Purposeful Faith

Category - Jesus

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…

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

subscribe

 Loading InLinkz ...

 

Pour Your Best on Jesus

pour out

My son dug deep in the car, pulling out a prized and loved possession. He smiled. X marked the spot; he found his treasure – his special quarter. Not only that, but he found a trinket for his sister too. Even better!  Things were going smooth as fresh brewed coffee on Friday morning, at least for a little while…

Walking into school, an oncoming kid approached.

“Want my quarter?” My son said.

This moment of generosity, made me curl up in anxiety. Why? He’d hate his decision after they boy walked away. He’d be angry that he let go of his favorite quarter. He’d throw a fit all the way to the front door of school, wanting me to go classroom-by-classroom to hunt the kid down. Then, I’d have to demand the thing back. My heart clenched itself and quickened.

He shouldn’t give that loved treasure to a boy he doesn’t know.

He’s going to pant and panic after he gives it away.

I’m going to suffer because he had a do-good idea.

While I tell my son to love like Jesus,
loving like Jesus is completely inconvenient.

This thought gets me thinking…

How often do I go to places inconvenient to pour out love?

How often do I push the boundaries of giving,
by offering a radically spontaneous gift of blessing?

Not often. I think about the Christians being persecuted; I don’t give much. I think about a friend going through a hard time; I forget to call. I consider an act of kindness; I get embarrassed they might think I am weird. I stay comfortably comfortable. I choose safe-Jesus.

But, I wonder? What if I get off my beaten path, to travel down roads of discomfort – where the likes of leprosy, blindness and poverty – reside? What if I, rather than thinking of comfort, intentionally move into uncomfortable – and extend not just small quarters – but abundant sums?

I sit next to the downcast woman on the city bench – and encourage her.

I walk up to the homeless woman and buy her lunch.

I pursue the depressed one who should have been over it by now and state, “I won’t abandon you.”

I dump money on causes that are closely aligned to Christ’s heart.

I pray wholeheartedly for the person who has deeply hurt me and bless them in secret.

God wants to provide a love transfusion from us – to them. Will we allow it? Will we outpour our very best?

 

A woman came with a special sealed jar. It contained very expensive perfume made out of pure nard.
She broke the jar open and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. Mk. 14:3

This woman just came right in, no hesitancy is noted.
She just broke the jar, no doubts are described.
She just poured it over Jesus, no worries seemed present.

She saw the opportunity & she acted. BOOM!

Did Jesus have an overwhelming need for perfume? No.
Did she have an overwhelming desire to pour out blessing? Yes. BOOM!

She broke it.
Right then.
Right there.
With people watching.
With critical eyes observing.
With a personal cost – and a financial one.
It moved from her heart.
Her best.
Her love.
Honor.

What are you pouring out for Jesus?

Is it mundane or the magnificent?

Is it basic or breathtaking?

Is it ordinary or extraordinary?

Are we dumpers? Love transfusers?

Friends, I won’t lie, 10 times out of 10, I am selfish. But my encouragement is, 10 times out of 10, Jesus is a love transfuser: Christ’ blood poured out – to cover my sins – and yours. (Heb 10:12).

This is our hope today. It is our fresh life. Our beating heart that beats for others.

BOOM! Jesus did it! He acted. Walked. Healed. Loved. Died. Without reservation. Without failing. Without procrastination. Without tallying losses. He didn’t stall.  He died.

Why? Because he loves you and he loves me – and then he works through you and through me.

Who are we letting Jesus love?

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here

 

 

Can I Just Stay Here a Little While?

Post by: Jami Amerine

It was an ugly cry; nostrils flaring; with an occasional snort/hiccup/whimper/wail.

On my white blouse, there were traces of snot and black tears.

I knew full well, this meant mascara was streaming down my cheeks and that I looked – dreadful.

This made sense because this how I felt, dreadful.  And vain as I am, I didn’t care that I looked a wreck. Pieces of my heart were going to being left in this “men’s” dorm. My sons would now live here, in halls that smelled like feet and corn nuts.  Here on the second floor of a dormitory I had blazed past 1,001 times during my studies at Abilene Christian University, I was about to leave not one son, but two.

The “man-babies,” John and Luke tried to pity me, bless them. But truth be told, their demeanors could not hide the thrill.  A new episode, a world they have not known, outside the confines of our rules and our ideals. To the man-babies the halls did not reek of burnt pop-tarts and jock itch spray, to them it smelled of freedom. The future was labeled clearly over the doors of Mabee Hall, rooms 208 and 255.

Luke pat/hugged me and kissed our foster daughter that sat casually on my hip. She was oblivious, but I couldn’t help notice that the hug was accompanied by a gentle escort out the door. “I’ll call you mom, and thanks.”

The door shut and a sob escaped me.

And my blurry eyes were relieved to see him as he ambled toward me. At nearly 6’4” my baby boy was as unacquainted as acquainted.  John lifted his cleft chin in my direction with a casual “hey, I am around the other side.” The corners of his mouth quivered as he tried to be cool and not appear too giddy. In a swift movement he lifted his foster sister from my arms and in lanky, cowboy booted strides escorted us to his new room.

Just like Luke, my hug goodbye was laced with a gentle shove out the door.  John had to run back to his car and then meet friends, so he was a little more abrupt. I stood surrounded by student workers hauling mini fridges, parents no better off than I, and the buzz of adventure vibrating in the stale air.

I thought out loud, “I didn’t get a picture of them in their rooms!” I looked toward the exit and yelped, “John! I wanted…” and caught the last glimpse of John’s back before he swiftly turned onto the staircase.

And that picture is burned in my mind.

I keep looking at it. I can’t stop replaying it.

Soaked with tears and the heavy weight of the end of a cherished chapter, I made it to my car. I buckled the baby in her car seat and waited for my husband. In the distance I could see Justin and our two youngest sons heading toward me. We would leave here and go home to our new normal. We’d done this before when our oldest daughter moved into the dorm, on the same campus two years before.  But this was different.  Maggie is my friend, with John and Luke, I know the man-babies wouldn’t be around or text or call like Maggie does.  I know… nothing will ever be the same.

I turned up the radio to blaring toddler tunes so the littles would not be alarmed by my sobs.  I made grilled cheese for the boys; I choked down a salad, and bedded everyone down for a nap. I kicked off my shoes, grabbed a box of Kleenex and climbed into my bed.

I know you think I wanted to stay there; to hang out a little longer at that dorm and make sure they had everything they needed.  Alas, it was time to go. And here, now, in cool sheets with a red nose and swollen eyes I let loose in the place I longed to be. Alone with my God, I cried and prayed. My phone buzzed, I needn’t look to see, words of encouragement, messages of “been there… it will be okay, they’ll be fine…” Had I responded I would have said, “Please leave me alone, I just want to stay here a little longer.”

I didn’t want encouragement. I didn’t want to pull it together or stop the waves of heartache.  I wanted to weep and reminisce.  I wanted to lie there, imagining my head in the lap of my Comforter – my only Hope.  As sad as I was, and as much hurt as I felt, I was right where l wanted to be.

Our society doesn’t grieve well.  We pick up and trudge on to the next thing. We hate to hurt. We despise the low places and we do our best cover the agony with sensory indulgences… an ice cream cone, wine, or new stilettos.

Can I Just Stay Here a Little While?

Will you let me own this hurt?

Here I lie crumpled at the foot of the cross. In this place of my brokenness, there is a view that I can only see through the eyes of my suffering.  Let me stay.  Not to wallow in self-pity, but to weep in the arms of my Father.  Just for a while let me hurt. Just for a little longer let me embrace the great Healer.  He knows me, He remembers what I remember.  I know the man-babies have to go, I am not so dull. But just let me stay here a little longer and visit with the only One who can see the snapshots stored in my heart and head. Here in the quiet, surrounded by decrepit tissues and a tear soaked pillow case I need only to grieve without excuse. No condemnation, no pity, no “pull yourself together.”

Can I Just Stay Here a Little While?

Please, for here with my God is my favorite place to be.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4

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


547592_3961306391397_890561921_n (1)Jami Amerine
is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.

subscribe

 

 

 

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

Jealous Girl

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

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

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

God, forbids that. 

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

Can I just ask, “What are we doing?”

jealous girl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

jealous girl

10 Secrets to Squash Jealousy & to Live Abundantly

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

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

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

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

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

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

jealous girl

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

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

subscribe

 Loading InLinkz ...

Believe

Post by: Jami Amerine

I believe.
I believe in Jesus Christ, only son of the Father.
I believe He died for me.
I believe He rose from the dead.
I believe He ascended into Heaven.
I believe He will come again.

I believe.

But sometimes, I forget that this belief means so much more because of who it is I believe.

Recently our oldest son, who is severely dyslexic, decided he wants to go to medical school.  He came to my husband and me and said, “I think I am supposed to be a doctor.”

Not for one moment did I doubt him.

I homeschooled John for the better part of his academic career this far.

I know.

I know first-hand that the road he just ventured onto will be hard. When I say hard, I mean “reads at a 5th grade level” hard, or so the test makers tell me. But I have seen the work of this man-baby, I have witnessed a determination in him like no other.

I believe.

It is one thing for John to believe he can do all things through Christ who is his strength. It is another thing for someone else to believe he can do it.  And on the evening after John’s announcement I made arrangements for him to test into the university near our home, my alma mater.  A tightness grew in my chest as I recounted the days of dreaded placement and diagnostic testing. For just a moment I entertained, “what if…”

I quickly shook off the thought.

I believe.

And somewhere on the still evening air, a warm sound swept over me.

I was bathed in peace.
I was slain by love.
I was certain the sound was audible.
The breath of my Lord comforted me and I heard Him say, I believed first.

Yes.

The Alpha and the Omega, the God of Isreal, Maker of Heaven and Earth believes in my boy’s abilities to be fulfilled, the good work that this God created him for cannot be impossible.  It cannot be measured by human standards.  And in that moment, I am further struck with the reality – He believes in me too.

As much as I strive to love and serve this Mighty and Mysterious God, as many times as I have proclaimed my adoration, as often as I have shouted “YES LORD! I believe!”

He believed first.

He believed all those years ago on a hill, nailed to a cross.
He believed as He descended into the abyss.
He continued to believe as He walked that road to Emmaus.
And when He ascended back to the Father, He believed without a doubt.
He believed in me at the dawn of my conception.
He believed in me as I took my first steps.
He believed when I fell away from Him, when I rejected Him.
He believed in my daughter-ship, He believed I would return.

He still believes. He believes even when I am at my worst.

He believes.

He believes that the good work He began in me will be carried through to bring Him glory.

This is magnificent to me.  When I am in doubt, when I am afraid, when I can’t bring myself to believe, He who dwells in me… believes.

So great His belief he took His petition, His deep and unshakable beliefs, and died for me on the Cross.

Who am I that He who measures the depth of the sea

and counts the feathers on the songbird,

believes in me?

I believe I am the daughter of the God of All.

I believe my son, a newly accepted Pre-Med student at my alma mater, is the son of the God of all.

I believe I am a foster mom, when I was the most terrified woman on the planet.  Afraid I would get hurt, afraid of the brokenness, I believed in the calling from my God.

I believe I am an adoptive mom of two precious boys, I believe in all seven of my children.

I believe I am an author, when everyone said, “It’s too hard to get published.”

I believe I am a sinner, desperate for a goodness I am incapable of on my own.

I believe in an unseen God who first believed.

Who am I that He believes in me?  I am a believer in Him.  He is mighty to save. He is mighty to deliver.  He believes in the impossible for He was able to conquer death, death on the cross – for me.

And for you.

He believes in us, dear friend.  He believed so greatly in us – and His Father loved us so, that He took it to the grave.  Meet Him there. Crumpled at the foot of the cross cry out the hurt, the disappointment, and the fear. For even if the only words you can muster are… I believe.  Know He will honor and care for you. He will deliver you and conquer that which terrorizes you.  He will make all things new. He will make it all work together for good.

The great I am, your Father in Heaven… He who first believed.

Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:6)

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

What Are You Running After?

Running After

Post By: Angela Parlin

I call myself a runner, but I always feel the need to qualify the statement.

I’m not built like a runner. I’m not a fast runner. My mileage wouldn’t impress you.

But I get out there, onto the trail several times a week. And other than the last few months of four pregnancies plus a couple injuries which sidelined me for a time, I’ve been a runner as long as I can remember.

When I run, I’m usually smiling. It’s a strange habit, but I smile in part because running is my alone time. I walk out the front door, ready to move, and it’s like a big, deep breath. Plus a lot of panting, but still.

I smile because the finish line is always on the horizon, and I’m a hoper and a dreamer. I smile, because I need the opportunity to think my own thoughts for a bit. Thoughts about something other than school and the next meal and a million little tasks to do around the house.

Give me some fresh, quiet air under a big blue sky and the opportunity to think my own thoughts–and it feels like being home. Not so much like being in my home, but at home with myself. 🙂

running

Last week, out on the trail, one of my thoughts morphed into a pressing question:

What are you running after anyway?

Read More at Angela’s Blog and Linkup your encouraging post there with us!

 

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

 

Women’s Ministry Monday: A Televised Awakening

televised awakening

I am delighted today to welcome Diane Maudsley, both a friend and a passionate women’s ministry director to share her story for Ministry Monday. As you will see, God proves he can reach anyone at anytime. Who are you hoping he reaches?  Don’t lose hope…

When the time is right, God will get the right message in front of their sight.

Diane’s story proves this…

It was Easter Sunday, 27 years ago, when the grace of God visited my small apartment living room as I knelt in front of the television listening to an evangelist teaching about forgiveness.

That day was by far one of the most, if not THE most, impactful days in my spiritual walk with God.

I had grown up learning about God, hearing about His magnificence and power, learning in Church and in Christian schools that He created me and this great world, and I knew all about His Son, Jesus, …but did I, really?

My soul was lost and desperate – it was searching the TV airwaves (there was no internet or iPhone then of course) for a glimmer of hope for my wretched life.

The man on TV called it “Resurrection Sunday”!
He was looking right into the camera (into MY eyes).
He told me Jesus died on the cross to forgive ME of MY sins…!!!

Why had I felt like I have never heard that before?

Why did it feel like I was hearing this for the very first time???

27 years later I can tell you why, spoken best by the words of Paul the apostle: “Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation…” (Eph. 3:2-3)

I was given a gift, a “revelation,” as I tuned to the right place at the right time for my heart, my soul, and my mind to receive this free gift of grace from heaven!

It was MY day of visitation!

Have you experienced yours?

When you open your heart to welcome God in,
surprisingly you find he walks right in.

Just as the veil or curtain was torn in the temple when Jesus died on the cross, the veil was removed from my eyes so I could see the Lord’s true forgiveness and grace!

Before this moment, while my life’s journey had taken me on many shallow roads of “doing good,” I was not standing on the solid ground of salvation, therefore I strayed from the “path of righteousness,” being easily swayed by temptation.

Do you subtly stray?

Does temptation often call your name?

Does that thought scare you?

Today I am the mother of 3 amazing gifts from God, my daughter who is 23, a son who is 20 and another son, who is 17.

Sure, it is scary, knee-worthy even, but because of my experience with a saving knowledge of God and His Son’s sacrifice on the cross and glorious Resurrection, I can rest assured that God is in control of their lives, just like He is in control of mine. I pray that they will have great testimonies of redemption and grace in their lives as they find Christ and follow Him to their destinies.

Resurrection always waits: “Wake up sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14)

It calls us to more: “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies” (Psalm 107:2)

Will you answer?

When I was set on the path of righteousness my life truly began anew. The road was not easy, but it was alive and hopeful and I declare to you today that I have been redeemed from the enemies of shame, guilt and regret.

Let’s remain awake and alive, shining the light of Christ everywhere we go.

God used a television evangelist that morning in my life. May He awaken the sleepers and use our testimonies to raise up a shining army that brings hope to those dwelling in darkness!

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

About Diane Maudsley

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 10.23.51 AM
Diane has been Women’s Ministry Director for Hope Church in Wilton, CT for 6 years and loves the women she gets to serve! She thrives on seeing a woman’s faith grow and come alive through the reading and study of God’s Word.
When she isn’t serving at her church, she is  teaching horseback riding to children, most of whom have special needs. She is a PATH certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor since 2011 and loves seeing the children come to life on the back of a horse!

Seizing Resurrection Power

Resurrection Power

What looks without light in your life?

What looks buried over so much that you are convinced is impossible to dig out? 

If you came up with nothing, think deeper. What is it you believe you can’t do?

Remember this thing. 

I am face-to-face with impossible these days. What I want to do, I have tried to do, yet no matter what, I just can’t seem to do it. To make matters worse, the problem sources within me. If it was others – their circumstances, problems or things – those wouldn’t be so offensive, you know, you can more easily brush those off, but what is internal it feels eternal sometimes.

Sure, I said I have forgiven, but truly forgiving is hard when someone keeps on offending.  It is hard when you feel abandoned and ignored. It is hard when those feelings rise to the surface and make you remember stuff.

So I go deep…

I cover my irritation in the darkness, but there it sits.
The pain was a time ago, but irritation sits heavy.
The relationship waits, and I lay immobile to feelings.
The rock lays over me, and I am closed up into myself.
I am tightly wrapped, in my own thoughts about how things should go.
I can’t breathe, I feel upset at myself for not being able to move on.

I feel like I am stuck in a hole. A deep, unscalable, deathly, waterless hole.

But, here is the kicker – so is Jesus.
And, here is the double kicker – he rose from it and will raise you up too! 

In the tomb, where you feel dead,
Christ is ready to rise up in you – to make you alive.

In the tomb where all things seem lost, 
Christ already won that battle.

It is called resurrection power!

“But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb…and did not find the body.” (Luke 24:2-3)
Resurrection power!

“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” (Titus 3:5) Resurrection power!

“He is not here, He is risen.” (Mark 16:6)
Resurrection power!

What looks dead, comes alive.
What seems impossible, becomes possible.
What seems unbearable, becomes bearable.
What seems hopeless, finds hopefulness.

What is it for you that looks dead, dank and dying before you?

Jesus is raising it up to new life. By his stripes you are healed and by his resurrection a new answer to your situation is being revealed.

Jesus both tells and asks you something. Something pointed, like he did to Martha not so long ago, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Do you believe this?

See your situation and believe this verse over it. Grab it like a lifeline. Call it yours.

As you do, he will lift you up out of the pit. You simply: 1.)hand it over to him 2.) let his resurrecting forgiveness wash over it and 3.) feel the promises clean your shame-soaked body.

Here’s what happens – He saturates it with so much light, it nearly blinds you to what was of old. Then, as he raises you to new heights, you move from trauma to transformation (and it doesn’t even feel that hard). Why? Because the power of resurrection sinks right into you…

…if only you believe.

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

 Loading InLinkz ...

Waking to the Personal Power of the Cross

Power of the cross

Easter popped up on us this year. I am not prepared. I am not ready.

But, was anyone ready for what was to come? Where the disciples? Was Mary, mother of Christ, ready?

I am sure, none of Christ loved ones were ready to see the son of God, the lamb, the truth, the light, the way, all hope, bread of life and shepherd go.

What did they feel? Was it fear? They did not know what his road held. Sometimes we don’t know what our road holds…

Like them, we want to hold on to Jesus, his all things good- for he is our everything. We want to say, “Jesus stay near, – and let evil stay far. Let us be with you. Give us good, good things!”

We know that he is “called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and we want the fullness of it.

May we know the joy of Jesus, but may we also know his pain. For it is the pain that proves he knows our pain. It is his pain that proves we will one day arrive at gain. And it is through his pain that the whole world, for those who believe are delivered from shame.

May we see, and rely on Christ through:

The mockery: When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Mt. 27:35

The pain: The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe. John 19:2

The cost: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

We will be mocked. We will have pain. There is a cost.

Have we considered this?

Because of the cross, we no longer have to fear what comes to injure us, because Jesus lives in us. If he is in us, his power to overcome is extended to everything we face. Imagine that.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Gal. 2:20

So, today, no matter where our hearts have been this week, or this season, let’s bow down, lay low, praise Jesus and thank him for the sweat, the tears and the willpower to stick it through. Let’s look at his crown-laden, bloodied face – and see his victory just moments away. Let’s see our pain too, and our victory awaiting, because the truth is – through Jesus – we are now truly alive!

For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ,
and Him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:2

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

You No Longer Have to Force Happy

force happy

I ran into a friend today.

She said to me, “If you see my face and I look not as happy, just know it is because some things are hurting right now.”

I loved her honesty. I think she felt like she owed me something though; I think she felt like she had to prove that she, as a Christian, was okay to feel down. It kind of bothered me.

Jesus didn’t say, “Happy face required” to follow me.”

He didn’t say, “Pull yourself together and say what I want to hear.”

He didn’t say, “If you are having a hard time, you can’t be near me.”

He didn’t say, “Isolate yourself in a little bubble of protection if you feed sad.”

On the contrary he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mt. 11:28

Notice, he doesn’t say: I will give you giggles, a smile and a facade that looks all squeeky clean.

Here is what I have to say to you, brothers and sisters today, who are struggling:

  1. It is okay to feel down, Jesus can handle it.
  2. It is okay to wonder the whens, whys and hows – and to bring them to the Lord.
  3. It is okay to tell us you are struggling, we often are too.
  4. It is okay to say you need time away to pray; God will show up.
  5. Greater is God than your greatest weakness.
  6. God is mighty to save you from anything and everything.
  7. Deep learning is in the deep reflection found through pain.
  8. Trials that peel away self, so we find self looking a whole lot more like Christ.
  9. Jesus suffered. He gets you and your pain.
  10. There is no kind of bad attitude that will push God away from you.

Keep going.

Keep loving.

Keep surrendering.

He has you.

Keep abiding.

Keep asking.

Keep listening.

He will not abandon you.

Keep pressing on.

Keep moving your feet.

Keep trusting by faith. 

He sees you.

Days will pass, emotions will ride out – and before you know it – you  will be in a new season.

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