GOODBYE, 2016! HELLO, 2017!

new-thing

As 2016 is about to finish, I’m thanking God for every second he gave me during this year. There were good moments, great moments, and awesome moments; there were bad ones, sad ones, and painful ones too.

Through it all, I learned so much.  I learned much more about God’s unending faithfulness, love, mercy, and grace.  I saw His wonder-working miracles.  I witnessed impossible situations become realities, unexplainable outcomes to problems no earthly human could solve, and miraculous healings. The hand of God and His favor were definitely on my life and my children’s lives.

Did I get all I had hoped for in 2016?  No, I did not.  I got so much more than just what I wanted.  Man makes plans, but it’s the Lord’s purposes that prevails.  I finally learned the most valuable lesson of all: to be content in every single situation I find myself in, wanting nothing more than the will of God for that moment and time, and to remain faithful and strong even when all I wanted and hoped for didn’t happen yet.

The year 2016 was a challenge, and by the grace of God, I made it.  I know the tears I shed in 2016 served huge purposes.  I can attest in a huge way, as you followed me, God heals. Miracles happen.  Good comes out bad.  Faith is built as we endure under the pressure of life’s troubles and heartaches, and I’m much stronger;  what the enemy meant for evil, God turned it into defining moments.

My Friends, it’s not about a bad year versus a good year. It’s about you and how you come forth from the storms of life.  Is your trust in God solid no matter what?  Do you know whom you trust in?  Is your faith so great you can say like Job, “Even if he slays me, I will hope in him.”  A great man or woman is made in the fire, the fiercest storms, battered, and bruised.  It’s there we come forth as silver and gold, but not everyone comes forth as silver and gold.  Some become angry, bitter, and hateful.  God forbid you and I come forth like that.  Our theology must be right.  We must understand that we live in a fallen world. This world holds hate, prejudices, sicknesses, and evil of all sorts.

As a child of God, I must be tested so I can attest to the greatness of my God.  God, I want to thank You for showcasing Your power and might, proving to me You will never leave me or forsake me.  For the secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him.  You make Your covenant known to them.  You are not a man that you should lie.  You direct the path of the righteous.  The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.” Thank you, God, for bringing me out victoriously. I thank you for the year of preparation 2016!

Finally, I thank You because I know, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”  You rescued me from all evil and the weapons formed against me served to push me to my real destiny in you! “Your plans are to prosper and give me an expected hope and future.” Notice the word, “expected,” and it will come to pass all the purposes God has planned for my life, my children’s lives, and YOURS!

To this year 2016, thank you for all the preparation you made for me which defined my path, plans, and purposes.  The year 2017 is going to be the year of God’s favor!

Teresa Allissa Citro,
Founder and President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

JANUARY – Daily Bible Portions


JANUARY’S DAILY PORTIONS OF SCRIPTURE

ONLINE BIBLE

(Multiple Translations Available):

http://www.biblegateway.com

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January 1

Micah 5-7, Revelation 11:15-12:17, Psalm 145:13-21

Proverbs 31:5-7

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January 2

Nahum 1-3, Revelation 13, Psalm 146:1-4

Proverbs 31:8-9

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January 3

Habakkuk 1-3, Revelation 14, Psalm 146:5-10

Proverbs 31:10-12

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January 4

Zephaniah 1-3, Revelation 15-16, Psalm 147:1-7

Proverbs 31:13-15

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January 5

Haggai 1-2, Revelation 17, Psalm 147:8-12

Proverbs 31:16-17

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January 6

Zechariah 1-4, Revelation 18, Psalm 147:13-20

Proverbs 31:18-20

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January 7

Zechariah 5-8, Revelation 19, Psalm 148:1-7

Proverbs 31:21-23

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January 8

Zechariah 9-11, Revelation 20:1-21:9, Psalm 148:8-14

Proverbs 31:24-25

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January 9

Zechariah 12-14, Revelation 21:10-27, Psalm 149

Proverbs 31:26-28

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January 10

Malachi 1-4, Revelation 22, Psalm 150

Proverbs 31:29-31

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January 11

Genesis 1–2, Matthew 1:1–17, Psalm 1

Proverbs 1:1–2

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January 12

Genesis 3–4, Matthew 1:18–2:12, Psalm 2

Proverbs 1:3–4

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January 13

Genesis 5–6, Matthew 2:13–3:12, Psalm 3,

Proverbs 1:5–7

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January 14

Genesis 7–8, Matthew 3:13–4:17, Psalm 4:1–2

Proverbs 1:8–9

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January 15

Genesis 9–10, Matthew 4:18–5:12, Psalm 4:3–8

Proverbs 1:10–12

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January 16

Genesis 11–12, Matthew 5:13–48, Psalm 5:1–6

Proverbs 1:13–14

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January 17

Genesis 13–15, Matthew 6:1–15, Psalm 5:7–12

Proverbs 1:15–16

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January 18

Genesis 16–17, Matthew 6:16–34, Psalm 6

Proverbs 1:17–19

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January 19

Genesis 18:1–19:29, Matthew 7:1–23, Psalm 7:1–4

Proverbs 1:20–21

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January 20

Genesis 19:30–21:34, Matthew 7:24–8:13, Psalm 7:5–9

Proverbs 1:22–24

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January 21

Genesis 22–23, Matthew 8:14–34, Psalm 7:10–17

Proverbs 1:25–27

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January 22

Genesis 24:1–61, Matthew 9:1–17, Psalm 8:1–3

Proverbs 1:28–29

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January 23

Genesis 24:62–25:34, Matthew 9:18–38, Psalm 8:4–9

Proverbs 1:30–31

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January 24

Genesis 26:1–27:29, Matthew 10:1–23, Psalm 9:1–5

Proverbs 1:32–33

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January 25

Genesis 27:30–28:22, Matthew 10:24–42, Psalm 9:6–11

Proverbs 2:1–3

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January 26

Genesis 29:1–30:24, Matthew 11, Psalm 9:12–20

Proverbs 2:4–6

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January 27

Genesis 30:25–31:42, Matthew 12:1–21, Psalm 10:1–5

Proverbs 2:7–8

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January 28

Genesis 31:43–32:32, Matthew 12:22–45, Psalm 10:6–10

Proverbs 2:9–11

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January 29

Genesis 33–34, Matthew 12:46–13:17, Psalm 10:11–18

Proverbs 2:12–14

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January 30

Genesis 35–36, Matthew 13:18–35, Psalm 11,

Proverbs 2:15–16

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January 31

Genesis 37, Matthew 13:36–58, Psalm 12

Proverbs 2:17–19

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Declare His Lovingkindness

lovingkindness“It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening.” ~Psalm 92:2

I am declaring God’s lovingkindness this morning.

This morning, the sunrise over the Savannah River reminded me of the fact that every morning the sun rises even in those cloudy mornings.

So it is with God’s faithfulness even when we might be in the middle of confusion, trials, and tribulations.

God never fails. God never leaves us. God never forsakes us. Look at that sunrise. So shall He rise upon your circumstances and will shine His love right through them.  Will you join in praising him today?  He holds our future secure in the grip of his hands!  New beginnings are what each sunrise represents!

Keep going.

Make each moment a defining one.

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Teresa Allissa Citro

Founder & President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Set Your Face Like Stone

 
big-heart“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.” -Isaiah 50:7

We, as children of God, have one resolve to make every single day, as long as we have breath, which will affect our eternal destiny. That resolve is to know God more and more, study His Word, obey Him, and seek His face. Nothing else is of greater importance.

 

The Victorious Ending

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I woke up thinking about Mary. I wondered what it was like for her to be in labor and nowhere for her to give birth.

This was her first child; she didn’t know what to expect. No doctor, nurse, or midwife, not even her mother. No bed for her to lie in.  No sterile clothes to wrap her baby in, no medicine… Nothing.  To be in a stable with only animals, what woman wouldn’t be scared?  What if those animals carried diseases?  Her precious child would be exposed. Talk about confusion.

She was overshadowed by the Spirit of God, a miraculous conception, the Savior, a child God called his son. How could it be he would be born in a stable? Jesus came as a lamb. The Lamb of God.  Immediately I felt there has to be a stable because there was to be a cross in the future.  It made sense to me then.  Now it has much deeper meaning to me as I write this.  The Son of God came down, born of a virgin, taking a form of a human, and ultimately becoming the Sacrificial Lamb. The meaning of the stable all of a sudden became crystal clear to me. We are not God’s, but we’re children of the Most High God. I don’t know where you find yourself in at this moment, but I’m here to remind you the stable was necessary, and that cross was required to bring us victory.

My friends, your life has a purpose; it has a meaning.  You have a destiny.  Wherever you find yourself in tonight- a Stable, a Palace, or a shelter- God has your life in the grip of his hands. His hand was on His maiden, Mary, and His hand is on you, too. Take this moment and meditate on the fact God has every single step mapped and predestined for you. There is an ending. There is an expected time for the vision to come to pass. Excruciating pain will always end in victory for His people. The stable was necessary because the cross was the ultimate victory.

Hang in there; don’t you dare give up.  God has a purpose for your current situation you find yourself in.  The ending God has planned is victorious indeed!

 

Teresa Allissa Citro

Founder & President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Through The Refining Process

like-gold

“The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,

But the LORD tests hearts.”

Proverbs 17:3

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God allows some people to through the refining pot so all impurities are gone.


We must go through the furnace of fire to come out as pure gold.


Pure gold can be molded and bent.  Whatever you’re going through is to bring you out as pure silver and gold.  God is shaping and molding you to be whom He created you to be.  Remember God uses these processes to show what’s really in our hearts. He already knows we need to know.  No matter what trial, let’s allow the Master Refiner do what He must do.  He knows how much heat is needed so the silver and gold aren’t destroyed in the process.


May the refining pot and the furnace produce the finest silver and gold this Christmas season in all of us.

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Teresa Allissa Citro
Founder and President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

ON THIS JOYOUS DAY,

MAY WE REMEMBER

THE GREATEST GIFT GIVEN TO US

JESUS CHRIST

OUR SAVIOR, REDEEMER, & FRIEND.

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HAVE A BLESSED DAY, EVERYONE!

Linda A. Knowles

Executive Director, Thread of Hope, Inc.