Purposeful Faith

Category - Love & Health

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10 Ways: Be there for Someone Dealing With Hard Times

no way

Just yesterday, I met up with a friend. She’s stuck in a foreign prison. She can’t find her way out. Jesus saved her for heaven, but on earth, she nearly lives daily in hell. Depression, despair and dejection have claimed her.

When I got home, she was all I could think about. The way her tears broke down her face, the way her heart was spread out on the table and the way it seemed there was no way out.

I wish I had been there for her more.

We live is in a world of hurt; there is no denying that. And, where I sit is in a chair,  angry, I can’t fix things. I can’t rework their lives. I can’t restructure the story or rewind the tape. Oh, how badly I want to get up like a super-genie with blonde hair, an explosive attitude, with a good sprinkle of Jesus, and just swipe away the pain, as if I’m sending them back to those smiling pictures of old.  I want them to go – back there.

But, I can’t swipe it all away. I can’t swear it away.  I can’t superwoman it away either.

Here pain stands.

And so do I.

What will I do this time?

What will you?

Because the pain of the world isn’t going anywhere. And neither are needy people. Here we all are. Look left, you’ll see her – in the wheelchair. Look right, you’ll remember, yes, that person, who lost their spunky 30-year old spouse. Look across the street, you’ll see him, the dad with tired eyes and a drug addict child.

See what you try not to see, today.

They walk everywhere. I guess the real question is, what will we do? Will we continue on with our day or will we step in to a new way?

10 Ways to Be There For Someone Going through a Hard Time

  1. Realize you are just as needy. Think you don’t have problems? Think again. Meet your neediness first.
  2. Soften your heart. Let your covering of to-do’s fall to the ground. Let judgements go. See afresh.
  3. Smile. Smile at yourself because today, you are choosing to go a new way. Who you abandoned in the past, is forgiven by Christ Jesus.
  4. Ask God for His eyes to see.
  5. Recognize. What you think needs fixing, God may think is down-right astonishing when seen from the angle of his great plan.
  6. Don’t be a Mrs. or Mr. Fix it or Madam Know-it-all. Refuse to allow pride to break the stride of God’s perfect love and timing.
  7. Be. Be in the moment with your own feelings and emotions. Listen from this place and love in that space.
  8. Pray with all your heart, then act as the Holy Spirit leads.
  9. Expect the Lord to be faithful through your prayers. Even more, expect him to grow you along the way.
  10. Enjoy. Enjoy what the Lord is doing, even if it looks nothing like you thought.

A weird thing happens as you love, you find out God is loving you. He gives back what you are giving and he gives out what the other person’s soul most quenches. All of a sudden, what happens is you – and them – are unified. It is not about pity, judgement or charity, it is about two souls in need, hungering and seeking for more. Drawing strength, building hope and seeking rescue. It is a beautiful thing. It is God in action. It is – lives – coming alive. And – it is never too late to find.

Order Kelly’s powerful book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, today!

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

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10 Question Quiz: Do You Block God’s Love?

Block God's Love

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.

Christians aren’t always good children. It’s not because we aren’t loved, adored and chosen, we completely are, but it’s mostly because we grew up.

I’ve been meeting a lot of children of God in need lately, but when he tries to use me to love them, they shut it down.

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 a 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.

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 that we see all the ways he is trying to love us. What is important is that we let this love in, so we can let this very love out.

God wants us to sit at his feet and feel his love. He wants us to grow in community. He wants us to receive the glorious inheritance of his riches, which often walks into our life through the other body parts of Christ. He wants us to stand in need, so we see that he can stop what is making us bleed.

10 Questions to ask yourself: Are you not receiving God’s love?

Do you let his love in?
Do you embrace what God is offering you?
Do you make time to sit next to God?
Do you listen?
Do you remember God’s goodness?
Do you notice God through your day?
Do you seek spiritual eyes to see?
Do you trust by faith?
Do you push off distraction?
Do you renew your mind when it gets off track?

Order Kelly’s powerful book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, today!

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

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

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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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…

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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…

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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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When The Other Girl Has it All

Has it All

Eyes trying to peep over the counter, they stood on tippy-toes. They were close, yet far enough the glass window preventing them from grabbing it. No touching allowed! They watched, as she ladled on the batter, shaped it, then carefully added the chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham crackers. Like pent up children ready to bust into Christmas, they knew, I knew – something monumental was about to happen. Yet, I also knew WWIII might breakout…

The second the gigantic crepe was in their hand, I heard it,
“Mine, mine, mine.”

He watched, she took a bite, “My bite wasn’t as big as hers!”

She watched, yelling, “He got 2 bites.”

He ripped it a chunk as quickly as he could.

So did she.

He looked at us with frustration, “Why can’t I have more.”

She grabbed it and stared right at him, “Look what I have.”

They were so honed in on what the other had,
they  missed what they had.

So focused on the other’s portion,
they missed the chance to enjoy theirs.

So eager to win in the moment, they ruined it.

How often do we sour our sweet moments?

God, you should have given that to me. Why does she have the voice and the brains? Why don’t my kids act like that? How come every door is open for her to walk through? Why did she get the promotion and I didn’t? When will it be my turn? Why do I have to be the heavier one?

We sour sweet moments when we believe God hands us second-best.

I sat in church today. Up on the screen, they announced the women’s conference of all women’s conference. They showed the speakers perfect smiling faces, they highlighted their glorified messages, their idealized lives and their heart to bring Jesus to stadium-filled masses. Why aren’t I the model spokesperson for Jesus? I wanted their shoes.

They soured my sweetness.

The good in me went rancid.

My husband whispered,“Kelly, are you going to that event?”

“No way,” I whispered. “I am far too jealous.”

I didn’t want to go off.

Because I’ve come to see… women who walk with unaddressed sin are walking time bombs. As time passes, something ticks them off.  And it is never pretty.

I don’t want to live exploding jealousy, but exploding love.

So, when I see even the smallest elements, I stop. I just shut it all down – and look. I look for Jesus.  And, what I’ve come to see is he leads me, Willy Wonka-style, not into a big chocolate vat – but into the waves of my heart.

When you, first, seek Jesus’ heart, you find yours.

New rhythms of humanity surface. I see humans just like me. I see different missions for different children. I see that other’s great callings in no way diminish mine.  I see a daddy meeting me in the gap, with love. I see it all. When I invite Jesus in.

What has soured your sweetness?

Is it a neighbor who is a little show-offy?
A colleague who always does right?
A winner who never loses?
A beautiful gal who, you figure, is BFF with the mirror?
An outgoing one who has it all together?
A successful one who is at the top of the charts?
A relationship you are not a part of?

I think about that crepe again. From another angle, it truly could have represented sugar cubes. That is how sweet it was. But, my kids enjoyed it as much as rock soup.

Jealousy steals our sweetest blessings, so we can’t even see them. 

It’s often, not that we don’t have, but that we just don’t see.

What we do see, though, is the girl on the left and the right. Eyes glued, we analyze her clothes, beauty, success and everything else. Then, jealousy speaks up louder – it speaks vile. Chit-chat, that’s mean. Comparison, that’s damaging. Actions, that scar people. Not only that, but it drives us right by God’s plan.

We look back and say, “Where did God go?”

Well, we left him 4 blocks back, nearly right before we hit the lamppost on the side of the road.

Jealousy is crash-route for Christians. Ride or die – baby!

God, though, in his mercy, is something else; He is Savior. He offers us guardrails so we don’t crash. They’ve saved me a time or two.

4 Guardrails for Jealous Hearts:

– Realize:  All relationships are permissible, but not all relationships are profitable. If someone is gossipy or comparison-oriented, it may be time to step back.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive. 1 Cor. 10:23

– Pray: If you lift a person up, instead of critiquing them, you might find you start to love them. You’ll see purpose arise out of hatred.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil. 2:3-4

– Submit: Lay down and see the height of your Father’s love for you. If you believe he is Creator, don’t you believe he will create something amazing on your behalf?
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. Jo. 10:27

– Admire: If you can’t deal with girl’s God-shining glory on earth how will you endure God’s numero-uno glory in heaven? You don’t want to look like a fallen angel who can’t handle God’s glory, do you? Choose to admire his glory – in others – today so you can bask in it tomorrow.

Your sweetness is not found at the end of the yellow brick roads, friend, it is found at the end of yourself and the start of the Father that cannot contain his love for you. Get yourself there and your heart will get right.

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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?

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10 Ways God Loves You More Than You Know

God Loves You

We sat on those stairs – five siblings, with a serious itch to take-off. Our high-pitched anxious voices said it all, we wanted to move into the living room like energetic bulls on parade. You see, what laid on the other side of the hall wall was what dreams were made of. On the other side of that wall wait perfectly wrapped, beautifully adorned – Christmas gifts and the power of Jesus unleashed.

Joy. Love. Peace. Smiles. Laughs. Cheers. It was all there and we could all – nearly taste it.

Our parents always made us wait, though. Wait for the pictures to be taken. Wait for coffee to percolate. Wait to hear the Christmas story. Wait to make sure everyone had good “picture-clothes” on.

Sometimes, the wait is agonizing.

Some days, I feel like I live on those stairs again and again. It’s like I know joy is on the other side of a wall, but I just can’t get there. I have to wait. I have to wait for life to happen. I have to wait for others to improve. I have to wait to be more Christ-like. I have to wait for my prayers to be answered.

Truth is, I want to bust into the fullness of God. I want to cross-over to the complete joy of Jesus, as if I am experiencing the joy of Christmas every single day. I don’t want to wait; I want God’s peace, life and grace to surround me. I want to enter his gates with thanksgiving in a powerful way. I want to run into each day, expecting to unwrap God’s glory.

Why do I have to wait?

As I consider this question, I also consider the fact Jesus never said, “Joy to the World only on Christmas” nor did he say, “My peace I leave you – only on good days.”

God speaks goodness over me. To me, I imagine it sounding like:

“She is full equipped with my joy.”

“Through the abundance of my love,
she can walk everyday in peace.”

“My love endures.”

And, somehow, I feel like dropping everything and running to open the riches of God’s Word – one by one. I want to see what else, what other encouragement God speaks over my heart. Here’s what I uncover:

1. God’s affection lasts for me – forever. He is always good. (Psalm 100:5)

2. His love, uncontaminated and unblemished, knocks fear down. (1 Jo. 4:18)

3. He adores me. I am his loved daughter (1 Jo. 3:1)

4. He doesn’t love only sometimes, a little, on occasion, randomly, now and then, no. He loves lavishly. (1 Jo. 3:1)

5. He sees my pain, my suffering, my injury. He essentially says, “Those ones, I love them so much, I will die for them.” (Ro. 5:8)

6. God nearly cries with our cries. He understands our turmoil. (1 Jo. 4:9)

7. He gives us, Christians, the right to eat from the tree of life, in paradise. (Rev. 2:7)

8. He chooses me, not because I am great, but because he is good. He has good plans to use me for his glory. (1 Pet. 2:9)

9. He won’t let anyone, no way, no how, snatch us out of his hand. We are his and he wants us. (Jo. 10:28)

10. He takes us and makes us more than ourselves, making us more and more holy, until we look a whole lot like him. (Jo. 10:28)

And, what my heart runs, straight into, is the idea – God is wonderful. He is my greatest gift. I can open up a part of him everyday. And, somehow, with this, it seems like I am experiencing Christmas all over again.

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When People Are Disgusting

When People Are Disgusting

When you have toddlers, you have to make a lot of trips to the bathroom. It’s never too fun either. Public bathrooms ARE ENEMY #1!

So, when I walked in and saw a lady doing what I am about to tell you, my stomach turned. It flipped and flopped and, all I can tell you is, my eyes so badly wanted to squint tight, silently telling her, “What the heck are you doing?”

Lined up on the counter were six triangular shaped pieces of toilet paper in a row. Each one of them had blood drenched tips. In her nose were two wads stuck up tight. She pulled them out – more blood.

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This is disgusting! Who does this?

After finally getting dear daughter all set, we pushed out the door and played with the toys right beyond the bathroom door. But, as I sat, God pricked, “Kelly, where is your compassion. What happened to your heart?”

I remembered another woman. She was a bloody woman too. She was so bloody she was legally unclean. She was disgusting, she was deplorable. She was a societal “issue”.

For 12 years she lived like a walking fountain of sickness (Luke 8:43), likely shunned, scorned, and embarrassed. Likely, feeling like she even hated herself. Likely, feeling alone.

Did people even care to know what was wrong with her? Did people hate to see “her issue”?

I am just like them.

Who disgusts you?
What issue do you hate to look at?
What makes you sick?

“And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” (Luke 8:46)

She simply touched his hem, but did you notice what Jesus gave this woman? What he handed out? I have not heard in other places Jesus mention “virtue” as his healing.

Virtue in greek means dunamis.

Dunamis = power & might

Jesus restores not just what outwardly plagues us,
but restores insecurity and worry
with power and might. 

It looks a lot like blood; blood poured out on the cross.

The lowly one healing.
The hated one loving.
The despicable blood moving, transforming, reforming…

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To be like Jesus, we might consider doing the same – extending our strength to the unworthy? God’s kindness leads to repentance, after all (Romans 2:4).

Who do you need to offer virtue to?

What if, when you get brushed against disgusting and despicable, you – strengthened the person?

By:
Hugging them.
Loving them.
Telling them God cares.
Showing your heart.
Explaining that you want to see theirs.
Offering compassion with no strings attached.
Letting your heart come to life…

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I am not saying it will be easy, because the last thing I wanted to do was approach that lady. But, as she walked out the door, head down, and eyes trying to quickly catch my disdain – it is exactly what I wish I would have done. I only wish, I would have stopped her, talked to her, understood her and, maybe even, prayed for her.

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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!

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About Diane Maudsley

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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!

Are you Missing The Point of God’s Word?

Missing The Point

God loves you. Christ loves you.

You may read about it, but do you really know it?

You may remember the stories about it, but do you feel it?

Do you live in a way where love compels you?

Paul says it is one thing “to know”, it is another to experience. 

And I pray that you…(may) grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Eph 3:17-19)

Love surpasses knowledge.  Imagine that.

Often I run after knowledge, as if it will bring me to where I need to go, but only love compels real progress.

Everything that is monumental in God’s Word boils down to love:

Jesus heals. Love.
Jesus dies. Love.
Jesus washes feet. Love.
Jesus teaches. Love.
Jesus guides. Love.
Eternity awaits. Love.

Jesus created experiences, so that people could experience.  Do we?

Some days, I wake up with a task list, a group of verses I must get through, pages I must turn, knowledge to acquire, but, what I have noticed in doing this is, often, an internal pressure builds.  It wars against peace, saying, “Kelly, increase”. Increase in being knowledgable. Increase in know-how. Increase in doing.

Yet, God is peace. He is the only thing that should increase- and his love found in the power of sitting, being and absorbing truth into the very molecules of my existence.

…That I “may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:19)

Word of caution: If you are trying, more than abiding, every time this is a red flag. You likely aren’t getting full of God – you’re probably getting full of yourself.

I see this in myself; when I end up trying to know, I end up failing to grow, but when I let God’s love flow, when I find a new glow.

It is in the seeing, feeling and being that God takes our hands, gently holds it and walks us up to internal healing.

Paul explains to the Ephesians the wealth they will receive from understanding rather than acquiring things of God.

Paul says to know God, rather than just knowing about him is to:

1. Be strengthened with his power (Eph. 3:16)
2. Dwell (or Exist) with Christ in faith (Eph. 3:17)
3. Move with the power to understand (Eph. 3:16)
4. Experience love (Eph. 3:18)
5. Bask in the depths of this love (Eph. 3:17)
6. Be full of life (Eph. 3:19)

Living like this means living no longer running on low, just trying to find new gas to feel good. It means walking into the immersive waters of grace and laying down, knowing that with God, he will protect, guard and keep your life stable in everything that is him.

God’s love is with you.
He is patient;
his leadings are kind.
Not so you can boast,
walk proud,
find honor,
or find fame (1 Cor. 13:4-6).

He knows, this kind of love does not endure.

God is patient,
seeing past wrongs,
not envisioning anger
or keeping bad records (1 Cor. 13:4-6).

His love endures forever (1 Chron. 16:34).

God delights when you let truth takes root in your heart.
He rejoices over his love within.
For you rising up from it.
Protecting.
Trusting.
Hoping.
Persevering (1 Cor. 13:4-6).

So sink down to where love is risky and then just wade in the trust of #God. 

Then you’ll start looking like him.

You know what matters most: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:13)

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