Heart of Refuge

Unveiling The Hidden Beauty Of Your Heart

Category: love

Book Review: “Everything” by Janine Cummings

I belong to an awesome Facebook woman’s book club called “Women Aspiring for More” led by Tammy Donaldson.  We recently read and reviewed a book called “Everything” by Janine Cummings.

This book shares the painful journey of Janine losing the love of her life,  who she calls “everything” throughout the book. It describes in detail the emotional pain she felt as she realised the relationship was coming to an end. I felt  the book provided a safe environment for her healing process to begin as Janine effectively and engagingly  poured her emotions out on paper.

Below are some of the points I shared whilst reviewing the book in the book club. I realised that as women we experience these same emotions when we feel we are losing a significant other or some thing precious in our life is ending:

  • Janine describes her desperation to holding on to a relationship that was not working and how she was willing to lower herself to become whatever “everything” wanted in order to keep him.
  • Its the story of a woman who also experienced redemption because after losing the love of “everything” she found HIS  love, the love of God.

I really commend Janine for wearing her heart on her sleeves  and would recommend this book  as a great read, as it demonstrates the process of a woman finding herself and her identity after the loss of  “everything”

 

Take a moment to check out the links below:

To purchase Janine’s Book CLICK HERE

To Join Tammy Donaldson’s book club CLICK HERE

Subscribe to my youtube channel CLICK HERE

Sign up to my mailing list CLICK HERE

Book a FREE 15 minute coaching discovery call with me CLICK HERE

 

 

 

God’s Grace is Tailored Made For You

image from pixabay.com

image from pixabay.com

My mother learnt to sew in her mid teens during the early 1950’s in Jamaica. Mummy can sew. She can take a piece of fabric and turn it in anything. She is a master seamstress.

My mother can take an outfit that is made for a size 14 and tailor it so  someone who is a size 10 can wear it. She made all of our clothes growing up, its her therapy.  When she needed quiet time or to relax she would retreat with her patterns, thread, fabric and sewing machine.

Thinking about her made me think of God’s grace. It is tailor made for you and it is tailor made for me. A perfect fit for my heart!

Let’s take a look at a couple of verses that talk of God’s grace:

Hebrews 4:16 ~ Did you know that grace has a throne, a place where you can go and receive? You can go there and find help in the time of need.

Ephesians 2:6-8 ~ God’s grace has exceeding riches and it is His gift to me.

God’s grace is rich and it is a gift for you to receive and wear. It’s a beautiful garment. I dare you to try it on because it will be a perfect fit!

© Jenny Allen & Heart of Refuge  2011 – 2016. Unauthorised use and /or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and owner is strictly prohibited

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 – 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.

God wants you to Win 

Psalms 119 is the longest Psalm in the bible. Its theme is that God’s word is authorative, reliable and powerful. It shows us the integrity of His word.

I once did a daily bible reading plan of the whole book of Psalms and I found it to be an invaluable source of encouragement and spiritual strength.

One thing I learnt from this Psalm is that God wants me to win.  When you feel like falling he will hold you up and keep you lifted. The bible talks about a great cloud of witness’ that are watching and waiting for you to cross the finishing line and enter what the father has for you.

This amazing chapter will show you the authority of God’s word has in your life, its reliability in your life and the power it brings to your life.

No one wants you to win more than father God and he will prove it to you as you read Psalms 119. Allow his precepts, commandments and statutes to be your guide to live a successful and victories life.

My challenge to you today is to take 15-20mins to read this precious Psalms. Trust me you will be blessed!

 

 

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