Purposeful Faith

Category - awe

Broken Perfectionism

Broken Perfectionism

I could not be happier to have Angela Craig joining us today for Ministry Monday. Angela is on fire for the Lord; her passion exudes from her (and I have only talked to her online, so this says so much!). She is a gift sent by God to this world and I am excited to honor her here today. Welcome Angela!

“A dangerous leader is one that has great familiarity with their skills and gifts
but cursory knowledge of their inner brokenness.”
– Dan White, Jr.

I will admit it. I want everyone to like me. The two things I have struggled with most of my life are people-pleasing and perfectionism. In the past, if someone didn’t like me or critiqued my work, I would spend an unhealthy and disproportionate amount of time lamenting on where I went wrong. Then I would make a plan to fix it. The problem was, no matter how hard I tried, I still disappointed people and made mistakes.

It could be because I am human. As far as I know, human beings can strive for excellence but they can never be perfect. Having the hope of perfectionism is like having a boat with a hole in it and thinking you can stay afloat if you can just keep the water out of the bottom. Eventually, you will take on more water than you can bail out and get tired of trying to fulfill other people’s expectations. This leads to burnout or drowning. Neither, a good option.

But what if I was perfect? Would everyone like me then?

Actually, the answer is no.

Listen for a moment to this story of Jesus. On Palm Sunday, Jesus made his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on a humble donkey. The people were so enamored by Jesus they lined the street with their cloaks and palm leaves in honor of who they believed to be the next royal King from the line of David. Jesus could do no wrong. Five days later, that same King hung on a splintered wooden cross with a crown of thorns on his innocent head – naked, accused, mocked, beaten, hated, and judged – but still perfect.

As the story ends, we see it was obedience, not perfection that changed the world forever.Broken Perfectionism

As leaders, it is easy for our interactions with others to become performance driven. We can become actors on a ministry stage. Our actions being guided and directed by audience approval and recognition. If left unattended, the approval and recognition of others will eventually affirm or challenge our identity and self-worth, leaving God’s opinion back-stage.

We must maintain the ability to embrace our gifts, God’s words, and our brokenness at the same time. For me, a broken perfectionism has been the path to being a healthier leader.

You are unique and distinctive. Your leadership matters. Live fearlessly for Jesus today, my friends, and be encouraged by these last scriptures and a quote from Brennan Manning. I will be here cheering you on!

Brennan Manning wrote: “God loves you without condition or reservation and loves you this moment as you are not as you should be!
Real freedom is the freedom from the opinion of others. Above all, freedom from your opinion about yourself.”

“Man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16:7 NIV).

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10 NIV).

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8 NIV).

About Angela Craig

image001 (1)Angela’s 10 years of international speaking experience covers leadership and women’s conferences, non-profit events, and on-line leadership training. Angela is the Director of the women’s department at the Northwest Ministry Network where she has the honor to lead a team who is responsible for the development and empowerment of female leaders in over 320 churches. Angela is an ordained minister and a certified coach with Gallup Strengthsfinder, SLTA 360, and AGC. A life-long learner, Angela has a Ministry Leadership degree from Northwest University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga. Angela is honored to teach as an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Northwest University. Angela is also the founder of the GIVE GOOD Awards Foundation, an organization that recognizes inspirational people and promotes volunteerism.

Devoted to helping others reach their fullest potential in life and leadership, Angela has authored two books, The Story of Leah: When life is not what you expected it to be and Pivot Leadership: Small Steps – Big Change . You can read her weekly blog encouragements and leadership tips on angelalcraig.com and  on hervoiceblog.us, a blog specifically designed for women in leadership.

How God is Conserving and Preserving You

Preserving You

There is a protector. He is the best armed guard. Nothing can hit him, nothing can break him, nothing can make him tumble. He is not some military genius on some Sci-Fi movie. He is your God.

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Col. 3:3

We are hidden in greatness.

preserving you

Have we considered this? If God is armor and we are penetrable body, we reside under the very definition of – security.

When we realize that we are not only in Christ, but hidden in him, suddenly we feel protected from the crooks, calamities and complications approaching.

In Christ, we realize the wars are not ours to be won.
In Christ, we realize the movements are his to be made.
In Christ, we realize the inches of safety that lay over us are significant and profound.

In Christ, we are safe. Do you feel this way?

If not, what is holding you back?

I know what it is for me. I look left and right and panic and ponder, thinking, “What I will do?”

I see people that carry conflict. I see issues that carry big price tags. I see negativity that tells me I am about as sunk as a shark in the water. I see myself hitting problems. These things consume me.

They fill my mind. Protection doesn’t consume me, destruction does.

Does it happen this way to you too?

When we believe that we are outside of God’s heart, desires and plan, we suddenly believe we are on the firing line of enemy attack.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Col. 3:2

There is a reason why this verse comes right before the truth we are “hidden in Christ.”
To believe we are hidden in Christ, we must let our thoughts be hidden in spiritual things:
1. God’s Word
2. Kingdom Come
3. To die is gain (Phil. 1:21)
4. Unbreakable Love
5. Determination to believe

preserving you

As we get into that hidden place, we see that Christ is not hidden. We see he is alive and around us. We see we are contained and filled. We see our life as truly untouchable and unpenetrable.

Think:
Above, not below.
Heavenly, not earthly.
Spiritually, not fleshly.

Every minute of every day, we are hidden in Christ. Hidden in him, but apparent by him. Loved. Adored. Cherished. Guided. Assisted. Directed. Empowered. Engulfed. Imbibed with grace.

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

 

When You Don’t Know What to Do

What to Do

I am living in the center of chaos. Clothes are hanging off the brink of my mind.  Papers are strewn all over the place – and I am quite certain the wind just blew one in my face.

what to do

I feel like I am stuck in a desolate landfill of all the stuff I have consumed over the last 4 years – stuff I don’t really need. Stuff that holds me back in a way, from being free. It tethers me to the demand that I find – home (big home, even). It demands I – arrive somewhere. It pushes me. I glare at it.

I guess I want to be free. Free to find home with no reservations required – as the Spirit leads.

To be delivered to the Promised Land of peace, friends and love – unrestrained.

I haven’t gotten there yet. That stinkin’ place? It eludes me.

You too?

What place do you want to be delivered to?

What home of peace, answers, calm, relational bliss or finances are you pining for?

I sat down, in the center of it all, everything I wanted to escape – and placed my face in my hands. I looked at all the things I couldn’t handle, I considered all I couldn’t bring about and I realized there was nothing left to do. Anxiety can nearly kill a woman, you know.

The pressure to do, the stern inner dictates and the will to take care of all the baby birds, it’s enough to induce panic.

“God, save me from my self. Show me your ways.”

Every prayed that prayer?

It works. He answers.

It takes the traveler, the one stuck to eternal roaming with bags too large and heavy for her own britches and sends her on her way. She moves from jet-lagged and famished, walking around, searching (otherwise called living-hell) – and heads home.

what to do

She gets somewhere.

Something rises up.

It sounds like this: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Is. 30:21)

Bags unloaded, it is a resting spot. Where, bags down, you lay and look up. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It doesn’t matter what time your flight is to destination delightful. It doesn’t matter how you go about making it there. It just matters that God is going to be faithful.what to do

When you see God and you see his way – it doesn’t matter so much about – your way.

A voice rises above the mayhem. It is not about being delivered from what plagues you, but being delivered to – who calms you.

I missed all that.
Have you?

The truth is:

Jesus wants to be with me – wherever I stand.

Jesus has a way for me – wherever I am.

Jesus has planned life for me- in whatever I do.

Jesus has truth laid out for me – wherever I go.

I don’t have to fret the when – for Jesus already figured out – the how.

He’s never one to let me fail – and every time his love prevails.

what to do

The world may spin, but the cross is steady; it is planted in the solid rock of truth. Truth walks me to life. Life is knowing, God will lift my foot up and put it where it needs to go. He will manage my wavering opinions, doubts and fears.

Do you believe he will do that for you?

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Prov. 16:9

I lean back. My lungs fill. We don’t have to control chaos, peace knows the way. And out of the chaos, we get what we were always after – home – his waiting love.

The question is, will we, like prodigal children, return to it?

 Loading InLinkz ...

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

When No One Sees or Cares

When No One Sees

I remember as a kid that door knock. People from everywhere walked up to our cracked doorstep. People with knives, people with vacuums, people with contraptions and people with frozen foods. When the doorbell rang, you never knew what you were going to get. I always hoped it would be chocolate and something with a cherry on top; my luck was never that good.

Every time, my inclination was to run right up to the door, open it and say, “Show me your presentation, show me the process and tell me the story.” They always had a story and it always left you wanting to shell out hundreds of dollars on things you knew you never needed – but, all the same, felt great handing over in large sums.

These people knew how to reach deep within you and pull out – compassion.

Yet, the other inclination within a household, was to shut off the lights upon their arrival, to run to the bathroom or to get vertical against a wall. All of these were good techniques to be left safe, secure and unhassled. You just leave that person waiting, sweating, hoping and alone on a doorstep…unseen.

Untitled design (46)

Despite all the great things they bring to the table – you leave them unseen.

Despite all the preparation they have put into their project – you leave them unseen.

Despite all their dreams someone will care – you leave them unseen.

Despite a vision to forge into something more,
something risky and something powerful – you leave them unseen.

I stand on the doorstep sometimes. Do you? I stand trying to knock, in the best way I know how, not much succeeding – with no one really caring.

No one says to me, “Keep pressing on. You are doing something important here.” I keep moving, door after door, each time feeling like I am just left with cold air and a twisted ankle on the way back down the stairs.

I am sensitive, I guess. Aren’t, we all?

God, if you see me, why don’t you encourage me?

This makes me think of – her. She walked up to that well as if it was already a slammed door on her face. She knew what to expect: 1.) She wouldn’t be spoken to by men 2.) She was a Samaritan and Jews wouldn’t give her the time of day 3.) She was shady and unworthy all the same.

I imagine as people saw her coming, they hid behind the safe refuge of the well…

When No One SeesOne man saw her, though, saying, “Will you give me a drink?” (Jo. 4:7).

She answered with (imagine: an inner finger wagging at itself, “This is impossible”),
“How can you ask me for a drink?” (John 4:9).

Sometimes we feel so unseen, we feel so unworthy of being seen, we annihilate the love that tries to penetrate us. We let it burst into smithereens. Inside we nod our head saying, “There is just no way…”

I do this.
I believe what I have always known to be true.
I justify the case, rather than considering what could actually be the case.
I excuse others good intentions, saying, “If history is any indicator, they are bad.”

When No One Sees

Jesus says, “If you knew the gift of God … ” (Jo. 4:10)

If only, I knew it, I guess…

I might taste refreshing and rejuvenating water as she did.
(Jo. 4:10)

I might draw water from a well that gives new hope and vigor all the way up to eternity. 
(John 4:14)

I might beat down the lie – that strongarmed the truth – in order to hold me back.
“Go, call your husband and come back” (John 4:16)

I might confess.
“I have no husband.” (John 4:17)

I might find myself knocking on every door to share how me, the lame one, is now seen.
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:29).

Have you considered the reason why you feel unseen
is because you want to keep – unseen?

I can’t help but think, what if we let in what we have kept out? Might we find it is the love of Christ that has been knocking on our door for so long?  What might happen if we stopped hiding and opened our gates?

When No One Sees

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

How God Will Make Your Impossible – Possible

Impossible

When there is nothing left to do in a day, and my mind has nowhere left to go, right or wrong, Facebook and I get friendly. It’s the mindless scroll that numbs a mind. It’s the old faces that remind me of days yesterday. It’s a knowledge that somehow everyone is okay. It is just seeing and being. Yet, this time, God wasn’t content to let me sit. He wanted to show me some little things; little things ready to teach me big things.

First, an old friend caught my attention…

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 4.53.39 AM

My beautiful friend‘s husband made her a special contraption for “little arm” so she could blow dry her hair without issue. Hmmm…powerful. Her husband helped her to do what was difficult for her to do.

God, let me see what you want me to see…

My thumb got arthritical again. I scrolled, then I hit this video (Life).

It was daddy, super-daddy, I’ll call him – he made a super-duper, over-the-hips harness holder for his son, who I am sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, had never walked a day in hisScreen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.12.59 AM life. The pure joy written all over his face made that clear. He was all things laughs, exuberance and pleasure. It was his moment on daddy’s toes. Not black and white, but shades of alive.

I want my moment on daddy’s toes.

Where he rescues me. Where he helps me to move in ways I never considered. Where he blesses me beyond measure. This is life. This is what pixels and images of years passing all add up to.

That boy’s face explained it – it is the elation that you are loved.

God, teach me, right here and now, teach me…

In his unfathomable love, God does not see our lackings, but he sees the makings of incredible about to explode.

We don’t have to see it – to believe it.
He’s a good, good, daddy.

Where we feel incapable, he is capable.
Where we feel down, he is ready to lift.
Where we say, I can’t, he says, “You will – just wait.”

We just believe and then we, fly into his purposes…

Will I give him a chance? Will you?

What if my friend didn’t accept the gift or the gesture? What if that boy pushed away the over-the-hip harness holder? What would have happened?

How often do you – or do I – miss the insane workings of God because we get prideful and believe we can do it on our own?

God, don’t let us miss it anymore.

I am faulted. I need you.
I feel incapable. Show me.
I am handicapped in so many regards. Reconstruct me.

I want to fly.

I believe.

I believe in God’s power to love me like family. I believe in his power to make a miracle out of my control issues. I believe in his power to banish shame. I believe in his artistic genius to make a gizmo so wild it will soar me right up to – alive.

It will save me, right as I wait on daddy’s toes. And like that boy, I Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.05.53 AMwill dance. I will smile, laugh, giggle and wonder –  attached to daddy – loaded up with all the gadgets of his goodness.

I will. You will.

Where do you feel broken? Faulted? Injured? Less than?

Know this: Daddy is building a doohicky. Accept it. Put it on. Believe in it. Trust it to work. Smile. Let go. Feel his love. It is the answer.

God, indeed, takes our limitations and makes them into proclamations of his goodness…when we let him.

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

 

5 Ways to Keep your Eyes on God

Keep your Eyes on God

I brought my kids to the beach. I needed to find some refuge to let them a.) play so that I could b.) get a moment with God. Doing this kind of thing is essential, in life, by the way. Sometimes, you have to break away from what you are immersed in so you can find yourself immersed in love, that way when you are re-immersed into life (mothering, relationships, work, health issues, etc.) you survive. This is what I figure, anyway.

Doing this kind of thing is like pre-CPR, it saves you before your signs go vital – from the anxieties and worries of life that intend to put you 10-feet under. I knew the warning signs for myself, so I hightailed myself over to my personal refuge.

The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him. Psalm 37:40

When the beach party was done and all were packed in the car, I slowly meandered down the road to home. The birds chirped, the seagulls floated on the water, the landscape was cloud layers perfectly hovering right above the ocean horizon. I breathed deep, inched on and turned my head ocean to road, ocean to road. Life was good.

your eyes on God

I wasn’t missing anything! So big, and so proud – God’s love nearly gave me a hug. We united and it was a beautiful thing.

Until, that guy did his thing. Until, he became – a tailgater. My face tensed, my eyes squinted, “If only he could get a glimpse of me and my contorted and ugly face through the rearview mirror.” Left and right I scooted trying to make sure he saw me!

He was ruining it all. He was my problem. My heart was pumping with the fresh blood of aggravation.

your eyes on God

All I knew was that I was getting tailed by pressure, and it was stealing peace. I guess it happens all the time, when I stop, and really think about it.

I feel that others are climbing faster and farther and quicker into writing success than I am. They tail me.

I let demands tower high – be a great mom, author, marketer, wife. Don’t mess up. They tail me.

I have issues, pressing things that need to be handled – bills, agendas, contracts, promises that may not come through. They tail me.

What is tailing you, demanding you to take your eyes off of God?

Work? Others? Finances? Fears? Demands? Children? Health? Progress? Pride?

When we allow external pressures to make us testy,
we can easily miss God’s majesty.

Yet, when we let people or things do what they may do, but we keep our eyes straight, we find ourselves driving straight into peace, calm and serenity. 

How do we do this?

Let’s investigate 5 Ways to Keep our Eyes on God:

1. Be present – If you look for God everywhere, you will find him.

2. Delight in him – If you worship him and commune with him like a best friend, he will become your best friend.

your eyes on God

3. Detangle with him – Let the best counselor, the Holy Spirit, counsel your heart when it goes haywire (John 14:26). He will, you know, and you’ll find a way.

4. Observe Gods’ teachings intended for you – Consider the question, “What is the Lord trying to teach me through this?”

5. Say thanks – When you get offering thanks, you get knowing who you really are – a loved child, who God will always provide for. You relish in the feeling, your God and your forever standing.

Sure, that man nearly bumped me. He nearly bumped my heart right away from receiving the love of God, but this is the ultimate truth: Even if you get away for a moment, as a believer, your heart will never be removed for an eternal lifetime.

With this, we can just get our heart, our being and our focus back on his trajectory. We can drive, and keep our eyes on God, knowing that we are heading into his glorious riches. 

***All pictures taken by my 4-year old son! 😉

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

The Question: It Will Bring Life Or Hold You Back

Brings life

I know what you all would say. I am blessed. I got invited as guest on Proverbs 31’s “Compel Conversation”.

You may say, “What is the issue, Kelly? This sounds like a good thing.”

It is. I agree, except for this likely question: “Tell us a little bit about yourself…”

What “little bit” does anyone even care about? Who am I?

Am I the middle schooler who won the Junior Olympics bronze medal for race-walking (yes, it’s as duckish and as funny-looking as it sounds)?

Am I the caffeinated and domesticated house-cleaner, laundry-pusher and child-rearer who works tirelessly to keep the house moving?

Am I the secret vagabond woman who loves to pack up all her goods and travel to some new and foreign land that she hasn’t traversed? After all, I am taping up brown cardboard yet again…

Am I the woman who hides in the bathroom when life gets tough and kids become screamers?

Am I fighter woman, the one constantly trying to keep one hand on God as my feet side-step this world detonating with traps?

Who am I? Who are you, really?

How do we sum up the 78 organs that make up “woman” when they are constantly changing? Growing. Shrinking. Aging. Becoming. Dying.

Untitled design (30)
And why is there this demand that we know?

Will we ever know?

Because I don’t. And, I don’t know if I ever will. And perhaps this is the point. Perhaps we won’t really know our place in home, until we really arrive at home. Perhaps, we won’t see our tailor-made and perfected job in God’s kingdom until we walk right up to the gates – and pull them open – and walk right in.

Then, we will see…

Then, we won’t share a “little bit,” but we will radiate in “the everything” God made us to be.

Does all of this transcend to the here and now?

Untitled design (31)

When do you feel alive?

When I stand in Christ’s love, 
I become more aware that who I am is – one – made to love & be loved.

I see:
It is not who we are, but whose we are.

I am not scabbed, but healed by truth.
It’s not about me, but about how God sees me.
It is about where he wants to go…

this is when I come alive.

Untitled design (32)

Perhaps, all these little moments – with God – they force the true out from the cracks.

The heaviness of me…
can’t stop the new growth of God.
It is not restrained by the weight of life… 

Untitled design (33)

A woman made in the image of Jesus.
A woman walking with his being in her.
A woman pursuing the dream of his cause.
A woman existing in his truth.
A woman fighting against her desires to win and succeed and – to walk all over people.
A woman looking to get untied, so she can rely on him.
A woman falling on her face, but getting back up again.
A woman healed from things that could have killed her.

This is a little bit about Kelly: A woman twirling in love. A woman listening to the Spirit’s leading. A woman always anticipating more doses of God’s best.

Who are you?

What heaviness is tying you down?

What might God’s love want to push out from within you?

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

 Loading InLinkz ...

 

3 Ways to Stay Close to God (& 10 Faith-Squeezers)

Stay Close to God

I love God. I love him a lot. So, why do a whole bunch of common things, seem to draw me away so easily? Not all these things, in themselves, are bad. Many are not damaging. Almost all, are not sinful, and perhaps this is just the problem. They go undetected as their current moves me out.

Do you feel yourself slowly drifting?

What normally goes undetected as it floats you miles off?

10 Faith-Squeezers that are Likely Happening in your Day:

– Going gangbusters on family activities
– Getting caught up with life’s incidentals
– Becoming all wrapped up with another person
– Planting my face on TV, iPhone or iPad
– Driving like a routined robot on a schedule
– Expecting things to happen
– Getting frustrated when they don’t
– Allowing anxiety and worry to seep in as a result.
– Letting the monotony of life, make me monotonous

When we float by the tides of life’s demands,
we sink into a rip-current that seemingly sends us miles from God.

So, how do we stay, as we always were? How do we stay on fire?

3 Tips To Stay Wild About Your First Love:

1. Put God first – and keep him there!

Just the other day, I was outside. I was taking a second to bask in the wonder of Spring budding. I was observing. Until, someone called my attention away. They needed me. I couldn’t say no. I felt awkward saying, in a random moment, “Hey, I’ll get back to you in a bit, I am spending time with God.” Sometimes, our need to please gets in the way, of our need for God. It doesn’t mean, we shouldn’t value those we most value, but it means we must always value God first.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)

Apply this:

– Set aside time with God, and reserve that as his.
– Devote your first portion to God in the morning. Wake up and be with him.
– Ponder God’s Word throughout your day.

2. Experience him.

When I am in my car, sometimes the most restorative thing I can do, is worship. It is my time to turn up the music, to focus my mind and to literally see Jesus as the music plays. Whether it is in a car, at your house or on a 5-minute walk, Jesus is always waiting. Experience the fullness of his life, death and resurrection. When you find yourself in the center of God’s amazing, it is hard not to more and more drawn to it.

Apply this:

– Turn on worship music.
– Observe nature on a walk and thank him for his creation.
– Close your eyes and see Jesus, hear his words and ponder his parables of old.

3. Ask.

I used to tell my brother (yes, I was the bossy oldest child of six), “You don’t receive, because you ask not.”

I don’t have any idea who says something like this, but apparently – I did! But, I can’t help but think how often this is the case with us. In our relationship with God, we often ask not and then we get not. It’s not that he doesn’t want to give, but just that it is hard to force a giant gift into someone’s hands that are closed. Are your hands closed?

When we ask, we sending God a message of acknowledgement
that he is provider, sustainer and giver; his reply often – confirms it.

Apply this:

– Say, “God, I want you first of all and above all.”
– Ask again, all day long as things go wrong – and right.
– Ask for wisdom on how to respond to those who bang into you.
– Ask for a mind set on all things Spirit.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Mt. 7:7

God has not left you, most likely, you have left God. But, be not discouraged, you are raising your arms, pulling together your strength – and with these three tips – are well on your way to swimming back to him.

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

Be Like A Bird & Find Bounty

be like a bird

I watched them from my window – little things plucking around on the ground.

“How do they do it?” I thought.

Casually they grazed, moved and explored. Even though there were nearly a dozen, still, they didn’t bump each other. They didn’t fight for a grain of food. They didn’t seem to lose their joy. Storms, concerns and cold-fronts, from my observations, were worries not for this day.

They just relaxed. They just were.

Did they know a great, gracious and giving God was in charge?

I couldn’t help but think they did.

Two jumped up and began a light-hearted chase.
A coupled bounced up to the height of tall trees.
One sung by the waterside.

It seemed they choose to see life appeared as an fun adventure, where the present moment was full of blessed surprises. These birds inspired me to new thinking.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Mt. 6:26

How do we live?

Do we look at the world through the eyes of God’s bounty
or eyes of inequity?

Where resources are limited and good things elude us?

To see bounty, is to have a perspective like this:
God sees.
He decides.
He provides.
He has so much.
He pours out.
There is a never-ending supply.
He delights in giving.
He loves our thanks.
He rejoices over our freedom.
He personally goes before us.
He gives so much it overflows to the poor.

We live not in a faltering economy, but in God’s economy.

It is an economy of faith. One where we may not know where our next grain or gain is coming from. One where we may feel like we are about to go under. One where circumstances get shaky. But, it is also an economy where daddy is the chief strategist – the man in charge. He loves nepotism and we are his and he is ours. He will take care of us.

Do you rely on the chief strategist in a way where
you believe he only hands out his best intentions
?

Enter the forest of bounty. It is verdant and vibrant. It is all you need and all you could ever want. It is the place where you are taken care of and known.

Believe in the bounty that awaits, even for a small one like you; God will take care of you.

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

5 Ways God Cares (More Than You Think)

God Cares

I stared out the window. The outside was about ready to teach my insides a deep lesson.

What caught my eyes were two birds frolicking, jumping and having fun. They didn’t care; they chased, played and enjoyed the beauty of the day. Before not too long, a few friends even joined in. Life seemed to be a blessing not a burden.

I think they had no idea of when the next storm was approaching, but all they same, it didn’t seem to matter.

They didn’t seem worried about what they didn’t have;
they just went about enjoying what they did.

 

What is it you don’t yet have?

What is it that distracts your eyes from beauty?

I know it’s crazy, but wonder if somehow birds have an understanding that we don’t, like:

1. God’s nature is to forever take care of me. It is impossible for him not too.

2. Every season eventually ends and God provides. I will trust that.

3. God is who he is. Just as he makes the sun come up every morning and the moon fall, he will be true to his word.

4. I don’t have to fear I’ll be hungry for my next best thing, God remains my best thing.

5. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

I want to be like these birds – free to fly high. Soaring. Enjoying. Living.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

I try to store away so much: 

Stress.
I fill myself with action plans.

Fear.
I load up on maneuvers to self-protect.

Distraction.
I let it divert my mind from what God wants to heal.

Frustration.
I let my storehouse get shaky because God hasn’t yet shown up.

What do you store in your barn?

When we fill our barns to the brink, we always feel about to sink.
But, when we trust that God will provide the next meal, we are ready to fly. 

We break out of molds. We rise up from our nest. We don’t think about the next storm. We approach the edge of our safety and we jump out to dance in the air of providence.

We remember his voice of faithfulness, the “I will take care of you” voice. We hear it rise to its heights.

It sounds like:

1. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Gen. 28:15

2. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Heb. 13:8

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

4. And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today… (Ex. 14:13)

5. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

God is calling us to delight in the gap between of uncertainty and his next big gift. Will we?

Will we choose to delight in his faithfulness or die in ungratefulness?

I don’t want to settle for second worst when I have second best. What I want to do is run, jump and fly with God to the places he has set to take me. Care to join me?

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