Heart of Refuge

Unveiling The Hidden Beauty Of Your Heart

Category: From the Heart of a Man

From The Heart of a Man ~ Kenneth Reyes

 

Courtesy Kenneth Reyes

Nothing in life carries more gravity than being a good father and husband. Serving in the military adds a level of complexity that most families do not have to deal with. Most civilians are unaware of the lawful demand that the profession of arms asks of its members. This demand is simply stated as, the mission comes first. If you are unfamiliar with the term, the mission comes first, allow me to get you up-to-speed. The “mission” is any military requirement that is asked of me. This can stem from as mundane as administrative paper work to the extreme of a combat deployment. The mission comes first regardless of my family situation. Child being born < Army; Wedding Anniversary < Army; Death in the Family < Army. True, with special permission these conflicts of interest can be resolved but you need the Army’s permission first.

This requires me to be on top of my husband and fatherly duties at all times. I need to build emotional resiliency in my wife and daughter so they can mentally manage the disappointment of my absence and all the little things that are on the daily battlefield of emotional happiness. School plays, playtime, tucking my daughter into bed, being there to hold my wife after a rough day. These are just some of the constant challenges I face as a father and husband in the military.

The question for those that know me is, how did I stay married for 19 years and be under 40? The answer is simple but the execution is much harder. I loved my wife as I wanted her to love me. I tried to be as understanding to her needs as I want her to be understanding to mine. Lastly, forgiveness proved to be the most important element to our success. I strived to forgive her for all perceived wrongs against me as I hoped she would try to forgive me for all my perceived wrongs against her. It didn’t hurt that the Lord scripted onto my heart that I would take care of her till my dying breath either.

Our relationship enjoys the unfair advantage of the Lord’s favor. We have faced challenges that have crushed other couples, but our love has the spiritual backing of one that is greater than the world. Therefore our love is able to resist the world’s challenges. This doesn’t mean we don’t fall victim to the snares of being rude, impatient, or hurting-one-another. We just seem to have an unending well of forgiveness for each other. This allows us to enjoy an unbreakable bond. After reading this you may be disappointed if you came looking for answers that could easily be replicated in your own relationship, but in the end we give God all the glory.

 

 

Captain Kenneth Reyes  ~ United States Army Paratrooper

Kenneth Reyes was born in Hoboken, NJ in 1978 and grew up as a military dependent.  Ken travelled the world with his mother and older brother; Hawaii, California, Puerto Rico, Germany, and Texas.  He graduated from High School at Killeen, TX and promptly enlisted in the United States Air Force at the age of 17 in 1996.  He attended Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.  After Basic Military Training, his first permanent duty station was McClellan Air Force Base, Sacramento, California.  He soon deployed to Bosnia to support the NATO led Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 3 months. His mission was to assist in halting Serbian forces from completing their campaign of ethnic cleansing the Kosovo Albanians.

In 2000 while serving as a Senior Airman, Ken completed his first Associates in Applied Science in Information Technology Systems form the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF).  The CCAF is a federally-chartered degree-granting institution that serves the United States Air Force’s enlisted force.  In 2005 while serving as a Technical Sergeant, Ken completed his second Associates in Applied Science from the CCAF in Education & Training Management. He also completed a Bachelors of Science in Management from the University of Phoenix.  In 2006 Ken competed and was awarded an opportunity to attended Officer Candidate School.  After successfully completing Officer Candidate School, Ken received a commission from the President of the United States as an Army Second Lieutenant in the Adjutant General Corps.

In 2007 while serving as a Second Lieutenant, Ken volunteered to serve his country as a United States Army Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.  Ken was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment in the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment (4th Brigade Combat Team).  Ken served as their Adjutant General Officer for 46 months.  While in the 82nd Airborne Division he served 27 months in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In 2011 while serving as a Captain, Ken took command of Charlie Company, 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception), Fort Jackson, Columbia, SC for 22 months.  During this time Ken received, equipped, motivated, and shipped over 36,000 Soldiers to Basic Combat Training.  In 2013 Ken completed his Masters of Arts in Human Resource Management from Webster University.

Since 2013 Ken has been serving as an Assistant Professor of Military Science for Army ROTC at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Stetson University, Bethune-Cookman, and Daytona State College. Some of his awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, theArmy Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement

Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with two campaign stars), the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the NATO ISAF Medal, the Polish Army Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.

 

 

From the Heart of a Man – Ashley Taylor

Living every day, looking into a mirror” 

It took me a while to sit down and write this blog, I guess because the topic is quite personal and sensitive. If there are two things in my life that I treasure above all, it’s my relationship with God and the relationship with my wife.

When I got married, or rather when I got engaged I was only 20 years old. I took the time to make sure my proposal was amazing for my bride to be (which it was – if you don’t believe me ask her! LOL). I married at 21 and so this new life began with a young lady who I have the responsibility of loving and taking care of. My marriage didn’t start in the clouds of love, floating away into the sunset, but it started in reality. No money, living in one bedroom within a Brixton South London crack-house, and I now have to learn how to be a husband in the worst conditions. Although my wife and I were committed to each other to be together no doubt, the truth is we had to learn how to love each other.

Does that sound backwards? Well, maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t – but that was our reality. Having the questions going back and forth in both our minds – Did I make the right decision? Was I too young? Did I hear God right or wrong about this person? As I write this blog, my marriage has survived good days, bad days, arguments, laughs, a pregnancy, a miscarriage, a miracle baby, counselling, bank overdrafts, poor financial decisions, homelessness, miracle money, depression, new cities, redundancy, new homes, new jobs – but most of all, new love. You see, I had to grow up a whole lot to become a real man.

Almost being married for 6 years now, I can say that it was my relationship with God that changed my marriage. I had to force myself to ask myself the question, “Do I love her like Christ loves me?” This means, do I love her faults, forgive, cover her, and be there for her like Christ does the same for me? This question changed my perspective forever when it came to my marriage. I realised I had no right to be mean, cold, selfish and distant – because I treat Christ so awful many times, but guess what He still loves me! Wow, that’s amazing. It was when I got a revelation of the love of Jesus Christ, I was able to love my wife in a brand new way.

Though we still have many years ahead of us, I know without a doubt that we are in our best years now. I challenge any young man out there, if you want to get married, get ready to live everyday looking in a mirror. When you see your lady, get ready to see yourself: flawed & imperfect – but just like Jesus you have to pour out love and care.

 

Ashley Taylor – BIO

Ashley Taylor, 26, a dreamer & visionary favoured by God, currently resides in Nottingham, England with his wife Sabrina and son, River. Having been in Christian ministry since he was 8 years old, yet not one to be in the spotlight of church circuits and circles, Ashley recognises that God has kept him hidden. He understands that He has been called to be a major influence cross-denominationally within Christian and church environments, and is therefore ever heeding to the instruction of God found in Psalm 2:8, “Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.” Ashley is an active member in ministry at Heart Church – based in Nottingham, under the leadership & covering of his spiritual father, Pastor Malcolm Baxter.

 

From The Heart of a Man – Micheal Smith

A Man of Faith by Micheal Smith

Courtesy of Micheal Smith MBE

Whatever we as men do in our lives, we have an underlying desire to be great in the eyes of our family. We strive to prove that we are the provider, defender and ruler of the home. The truth is we are overshadowed by our spouse who really runs the home, builds bridges between us and our children and generally keeps the home in order. For some men this can be uncomfortable because we feel out of control, even to a point that the home feels like a bucket with many holes and we struggle to keep everything and everyone together in that bucket. A good man soon learns to operate in the areas of the home that is his domain and allows his spouse and children to operate freely in theirs. No matter what we do, at the end of the day it always comes down to family and the value we place on it.

 

There are many things that drive men to become successful. The one thing that has driven me to do my best is my desire to please my God. I am a firm believer that if we serve God with all our heart and all our energy, he will take care of everything in our lives. I have learned to trust God totally to be my guide, my provider and a very present help in times of difficulty. If we want to really please God, we must first believe that he is God and allow him to be in total control of the steering wheel, the accelerator and the brake of our life vehicle.

That vehicle becomes ‘the desire of our heart’ and we need to get to the point where we recognise that it is God’s calling on our life and we have the choice to accept it or decline that calling. An important saying to remember is this, “A winner never quits and a quitter never wins” we must keep pressing forward. A book by John Maxwell called ‘Failing Forward’ (ISBN: 8601300489926), taught me that failing your way to success is commonplace with most, if not all of the most successful people in the world. Another important secret of success is “Never, Never, Never quit!”

 

Micheal’s Bio
Born and bred in Britain and son of Jamaican parents, Michael had a thirst for excitement in life and as such pursued a path that has led to his current position, as a committed Christian, husband and father.

As a young man Michael was destined for leadership and at age 15 he joined the Air Training Corps where he got a marksmanship in shooting before even getting his uniform and went on to becoming a Sargent. He wanted to be a fighter pilot and went on to gain a Glider Pilots Licence and also flew single-engined light aircraft. After deciding not to join the Royal Air Force as it may have involved taking the life of another, he decided to join the Police, where a major change was needed to improve the poor relationship between black people and the police.

He served as Police Officer for over 22 years, during which time he developed a desire to positively address knife and gun crime amongst young people. In 2007 he founded the charitable organisation Word 4 Weapons, the UK’s first weapons surrender and exchange programme. To date they have removed over 20,000 weapons from UK’s streets. Michael pursued this venture alongside his full-time job and in 2015 took early retirement to spend more time developing Word 4 Weapons. In March 2016 Michael was awarded a MBE by The Queen for his dedication to making the UK a safer place be. In addition, Michael and his wife Angela have now started a new venture offering respite care for Church Leaders and a service to couples experiencing difficulties in their marriage.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén