Unveiling The Hidden Beauty Of Your Heart

Tag: God

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.

 

 

Are you persuaded? 

Today I was meditating on 2 Timothy 1:12

“…… For I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day”

There are so many  things that we commit to the Lord daily. We commit our families, our homes, our finances, the list goes on. When we commit things to God we say Lord you take it because it is to much for me to carry alone, the weight is heavy.

Paul was fully persuaded that the things he committed to God  that God was well able to take care of them. Paul was persuaded.

At times my persuasion  is never fully persuaded, because I keep looking, doubting and analysing what I have committed. Does that happen to you?

To day I had to pray, Lord I commit my mind, will and emotions to you. Help me Lord to know that they are safe with you. I also prayed for my heart, as Proverbs says out of it flows the issues of our individual lives. Lord keep my heart, help me to stay fixed on you, help me to be fully persuaded dispite what I see. Have you prayed that before?

If you have not then join me in committing your mind, will and emotions to God afresh because he is capable of keeping them safe. Together let us endeavour to be fully persuaded as Paul was about God’s commitment to him.

Your In-Laws Need Boundaries


I was ministering somewhere a few days ago and the issue of interfering inlaws came up. It is really really important that we know and understand that they cannot dictate the relationships their children have with their spouses.

Those of you that are thinking of getting married please begin to discuss it and put boundaries in place, especially if you feel your partner is a mama’s boy or daddy’s girl, because if you do not your inlaws may start to interfere (if they are not doing so already) and poison your relationship.

The control is ungodly. Sir, stand up and protect your wife to be/ girlfriend from your mothers’ onslaught. You can see what your mother is doing is not right but you will not defend the woman you call special. Young lady if he cannot defend you in front of his mother, will he defend you at all and is this the start of things to come when you both get married?

The bible clearly states in Gensis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.” 

Why is it significant that the man clearly leaves, even though the woman must leave also? The man is the foundation of his family. He is the main cornerstone that his wife and children will come to and if the man is too caught up with his mother then his family malfunctions and the foundation is shaken. You are not only to leave physically, but also emotionally and spiritually and you must start to cleave. Pray about this and ask God for wisdom on how to create parental boundaries. It may be difficult but it can be done.

Gentleman when you ask a woman to marry you do you actually know what you are asking? Do you know and understand your God given responsibilities? Your God given responsibilities towards your wife does not involve your mother. Yes the bible says that we are to honour our mother and father, that is very important but it does not say honour them at the expense of your wife. Remember God takes the position of a wife  very seriously. He compares marriage with Christ loving his church, the bride. Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. Jesus did not allow Mary his mother, to interfere with his relationship with his bride and what he was assigned to do for his bride.

Ladies in your rush to be married please make a careful note of the relationship your husband to be has with his mother. If there are clear boundaries in place then it’s good, but if not and she feels it is ok to dictate to her son and place ungodly influence over his choices then watch out. If you are having red flags or the Holy Sprit is nudging you about something then step back, pray for direction and ask questions.

If you remain silent then you will not have a happy home and instead of having a 3 fold cord ( you, your husband and the Holy Spirit) that is not easily broken, you will have a 4 fold cord that will break any minute now.

The damage done by interfering inlaws is not spoken about much in church but I want to encourage you to be prayerful and watchful in this area. Let the Holy Spirit be your teacher and do not enter a marriage with someone because you are desperate to be married.  Marriage is not the wedding day, marriage is the beginning of the rest of your life. Cleaving is a life long journey which must be protected.

I heard of a woman, who happens to be in church leadership, who tried to hinder the marriage of her son to a beautiful christian young woman, because she was worried about who was going to look after her and keep her company. When I heard that story I felt sorry for her other adult unmarried children. It is so selfish and manipulative on her part.

Naomi in the book of Ruth was a beautiful mother in law who respected her daughters in law, so much so that they did not want to leave her. There are mothers in law that have a beautiful spirit and if they see anything go wrong in the lives of their children’s marriage, they will take the time out to pray. They honour the spouse their children has selected. I honour such inlaws. If you have inlaws like this treasure them, love them and appreciate them.

What I have stated works both ways. There are some women who cling to their parents and will not allow their husband to lead. Leave and cleave to your husband, do not be a stumbling block.

Dear heart, what does God say about marriage? If your inlaws are disrespecting what God says about your own marriage, then you need to take steps to do something about it. I appreciate that some cultures place a high value on in-laws and their input in their children’s marriage. Their input has proven to be detrimental in many cases. Your spouse is not a tool for your in-laws to abuse as they please. Please stand up for your spouse because the two of you have become one. You do not become one with your parents.

Please share your feelings about this in the comments section.

Encourage Yourself

 

photo by sampson-anointed-tech-resources.com

 

1 Samuel 30:6.  “And David encouraged himself in the Lord……..”

There are going to be times in your life when you are going to have to encourage yourself. Life has many valley and mountain experiences.

During a valley experience I encouraged myself by reading through the book of Psalms via a daily devotional app by You Version. I can’t tell you what that daily reading did for me. I would pray and ask God to speak to me through a verse, something I would need for the day and the verse highlighted really ministered to me for that day.

I have found ways to encourage myself daily that work for me, a few of them are:

* I declare encouraging scriptures over myself.

* I thank God and express my gratitude for the the things I have and for the things around me.

* I declare God’s Word into my future regarding the things I would like to see.

David had to encourage himself because his enemies had destroyed the families and property of his army and his army turned against him. I imagined David worshiped, prayed and danced before the Lord. This would have shifted his consciousness from his current surroundings to the fullness of who he was in God. The one who delivered him from the lion and the bear would see him through this situation.

Dear Heart, what situation are you currently going through that you will need to encourage yourself through?  What encouragement strategies are you using? Share them in the comments section below, Take some time today to encourage yourself.

 

 

A legacy of Faith

As we have now entered a new year I have been looking back and pondering on the living legacy I have left behind. What have I done that has made a lasting positive impact on those around me? What living legacy of my faith is encouraging others for good.

In 2 Timothy 1:5, Paul describes the legacy of Timothy’s faith that first dwelt in his grandmother Lois and then his mother Eunice. This is a generational blessing of Faith which Timothy as a young minister could draw on for his own ministry and life.

What generational blessing can we draw on for our own life and what are we passing on to our children and our children’s children. What are they seeing in us? If you have no children then what are people around you seeing in you by way of a positive influence.

Our lives are never about us but it is about giving. We breath in and out. What we breath in we may not always breath out. We breath in Oxygen but breath out carbon dioxide.

I want to encourage you dear reader to be a person who makes a conscious effort in 2015 to be living legacy of faith with each person you come into contact with. let your smile, kind words say something about who you are.

let 2015 be a year for you to be a good book who can be read by those who meet you.

My Heart’s Meditaions

Psalms 19:14 (KJV) ~ Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

What are you meditating on? What is it that your heart longs for and desires?

Life can cause us to meditate on so many things that hinder or propels us forward. Our hearts can secretly ask God why Lord, When Lord, How Lord or Lord I don’t understand.

The meditations of our heart are what God sees well before the words that leave our mouth.

When we meditate we ponder, we think, we chew over, as it were the things that trouble or cause concern. We can have sleepless nights over it and it may also cause our heart to ache in places where we never thought we could ache or yearn for resolution.

The word meditate in Psalms 19:14 denotes a musical notation in the hebrew, a humming sound. What is your heart humming dear heart?

We daily have to give our heart to God. We daily have to put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect this most vital organ. We daily have to meditate on what God has said to keep our heart beating to the musical note of what God has promised us in his word. What harmony of God are you meditating on dear heart?

Bring your heart into the alignment of God’s song and melody for you. He has created a symphony that only your heart can sing. No one else can hear his music for you. Allow your heart to meditate on each note, on each crescendo, on each staccato.

So dear heart as you meditate on God’s Ballard remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made and your wounded heart will gain strength as you meditate on God’s Symphony.

Pleasant Places

Psalms 16 verse 6 ~ “The lines are fallen onto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.”

We all at some point or another have played in a garden that had a path, flowers, weeds and all manner of other things. My father always owned an allotment when we were growing up. In the first home my parents owned we had a garden and my dad sectioned off parts of the garden for his chicken hut, flowers and vegetables. We knew that those areas were off limits and we could only go there if he was with us. Beyond those boundaries or lines was a pleasant place of vegetables and flowers, but we could only look at it.

There is a pleasant place that God has cultivated just for you and he has placed your name there. The lines that God has drawn have fallen on a pleasant place. The garden that you have been digging, ploughing and weeding will start to bear fruit shortly. Your weeks, months and years of toil has resulted in a good harvest, a goodly heritage. Dear heart please do not become discouraged or dishearten, keep tending your pleasant place. Keep watering the grounds, the patch where your lines have been drawn. If you have to weed some more, keep weeding. If you have to sow more seed keep sowing. If you have to water, keep watering because your harvest and goodly heritage awaits you.

A farmer keeps working his land because he knows a due season is coming and he will experience a harvest because of his labour. Remember God is not unjust to forget your labour of love, the love that your have shown towards your garden and to him.

God wants to use your Garden for his glory. A farmer never keeps the produce of his garden for himself. There is always an abundance to share with others. What are you sharing from your garden? Are you asking God for more when your garden is full of produce? Why have you not given some of it away so you can receive more or are you hoarding it in case of a perceived famine. If you want more, Give. Sow seeds of love, joy, peace etc and see the bumper harvest you will receive.

Start sowing today because your harvest is waiting for you in pleasant places.

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