Purposeful Faith

Category - attack

How to Make Stress Work For You

It all happened when I got stuck, sweating bullets in a parked car with a 3-year old who was certain my body was her gym mat. I was over the wait, but the countdown was ongoing. He was nowhere in sight.

My texts went unanswered.
40-minutes passed.
He knew I was parked.

I dialed him again.  Nothing.
Soon after, I saw his phone resting on the car mat.

I tapped my foot, frustrated.

Towing a 3-year old, we headed into the restaurant. We asked some people if they had seen a man with dark brown hair. The one with a boy? No. No. No.

My face reddened. My hand tightened. I pulled the girl out of irritation.

But, breaking the layers of heavy, and as if a messenger of God handed me a “Peace-note”, I remembered the recently-read words in “Sacred Stress.” They reminded me: There is an opportunity found in adversity…

The words said, “A Harvard University study found when participants reframed stressful events as a challenge instead of a threat, they felt energized and performed better.” Hmm…

Could I see this as a challenge rather than a threat that:
1.) Wastes my time?
2.) Ticks me off?
3.) Makes me worried?

The words said, ” Viewing stressful situations as healthy and an opportunity for growth usually eliminates the negative stress-related symptoms.”

What is coming against me, can actually work for me,
when reframed right.

The words said, I can create a positive outcome, a positive view and change the outcome, thereby escaping stress.

Situations don’t rule me, God does.

I can choose to see things from his good view;
it changes my poor view.

I can choose to see thigns from his good view; it changes my poor reactions.

Would this really work?

I tried:

“I have an opportunity to find and extend the grace of God.”
“God is calling me to lean on him. I will know Him better through this.”
“Maybe it will provide an awesome time for daddy to connect with son as they walk home. I can’t wait to hear.”
“I can show my kids we can beat the power of stress by not being stressed.”

I felt proud of my words, but still, troubled by anxiety.

The words said: “Name it.” This means giving an “honest accounting” of how you feel so you can get to the root emotion.

If you speak positive words but don’t let God tend to your bucking emotions,
you’ll still wildly flail out of control.

 

 

 

When we admit our feelings, see them for what they are, and let God hold them –
He does.

 

 

 

We land at peace.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Pet. 5:7

Looking back, I didn’t handle this situation just right. I messed it up. But, guess what?

I have next time. God doesn’t shun me and say, “You are one and done.” Nope. He is the God of ample opportunities. He is the God of perpetual second chances. He is the God of unending learnings. He will help me at my next crossroad. He will instruct me on the way I should go. I feel a little nervous about this. I see the fear in me – the fear of failure.  God sees it too.  He can handle it. It is not too much.

He whispers, “My perfect love casts out fear.” 1 Jo. 4:18

In this moment, I know I found something. I have arrived somewhere.

It’s called “Sacred Stress”.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here. 

About Sacred Stress: A Radically Different Approach to Using Life’s Challenges for Positive Change

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 6.10.41 AMStress can limit our perspective, leaving us feeling trapped and out of control. But stress can also be a force for good: It is our challenges that most compel us to reach out for relationship. And our proudest moments come after overcoming obstacles we thought were insurmountable.

Based on personal experience and their work as therapists, and drawing on decades of psychological research, George R. Faller, MS, LMFT, and The Rev. Dr. Heather Wright have come to see that stress can be healthy and positive. They equip us with the skills and the knowledge we need to reframe our thinking about stress, understand and embrace our darker emotions, and become stronger through difficulty. View on Amazon.

Learn more about Sacred Stress.

About the Authors

George R. Faller, MS, LMFT, a lieutenant in the New York City Fire Department for twenty years who participated in 9/11 rescue efforts, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy supervisor, and an Emotionally Focused certified therapist, supervisor and trainer. He is also the founder and president of the New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy and teaches at the Ackerman Institute in Manhattan.

The Rev. Dr. Heather Wright, an ordained Presbyterian minister, is a licensed professional counselor and executive director for a faith-based counseling center. She taught graduate-level counseling and pastoral theology and served as a board certified chaplain. She is the author of Redeeming Eve: Finding Hope beyond the Struggles of Life and Small Group Leadership as Spiritual Direction.

subscribe

The War in Your Mind: 12 Peace-Tactics

war in your mind
My daughter felt hot. Hand on head, all I could think was, “Great God. Add this horrid sickness to the list.”
Add it to the uncertainty of our future.
Add it to kids acting up.
Add it to no time to get my work done.
Add it to no energy to continue pushing through.
Add it to the pain of an injury that won’t relent.
Add it to my anxiety levels as of late.

Add it to feeling alone and isolated.

The sum = discouragement.

Are you in that place where the face of God
looks far smaller than the weight of your problems?

Maybe finances are tumbling. Maybe fears are rising. Maybe hope for a family member is vanishing. Maybe car problems are plaguing. Maybe insecurity is surfacing. Maybe a job is harassing. Maybe health is faltering.

Last night, I laid in bed. Ever notice? When you silence your mind, you have a choice: You can either fall into worry or worship. Wonder or wrestling. Wrongs or rights. I sunk under the swamp of worry; floundering and fearful.

You all probably know, my name is Kelly. In Gaelic, my name means: warrior.

What if rather than being a worrier or a wrestler with life,
we became warrior’s with truth?

 

Be strong, and let us fight bravely
for our people and the cities of our God.
The Lord will do what is good in his sight.
2 Samuel 10:12

 

Joab, captain of David’s army, knew:
You fight the good fight believing
God’s good way will prevail. 

If I am warrior – if you are too – can’t we fight in the same way?

Can’t we fight, saying, “I’ll be strong, I’ll let God’s truth to reign in my mind, relationships and over my fears. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.”

What peace might that bring? If our internal words were more warrior than wussy?

If they sounded like this:

God things don’t look good. They look tough, dark, barren, unmoving, but your will is working. I believe that. I believe you can. I believe you will. I am not going to sink into discouragement. I am not going to fall into the strangulating hands of despair. I am not going to become oozy and doozy with fear. Forget it.

Not today, no God, not today. Today, I am choosing another way.
 

Today, the way of peace is the way of faith.

Faith says: I see horrendous before me, but God sees heavenly. He is working it out and that is enough.

Faith says: God even though every door looks closed, God can open them with just an exhale of breath.

Faith says: A good God is in control. I trust him.

Faith says: Yes, a war in motion, yet I am not the commander. He knows the way.

Faith says: I don’t have to know, because God does.

Faith says: Never once has God let me down and never will He.

Faith says: Evil may want to leave me ruined and in pieces, but God wants to leave me ruined in his love.

Faith says:  Hold firm, like the disciples did – love always wins.

Faith says: My wait isn’t for nothing, for – in me – God is working something.

Faith says: I need not be leashed by feelings, but unleashed by God’s love.

Faith says: I will focus on his more versus continually perceiving my less.

Faith says: My joy found in Christ, through suffering, becomes His light of glory shed upon the world.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Heb. 11:1

 

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here. 

subscribe

So, #RaRa team, I totally flubbed it up yesterday and missed the linkup. Can you even believe it? I got so overwhelmed with life that I overlooked this post. Forgive me! I am sorry; I never pressed publish.
With this, I don’t know if anyone knows about our rain-date today. Will you share this post on social media to help get the word out about this random Wednesday linkup?
See you next Tuesday!
 Loading InLinkz ...

When You Don’t Feel Able

Don't Feel Able

God called me to write a book.

And the angel of the Lord appeared to [Gideon] and said to him,
“The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” (Ju. 6:12)

This summer, God has felt not felt “with me” and I’ve felt not a smidgeon mighty.

I wrote this thing last winter, with power, but this season, I lamented.

Everything broke. My knee got hurt; I couldn’t exercise. My shoulder continued to hurt; it wouldn’t stop. My house was isolated; I knew no one. Kids camps got cancelled; my time got cut short. Rejections came; my heart got burdened. I re-read the words of the book; doubt covered me.

If you remove the promises of God
from the work of your hands,
you’ll land in the dirt of defeat and doubt.

And Gideon said to him, “Please, sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (Judges 6:13)

And Kelly said to God,
“Why has this happened to me? Where are your wonderful deeds?
Did you not say 
you would use this book, me, and my life?
But now you have forgotten me and left me looking up unscalable heights.” 

Don't Feel Able

I haven’t learned much this summer, but I’ve learned,
when you get real with God, he really answers.

And the Lord turned to him and said,
“Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” (Ju. 6:14)

And the Lord turned to me and said, 
“Kelly, this is my work.
Go in my might and
minister to fearful hearts.
Do I not send you?

Abandoned?
Less than?
Where do you feel more minuscule than mighty?

And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel?
He continued Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” (Ju. 6:15)

And Kelly said to him, “Me? I am a nobody. I don’t look like her. I don’t talk like her. I don’t have gifts or money or a way. I am the least and hardly even a writer.”

Don't Feel Able

And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” (Ju. 6:16)

Admit to God authentically where you can’t
and he’ll remind you how He can.

There is no method to God’s mightiness.  No recipe to his success. No progress without him. No encouragement apart from him. This God, needs nothing from us, because everything, all power and purpose, is Him.

In one strike, through one woman or man, he can – and will – do what he wants to do. He’ll win. It’s that simple.

Rest easy, friends,
no ability, no skill, no strength, no plan, no power is required – but Him.

This is where beauty is, because…

When all strength comes from God,
all glory tends to go to God.

One man.
One woman.
One step.
His power.
A connective spark of glory is lit.

Don't Feel Able

He doesn’t need our anything,
because he is everything. 

Wherever you feel incapable, know: God is capable. Wherever you feel anxious, know: God already has the end in mind. Wherever you feel less than, know: God is greater than your perceptions of yourself. Wherever you feel unseen, know: God cares for every stray feeling, thought and tear that falls.

You are not left, but loved. Not forgotten, but being forged into his image. Keep at it and keep trusting and His wind until, one day, it pushes you home.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

subscribe

 Loading InLinkz ...

Do you Focus on Differences that Separate?

differences that separate

Standing there, remembering, it felt like these moments happened just 5 minutes ago…they still weigh heavy. Somehow, everything about these situations said so much about me. Here’s how they played out:

1. I cut the strawberries carefully, practically savoring the trifle I’d soon pick apart. Conversations were ample, fun and full. Juice ran off my fingertips and I loved the feeling, the freeness, the summer air. Life was good, until, I came undone by her words, “You cut differently than I do.”

2. A friend joined me for a morning IV of coffee. We connected, discussing: who we are, where we will go, and how we will approach things. But as quickly as the caffeine jolt appeared, it was crashed with his words, “Well, I am just different than you. I don’t do things like that.”

3. She was kind. So kind. I love her. I still do, but it stung deep when she said, “I believe differently than you do.”

Differences make us feel odd and outside the norm. Rather than feeling like a belonger, we feel like an outsider. Underneath, we hear hostile threats, declaring, “You are wrong. You are not as good as me.”

Ever noticed? These threats come in all different shapes and sizes: A child whose dreams, views or agendas are different. A spouse who thinks “contrarian”. A job moving forward with different plans than the ones you were committed to. A person who looks nothing like you. An opinion that doesn’t resonate with yours. A person you can’t relate to. Backgrounds you don’t understand.

What difference is threatening you? More.

Read the rest of the post
at Christy Mobley’s site,

where you will find the
6 easy steps to being a uniter:
click here to continue reading.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

A Wake Up Call For The Jealous Girl (& 10 Tips)

Jealous Girl

Hey you, I know how you do things. You watch everyone else. You size them up to see if what they are doing is good enough. You pick it apart. You notice how they dress, act, carry themselves. What they do, think or say. You’ve pulled your microscope out and you are not missing a beat.

You survey things.
You predict their next step.
You pick apart their face.
You want to anti-applause their success.
You hope they will fail.
You hate yourself, how you look so small and they look so big, as if they were Jackie O’ or something like that.

Your face tenses, your eyes squeeze, your blood pressure rises. You want her to fall and trip over a sidewalk crack. Maybe if she’d hurt her face, you wouldn’t have to see it and feel as flat as a pancake. So, you imagine her ruined, politically, professionally or personally. Truly unleashed, you rub your hands together like the bad witch of the west and chuckle a little over it. Of course, you wouldn’t let any Christian people know this was going on under your covers. 

God, forbids that. 

I’ve been this girl in the past. I see these girls in the present. It’s a war out there friends.  Women are at war with women. At times we almost hate each other, and, no doubt, berate each other.

Can I just ask, “What are we doing?”

jealous girl

We take potential friends and, in our mind, make them foes.

The only one we hurt by hating – is ourselves. Because this kind of behavior makes us hate ourselves even more. We either grow so big for our britches we fear busting and been seen as a fraud. Or, we get so small we fear our whole calling will deteriorate into the vast outer limits of the universe and no one will bat an eye.

Either way, a comparing mind sits in a living hell.

It sees not all it can do, but all it hasn’t done.
It sees not where it will go, but only how it could never go there.
It sees not the call of God, but only his call on the other girl’s life.
It hears not his still small voice, for it is consumed by voices of social media.
It believes not that God will fulfill its longings, for it longs for other peoples’ unique gifts.
It knows not it’s specialness, for it never allows it.
It seeks not humble means, for it is caught up in worldly ones.

This kind of mind is so focused on outer things, it misses God’s inner voice.  It misses his voice that says, “I made you for you and no one else can do what I have set forth for you to do. It is unique to you.”

That truth gets rushed away in the after-wind of someone’s success. Gone. Unseen. Woosh…

We stand there, left with obsessive and critical views that only see the world’s nothingness.

We are the sum of all we are not, short-sheeted by the sheer genius of another. We try to stretch out, but our mind lets our legs take us nowhere. Stunted.

So, today with all this bull, (yes, I said bull), I want to break through the depressive bed of lies that you have trapped yourself in. It is time to rise up and to move out and into something new – and that new is – you.

jealous girl

10 Secrets to Squash Jealousy & to Live Abundantly

  1. Go forth with God. Grab his hand and let him know, “No matter how big or small, my plans will be your plans.”
  2. Establish a determined and resilient will. When (not if) you get off track, be resolute in getting back on.
  3. Give thanks for those around you. Notice their good and let them know.
  4. Notice the little things, the small growths, God is watering within you.
  5. Give out more than your flesh tells you you must acquire.
  6. Believe that God’s goodness for you is plentiful, joyful and powerful. It is not hard to grasp.
  7. Decide to follow his decrees all the way up to the place where he meets your deepest desires.
  8. Agree with God; he made you good. He doesn’t play favorites.
  9. Hope in God‘s “exceedingly, abundantly more,” (Eph. 3:20).
  10. Remember, life isn’t about here, but all about there – heaven.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Ps. 51:10

Life is too short to find your mind, heart and progress stunted. God has too great of plans for you. He put the same power that raised Christ from the dead in you (Romans 8:11).  He seated you with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:13).

After all this, you don’t think Christ has great plans for you?

He let son numero-uno take the rap for you.
Don’t you think he will carry you through?

For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. Eph. 1:4

jealous girl

What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him (1 Cor. 2:9)

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

subscribe

 Loading InLinkz ...

Take Courage

Take Courage

Post by: Karina Allen

We live in a beautiful world. But, we live in a scary world that appears to be becoming increasingly so. To be honest, it has been a bit difficult to navigate but I must. We must. We cannot rely on our emotions or even our perceptions of what is going on around us. We cannot allow that to dictate our lives/behavior. We are only to rely on the God who never changes and whose Word is a sure foundation.

The world we live in and actually my very city is in a state of pain and anger and frustration. I don’t have any answers or advice to offer but I do know that I am not to fear. I am to rise up and stand strong in the midst of confusion. I am to be a light in the midst of darkness.

How we do this is simple, not easy, but simple. We look to God. It sounds cliche but really, it’s not. Jesus is the solution to EVERY problem.

He is our anchor.

He is our hope.

He is our truth.

The key to not living in fear is to remember the truth of who the Lord is in spite of circumstances that surround us.

Trust the nature of God.

John 4:8 says that God is love. Ephesians 2:4 says that God is merciful. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that God is gracious. And Psalm 136:1  says that God is good. The nature of God never wavers or falters. He cannot be anything other than Himself. I love that! He doesn’t change according to circumstances or moods. He is not a man that He should lie. He is who He is and that’s all there is to it. He is peace in the middle of our storms. He is our rock when all around us is shaking.

Trust the faithfulness of God.

“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

There are countless verses about the Lord’s faithfulness but this is one of my favorites! I live in Baton Rouge and as you’ve probably seen on every media outlet, the atmosphere here has been tense and angry and hostile at times. I need to remember this. Our enemy is not flesh and blood but Satan. It is God who works within His children and gives us strength and causes us to stand strong in the face of any opposition. He never leaves us to fight battles alone. He encamps us on all sides.

Trust the sovereignty of God.

“I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.” Isaiah 46:10

This one of those verses that blows my mind! God knows the end from the beginning. He’s knows everything that would ever happen before even the foundations of the world. I don’t know about you, but that can be trusted. Nothing in our lives or in the world around us comes as a surprise to Him. He is faithful to make a way when there is no way. Often times, our pain and struggles and hardships catch us off guard and we wander around dazed and confused. The Father isn’t. He knows every detail inside and out, upside down and right side up. He never causes tragedy, but He does sometimes allow it. I’m not sure we’ll ever know why but I am willing to live in that mystery knowing that He will bring about the outcome that brings Him the most glory and is for our good.

He is our anchor.

He is our hope.

He is our truth.

He is our very present help in our time of need. Let’s praise Him! And let’s stand up boldly and take courage…not in our our own strength, but in the strength of the one who placed it inside of us.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.


Karina AllenKarina
is a devoted follower of Jesus from New Orleans, Louisiana, but has made her home in Baton Rouge for the past 15 years. She spends much of her time leading worship at church, writing, reading, dancing and mentoring the next generation. She has a huge heart for serving and missions. She is an advocate for the local church especially the one that she attends, Healing Place Church. She also enjoys working out, traveling, photography and going to concerts/conferences.

Karina believes that every woman has a God-sized dream on the inside of them and it is up to an encouraging community to help nurture that dream. Her goal in writing is to see women get a revelation of God’s Word and discover how to apply it to their lives in order to walk in freedom and live the life that God intended. But the most important thing to her is to live out the call of Isaiah 26:8…For His Name and His Renown are the desire of our souls! You can connect with her at “For His Name and His Renown.”

Are you Fooling Yourself Faithless?

Fooling Yourself

Bang! The thunder sounded like a shot in the night, except it was morning. Either way, the shrieks that ensued caught us all off guard. “Quick, get under the blankie! Let’s hide,” Madison shouted at her toddler brother.

They tumbled down like miniature-wrestlers, grabbing the comforter and maneuvering it over their heads.

They felt safe. But, what I could see from the height of my vantage point went beyond two sets of covered heads – to the 3 feet of remaining limbs laying uncovered. These soft legs, arms and hearts were still vulnerable – vulnerable to thunder, destruction and all the fierce consequences of lightening.

Fooling Yourself

All I could think was, “Those cute little fools aren’t safe. They’re hardly covered.”

In the same way, I act like a fool.

Do you?

Do you take cover with defensiveness, escape and busyness to escape the danger of reality?

Are you afraid to deal with mounting problems and the excruciating weight of your own emotions?

Do you figure Jesus won’t be able to handle the likes of you?fooling yourself

It’s embarrassing, ugly even, to admit, but I cover. I grab a leaf and pretend it will hide the ugliness of my nakedness. Yet, what didn’t work for Eve, still doesn’t work for me. 

These thoughts…
“If I can’t see my problems, my problems can’t see me…”
“If I pretend it isn’t there, maybe it will go away…”
“If I can fight back with strength, I won’t be so weak…”
…these thoughts, leave me vulnerable, exposed and aimless – running like a rabid dog in hunt of life. 

Even worse, my tricks go bust, because no one is tricked. My family sees my limbs flailing about. My God sees everything. And, my insides see a hole too deep to climb out from.

The tension mounts, my heart asks:
How can I deal with my feelings without fleeing?

An answer settles: What pain we give God an opportunity to see, he’ll free.

Because God is a God of clear vision…
From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth— he who forms the hearts of all…(Ps. 33:13-14)

…who cares.
who considers everything they do…. (Ps. 33:13-14)

And He sees deliverance and delivers deliverance to those who desperately hope in him.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine. ( Ps. 33:18-19)

His tender mercy wants to approach us (Lu. 1:78). It doesn’t look like a hand raised. It doesn’t squint with eyes furrowed. It doesn’t pontificate with a red face. No. It is a cupped hand that holds you tenderly, as if you were a shell about to break into his glory.

Unfailing love wants to heal you. He wants to heal me too.

Will we let Deliverer deliver us from fear to faith?

We don’t need to hide from tender mercy. For it is, after all, what we most crave, isn’t it?

So today, gather your courage, put it in a line, get it ready to launch, and pray with me: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts (Ps. 139:23), make them plain to my eyes, Lord. Help me be able to handle them. Show me the way to go. Teach me. I am open.”

Then prepare your heart to be flooded by He who is – LOVE. He will lead your way through the muck and yuck. Through thick and thin. Through tears and healing.

fooling yourself

He won’t let you down, as you look up.

It may not always feel easy or safe, but, every time, his ways are (Mt. 11:3o).

So, let’s no longer pull the comforter over our eyes, for the Spirit is comforter (Jo. 14:26) and his vision will see us through.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

 Loading InLinkz ...

A Hidden Stressor: That is Likely Stressing You Out

Life Stressor

I watch the evening news. And, I’m convinced they shouldn’t no longer call it evening news, friends, they should call it: The Anxiety Hour.

Do you watch it too? Do you feel it crawl all over you?

The Anxiety Hour is the time of day where a day’s work is done and you are looking for a little reprieve. In these 60 minutes, you  grab your treat, you exhale, you grab the remote and then you plop down, thinking, “Time to tune out.” Except you don’t, you can’t – because up there, on this little rectangle, mounted like a trophy in the heart of your house, mayhem, mania and madness pop off.

You see the tears.
You see the evil.
You see the injustice.
You see the pain.
You see the prognosis.
You see no answers.

You feel helpless.

If you could do something to change anything, you would. But, you feel small, unable. You assure yourself, even your loudest call would ring hallow and uncared for, in this echo-chamber called the world.

The decks are stacked, so why bother?
“What does a man gain for all his efforts 
that he labors at under the sun?” Ec. 1:3

Absolute futility. Everything is futile.” Ec. 1:1

Plus, you know things aren’t going to end well. Talking heads can talk, but you have to figure out a way to stay safe – or sane for that matter.

There is an undercurrent of fear. The tensions under the surface of forced calmness are like riptides. They are rising. We all see them. We want to turn away. Pretend. Run. Hide. Shiver. Shake.

Yet, is this what Jesus called us to?

Self-preservation and dread?

Worry and anxiety?

Might we consider: The news is not evil,
but how our heart distrusts God easily could be?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Phil 4:8

If we fill our mind with the grim, we can hardly keep our mind set on Him.

We can’t see if we are blinded by the anger that boils over in our heart. We get distracted and what emerges doesn’t look like love. It doesn’t look like Jesus. And what hits me is this: Jesus never called us hone in on what’s wrong with everything, he called us to remember God is in control – of everything. This is peace.

Am I believing Jesus reigns over everything?

5 Verses to Reclaim Calm when the World makes you Nervous:

  1. Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Ro. 8:34
  2. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?  The LORD is with me; he is my helper. Ps. 118:6-7

  3. …for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Ro. 13:1
  4. …in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. Col. 2:10
  5.  And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Mi. 6:8

Prayer:
Dear God, I am prone to worry. I let the happenings of the world, the elections and the economy sit heavy on me. I need to find your peace. I invite you to restructure my thinking. May my hope be you. May my peace be you. May you help love flow out from me. Give me clarity. May I change what I am able to change and release what I can’t. May I know that the greatest joy is staying where you are. God, thank you that you have the whole world in your hands. I need not fear because you are the best manager, orchestrator and caretaker. You made it all. I believe in your plan. Amen.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

 

8 Ways To Prepare to Win Against the Devil

Win Against the Devil

The devil loves us weak.
God loves it when we renew our S.T.R.E.N.G.T.H.

Do you know what this looks like?

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Is. 4:31

Can you imagine not growing weary or faint?  Do you soar?
Or has the devil  kept a toe-hold on your coattails, preventing you from ever flying?

It’s easy to let that happen. To stay down.

Just this morning I was driving and a little bug kept hitting my car. I started to get frustrated, “Why is he tailing me? He’s making a mess of my window,” I thought. What I failed to realize was that only 2 minutes before, I had been worshipping. This little pest stole the moment.

win against the devil

We all have pests chasing us. They try to steal God’s place of glory in our heart. These little nuisances are often what the devil uses to drive our hearts away from God. We usually allow it.

What tends to be hard for us to accept is that straight up bible knowledge won’t always save us. Why? The devil doesn’t care how much scripture you know. He doesn’t even care if you have the whole bible memorized. He doesn’t care if you have a PhD in Christian Apologetics. He’s never worried about the mind, the devil is always worried about the heart.

My warning to the church? Let’s not get so enthralled with our mind, that we lose our heart in the process. Some churches, I believe, are allowing this.

This horrifies me. I don’t want to live my life as a bible-toting mouthpiece, but as a woman wielding Jesus’ power in the world. 

What about you? Might it be time to fortify your heart, the inner place? So the inner radically changes your outer world?

8 Tangible Tips to Renew S.T.R.E.N.G.T.H.
and Win the War against the devil:

war against the devil

1. Scripture list: Hunt the bible and dig out the best verses. Carry these on a sheet with you, post them on your morning mirror or hold them in your wallet. No matter what, rely on these words as if they are your crutches and you have no legs.

2. Train your mind to immediately notice the taunts of doubt, discouragement, devastation and despair. How? Take inventory of your feelings. When you hear those stinkers hit you, refer back to #1.

3. Respond with truth. The devil takes ridiculous statements and massages them to sound plausible in your mind. If you answer back with a hard-lined, get-out-of-here, truth-filled comeback – he will not as easily want to come back.

Example:

Devil: “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. It is written…” Mt. 4:6
Jesus: ‘It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ Mt. 4:7

After 3 attempts and 3 successful comebacks, Jesus won his wildnerness encounter with the devil. Keep on fighting the fight and the fight will subside.

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Mt. 4:11

4. Engage your mind with holy and you will find yourself committed to peace.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Phil. 4:8

5. Need Jesus all the time. All the time. Not a little bit of the time, but every time. Just think, if you are always calling on Jesus, how can the devil be calling you astray? 

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Lu. 19:10

This means, call out, when you feel unsure. Call out when you feel heavy. Call out when you feel hungry. Call out when you feel tired. Call out when you need wisdom. Call out when you hit boredom. Call out when life gets futile.

6. Glorify God, out loud. Speak proud. Speak with the full strength of Jesus Christ behind you. Speak like one whose team, every time ends up as overcomer.

It sounds like this:

You reign and rule Jesus. You will win. Every time.
You are holy and mighty to save Christ. You will bring me through.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Period.

7. Thank God. If you are saying thank you, the devil can’t as easily put a bag over your head and plumage your mind with the idea that you are being stolen, ruined and left in some far off land where God can’t see you. Instead, you will rise up in wonder at all the riches God is raining down on you. Thankfulness is like a rainbow on a dark and rainy day. 

8. Hope. Endlessly believe in the power of God.

This is what it sounds like when put in action:

God is greater than my problem.
God will win in the end.
My light and momentary affliction is creating for me an eternal glory that far outweighs the here and now. 2 Cor. 4:17
Jesus stripes healed me once and they will do it again and again. He is healer
It may look like a windstorm today, but God is pushing into me his image and I will stand firm.
The Lord is doing an inner work; it transcends my vision. 
God will always be faithful. I can walk in complete assurance of this. 

war against the devil
Soar.
Grab hope.
Fly high.
Glide.
Find new heights of faithfulness,
God will be your strength.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

A Pep Rally For Those in a Bad Mood

Bad Mood

Hey you, things not going well?

Hey you, struggling again?

Hey you, people driving you batty?

bad mood

I am so sorry it feels everything is working against you, I know how that is. I really do. It’s tiring. It’s hard. This world has rough edges. It is not gentle with them either.

I also want to say, “God is for you.” I can almost hear your response, “Ya, ya, ya, Kelly, we’ve heard that one before. It sounds nice in theory.” 

Let me tell you something – you can know it – and not live it. But, when you live it – you more and more start to know it.

What takes voice is not vile or vitriol but, love, grace and hope; it heals.

It may look something like this:

Screamers in the car? “God is for me. God wants this to work out. God will equip me with patience.”
Waiting around for something to happen? “God is readying all the players, so his game can be won.”
Enduring a trial that won’t quit trying you? “God is training me. He molding me and making me more like Christ.”
Deathly tired? “Today is #anightmare, tomorrow is #newmercies.”

What if rather than seeing how life is fixin to ruin me
I sought to see how God is renewing me?

To let the weight of God’s love sit heavy, is to not allow worry to break your back.

What if we saw things differently?bad mood

Sure, it may feel we are on our last leg, about to tumble over. Sure, we may feel tired. Sure,we may feel like our emotions are a hot mess. But, what if we chose to give a little hat nod to all that and then determined to fix our eyes somewhere else?

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. (Psalm 94:18-19)

Notice this, it says: “My foot is slipping.”
Notice the fell-swoop rescue: “Your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.”

Daddy-bird protects his young; God lifts us from our injury through the power of love. 

Notice this: “When anxiety was great…
Notice this: “Your consolation brought me joy.”

Anxiety was plentiful, but joy was available.

What does joy in distress look like?

5 Little Glimmers of Joy against Distress

1. It looks like, “Thank You.” God, thank you that you love me. God, thank you that you are with me. God, thank you that in every single moment, you are singularly focused on helping me. Thank you that Jesus proves it isn’t always easy, but you are always faithful. Thank you that there is life beyond this wretched life.

2. It looks like, “Worship.” God, you are mighty. You are strong. You are capable. Where I cannot, you can. You will redeem, because that is who you are. You are Redeemer. Faithful and true. High and lofty. Holy and worthy. Greater and stronger. I am small, you are big and, because of this, you can do the impossible. I see a mountain, you just see a molehill.

3. It looks like, “I trust you anyway.”  God, let the chips fall where they may, because where they fall is just where you want them to land. And, when they do, it will be your jackpot that rings out. For what you are working, is greater than what I am seeing. And where we are going, is greater than where I feel my emotions stand today.

4. It looks like, “Help me.” God, I need you. Restore my joy. Hear my cry. Answer my call. I need you.

5. It looks like, “I will go with you.” God, I choose to see you in my day. I choose to see the little gifts of joy – the smiles on my kid’s faces, the butterfly passing by, the river that rolls on steady, the sun that is ever at my back. I choose to let you in, when darkness abounds. You are there. I will search you – and then, find you.

bad mood

Bad Mood Prayer:
I don’t have to, God – for you will. I don’t need to God, for you are. It is okay that I feel down. It is okay to struggle. It is okay to have a hard day. God, you can handle my worst day. You will be faithful to me. Restore me, bring me back to the place of love, of consolation – for that is all I need. Amen.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.