with hope for what He will continue to do for and in you.

My word for 2019 is MARVEL. My scripture is Isaiah 54 (NLT).

In this chapter, it speaks about a barren and desolate land. One that has been riddled with storms. I too have battled many storms in my life. But, God has a promise for this city as He has a promise for you and me.

11  “O storm-battered city, troubled and desolate! I will rebuild you with precious jewels
   and make your foundations from lapis lazuli.


12  I will make your towers of sparkling rubies, your gates of shining gems,
and your walls of precious stones.


13  I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace.


14  You will be secure under a government that is just and fair. Your enemies will stay far away. You will live in peace, and terror will not come near.


15  If any nation comes to fight you, it is not because I sent them. Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat.

16  “I have created the blacksmith who fans the coals beneath the forge
and makes the weapons of destruction. And I have created the armies that destroy.


17  But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!

Read the rest of Isaiah 54 here.

I will walk into 2019 clinging to such a love letter, and I choose to begin this year with pouring out into your cup the overflow of mine. I believe these scriptures are for some of you, and the shaky ground you stand on. Embrace His heart for you in this upcoming year. He is ready to give you every desire of that precious heart of yours.

Praying for a Broken World| By Jasmine Beard


Everyday there is bad news…

I mean, really bad news. Within the last week, I have learned of three crimes that, in a sense, have rattled me, scared me, and left me questioning God.

I have a lot of knowledge of God. Not saying I know it all, but I know all about what His word says about Him – His character, His love, and His sovereignty. I have even had revelation of His goodness in my own life. The good things that God has done in my life could literally tower to the size of a building.

But still, I find myself in this moment bewildered, scared, and confused about the very knowledge I know of God and the very experiences I have had with Him.

In the last week, I have learned through the news of a local pastor’s wife being carjacked, ran over, and killed. Secondly, I heard about a baby being disposed of in a garbage can. And lastly, just last night, I heard of a 52-year-old woman who while trying to help a homeless woman and her baby was stabbed to death. Stabbed….to….death.

When I heard that last story, it felt like the last straw. I wept, and I felt so so hurt by this.

“Then you may be the sons of your Father Who is in heaven. His sun shines on bad people and on good people. He sends rain on those who are right with God and on those who are not right with God.” – Matthew 5:45

I know God is good in the midst of the unforeseen growing bills happening in my life. I know God is good when I hear of incurable diseases my loved ones have. And I know God is good even when people die from things like cancer and other diseases.

But tragedies, I just do not understand.

Tragedy- an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe.

As a Christian, how do I marry the idea of God’s goodness and the badness of tragedies?

In my heart, mind, and soul, I know I serve a God of miracles. MIRACLES…like He parts the sea, He raises the dead to life, He heals the sick. Yet tragedies still happen..Why?

As I have felt the grief and the weight just a tiny bit from being a spectator from the outside, my heart has ached for these people- the victims, their families, the perpetrators. I’ve cried for them, I’ve prayed for them, and I have questioned for them.

Today, I am reminded that God HATES murder. Also, any empathy or sympathy I feel for another human being is not because of my human nature, but because of my God nature through the Holy Spirit.

Tragedies happen and have happened for the entire duration of my 25-year-old lifespan. Why am I just now questioning tragedies?

Is it because of the first murder happened right in my city? Right down the street from my apartment and workplace?

That the baby thrown away reminds me of all the aborted fetuses that happen in my state?

That there are so many children in foster care who never get adopted?

And this last news story.

Did it affect me so much because I care so deeply for the homeless community? And knowing the woman stabbed to death while giving could have easily been me or any other caring person I know?

I am not sure. I think questions are good. Really, really good. I know God can handle them and longs to give me insight and direction.

The insight and direction that He’s given me on these tragedies is to PRAY.

Many of us are hurt by tragedy, bewildered by circumstances, and question God. This is fine, but we cannot stay there. If all we do is ask questions and complain about unforeseen tragedies, we miss God’s goodness in the midst of them.

I don’t understand tragedies, but I do know I serve a kind and loving God. These tragedies were a spiritual awakening for the call on my life and every woman and man of God to intercede and to pray for your city, state, region, country, and the world.

“Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.” – Psalm 143:8

Wherever there is ungodliness, carnality, and sin in History, you will find murder and tragedy…

The only way to change our city is to pray for godliness, revival, and love to run rampant there. Our prayers need to be less about us and more for this dying world.

I once read a quote that said, “If all of your prayers from last night, came true today would it change the world or would it just change yours?”

That’s a powerful statement/question that I think all of us should ask ourselves.

We serve a kind, kind God who serves selfish, selfish man. Let’s join Him in his kindness, mercy, and empathy for our cities, states, and country through communing with Him in prayer and bringing His love and light to a broken world.

“But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side.They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.” -Luke 19:41-44

Pardon the Interruption|By Chelsea Verdin

My eyes were closed, and my heart was heavy. I had been wrestling with God without even noticing it, until I felt a small hand brush my arm. Instantly, I opened my eyes and looked over to my friend who was standing next to me with her baby boy. So sweetly, he reached out his arms to me, and I graciously accepted his invitation to cuddle him up into my arms.

I held my worship experience, still focusing on Jesus, but also enjoying the sweet affections from this baby boy. As he gently rested his head on my shoulder and patted my back with his tiny hand, tears filled my eyes, and an explainable peace swept over me.

A flood of emotions expanded my heart, and I just stood holding him, singing and surrendering to Jesus. This sweet boy represented the image of Christ, and in that moment, He was wrapping His arms around me and confirming me in the most tangible way.

Here’s what I learned: interruptions are divine appointments with Jesus. So many times, Jesus interrupted people’s daily lifestyles and invited them to sit with Him. Often times, Jesus’ own life was interrupted by people hungry for His ministry and desperate for His love. Each of the disciples were consumed with their own lives when Jesus chose them to follow Him. They could have rejected His invitation and went on with their lives, but instead, they embraced the interruption and gained the sweetest revelation and friendship.

When Mary was to marry Joseph, she had her life planned out. She would marry and have children. She would make a good wife and mother. Then suddenly those plans were interrupted. The angel Gabriel was sent to Mary in the middle of her wedding planning. He brought great news and an even greater invitation. Not only was Mary favored by God, but He had chosen her to birth the Messiah.

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee,

27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.

28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”

29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.

30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!

31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.

32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.

33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”


35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.

36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month.

37 For the word of God will never fail.”

38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

-Luke 1:26-38

How differently would things look if Mary would have rejected God’s offer and decided to proceed with her wedding untouched by the Holy Spirit?

Interruptions are invitations to sit with Jesus. He invites us to be still with Him that we may learn and know who He is.

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” -Psalm 46:10

That we may honor Him and make space within our busy lives to accept the hand selected task that He specifically creates for us.

Sometimes, we see the interruptions as distractions from the plans we have mapped out for ourselves, but what if we chose to see them as encounters with Jesus. Moments to talk to Him or get alone with Him in the midst of our chaotic lives? How differently we would be if we met one of His interruptions with the heart of Samuel as he tried to sleep and the Lord called to Him several times in the middle of the night.

“Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” -1 Samuel 3:10

God has been teaching me to come away with Him in the middle of the chaos. When the noise all around me is trying to silence His voice in my life, He reassures me that solitude is not just about being alone. It is about who we are alone with. He uses the embrace of a child to confirm me and to remind me that I am still His, He is still mine, and He is good always.

Friend, if you look around you will notice Him speaking too. Maybe not always audible as we would like, but always speaking to the heart of who we are.

Like a sunset taking away the day, some interruptions are meant to be beautiful invitations to be still and know.