Purposeful Faith

Category - awe

Dwelling on the Heart of Christmas

Heart of Christmas

Christmas is freedom…

Christmas is all about a God who sees need – and approaches it.

A God who sees us as we are. Who sees us in slumped state. Who sees our tears. Who sees our pains. Who sees our agony. Who sees our missteps.  He sees our trials, troubles and temperaments. He sees our incapability to save our own selves.
Christmas is all about breakthrough.

Christmas is about a God who would go to any lengths for us.

It is about the God of all power, becoming a man of all power. He breaks the force field of our world to break the fortress of sin – around us – that keeps us from him.

Christmas is about humility.

It is about a God who is God. A God who is the great I AM. But, it is also about a God who says I AM great enough to humble myself. I AM willing to do whatever it takes to lead you to my heart. I AM with you.

Christmas is about promises.

It is about a baby who grows up to be a boy and then a man, who unveils the heart of God, who saves. He heals. He helps. He prays. He leads. He fulfills dreams. He sends us into love that casts out fear. He will not stop being faithful to us.

Christmas is about no fear.
It means that the promise born in a stable is a promise that is stable. It means that when Jesus was broken, so was condemnation. It means that when you think you can’t, the power of Jesus…yes, it can. It means that it doesn’t matter so much how you feel, but simply that Christ is faithful.

It means that you are free in Jesus and alive to the Holy Spirit. This is what Christmas is about. It means that what purpose and power  -God has sown in you, is released by him who set you free. It means go! It means get out! It means let loosed and lost in Christ Jesus for 2017!

Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world. For even though the one in the world tries to tell you Jesus is long gone and Christmas is just another holiday, the life of Jesus is just what is needed for victorious living.

I know I don’t always live this way – victoriously. But, I am fighting to. This is why I wrote Fear Fighting. I wrote it as a prayer, as a dream and as a discovery. I wrote it to see if Jesus Christ could pull me close and teach me new courage. Guess what? He did. So powerfully, he did.

I’d love for you to join the Fear Fight with me. It will bless you beyond compare. Buy it for a small group (10+ books) and I’ll even join your group Facebook page to encourage, teach or to just bless you.

Order Fear Fighting today!

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

More Reading:
Do you Need a New Perspective?

Actually Keep your New Year Resolutions

Living From A New Identity

 

How You Can Easily Miss Christmas

Parked in my car, I stared at my neighbor’s perfectly ornamented outdoor tree. I’d missed it; I missed the moment. It was there for the taking, but I drove right past it. I couldn’t see past my path – to God’s path.

Reflecting on the morning, I considered how it went. My son called out, “Mom…our neighbor liked it. She…” I screamed from the other side of the car, “Buckle up, we’ve got to get  to school, son.” At the sound of his click, I was off…

And, like I said, I missed it. The moment. He wanted to celebrate my sweet neighbor’s tree. But, the fact is, in my haste, I didn’t even notice the tree. I hurried past the display of reds and greens, of joy and peace, of excitement. But, most of all, I rushed past the little wind-chimes my son had made her a few months before.

She could have removed them off her grand display. But, she didn’t.

He wanted to let me know that she cared enough to keep them there. He wanted me to know that he was worthy to be part of her Christmas. He wanted to let me know that his heart to love and to show kindness was being celebrated where Jesus is. He was a special part of her Christmas; he loved and felt love.

He wanted to show me the meaning of Christmas.

But, I rushed on.

I saw destination and nailed it, with precision.
I saw my time sans kids, and grabbed it with strength.
I buckled up, grabbed my sunglasses, and peeled out of that driveway like a mother descending on a 3-hour vacation.

I wish I would have stopped. I am sure my son wishes I stopped too.

How often does God wish we stop?

That we stop to see His ornaments of goodness and kindness? That we stop to soak in His still small voice? That we stop to receive His oh-so-gentle prompting to call a neighbor in need, to hug a child or to observe a tree that points to the tree that made up the cross?

But, upwards and onwards we go! We make money. We get coffee. We buy presents. We speed through that yellow light. We answer that cell phone call. All the while, we miss God.

If we want to be led by the Spirit, we have to make room for Spirit. If we are so filled with the angst of progress, we will miss Him in the process.

This has happened to me. My heart is aching, because I’ve left no room. I’ve only left room to keep my heart in comfortable control. Yet, if God decides I should be 5-minutes late to something – can’t I sacrifice? Jesus gave far more than 5 minutes, he gave up his very body; He let it break and tear for me.

There is no shame. There is no condemnation, today, friends. Not for you or for me. There is just a ticket, extended to us, that invites us to go somewhere new. Every time, no matter what kind of pain in the side it feels like, it drives us to the point of joy and to the horizon of new peace.

God’s tickets to slow down and see Him always bring you to the peace that – is Him.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Ps. 16:11

Prayer:

Please God, don’t let me brush past your workings anymore. Please God, stop me in my tracks. Awaken my heart to what you are doing in the moment. Give me eyes to see brilliance and the brilliance within others as I welcome them into my heart in a present moment. Help me rest, with you. Help me go, with you. Help me be, with you. Amen

Order my book, Fear Fighting Today!

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

More Reading:
1 Clear Way to Victory When in a Losing Battle

The Silent Faith-Killer (You Likely Allow)

When You Let God Down

Know What Can Ruin Christmas?

Ruin Christmas

I keep going back to what happened – what was said, how it was said and why the person is wrong.

A label was tossed my way; I was called a name. But, it’s more than just that. The bullets run deep – and are hard to pull out.

Sometimes what’s said or done, is not easily removed.

People yakked and hacked an image.
They understood things wrong.
They dissed, offended or disregarded you.
They were insensitive.

Like, I said, with people, what’s said or done, sometimes, is not easily removed. It sinks deep.

So, anyway, here I come, prancing on up to Christmas – a time of joy, a time of Jesus, with a hundred and one holes through my heart – and increasing pain lodged between me and a manger.

I am not sure what to do.

Because, this I know, if I want to meet holy, I can’t walk around hostile. In order to be super-close with Jesus, I can’t be loaded-up with sin. This idea is Christianity 101, but it takes a masters degree to apply.

Waving goodbye to your right to be angry, is like letting go of a bad habit – you love. Everything in you knows you’ll be better off without it, but not walking up to that wine bottle and taking a glass, or three, after a hard day, is hard. Like unforgiveness, it beckons you to hold on.

In some ways, your noble actions have warranted it, you figure. You’ve earned it. Other people have entitled you to carry around that glass, even if it makes you cranky, tired or on edge. Even if it hurts.

Yet, here’s the quandary: God says I should be able to approach him with “freedom and confidence” (Eph. 3:12). I can’t when I carry around this cup of self-righteousness. It spills over onto my eyesight and then I can’t see God. I get all clouded with shame, guilt and discontent.

So there they stand – ones who’ve offended me, tremendously.
There Jesus stands – the One who befriended me, groundlessly.

I wonder if Jesus thought about me before he entered the world?

Maybe he thought: “Hmmm…there she stands; I see all Kelly’s offenses. In fact, I can line them up and they’d reach around the world. Join them together, they’d actually wrap it 3 times. How can I go down there, to that place of vile, and forgive her? How can I leave the heights of glory, a throne of brilliance, and all the angelic hosts of heaven – for her likes?

I would have thought that way, if I was him. I would have thought, “Keep me up here at the banquet, but don’t send me down there into the stink and dirt of a manger – coupled with difficult people. Don’t put me there for that bad girl, Kelly. Not worth it.”

But, He didn’t. And this is the part I can’t contend with: Jesus didn’t abandon me because I abandoned him.

How can I abandon others, when Jesus didn’t abandon me? What right do I have to pick up a right that he laid down? To stand when he laid down?

He teaches me to lay it all down for others so that I can pick up that baby, Jesus Christ, and hold him close this Christmas.

I don’t do it for them, I do it because I love him. I want him. I can’t do life without him. I do it because he’s forgiven them too. He’s set the standard. He shows me the way. And, if I want the way to lead up to his throne, I can’t have mean people blocking my path to him.

So, there they stand. I look at them and, in them, I see me. I see me, because we are all in Christ. I see me, because just as they are covered, so am I. And, what I also accept, beyond the peace that comes with forgiving them, is God’s peace that comes with him forgiving me. For what I’ve held inside, me – the contempt – is covered. And, like a magic trick, but better,  with God’s grace it goes – Poof!  It’s gone.

And, all that’s left is Jesus. A man, whose small act of entering a large world, changes it all. Whose humility, radically rewires our vision. Whose love, makes our mouth go agape. Whose forgiveness, goes against all odds, yet changes them all the same.

The one “who is, and who was, and who is to come” (Rev. 1:8), remains. He always does. And, what we’ve done is cleared a way for us to bow low, so we can cry, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” So we can get eye-level with a baby, who redeems it all.

Will you let in the baby this Christmas? Who do you need to forgive?

Continue Fighting Fear!
Join me on the 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

Prayer:

God, we come to you as we are. We come to you with our frustration, anger and irritation. We come to you with our pain and our opinions. We bring to you our perceptions, right or wrong. We hand over to you, what you don’t invite us to carry any longer. God, will you take care of all this? Will do you do justice on our behalf? Will you mend our hearts on our behalf? Will you soften our rough edges and take from us what you know is not healthy for us to carry? We turn it over, God. Today, through the name of Jesus Christ, we release it. We know what you have, in return, is peace and joy that is far better than self-righteousness and pride. Lord, now that we are clean, we ask you to bring us close to your heart. We ask you to walk us up and into your love. We ask you to teach us and grow us as you see fit. We trust you God. Above all, we trust you. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

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

More Reading:

1 Clear Way to Victory When in a Losing Battle
Embarrassing Bravery and Insane Courage
When Sharing Makes You Embarrassed

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Finding the Good in Your Bad

Good in Your Bad

I cuddled with coffee (which is no doubt one of my favorite things to do). It warms me better than mittens on a cold day, which it was. I was sitting on my outside bench and enjoying the frosty morning. Not expecting to see what I was about to see…

Because, after you’ve sat on your porch day in and day out, things start to look, well…monotonous. Been there…seen that – the tree placed on the side of the yard, the bird house a little off to the side and the neighbors car – almost out of line’s site.

I know what’s out there – I can see everything.

My kids? I know their story and what their day will entail. My husband? I know him well, if not, too well. The blog? I know what I do each day. My problems? I can see them ruining me.

I know things – and maybe, this is precisely my problem.

What if by knowing everything, by relying on what I see, I am missing the chance to believe in what I can’t?

What if by seeing things as they are, I am not seeing by faith?

What if, by slightly changing perspective, I could change everything?

If, by believing in what I do not see,…

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

I might receive what is best for me…

…so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. (Gal. 3:22)

Why don’t I full rely on God’s eyes to see…

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. (Eph. 1:18-19)

Maybe my life feels dull and ordinary because I’ve relied far too much on my own vision. God wants me to push pasty my might so I adopt his sight of that frees the captive, that brings beauty out of ashes and that overpowers the forces of darkness. I think I’ve missed out. And, what hits me is – when I seek to see like God sees, I experience a new way to be.

What appears like a shut door,
is really God’s way of sending me off in His new way.

What looks like a kid with a bad attitude is
really an opportunity to bring the gospel to her heart.

What lives like a long waiting period is really time
for me to prepare my heart for what God might want to do.

What comes at me like an in-your-face rejection,
is really a reminder God gives better gifts.

What appears to be time-lost is the chance to see
God reclaim, miraculously, what was lost.

If we don’t believe, how will we ever see – God’s greatest works?

For the one who believes God can do all things, for them, they get to see these things – and greater things.

When did I become such a jaded Christian? I am sorry God. Heal my unbelief. Restructure my faith. Pour out grace. Enliven me in belief with no bounds. I don’t want partial faith in your goodness, but an all out allegiance to your way, your truth and your life. Amen.

And, as I sit there on that bench, surrounded by commonplace things on a commonplace day, I see something far less common. I see, beyond a stone’s throw, a leaf – one I had never seen before in my life. It was oddly shaped, as if it should be in some exotic locale. It is beautiful, awe-inspiring and special. It teaches me – when we get expectant to see, God puts his beauty before us.

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

More Reading:

When You Long to Do Something Bad

How to Find Rest in God

Do you Need a New Perspective?

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On My Going Dark + 4 Solutions to Bad Enemy Assaults

Enemy Assaults

We all have Bonnie Tilley to thank for this post. She said she wanted to hear the story. Here goes: Sometimes you get doing something so big with God, the one who is anti-God doesn’t like it so much.

We normally don’t even realize this is the case. Why?

Because we figure:

  1. Loving someone isn’t big enough for Satan to oppose.
  2. Praying for someone can’t really be that valuable.
  3. Deciding to finally be repentant and obedient doesn’t add up to too much.

But, oh no, friends, this kind of dedicated obedience to God is just what is opposed. It is just what the enemy wants to squelch before it takes off and down the track. He wants to see it go up in flames, because when you move where God is – and he doesn’t want you to meet each other. He’s against that.

So, I was opposed. I know it’s so. I have this book coming out, Fear Fighting. Savior God used it to save me. Writing it, with him, released my soul from the war-torn barracks of fear. This book somehow became a peace pilgrimage with God; it saved my heart and medevacked me out of the heart throbbing places of tension, turmoil and tumultuous living. It’s no joke.

This is why I know you – not getting my daily emails for 2 days – was a mission of the enemy. This is why I know the other problems bubbling up in the last two days are also his approach. This is why I know, today, the foggy head and throbbing headache was more than a random occurrence. This is why I know my site going down was intentional. This is why I know I must be making some spiritual progress.

There is always more than meets the eye.  Let this fact meet your eye, right now.

Behind the scenes of your problems, is often – the problem-maker. You can’t see him. But, he’s working.

What are you up against?
What is trying to get you to move away from God and into a self-focused, self-preservation attitude?

Consider it for a moment.

You see, I was standing firm on Jesus. I was sure. Sure, doubly sure, the Lord, My God, was going to free hearts through this book. Sure, he would get all the glory. Sure,  beyond a shadow of a doubt, He had great plans for me. Satan hates people “sure” about Jesus. If you get “sure” about Jesus, Satan will surely send something to throw you off.

4 Ways the Enemy Attacks:

  1. Out of left field. If you’ve learned a new way to stand firm on Jesus, He’ll aim to hit you from a new direction, you’d never expect. What are we to do?

SOLUTION: We’re to expect the unexpected and then get protected with the armor of God.

2. Through the words of a person. I can’t tell you how many times a friend has spoken an unfriendly word that has lived on in the echo-chamber of my mind. It resounds as the ultimate form of discouragement.

SOLUTION: The only way to combat it is to take God’s truth and to wield it with reckless abandon.

3. Through our own fleshly desires.
“Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”  (Matthew 16:21-23)

SOLUTION:  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Col. 3:2)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Ro. 12:2

4. Via Blocked Plans. 
For we wanted to come to you–certainly I, Paul, did, again and again–but Satan blocked our way. (1 Thess. 2:18)

SOLUTION: Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you. Ps. 37:5

So, here I am today, very much still well. I am as well as I always was. I am as joyful as I always was. Because, when you realize who is for you – it doesn’t so much matter what is coming against you.

I have the conqueror, the victor and the King on my side. So do you. Dumb little gnat-like issues won’t get me down. Don’t let them get you down either. By his love, abounding in you, you are on to something…

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that you are greater, higher and mightier than anything that comes against me. I will rest in you, I will trust in you and I will follow you. Keep me keenly aware of what is coming against me, so that when it does I can find my strength in you, once again. Amen.

More Reading:

Finding Renewal in Christ
When Your Picture Is Not Pretty
When Prayer Goes Unanswered

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

The Silent Faith-Killer (You Likely Allow)

Faith-Killer

My son lives like a son. Meaning, he takes all momma wants to give him. If I walk in with a plate of cookies, he dives into them. If I offer him a hug, he runs up to get it in full. If I sit down with him, he delights in showing me things. If he gets injured, he runs to me and asks how I might help. He takes what I give, eagerly and willingly.

Somehow he knows where he is –is safe. And, what I am giving – is good.

For the most part, Christians aren’t good at being children. It’s not because we aren’t loved, adored and chosen, we completely are, but it’s mostly because we grew up. We think we can’t accept all that – all that the Father wants to lavish on us.

I’ve been watching, us, his children shut down his love.

Here’s how it tends to go:

  • I say, “Need prayer?” They say, “Nope. But, I know someone who does.”
  • I say, “Are you struggling with anything?” They say, “Nope. Not at all.”
  • I say, “I’d like offer you a gift – God has put you on my heart.” They say, “Nope. I never take gifts from others.”
  • I say, “You are courageous.” They say, “I don’t want to talk about me. Let’s talk about you.”

Rather than living as needy children, we living as arrogant adults. To turn away the love of Christ is to turn down the greatest gift moving on earth. We do it often.

Why?

Maybe, because we don’t want to owe people things. Maybe, because we feel guilty or embarrassed. Maybe, because we feel undeserving. Maybe, we don’t even notice he wants to hand it to us.

The maybe’s don’t matter.

What matters is, like children, we open our arms up to hold the gifts God is outpouring through others. What’s important is we see all the ways he is trying to love us. What is vital is we let this love in, so we can let this very love – out.

God wants to hand us his best, yet so often, we either walk right past it or reject it. Then, we get angry that God doesn’t answer our prayers, or reach out to us in our time of need. Guess what?! He’s been doing that all along. If only we’d just open our arms and hold close all he is pouring out.

He made us worthy.

What have you denied? Held at an arms length? Shut down? Walked away from? Turned away?  Sit down, look up and let in what love is pouring out from others onto you – receive what the Father wants to give you. You will be shocked at how it impacts your life.

Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. Jo. 16:24

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

More Reading:
A 3-Point Plan to Beat the Enemy
When You Don’t Feel Gifted
25 Verses About God’s Protection

Fear Fighting: Like You Never Have Before (+ Special Invite)

If someone asked me a year ago who I was, and I was brutally honest, I’m not sure of my response. There’d be too much garbage to tell them.

All of these answers could have been true:

I am a life agonizer. I see my to-do list in the morning and then get spooked by it. I have this dreadful feeling I’ll never get everything done I need to. Suddenly, I see the family without laundry, my kids without dinner and my life swooshing down the drain.

I am an endless worrier. Every accident, incident and ailment is just on the verge of happening. I imagine a neighbor’s cough will leave me flu-ridden. I think a chair will leave my daughter’s head crawling with lice. I think my husband’s mistimed call means he’s gotten in a highway accident and will flat-line in ten minutes.

I am a constant doubter. I read the bible in the morning, I say my prayers at bedtime and I know what truth sounds like, but often I lose God when mini-catastrophes hit. I freak out – and then freak out, because I just freaked out. I forget that I am forgiven and live criticizing and condemning myself – over and over again – in my head.

I am a defensive blamer. If she has an opinion, I have a reason why my way is 100% right. If she has too many opinions, I start to believe she thinks I am stupid. If she disagrees, I think she is against me. All of this is – her fault.

I am a sizer-upper. If I see you dressed well, I decide, I look like a trash truck exploded on me.  If I see you with great gifts, I think my gifts serve no purpose. If I see you succeeding, I hate you for it.

I am a controlling dictator. I tell my kids when, where and why – and expect them to move in line formation. I notice what my husband is doing wrong and then jump all over him for it. I get scared things won’t turn out well so I set rigid standards to keep things in my realm of comfort.

I am an avid-fretter. I remember the past and thinks it disqualifies me from good in the future. I see opportunities and decide they intimidate me too much to seize. I have a general sense in me that God isn’t happy with a woman as faulted as me.

A year ago, I was a walking nervous wreck. You would have had no idea because on the outside, I looked primed and mascara’d. But, inside, my heart wore a frown and my nerves wore an electric current, set so high, it made me sizzle with anxiety. I wanted more. I was tired of feeling tired and over feeling overwhelmed.

This is when I realized, God didn’t create me to live in panicked misery, he created me to live as a Fear Fighter.

This is why I wrote the book, “Fear Fighting: Awakening the Courage to Overcome Fears.”

Writing this book, with God, changed the story line of my life. Now I can declare, through the Spirit of the living Lord, I have found my path to freedom: I am a Fear Fighter.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Cor. 3:17

A Fear Fighter is a woman who pursues a life where, she is both, a victor and an overcomer!

A Fear Fighter is a woman who knows who God created her to be.

A Fear Fighter is a woman awakened to his greatest callings.

A Fear Fighter is a woman armed with strategies to beat the enemy’s defeatist tactics – on-the-spot.

A Fear Fighter is a woman who knows how to beat her heart palpitations by the power of pointed prayer.

A Fear Fighter is a woman who applies truth to her fears like an oxygen mask to a barely breathing life.

A Fear Fighter is a woman who is equipped with heart-calming courage-building habits.

A Fear Fighter is a woman who learns to step past her deep tremblings so she can walk sure-footed into God’s glorious callings.

A Fear Fighter is a woman who is not perfect, but who sees perfect Jesus – personified, in a way where she trusts his strength.

A Fear Fighter is me. Thank you, God! A Fear Fighter is me!!!

I don’t have to claim every fear is abolished. That wouldn’t be honest, but what I can claim is that I know how to fight what is coming against me. I know how to win when I used to wrestle for weeks. God has delivered my heart, much more, to lands of calm and clarity, peace and purpose, love and liberty.

Will you join me? To continue fighting, I need sisters like you with me. I need women willing to band together. Willing to live out the Fear Fighting journey with God. Willing to read the book. Willing to be loved. Willing to move closer to Jesus. Willing to pull in other sisters paralyzed in fear. Willing to move this movement out.

Fear Fighting

Pre-Order Fear Fighting here.
Shed fear and draw near to God.
Fight like a girl who knows God has her back!

In other exciting news!!! We’re putting together a launch team! Actually, I’d rather call it an overflow team. Sure, we will all be sharing, posting and Amazon reviewing. This will be a great part of it, for we are leading downtrodden women to the well of Jesus’ healing. This matters and it matters BIG. But, while we do this, we will most certainly breathe in and exhale the fullness of freedom, rather than the bondage of to-do’s. This is my hope for the team.

If you’re interested, you can join sign-up here. We’ve got only 200 spots (and 200 free copies of the book!) and would love to have you. We’ll get a lot accomplished in this group, have a ton of fun at the same time (including giving away some fun prizes as a thank you for your help!) and we’ll have tons of encouragement for you too. Make sure to sign up by November 17th! You can do that here!

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25 Verses About God’s Protection

God's Protection

My foot slipped. I couldn’t catch myself, not with the bundle of love I had in my hands. I took the fall. Rather than grabbing the railing or even putting a hand down to break the fall, I let my hip hit the stairs – hard. I held on to her. Child. Must. Be. Safe.

Boom! Boom! Boom! The impact left my hip sore for weeks. Child. Must. Be. Safe.

She didn’t even so much as touch the floor. She was saved. After the thrill of her ride, she got up, laughing, she was scuff-free.

God loves to save us from our worst falls. He lifts us right above them. Child. Must. Be. Safe. 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Is. 41:10

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Ps. 91:7

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Ps. 91:4

You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me. Ps. 40:11

Child. Must. Be. Safe.

For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. Ps. 63:7

For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. Ps. 27:5

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Ps. 91:1

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Ps. 46:1

Child. Must. Be. Safe.

You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.

You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. Ps. 18:35-36

…the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deut. 31:6

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Ps. 119:114

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

Child. Must. Be. Safe.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Ex. 14:14

As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. Ps. 18:30

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Ro. 8:31

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. Ps. 3:3

Child. Must. Be. Safe.

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Prov. 18:10

For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? 2 Sam. 22:32

Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? Mt. 26:53

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Ps. 9:9

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Ps. 62:2

Child. Must. Be. Safe.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Ps. 4:8

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

No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. Is. 54:17

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. Ps. 138:7

…but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 1 Jo. 5:18

Child. Must. Be. Safe.

When you fall down the stairs of life, there is one who will run to your rescue. His name is Deliverer. Fear not, he goes with you.

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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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