The Kimberly Joy Blog

Know Yourself…Be Yourself…Love Yourself – THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW Fridays at 4:15PM & Saturdays at 6PM on Inspiration 1050 AM & 103.1 FM WGRI (Cincinnati)

Author: Kimberly Joy (Page 1 of 5)

You Are FREE!!!

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “You Are FREE!!!”)

YOU ARE FREE!!!
To those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, God says, “You are FREE!!!” I remember the day those three words resonated with me. I had decided to go to the church, while no one else was present, in order to spend some time alone with God in the sanctuary. There’s nothing like being alone in God’s presence!

On this particular day as I walked around the sanctuary singing a worship song to the Lord, I heard Him say,”You are FREE!” Even though He had uttered those words in my ear before, this particular afternoon was different. This time I really took notice of what He said and asked myself, “What does it MEAN to be FREE?”

DOES ONE HAVE TO DIE IN ORDER TO BE FREE?
Oftentimes, when a person dies, I hear people express how that individual is now free. They’re now free from their suffering and pain! So, does that mean one has to die in order to be FREE? No, absolutely not! In fact, we as believers in Christ have to pray against the spirit of suicide! That lying demon does its best to convince anyone it can that DEATH is the answer!

“All your troubles will be over!”

“Nobody cares about you anyway!”

“Nobody will miss you, not even your own family!”

But those are LIES! Death is not the answer! JESUS is the answer!

I know life can be hard. We all go through difficult situations from time to time. Nevertheless, how you handle those situations is what makes the difference. You handle those difficulties by RESTING in God. He has the answer to every question and the solution to every problem!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FREE IN JESUS?
When I consider what it means to be FREE in Jesus, I think about a well-loved child. I specify “well-loved” because, unfortunately, we hear stories in the news, throughout our neighborhoods, and even among our own family members of children who aren’t loved and cared for as they ought to be. However, a WELL-LOVED child doesn’t have a care in the world because Mommy and Daddy have everything under control. The child can play joyfully during the day and sleep peacefully at night FREE from worries and concerns.

When I was young, I attended Landmark Christian School, which is now closed. One day at school during my second grade year, the entire student body saw a play. This particular play changed my life! I decided that very day to confess my sins and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior! Although some might think I was too young to be a sinner or too young to even know what I was doing, I disagree! I was NOT too young! On that particular day, I KNEW Jesus was tugging on my heart. I KNEW I needed Him. I understood that because of the first man’s and woman’s disobedience to God, I was born into sin, just like everyone else. Needless to say, once I prayed the prayer of salvation that day, Jesus set me FREE! What did He set me free from? He set me free from sin and eternal damnation!

So, if I was saved long ago and if you have already been saved, then why is God declaring to us now that we are free? God wants you and me to have a clear understanding of this truth and to live our lives daily KNOWING He has already set us free.

FROM WHAT HAS GOD SET US FREE?
God has set us free from:
1. Sin
2. Sickness and disease
3. Fear, worry, stress
4. Other people’s opinions

In this article, I want to focus on being set free from sin. Romans 6:14 (New International Version) says:

“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”

Notice what the verse says. Sin is NO LONGER your master. Yes, once upon a time sin controlled you. However, once you gave your life to Jesus, you switched gods. As the verse also points out, we are under God’s grace, and He enables us to live right. NO, we can’t do it on our own power. Fortunately, we can if we look to Jesus.

Hebrews 12:1 says that we are to lay aside every weight (hindrance), and the sin that easily entangles us. But HOW??? How do we do that? How do we avoid the hindrances? How do we avoid the sin?

Verse 2 of Hebrews 12 tells us to look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. We have to keep our eyes fixated on Jesus. We have to stay before God in prayer and allow Him to speak to us. We have to study His Word and learn His principles and expectations. Furthermore, as God gives us revelation and shows us how HE wants us to live, we must obey Him, even if it’s different from what we’ve been accustomed to.

WHY MIGHT A BELIEVER FALL BACK INTO SIN?
I believe we as believers sometimes fall back in to sin, not because we’re under its control, but because it’s a habit! It’s familiar! It’s our comfort zone! Therefore, in order to avoid those hindrances and sins, we have to learn a new way of living by changing the way we think and forming new habits. Romans 6:12 (NIV) says:

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”

As a believer, you have a choice to yield to sin or not. Neither sin, the world, nor Satan control you! Just because you’re tempted doesn’t mean you’re now under Satan’s control. It just means you’re being tempted. So, when you find yourself being tempted, follow the example of Jesus that He demonstrated while living as a man here on earth. In Matthew 4:1-11, each time Jesus was tempted, He used the scriptures to inform Satan of who he was—–a man free from sin and one who served only God! Once Satan realized He wasn’t able to persuade Jesus, he left Him alone.

From my own personal experience, I find Christianity to be a process. We learn and grow as we go. Growth occurs EACH moment we spend time with God. Simply believing in God, going to church, or reciting Bible verses, doesn’t produce spiritual growth. Rather, it takes sincerely pursuing a relationship with God.

I encourage you to walk in the freedom you were granted once you accepted Jesus into your heart. Understand that you’re not the same person anymore. So, don’t let anything or anyone convince you otherwise, including the person you see staring back at you in the mirror.

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-based church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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Experience Rest in God

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “Rest in Me and Enjoy Your Life”)

HOW DO WE EXPERIENCE REST IN GOD?
In order to rest in God, we have to have total faith in Him. When we choose to believe God above everything and everyone else, we experience rest. Philippians 4:7 says we experience a peace that is beyond human comprehension. It’s something that can’t be explained. For example, you may be going through something really difficult, yet you appear to be very calm. As a result, those around you, who don’t know about resting in God, think something is seriously wrong with you! Due to your current situation, they expect you to be upset, angry or depressed. Because you’re not, they assume you’re in denial about your situation. But, you’re not in denial! You’ve just chosen to put all your faith in God!

Personally speaking, I know resting in God is not always easy. Just because I have been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean I will automatically handle every situation, good or bad, as God would expect. I have to work at it every day! Why? I’m still in this flesh. I’m not perfect. However, I do serve a perfect God, and I have to make a decision to pursue the perfect God every day!

God has provided us with His Word to show us what to do, how to behave, how to think and what to avoid. God doesn’t just TELL us to rest in Him, but He shows us how. Throughout the Bible are examples we can emulate. In my article “Resting in God,” I shared the story of Paul and Silas when they were in jail (Acts 16). While they were in jail, they worshipped God! They could have gotten mad or been depressed. Perhaps they were experiencing some of those emotions. However, instead of yielding to those negative emotions, they pursued God’s peace. They chose to still believe God. Consequently, they were set free from jail because of their faith. James 2:26 (King James Version) says:

“…..faith without works is dead…..”

Paul and Silas didn’t just claim to have faith in God, but they proved it by praying instead of complaining and by singing praises to God instead of worrying or crying. They did this all while locked in chains behind a prison wall.

Another individual from the Bible, who demonstrated how to rest in God, was King David. Anyone who is familiar with David’s story knows he made some serious mistakes during his life. Nevertheless, even when he fell down, he found rest in God through his repentance. In Psalms 51:10-12 (KJV), David prayed to God:

“10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.”

King David prayed this particular prayer after God sent the prophet Nathan to confront him about a sinful act he had tried to cover up
(II Samuel 12). Although God could have easily struck David down for his wickedness, He chose not to. Instead, He extended His love, mercy, and grace to David. Recognizing that God was giving him another chance, David repented—–he SINCERELY repented.

WHO IS CONDEMNING YOU?
Like David, you may have done something you’re not proud of or once lived a life you wish you could forget. Even though you have asked God to forgive you, you still feel guilty. Why do you feel guilty? Is God condemning you? NO!!! The eighth chapter of Romans lets us know that those of us who belong to Christ Jesus are no longer condemned. We have been set free!

So, if you still feel guilty, even after you have sincerely repented, perhaps it’s because those around you like to remind you of your past or because you haven’t forgiven yourself.

Either way, Satan is behind it! But, he’s a LIAR! God doesn’t want you holding onto that guilt. He wants you to let it go and rest in Him. Trust in His power of forgiveness and salvation.

While you may have to suffer some consequences for your past wrongdoing, it still doesn’t mean God hasn’t forgiven you and changed you on the inside. For instance, if you have sex with someone to whom you’re not married, you may wind up with an unwanted pregnancy or with an STD. If that’s the case, it’s not a sign that God hasn’t forgiven you. It’s a sign that you’re reaping what you sowed. However, as you move forward in God and strive to live holy, He can bless that baby in a special way or completely heal your body.

Recently, a young lady contacted me requesting prayer. She admitted to doing something she knew was wrong and was feeling bad about it. I assured her I would pray for her. I then encouraged her to not beat herself up and reminded her of God’s love and forgiveness. I also explained to her that her feeling of guilt was a good sign. Why? It proves she has a conscience and that she is still God’s daughter. Finally, I encouraged her to avoid going down that road again.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CONTENT?
I’ve shared before that you can find rest in God through worship, prayer, and obedience. You can also find rest in God by simply enjoying your life. Bible teacher and author Joyce Meyer says, “Learn how to enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.” In other words, smile often and laugh as much as possible. Just enjoy the stage at which you are in your life. You may not be where you want to be or have certain things you would like right now. Nonetheless, that’s no reason to be down in the dumps. Trust me, someone somewhere wishes he or she had YOUR life. Paul says in Philippians 4:11:

“…I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”

To be content with where you currently are in life doesn’t mean you shouldn’t desire more because God has more for you. It just means your desires shouldn’t cause you anxiety and stress. Your desires shouldn’t be more important than you being grateful and giving God the glory. God doesn’t want to hear our murmuring and complaining. Rather, He wants to hear our praise and see our smiling faces. He wants us to extend a helping hand to someone in need. When we focus on the Lord and do what pleases Him, Psalms 37:4 says He is guaranteed to give us what we desire.

Resting in God takes away the pressure Satan and the world try to place on us. When we give everything to God, He gives us His peace, and then things can be done His way….the RIGHT way. So, make it a point every day to rest in God and gratefully enjoy this life He has so graciously given you!

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Smile! Someone Needs It!


Smile! Someone needs it! Let me tell you why!

Several years ago as I was leaving the mall, I noticed a young woman about my age walking towards me. She wasn’t looking in my direction, but I decided to smile and say hello anyway. Looking surprised, she replied, “Hi!” Just when I thought that was the end of it, she added with a smile, “Wow! That’s nice that some people actually still say hello.” In that moment, I felt good about my decision to greet this complete stranger. The look on her face and the sound of her voice were subtle indicators that she needed just that—-a smile! And to think, I almost looked the other way! However, I asked myself, “Why look the other way as if she’s not there? She’s human just like you! It’s good to be kind, even to a total stranger.” Even though I didn’t know what kind of day she was having, honestly, she didn’t look very happy. Nevertheless, once she saw my smile, her entire demeanor changed in an instance! Legendary jazz singer and musician Louis Armstrong was onto something when he sang, “When you’re smilin’, keep on smilin’! The whole world smiles with you!”

Although that particular event occurred over ten years ago, the young woman’s words stayed with me. She was right! Some people don’t smile or say hello to those they encounter, unless they “have to”. I, too, have been guilty. I don’t always display my “mall parking lot behavior”. However, I should! Proverbs 15:30a says, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart.” What if my smile brightens up a person’s day? What if my smile assures them that there are still good people in the world? What if my smile makes them feel important? What if my smile gives them a reason to keep living? More importantly, what if my smile helps draw them to Jesus? Smiling is an act of love and kindness. In Jeremiah 31:3 God says, “…with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Our Lord uses those who are willing to bring more people to Himself.

I thank God for reminding me to smile because one person who definitely needs my smile is ME!!! When I notice that I’m beginning to feel sad or get upset, instead of surrendering to those negative emotions, I smile! Smiling suddenly makes me feel better. I then realize that whatever is going on at that moment is not as bad as it appears to be, or bad at all! Health and fitness writer Jennipher Walters says “the simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins.” For example, smiling can help reduce stress which, in turn, can “lower blood pressure, improve digestion and regulate blood sugar.”

When I choose to smile I’m showing God that I still trust and appreciate Him! No matter what, GOD is ALWAYS worthy of my PRAISE! So, I will KEEP SMILING because someone—–including ME—–needs it!

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Pictured with my niece and nephews (Nigel, Mikayla, and Tre)

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What Is God Saying To Us?

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Rest in God…Obey)

WHAT IS GOD SAYING TO US?
God is saying to us His children, believers in Christ, to rest in Him. What does it mean to rest in God? To rest in God means to have total faith in Him no matter what! No matter what you hear, see, or feel, believe God!

When you sit in a chair, on a couch, or in the seat of a car, do you first check to make sure it will hold you? Perhaps you do if the chair looks weak. However, in most instances, do you check before taking a seat? Personally speaking, I don’t. I just sit down!

Why? I trust that particular seat is going to hold me. I have no worries it may possibly collapse. And guess what? When I sit down, it holds me up!

Although God is by no means a piece of furniture, we should regard Him in the same manner. If you or I have faith that a chair, couch, stool, or bed will hold us up when we rest on it, we have to have faith that God will hold us up when we choose to rest in Him.

Even if God doesn’t move right away, we have to remain steadfast in Him. God doesn’t always move the way we want, when we want, or how we want. Better yet, most times God doesn’t do things the way we expect. Nevertheless, when God does move, it’s always exactly what we need and when we need it. Therefore, it’s in our best interest to rest in Him.

ARE YOU CONTROLLING?
I know resting in God is not always easy because it means relinquishing control. We don’t want to give up control, do we? We want to always know what’s going on.

We want to know what’s going to happen before it happens. We want to know how God is going to move, how He’s going to bless us. But, it doesn’t work that way! Romans 1:17 (King James Version) says:

“…..The just (the righteous or those who are in right standing with God) shall live by faith.”

Living by faith in God is expected. It’s a must! And it can be done, even if you’re used to worrying and taking matters into your own hands. You can learn a new way of living!

As I shared in a recent article, you can find rest in God by worshipping Him. When you worship God you’re letting Him know that you love and trust Him. To worship God is to welcome His presence into your atmosphere. To worship God is to allow Him to have His way in your situation.

You can also find rest in God through prayer. To pray is to make your petitions (needs and desires) known to God. How often do you pray? Is God always the first one you consult with your concerns? I Thessalonians 5:17 says we are to pray without ceasing. In other words, we are to have prayerful attitudes and keep God number one!

HOW DO WE CAUSE OURSELVES GREATER HEARTACHE?
A third way to find rest in God is by simply obeying Him. To trust God is to obey God, and to obey God is to trust God. I find that we as human beings cause ourselves greater heartache when we choose our way over God’s way. Why do we sometimes choose our way? In that moment or situation, we think we know what’s best. We are fooled into believing we know better than God, the Creator, the one who is omnipresent and all-knowing. It sounds absurd when we think about it, doesn’t it? I’m not referring to the moments when we don’t know any better, but the moments when we do know better and still choose to do what we want.

The Bible or the Word of God is our instruction manual for living.

Unfortunately, many fail to follow it. II Timothy 3:16-17 (New Living Translation) say:

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

If we trust and obey God, we will have rest. For example, while attending grad school, I learned I had to have surgery. This was a serious dilemma because the spring quarter had just begun, and I was taking my final class: Statistics. As a matter of fact, it was my second time taking the class. I had dropped it the previous quarter because I had a difficult time following the professor. Since I still had time to withdraw from the class without being penalized, the logical choice was to withdraw and reschedule the next quarter.

Even though withdrawing from the class seemed like a good idea, it wasn’t an easy decision to make because it meant postponing graduation. So, the night before the withdrawal deadline I asked God to tell me what to do. I had made up my mind to withdraw, but just in case it wasn’t necessary to do so, I needed to hear from the One Who knows all. As I slept that night, God clearly spoke to me. He said, “Stay in the class. There will be people who will help you.” When I got up the next morning, I had an overwhelming peace about the situation. I did exactly what God said and stayed in the class.

Fortunately, my professor and several of my classmates (people who didn’t really know me) were more than willing to help me during my recovery. On top of that, the professor decided to make the midterm and final exams both take home, which would allow me to use my book, my notes and get help from my classmates. God came through for me! As I look back on that situation, I realize that if I had chosen to follow my own mind, instead of obeying the voice of God, it would have taken me even longer to receive my Masters degree. Hence, that would have made me sad and caused me unnecessary stress.

Whatever you may be going through right now, I encourage you to give it to God! Worrying and trying to do it your way will not do you or your family any good. Do you realize that worrying and being stressed can send you to an early grave? It may be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s the truth! Needless to say, that doesn’t have to be your story! Everything you need is in the One who created you. So, make the decision today to REST IN GOD!

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Rest in God

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Rest in God…Pray)

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T REST IN GOD?
In the previous article, I discussed the importance of “Resting in God”. God expects us to rest in Him. He expects us to depend on Him, to trust in Him, and to give Him all our concerns. When we don’t rest in God, we open ourselves up to stress and anxiety, which can cause us to become ill. We may also find ourselves making choices that are outside His will.

I know firsthand that when I don’t rest in God, I only make the situation worse, and I wind up regretting it. Then I have to, in a sense, start all over and do it right the next time around. Like a child who is in school, I can’t move to the next grade or to the next level until I pass the test, until I learn everything I’m supposed to learn…..until I do it GOD’s way! Doing it God’s way is having faith in Him! That’s all resting in God is….having complete faith in God! Hebrews 11:6 (King James Version) says:

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is [God], and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

Having faith in God is what pleases Him. If we have total faith in God, then we’re going to live our lives submitted to Him. If we lack faith in God in any areas of our lives, then we’re not going to submit to God in those areas. For example, perhaps you are a smoker, and God has instructed you to give up smoking. You KNOW God spoke to you. Even though you crave cigarettes, God is telling you to stop smoking.

However, you haven’t stopped smoking because you have more faith in how you FEEL, than you do in the POWER of God. God didn’t say it was going to be easy. He just said to have faith in Him and quit!

Now, by using smoking as an example, I am in no way saying that smoking cigarettes is going to send you to hell. Nevertheless, if we say we trust God with our lives, then we have to really trust Him and stop using unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with every day life circumstances. Smoking, alcohol, overeating, or sex outside of marriage are common examples of what people use to COPE with life. But, we’re not supposed to COPE. We’re supposed to REST or have FAITH in God!

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DO REST IN GOD?
When we rest or have faith in God, as Hebrews 11:6 says, God will reward us. In other words, God will bless us. He will give us what we need and desire, as long as it’s in His will. So, if you’re struggling in a particular area in your life, you have to have faith in God. Understand that faith is not about how you feel, but faith is about what you KNOW! You have to know that God is your deliverer, your healer, your provider, your protector, your keeper! You have to KNOW that God has your back and will always take care of you. When you truly KNOW, then you won’t be led astray by your emotions, by ungodly thoughts that try to enter your mind, or by the suggestions of others. You will rest in God and wait for Him to move on your behalf.

As I shared in the previous article, I am still learning how to CONSISTENTLY rest in God. It’s a decision I have to make on a daily basis. One way in which I find rest in God is by taking time to worship Him.

Did you realize that God loves it when we worship Him? Don’t you too appreciate receiving genuine love from others? When someone sincerely loves me, I’m motivated to return the love. Likewise, when we choose to love on God by worshiping Him, despite what may or may not be going on in our lives, He is motivated to shower us with more of His love and blessings! Yes, God loves us, but there’s more He has for us. He willingly gives us more when He sees our faith in Him.

BESIDES WORSHIP, IS THERE ANOTHER WAY TO FIND REST IN GOD?
Another way in which I find rest in God is through prayer. According to Philippians 4:6, God doesn’t want us to worry about anything, but to pray about everything. No problem is too big for God! Therefore, when we pray we must trust that God hears us and will answer our prayers. If we trust that God honors His children’s prayers, anxiety should not be present. Prayer and worry do NOT go hand in hand. James 1:6-7 (New International Version) say:

“But when you ask [God], you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

Does God want us to enjoy our lives? Does He want us to relax, take vacations, and enjoy time with our families? I believe He does! In fact, a couple of years ago, our family had a reunion in Florida. Although I really wanted to go, I knew my money was tight at the time. I kept telling family members I was going, but in the back of my mind I knew I didn’t really have the money. However, instead of making the decision to not go, I prayed about it. Once I prayed about it, I didn’t stress and worry. I didn’t concern myself with HOW I was going to get to Florida. I just asked God to help me and then left it up to Him.

I’m happy to say that God answered my prayer, and in a way I would have never imagined! One night during a revival at our church, one of the local bishops came to the service. Although he didn’t preach that night, our pastor allowed him to minister to a few of us. This same bishop informed me that God had instructed him to sow money into me! As a matter of fact, he said the purpose of the money was for me to go on vacation!

GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYER! No one knew what I had asked God for, except God Himself! God used this man of God to bless me so I could travel to Florida!

And not only that, but my brother invited me to spend time with his family in Georgia following the Florida trip. I didn’t have to pay to get to Georgia or to get back home to Cincinnati. So, God gave me even more than what I originally asked for. Why did God do that for me? He did it because He loves me and because I chose to REST in Him.

In spite of any difficulties you’re facing at the present time, I encourage you to REST in God and give the situations to Him. How is worrying and stressing about it helping you? It’s not, is it? Like award-winning Gospel artists Anthony Brown and Group Therapy sing, God did not create you to worry. God did not create you to fear. But God created you to worship Him daily. So, give it all to God! The Creator always knows what’s best!

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Resting in God

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “Rest in Me”)

ARE YOU RESTING IN GOD?
“Rest in Me,” are the words I hear God speak, especially during the moments when my mind is racing and I’m feeling anxious.

Although Philippians 4:6 tells us not to “worry about anything…”, I still sometimes find myself worrying, not about everything, but about the things my human mind can’t figure out. If I can’t see how or when a situation is going to be resolved, I become uneasy. The uneasiness is a result of knowing that I’m not in complete control. However, I have to remember that to have faith in GOD is to allow GOD to be in complete control!

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that resting in God is not always easy. In fact, it can be downright difficult! I believe that many of us, if not all of us, like to feel in control. We want to be in complete control of our jobs, money, love lives, children, the people surrounding us, etc. Nevertheless, it doesn’t work that way. If I try to control every circumstance and person in my life, then I’m taking on more than God has designed for me to handle. In essence, I’m trying to do God’s job! Have you ever heard the phrase “He’ll never put more on you than you can bear?” This statement is derived from I Corinthians 10:13 (New Living Translation) which says:

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

WHAT IS A TEMPTATION?
The word temptation is typically defined as “a strong urge or desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.” However, according to the Bible, a temptation is also “a trial or test”.

For instance, in Genesis 22, God tempted or tested Abraham when He instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. God wasn’t trying to persuade Abraham to do something wrong. Rather, God put Abraham through this particular test to prove Abraham’s faith. Then later in Genesis 22:13, God provided a ram as the real sacrifice.

James 1:2-3 (NLT) say:

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”

Verse 12 of the same chapter also says:

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”

So again, although God takes us through tests from time to time, the tests are never designed to overwhelm or destroy us. Instead, they are designed to make us better, stronger and wiser!

WHAT DOES RESTING IN GOD LOOK LIKE?
During any test, as Proverbs 3:5 states, we are to depend TOTALLY on God. Therefore, if I find myself becoming overwhelmed and stressed out, it is simply because I haven’t placed it all in God’s hands. I can’t blame anyone but me!

To rest is “to be free from anxiety or disturbance” or “to remain confident”. Therefore, when we rest in God, our minds are at peace because we know that God has our situations under control. As I mentioned before, resting in God is not always easy. I’ll admit that I am STILL learning how to consistently rest in Him. Nevertheless, it can be done, if we put it into practice.

One way in which you can rest in God is through worship. Yes, WORSHIP! You can find rest in God as you worship Him. So, find time to worship God. Yes, even during the hustle and bustle of the day, find a place to be alone where you can worship God.

If you have to go to the bathroom or to your car, find a place to be alone. Believe it or not, I have had some awesome worship experiences in my bathroom and in my car. As a teacher, I would close and lock my classroom door in order to get a few moments alone with God. And trust me when I say that it doesn’t take long for God to meet you right where you are! He knows how much time you may have at that particular moment and He appreciates you sacrificing that time for Him.

HOW CAN WORSHIP BRING YOU INTO A PLACE OF REST?
When my mind is bombarded with so many thoughts and I find myself becoming emotional, worship CALMS me. As I sing or listen to one of my favorite worship songs and just meditate on the goodness of God, I am reminded that He is my everything. In that moment, He becomes priority, while everything and everyone else take a backseat. Then His love, peace and joy fill my heart. I am then no longer bothered by my present circumstance because in the midst of worship, God reassures me that He has my back! In that moment, God may even reveal some things to me and give me the answers I’ve been seeking in prayer.

These worship experiences bring to mind one of my favorite stories in the Bible involving the apostle Paul. In this particular story, Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail simply for preaching about Jesus. Being beaten, chained and locked up would be terrifying for anyone. I honestly can’t imagine how I would respond in such a situation. However, these two men of God, in the midst of suffering, in the midst of pain from the beatings, decided to glorify God!

Acts 16:25-34 (NLT):

“25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! 27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted to him, ‘Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!’

29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’

31 They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.’ 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.

35 The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, ‘Let those men go!’ 36 So the jailer told Paul, ‘The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.’”

Wow! Their worship set them FREE!

Just like Paul and Silas were set free from physical chains, worshipping God can set you free from the thoughts that try to chain your mind. So, please be encouraged to LET GO…..WORSHIP…..and LET GOD!!!!!

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Dad Never Divorced Us

DAD NEVER DIVORCED US

I want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, especially my father William Lee Thomas, Sr.! My dad has been there for my brother BJ and me since DAY ONE! Although our parents divorced when we were young, Dad NEVER divorced us. He was committed wholeheartedly to being in our lives.

Unfortunately, at one point in my life, I took his love for granted. I had friends and relatives who didn’t know what it was like to have a strong male presence in their lives. However, here I was with a loving father who attended parent/teacher conferences, came to my track meets, helped me with my homework, and made sure my brother and I had everything we needed….and I took him for granted!

The Bible tells us to honor our fathers and mothers, but I wasn’t always doing that. In my young, immature, ignorant mind, I didn’t think I had to give my father the same level of respect as my mother because he wasn’t a regular church-goer or professed Christian. Wow! Just knowing I used to THINK that way makes me CRINGE!!!

Now, don’t get me wrong! My dad didn’t allow me to just say ANYTHING to him! Nevertheless, there were occasions when I would display behavior I KNEW my mother wouldn’t tolerate. And I thought it was perfectly okay. But man, was I wrong!

I remember the day the Holy Spirit checked me about my behavior. I was in high school and attending Power of Deliverance Church in Middletown, Ohio. One night at Bible study, the teacher quoted Ephesians 6:1-2, which say:

“1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise…”

As she was teaching, I felt like she was talking DIRECTLY to me. I knew I was guilty! As I sat in that church pew, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I had no excuse for not fully honoring my father. The scripture doesn’t say, “Honor thy father and mother if they are saved……if they are devout church goers……if they are perfect.” It SAYS honor thy father and mother…..PERIOD!

In that moment, I felt terrible, but I needed to feel terrible. I needed to be convicted so I could change. Here I was professing to be a Christian, but I wasn’t always displaying Christ-like behavior. Just because I was disappointed that my parents’ marriage had ended, didn’t give me the right to be disrespectful. My dad didn’t deserve my funky attitude!

DADDY STILL LOVED ME

What I learned that day is that, “No, my father isn’t perfect! But he’s perfect for ME!” Dad once told me that he sometimes allowed me to get away with certain behaviors because he knew I was coming from a place of hurt and disappointment. Although I sometimes rolled my eyes, talked back, or huffed and puffed, Daddy STILL loved me!

For Father’s Day last year, I decided to dedicate one of my blog posts entitled “Dear Daddy” to my Dad. This is what it says:

“Dear Daddy,

Happy Father’s Day! Instead of the average Hallmark Greeting Card from the ‘Mahogany Collection,’ this letter is written to show you MY appreciation.

From the moment I came into the world, you have always been there for me. You once told me that before I was born you were hoping for a boy —– which is probably what most fathers wish for —– someone to teach how to catch a ball, to shave, to fix cars, to date girls……….to be a man . However, you said that once you laid eyes on me, none of that even mattered. I was your first born, your baby girl, your Daughter-Child (your special name for me). I can even recall Mommy stating that you were sooo crazy about me!

How is LOVE defined? Is it an emotion or a simple word? Well, I’m inclined to agree with the saying that ‘LOVE is an ACTION word’! In the Bible, Psalms 103:13 states:

‘Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.’

A TRUE father has compassion or love for his children, and Daddy, you are the epitome of fatherly love! You have worked so hard all your adult life to insure that BJ and I had everything we needed. Because of your diligence and determination, we were both able to attend college and receive our degrees. You weren’t going to allow a lack of money to stop us from reaching our goals. In fact, I wanted to go to college because you instilled that desire in me at an early age. ‘I’m saving for your college education,’ is what you used to always tell me, even when I was only in the first grade.

Daddy, you were the first man to tell me that you love me. You loved me before I knew how to love myself. You were the first man to hug and kiss me with pure affection. You believed in me before I believed in myself. You called me beautiful when I thought I was ugly. You bought me my first gold necklace and my first pair of diamond earrings. You have always taking excellent care of me! Although I am now an adult, I know that there is nothing you wouldn’t do for me because your love is just that vast! You have shown me how a man should love and take care of me. Last, but not least, you gave me my good looks!!! After all, I am YOUR TWIN!!!!

I LOVE YOU DADDY! HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!!

Sincerely,

Daughter-Child”

(The Kimberly Joy Show: A Special Father’s Day Tribute to My Dad)

YOU ARE APPRECIATED
Again, I want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to ALL fathers. You are appreciated! Even if you feel like your own children don’t appreciate you, I’m telling you that you are appreciated. GOD appreciates you! GOD sees you! He sees your heart. He sees the love and commitment you have for your family. God sees how you care for even those children who are not biologically yours.

God sees your sweat. He sees how hard you work to make sure they are well taken care of.

God sees your tears. He sees those tears you do your best to hide from those around you.

God SEES you!

God APPRECIATES you!

God LOVES you!

So, I encourage you fathers to keep doing what you’re doing! Your work is not in vain! Just like me, in time, your children’s eyes will be opened, and they will gain a newfound appreciation, respect and love for you!

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A Man of Honor: Apostle Ron Banks

A MAN OF HONOR: APOSTLE RON BANKS

In honor of Father’s Day (June 18), I am pleased to recognize Apostle Ron Banks. Apostle Banks has not only been my pastor for the past twenty years, but he became my second father the day he married my mother on June 25, 1994. Initially when he became a member of our family, I wasn’t very receptive, and not because of anything he did wrong.

Let me explain……

For several years, it had just been the three of us: Mom, my brother BJ and me. Prior to that, our dad was married to our mother. So, seeing Mom get remarried and share her life with a different man was not an easy adjustment for me.

Nevertheless, Apostle (as I like to call him) demonstrated nothing but patience and understanding. When I was cold and distant, he remained the same—-kind and loving. He didn’t stoop to my young, immature level. Instead, he took the high road and allowed me time to come around. I now love and appreciate him for that. Apostle is a good example for anyone who plans to marry someone with children. Demonstrating love and patience is vital.

TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO
Apostle was born the third of seven children, to Lorin and Bertha Banks in Avonmore, Pennsylvania, where he also grew up. If you’re not familiar with Avonmore, it’s a small town outside of Pittsburgh. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the army.

Although Apostle was raised in church, he acknowledges that he ran from Christianity and the call of God on his life for over twenty years. During that period in his life, he spent a lot of time in the streets and became addicted to alcohol and drugs. Fortunately, he had a praying mother who NEVER gave up on him.

Proverbs 22:6 says:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

In the early 1990s, Apostle surrendered his life to the Lord when he began attending Power of Deliverance Church in Middletown, Ohio, where several of our family members also attended. Once Apostle gave His life back to Jesus, he began growing by leaps and bounds. I know this to be true because I saw it with my own eyes. He said GOODBYE to the streets, the alcohol and the drugs! He was now driven to learn all he could about God and to be used for His glory. He was in every Sunday school class, every church service, and every Bible study. He became an armor bearer for the pastor, a minister, and a member of the deliverance team. He was a willing worker, even if it meant cleaning the toilets, laying down carpet or driving the church van. It was evident that he had a passion for God and people. Apostle’s heart had truly been changed, and he was now dedicated to doing the work of the Lord.

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Honoring Apostle Ron Banks)

POWER AND FAITH MINISTRIES
With unwavering faith and passion, Apostle and my mother established Power and Faith Ministries in 1997. Apostle had then, and still has now, a burning desire to follow the example of Jesus, including healing the sick and casting out demons. Through Power and Faith Ministries, many individuals have been saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, delivered, and healed from cancer and other diseases. Apostle has openly declared that Power and Faith Ministries is a “cancer-free zone”. As a matter of fact, an individual doesn’t have to be in a church service or even in the city, to receive healing. God has anointed and assigned Apostle to bless those who are in need of healing and deliverance with prayer cloths that he personally anoints with oil and prays over.

I have personally mailed and delivered in person some of these prayer cloths. The testimonies are astounding! For example, two of my former high school students were healed after they each received a prayer cloth. One was healed from cancer, while the other was healed from near-blindness. Today, I follow both of them on Facebook and am happy to say that they are STILL doing well!

As a team, Apostle and my mother “address concerns, tackle problems, build character, bring management back to those who have been mismanaged and, through God’s guidance, perform whatever tasks necessary to positively affect people, as they touch and change the world, one family at a time.”

A GREAT FATHER
God has and continues to do so much through Apostle, not because he’s superman or perfect, but because he’s a willing vessel who has a heart for people. It’s that same heart that makes him a great father. A great father prays for and with His children, leads them, provides for them, protects them, teaches them, gives them sound advice, listens to them, and, most importantly, loves them. Apostle encompasses all those attributes, which is what also makes him a great pastor.

If and when any of his spiritual children walk away from the ministry or from God, like the father in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), Apostle welcomes them back with open arms. I have witnessed Apostle offer unconditional love, even when the love wasn’t always returned.

Apostle often testifies about how God never gave up on Him, even when he was out in the streets doing anything and everything he felt he was big and bad enough to do. Despite all that, God honored his mother’s prayers and kept His hands on him. Parents, it’s important that you continue to pray for your children, no matter the circumstances!

STOP RUNNING AND SURRENDER TO GOD
When Apostle finally made the decision to stop running and surrender to God, without hesitation God welcomed him home. And God is ready to do the same for you! Aren’t you tired of running? Aren’t you tired of fighting? Then I encourage you to stop and surrender to God.

Once Apostle accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit, it was the beginning of a brand new and better life for him. You, too, can experience the same! Romans 10:9 says:

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

If you’re ready to experience a brand new life like Apostle Ron Banks, all you have to do is pray the following prayer:

“Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!”

I NOW WELCOME YOU TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!

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When You Look At Me, What Do YOU See?

WHEN YOU LOOK AT ME, WHAT DO YOU SEE?
The following excerpt is a spoken word I wrote and presented a couple of years ago at a women’s conference. As you read it, you may recognize the story.

“When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a scared little orphan girl who has just lost both Mommy and Daddy?

Tossed from this relative…..to this relative…..to this relative…..to this relative…..to this relative…..
She’s looking for that love that awaited her every morning with a smile on her face,
That love that held her tightly in his arms when she awoke from a bad dream,
That nurturing love that taught her how to knead dough in the kitchen,
That strong love that gave her a lesson on how to fish.

When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a young lady who is now in search of the love she lost so long ago when it was buried in the grave?
With a fragile heart, she’s now willing to do anything for anyone in hopes of feeling that someone cares.
Craving warmth and affection, she yields herself to the abuse and misuse of men.

Sad and lonely, she jumps from this marriage…..to this marriage…..to this marriage…..to this marriage…..to this marriage,
Finally settling for a man who doesn’t find her worthy of a ring.

When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a woman who is tired and ashamed?
Her mistakes replay in her mind over…..and over…..and over…..and over…..and over again,
Mistakes made all in the name of love.

On a warm afternoon, she approaches Jacob’s well where she finds a strange man sitting nearby.
She’s amazed when he parts His lips to speak, let alone ask her for a drink.
After all, she’s a Samaritan; he’s a Jew.
She’s nothing!
Or at least that’s what she’s believed ever since that nurturing, strong love she once knew was buried deep in the ground.

When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a woman who, in spite of life’s hardships, still has a gleam of hope?

A hope that is ignited when the man at the well offers her the love she’s been searching, for so long,
A love that won’t abuse her, misuse her and then throw her away,
A love that endures forever…..and ever…..and ever…..and ever…..and evermore,
A love that, once received, must be shared with everyone she meets,
A love that draws others to the well where they also receive salvation and healing.

So, again I ask the question…..when you look at me, what do YOU see?”

The spoken word “When You Look At Me, What Do You See?” was inspired by a well-known story in the Bible.

Recognize it?

It’s the story of the Samaritan woman Jesus met one day at a well in Samaria. This story can be found in John 4.

WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
Like the woman at the well, we each have a story. Granted, I don’t know her full story, because we’re only offered a glimpse into her life. However, God gave me an imagination, and I can imagine what life might’ve been like for her. I can picture what might’ve happened to cause her to make certain decisions. There’s a story behind her decisions.

Gospel singer Vashawn Mitchell wrote a song that says, “You don’t know my story, all the things that I’ve been through. You can’t feel my pain, what I had to go through to get here.” Like Mitchell states in the song, we each have endured hardships. Perhaps those hardships include abuse, molestation, poverty, prejudice, illness or death. As a result, we may be angry, confused, and even depressed.

What is the root cause of such pain?

SIN!

Sin is defined as “rebellion against God; wickedness, evil”. According to Genesis 3, sin first entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. This truth is reiterated in Romans 5:12 which says:

“Consider this: sin entered our world through one man Adam; and through sin, death followed in hot pursuit. Death spread rapidly to infect all people on the earth as they engaged in sin.”

Nevertheless, Romans 5:19 assures us that:

“Just as through one man’s disobedience every one of us were made sinners, so through the obedience of the one man [Jesus], many of us will be made right.”

WHAT DO YOU NEED FROM JESUS?
When Jesus met this woman at the well, I don’t believe it was by accident. As He and His disciples were traveling, they could’ve stopped anywhere at any time to rest. However, Jesus knew He needed to be at this particular well at this particular time on this particular day to meet this particular woman.

Why?

She NEEDED Him!

She was in need of salvation and healing—–not necessarily physical healing, but mental, emotional, and spiritual healing.

When Jesus initially spoke to the woman, she was surprised. Jews didn’t normally affiliate with Samaritans.

Why not?

At this time in history, the Jews viewed the Samaritan people as inferior. For one, the Samaritans had a history of worshipping idols. Plus, they were labeled half-breeds because they were the products of intermarriages with foreigners. The act of marrying and having children with foreigners was greatly frowned upon. So, given their history, it’s no wonder she questioned why Jesus was speaking to her.

During their encounter, Jesus inquired about the woman’s husband, which brought to light all of her baggage. This woman had been married FIVE times, and the man she was currently with wasn’t even her husband.

Did Jesus have to ask about her relationship status in order to save her and set her free?

Yes, He did! After all, that was a serious problem for her! She needed to be healed from whatever issues she was carrying that had prompted her to have multiple marriages. Being married several times was proof that a man was not going to give this Samaritan woman what she was TRULY looking for.

According to the Bible, having a husband is a good thing. However, as women, we can’t expect men to do for us what only JESUS can do. God didn’t equip any man to do so. It doesn’t matter how nice, intelligent, strong and even rich he may be. This was a truth the Samaritan woman came to realize that day. Jesus said to the woman, “Receive Me and I will set you free, and you will no longer need to look for love in all the wrong places.” Essentially, only JESUS can provide true fulfillment (love, peace, joy, healing, etc.). Man is flawed, but Jesus is not!

Moreover, in John 4:24 Jesus said to her:

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

In order to worship God the Father sincerely, we must have a relationship with Him, which comes by accepting His Son Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Personally speaking, I can worship God from my spirit because I’m connected to Him. I can hear God’s voice, sense His presence, and know what steps I should take because I’m connected to Him. I have confidence and a more positive self-image because I’m connected to Him. No man can wreak havoc in my life because I’m connected to GOD.

Just like the Samaritan woman, no matter what you’ve done in your past and regardless of your background, where you come from, your family’s reputation or your own reputation, Jesus LOVES you, and He’s here for you! All you have to do is believe and surrender to Him. When you do, like the woman at the well, He will change you and make your life BRAND NEW!

Part I – “When You Look At Me, What Do You See?”

Part II – “When You Look At Me, What Do You See?”

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A Tribute to Mom

A TRIBUTE TO MOM
Let me begin by wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to ALL mothers, including those who are like mothers to someone! I honor YOU today, as well! I believe it takes a heart of selflessness to take someone else’s child under your wing to encourage them, teach them, coach them, help them and, especially, love them. I want to also honor the women who have chosen to raise someone else’s child…..or children. Your act of love is so greatly appreciated!

I want to now pay tribute to my own mother Pastor Geraldine Banks, also known as “Gerri”.

Over the years, I’ve seen my mom endure some difficult situations. However, through it all and in spite of it all, she has maintained her integrity and relationship with the Lord.

THE YOUNG BELIEVER
The youngest of seven children, my mom was born to Jeremiah and Eunice Ealey in Collins, Georgia, where she was also raised. If you’ve never heard of Collins, it’s a small town located in Southern Georgia, not that far from the city of Savannah. My grandparents were prayer warriors and ministers, and they taught their children to live for God. Mom accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit at the tender age of 16.

Because of the teachings my mother received at a young age, she learned the importance and necessity of being devoted to God.

Do you realize that it’s NECESSARY to be devoted to God—-God, our Creator, the one who knows all and sees all? In the midst of a corrupt world, it is NECESSARY to know Him. It is NECESSARY to know Jesus because through Him our lives are made right! My mom and her siblings were taught those valuable, life-changing lessons, and I thank God every day that they instilled those lessons in us—-their children. I am who I am because of my mother’s teachings. I am who I am because of my mother’s prayers. I am who I am because of my mother’s LIFE!

THE SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVER
As a child, my mother excelled in school. She was even honored as the salutatorian of her senior class and graduated from high school at the age of 16. Soon after, she relocated with her mother and siblings to Cincinnati. Mom went on to receive her Business Management education from Southern Ohio College. She then received certified Accounting training from Cincinnati Technical College (now Cincinnati State). Moreover, she received computer training from Scarlet Oaks.

While a student at Southern Ohio, Mom was hired by General Electric Company, where she worked for 34 years before retiring. During her time at GE, she witnessed co-workers and close friends lose their jobs due to layoffs and cutbacks. However, instead of losing her job too, God always blessed her to get moved to a different position. In John 15:7 Jesus says:

“If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Although Mom has been retired from GE for a number of years now, she still works seasonally as a Tax Professional for H&R Block. As one of her devoted clients, I can say that she is excellent at what she does!

THE PRAYER WARRIOR
As I stated before, my mother has endured some difficult situations. One incident was when my brother BJ almost died when he was just a baby. Although his health seemed to be failing, my mother didn’t give up! She called on my grandmother, aunts and people at the church to pray for his healing. Today, she even talks about the time she sat up with him all night rocking him and praying for him. James 5:16 assures us that:

“…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (woman) availeth much.”

Because of the constant prayers of the believers, God healed my baby brother! Now at the age of 39, he is a successful husband, father, teacher and varsity basketball coach.


(Mom, BJ, Me)

THE OVERCOMER
Another difficult time in my mother’s life was when her marriage to our father ended in divorce. I love my dad very much, but as a woman myself, I can acknowledge that my mom was devastated by the break up. Her marriage was supposed to last forever! NEVERTHELESS, she never walked away from God or the church. Through the pain and, even the embarrassment, each day she continued to get up! She put on her good clothes, high heeled shoes, and make up, and she pressed forward!

Mom continued being a devoted mother, sister, cousin, niece, and friend. She continued shopping at the mall, getting her hair done at the beauty salon, going out to eat with family and friends, and taking trips to places, like Florida and the Bahamas. My mother continued living her life! Most importantly, she maintained her relationship with Jesus Christ. She continued lending her beautiful voice to the choir, ministering the Gospel at church and on the radio, and winning souls for the kingdom of God.

THE EVANGELIST
Mom has some awesome testimonies of how God has used her throughout the years. For example, during the late 1980’s while working at GE, she led one of the CEOs to the Lord while sitting in his office. This particular man was secretly dying from the AIDS virus, and through Mom, he came to know Jesus Christ. On another occasion while at work, she noticed her manager slipping away at his desk. In other words, he was dying right before her very eyes, and she called LIFE back into his body! Some years later, she also called LIFE back into the body of a complete stranger while we were at Kings Island Amusement Park. In John 11:25 Jesus says:

“…I am the RESURRECTION, and the LIFE: he that BELIEVETH in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he LIVE…”

Had life totally turned out the way my mother planned? No, not at all! Nevertheless, she was determined to persevere anyway! In fact, she looked past her disappointments and her pain and pursued God even more!

She completed a two-year course in Theology with a focus in Evangelism at Cincinnati Christian College and received certificates in Catechism and other Christian courses. Mom wasn’t going to allow anything or anyone to deter her from her God-given purpose!

THE FAITHFUL
In my previous blog post “Relax! God Is Doing It Now For You! Just Continue in His Work!”, I share the story of Ruth from the Bible. Ruth didn’t worry about what or whom she had lost. She didn’t concern herself with the family and country she had left behind. Instead, she focused on the mission God had assigned her—to take care of her mother-in-law Naomi. As a result of her obedience and faithfulness, God blessed her abundantly.

Just like Ruth, Mom stayed focused. While she was busy working, taking care of my brother and me, and ministering to others, God blessed her with another husband. My mother married Apostle Ron Banks on June 25, 1994. Three years later they founded Power and Faith Ministries.

Through Power and Faith Ministries, many souls have been saved, bodies have been healed from life-threatening diseases like cancer and AIDS, and people have been delivered from the bondage of satan. As they adhere to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it is their mission to touch and change the world one family at a time.

Ladies…..my sisters…..women of God, I know that everything has not turned out the way you had hoped or planned. But, don’t give up on God and don’t give up on you! People, including your own relatives, will let you down. They’re not perfect. Only God is perfect, and He will NEVER let you down! So, just like my mother Pastor Geraldine Banks, stay FAITHFUL to God and TRUST that He has an even BETTER plan for your life.

(The Kimberly Joy Show: A Tribute to Mom)

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