Feature Story, Online edition!

Three Ways to Trust God When Things Are Falling Apart….

3 Ways to Trust God When Things Are Falling Apart
(By: Alton Jamison)


It’s easy to trust God when things are going your way. But how do you keep your faith and trust in God when things are falling apart?

We all know life is a never-ending mosaic of both good and not-so-good.

From the incredible highs where you believe nothing can stand in your way and you can realize all your dreams; to the disheartening lows where it’s almost impossible to even find hope in the next hour, let alone the future.

But how do you continue to thrive despite the lows that life throws our way? How do you not get lost in the depths of sadness and heartbreak when the going gets tough?

Below are 3 ways to give you strength and hold on to hope and your faith in God no matter what is happening around you.

  1. Patience:
    While it may seem counterintuitive, patience is the best way to handle a challenging situation that appears, on the surface, to be making your life fall apart.

When things become challenging and uncomfortable, we tend to want to push through and past the pain and discomfort quickly and in any way possible; even if it’s not in our best interests.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5&6

Life is a journey and full of lessons. While trying life challenges and emotions are not easy, they are important. We learn the most during challenging times. So by practicing patience, we allow ourselves to slow down, reflect, understand and absorb the lesson being offered to us.

The willingness to stay the course, hold on tight to our faith and practice patience, allows us to remain open to what is in our best interest (which our heavenly Father knows) and adjust our path in life. Patience allows us to be in the moment and reconnect with our soul and our life purpose.  

  1. Prayer: Surrender yourself and your challenges to God through prayer. Prayer is our spiritual conversation with God who both hears and answers prayers.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find.”
(Matthew 7:7)

Just as you would talk to your best friend during hard times, communicate and rely upon God who always knows what is best for you. Lean upon God’s strength through prayer and reflection and clear your mind of all the noise, confusion and sadness.

“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:8)

Trust in the power of prayer and know your heavenly Father is always listening regardless of how large or small your problems may seem. Prayer is also a form of meditation and will help relieve the overwhelming stress of whatever you’re facing. Prayer with deep faith will also open up your mind and heart to receiving guidance from above.

You are not expected to have all the answers; remember your life is a journey. But trusting in the connection to our higher source offers both peace and answers. Even Jesus prayed to God in his darkest moments in the Garden of Gethsemane for the strength to do God’s will.

Prayer enhances our most intimate relationship with our Creator and places our hope and trust in a power far greater than ourselves. In both good times and bad, prayers reach out for help and express gratitude for help received.

  1. Perseverance:
    It’s important to remember prayers are not always answered in our timeframe or in accordance with our expectations. But with perseverance and faith, answers and solutions will present themselves. As Joshua encouraged us:

“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for
the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

When we persevere in our faith and trust in the Almighty, we avoid being intimidated into fear, hopelessness and inaction in the face of difficulties or obstacles. Instead, we hold our trust that God will provide the best for us in his infinite wisdom and at the right time.

Even if you feel your prayers are not being heard or answered fast enough, continue to practice patience, prayer and perseverance to find the strength to stay on course and remain faithful to God and his will and plan for us.


Alton and TaShawnda Jamison are the founders of The Empowerment Zone. This is a ministry designed to “empower people for everyday life”, through products, events, and messages. Alton and TaShawnda Jamison have been sharing the gospel together for over 20 years. They met in college on the campus of Old Dominion University and started teaching Bible Study together and the rest, they say, is history. God has gifted them in the areas of Families and Finances, and they have been blessed to be able to share their message around the country. They have recently completed their first book together: Purpose, Passion & Prosperity: 3 Keys To A Godly Marriage. Alton is the author of three additional books: Get Off The System: Moving From Lack To Abundance, No More Handcuffs: 5 Keys To Removing The Mental Handcuffs From Your Life, and Biblical Principles For Entrepreneurs. They have a genuine love for God and being transparent to others about their failures and successes. God has also blessed them with two beautiful children. For more information about Alton and TaShawnda or The Empowerment Zone, please visit: www.empowerlives.net

Family Life, Online edition!

Unstoppable God…..By Karen Milioto

My five-year old daughter has been spinning through the house belting out the lyrics to Unstoppable God, by Elevation Worship for three straight weeks.

“Unstoppable God let your glory on and on!

Impossible things in Your name they shall be done!”

At this point, the words are dancing in my own head. And I sit now, glancing out of the window at the midwinter landscape before me; barren with leafless branches swaying in the crisp January breeze.

The song reminds me of a day just like this one, six years ago. I had just learned I was pregnant. 

On that evening, I had stepped outside and studied my breath as it gently danced against the bleak backdrop of brown grass and sleeping trees. Silently wondering to myself, ‘How could this be?’ 

I couldn’t even grasp the notion of pregnancy after three years of waiting and wondering. Countless sonograms reflecting nothing but an empty womb. Pills and then needles. Surgeries and more tests.

Each elevator ride leaving the doctor’s office with nothing but a receipt in my hand. Watching happy couples gripping black and white strips of ultrasound photos. Expectant moms clutching large bellies full of life. And new families cradling infants. Each journey ushering me further away from my hope in impossible things. 

When I called the fertility clinic to tell them the news, I asked the nurse if it was even possible and she laughed saying, “Strange, yes. But anything is possible.” 

Anything was possible? I had wondered in response. 

That was a foreign concept to someone as dulled by disappointment as I was. One so far from the little girl she used to be. Who had once spun around her own childhood home, singing similar songs with conviction. Now replaced by an adult who weighed possibilities against numbers and reason. Letting logic decide what was truly possible.

No longer waking up in wonder at my Unstoppable God and giving glory to the impossible things that are constantly being done. From an empty tomb, to every single moment in-between when God has insisted on new life springing forth from dead things.

This January, as we are surrounded by the barren landscape of winter I pray to keep my eyes on the eternal promise of spring. 

Holding tight to my belief in a Kingdom that “reigns unstoppable”, as the song goes.

Knowing that God does such things through people by the power of His Spirit. 

People who believe in and make room for, the impossible to be born through them each day. 

It could be the birth of a new baby. Or the birth of an idea. 

Maybe it is one word of reconciliation, spoken to mend something in desperate need of repair. 

An act of love. Or an extension of grace. Some effort to bring peace or healing to this cold and dark world. 

Or maybe it’s something else completely. 

It might even be something that makes some of us step back for a minute saying, ‘how can this be?’

Don’t stop there. Step back towards it. 

Karen is a former Bostonian who now resides on a small farm just north of Baton Rouge.

She loves scripture and her garden and often weaves both into her work as a writer. In 2017, Publisher’s Weekly described her debut memoir, Mustard Seeds and Water Lines as an ‘emotional and finely crafted’ account of her personal journey towards healing after The Great Flood of 2016, in their annual Book Life Prize review. And, as her story has made its way across the country, readers have consistently embraced her as an authentic voice with a message of hope in the wake of a disaster.

Karen is a wife, mother and weekly co-host of The Back Porch Book Club, a podcast designed to build community and conversation surrounding books about Spiritual Formation and the Bible.

You can find her on Instagram @karenmilioto or online at www.karenmilioto.com

Millennial Life, October 2018

Be Angry and Sin Not, Millennial Life

Be Angry.. sin not

On the topic of anger, I think we should first establish there are two different types. One is good. One is bad. Righteous anger, or as the King James version of the Bible puts it, ‘righteous indignation’, is something that all believers should have. When it comes to the evil that we see in the world today, we should get angry about that. Whatever God gets angry about, we should get angry about the same thing.

However, the other kind of anger is not of God. That kind of anger is a sin. The kind of anger I’m talking about is when someone cuts you off in traffic and you’re tempted to yell or make an obscene gesture; the kind of anger that makes you rude, disrespectful, or harsh to others; the kind of anger that won’t allow you to forgive offenses committed against you; the kind of anger you’ve held onto for years just because it feels like an old familiar friend and you don’t want to let it go, whatever it is. Also, the kind of anger that makes you bitter toward others because they sin differently than you.

The Bible says to be angry and sin not (Ephesians 4:26). What does that mean? I believe it means to be angry at the unrighteousness and injustices we see in the world today. For example, if you are a Christian, it should anger you that innocent children are being abused and killed. It should anger you that people are being gunned down simply because of the color of their skin or because they’re not deemed worthy to live by their murderer. It should anger you that Christians are being persecuted around the world because they’re sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and fulfilling the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20).

You may say that you have the anger part down. How do you work on the ‘and sin not’ part?

We must be careful to not let the Devil get a foothold into our hearts and plant seeds of sin that breed misdirected anger. Ephesians 4:29, 31 says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”

To be angry that people hurt other people doesn’t mean that we are to hate them or be unforgiving. Jesus loves them and so should we. Those people who shoot down other human beings because they don’t look like them — they need prayer too. They need to know that if they repent, God is there to forgive them. We’re supposed to pray for people who are outside of God’s will because we can be that person at any moment. Instead of taking matters into our own hands, we must entrust every situation to God because vengeance is His and He will repay. God is pure and just and He will right every wrong that has been done. Nothing escapes the watchful and, loving, but just, eyes of The Most High God.

Before coming to Christ, we once were those people. We may not have committed those particular sins, but we were sinners nonetheless and we all have to come to Christ the same way … on our knees in repentance. That’s where mercy and grace come in. I believe to be angry and sin not means to be angry at the sin, but to love the sinner just as Jesus so graciously does with us. God meets each of us where we are. We only need to reach out to Him and ask.

My prayer for you is that you seek God for yourself and ask Him to reveal any hidden parts of your heart where you may be harboring anger and to replace it with righteous anger and love for others.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Jessica LeBlanc is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated journalist who was named on of the top student television news reporters in the country by College Broadcasters in 2011. While in college, she traveled to Europe and wrote political and human interest stories for UPIU.com (at an extension of United Press International). Upon graduation fro Southeastern Louisiana University, she began working at WBRZ News 2 in Baton Rouge as a multimedia journalist and later as an anchor. Originally from New Orleans, she spends her free time working on her blog Moments with Jesse, reading, taking various speaking engagements, and spending time with her family.

June 2018, Publisher's Letter

Publishers Letter, Trinity is Truth! Enjoy…

Publisher’s Letter, Trinity is Truth


The Trinity is Truth.

It was a refreshing revelation. Suddenly, during an otherwise normal day, I looked back over my life and realized an amazing truth. I really am a new Creation in Christ!

In my head I knew I’d been “born again” at the point of salvation. Yet over time as I yielded to the process of change, I began to see evidence of real spiritual growth. A recent devotional helped to put this into words. Writing of the multi-million-dollar market of self-help books sold each year, Dr. Charles Stanley reminded us to understand that our identity in Christ is not about self-help or self-improvement, but about self-replacement.

In my life, self-replacement has been a gradual process. I’m guessing for many it’s more of an instant transformation, but for me it’s been about learning to trust the Lord one day at a time, growing each day.

My early life had some major hurdles. I had no choice but to learn a fierce sense of independence in order to survive. In those environments I learned to take care of myself at a young age. That worked well for a long time, which is part of the problem. With little education and experience, I was able to work my way into a career and be somewhat successful.

I rededicated my life to Jesus when I became a new wife and mom years later. Though I’d been “saved,” I’d never truly committed my life to Christ. My family would need God, and I wasn’t going to attempt life without doing my part to invite Him into our family.

I’d like to say since then life has been easy. Quite the contrary! Yet over the years, week after week, month after month and year after year, I’ve leaned on God and He has been faithful to help me stand when I could not on my own. Because of the experience of God working in my life, my understanding of the importance of the Trinity went from head knowledge to heart knowledge over time.

God the Father. My earthly father was not a man who took care of his family and honored his marital covenant with his wife, my mother. His early decisions wreaked havoc in our family. So, to believe in God the Father as a loving and perfect father meant letting go of who my dad was not, in order to receive God the Father, for He is the perfect father to the fatherless.

Jesus the Son. Receiving Jesus into my heart meant salvation and an eternal home with God. This finally settled that, “If I died tonight would I go to heaven?” question. It also meant forgiveness of sins, which were countless and created so much shame in my life. By reading the Bible consistently, I met a loving Jesus and finally understood the power of the Cross. He is my Savior who cleansed my life from my sins.

The Holy Spirit. We have the spirit of God living within us! Conversely, we also have a spirit of self-living within us. My “spirit of self” was very strong and stubborn. Still is at times. But I now understand the choice that I must make every day. A wise man once told me, “You can’t lead and be led.” Trusting God to lead my life through the Holy Spirit means to let Him be my counselor and guide, giving me the wisdom to take my life in the specific direction of His will and not my own.

The reason I know I’m a new creation in Christ is because I can look back and see where I once was and where I am now. While I’m a work in progress, I thank God for His provision.

In the Trinity is the Truth we can Trust.

Faith Life, June 2018

Faith Life, Jack Lynch on the Trinity in your Life

The Trinity IN Your Life

BY: JACK LYNCH

Jack is a teacher at Radio Bible Courses, LTD.

So, what about your Christian life? How do you reconcile what you read in Scripture with the way you live your life in this world? Is there a disconnect? If you want that intimate relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you cannot deal with the problems of the world in a worldly way.

1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” The world is the world system set in opposition to God. To love the world or the things in the world is to love that which is opposed to God, the One the believer claims to love. If you’re doing these things, then you’re not loving the Father.

How do believers live godly lives? Let’s see how the Trinity can, and should, guide your life.

Having been made in God’s image, and knowing the love that the Father has shown us by sending His Son to die for our sins (in our place and on our behalf), we long to love —and be loved by — our Father. John addresses this in 1 John 4:16: “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

Yes, abiding in God and His love is easy to say but harder to do, since we have a sinful nature. But the Trinity’s ministry in your life will enable a yieldedness to the Spirit, which involves abandoning one’s self-will and living God’s way. Here’s how it works:

Jesus taught that believers receive everlasting life at the very moment they believe in Him … eternal life becomes the present possession of everyone who believes in Him. And Jesus described His role in the present outworking of our eternal life when He said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). So, beyond the moment of saving faith, there is a more abundant life in Christ to be lived.

The Father sent the Son away from His side to die for our sins. Then, through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, believers are placed “in Christ,” and are forever identified with Him. The Spirit then empowers believers to live this eternal life they have been given in the here and now. It only makes sense. What would be the point of God giving you eternal life now if all you could do is live the same sinful, unproductive lifestyle?

In Romans 6:4, Paul makes the connection between Jesus and living our eternal life now: “Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Since the proof that Christ died for all sin lies in the fact that He was raised from the dead by the Father, and since we believers were placed “in Christ,” then His death to sin was ours! Believers are no longer “slaves of sin,” but “should walk in newness of life.”

In this victorious life, Christians are empowered by the Spirit to resist sinning, and to accomplish God’s will for him or her. (Romans 6:6 says of believers: “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him [Christ] … that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”

The Father’s love for you sent the Son to die for you so that the Spirit may lead you. Through the Trinity’s work in and for you, you “put to death the deeds of the body.” (Romans 8:13). This is how you live your eternal life now, in Christ and by the Spirit. Galatians 5:16 echoes this: “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

Never underestimate the effectiveness of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to transform the believer into Christlike living. Romans 6:5 says, “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.”

Describing Jesus as “the glory of the Lord,” Paul writes of the role of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to accomplish this transformation to Christlike living in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

You become like the things to which you give your attention. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace!”

Jack Lynch teaches at Radio Bible Courses, Ltd., which was founded by Dr. Nick Kalivoda. The class meets weekly from  9:15-10:00  at Burden Conference Center, 4560 Essen Lane. The class is open to everyone, and offers a Q&A each week. In June Louis Hillard will be teaching from the book of Revelation. Details are available at www.rbcword.org.