Heart of Refuge

Unveiling The Hidden Beauty Of Your Heart

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Restoring Hope

I remember a time in my life when I lost all hope. It felt like the night would never leave and the morning would never come. Where was my hope when I needed it.

I had to pick myself up, look  in the mirror and speak hope to my self. There are times in life that we have to restore hope to our heart by speaking over it. The bible shares a story of how David had to encourage himself in the Lord because the people around him had lost faith in who he was.

Restoring your hope after a personal failure is a lonely path to walk because it also affects your self-esteem and confidence. One of the painful experiences I walked through was went I failed my nursing exams in my early twenties. It was  an awful time and affected me for many years after the event. I could not share how I felt with anyone because I felt so ashamed and that shame became the blanket that I hid  under.

After some years I took the step of removing the blanket called shame and started walking the long path called hope. I took that step and kept walking and it led me to where I am today, passionate about the gifts God blessed me with.

Don’t let the shame and the failings of your past keep you bound in the present and cloud the future that awaits you. Take a step and get the help you need to restore your hope and passion to live your life to the full.

During this season of my life I had to work on my self-esteem and confidence. I put some of the steps I took in a course. I am encouraging you just like a friend would, to sign up and start your journey of restoring your confidence in your gifts, talents and life by clicking the link below. It’s the first step to a new beginning!

Click HERE to start the journey!

 

 

Steps to a New Beginning!

Image from Pixabay.com

The year 2016 was an eventful year in so many ways. As a global family we experienced many changes. For example, Britain leaving the European market and Donald Trump being elected the new president of The United States. As well as these global changes, each of us have experienced things that we can learn from.

What 3 valuable lessons did you learn in 2016 that can prepare you for a productive 2017 emotionally, physically and spiritually? It maybe helpful for you  to just take some time and reflect on your experiences so you can answer this question for yourself.

Always remember that no matter what you have been through a new beginning is ALWAYS possible but you have to put in the work so that your desire becomes a reality. Yes it may be painful but it will be worth it!!!!

Let me share 3 tips with you that will help you move into a new year.

1. Keep a log of and deal with your positive and negative mental chatter.

  1. How many times do you beat yourself up during the day?
  2.  Are you constantly thinking critical thoughts about yourself and others?
  3. How many positive thoughts do you have during the day?

What have you learnt about your mental processes and how will you move on from it?

2. Feed your mind with the thoughts, words and images that are most consistent with who you want to be, what you want to have and what you want to achieve.

Vision boards and affirmations are a great starting point.

 

3.Be determined to create a new beginning for yourself  .

Creating a new beginning for yourself has nothing to do with your age. You can begin again at any age and at anytime. Cultivate a new beginning by  learning from any mistakes you made in 2016.

My prayer is that these 3 tips will assist you in building in a better 2017.

Below is a blog post I wrote which will encourage you to over come any fears you may have about 2017. Please also comment, like and subscribe to my blogs!

Conquer Your Fears ~ Enter Your Destiny! Overcoming Your Fears

What would you do if you had no fear? – Challenge

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What would you do if you had no fear? Get a piece of  paper and a pen and write down 3 things you would do if you had no fear.

Ok now look at  what you have written as ask yourself these questions. Write down the answers if you need to.

  1. Why am I allowing fear to stop me from achieving these 3 things?
  2. Why am I afraid?
  3. Will I allow my fears to hinder my future?
  4. What am I going to do about it?

This is my challenge to you and remember your fears are shielding you from your destiny.

 

 

The Divine Exchange

 

Isaiah 61:3 ~ To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

Life is a continuous exchange of one thing for another. For example,

– We are paid a salary from our place of employment for our time and skill set.

– We breath in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.

– Plants breath in carbon dioxide and breath out oxygen.

– We go shopping and buy goods and pay the supplier using money as an exchange.

The list continues. Isaiah 61:3 says that God gives beauty for ashes. Jesus came to give freedom to those who are captives, captives in whatever negative state we find ourselves. He also came to give sight to those who are blind whether spiritually or physically. This is the divine exchange. Jesus came to give you an abundant and fulfilled life in exchange for your hurts. When you ask him into your situation he will give you wisdom and understanding to walk though it and he will also lift the sting of the situation. He takes pain and brings healing, He takes sadness and bring joy and he takes shame and brings acceptance.

Please do not misunderstand me our circumstances may not change instantly or in a day, weeks or months, but with the exchange comes a new perspective and all that we face on a daily basis. Life is not perfect and no human being is perfect but we can live each day with a heart of love, appreciation and thanksgiving. The divine exchange gives you a new pair of glasses on life and this enables you to see things more clearly.

Take a moment and think about the things in your life that you would like God to give you new insight on, be honest and just speak to him from your heart with no pretence.

My prayer for you ~ Lord Jesus I pray for the person reading this prayer. Give them beauty and healing in the areas of their life that is hurting. Pour on them your oil of joy and reveal yourself to them in a meaning way, personal to their present need. in Jesus name, Amen.

Only God Knows!

Image from pixabay.com

Image from pixabay.com

Jeremiah 29:11 ~ For I know the thoughts that I think towards you , saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

This is one of my favourite verses because it speaks of God’s thoughts towards me. The way He thinks about me is different to how everyone else thinks of me.

People will always have their opinion about how you look, what you do, what you say, your background, your work etc but ultimately it is what God thinks about you that counts.  His thoughts are beautiful towards you and his aim is to give you hope and build your faith in the situations you face in life.

Think it not strange dear one regarding the trials ( 1 Peter 1:7) you are currently going through because they form part of your journey of life. God is not shocked or surprised and he has promised to walk on the waters with you. Just take his hand in prayer, praise and meditation of His word.

© 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 prohibite

Lord Rebuild Me

Image from pixabay.com

Image from pixabay.com

Nehemiah chapter 4 talks of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. It was a burden to Nehemiah who was a cupbearer to the king. He came and gathered the people, as verse 6 says they had a mind to work.

As women we build families, children, careers, homes etc.  We build everything  around us and we forget to build ourselves. We give give give and before you realise it many years have passed and the strength we once has is gone. Many times we give to our own detriment.

It is time to ask God to rebuild you, to put back into you what you have lost. Reconstruction needs to take place. Ask God to send builders into your life who can speak words into your spirit that build you and repair the waste places in your life.

Do not allow what you have gone through to destroy your divine value.  You are too important to remain broken and hidden……. Let the construction begin!

Jesus Came

 

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image from pixabay.com

 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.   Luke 4:18~19

Jesus came into the synagogue on the sabbath day and read from the book of Isaiah. After reading he said  “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears”.

This is one of my favourite scriptures. Jesus came to heal a broken world with a hurting heart. He did not only come to heal us physically but he also came to heal us emotionally. The broken heart, the hearts held in bondage, and kept in fear.

Your broken heart can be mended today. Take a moment to pray and ask God to come and heal your heart. Take those important steps to heal from bitterness, resentment, anguish, unforgiveness and in any other area where you hurt as it will only destroy you.

Be made whole In Jesus Name.

 

Restoration of your Honour and Dignity

Psalms 71:21 ~ Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.

We have all had situations in our life where we have suffered a loss of greatness, honour and dignity. these can include our work, family, marriage, relationships, business and church.

God has promised to restore our dignity, honour and greatness for each loss we have suffered. He restored the honour of Joseph in Genesis 41 and Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 and chapter 2:20-22. These are great examples of restoration.

Ask God in prayer to restore your honour, dignity and greatness. The humiliation you experienced in the past is not a picture of how your future will be. Like Hannah and Joseph you will be restored. Receive courage and faith from the vindication they received from God.

Your future is bright so start celebrating.

Image from Pixabay.com

Image from Pixabay.com

Do you have idols in your Heart?

www.1stfreewillbaptist.church/media/sermon-archive.html

Ezekiel 14:4-5       Colossians 3:5     Isaiah 44:9-20     Leviticus 4:19         Psalms 16:4 

As Christians it is so important for us to do consistent heart checks on our selves so that we do not allow idols to form in our heart. An idol is anything that takes the place of God in our heart.

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines an idol as  “a picture or an object that is worshipped as a god”.

There are so many things that can be constituted as an idol such as our families, jobs, money, worries and cares, needs and desires and even our self.

In Tim Keller’s book “Counterfeit God’s: The empty promises of money, sex and power and the only hope that matters”, makes a powerful statement about “heart idols” in today’s society. He states that

…….Life only has meaning or I only have worth if …..

  1. I have power over others (power idolatry)
  2. I am loved and respected by …….. (approval idolatry)
  3. People are dependant on me and need me (helping idolatry)
  4. I have a particular kind of look or body image (image idolatry)
  5. I have a certain level of wealth, financial freedom and very nice possessions (materialism idolatry)

These are statements that we may have said or thought at one time or another. Do we secretly feel discontentment take root in our heart because we crave “nice things” and feel resentful about not having them. Materialism is not  necessarily about having nice things it is also about craving them. The discontentment can also prove to be an idol in our heart.

Ezekiel 14:4 the word “setteth up”  translates to transcend, to be high, to mount, arise up, to cast upward and to offer up. It also carried the connotation of an upward movement or an ascension to a higher place.

After reading this can you think for a moment and ask yourself the question, when I come to God in prayer do I come based on the multitude of idols in my heart?  Does  bitterness, unforgiveness, malice, pride or my own self importance occupy my heart more than who God is to me?

I try to check my heart daily  and clear my heart iof anything that wants to exalt itself greater than my father. It is not always an easy process but it can be done and must be done because in the end these things destroy and the things of God will always build.

Take a moment now and check your heart and prayerfully ask God to show you any idol or idols you may  have that is competing with HIM in your heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Best Kept Secret ~ Being a Military Wife by Maxine Reyes


The difference between a non-military wife and a military wife is the challenges that we face when it comes to separation from our husbands, knowing that separation is inevitable. Being a dual military wife is even more challenging because we get to experience deployments multiplied by two.  Deployments take a toll on most marriages of military couples.  Deployment separation has been a key contributor or the cause of many divorces.  Ken and I have experienced hardships that challenged our relationship, but we never consider allowing those challenges to overpower our love for each other.  We have been huge supporters of each other’s careers and personal goals and we refused to let the forces of the world stop us from having the best marriage that we know we can have with God leading us.

Placing trust in God and knowing that we must keep Him at the forefront of our marriage at all times, has allowed us to face our challenges with the utmost boldness. Ken and I are definitely each other’s soul mates.  We feel one another’s pain and happiness and always find ways to make each other feel special and uplifted during unhappy times.  Our Happily Joint movement blog has allowed us to display our determination to love and care for each other for the rest of our lives while living a joyful and sacred Christian life.  Couples who know us usually compliment us and ask us our recipe to happiness.  We have written a book to share experience with others.  There is no trick to a happy marriage, but we will definitely share what works for us.  We teach resiliency in relationships to couples in order for them to have the ability to withstand the challenges of marriage and find ways to recover from difficult times.

After 19 years, we are at a beautiful point of our marriage where we know more about what makes us happy and sad. We know our priorities and are absolutely supportive of our careers and personal goals.  Ken is the most wonderful person I know and I am so grateful for his love and his adoration.  I am most grateful for the father that he is to our adorable daughter.  He is such a gentleman and I can speak all day about him in a positive way.

Success for me is persevering through my lifelong goals. We have always kept God at the forefront of our life.  Being an empowered career woman while being a wife can be challenging.  Women get treated sometimes tougher than our male counter parts so we have to work twice as hard.  I am blessed to have a husband like mine who encourages me to be a strong woman.  He empowers me to pursue my dreams and he makes me feel confident in being his wife.  My husband makes it so much easier for me to pursue my passion.  I am grateful for our relationship with Jesus, which has allowed me to be a successful mother and wife.   Our faith has taken us a long way and we look forward to growing old together.

 

 

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courtesy of Maxine Reyes

MAXINE REYES – Bio

Maxine Reyes is a burgeoning singer/songwriter/speaker whose vocal talent have embellished countless of people around the world.

Born in Kingston and raised in Manchester, Jamaica, her family sang in the community church where she was encouraged to share her special talent. With her rich and earthly Jamaican accent seasoned with grounded grace, you can see right away when she shares her infectious smile that you have just met a new friend.

These endearing qualities also helped Maxine, when she moved to Pembroke Pines, Florida as a teenager – where she began participating in local talent vocal competitions and winning on numerous occasions. It was at that point that she gained the confidence as a vocalist that allowed both her inner and outer beauty to transcend.

Voted Most Talented” of her graduating class at Miramar High School, FL. Maxine desired to pursue singing, but also having a strong sense of reality and being very mindful that is was also more important to be a positive representation of her native Jamaica, Maxine decided at that point of her life that it was much more important to secure her advance educational goals. She also felt like she had a higher calling to serve in the United States Military.

After graduating from High School, Maxine joined the United States Air Force which afforded her advanced education. However, this vibrant and energetic artist still kept her passion to share her gift of song by volunteering to sing at numerous nationally supported Military related events.

Maxine continued to not only sing whenever she can, but she also elevated her service to the Country by proudly becoming a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army and earned her Master of Arts in Management and Leadership. She is currently the Company Commander of the United States Army Recruiting Company in Orlando, FL. It is this same presentation of excellence that makes her performances a breath of fresh air to all. Maxine founded Happily Joint, Inc along with her husband. Happily Joint is an organization that helps couples deal with challenges in their relationships while living their best life with each other. Maxine and Ken know too well the challenges of keeping a relationship together as they met when they were teenagers and have been married for 18 years, both being under the age of 40. With multiple military separations some up to 15 months, the couple kept their marriage in tack and uphold an image that is admired by many. They have vowed to help others who deal with similar challenges as they have by hosting seminars and speaking to audiences interested in Maxine and Ken’s story. They are in the process of writing their first book together “The Happily Joint Guide.”

 

Additional Activities and Musical Performances:

  • Performed at sports games and ceremonies filed with dignitaries on multiple occasions when she sang the National Anthem at Orlando City Soccer, Independence Day Celebration, NBA game San Antonio Spurs vs Charlotte Bobcats at the Time Warner Arena, Ambassador of Qatar and government officials of Qatar, Fort Lauderdale Air and Sea Show, Toyota Indy 300, Miami Grand Prix and Marlins Opening ceremony.
  • She has performed for the President of the United States of America at the Miami Arena.
  • Maxine is loved by many and her broad appeal has won ardent supporters wherever she has performed. She returned home in April of 2014 after a year of serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Qatar and Afghanistan where she entertained Coalition forces in the area where she was based.
  • Her versatility and diverse background makes her the perfect ambassador for her nation. Maxine’s style can be described as “Reggae Soul” blending sultry inspiring Inspirational love R&B/Jazz grooves with Reggae.
  • Her Patriotic song “I’ve Got You/Military Wife” which she penned after her husband’s First Sergeant was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012 tugs at the heart and displays her writing skills and soulful vocal style. The song is perfect for any function honouring veterans, their spouses and the memories of the lives lost in the fight against terror.
  • Besides work, she is active in her community volunteering for different causes at every moment that she can. She is currently working on creating a non-profit organization, which offers mentoring and educational opportunities for the young girls. She actively supports her primary school back in Jamaica with her very own Maxine Reyes/Doctor Bird Award Program since 2000. It is a program that encourages students to work hard in school and reach for the stars in everything that they do. It fosters education, positive attitudes and selflessness. Her passion for people and her family is commendable and is noticed by the way she cares for her Soldiers and their families.

 

Social Media and contact Information

Happily Joint
Www.HappilyJoint.com
IG,FB,Twitter,Pinterest @HappilyJ

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