A New Year: Thrive 1/20


a-new-year-thriveMany of you know my sister has been struggling for the past few years with mental health issues, alcoholism, and substance abuse. In this struggle, she has lost her children, her husband, and her job. Through her struggles, I have found my own. I don’t understand how we could have grown up together, have experienced the same trials, and now lead such different lifestyles. I know this is more common than not, but it is hard to see someone you love follow such a dismal path…by choice.

My mom called not too long ago and shared a bible verse that one of her coworkers shared with her. My bible was in the car, so I reached for the nearest one, my Mimi’s. This bible has been sitting on her piano that we brought to our house after she passed away 6 years ago. I have never touched it. In fact, her bookmarks and writing utensils are still in the pocket where she left them.

As I opened her bible, I noticed a sticky note attached to the inside cover. I touched it where she had touched it and I looked at her beautiful handwriting. I turned to the verse my mom told me about and it was indeed fitting for my sister, but not for me.  It didn’t “touch” me the way it had my mom. So instead, I turned to the verse my Mimi had written on the sticky note…1 Corinthians 10:13.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

This verse caught my breath. It was exactly what I needed in order to be reminded my sister can still turn back to God. She just has to have an open heart to see the way out He provides.

My Mimi was very special to both my sister and I. To know God spoke to my Mimi through this verse, so much so that she wrote it down on the inside cover of her bible, means so much. God knew when I would need this verse. He knew when I would open her bible. He knew all these things before we were even created. The fact He chose my Mimi to share this with me even after she is gone, means so much and fills my heart.

The Post-It Note or sticky note was invented in 1968 by a scientist at 3M named Dr. Spencer Silver. Dr. Silver promoted his invention as a “solution without a problem.” Dr. Silver found something noone knew we needed and his invention has been used by all of us at one time or another. We all have problems and many times we cannot see or find solutions to them.  We often are so focused on the problem, the cause of the problem, the symptoms of the problem, or the consequences of the problem that thinking about the problem itself keeps our eyes off of the only One who can deliver us through or past that problem-Jesus.

My Mimi placed that sticky note inside the front cover of her Bible to remind herself of that verse each time she opened it, and she opened it daily. If we can find a way to stick ourselves to Jesus, we have our victory over struggle even before the struggle begins.

Michelle Martinez



A New Year: Thrive 1/3


a-new-year-thriveHeritage of Faithfulness

The beginning of each New Year is a chance to look back over the past year and reminisce. For me it is a great time to look back and remember how you arrived at the place you are today. One of my favorite scripture passages is found in the book of Hebrews, Chapter 11. Hebrews 11 is sometimes called the Faithfulness Hall of Fame. The chapter is filled with stories about men and women who were faithful to God’s calling: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Rahab, David and many others are included. When I read Hebrews 11 I can’t help but marvel at the rich heritage of faithfulness we all come from. Furthermore, my lineage of faithfulness continues from the 1st Century Church all the way to my parents who introduced me to Christ. The stories of many of those generations are not recorded anywhere and those that were, lost. However, faithfulness must have continued in order to bring me where I am now.

My mother spent many weekends at the Treadway family farm, and there a strong love for Jesus was instilled in her by my great-grandmother, Granny Treadway. When my mother grew up she took over where Granny left off and poured her love for Christ into my sisters and me. All of my childhood memories of Granny are of an old fragile woman whose mind was broken by Alzheimer, but as an adult I have come to know her as a pillar of my faith.

On my other familial side, my father is a first generation believer. As a teenager, his sister decided to go to church and take her little brother with her. There, he met Jesus. As an adult he was intentional and diligent in ensuring his children grew up in church together as a family. He found older men to mentor him in godly living and child rearing. As a child, I did not always appreciate his godly discipline, but now I know he was building a foundation for me that would stand forever.

So that is my heritage of faithfulness passed down from men and women who loved God, beginning with Noah and Abraham to my parents. Now, after you read chapter 11 in Hebrews, you have to continue and read Hebrews 12:1 which says,

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Therefore, since Abraham, Moses, John, Paul and many unnamed others passed down their faith, I should too.

Therefore, since a grandmother in the 60’s and 70’s poured her love for Christ into a little girl, I too should pour my love of Christ into others.

Therefore, since a man chose to change forever the destiny of his family by following Jesus and teaching his children to do the same, I should too.

That is my legacy and those are my witnesses to follow. I know each of you have your own marvelous stories of faithfulness in your lives. I challenge you at the beginning of this New Year to recall your heritage of faithfulness. Then go run your race so you can take your place in the next generation’s great cloud of witnesses.

Dannyelle Turner