Bible, Counsel, Family, Overcoming

“There’s No Shame in Finding Freedom”- Sermon Series 1 of 8, with Christina (view the follow-up video sessions on course catalog tab)

On Thursday, August 26, join Christina as she brings part 2 of the series, “There’s No Shame in Finding Freedom.”

I am excited to announce that an e-course will be offered, on August 26th. With your paid subscription to the e-course series, you and your family will have an opportunity to gather, in the privacy of your own home, to watch this impactful series together. Get ready to gain a deeper level of teaching and healing. ~Christina Calk~

Click the Course Tab to Join the full E-Course Series

All proceeds of the e-course go to support OpenDoor Cousneling, a 501(c) 3 Non-profit Organization. Remember, There Is No Shame In Finding Freedom! Go to the COURSE menu now to view the entire series.

Anxiety, Bible, Counsel, Encouragment, Faith, Family, God, life, Overcoming, Prayer, Teachable Moments, Trials, Wisdom

I’ve Had Enough

Lord, I’ve had enough!

 I’ve had enough of the enemies tactics, and schemes. 

I’ve had enough of illness showing up at the door step of households and businesses. 

I’ve had enough of the lies introduced, promoted, accepted and multiplied in the name of politics and the good of humanity. 

I’ve had enough of families allowing disunity to run their family train off the tracks and directly into harm’s way.

I’ve had enough of knowing that humans are being traded as a commodity, bought and sold for the pleasure of those ensnared by evil ways.  

I’ve had enough of young lives ending before you called them home, as the spirit of death, crept in and your voice seemed to be drowned out in their distress. 

I’ve had enough of weak minded Christ-Followers who let the negative committee, inside their mind, take complete control of their character, and allow the voice of defeat to squash their hope and faith.  

I’ve had enough of feeling discouraged and distraught.

I’ve had enough with despair, as I am surrounded by lives in distress. 

I’ve had enough of evil being called good, and good being called evil. 

I’VE HAD ENOUGH!!!

Oh Lord as I cry out to you, I feel your presence in my prayers. 

I know you hear my hearts unique prayer language. 

You feel the deepest sorrows, and aches within me, as my soul groans and longs for your return. Until then, I’ve had enough. 

I know you’ve been there for me throughout my lifetime. Your word encourages us and tells us that you will never leave or forsake us, therefore, help me to have endurance, peace, and strong faith, trusting that you’ll give us enough. 

As my spirit reaches out for you, I feel your gentle internal reminder, that all along I’ve had enough. 

Because I have you, I’ve had enough grace. 

Through you, I’ve had enough, as you are the provider of peace. 

I’ve had enough perseverance, because of you.

I’ve had enough instruction that I know you are both judge and redeemer.

Lord Through You, and only You, is found the remedy, the cure, and the protection we ALL need, you are THE enough. 

Your word reveals to me that you are MY rock, in which I claim as my strong tower, where I go when I’ve had enough.

Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
 From the end of the earth, I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

 For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your  house forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.  Psalm 61 1-4

Remind me often Lord of your boundless power, as I am never without it, through you, I’ve had enough!

Peace be with us,

~Christina~

Anxiety, Bible, Counsel, Encouragment, Faith, Family, God, Joy, life, Overcoming, Teachable Moments, Trials, Wisdom

Behind My Mask

Behind my mask.

Many of you may know me as a person who smiles, encourages others and moves through life with a good outlook (most days). I’m posting pics of the newest mask; enduring yet another surgery (yesterday), in which I now have 2 bionic knees, so look out enemy, no stopping the plans God has for me!

However, in the past 2 years I’ve also endured 4 other surgeries, and 1 four day hospitalization.

But what’s underneath those masked up days, are situations which are not always easy to endure. Yet, I keep my Jesus, my family and my tight knit circle of friends involved in praying with me, as I share with them when I struggle. We must all have a support system, which is vital to our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

I’m not a “sit around type of woman” (that actually creates in me loneliness, depression and sometimes anxiety). But, I don’t allow myself to stay there, because I’ve learned those are fleeting moments, not a life style choice.

I love helping my husband around our property, meeting up with my daughter and our new bonus son (my amazing son-n-law). I enjoy public speaking as a Christian speaker, tackling tough university work, completing new writing projects, launched my new podcast in 2020, serve on the alter team at my church, work as a pastoral & biblical counselor. I am the director at OpenDoor Counseling and Life Coaching Ministry, which is part of Opendoor.Church.

I also find immense joy in sharing my God given gifts and skills through illustrating children’s books, training and supporting my life coaching team, serving my community and recently sharing the love and hope found in Jesus around the world; through world wide distribution book sales.

Why do I not stop?

Because, God has given me favor through open doors of special assignments, that I WILL complete before I draw my last breath. You have the same favor and God has given you a gift that will positively impact the lives of others.

Know that when adversity shows up in life, it doesn’t mean you are to remain silent and hide your struggle. There’s beauty in surrounding yourself with committed prayer warriors, friends and family who will step in at a moments notice to be there for you.

So what’s the deeper lesson?

Through adversity we learn courage in trusting and leaning into Gods word; Faith.

We find compassion for others who are enduring struggle. We also find that in adversity we are shaped, stretched and grown, when we are willing participants in areas where God can use us most.

Today friends, be encouraged! You got this and the Lord hears you, sees you and wants to bless you through perseverance.
Peace be with you! ~Christina~

Bible, Counsel, Encouragment, Faith, Family, God, Joy, life, Listening, Marriage, Overcoming, Podcast, Prayer, Talk, Teachable Moments, Teachers, Trials, Wisdom

Podcast Coming in March 2020!

This Seat's For YouI am excited to announce my new podcast called

“This Seat’s For You”

which will launch in March 2020.  This podcast features topics centered around life’s challenges and victories, to encourage and inspire believers. Christina engages in thought-provoking conversations centered around real-life, transformation, increase, favor, provision, change, stability, and motivation. Through implementing Biblical counseling principles, and the life-sustaining word of God, the audience will discover insightful ways to engage in life trials with a fresh perspective. You are a welcomed listener and This Seats for You!

About the host:

Christina was proudly born and raised in Texas. She is blessed to be a wife and mom and resides with her husband of 28 years. Christina is an Author, Board Certified Pastoral and Biblical Counselor, Christian Life Coach, Ordained Pastor, Public Speaker, and Teacher. Her book, Perseverant Parenting, is centered around boldly facing unexpected life trials with faith, optimism,  and purpose. In 2019 Christina illustrated her first book called Huggs, which is a tale of God’s goodness and a walk through the fruits of the Spirit.

Christina is no stranger to adversity; however, she rejoices in overcoming life’s trials. Through her steadfast faith in Jesus and determination to achieve healthy spiritual, emotional, relational, and career goals, her focus is invariably on living a life well-lived through every season. Her spiritual gifts include encouragement, understanding, wisdom, and counsel.

Christina has served in ministry for 20+ years and has worked with hundreds of families and individuals who needed someone to pour the love of Jesus into their lives through counsel, discipleship, lend a helping hand, or simply deliver an encouraging word.  Her greatest joy in ministry is seeing people encounter Jesus in unexpected ways and see lives transformed by His love, grace, redemptive and restorative power.

 

Encouragment, Family, God, Joy, life, Parents, Prayer, Teachable Moments, Wisdom

Blended Families

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Special guest post from Stephanie Rudd regarding blended families:

“When we got married, I honestly didn’t think about the struggles that would come up once we became a blended family. I knew God put us together for a reason! I loved this man, he loved my son, and I loved his daughter. Those were the facts that I focused on. Neither my husband nor I came from a divorced home as children, so it was natural that it wasn’t a concern, at first. Oh, boy! Was the enemy upset at us joining our families together! All things aside, we really have blended well! Our kids are only 4 months apart in age and were instant brother and sister. By instant brother and sister I mean they love each other one minute and can’t stand each other the next. One of the big challenges we face with the kids is that for a majority of the time they are each only children. Once a week and every other weekend they have to adjust to the fact that they are not only children anymore. Some weeks they adjust better than others, but it’s hard for them. Taking authority from a “bonus” parent has also been a challenge (we say bonus instead of step). We try to remain sympathetic because neither one of us knows the emotions that our kids experience being in a blended family. As hard as it is at times we make the choice to focus on God and all the good! When I feel discouraged I think of Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The enemy does not want us to make it as a family! He thought he succeeded with divorce in our pasts. Little did he know that our God is greater and loves redemption! Our marriage is living proof of God’s redemption! So as hard as it may be at times, it’s not a battle of us and our own flesh, it’s supernatural. I remind myself how much the enemy wants us to not make it as a family and choose to push into the Lord even more! The closer we draw to our Heavenly Father, His Word, and prayer, the smoother things go. The more we as parents work on our relationship with God and our marriage, the better the kids seem to be. God is so good!! I know He has BIG plans for this beautifully blended family and we will not let the enemy get in the way of that!!”

Encouragment, Family, life, Overcoming, Parents, Teachable Moments, Teachers, Wisdom

A Seed Has The Potential To Break Through Any Barrier

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A friend shared an image today of a tree which has grown through a huge rock.

I immediately thought of the quickly arriving new school year and those who would be planting seeds of instruction and education in young minds this fall.

The tree reminded me how teachers have significant opportunities to use words and influence which will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another life.

 

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  2 Corinthians 9:6

 

Whether you are a homeschool teacher, public educator, bible school teacher, college professor, a parent (FYI, you ARE a full-time teacher in Every Way) or an instructor/teacher of any kind remember this;

 

“A tiny seed of truth or wisdom might seem that it has fallen on inhospitable or unreachable ground, but have faith, once a seed has been planted it has the potential to break through any barrier” Christina Calk

 

Adoption, Encouragment, Family, God, Overcoming, Prayer, Teachable Moments

An Adoption Dream: A Guest Blog, by Michelle Choate

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My husband Nick and I adopted our first daughter from India in November 2016. In November 2017, we started the process to adopt our second daughter. Little did we know that God had been weaving our sweet girl into our lives long before we even knew it…

A couple years ago when we were just starting our first daughter’s adoption process, before we even knew who she was, I had a dream about someone with only one arm. After that dream I believed that our daughter would have a limb difference…so much so that I made sure that our social worker specifically added arm/limb difference to the “special needs” that we were open to in our home study. When we were matched with our first daughter June, I just decided that I was wrong and my vision of this person meant nothing. Then when we got a video of June with her caretaker we noticed that her caretaker was missing an arm. I thought that must be it! And on we went with our lives… Until November 12, 2017, Orphan Sunday- a day where families and churches advocate for orphans. A friend made a post advocating for a little girl in India. I took one look at her photo and my heart started pounding…there she was! I just KNEW. At this same time, my husband was between services at church looking at the same photo of this sweet girl and he was struck as well. We just KNEW.

At the same time, in different places, we saw her and KNEW! Nick went to our Pastor, Troy right away, with tears and told him how we just know we are supposed to adopt this child, but we don’t have the money it takes. She’s been waiting YEARS for a family in a really hard orphanage…surviving and WAITING. We needed to get her out NOW…she couldn’t wait until we had $40,000 saved! He told Pastor Troy about her and that she was born with 1 arm. Immediately when Nick told Pastor Troy that she is missing an arm, he said “I’ll pay for it. I’ll get you the money. Don’t worry.” What?!!! Nick called me sobbing and told me that we didn’t have to worry about the money. We both just sobbed! He told me that Pastor Troy knew immediately that they were called to help when he heard she has 1 arm.

SculptureHe told Nick that they have this statue of Jesus with a child reaching up, holding His hand. At some point, the statue was broken and the little girl’s arm broke off. He said that he and his wife decided that this meant they would one day help a little girl with a missing arm. That little girl was meant to be our daughter! Our pastor made the need for adoption funding known and within a weeks period, our church body donated the amount needed to begin this adoption process, a miracle was taking place.

To whom much is given, much is required – Luke 12:4

So many moments, all lined up perfectly, to meet in this perfect moment! ONLY GOD. God led us to this city, this church, THIS MOMENT, to lead us to our daughter! Each decision, each turn…even the ones that felt like a wrong turn…they never were. God blessed the broken road that led us straight to YOU. Today, we are nearing the end of the adoption process, and praying every day for the moment she is finally in our arms forever.

Our faith can move mountains- Matthew 17:20

On her way

Hope does not disappoint- Romans 5:5

These verses have carried us through the hardest parts of this entire process.

Encouragment, Family, Overcoming, Prayer

Be a warrior on your child’s behalf, fight for them!

God hears your prayers and he has not stopped working in the heart of your (prodical) wayward child. Be a warrior on your child’s behalf. You are working with the strength of Jesus within you. Pour in the truth of God’s word with love. As a praying parent, your job is not fighting with them, it’s fighting for them! In Jesus name, you are given provision and authority under heaven to go after your child and snatch them from the grips of the enemy. They are loved by you and have freedom in the name of Jesus who is love and our redeeming savior!

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” Psalms 127:3-5

“Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.” Micah 7:18

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. Ephesians 5

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”  Luke 15:17-20 

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10

Encouragment, Family, Prayer

Prayer and Action

Prayer and Action

In light of the recent shootings in Texas and other cities in the USA, families are mourning, saddened, angry and even left bewildered by such senseless violence.

We live in a country that was founded on the principle that we are a united nation, “The home of the brave and the land of the free.” Yet as we move through each day we are seeing that our freedom is being encroached upon by one evil act after another.

As a nation, we are no longer able to gather together to express freedom of speech without hate dividing the stance for justice. Many in our society often try to protest peacefully, so that voices are heard sharing beliefs in a calm manner, yet all too often victims of senseless crimes are drowned out by hate speech or violent actions. Even showing support of law enforcement is dangerous because of irrational thoughts or actions that only create more division and chaos.

As parents how do we explain to our children that there is hope for a brighter future ahead for their generation in all we face in our nation?

First and foremost we must teach them that a Godless society will ALWAYS open wide the gates of hell for the enemy to take hold of minds and hearts which in turn leads to chaos, disorder, immorality, and death.

The word of God clearly states this “If my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their land and I will hear their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

The Lord is saying the Christians must unite in prayer, seek wisdom from the Lord before reacting in any manner that would cause harm to others.  We must humble ourselves in order to rise above the irresponsible thinking of mobs and lone wolves who are driven by hate. The Lord does heal and restore, however, we must seek him and humbly turn from sinful behaviors.

As we parent our children throughout each day we can find teachable moments and use them to instill value and honor as a family belief system. Parent’s, there is a great calling upon your life, as a Christian, to raise up a child that knows the value of another human life, God’s creation.

Though your family will be faced with days that are trying, difficult and huge losses in their lives, their only hope is to seek God in everything they do, so that their own reactions to the world’s tragedies will be laced with love, but also so that their hearts can be strengthened by the Lord.

Children will need to be equipped with the word of God, your support, and a healthy mindset, so that they are prepared to move boldly through the world, with the understanding that the evil outside their doors should not keep them from leaving their homes and living their lives.

Parents we should are preparing our kids to continue building the dreams of seeking great education, preparing to be a productive citizen with strong moral beliefs, and even stronger pride in protecting the freedoms of their future families, that is the right and fundamental of every American family, but we have to stand united.

We should never answer evil with evil, but instead, answer Evil with the strength that only comes from the right hand of the Lord. Teach your children to value other human lives, yet to fight for their beliefs and rights. Doing this takes action.

Parents I call out to you asking you to not stay home in response to evil but step out to be a light in your community. Show your children that there is action to be taken, even in the midst of turmoil and crisis that will bring healing and unity.

Teach your children that their values and opinions matter, and how they can be proactive in a peaceful manner.

Step out in faith and show support by serving others who serve you. A simple act of writing a letter or card or even taking cookies to local law-enforcement, first responders, fire departments, hospitals and of course church leaders, to just say a quick thank you is hugely impactful.

Let others know that you are praying for them. If the moment arises where you can actually hold a hand or pat a back as you pray out loud and over someone, may serve as a beautiful moment to teach your children the prayer is powerful and it changes lives.

Involve yourself in your children’s schools. Ask how you can mentor fatherless children or children who are in crisis situations. There are numerous agencies that need volunteers to mentor young boys and girls who are growing up in a world where they believe that violence is the way they respond when challenged with tough events in life.

Pray often for your children, but also with your children. Start community prayer groups, and find ways to minister through acts of service. These are simple ways to communicate leadership and unity.

If America is going to be a great nation filled with leaders, that are Godly men and women, who make strong moral choices and live lives of value, we must start with our nation’s children.

I am praying for each of you, asking that God strengthen you, asking for him to will heal the hearts of those who are in morning, asking him to quench anger and replace it with hearts and minds that choose to be world changers, peacemakers, and right-doers.

May the Lord be with you and keep you safe and strengthen you through these trying days, in Jesus precious name I pray Amen.

-Christina Calk-

Encouragment, Family, Teachable Moments

Battles Youth Face

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In today’s world, EVERY single youth is involved in a battle each and every single day! Yes every day, they face challenges on some level that is just as overwhelming to their young lives as an actual war.

What do they battle?
Some battle with their own family, they face the battle of poverty, even homelessness, they battle bullying, they battle drugs, they battle abuse (mental, physical and sexual) often by someone they once trusted. Their battle even lies within their own thoughts, their self-esteem, their overloaded schedules, they battle with their peers, they battle with fear and mistrust, they battle against lies, they battle their beliefs or even battle over popularity or social labels. they battle media, they battle grades, they battle with feeling lonely, they battle divorce or separation of family members, they battle with identity, they battle illness, they battle with depression, they battle with a lack of direction or boundaries, they battle conflicting messages of race or culture, they face battles over faith, their belief system and religion or lack of, and sadly they can even battle with suicidal thoughts or have lost someone who gave up their battle to suicide.

Whatever the battle may be labeled, it is so important to know that the battle is real and the cost can be great.

These young hearts often believe there is no hope beyond the battle.

When a youth encounters a “battle,” they feel overwhelmed and lost, so they often turn to people or things that only worsen the effects of battle. The destruction that ensues is not only damaging to their thoughts but can hinder any real chance of emotional or spiritual growth, which in turn leads them to hopelessness.
As parents, caretakers or mentors we have to take a stand with them and against the things they battle. Often when a youth is going through a battle they can be distant, angry, disrespectful and frankly hard to love, but they need you to stick with them. They cannot manage this battle alone. Let them know that they are loved and that you are there for them, especially when things are difficult. Share a trial that you have overcome and how you are stronger for facing that battle.

Pray for them and pray with them so that they can see where (or to whom) you turn to when you face your own battles, God.

Share scripture with the struggling youth. Through God’s word, they will hear that God loves them and that His word offers strength even in the midst of the most difficult battles.

Shinning the light of truth (God’s word) on a darkened and war-torn heart is exactly what the youth of today need the most. Hearing Gods word may be a difficult concept for an embattled youth to believe or even accept as something that will help them. Be encouraged that your part is to share Gods word and show them the love that Christ has shown you. Your efforts may not produce instant results, but the seed of hope is planted in their young minds.

Scriptures for facing battles:

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. “Philippians 4:13

“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” Deuteronomy 20:4

“The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles.” Psalms 34:17

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” Luke 10:19

The Lords words to the people facing battles in Judah and Jerusalem in 2 Chronicles 20:17,
“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.”

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10