Purposeful Faith

Category - awe

How God is Helping You Work Problems Out

God is Helping You

Imagine if every time you hit a hard time, you had a friend a step ahead of you. Your car broke down?  They were already waiting on-location with the jack. Your mom was in the hospital? Upon your arrival, they stood at the hospital room door with soup. Your landlord just kicked you out of your house? They beat his call by 5 minutes to invite you to stay with them.

You may think one of three things:

  1. This person is the rock-star of all friends.
  2. You can’t live without them.
  3. Only God could do this sort of thing.

On all three counts, you’d be right.

Sadly, there is no person like this. But there’s a God just this way:
Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Is. 65:24

God isn’t just in step with our needs, he’s one step ahead.

We call, he’s already answering.
We speak, he’s already working.
What we can’t voice, he’s addressing.

What we’ve been afraid to ask for, he’s hearing.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Ro. 8:26

God doesn’t just hear our prayers, he preemptively steps in front of them. Like a good basketball player, he anticipates where we’re headed and beats us there. The only difference is, rather than blocking us, he gets there to lift us up. He gets there to help us score our goal. God improves our shot.

Have you been negating the love of God, the power of prayer or the worth of praise?

Often, we don’t say thank you for what we can’t see. We don’t say thank you for the disastrous saves never knew. We don’t say thank you for the trials God averted. We don’t say thank you for the small blessings we thought were our work.

Maybe today is the day we do.

Thank you, God, for all you do. You do more than meets the eye. You are working for us, helping us, and freeing us. Thank you that you are leaning into our problems and calling out on behalf of our weakness. Thank you that your all-consuming power is behind us and pushing for our best outcome. Amen.

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How to Find Rest in God

The girl was acting bad in church. I couldn’t help but notice her. She jumped around, like a pent up puppy, giving no attention to the pastor. I apparently was acting bad too because I kept on watching her. She was cute. She didn’t much care for brother though, and with this, Mother shoved her over towards daddy…

To give you some background, I’ve felt unsettled lately. Unsettled in my mothering that seems a bit too intense. Unsettled in this adventure called book and how God will use it. Unsettled by people who have let me down. It feels like a bad cough. These feelings of insecurity rise up as a hinderance to faith. I feel it coming, I hate it too. Yet, I know there’s a cure.

Daddy picked her up and held her. Immediately her head rested on daddy’s shoulder. She looked to the side in a daze. Instantly, her arms that wrapped around him fell. Daughter relaxed. She became a wet noodle fresh out of a massage – all aggression, agitation and irritation vanished in the arms of her Father.

I watched closely. It was interesting. Nothing had really changed. She was still in the same place. She was still just as bored. She was still the sister of the brother that drove her nuts. She was still very much in the same problem she was 2 minutes ago, but actually, everything did change.

She was in daddy’s arms.
Her eyes closed.
She was nearly falling asleep.
Simply because she knew she was safe.

Loved.
Cared for.
Adored.

Do you know this?

You can relax. What is bothersome, burdensome and back-breaking is soothed by the power of love. It is love that pulls you close. It is love that holds you with arms of protection and dedication. It is love that will never break or fall or grow weary of your bad antics.

Perhaps you need to know today you can fall into the arms of a daddy that will not hurt you. You don’t have to resign yourself, any longer, outside of his arms because you are on the blacklist or because you are a bad church-goer. You don’t have to keep him at an arms-length because you are the the ugly step-child or because you are a failure.

Daddy’s pick up daughters. It is as simple as that.

great daddy

In this place, there is no worry of what annoyances are around.
There is no focus on things that are about to ruin you.
There is no attention to the ways you’re life is breaking apart.

There is just – Him.
You.
Covered in affection.
Filled with security.
Embraced without requirements.

I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Is. 41:10

Have you trusted daddy to uphold you in his arms?

The cure to worry, insecurity and the silent jury in your mind, is getting unhurried as you lay in the arms of God.

I know this to be true. Me – the most unsettled of all unsettled people, finds refreshment in the deep-reaching arms of the father.

Daily, I fall there and fail there and it is okay. He accepts me. He accepts you to – in such a powerful way, you can let go of everything and just rest, body fully relaxed, in the arms of his love.

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Remembering Jesus

Remembering Jesus

If the man sweat, I’m convinced, it would’ve come out as iron. He was strong! No doubt, he was military. I tried to keep my eyes straight, but to no avail, they wandered like a girl cheating on her 11th-grade chemistry test. I didn’t want to get caught – pastor was going strong. Still, how the man rubbed tenderly and passionately his bracelet, over and over, round and round – it meant something. I needed to know what.  The sermon, this day, was all about him.

I squinted and spotted a location and a date. Aha! I figured it out. They are winning moments. Times, people, places that were special, meaningful or momentous.

As his fingers moved,
did his mind also, going back to the memory of what happened?

A place where he joined hands with a fellow warrior and pressed on?

A time when his courage nearly beat out of his chest – and he conquered all?

A lesson of bravery, learned through trial, never to be forgotten?

How sweet! “Hold on to that fella,” I wanted to say, “that’s what moments are made of.”
If I could’ve whispered it without being rude and out-of-place, friends, I might have.

The paint was chipping, kneaded raw, but clear as day I spotted three letters: KIA.

At first, I thought of the car brand – KIA.  Then, I the reality appeared:

KIA. Killed. In. Action.

My eyes widened.
Killed. in. action.

My back sank down the chair.
Killed. in. action.

My heart moved with it.
Someone willing to pay the ultimate price for freedom.

This man? He knew: You hold on to one you love. You knead into the fact they gave up their needs and wants, so you could have yours. You absorb the price of their sacrifice.

The man next to me did just that. He remembered…

Him, a person, laying down his life for liberty.
Him, one suffering all pain, for our gain.
Him, a beating heart, a heart he knew, silenced.

Do we remember Jesus Christ in the same way?

Keeping the reality of his sacrifice not only within our fingers,
but everpresent within our heart?

Our warrior, the perfect warrior – Jesus – with his final breath beat death, sin and the war of all evil. He is worthy.
Our Jesus lion and lamb, burst free of the tomb. He is worthy.
Our Jesus, who sits at the right hand of the father, won the battle, so he could plead on our behalf. He is worthy.

Jesus was K.I.A.

Because of the lamb, who is also the lion,
we are now forever liberated, loved and alive.

Do you hold him close? Do you knead into his goodness? Do you remember the power of his miracles worked into your life? Do you draw from his words and wear them, like an embossed memorial, across your heart?

Today, hold close: Jesus. Died. For. Me.

Goodness, purity, wholeness was killed, willingly, on your behalf.

“This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Cor. 11:24

Jesus. The man who had it all, but gave it all – for you. R.I.P.

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Why God Really Has A Better Way

Better Way

A tear welled up in my eye, God had forgotten me.

What seemed like a possibility, a door, creaked and slowly shut. I couldn’t tell –
did the door fully close or was there still a crack?

Either way, what I had longed to hear as a yes, disappeared like a vapor. Gone. Without a mention, without a word. As I figured it, no news – means people are avoiding you. They hate to be a disappointment (Humanomics 101).

As I saw it; I lost out.

Not wanted. Rejected. Not worthy. Hurt. Alone.

Ever been there?

Why is it that God seems to give you something only to slam a no in your face? It makes a girl soar in the throat from trying to hold back tears. That is how it feels. It feels like a smile turned upside down. It feels like a heart wanting to be happy, wanting to trust God, wanting to walk in faith, wanting all that and then getting pinched – hard.

Oww!!!

Do you feel left behind by God?

Do tears drop where hope once abounded?

I know, friends, it stinks. Let’s just first acknowledge, hot fudge sundae’s can end up melted. Dreams can wash up and away. Hopes can suffocate under discouragement. Sometimes, things don’t work – they break, and then, seemingly, break us.

They break our spirit of joy.
They break our mode of purpose.
They break our vision of the future.
They break how we see ourselves.
They break our feeling of belonging.

But, let me ask you…can they ever break the character of God.

As much as I want to stomp and pout before my Maker, the maker of everything, the maker of every opportunity – I have to stop to consider…

Who says I know the best way?

Who says this was ever God’s way?

Who says God doesn’t have in motion – a better way?

Who says God ever left me?

Who declared me not good enough?

If the great and powerful, high and mighty, God declared me good (Gen. 1:31),
who is man to label me otherwise?

And, why do I give them permission?

If the all-knowing, all-seeing God, says he has plans prepared in advance for me (Eph. 2:10), what is a small hiccup?

A hiccup to God is a grain of sand to me. It is of no consequence.

Looking back, I can’t count the blessings that have come to me. But, what I can count on is that they’ve never arrived by striving. They’ve never shown up through inflated efforts. They’ve never walked in on account of man’s doing.

Nearly, every time, they’ve come like a surprise birthday party – out-of-nowhere,  thrown in complete love.  And what could be better than that?

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When It’s Their Fault

Their Fault

I sang and danced and swirled and twirled. I had no care in the world. I paid no attention to my foot caught on the hem underfoot or my strap halfway down my young arm. None of that mattered. What mattered was that I felt alive, beautiful and one with creation.

their fault

What happened to that little girl?

The one who gave no care to her off-pitch high notes?  The one who heard not catcalls of criticism, but simply her voice of freedom? The one who gave no merit to outside perceptions, but just God’s wild affirmations?  Somewhere along the line, she got buried.

It’s always easy to blame others, They broke me.”

They broke me with pointed words, “What’s wrong with you, Kelly? Wake up, you self-absorbed one.”
They injured me in ways that people don’t talk about over coffee.
They pointed out my big nose, loud voice and my bouffant hair.
They made it clear I was destined to be a loser.

In school, I remember things. We all had a papier-mâché project. You put a little something in your balloon, you’d shove in a little figure of sorts, then blow up the balloon. After that, you’d add doused paper on top – lots of doused paper. You cover that balloon right up, layer upon layer. The balloon got hard.

I am like that balloon – 3-inches covered by guilt and shame. You too?

Their Fault

“People stole care-free from me.” I yell to God.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Ro. 12:2

God speaks to me,
“Kelly, you can relive the past in your mind
or you can renew your spirit with my mind, the mind of Christ?

untitled-design-11

Half of me is so accustomed to assigning other people blame for my pain. It’s hard to turn away from a comfortable seat well worn. But, the other half of me realizes if I want to be new, if I want to get up and go, I’ve got to turn another direction. I want to believe it is well with my soul.

I close my eyes. Can I find her? The liberated, dancing singer?  

I know she’s under there, under the fortified covering of papier-mâché, somewhere…

God calls me friend.
God names me, daughter.
I am his love.
The very pursuit of his greatest affections.
A layer of paperweight peels off me…

He sees me, my beauty.
He writes my name on his hand.
He cuddles me in feathers.
He’s my bodyguard, ever-protector, forevermore.
The balloon is seen again…

He leads me.
He unveils his master plan for me.
He tends to my soul.
He teaches and transforms,
molds and makes me,
helps me.
The balloon pops…Bang!

And that little figure? The one tucked deep away, inside the covered balloon? It surfaces. I finally see it. Except there’s one thing I notice, that strikes me – funny. The figure looks nothing like me. It looks like Jesus.

As I strip off the layers that cover me, I see – Jesus, the very power of God, living in me.

I find who I am, through the great I AM.
I release my potential through his power.
I reignite my passion as I draw from his paternal love.

I never needed people to approve me, but Christ to move in me.

But because of his great love for us, God,
who is rich in mercy,
 made us alive with Christ
even when we were dead in transgressions…(Eph. 2:4-5)

God brings me back to the heart of who I was created to be. What love, I loved, he loves. I see this when I realize I am alive with Christ.

their fault

When I grab his hand and let him take the lead, he leads me to still waters, to new hope and to a new dance that sings his glory.

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Walking into God’s Best

God's Best

Step-by-step, eye-on-goal, I navigated rocks, roots and off-kilter mountain terrain. My thoughts kept pace…

Push, push, push.
Do, do, do.
Keep treading this beaten path…

untitled-design-2
I end my day couch-ridden, feeling beaten by my fears.
I walk a beaten path.

I let stress spill pent up emotions – everywhere.
I walk a beaten path.

I let time rush me.
I walk a beaten path.

I let other’s define the “right” way.
I walk a beaten path.

I rush and shush my family.
I walk a beaten path.

I do the same things. Again and again.
Same walk. Same path. Different day.

God, I feel tired, cranky and a bit off kilter.

untitled-design-1

Kelly, how’s this working for you?

Umm…Okay, God, so what am I supposed to do?

Get off the beaten path!

So, I do, I venture off. I don’t have to do it like I always have. I don’t have to do it like they do. I don’t have to be what the world demands. This beaten path does me no good.

If God isn’t in it, what use is it anyway?

Covered by the thrill of trees, the calling of excitement – a step is all it takes.

Although it’s risky, I’m just where I want to be. Somehow the mom of, “Don’t venture out in those woods, there are ticks out there” vanishes and some childlike charge comes alive.

I let go.

If I just go with God, where will he take me?

I press into the vines, the brush, the scary. Even more, I find her. Her heart is still going. The girl of adventure, of freedom, of willingness, of spontaneity, of joy, of wonder, of peace.

She’s still alive. She wants to arise.

If I move outside my norm, God,
what will you do with me?

Might I see myself like you do?

I go deeper. My ears hear it first…the rush, two rocks and a transformation in progress…

Living water is changing hard, non-pourous and rough edges into a new mold. They need do nothing, they are being changed.  Restructured as recipients of the living water’s power.

Change only happens if we submit to the force of love over us…

untitled-design-3

What if our greatest life-change is just
on the other side of – stepping out?

What if by stepping out we best get the chance
to sit under God’s love?

I sit, in order to see.
It is something we are all wise to try sometime…

untitled-design-4

Rather than a schlep to “destination,” just accept God’s invitation.
You don’t want to risk missing it.

This time, I don’t – I won’t.

Quiet whispers wander.
Internal sparks come alive.
True identity surfaces.

I am called. So I go. We go.  We walk on.

To a clearing. It is about as sunny as Florida. Clouds are invisible. But, all the same – off the beaten path, a mini-miracle happens – light drops fall.  The dance from heaven speaks something. But, what, God, what?

untitled-design-5

I sit.

He who waters the plants, who keeps green the grass, and who rises the sun, is more than equipped to hold together the nitty-gritty details of my life…

Even if I do nothing, he will create an orchestra of outstanding, mesmerizing and brilliant – out of nothing…

Even if I only breathe, but nothing else,
he can lead all relationships where they need to go…

Even if I just observe, he will create something far better than marketing, manpower or management skills ever could…

I inhale. I like being off the beaten path. I sit longer.

When I finally get home, I crawl down next to him, the boy. I inhale and abolish time. Only the moment counts. Nothing is required. Words aren’t demanded. Planning isn’t essential. What matters is not the destination, but the invitation to rest in the presence of love.

I set my heart on getting off the beaten path…

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3 Tips to Worship and Praise God Deeply

Worship and Praise God

We watched her from our car – she walked slowly, cloaked, and hunched over, stepping onto the crosswalk we were sitting in front of. Like magnets, our eyes were drawn to her, her cart was filled with a hodge-podge of materials that glowed and shimmered in the sun. She stared straight ahead but stopped dead, right in front of our car. Mom, looked at me, I looked at mom and, in unison, we moved to the edge of our sticky-leather seats, “What is she up to, we thought?”

Despite the multiple changes of red lights to green and green to red, she didn’t move. She was stuck there. There simply was no moving ahead to the adventure that awaited us ahead there was only – us and this cart-lady. Here eyes met ours inside the car.

Ever noticed? Often, this is how it is with worship. Something moves before our mind and it gets stuck there. It feels that there is no moving it.

Sure, we want to drive ahead and sing God’s glory, yet that cart of worry and distraction stands before us. It is all we see. We miss his glory. We can’t behold the treasure he wants us to see. We can’t move into the joy of his presence.

What are we to do? Well, that day, we paid the lady off. I can’t suggest you do this (it won’t work well with God), but I can suggest you dismiss distraction in a similar fashion.

How to Dismiss Distraction and Drive into God’s Divine Glory:

  1. Pray. Ask God to remove what is pestering you to move in authentically worshiping him.  See yourself hand it to him. Ask him to hold it for you, to tend to it and to bring clarity to that situation.
  2. Surrender. Truly let go of what you just let go of.
  3. Just be. God doesn’t need you to put on a show for him, he just desires your needy heart come to him. Often, worship is the act of saying nothing, while you know he is everything.

Worship is coming needy and unknowing to Him who’s moving and pursuing you passionately with love. It is bringing your poverty before him who is rich. It is letting him hold you as you are.

It is climbing onto the lap of His care. It is looking at his face with awe, admiration and appreciation. It is waiting to see what he will do – with you. It is not performance-based, but heart-abandoning.

Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 18:4

Worship is not only about hymns, but it’s about humble openness, willingness and readiness to soak in the Creator, the Author and the Perfector of faith. It is about seeing his glory beyond the alerts, schedules and notifications continually pinging you. It is about getting quiet in the rush. It is about listening for truth over lies. It is about asking for more rather than existing with less.

It is about being with Him.

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How to Find the Holy in Ordinary Trials

Holy in Ordinary Trials

Daily life is living a grind. You wait at a light, people pass. The light turns green, you go. You hit a red light, you stop. Then, you go. So does everyone else – every minute of the day, that make up hours, that make up days, that make up weeks, that make up lives. You get the picture. But, do you?

We stop and we go, we pause and we laugh, we cry and we try again, we fear and we fret, and before we know it – that was our life.

Breathe deep.

What if you acknowledged every moment as holy?

The dog rushing out the red door? You chasing after him in 10-year old pajamas. Holy.
The disagreement with that family member?  Holy.
The homework hour with the kid who doesn’t get it? Holy.
The carpool line that makes you feel less than? Holy.
The project at work that never ends? Holy.
The preparations for another dinner? Holy.

My son screaming in agony because his stomach hurts? Me, holding the bag around his neck as the yuck came out? A night of no sleep? Sitting here, with the face of baggy eyes and an oozy head – and a day of lost work ahead – it becomes a little harder to throw this blessed word to the wind and to watch it fly. Everything is always harder when it is personal.

If God, Father of all…
is over all and through all and in all (Eph. 4:6),
then he fills all ordinary moments with holy.

If we look for God’s holiness,
we will find it.

Between grabbing the trash bag and putting it around his neck, I laid my bruised hip on the ground with a grunt (I fell down the stairs the day before).  And in the middle of one of my super-wide I-really-hope-this-is-all-said-and-done yawns – it came. The holy, the special, the heaven unzipping moment we all search for: “Mommy, thank you for loving me. Thank you for taking care of me.”  

He saw love in action.
I saw raw thanks.
It inspired me.
Holy.

What have you written off as worthless? Dead? Not important?

What you consider worthless, God considers priceless, holy valuable.

Holy valuable means that the fleeing dog
is a reminder of how God pursues you when you’re lost.

Holy valuable means your disagreement is
a humility bootcamp preparing you for big missions.

Holy valuable means homework with the frustrated kid
is your chance to illustrate grace.

Holy valuable means the carpool line is a meeting point
to find God’s unconditional love over man’s tempermental approval.

Holy valuable means you learn God is in control of the project.
You surrender; He helps you.

Holy valuable means you remember, as you prepare dinner,
Jesus prepares a room for those who serve him.

Holy valuable means 8-hours of no sleep highlights the meaning of sacrificial, deep and authentic love – and how it works.

Breathe deep.

God is not only in your big “I-need-huge-faith moments”, but he is in your little moments. The faith garnered there, is faith that launches you to bigger there’s.

Noah did what God commanded him (Gen. 6:22). He saved nations.
Daniel prayed 3 times a day (Dan. 6:10 ). He saw miracles.
Elijah followed through in what God called him to do (2 Kings 1:15). He spoke the very prophecies of God.
David got reliant on God. He conquered not only lions and bears but giants (Sam. 13:34-37)

How might God use you for big things,
if you sought after his heart, presence and promptings in the little?

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Lu. 16:10

Little trials are big doors that walk us right into God’s epic story, his unparalleled vision for this world. You count it momentary, he counts it monumental. You count it nothing, he counts it everything. You count it unseen to others, and he says, “Yes, that’s the point.”

Breathe deep and recognize – your ordinary moments are holy valuable.

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When you Feel Rejected

Feel Rejected

We loved each other, I thought. Dashing up to him, I placed a decorated plate of deviled eggs before him, my favorite. I hoped he loved them, because coming off a fresh loss, my heart was hurting and looking for care. I completely botched up the championship basketball game by dropping and kicking the ball out of bounds on the court. Not once, but twice. Whoops. All I wanted sympathy, compassion. My heart hurt – but, little did I know, it was about to hurt even more.

He looked up at me and shoved the eggs away. His eyes said it all, he no longer wanted to know me. I wasn’t good enough. He got up and grabbed something behind the door. It was a woman. Ushering her in by her hand, he carefully sat her down in my chair and gave me the look, “I am done with you. It’s time to go.”

Aimlessly roaming the streets, I found myself homeless. I had only my comforter, a blanket that was a prize from the basketball game. Not knowing where to go, I held it close – it had my teammates signatures on it. I walked on and on.

When someone deserts us, we walk in a desert.

With a million piles of past rejection on us.

I woke. Thank you, God, this was only a dream. But, was it? Perhaps, it is reality.

Have you ever noticed, the rejection today carries the weight of yesterday?  What pours is the same waterfall of emotions.

Just yesterday, I walked outside a military base. I grabbed coffee first. Intending to go in, I stared down at my shirt. Dang it! I’d gone splashed coffee all over myself.

I can’t go in there.
Not around those people in starched up uniforms.
Ones dressed to military perfection.
They’ll stare.
They’ll laugh at my stains.

They’ll see straight into me. They’ll be confronted with my faults. My botch-ups. It is too much, way too much.

Afraid of being a walking eye sore, I stop mid-step – I remembered something…

Whether I’m walking stained or with fresh rejection pain,
just like in my dream, I always walk with the inscribed Comforter.

Do I even give it credence? Do I allow it to serve its purpose?

But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. (Jo. 14:26 AMP)

Do you cover yourself with the warmth, protection and safety of the Comforter when you feel uncomfortable? When you feel undone in shame?

You can, because He is with you. We don’t roam this barren earth without support, without care.

As Christians, we can press up against the Comforter who:
1. Leads us in the way we should go. (John 16:13)
2. Brings freedom. (2 Cor. 3:17)
3. Dispenses love and joy. (1 Thess. 1:6)
3. Speaks the mind of Christ to us. (1 Cor. 2:16)
4. Points our heart back to Jesus. (John 16:14-15)

When we draw near the Comforter,
we draw real and tangible strength from the Savior.

Jesus, He chose me, stains and all.
Jesus, He covers me with his love.
Jesus, He did not abandon me. And never will.
Jesus, He will make me white, no matter how coffee-splattered my shirt is.
Jesus, He will reflect light onto me as I turn my darkness into it.

I walked right onto that military base.

I walk, stained, amongst the perfection of starched uniforms, precision strides and measured haircuts.  I walked, me – a stained, plain girl. But what I also walk with – is comfort.

It reminds me, I need not be perfect. I need not be flawless. I need just walk with my Comforter, the one who inscribes the name of Christ on me. Then, suddenly, it is not about me – or giant coffee stains – any longer. I find hope.

“For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”  (Gal. 6:8)

If I could, I would sow that Comforter right on me. But, you know what? I don’t have to, he’s sowed in me.

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25 Ways: To Let Jesus Reign

Overcome Like Jesus: 7 Ways He Proves You Can

Are you Afraid to be Happy?

Afraid to be Happy

Happiness.

It’s the thing every Christian wants but is afraid to admit.
It’s the thing we chase, yet hardly find.
It’s the thing we’re ashamed to claim as our deep longing.

As a child, my school was an extension of church. It’s where I tested out happy. Joyfully, I laughed, talked and told stories. I was loud, excited and eager. I was – alive, even, until I learned I wasn’t acceptable. Until, the teacher pulled me by the arm, kneeled me before a statue and told me I was wrong – sinfully wrong for it. My hard knees on a hard floor proved happy doesn’t work so well.

Happy bubbles get burst easily.

Another time, an opportunity of a lifetime showed up on my doorstep. I screamed in my house, I jumped up and down, twirled the twirl and danced the jig. Yes! Yes! Double Yes! This was what I had been waiting for.

I ran to tell a most trusted friend. I smiled, blabbed and anticipated the moment we would scream in unison. What I got was – dead air. Then, came the dry words of, “Oh, that’s good. Now, what were we talking about before?!”

Unhappy can’t easily get comfortable with happy. They repel each other, quite often.

Better not to be happy, right?

After hearing a whole lot of sermons like this:
1. You just gotta carry your cross in this world.
2. A horrific thing happened? Oh, that’s God’s will.
3.) We are only living for eternity

you start believing this world actually is the hell you fear.

Somewhere, along the lines we ended up with a theology of agony,
not Christianity. 

I rebuke that line of thinking. Jesus didn’t come to break us down. He didn’t come to ruin us. And, he certainly didn’t come to make us slaves. While we are assured we will hit pain and suffering (2 Tim. 3:12), God’s forever-assignment for us is not a downcast spirit, dejection and demoralization.

So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child;
and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. Gal. 4:7

We don’t have to live like morose monks – when people, problems or pricks hit us –
because we are loved children, with a good Father.

What good parent wants their kid to continually suffer?
What good parent holds back the greatest joys of childhood?
What good parent doesn’t band-aid up a cut and send the kid back to the playground?
What good parent doesn’t leave their child with the best things they ever owned?

I want to thank Jennifer Duke’s Lee and her book The Happiness Dare.
She pointed out: “The greatest source of happiness is Christ in me.”

Yes! Say AMEN with me, now!

Christ in me is the power of joy – flowing out from me. 

Christ in you is the power of joy – flowing out from you. 

Jennifer adeptly helps me realize by accessing who God made me to be, I can launch – happy and free.

Do you know what makes you happy?

Did you know you have a happiness style (Take the Happiness Quiz)? You may be a: Doer (a little like me), Experiencer (a lot like me), Relater (a lot like me), a Giver (not like me) or a Thinker (a lot me).

Okay, ya’ll, you busted me, I’m a whole bunch of ’em.

It’s okay though, because I want to embrace them – all 3 of them. Somehow, I figure, God loves nothing more than when we step into the full beauty of who he created us to be. It’s like we zip off the world and we step out radiant. We are His masterpiece, after all.

Might it be time we agreed with God? We can be happy with who we are, without shame.

I love how Jennifer puts it, “God delights in your delight. He takes pleasure in your pleasure.  But, it doesn’t end with our pleasure alone. Oh no. You see, this is all for his pleasure. This is all about God.”

Happiness transcends me. When we are fully who we were made to be – we light up the world.

Rather than grunting in pain to a world about how hard it is to be a Christian, we light it up with smiles, songs and dances that glorify God!

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Mt. 5:16

People who know God “ought to be the happiest people in all the wide world! – A.W. Tozer 

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The Happiness Dare:
Pursuing Your Heart’s Deepest, Holiest, and Most Vulnerable Desire

Jennifer Dukes Lee has good news for anyone who’s ever secretly, longingly (even guiltily) dreamed of being happier: It’s okay to want to be happy. God cares about your happiness; He created it as a sweet spot, a gift, and something you can faithfully, freely pursue. And He’s daring you to trust Him enough to discover it.

Learn more about The Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee.