1 Peter 5:10:   And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.“
Over the past few months I have been feeling “Heart-Full”.   I was talking to Raymond the other day saying, “I wish I had a way to tell people what is in my heart.” It is full of love to a God who truly saved a wretch like me! He is The One who has given me so much undeserved grace.   Those of you that know me know that I am not a public speaker.  I never have been.  So, as I was thinking about how to get my feelings out there to my friends and Church family, a newsletter of sorts came to mind.  This will not be a newsletter of information about what is going on around us, but rather what is going on in my heart.  It will never be the same twice and hopefully will encourage you along in your day to day walk. If nothing else, you will see how real my life is with its ups and downs, twists and turns.  For that reason, I am calling it Trista’s Treasures.  The definition for Treasure is: “Prized Possession or Entity”.  The definition for Entity is: “Object that exists.”   Therefore, Trista’s Treasures will be a reflection of my prized possession, which is a wonderful God who definitely exists!  
I am not sure how often I will put this out, but feel I need to start somewhere.  Please know you are not obligated to read any of them if they do not appeal to you.  I am certainly not a “writer” and will have no ill feelings if this is not something that interests you.  If it does, I hope you find them to be real, helpful and a reminder of the many promises we have through Jesus Christ.  I’m not sure I can put into words how much He means to me and how thankful I am to know Him and how thankful I am that He knows me – and He still loves me anyway!  So, if you would like, keep on reading….
A little history about me:  I grew up in a Christian home with loving parents and a brother who is four years younger than I. We lived on a dairy farm in upstate NY.  We grew up attending Church twice on Sundays, Wednesday night Prayer Meeting and Youth Group every week.  We went to Church Camp every summer and often attended week long Revival meetings. 
I went to the altar for the first time to receive Christ as my Saviour when I was 10 years old (August of 1980) at a local Church Camp.  I landed at that altar many more times through the years, but those are stories for another time.  I grew up knowing Jesus, the Bible stories, the Hymns and Choruses but I must tell you it was really just “religion” in my life, not a relationship. I knew how to act and I knew what to say. I talked the talk but didn’t always walk the walk.
 I share that with you to say that through the years I have turned to Jesus in times of trouble, or sought His help when I didn’t know the answers, etc… etc… BUT, it has not been until the past 10 years that I have truly learned what a true relationship with Jesus is.  Not a religion, not ritual….just true relationship and a love like I have never known.  I never knew what I was missing. Granted, for God to get my attention He put me through the fire.  I went through a ten year period of despair, heart-ache, loss, loneliness and betrayal. I cried more than I laughed. I took myself to the bottom of the pit of despair, where everything was stripped away and I didn’t even feel I had the ability to look up.  All I could do was cry out to God, to save me from myself and the hurts that surrounded me.  All I had was Him.  That is when I learned that He was all I have ever needed.  He truly is all we need.  
The above is very condensed version of my past 10 year journey, but as I write, over time, you will hear more about that time in my life.  I tell you all that to say this:  Whatever you are going through, wherever you are on your journey in life, God is right beside you, cheering you on! Don’t quit now! Keep going. Don’t think for a minute He has left you. Don’t think for a minute no one else has problems.  EVERYBODY has problems.  Life is hard.  But we have a promise in Jesus that He will never leave us!  I promise you He will always be with you and He will see you through every situation.  Even during the times when you can’t see Him, can’t feel Him and He seems silent. Trust Him with your life.  Trust Him with those you love most.  
I look forward to sharing my heart with you.  I look forward to seeing what God will do with the babblings of this “wretch” like me.  I am not worthy, but He is.  It seems like the very least I can do is give praise to The One who saved me with His amazing grace.  I cannot even imagine where I would be today without the grace of God.  I would like to leave you with the words to one of my favorite songs.  This song blesses my heart and I can’t wait for the day when I am singing it directly to the King of Kings. I hope it blesses your heart as well.
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)   –  by: Chris Tomlin
“Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone, I’ve been set free
My God, my Saviour has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God who called me here below
Will be forever mine, will be forever mine
You are forever mine”
So, until I write again I encourage you to:  Be strong, Stand Firm and Believe in Miracles!  Our God is a God of Miracles!  

Count Your Blessings,