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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: 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: 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
Crossing2Freedom

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: Faith, Uncategorized 06 Jan 2017 3 comments

 

hidden-images-blog-pic-jan-2017

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)