Purposeful Faith

Category - Contentment

Finding true contentment

Jesus Saves, Again and Again

I say this sometimes to my kid: “If mommy and daddy had all the kids of the world in front of us, and we had to choose one, we would search and search until we found you. We examine every kid face-to-face, looking far and wide FOR YOU. And, we’d keep going until you were safe in our arms. And, when we found you, we’d pick you and keep you forever as our own.”

My friend in Christ, Jesus did that very thing — for you.

He wants you.

He chose you “before the creation of the world…in love.” (Eph. 1:4) Though (Jesus) was rich (in Heaven), for your sake he became poor (by coming to this earthly world)…to make you rich (see: 2 Corinthians 8:9). He chose you, then He found you. Without an ounce of your proving, defending or trying, He died for you, while you were a sinner. (see: Ro. 5:8) A Savior came to save you.

Going right for your heart, Jesus searched you and called you in by dying for you on the cross. He wants you.

Consider: We don’t save someone we don’t want. We don’t go to the lengths of injury and pain to rescue someone we deem worthless. We don’t enter a slum-land, forgoing riches, unless we figure the mission is so critical, it’s worth the risk.

Apparently, you’re worth the risk to God. You, (insert your name here), are worth the conquest. You’re worth Jesus’ pain and suffering. You’re worth the shame He endured. You are chosen, wanted and saved. Delivered and loved.

Your worth is not because you proved yourself good, or holy or righteous, or perfect, or beautiful or all-together, or worthy, but it’s simply because Jesus is worthy. The same is true for us today.

Worthy is the lamb who was slain! He proved: Worthy is our calling in our life – if He chose to save it. Worthy, are those we love – if He calls us to do so. Worthy, is His plan, even if sometimes we can’t understand it or don’t believe in it.

Worthy Savior is our King. Saving is His business. He does the work. You don’t merit it by what you do, how holy you sound, or what you prove. All this? It is a point already proven by Jesus on the cross. To prove Jesus’ point is pride.

Power comes when we let Jesus save us, again and again. When the price He paid takes complete ownership of our life.

Friend, if you feel unseen in the midst of your family, if you feel unloved no matter how much you give, if you feel unworthy even though you try so hard, if you feel alone and rejected by man, if you feel hurt and left behind, if you feel neglected by your husband, if you feel you’ll never amount to anything, if you feel down and a little depressed, if you feel worn out from proving…might you consider this?

Jesus, can and will save you today. Savior is His name. There is no daughter, situation, person or issue too far gone for His saving work. Run into His arms; they’re open to you. He doesn’t need anything from you, except a willingness to receive, in order to give you everything.

You are safe in His arms.

Check out Kelly’s new book, Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously.

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Today, Break the Yoke of Your Bondage

The thing about leaks are – they start slow. I’ve had a roof leak before. Imperceptibly, a bit of water makes its way through your roof. At first, you have no idea it is happening. You see nothing. Until a water spot appears. Left unattended, that water spot becomes a drip. Unchecked still, it floods from ceiling to wood floor.

Disappointment starts as a leak until discouragement comes like a flood.

I thought along these same lines as I tried to detangle my daughter’s hair the other day. Because I hadn’t attended to her knots daily, now her hair was a woolen blanket, 1-inch thick of a knotted mess. Whoops. It was torture trying to figure out how to un-knot everything.

Where has disappointment left you with such a knotted mess, you’ve started to believe it’s impossible to untangle?

You know, I did untangle Madison’s hair. May I encourage you today? Jesus is the de-tangler to EVERY SINGLE problem we face.

If it is written, “For nothing is impossible with God…” (Lu. 1:37) then, nothing is impossible with God.

If it is written, “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. . . (Ro. 8:37)” then, we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.

Let us not look at the flood and miss the remedy. Or at the tangles and miss the detangler.

There is no power of hell, no scheme of man, no day of old and no mindset of fear that can’t be fixed by the fullness of Jesus’ saving power. I am sick and tired of dwelling in defeat. Are you?

Today is the day it must go. Why? Because Jesus paid a price so that we could ditch that kind of gunk. And, if He paid for it with blood and nails, embarrassment and injury, then I am not going to try to steal it back from him. It doesn’t belong to me.

Christ paid the price to free us from the curse that the laws in Moses’ Teachings bring by becoming cursed instead of us. Gal. 3:13

Today, I want to speak over us, people who are a royal priesthood and a holy nation (1 Pet. 2:9), a new word: God is for us! Whatever lie of old, device of defeat, or insult-of-yesterday that is speaking over that, must now talk to Jesus.  Because, by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Gal. 5:1).

Let’s pray:

Father God, we will NOT stand for things that compete against you. We will not cower down, fear or walk away from you because things, people, disappointments or injuries try to tell us you are not good. We thank you that your goodness is as solid as gold.  Your faithfulness is as strong as ever and your plan, which is entirely beneficial to our souls, will prevail. We get near to you and ask you right now to remove disappointment, discouragement, and defeat from us, right now. We give these things to you and, in return, accept your healing, your peace, your fullness, and your guidance. We thank you for the new thing you are about to do in our life. We will not let insults or injuries steal the work you did for us on the cross. We are yours, entirely. Bitterness has no place in us. You are our protector. We don’t need to look to man to give us what we think we need because we have you. And, that’s enough. You’re enough. We praise you today for the gift that is your healing, heart, and help. In Jesus all-powerful, alive and active name, Amen.

 

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How Assumptions Can Injure You

Give. That’s what I do when I meet with people. They ask to meet. I link up with them. And, usually, then they ask me: 1. How to write and get published 2. How they can stop feeling afraid, held captive or stuck  3. How to start writing … Or, they just unload and tell me their whole-life story.

Rarely, do people ask about – me. Which I am okay with. On good days, I say to myself: God, it’s not all about me; it’s all about you. And, God, with beauty, shows up through me, for them. I love seeing Him work.

But, on this particular day, I felt tired. After having a couple of long-winded meetings with people who unloaded everything without any reciprocal questions, I felt like taking a break. So, when a random woman asked me for coffee I did some things that were COMPLETELY un-Christian author-like: I delayed our get-together a couple of weeks. Then, when she contacted me – I entirely ignored her text. Both the first one. And the second one, days later.

Then, she called.

And, before you know it, I was sitting in front of her on the patio of a coffee shop. Instinctually and internally, I was prepared to help her with all her needs, wants and dreams. I leaned in and said, “Tell me about you. . . ”

But, as we carried our conversation on…

It was as if she didn’t want anything from me. Shocking.
It was as if she was there just because God wanted her to be. Again. Shocking.
It was as if she wanted to see what God was up to. Kelly, prepare to be shocked.
I let down my guard and then shared a message God put on my heart of late: one of resting with Him.

She looked at me and said something like, “That’s it! That’s why God put you and I together. He told me this morning that I was supposed to give this bracelet to you.”

She took it off and slid it on my wrist.

And continued on, “In morse code it says on this bracelet the words ‘Be Still’.”

And boom! Right then and there, God broke the ice I didn’t even realize was surrounding my heart.

In a breakthrough moment, arrow-like messages hit my soul, saying:

Be still, Kelly. What morse-code messages I plan to send you, you can’t receive if you’re assuming.
Be still, Kelly. I see what is on your heart; I care for you also.
Be still, Kelly. It is not your work, but mine.
Be still, Kelly. I have a friend you’ve been looking for in this woman.

I easily could have ignored this meeting. In fact, I was positioned to do just that. I thank God I didn’t let assumptions ultimately get in the way. I would have lost so many laughs, a future prayer-partner and being with a woman of wisdom.

God, pour out a grace on me and the readers of this page. I ask that we not judge or assume things about people. If we hold our finger, like a log, in front of only one of our opened eyes, Father, we cannot fully see. This is what its like when we assume. From a limited vantage point, we speak limiting words and limit our future. Help us not to do this. Help us not to miss all the hidden morse-code messages you want our hearts to receive. Let not, fear and judgment hold us back from you, God. Our past does not predict how you are presently moving. Give us eyes to see. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:11-12)

 

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I Size People Up

When I sat down on my porch, I looked up. A little spider connected to his web was hanging down a little bit over me.

Why harm him? He’s just sitting there. He looks dead, anyway…

I continued on with God, reading, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (Romans 1:17)

I thought about groups of people who desperately try to earn God’s favor: through works, through trying to be enough and through focusing on all they are not, rather than focusing on who Christ has made them to be.

Maybe they aren’t really, saved.

No sooner did I think this, than I felt an itch on my back. Something crawling up my neck. I flew out of my chair! Looked up! The spider was gone. Now, he was crawling up my neck.

God nudged me: “Kelly, be careful what and who you judge. That’s the enemy’s grounds.”

He’s right. The enemy is master accuser. Jesus is Master Advocate.

God, where else have I judged?

You judge when you think:

  • Maybe these people are not believers if they think ____.
  • At least I am better off than her. I don’t ____.
  • This person has nothing to offer me.
  • I can forgive this person because “what they went through” in their past.  (As if I am in charge of deeming whether they’re worthy enough for forgiveness)
  • I can’t forgive because ___ hasn’t (changed, said sorry, shown remorse, given me a good enough reason).
  • This person will not be blessed because of how they are acting.
  • If only they would ____, then ____.

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Lu. 6:37)

I don’t have to know it all to know that God is the only one in charge. God is the only heart-reader. God is the only knower of intentions. God is the only discerner of motives. God is the master and I am a girl – solely given responsibility for one thing, herself (and loving others).

When I get overly-focused on other people and what they’re doing, I get myself tangled up into a web that’s nearly impossible to get out of.

God, help me not to judge what I know nothing about. And, help me not size up what only you have a handle on. Give me eyes to see where I need you, more than where others are falling short. Give me eyes to cast aside thoughts that keep me from understanding your grace, love and mercy. Help me to love others as you do. Help me to see the best in them, rather than their lack. Pour out grace on my judgment. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Intimate Words from a Father

I love how God wants to speak to us, intimately. Through prayer, I have gotten such a glimpse for his heart for me, for you and for all we are facing.

This is how I believe God might want to speak, personally to you today… Oh, how I hope these words and bible verses speak to the deep of you!

My child,

What you cannot see, I can. I know the plans I have for you – for prospering – and not for harming you. What would it look like for you to really trust me? To lean on me? To know me?

(Kelly’s response: I guess, God, it would look like me: seeing you in all things, choosing to ask for help, waiting on you, and having a willing heart to change).

Daughter, I know your path. I see the end goal and how I’ll get you there. If you will follow me, all these things will be added onto you. Truly, you come into what you most want, when you most want me.

(My response: God, will you help me to most want you?)

It is a joy to teach you. But, like a child with their hands over their ears, I can’t give what you won’t let in. Will you be willing to hear me in new ways?

(My response: God, I need your help. I want to.)

I am a good teacher. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. With my loving eye upon you: I will not fail you. Hold my hand. Follow me. There is increase for you. I am the creator of all things. Imagine what I can create in your life. Don’t rule out my goodness. If I sent Jesus to die for you, how much more will I do for you?

Lean on me. It’s okay to relax on my strength. You can trust me to hold you up. To equip you. To engage your heart in a tender way that changes you. I am good to you. In me, you’ll find rest.

(My response: Yes, God, I want that. I really do. I want to know and love you more. May you pour out the grace for me to draw near to your heart.)

Love,

Your daddy

Bible Verses to Ponder:

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Ps. 32:8)

Whoever has ears, let them hear. (Mt. 11:15)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

He has said: “This is the place of rest, let the weary rest; this is the place of repose.” But they would not listen. (Is. 28:12)

 

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Learn more about Kelly’s new book, Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously.

Mom, You’re Fat

She said (with all the wisdom that 5-years brings a girl): “Mom, how come other moms have bodies that go straight-down? And, you’ve got a body that goes out on the sides? Your back side is big too.”

I said: “Hmm…Madison, that’s true. Some moms do have bodies that go straight down.”

She said: “Mommy, you’re fat.”

I said: “Oh really?”

I fretted: Maybe I really am – fat?

Yes. My sides are bigger. My hips are larger. My silhouette is more pear-shaped than stick-shaped. She’s right about that. In this moment, I almost wanted to rush to the mirror to check myself out. Maybe I’d become disillusioned about own figure? Perhaps I was a whole lot bigger than I’d realized. I do see myself every day. Those kinds of things can inch-up on a woman.

She said: “Mommy, what made you fat?”

How does one answer this…?

I made me – fat?
God made me – look fat?
I am not – fat?

Here, I thought back to how she didn’t want me to hug her in class the other day. She pushed me away. Was it because — I’m fat? Maybe I need to go on a workout plan. Maybe I need to stop those afternoon ice-cream digs for peanut butter cups. Maybe I need to walk some more…

And then reality hit me, much like her words: God could care less about fat. Indeed, He wants me to love His temple, but, where man looks at our outsides; God looks at our heart.

“For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)

“Madison,” I said. “God made us all shapes and sizes. He loves all of us the same. It is not how we look that makes us lovable, better or more valuable, but Christ inside of us that makes us special.”

Who knows if I got through to her. It’s a scary thing to send a girl out in this raging pressure-filled world. But, perhaps, I can get through to you and me today…

Here are my thoughts about this:

  1. We’re not a product of our pants-size, but the product of God’s love dwelling inside.
  2. We’re not conformed to the image of this world, but we’re being transformed into the beautiful likeness of Christ.
  3. Grace abounds.  If we need help, He who IS help has more than enough help to help us.
  4. Internal or external insults can’t stick to us when we’re covered by the full acceptance, love, and approval of Jesus.
  5. Jesus is not in the business of weighing us, He’s in the business of pouring out the full weight of His love on us.

In God’s love, even if there’s an extra 5 or 50 pounds we need to shed, we remain: wanted, love, kept, desired, approved of, accepted, valuable and full of Jesus.  God looks at us with love; He doesn’t spend one ounce of time hating our outsides. And, if He doesn’t, why should we?

You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. (Song of Solomon 4:7)

Is weight a battle for you? Or, are you going through a different kind of battle in your life? A battle of discouragement, disappointment, frustration, loneliness, fear, worry or doubt? You may be interested in reading my latest book, “Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously.” Many women have found liberation, restoration, renewal and life-change from its pages. I believe, God will do a mighty work as you read it. XOXO!  Check it out today!

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Only God Can Change A Heart

I feel convicted. It is easy to read God’s word and to say, “Yep, that thing right there is what I need to do…”. Yet it is quite another thing to do it. It is easy to develop a three-step plan for improvement, but it is hard to see it through. It is easy to remind yourself of all the ways you really need to change. And then to never find change.

At home, as a mom, I’ve recognized 3 things that need to change:

1. I give in to my children when they ask repeatedly for something.

2. I desperately avoid paths of resistance to keep everyone happy.

3. I have a hard time setting boundaries because I feel guilty.

Friends, I guess I feel a little angry at myself that I haven’t changed these things already. That I haven’t recognized them and reworked them. That I still struggle. That I cause issues at home sometimes. That I can’t stand it when people feel unhappy or angry at me.

I know I am wrong; I am a pushover. I am disappointed in myself.

Maybe you feel like me; disappointed in how you are, what you are doing or where you are today. Maybe you’ve told yourself you’re going to stop cussing, start praying or you’re 100% going to speak nicely now. Or that you’re going to get yourself to where you want to go.

Are we justified to feel this way? To “get our self where we want to go”? To “work up” some sort of inner-heart conversion?

Only God can change a heart.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36: 26-27)

Notice:
– God gives us a new heart.

– By his work, he removes the stone.

– The Spirit, in us, moves us to follow God’s decrees and laws.

Only by a work of God can we work-out any real and lasting life change.

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Ps. 127:1

So where does this leave us? In prayer and with faith.

God will complete the good work He has begun in us. (Phil. 1:6) We no longer need to be angry at ourselves but 100% trustworthy in the Saviors saving work, that is at work within us.

 

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The Power of Our Words

My mom was visiting from another state. Because of this, I had the whole day planned out. We’d take bike rides (she loves biking), via the scenic route and then stop off at a waterside hotel. The day would be perfect, or so I thought…

Finally, the special day arrived. Mom and I sat down at the waterfront restaurant. Although we only had a limited amount of time to eat, because she was flying out soon, we thought we could make the restaurant work.

The waitress approached and, in summary, said, “It is an issue you all are here. We don’t open until later. I could see if they could get you some food, but you really have to tell me what it is you want. What sandwiches would you want?”

We told her the options we were interested in.

“What about something less difficult? A salad?”

We gave her a few more options.

She went on, “I really need to know what you want because it is going to take me about 10 minutes to walk up three flights of stairs to get an answer from the chefs on this. And they just finished up making breakfast. And they may need to know which things you want so we can figure out what you can have and what you can’t.”

With every unleashed detail of her backstory, the more I felt like a burden. I wish we weren’t here. Maybe we should just go. She seems frustrated. I don’t want to cause an issue.

Yet, as she continued on…I started to think of how I often am just like her. If I have a hard day, I tend to tell my husband the hundred and one things that led up to it. If I’m talking with a friend and want to share an issue, I also convey the nitty gritty annoyances that were included in it, even if it takes a while to convey.

Yet, I don’t believe grace talks like the waitress or I tend do. Grace doesn’t unleash every negative line, every belabored detail, every issue, every complaint, every trauma. Grace considers the ear of the listener. It is a blessing to the hearer, rather than a drain on them.

This doesn’t mean that the tough-stuff didn’t happen (the 3 flights of stairs, the 10-minute walk, the little hiccups during the day); it means love chooses to leave the person feeling built-up, rather than bummed-out after the talk.

How? You ask yourself 3 things before you talk:

1. Will it profit the listener if I speak this?

2. Would Jesus talk like this?

3. Do my words honor God?

I don’t point out the waitress to judge her, but to learn a little bit more of how I act myself. I’m learning: Words of grace often don’t include every painful detail. They get to the heart of the story in a way that still honors and uplifts the listener, at almost all costs.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Eph. 4:29

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The Heart of Christ

If Jesus was to write a note to you, here is what I think He might say:

It was a hard fight, but well worth it. I have you now. To pay the price for you, was my honor. To go those lengths for you, was important to me. To not give up on you, is actually part of my DNA. I don’t give up on daughters. I don’t forsake those I love. I can’t.

And, I never will. This is why, I want you to know, dear daughter, that you can trust my promises. I did not make them to break them. I did not come to earth and say things to never follow through.

“God is not a man, that He should lie…” (Nu. 23:19)

My character is not disappointment, abandonment or rejection. If you’re living those things, can I tell you something? That is not of me. If it is not “of me” why are you carrying it?

You can give those things to me right now and banish them in you. Just as I absorbed every nail, I can absorb your every pain, trauma or feeling that has captured you for far too long. I’ll take it all for you. My body was broken, so that your’s might find healing.

“And by (my) stripes[c]  (you are) healed.” (Is. 53:5)

I carried what you were never meant to carry, so that you might live life abundantly.

“I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (Jo. 10:10)

Can you see? What I have for you?

I really am as good as you hope I am. You don’t have to be scared that I am not as good as you wish I am. Or, act pious so that you can finally feel like you’ve earned or warranted attention, accolades or affirmation. This is not the way of love. This is the way of conditional love. That is not of me.

I have unconditionally laid down my life so that you, as a child of God, could unconditionally rest in my gift of grace.  If you’ve never done that before, today is your day. Come and hear more about who I really am.

I wait for you…

Love,

Jesus

 

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A Note About You

May the words I believe Father God would love to speak to you — may they unshake the deep places of your heart and speak life to you (don’t miss all the verses at the end of it too) …

Dear child,

You are mine. Always. From the very beginning, you were mine. Before I fashioned the earth, you were mine. I thought of you. knew you then and I know you now. I take delight to think of you. I get excited when you want to draw near to me. I find pleasure in your presence with me. I am not afraid of your realities. Nor do I want to run away from them or tell you that, when you bear them, they are too much. I find interest in your interests.

Who do you think I am?

I always have your best in mind. Being over it all, I see it all, know it all and handle it all. Even what you can’t understand, will one day come to light before your eyes. Then, you’ll understand. Then, it will all make sense. You will come to see I am good.

Did you know, you can choose to trust that now?

It brings me pleasure when you do. It pleases me when you trust me by choice. When, in uncertainty, you ask your questions. When you follow me, even though you don’t know, really, where you are going. I am not thrown off when you are thrown off. I am not distant because you’ve been. I won’t ditch you because you haven’t done everything – just right. I am better than that.

Do you know who I AM?

Receive my grace in a time of need. Accept my hand of help. Trust that when you are weak I am strong.

I always believe in you. Because I see Christ in you. His goodness is my righteousness. I put that inside of you.

Do you realize what this means?

Who can stand against you, when Christ is in you? What can topple you when the light of the world is your core? Dwell on these kinds of things and you will find strength. Consider me, empowering you and you will become strong.

I know, at times, the going has been tough. It was that way for Jesus too. But, just as He didn’t give up, don’t you give up either.

Love,
Your daddy…who cares so much more than you know.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jer. 1:5)

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zeph 3:17)

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)

“I have been crucified with Christ; 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 for me.” (Gal. 2:20)

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