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Author: Kaitie Kiger

Crestview shelter collecting blankets, tents for homeless

By Kaitie Meyer

With more cold days than normal on the Gulf Coast, a local shelter is looking for ways to help out those who spend a majority of their time outside.

Crestview Area Shelter for the Homeless is collecting cold weather items to help those in need.

“Due to the cold weather, we need gloves, hats, things of that nature. We’re always asking for one-person tents, sleeping bags, things like that,” said Shelter Director Alicia Cabrera.

“We do provide cold night shelter whenever the temperature drops below 40 degrees,” she said. “But we can’t accommodate everyone and so that’s why we try to have sleeping bags and tents, even tarps, things of those nature.”

The shelter loves to help the homeless, passing out 80 sack lunches a day.

Crestview Area Shelter for the Homeless is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s the only homeless shelter in Crestview, Cabrera said, so they do a lot of different things, even temporarily house men, women and families overnight.

“They meet with a case manager. We do an intake, we do an assessment, see if they are a good fit for the shelter,” she said.

Cabrera started as a case manager at the shelter a year ago. She came back as a shelter director this past November.

“I’ve seen some cool things being here,” she said. “We definitely have a lot of support from the community and that is huge, and it helps to be able to reach as many people as we’re able to reach.”

Cabrera has seen the shelter firsthand positively impact many lives in the Crestview area.

“Since we’re only able to take in a limited amount due to space, that means that those that are not able to come in on cold nights are out on the streets. Many of them don’t have any pants or any sleeping bags or any blankets, so it definitely helps them when the temperatures do drop.”

If anyone would like to donate cold weather supplies, they can bring them directly to the shelter at 120 Duggan Avenue. The best days to come are Monday, Wednesday or Friday when they’re open.

“Florida has definitely been bi-polar, so you just never know,” she said. “You go from you have your toes out one day to the next day you have to be layered up, so it definitely helps being able to give those things out.”

5 Bible-based New Year’s Resolutions for 2022

A resolution by definition is “a firm decision to do or not to do something,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. It means a commitment to try hard to achieve a goal, commonly at the beginning of a year. So, what are some resolutions that you can implement this new year to grow your relationship with Christ?

  1. Shift your mindset and focus on God

Life can get challenging; it’s inevitable. Hard times will come, temptations will creep up and it’s easy to just fall back on our flesh and let the devil win. God never said it was going to be easy, but He did promise He would never leave us nor forsake us. So, put your full trust in Him and get rid of that negative mindset that things aren’t going to work out. Focus on His kingdom and your purpose through Him.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

-Philippians 4:8

2.    Make time to rest in His presence.

Slow down. We live in a fast-paced culture, where it’s easy to fill up every minute of our schedules. We go from work to soccer practice to rehearsal to church to home and leave no time in between. God did not create us to go, go, go all the time. It’s not good for our physical health, our mental heath or our spiritual health.

Even Jesus took time alone to be with His Father. We need to slow down to hear God’s still, small voice.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

-Psalm 46:10

3.    Be flexible and trust God’s will and timing is better than ours

Sometimes we think we have everything under control. We like to be in the pilot seat of our lives and do what we think is best. How’s your track record so far? Through my personal experience, God has taught me that He knows best. He sees the whole picture. We just see what’s directly in front of us.

That goes for plans and timelines. Sometimes I want something now and God says wait. God has taught me patience as an adult. When things happen His way and on His time, they have been so much greater than I imagined.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

-Isaiah 55:8-9

4.    Wake up 30 minutes earlier and read God’s word

We make time for things that are important to us. I will be the first to say I am NOT a morning person. Sleep is so nice and is necessary to survive. But so is the word of God! I’ve witnessed a noticeable difference in the days I make time to study the Bible in the morning and the days I hit the snooze button and skip my “daily bread.” God promises us joy and peace, but we have to give Him the opportunity to do that. He speaks through his Word, so when our Bibles are closed, we can’t hear Him.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

-Hebrew 4:12

5.    Bring up Jesus in your daily conversations and spread the Gospel

Jesus commanded us to tell everyone about Him. It’s our main mission and we often forget it. Now more than ever, people are lost, living with fear and uncertainty. They want something that is real. They want something that makes them feel seen and loved. We have that and when we don’t talk about Jesus in our daily lives, we’re keeping Him to ourselves. We’re not sharing the most phenomenal, life-changing gift of salvation and preventing the Gospel from spreading. This in turn delays the redemption.

Don’t you want everyone to know about the Jesus who changed your life, who offers hope and eternal life? Then talk about Him, and not just on Sunday. Boast about His love and all the awesome things He’s done in your life. Give Him the glory.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

-Matthew 28:19-20

As believers, we tend to be hard on ourselves when we mess up. We want our lives to glorify the Lord and when they don’t, we feel like we’ve failed. But you know what the good news is? We serve a loving and forgiving God. When we repent of our sins, it glorifies God. So, when you mess up on these resolutions, that’s OK We’re human and we’re not perfect. The key is to try again and keep pursuing Jesus, every single day of 2022.

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