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Posted by: In: Faith, Parenting 13 Dec 2017 2 comments

Jan Hicks
President, CUMI

Here I am on a flight somewhere between Alabama and Texas…thinking about my ex from 39 years ago. Am I being unfaithful to my husband? NO.

Those are not the thoughts that have been brought to my mind often since Sept. 19, 2017, the day a well check from the police in Jacksonville, FL discovered that Mike had died.

Unanswered Questions

The sad news was that he had not passed the day they found him. In fact, they have yet to determine how long before that day he took his last breath or why.

Hurricane Irma was heading towards Jacksonville and many neighbors left the area; Mike chose not to. His body was discovered on the 15th. Although again, his death occurred much before that time the coroner states.

Why? Why did no one know? Why were his two children not called?

Mike had long since become more of a hermit/loner in his alcoholic, wounded state of life. He was a product of his past and didn’t know how to not remain a prisoner of it. His years of abandonment, betrayal and rejection by an alcoholic father led him to declare and vow that he would never do that to his children. Yet he did!

The Good Years

I can recall some good years of our marriage. High school sweethearts, we had two boys together (now 48 and 46 years of age). The Vietnam War effected Mike, added more pain to the years of not seeing or knowing where his own father was.

I remember the first time I met his father – in 1971. It had been nine years since Mike had last heard from him. He did try to step back into Mike’s life, but alcohol stepped harder.

Our sons tried to be relational with Mike often over the years. He, too, would invest for a short time, then fall back away into that hermit state of loneliness.

Unexpected Emotions

On Sept. 19, the day our son told me of Mike’s death, unusual and unexpected emotions overcame me. After 39 years and barely any communication, I would have never expected any emotions. I guess I assumed I would have just taken such news as just that – “news” or a “statement of fact.”

When the flood of feelings came, I was in shock. They were not feelings as if the love of my life died. No, I’m married to the love of my life now and have been for 26 years. Instead, it was an overwhelming feeling of sadness, madness, anger and regret.

I was sad he did not know his sons and how amazing they are. He didn’t know how much they love their children, their success in life and most of all, their precious hearts.

I was sad that out of his five grandchildren, he had met two. He met the oldest at his own mothers’ funeral when she was just 18 months old; she’s now 24. The other grandchild he met when she was around 17 when she took a road trip with her dad to check on Mike who was in a rehab from a serious broken leg after a fall that left him on the floor for eight days before being discovered. Loneliness creeps in again.

His 5 grandchildren are 7-24 years of age and absolutely beautiful inside and out. Mike lived no more than six hours away all these years. How could that happen? How? How could you not see your children, your grandchildren, how?

My emotions turned to anger. I was angry that he didn’t try harder – that he let alcohol win. That he let his own fears and self-rejection become stronger than love. He did not know how to love.

I know all that now. I myself was guilty of not being there for our children either in my years of alcohol and drugs. The God of Recompense, Jehovah Gomalah brought full restoration in my relationship with my sons. I love them and know them deeply.

Now I teach it, try to live it, better understand it, but I could not help Mike. Would he even have received help? Was alcohol stronger? Did he know Jesus, really know Jesus?

I’m not only sorry for what he missed in life, but I’m sorry for our sons. Their children did not get to know the man: the dad I first married and the man who truly wanted to love but just didn’t know how. I’m sorry our children and our grandchildren will never get the opportunity to know the real Mike. Death took that away.

The emotions of sad, mad, anger, hate, rejection, betrayal, grief, sorrow, pain were evident in conversation with my boys. The mask of, “He was never there for us anyway,” was hiding the truth of, “I needed my father. I wanted my father. I wanted my father to love me, need me and fight for me.”


Our Father >> Our Restorer

So many fathers have not been equipped to give what is needed because they never received it for themselves. Only our Heavenly Father can restore what we’ve lost, replace what was missing and bring peace to us in the storms of life and death.

It’s now Nov. 20th as I complete what I started weeks ago. My boys are still on hold – unable, yet willing to bring closure. Their dad’s remains just arrived a week ago. There is still no death certificate; it hasn’t been released.

Here, months later, there is nothing they can do to complete the grief process of death. The waiting for closure is still in their hearts.

My Prayer Request

Pray for my sweet sons, pray they face their deep true feelings and allow those feelings to be washed and cleansed by Jesus so their life does not continue to filter through what they never received. Thank you.

I have learned much over these past 26 years. Learned how to overcome by examining the past, the walls, and the filters life goes through from examples and false identity lies from the enemy. I am an overcomer and want to help others be the same regardless of what life has been like. God has planted a team of like-minded people in the ministry the Lord asked Don and I to begin in 1999. I would love to hear your story and challenges as well. We know the answer….HIS name is Jesus.

What is your story? How can we help?

I encourage you to contact us at Christians United Ministries at: www.cumi.live or 774.567.0771. We have a great team of Certified Prayer Ministers trained to counsel, coach and love you right where you are. We are all about the heart!

Our Prayer

Heavenly Father, help us to forgive those who leave this earth with so many questions unanswered. Help us to trust you and rest in your sovereignty. You are high above it all and we know that nothing is wasted with You. Everything is in Your mighty hands. Bring comfort to those who need it most who are struggling with the loss of a loved one – especially during this Christmas season. In Jesus’ beautiful Name, Amen

Jan Hicks is president of Christians United Ministries. Her ministry is dedicated to the pursuit of inner healing. Jan is also an international speaker, teacher, author and Christian Counselor. She welcomes you to connect with her through the official Christians United Ministries website, www.janhicks.org, or through her official ministry Facebook page.

Posted by: In: Events, Missions 15 Oct 2017 1 comment

Although we were quite busy, what a great adventure Brenda Stuart, La and I had these last 2 weeks as we ministered in Tennessee. The worship at every event ushered the presence of God into the atmosphere.

Our trip began with a three-day conference at Vineyard Church, Milan. We encountered many testimonies of how God changed hearts: men and women who were able to forgive those who hurt them and see their offenders in a new light as wounded people themselves. People in need of spiritual healing and freedom came forth in a steady rhythm.

One particular lady was dealing with the pain and shame of her 17-year-old stepson being arrested that very morning. He was involved in a gang and had taken the life of two others just a couple of days before. It was indeed a heart-breaking, very scary situation for the whole community. She witnessed that the Lord replaced the feelings of fear, pain and uncertainly with peace, safety and security.

Women of Hope

Our next meeting was at Hope Recovery – Women of Hope in Medon where I was asked to teach the final chapter of Crossing2Freedom. What an honor! A chapel service followed and the Lord made a way for me to pray over everyone there; some spouses and visitors came as well. As I anointed with oil, Holy Spirit brought healing to the hearts of those who just days before witnessed an intensely traumatic experience when one of their own ladies, almost 9 months pregnant, had an amniotic embolism (blood clot) taking her life immediately. Her baby lived a day and a half. Both were buried together just days before. Seeing God release HIS peace and love in that serious place of grief and trauma brought tears of joy to my eyes.

A private home meeting followed with a precious group of men and women who had completed the Crossing2Freedom curriculum. I handed out their Certificates of Completion and then heard the testimonies of Jesus’ healing power in their lives.

Oh to be changed by Jesus….now that’s total Freedom!

Private Ministry, Paris Landing Women’s Ministry & More

Besides some private ministry at different times of the day and night, the following weekend (Thurs. – Sun.) was spent at Paris Landing, a beautiful facility located on the Tennessee River. We met a couple times a day for teachings and assignments. God taught us about ungodly beliefs and how to change our brains to accept the truth of who we are. It was all women, although the ages ranged from 8 to 70+ years. Wow! How delightful to see those little young eyes attentive to the lies of the devil that they do not have to believe and the mature ones recognizing what to get rid of.

Licensing & Ordination

During that weekend, Ronald Michel and Loretta Pemberton were recognized for their years of service as we Licensed and Ordained them under our ministry umbrella. What an asset they will be in TN and beyond!

I hope this gives you just a glimpse into this 2 weeks of my life and the Christians United Ministries Team Jesus. We love what we do.

You make it possible for us to continue.

Some of those places we travel are unable to provide the financial resources needed for us to bring them the ministry opportunities they need, but because of your giving hearts we can pour into them by providing the Crossing2Freedom books and releasing a representative of CUMI to go each week to pray with and teach them how to live life to the fullest through Jesus Christ. We are blessed.

Many thanks as you continue to sow into great Kingdom soil!

Jan Hicks , CUMI
President and Founder

Posted by: In: Faith, Missions 05 Sep 2017 0 comments

Influence Defined

Influence – What does this word mean to you? Is influence about DNA or family heritage, or does environment play a greater part in shaping us through influence? Maybe we’re a culmination of all of these.

Meeting Mateo

On a recent trip to several Mexico orphanages/shelters, I had the incredible privilege of meeting an adorable little boy named Mateo (Matthew). Mateo had been at one of the shelters for a year and the director guesstimates that Mateo was approximately three years old when he arrived, making him four when I met him. Mateo’s story touched me deeply and he was the cutest kid ever.  When police found Mateo, they phoned the boys shelter and asked if they had room for a two-year-old boy.

The director of the shelter shared her recollection of Mateo’s arrival with me. She remarked, “Mateo was so malnourished giving the appearance of a two-year-old, but we quickly realized that this bright little boy was in fact a three-year-old based on his developmental markers.”

Mateo, found living on the streets, was abandoned by his parents who authorities now believe were both drug addicts and no other relatives could be located.

A Natural Born Leader

He has done very well at the shelter; he is now the size of a healthy four-year-old boy.

He is exceptionally intelligent and “a natural born leader” according to the director.

“However,” she shared, “we were initially met with the challenge of teaching Mateo appropriate speech.” Our team looked at her with confusion. She went on to share that as a “street kid” Mateo had been taken in by older street kids who took care of him and he came in “talking like a gangster.”

We laughed inside but realized the challenge that must have been and the words he must have said. Can you imagine?

The Influence of Environment

I kept thinking of Mateo and how he had been influenced by his environment. How, at three, Mateo had seen things and heard things that were showing up in his mannerisms and his speech.

This inspired me to look at and question my own life – my accent as a southern woman, the slang words I use that I heard my parents use and now my children and their children use them as well, the foods I enjoy and the people that introduced me to them, even the social behaviors I find acceptable based on my life experience.

See, Mateo didn’t try to talk like or behave like a gangster, he simply mimicked the examples he had in his life, in his daily surroundings.

How should our behavior and speech be?  Should we display behavior and speak words that we know dishonor Jesus?  Rationalizing that, “we’ve always heard that or said that?” Should we yell at our children or spouse because that’s what we saw growing up? Should a man believe his sole job in his home is to provide financially because it’s what his father did? Should we follow traditions that are no longer relevant in current times? Should we share our dislike for the new music at church because “it doesn’t sound like church music should sound?” Should we dislike a certain “neighbor” because our parents did? Should we accept things on TV or in music that don’t line up with our values because “times are changing and that’s become the new norm?”

Our Ultimate Influencer

As followers of Christ, Jesus should be our influencer. Our words and mannerisms should look like Him and bring glory to His name. People should want to know our God based on our life and our love. We should question the influences in our life and ask how they line up with God’s Word and His character.

Ask God to make you an influence to those in your life. Strive to live a life that looks like Jesus. We can change, grow, and develop into who HE desires us to be. I want that in my life. To say I’m there would not be true, but I’m surely not where I use to be and I know I can ask Him daily for wisdom and guidance to be like HIM and HE is faithful to respond.

What, or who is your greatest Influence?

It’s a great day to evaluate and make intentional decisions to make forward changes in life.  I sure am.

Bless you, Jan Hicks

Scriptures for Meditation

~ Proverbs 7:1-4 

1Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands.
Obey my commands and live! Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.
Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 04 Aug 2017 0 comments

How many thousands of drug-filled needles rules my life?

Jan Hicks, Pastor and President of CUMI, has truly been a pioneer towards the cause of helping people walk in the freedom God designed for them to enjoy. Her ministry is dedicated to the pursuit of inner healing and we pray that you are blessed and divinely inspired by the word God has given her to share with all of us.

Jan is also an international speaker, teacher, author and Christian Counselor. She welcomes you to connect with her through the official Christians United Ministries  Facebook page.

I encourage you to press in and read on to receive the blessing of the following blog post on the freedom and forgiveness available through Jesus – Golden Veins!

Guest Post by Jan Hicks

Pride, shame, guilt, fear, false expectations….using what I thought protected me, were the many tricks of the enemy to destroy me. At 30 years of age, I wore my true feelings inside and had a mask of “having it all together” outside.

A nurse and divorced mother of two amazing young boys, I put a needle filled with cocaine in my arms – how could I? What led me to that choice? What was I thinking? What about my children, my job and my family?

Like most addictions, it’s driven by another source, rooted in shame. I carried a sense of pride in my achievements and guilt from my failures. It began the moment a man in my life challenged me as I discovered his addiction with a statement something like, “You can’t help me with something you know nothing about, you would be addicted too.”

That was like a dare, a challenge to prove him wrong. At that moment, I stuck out my arm to prove to him I could do cocaine and not get hooked. I knew I was not as weak as he was and I told him so …… the rest is history.

For 12 years I stole, lied, cheated, bought, sold, traded whatever I needed for drugs of all types. I was addicted.

Escape Route

How did I get here; how do I get out? I didn’t know the answer. I knew what I needed to do but those thoughts were like a vapor that lasted a short time before something else took its place. I was broken and no one could fix me. I was broken and I could not fix myself.

The night I surrendered to Jesus, wasn’t planned, wasn’t prepared, just happened. I started seeing the engine of the train of brokenness I was on and a glimpse of how to get off.

I was reminded of the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi, repairing broken pottery by highlighting the cracks, the brokenness with real gold. The pottery when treated this way, was more valuable than it was when it was whole. I knew I was broken, I did not know I was valuable in any form. I saw a picture of arms with gold over the veins that reminded me of that art form and it hit me – that was a picture of Gods forgiveness to me, for my choices.

Beauty for Brokenness

God started teaching me to see my scars as beauty instead of brokenness. I began the process of embracing my flaws and imperfections while allowing the fire of the Holy Spirit to burn out my impurities and bring healing and wholeness to those places where my choices, decisions, pride, fear, control, and more kept me in bondage to the enemy.

Discovering that I was not alone, I found that many others understood the journey of my bondage and my surrender. Many, like me, understood that even after surrender, the feeling of more brokenness emerged. The fear, shame and guilt of facing the truth of where I’ve been, what I’ve done surfaced. Learning how to grant myself the grace to forgive myself is when freedom really came.

When I truly forgave myself, only then could I really begin to make changes.

Today is the Day

Maybe that’s you today, regardless of the addiction or wrong choices you’re beating yourself up for. You’ve prayed and tried and cried and tried again, but you continue to beat yourself up and are your own worse enemy. Now’s a great day to see your broken places, tried by fire, filled with gold and become an art piece of God’s pure LOVE.

Forgive yourself. If HE has, you must. Just start by being willing and giving Jesus permission to heal you. That is your choice as well!

Let me lead you in this prayer:


Father, forgive me for not accepting Your forgiveness by holding myself in bondage to the lies of the enemy. I am forgiven; you have forgiven me. I cancel, break and destroy all the assignments of the enemy against my life. I release myself and forgive myself for choices long past. I am no longer who I was, but I am who you have called and created me to be. I am an overcomer, I am a winner, I was created to succeed. With your help Lord, I will continue to grow and learn from the Holy Spirit who will lead me each day as I give Him permission to move. Thank you Lord, speak into my heart and tell me what you want me to know about myself now. Who do YOU say that I am Lord?

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Scriptures for Meditation

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

~ Mark 10:27

For no word from God will ever fail.

~ Luke 1:37

being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

~ Romans 4:21

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

 ~ Jeremiah 32:17
For you, God, tested us;
    you refined us like silver.
~ Psalm 66:10
This third I will put into the fire;
    I will refine them like silver
    and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
    and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
    and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”
~ Zachariah 13:9

The Art of Kintsukuroi

The Japanese art of Kintsukuroi, repairing broken pottery by highlighting the cracks with pure gold, involves fire and the close attention of the smith. The smith puts the ore in the fire to burn out some of the impurities, then takes it out and shapes it, then back in the fire. All the while he keeps a close eye on his precious metal.

The goal of the silversmith or goldsmith is to fashion a precious metal until it is pure and shines bright. He heats and works with his metal until he can see his reflection in it. One can only imagine how the silver or gold feels about this arduous process.

Psalm 66:10 says, “For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.” Just as the silversmith refines his precious metal in the fire, God refines his precious children in the adversities of life. He does this for the same purpose as the smith puts his ore in the fire – to remove any impurities so that we will shine brightly and reflect His image. While we are in the “fire” He never takes His eyes off us, but keeps a close watch to determine when we’ve had all we can take for now. Better than the smith with his metal, God is with us in the fire as we are being refined.

God has said, “I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’” Zechariah 13:9.

Posted by: In: Faith 13 Jul 2017 0 comments

When you think of the significant, positive experiences you’ve had in your faith walk, what do you think of? Who do you think of and why did they leave a mark on your heart? I love to hear people’s responses to these questions.

Each person has his or her own unique story and own interpretation of that experience. It’s a beautiful thing when a person shares their story with you.

You feel so encouraged, not only by the story itself, but more so by hearing it shared from that joyful place in the heart of the person that was impacted by the story. It’s so powerful!

Meet Gram

One of the people that impacted me very early in my life was my maternal grandmother, or Gram, as we called her. Gram was a Godly woman with a great deal of wisdom. She was generous in sharing her wisdom.




The lesson I’ve thought of most often over the years was one she taught me very early on in my faith.
About a month after my salvation, I went to visit Gram and share with her the changes that were happening in me and my life.

One particular change that I was wrestling with was with my best friend, Matt, a 26-year-old bar owner and atheist. Matt was not happy with the new me and frequently asked when I was going to go back to my old self and stop with all the “religious” stuff. It was difficult, but I felt like I just needed to continue to “be a good influence” on Matt and pray he’d come around.

In sharing this with Gram over coffee, she said, “Baby, how tall is Matt?”

“6’2,” I replied.

She said, “How much does he weigh?”

I said, “About 200 lbs.”

She said, “How about you?”

I said, “I’m 5’6” and weigh about 125.”

Gram said, “What if you stood on top of this table and held Matt’s hand from the ground, trying to pull him up onto the table with you?”

I said, “I would probably fall off the table.”

Gram responded, “This is the same for your newfound faith, honey. Though your intentions are good, reality is, if you don’t let go of the hand of those still on the floor, they will likely pull you off the table before you pull them up.”

Scripture for Meditation

“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?”

~ 2 Cor. 6:14

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 29 Jun 2017 0 comments

About the Author

Jan Hicks, president of  Christians United Ministries, has committed her life to helping people walk in the freedom God designed for them to enjoy. Her ministry is dedicated to the pursuit of inner healing and we pray that you are blessed and divinely inspired by the word God has given her to share with all of us.

Jan Hicks also an international speaker, teacher, author and Christian Counselor. She welcomes you to connect with her through the official Christians United Ministries website, www.janhicks.org, or through her official ministry Facebook page.

We, at CUMI, encourage you to press in and read on to receive the blessing of the following blog post on the magnitude of our value in Christ – you are NOT one in a million!


Post by Jan Hicks

Are you valuable? What if I said you are NOT one in a million….but instead you are one in 500 Million!  Wow, that’s right.  On the day you were conceived, 50 to 500 million “cells” were released heading towards one egg to create YOU!  Can you imagine? Let’s put that in a different perspective. The combined population of the USA, Canada and Mexico in 2015 was 484 million.  Can you see yourself as “one” person standing in the midst of 484 million others? Can you imagine God looking down saying, “you are the one”.  YOU….!

The Father’s House, New Property Prayer

Identity Theft

That is a foreign statement to most of us and beyond our imagination. You see, the enemy of our soul wants us to feel unimportant, just another face, a nobody, the black sheep of the family, no good, the mess up.  If the enemy can steal our identity, then we easily accept rejection, depression, loneliness, fear, abuse, disease and turmoil as ‘normal’ in our lives.  We lose our Peace and Joy because we reject ourselves.

Loved & Chosen

God does not want us to figure this out; HE wants us to accept it as fact that we are valued and valuable.

Jesus wants to remind us so we can remind ourselves daily – “I am not rejected.”  That no matter what life looks like, feels like, acts like, the fact is, you were chosen and loved from the moment of conception and beyond.

Today is a great day to tell that Unloving Spirit, the FALSE Identity that you have accepted, to get up and get out of your mind, body, spirit and soul. It’s time to say, “God I repent for believing the lie. Help me receive the truth of who YOU created me to be.”


Pray this prayer out loud:

Father I may not feel like it, but I break the lie and today I accept the truth that I am valuable,  I am loved, lovely and lovable. You created me to succeed.  I cancel satans power to use this false identity against me.  I break satan’s assignments against my life.  I repent for not trusting you Lord.  Teach me how to do that Lord and how to love myself so that I can love others and accept your love Jesus.  Holy Spirit, I give you permission to heal my heart and release my true identity into me.  Lord speak your truth to me….who am I?  (now wait a moment and make note of the first thing that comes to your mind….)

I bless you today and always in the name of Jesus Christ – the living, loving Savior.

Scripture for Meditation

…‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

~ Mark 12:31

Posted by: In: Faith 23 May 2017 0 comments

ALL ABOUT JESUSIt’s ALL ABOUT JESUS! He will meet you where you are and minister to you regardless of any other sources you may have available.

by Jan Hicks, Crossing 2 Freedom

Posted by: In: Faith 17 May 2017 0 comments

“Remember, you didn’t get this way in a day… Give yourself time to heal. Every time something new comes up, deal with it and don’t shove it down or pretend it away.”

by Jan Hicks

Posted by: In: Faith 15 May 2017 0 comments

We hope this powerful testimony of God’s miraculous physical healing will encourage your heart. Please join us in welcoming Allen Felts as our guest blogger this week. Here he shares his experience with being healed from TMJ, the inability to focus and more……..

169F0E7A-C70B-4006-9AF1-84D9A8C8A727Since I have started going through “Crossing2Freedom” and my one-on-one sessions with Jan Hicks at Christians United Ministries, Inc. (CUMI), I have noticed a tremendous difference in my life. I have seen favor released on my job in such a powerful way. I have also noticed a drastic change in areas like memory recall, ability to think clearly, focusing, etc.

After going through this process, I have experienced such a powerful sense of freedom & feel such a great peace in every area of my life.

For most of my life, I struggled with Attention Deficit Disorder and always had a very tough time getting my thoughts together. Since working with Jan and declaring freedom in those areas, I now realize what a powerful tool my mind is and how it had been held captive for so many years.

I truly saw God bring healing to my mind in a matter of weeks, something that medicine had not been able to accomplish. Through this process of Crossing2Freedom, I have even seen physical healing & restoration in my body.

About 6 months ago, I started having stress and anxiety issues that led to TMJ.  After declaring freedom in those areas and applying peace, I can now say that the TMJ issues have resolved.  I am so thankful for Jan and her dedication to being an instrument to bring healing and freedom to the body of Christ.

by Allen Felts | 2017

Posted by: In: Faith 12 May 2017 0 comments

by Deanne Day

5C4A1F624D374641BD33F6631C73FE49“The body cannot tell the difference between the actual events, and the re-telling of those events. Each time you repeat an event that has a toxic emotion associated with that event, you are doing damage to your body! No wonder God tells us to forgive before sundown.”

Posted by: In: Events, Uncategorized 19 Mar 2017 0 comments
Posted by: In: Faith, Uncategorized 06 Jan 2017 3 comments



By: Brandy Edenfield

Brandy EdenfieldWe’ve all seen those Hidden Image pictures right? You know, the ones that appear to be one thing, but there is actually another image inside the picture. My husband is one of those people who can see the hidden image rather quickly. While I, on the other hand, could squint and cross my eyes a hundred different times and still never see the hidden picture. Even after he tells me what I’m looking for or he says things like “Concentrate. Look through the picture” (whatever that means, I still don’t know!). And to this day, I’ve never been able to see even one of those hidden images.

During the time that God was preparing my heart to write this blog, I was invited into two situations in the lives of two families close to mine in less than 24 hours. Initially both events stirred deep sadness and confusion in me.  First, our close friends of 17 years reached out to Brian and I for counsel and direction, announcing their separation. We were shocked! These people love Jesus. They both say they still love each other. How does this happen?

Second, a call about a family friend whose 16-year-old daughter attempted to take her own life and is now in a coma on life support and the prognosis from the doctors isn’t good. My heart physically hurt for this poor mother who was reeling with fear and guilt. And what compounded my hurt for her is that this family doesn’t know Jesus, so these parents are facing this without the hope and peace that He alone gives us in a crisis.

My heart was breaking for these two families. I had so many questions. I needed to get with God. I needed to ask Him why?  Where was He in this? How could these awful things be happening on His watch?

So you can imagine my surprise when God began to reminded me of these frustrating pictures. I began asking Him how these pictures relate to Him and to us? And though my human mind will never fully understand His ways, here is what I feel He showed me: God sees everything from a very different view point than we do. A much bigger picture. Our view is like someone who’s standing inside a massive fore. His is from that of one looking over the top of a miniature model of a forest. Yet it’s the same forest.

My human eye sees the hurt, the fear and the sadness. I even sometimes perceive from my view that the enemy is winning. I can not see from His view, but I can imagine some possibilities: the broken marriages that our friends will help repair through their testimony of restoration. Or how their children will have healthier marriages because of the communication and commitment that was demonstrated for them by their parents. Or the new level of joy and ministry God wants to take them to.

Or the salvation of an entire family who were completely lost and without hope before a crisis showed them they couldn’t make it without Him. Or a healed 16 year old, that uses her life to speak to other girls battling thoughts of suicide and depression and the lives saved because of her work. Or maybe even just renewed and restored  relationships in their home.

We won’t know until we get to Heaven how our lives and the lives of others have all been woven together to create His perfect picture.  On this earth, we are similar to me with those hidden image picture. Our questions of “why?” or “how?” or “what if?” are equivalent to me squinting and crossing my eyes. We are unable to see the bigger picture from where we stand. We can’t see it yet. Not here. But, He is God and He is good. One day we will see the intricate ways He used the details and the hurts in our lives to bring more people to Him. By faith we believe in the HIDDEN IMAGE.

Scripture for Meditation

“ The Lord looks from Heaven: He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth.” ~ Psalms 33:13-14 (NKJV)

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 27 Apr 2016 1 comment
Brandy Edenfield

Brandy Edenfield

Asking God what He wanted me to share in this second blog and feeling a whole lot of uncertainty for about a week now as nothing came. Oh, how I could write an entire book on God’s “quiet” seasons in my life. The times when I struggle with patience because His voice is silent and I know this means “wait”. It’s SO HARD! And I began to feel that His silence was a leading to share about waiting, but this morning I ran across an old story I read quite some time ago (author unknown) and I immediately felt it was the right word to share.

“A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her – her husband had cheated on her and she was devastated. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, ‘Tell me what you see.’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

“Feel the carrots” she said. She did and noted that they were soft. The grandmother then took the egg and broke it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, she asked the granddaughter to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled as she tasted the coffee. The granddaughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, grandmother?’

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.”

What is God calling you to be in your situation? Are you hard like the carrot, rigid and unwilling to be flexible when God requests it of you? Matthew 12:6 MSG says “There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this scripture meant-‘I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual’- you wouldn’t be nitpicking like this.” Are you like the egg, so fragile and easily broken that every obstacle  tempts you to abandon the race God has called you to run? Psalm 31:24 MSG says “Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.” Or maybe you are like the ground coffee beans, simple (in your flesh), individually a  seemingly un-noteworthy presence that is just “existing” and feels lost in a crowd? But combined with Christ, you are a world changer. ISAIAH 40:29 NLT says “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 15 Mar 2016 5 comments
Brandy Edenfield

Brandy Edenfield

How many times in my life have I enthusiastically started something only to quit before I’ve finished it? A new book, new class, new exercise routine/eating plan, new form of discipline with my kids or communication style with my husband. My determination and commitment are always so strong in the beginning, yet it dwindles through the “process” and I end up throwing in the towel and going back to my old ways and behaviors. Can you relate?

We’re often enthusiastic starters, but so many times we miss the joy that God wants us to experience – the joy of completion. The joy we feel when we can look back and see that the work was worth it. The joy that comes when we can analyze our process, dissect it from the beginning to the end and recognize a tangible shift in our behavior or mind set. But such joy isn’t a a gift we receive freely, it requires something from us. Effort and commitment. Similar to a marathon, we have to push through pain and exhaustion, hills and rough terrain and utter discouragement and choose to press on even when we feel like quitting. We must reach down deep inside and determine that we will see it through no matter what the enemy tries to throw at us to get us off track.

We are called to be “like Jesus” and He never quit anything. Remember, even in His last agonizing moments as He hung on the cross, He didn’t hang His head or breathe His last breath until He spoke those powerful words, “It is finished.” He finished His work here COMPLETELY, leaving no prisoner in bondage; no sin unforgiven; no broken heart left in pieces; no enemy undefeated. He was victorious in His completed work here on Earth. And He calls us to do the same. FINISH!

As we find ourselves half way through this semesters Crossing2Freedom classes, you may find yourself struggling with your commitment to see it through. Please let me cheer you on with this beautiful FIGHT mantra from Gods word:  Phil. 3:14  says “Press on to reach the end of the race and receive the Heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us.” As you press on and continue to press in, be encouraged that your loving Father promises you this:

“He who began a good work in you will see it through to completion.” Phil. 1:6
Our hearts desire is to look and talk more like Jesus isn’t it? In order to do so, we have to learn how to follow His example of finishing well. He conquered death until victory was won and eternity was secured for His children. He completed His task and He is sitting at the right hand of the Father cheering you on and LOVING you through your process. DON’T QUIT! The reward will be GREAT!

Posted by: In: Photo 22 Nov 2015 0 comments

There are two Kingdoms.
We have a choice…
What will be yours?

Have you made a decision to surrender your life to Christ? if not, please read the following and make that choice today…

God’s Purpose: Peace and Life

God loves you and wants you to experience peace and life-abundant and eternal.

The Bible says…

  • “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1 (NIV)
  • “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (NIV)
  • “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 (NIV)

The Problem: Our Separation

God created us in His own image to have an abundant life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him. God gave us a will and a freedom of choice. We chose to disobey God and go our own willful way. We still make this choice today. This result is separation from God

The Bible says…

  • “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 (NIV)
  • “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (NIV)

Our Attempts to Reach God

People have tried in many ways to bridge this gap between themselves and God…

The Bible says…

  • “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12 (NIV) “But your iniquities have separated you.

God’s Bridge: The Cross

Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose from the grave. He paid the penalty for our sin and bridged the gap between God and people.

The Bible says…

  • “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.” 1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)
  • “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” 1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)
  • “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)

God has provided the only way. Each person must make a choice.

Our Response: Receive Christ

We must trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and receive Him by personal invitation.

The Bible says…

  • “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he           with me.” – Revelation 3:20 (NIV)
  • “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 (NIV)
  • “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 (NIV)

Where are you? Will you receive Jesus Christ right now?

Here is how you can receive Christ:

  • Admit your need (I am a sinner).
  • Be willing to turn from your sins (repent).
  • Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.
  • Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit. (Receive Him as Lord and Savior.)

How to Pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

God’s Assurance: His Word

The Bible says…

  • “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. ” Romans 10:13 (NIV)

Did you sincerely ask Jesus Christ to come into your life? Where is He right now? What has He given you?

  • “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9 (NIV)

Receiving Christ, we are born into God’s family through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer. This is called regeneration, or the “new birth.”

This is just the beginning of a wonderful new life in Christ.

To deepen this relationship you should:

  1. Read your Bible everyday to know Christ better.
  2. Talk to God in prayer every day.
  3. Tell others about Christ.
  4. Worship, fellowship, and serve with other Christians in a church where Christ is preached.
  5. Discuss baptism with a minister and make a decision to be baptized right away. This is an outward symbolism of the washing away of sin. Christ himself was baptized. As HE does, so we should do.
  6. As Christ’s representative in a needy world, demonstrate your new life by your love and concern for others.

Please let us know that you said this prayer. We want to rejoice with you and send you some material to help you in your new life with Christ. May the Lord truly bless you this day.

In Him, Jan Hicks

(most portions of the above material was taken from the site of http://www.billygraham.org