Purposeful Faith

Author - purposefulfaith

Don’t Lose Hope

take advantage

This is a funny story. A turtle showed up on my doorstep. Can I tell you all? He was the cutest turtle. His back had all these fun little stripes and lines and I just loved the little fellow the second I saw him… But, before long, I knew we’d have to return him back to the wild, much to my son’s disappointment.

When we released him, I felt like I was watching some sort of kids movie. The little guy swam off into the lake behind our house and there was nearly a dry-eye. There should have been sad music playing in the background. The second he was gone, we all wanted him back.

My son prayed just that, “God, bring me a turtle back.”

About a week later, my boy came into the kitchen from a playdate at a friend’s house. He said, “Mom, I have a surprise for you!” He led me outside with my eyes closed.

“Open them!”

I looked down and saw, not one, but two turtles. God hadn’t just addressed my son’s loss by answering His prayer, but He’d given him a double-portion.

Some of us, like what happened with my son, are experiencing loss. We have lost a relationship, a person, a dream or a hope and it seems it is long gone. We miss — what was. We want to cry. We feel so — at a loss…

I understand this. However, what looks like loss, through Christ is gain. What looks like defeat, through Christ, is resurrection life. What looks like the end, through Christ, is only a new beginning.

Just as God brought back — not one, but two — turtles for my son, God can bring back life, hope and joy to you, in a double portion.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21)

Our God is prepared to do: more than we can ask, more than we can imagine, more than we can understand.

Today, what would it look like for you to get beyond your own understanding, to leave the past in the past, and to hope again?

Find Rest: Order “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy” today.

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Pursued with Love

When I was a little girl I loved the story of Cinderella. She was the most unlikely candidate, yet chosen. She was raised from a low-standing to a royal position. She was pursued by one and she found love.

Stories like this capture us, don’t they? We love to see the one who is down and out, lifted up. The unlovable, loved. The unlikely, redeemed.

I wonder if you feel like Cinderella before she went to the palace? If you feel unloved? Down and out? Unseen? Unwanted?  Perhaps, your marriage feels dead and you feel left behind.

May I encourage you for a moment? The Cinderella story is yours…

“By the purpose and choice of God”, (Eph. 1:1 AMPC) you are wanted.
By Jesus you have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing. (see Eph. 1:3)
By His love, He chose you.

He “[actually picked you out for Himself as His own] in Christ, before the foundation of the world.” Now you are “holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4 AMPC)

Radiant.

Because of Jesus, you are fully seen and fully wanted.  In fact, He “[desinted, planned in love (for you)] to be adopted (revealed) as His own…” (Eph. 1:5 AMPC)

God is not ashamed to reveal you. Just like the prince revealed Cinderella as his own, with proudness…Ephesians 1:5 says, “it pleased (God) and was His kind intent”— to reveal you.

You are His, radiant daughter of the High King. And, God is yours too. He wants you, has adopted you and He freely bestows this love on (you), His beloved. (Eph. 1:6)

Let this all soak in. You are a princess. The daughter of the Most High King. Can you be any more wanted than that?

Prayer: May the truth of this love overwhelm you today. May the fullness of His desire for you — be made known to you. May the beauty of the work of His hands (which is: who He created you to be) be appreciated, as you think of how much He loves you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you want to learn to rest more in the love of God? Consider my new book: “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy.”

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Your Good Father

good father

The woman, sitting with me at the conference table, did an extraordinary thing…

It all started with my saying, “I love your bible.”

On the spine, I noticed the words “Amplified version” printed. I love the Amplified Version. It gives rich context to the original Hebrew and Greek words in the Word.  I admired her treasure. Yet, what this woman didn’t know was my hunt in the last year to find, not just an “Amplified Version” bible, but a “Classic Amplified” version bible.

“Classic Amplified” bibles are out-of-print and not so easily found. I’ve looked here and there online, without much success. I’ve thought about how I want this translation on multiple occasions.

So, needless to say, I was surprised when she responded, “Well, this is actually a Classic Amplified Version.”

I didn’t want to covet. Yet inside, I wondered if coveting a bible is okay?? I didn’t know. Either way, I oohed and ahhed a little louder.

“Oh my goodness, that is a Classic Amplified Bible?” I said. “I’ve searched far and wide for that very book.”

Then, the conference started up, proceeded on, and before I knew it, it was over.

Looking longingly at her treasure, I waved goodbye to my fellow seatmate saying, “Hey. It was nice meeting you. I hope you really enjoy that bible.”

I wasn’t about 5 steps away when I heard her call my name. I looked back, and I saw her plucking papers out the book.

She extended it towards me. A tear formed in my eye. This woman was giving me her treasure so I could treasure it.

My heart was touched. God knew what I wanted– and He gave it to me. God saw.

My friend, God sees your heart. He knows what you need. He is aware of what you desire. He is a good Father.

If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him! (Mt. 7:11 AMPC — Classic!!!)

The Lord has good and advantageous things to give to you.

Are you asking? Seeking? Hoping? Or, have you lost hope that you have a good Father who cares for you? I’m sure of it — He loves to hear your voice.

My dear friend, I feel strongly led to say: do not give up with your requests. Do not back down. Keep asking. Ask more. Ask louder. Knock more. Talk to your Father; He loves you.

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Stir it Up!

stir it up

If you don’t stir the pot while something is cooking, it sticks to the bottom of the pan. Before you know it, you have clumpy mess that will not move. And, that is hard to clean up.

I, in the past, got clumpy this way. I got in ruts where I mechanically read God’s Word. I became defeated because I lost hope in a greater thing. I got plowed down because people weren’t nice.

Yet, these conditions-of-heart were on me. The fact-of-the-matter was I didn’t stir my own pot. I allowed myself to get clumpy.

“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2 Tim 2:6 KJV)

The early Christians were reminded to stir! They were told to stir up the gifts given to them by God. To stir means to “kindle up” or to “fan into a flame”.

The responsibility here belongs to us. We fan our own God-given flame. We stir things up.

How?

Well, how has God gifted you? I am an encourager. What are you? A giver? A teacher? A helper? A builder? Consider your passion and how God likes to use you.

Even if you can’t think of your gifting, you can still stir things up. We all have been gifted with grace upon grace thanks to Jesus. Remind yourself of this fact. You are loved, equipped and empowered. Christ lives inside you. He has, and currently does, call you to great things in and through Him.

Stir up your gift. Fan your flame. You are here for a purpose and on purpose.

Another way to stir things up is to use your gifting. Love others. Speak truth. Encourage. Share what God has put on your heart. Step outside the bounds of comfort.

We don’t need continual comfort anymore than we need last month’s paper. Be a pioneer through God’s Spirit rather than retracting from this world in fear. Stir your gift up.

Activate it by engaging with it, as you love others. Love them BIG, and love them bold!

The more you do this, the more on fire for Jesus you will become. You’ll be excited about your faith. You will rekindle the excitement for Jesus you once had. Stir things up.

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Opening Up to Others

I remember when I sat at a coffee table with a new friend.

As I sipped a warm latte, I wanted to encourage her, like I do with most people, yet I couldn’t…

There was a huge block: I felt jealous of the opportunities she was getting. These were opportunities that I was not getting.

Facing my sin, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t stop thinking bad thoughts. So, I did the only thing I could think of…

I mustered up courage and said directly to her face, “Can I tell you something? I feel jealous of you…all the open doors you are getting are things that I’ve been wanting for a long time.  I don’t want to hate you this way. Will you forgive me for this jealousy? God, will you forgive me too. I am so sorry.”

She sat there for a second, just staring at me.

“Wow, Kelly, thank you for saying this.” She said.

Following this moment, we talked together about the areas where I felt sad. We acknowledged the pain I was feeling. We talked about my story. Then, we moved on to how God was working, even in my difficulties.  She encouraged me. Quickly, my feelings of jealousy dissipated.

I was able to celebrate her agin. I loved her even more, in that moment. She loved me too.

Before leaving our coffee date, her parting words were, “Kelly, thank you for opening up about your jealousy towards me.  You really taught me that I can be vulnerable and open about my struggle and jealousy.  Thank you for this.”

Wow. My struggle gave her permission to share her struggle. The amount of connection that I felt with God, and this friend, were on super-high levels now. I was amazed.

Soon after that she, once again, got an opportunity that I wanted.  Yet, as I watched her seize it, I no longer wanted what she had. Instead, I celebrated what she had.  Interestingly, she used a little piece of wisdom I’d previously given her to add to this project — and she acknowledged me. God made me part of this project too. It was a head-nod from God. He knew.

With this, friends, I cheer you on and say — don’t be afraid to confess your sins to one another.  What we reveal to God, and others, gets healed. To receive forgiveness is to restore heart-connection. Even more, healing is not only for us, but often for them too!

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (Ja. 5:16)

Who do you need to confess to? How is God calling to restore connection with Him and others?

Please know, I understand that people may not always respond as beautifully as my sister-in-Christ did. I get this. At the same time, we do not serve man; we serve God. In this, no matter what they say, do or think — you can be sure of one thing: God will be faithful to heal you. God is Healer, no matter how the other person responds. He is forgiver, even if the other person doesn’t take it well. He lifts up, even if the others still put you down.

God is the rewarder, no matter how others act. As we honor Him, He honors us. (see 1 Sam. 2:30)

Be encouraged. Ask for confession. Offer forgiveness. Restore connection.

A Prayer Request from Kelly: On the launch day of my book, “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy” a toddler spilled water on my computer. My computer does not work anymore. I am now writing these posts on my phone, which cumbersome and difficult.  Can you all pray for my computer to miraculously work again or something like that?! I love you all SO much!

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When Judgement is Cast Upon You

When you feel stuck

If we rejoice in others sufferings more than we rejoice in their successes, we should examine our hearts.

This Tuesday, I wrote about a tremendously hard moment in my life— when I had a precipitous labor.  During this time, I wondered if I was going to make it…

To this post, a woman emailed me stating that my words were “shallow”.  How dare I write on something as small as a birth when she had gone through so much more? She expected to be lifted up while my meager trial left her low.

While I empathize with her plight and pain, I just want to call-out something prevalent in our culture: the desire to use others pain to quell ours.

Is this even biblical?

We see it everywhere. It’s why women buy tabloids: to see a celebrity downfall. It’s why people cheer: those in high places are getting taken down. It’s why gossip happens: she thought she was so great.

When people fall, we, for a moment, feel lifted up.

Yet, Christ never told us to get out a measuring stick to compare plights. He never told us to fight about whose pain is more worthy of care.  You may have a cancer scare that far surpasses another woman’s struggle with actual cancer. But, who cares? So what…about measuring and comparing?!

Jesus cares about the heart; comparing cares about measuring the height of someone’s flesh.

I believe that this concept of “measuring” is why women feel so afraid to share their struggle. We know that we risk being judged.

The reality is — none of us ever know what it is like to walk another day in someone else’s shoes…

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)

Jesus knew — pain is real.  He wept over Lazarus’ death.  He felt agony.  He never condemned or dismissed people’s pain. He approached people with love and a heart to heal and help them.

Be wary of using someone else’s misfortune to buoy your emotions. Instead, draw near to success and failure, both, with a heart of love.

 

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What You’re Going Through

Does it feel like you are going through some things? That you might not come out the other side in one piece?

I remember years ago, I didn’t think I was going to make it… It was the physical pain of what I was going through that was excruciating. If I judged the agony 1-10, I would yelled I was at a level: 100.

I thought I was going to die. The pain was that excruciating.

In my case, it was an extreme and super fast birthing-a-baby moment, with increased side-effects. As we drove down the street furiously, I remember thinking that my husband couldn’t help me escape my body. Nor, would he drive on the sidewalks like I was instructing him to.  I remember coming to the stark realization that the only one who could really help me — was God. I thought — if this is a glimpse of hell — I want nothing to do with it.

Only Jesus could save me.
Only Jesus was there for me.

I was in the inferno alone. For many of us, it may feel that we are in the fire or storm alone.

But, we are not — alone. Another is there with us — Jesus. He is always in the storm.

Remember, Jesus was in the boat with the disciples when the storm hit. He was there when Jesus walked on water. Not only that, but He was in the fire when Daniel went in. He was also at the tomb when the women came, likely, sad and weary from the crucifixion.

Be it an angel sent by Jesus or Jesus himself, He was in the storm and the fire.

Jesus is in your storm. He is in your boat. He is in your fire. He awaits outside every circumstance you may see that looks like a tomb. He knows how to rise above that. I truly thought I was going to die, yet Jesus helped keep me alive. I birthed a beautiful baby girl. Jesus was with me. He was in my trial.

And, Jesus, himself — is there, with you. He, himself, is ready to help you.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.” 2 Thess. 2:16-17

If the Rescuer, Redeemer, Restorer, Healer and Helper goes with you, what does this mean for you?

About “Rest Now”
rest nowRest Now offers permission to breathe. It exposes the lies that distract, tire, and bully us, so we don’t strive for rest but love from it, like Jesus did. Learn how to

– create boundaries that allow you to overflow with love
– say no so you don’t hate yourself later
– ditch passive-aggressive behaviors in favor of healthy conversations
– embrace permission-giving thoughts to create mental space for God

Get it.

 

 

 

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Breakthrough is For Today

rest now

Do you all remember those MasterCard advertisements?

New dress: $100
Lipstick: $35
New handbag: $90

The look on your ex-boyfriends face when he sees you: priceless.

It is easy to accumulate things to accumulate worth. I remember when I got my first car. I couldn’t afford it. I didn’t have enough money for that beautiful sports car. But, still, I looked at my dad and said, “Can I?”

He said, “Sure.”

So we put a whole chunk of debt down and I worked forever… to pay that baby off. In the moment, it was all thrills. I kept looking to see who was looking at me when I stopped at lights.

Then, the pleasure wore off.

Many of us are searching for this pleasure of a greater measure.

What others think…$100

If we look good…$200
If we do well…$250
If we are better than she is…$99
If we are seen…$800
What we wear…$300
How much bible we know…$400
Our position, our power or our placement in this world… $400
How much money, how many vacations or what social media influence we carry… $1000

Yet, the irony of pleasure-seeking is that it always leaves us wanting: more. We can’t climb high enough. Or, go far enough. Fashions change. There’s a naysayer. There’s that nagging feeling that we’re not enough. We fear exposure.

I remember this hamster-wheel; I lived on it for the longest time…until, I got off.

Until I found a treasure of greater measure:
Knowing Jesus. Priceless.

Just to be clear, the difference from then and now — was more than just accepting Jesus into my heart. It was about choosing to know and dwell with Jesus. You know, we can know about Jesus in our head, yet miss Him in our heart?

This can be one of the greatest tragedies of the Christian faith as I see it…

What about you? Do you know Jesus — in a way where HIs love frees you, where His peace holds you, and His trust overwhelms you?

My hope is “[that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].” (Eph. 3:18-19 AMP)

Dear friends, I want you to experience this love and wholeness. I want you to find soul-rest that shields you from the sweaty pursuit of lesser crud. I want you to have an experiential knowing of a Good Father’s love. I want you to leave worry and anxiety in the dust as you come to know hope and peace like no other. Jesus is my treasure of greatest measure and He is the Prince of Peace in my life.

If this speaks to you at all today, consider getting my new book, Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries, and Seize Joy. t releases today! Your support means everything!!! Through it, I believe God will radically transform your life. He will liberate you in light of His love and care.

rest now

“Rest Now” will not only will bless me but, undoubtedly, I believe it will richly bless you in knowing God and His radical, unconventional peace. My belief is that you will truly find what is: priceless.

About Rest Now
Rest Now offers permission to breathe. It exposes the lies that distract, tire, and bully us, so we don’t strive for rest but love from it, like Jesus did. Learn how to

– create boundaries that allow you to overflow with love
– say no so you don’t hate yourself later
– ditch passive-aggressive behaviors in favor of healthy conversations
– embrace permission-giving thoughts to create mental space for God

Get it.

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Regaining Hope

The reality is, my husband would give me the shirt off his back. He also would lay down what is good for him for the betterment of me. He has sacrificed much so that I can write and pursue ministry work. He gives up things for me. He thinks of me. He helps when I don’t know what to do. He shares wisdom and tips and ideas. He is there when my head gets droopy; he picks up my chin. He shares his heart with me too. He tells me things he wouldn’t tell others.

My husband is my friend. I call him, “my best friend.”

Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t have a friend like this.”

To you, I want to explain, “Jesus is your friend like this…”

He says, “I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” (Jo. 15:15-17)

Note: everything Jesus learned from the Father he made known. Even today, by the Spirit, He continues to make all things known: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Jo. 14:26)

Friends share deep things with friends. They share hidden truths. They bring to light what is true. They walk together. They talk together. They laugh together. They cry together. They dream together.

Friends love to take care of their friends. When I see a friend in need, I do my best to — show up. I want to know how they are.  I check-in.

You have a friend in Jesus. He is teaching and reminding you of important things through the Holy Spirit. He is there for you. If you can’t remember the last time you felt close to God, maybe you’ve forgotten that He not only is your Lord but that He also is your friend.

Oh, what a friend you have in Jesus! Lean your heart close to Him and ask Him to share some of the deep treasures. Connect with Him in Spirit and in truth.

Prayer: Father God, I thank you for your Son, Jesus. Oh, what a friend I have in Jesus. I also thank you for the Holy Spirit who leads, teaches, and comforts. Fill me afresh today with your Holy Spirit so that I might be full of you and your love (Eph. 5:18). Fill me afresh so that I might be led by you. Fill me so that I may worship and love you, with all my heart. Fill me so that I may know you more.

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You’re a Reconstruction Zone

reconstruction zone

They are re-paving a road near my house. This past week, as I approached the end of my street, I’ve had to wait for five to ten minutes. In this, there’s no rushing. There’s no getting where I am going quickly. Once I do get on the unpaved road my car bounces up and down. It’s bumpy.

Maybe you’re going through some bumps or waits in your life… Maybe you are trying to get somewhere but you feel delayed… Maybe you aren’t so sure why it’s so hard and difficult…

You know, waits are how God constructs something great.

David waited in a cave before he became King. Jesus waited until the right time until He was to die. People didn’t experience His resurrection-life until 3 days later.

Before I knew it, that road-under-construction was finished. Then, it became — smooth sailing for me and my car. Now, I have the most enjoyable ride as I go down that street.

All the bumps and the waits are part of God’s rebuilding process.

Don’t get dismayed by what things seem. Waits re-construct what is great. Bumps are all part of the process of God building a new thing.

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Ps. 27:13-14)

You will see God’s goodness. Just don’t give up. Don’t hop off the road. Don’t detour. Keep going.

 

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