Purposeful Faith

Tag - life

How God is Helping You Work Problems Out

God is Helping You

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

You may think one of three things:

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

On all three counts, you’d be right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe today is the day we do.

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

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What’s Blocking you from Christ?

Blocking you

The boy stood there. Between him and the time of his life – was glass.

blocking you

To move on to new adventure, he had to let go of reservations and fears and find a way around what stopped him. He had to submit to Father’s way, so he could find his way. 

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Often we get stopped. All the same, we peer out, uncertain about how to proceed, how to claim joy. We see the barrier – our fears, rejections and worries.

God doesn’t see barriers. God sees perfectly. He sees us. He sees our way. It’s crystal clear.

What is holding you back? Stop, and really consider this. It could make all the difference to your life.

Are you proceeding with the God
who removes barriers?

Or are you proceeding straight into a glass window
that gets you nowhere?

Here’s a quick test to tell…

Do you think:

  1. With God, all things are possible. He will do what he will do, but no matter what he will get me through.OR
  2. I’ve got to make a way or I’ll be left and standing here watching my dream take-off. I’ll be forgotten and worried and never to be loved.

We need add nothing to the perfect work of God.

Have you been adding stuff?
Stress? Anxiety? Plans? Opinions? A controlling spirit? Doubt?

 I consider myself a know-it-all on this subject matter, for good reason, I bang my head on the window of my own self-preservation, self-seeking and self-righteousness all the time. But, here’s the kicker – when I do, when I actually turn around to find him –  He is there. And, I find joy.

Mercy abounding, he waits. Love untainted, he restores his daughter. Grace unfolding, I access new hope.

He gives me a one-way ticket to new adventure and calling in Him, when I finally “re-turn.”

Do you feel too far gone – to get back?

Let me remind you of something important: the perfect Savior saves the imperfect people. This is the bottom line of the gospel.  That’s me! That’s you!

Even more, the perfect savior empowers imperfect people. Imagine that!

That’s me! That’s you!

All that is required is, us, simple folk, like lost prodigal children, just “re-turn.”  No shame about this friends, every disciple had to do it.

Will you?

God breaks the glass standing between us
and Him when we let him.

The weary get rest.
The tired get blessed.
Anxieties are less.
There is clarity to see.

Where we believe we could never go, God takes us. It isn’t by our efforts, for there was no way we could climb over the issues ourselves, but – with God – he can do it.

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When Mistakes Get You Down

Mistakes Get You Down

I am delighted to welcome Dr. Stacy Haynes from Gloucester County Community Church to this Women’s Ministry Monday guest post series. Her words bring life and encouragement to my heart.

Post by: Dr. Stacy Haynes

Sometimes as a wife and a mother, I reflect too much on the mistakes I have made in my past. I think about the days when maybe I am not as nice as I should be to my husband or I respond to my children in a short tone.

There are moments that I feel guilty about, as a mother and wife.  Then God reminds me of many examples of women in the Bible and the past mistakes they had made in their walk with the Lord.

We can easily think of Eve, why the first woman in the Bible who made a pretty huge mistake because of sin and temptation.  And yet she goes on to be the mother of all living things and raises her children to love and worship the Lord.

One woman stands out to me, as her past created her future.  Rahab the harlot as the Bible calls her was not aware how two spies would change her past and bless her future.

Joshua 2 tells us the story of how Rahab hid the spies, made them promise to save her and her family and she vowed to profess her faith.

  • She believed in God despite her circumstances.

Rahab- whose first part of her name Ra- the name of an eyptian God, was a pagan. She was not a believer and yet she is proclaiming here her faith to these spies.

Rahab was not concerned about her past and what things look like.  Sure she was not worthy to house these spies- but she believed.

Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

I remind myself that circumstances sometimes are not the best and behavior may not always be Christlike in the moment, but God has chosen me to be a mother and a wife in this season for His glory.

  •  She trusted in the promises of God.

The Bible has a Hall of Faithers list if you will and Rahab is listed in the Bible Hall of Faith in Hebrews- with folks like Abraham, Moses, Joseph, and David.

Hebrews 11:31  By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

A prostitute was spared, and did not die with those who were disobedient.

God can forgive my past and give me a future.  God is not sitting up in Heaven, counting our mistakes as mothers. He asks us to trust Him, to confess our faith and ask for forgiveness when we sin.

  • She brought others to salvation.

One thing I love about Rahab – she immediately became a disciple and brought others to the Lord.  And yet God saved her and her family.  All because of Rahab.

A woman who decided her past would not determine her destiny.
A woman who decided her life was worth giving up for God.
A woman who will always be remembered in the family lineage of Jesus Christ himself.
A woman who made mistakes, and lived to tell about it.

As the story goes, one of those spies, Salmon- decided he loved Rahab and married her.  She became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth from whose son, Obed, Jesse the father of David came.

Salmon was a prince of the house of Judah, and thus Rahab, the prostitute became a princess.

You see in those moments when I doubt my imperfections, my mistakes as a mom and a wife I am reminded of how good God’s grace and mercy is.  I am reminded that God loves us, He created us and He has forgiven us.

I am reminded of the lessons that can be learned when we go through trials and the patience that God is building in my character with each new experience.

Jesus healed a man demon possessed in Mark 5. And when the man wanted to travel with Jesus, Jesus replied, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” (Mark 5:19)

You see I am able to share my faith through my mistakes with others. My life is not a story of perfection, it is a story of Great God whose grace and forgiveness allows me to serve Him each and every day.

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About Dr. Haynes

mistakes

STACY HAYNES, Ed. D, LPC, ACS, is the Chief Executive Officer of Little Hands Family Services, LLC. located at the Washington Professional Campus in Turnersville, New Jersey. Stacy is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and an experienced therapist, teacher, and counselor with over fifteen years in the mental health field.

Dr. Stacy Haynes is a specialist in the treatment of behavioral and emotional disturbance of children, adults and families. Stacy uses evidenced based practices in working with children and families to help strengthen children and families. Stacy has lectured on topics including ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Effective Classroom Management Skills, Anger Management and Conduct Disorders and is also an Adjunct Professor teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in Child Psychology, Intro to Counseling, Abnormal Psychology and other Human Services courses.

Dr. Haynes received her Bachelors Degree from Liberty University, her Masters Degree from Bowie State University and her Doctorate in Education with a concentration in Counseling Psychology and a specialization in Clinical Supervision and Teaching in Higher Education from Argosy University. Dr. Stacy Haynes is a clinically licensed professional counselor in Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.17

The Only Sure Way to Multiply Your Time

Blog Post by Abby McDonald

“We recommend an ultrasound around thirty-two weeks for women thirty-five and older,” the doctor said as he helped me sit up on the exam table.

I wanted to see baby girl’s sweet face, but my first thought was, “Do I have time for this?”

I had to pick up my son from school, and the procedure wasn’t scheduled.

I wish I had more time.

I looked at the time on my phone and decided if they were quick, I could make it. And less than fifteen minutes later, I marveled at growing life, seven months young.

Don’t blink.

I stared at the tiny figure on the screen, amazed at how her features had changed in twelve short weeks. She was almost ready to make her entrance into the world. I ignored the growing pressure on my bladder and enjoyed every inch of her.

The tech noticed my discomfort.

“Don’t worry hon. We’re almost done.”

At this point, the clock was no longer important.

“Oh, I’m fine,” I said, shifting my position slightly.

Take your time. This moment will never come again.

After a few minutes, she finished up and wiped the sticky gel off my belly. I held the series of snapshots she’d captured, grateful to have a keepsake of this time.

Time is all we have in this life, isn’t it? And lately, pregnancy has me in a constant flux of slow down and hurry up.

I’m so tired of being pregnant. I can’t wait to meet our little girl.

Oh wait! The nursery isn’t ready. Slow down, baby. Just a little while longer.

A few days after my doctor’s appointment, my oldest son lost another tooth. His first one on the top and another milestone. I snapped a picture of his smile with my iPhone and thought about the first time I held him in my arms.

Now I can’t pick him up without paying for it with back spasms.

In every moment I want to grab and freeze a while longer, I realize that I can’t slow time. I can’t stop my kids from growing up or keep them in their toddler beds until they’re teenagers.

I can’t stop them from asking questions I am completely unprepared to answer like, “Where do babies come from?” or “Can I be in the delivery room when she’s born?”

When a dear friend is offered a job in another state, I can’t stop her from moving away. I wouldn’t want to.

And as the warm air turns brisk and the leaves turn vibrant shades of red and orange, I know I can’t slow their fall.

Time will not slow down, but I can.

I can stop and look people in the eye. I can put down my phone when someone is talking to me and listen to what they’re saying instead of rehearsing how I’ll respond. When someone seems distant, I can reach out instead of pretending nothing is wrong.

Time is all we have.

When you’re growing a little human inside of you, you’re made painfully aware of the ticking clock. Each kick and discomfort reminds you time is not only precious, but short.

I see countless articles on social media about ways to multiply your time, multi-task and get the most out of each second. But the longer I carry this baby, the more I see the truth.

Perhaps the only sure way to multiply our time is to savor it.

It isn’t by rushing from one activity to the next or trying to do twenty things at once. It’s by being intentional, slowing down, and seeing the blessings right here in front of us.

A well-known passage from Ecclesiastes beautifully describes the seasons of life and how there’s a time for each one. A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to be silent and a time to speak. (Ecclesiastes 3)

As I read the passage today, what struck me is how the writer doesn’t say, “A time to rush through life. A time to multi-task.”

Because a life spent rushing isn’t a life at all.

Time is all we have, friends. Let’s spend it savoring the things that matter most.

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View More: http://kimdeloachphoto.pass.us/allume2015

Abby McDonald is a writer who can’t contain the lavish love of a God who relentlessly pursues here, even during her darkest times. When she’s not chasing her two little boys around, she loves hiking, photography, and consuming copious amounts of coffee with friends.

Abby would love to connect with you on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

When Sharing Makes You Embarrassed

makes embarrassed

Bzzzt…the green radio waves signaled…I was on! I was live.

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“Can I just vent? Everything’s going wrong… Remember how my husband went out of town last week? Well, the second he leaves, daughter started exploding the worst vile out of her mouth. I couldn’t get her head to toilet fast enough; the stuff went all down my leg. Finally, husband gets back home – and he gets sick! Days later, son starts shooting water out. Now I have it. Add that to the cold that’s coming on…and I haven’t even told you about yesterday! Oh, don’t start me on yesterday! I spent nearly all day convincing the military (I mean, employees) at the Motor Vehicle association that my documents were valid, acceptable and pleasing. It was the greatest defense case of my life – and I fought it out groggy head and all. I lost. I ended up driving 2 hours to get an updated marriage certificate – one that is “acceptable” to Homeland Security, which means it has different colors on it. I guess what’s acceptable just changed recently. Who knew? This morning I also poked my eyeball out – hard – with a sharp object sticking out of my son’s bookbag.” Bleep…

Bzzt… “Ladies, it’s when twenty things pile on, that’s when I want to – die.” Bleep…

Now, let me tell you – these other bleeping women? They are my best blogger friends (Abby, Angela, Christy, Jami, Katie & Karina) – and they are about as caring and welcoming as a grandma with a hot plate of cookies. They love and then heap second helpings on your plate. It is how they are; I love them.

So, with all this said, why the bleep did I feel so horrible after I talked to them?

“They’re going to label me a complainer.”
“They’re going to think I don’t have Jesus in me.”
“They’re going to wonder why I am not more positive.”

‘I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Phil. 4:2′

This verse proves I am a failure. I am a “bad, bad girl”.

Considering this, my off-kilter heart transports right back to 3rd grade. I had talked out of turn. I always did. The teacher had me kneel 4-hours in front of the Holy Mother of God, Mary. She stood high. My knees went numb. Mary’s virgin eyes laid into me. They whispered, “Bad, bad girl.” 

Help me God…

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I’m a bad, bad girl who doesn’t do good.
A bad, bad girl who makes others cringe.
A bad, bad girl who makes cheerful hearts go sour.
A bad, bad girl who will never “get it.”

My knees went home red that day, my heart went home injured. The lesson was learned: I was bad. Mary agreed.

So, today, I sit and wrestle with 3 questions.

1. Does discontentment disqualify me from being good?

If Jesus died to lay his very goodness over me, then his goodness is what I carry. Goodness is not dependent on a passing feeling or a state of mind – it is dependent on what was already accomplished on the cross.

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Hebrews 10:14).

You did not choose me, but I chose you.. (Jo. 15:16)

2. Is sadness or frustration – a sin?

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. (Ps. 34:17)

According to the verse above, who cries? ___        Someone troubled- and likely sad.

Now, what does God do for these sad people? _____ He hears them.

Does he label them? ___ Well, yes, he does. He labels them – righteous.

The ones who cry out to God from the pit of pain certainly are labeled, but they are aren’t labeled shameful. They’re labeled righteous. While the enemy wants us to believe we are horrible, God just believes – his children are good.

3. Does my pain need to be squelched because it is dreadfully sinful, horrible and disturbing to man?

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. (Ps. 34:17)

When we cry to God, take a close look at what happens. Notice, God does not say: When the righteous cry out, the Lord tells them to hush up, pull it together and come back when they can put a smile on their face.

On the contrary. When the righteous cries, he hears and then delivers. He understands and then provides a way. He leans closer and then, like a good daddy, provides.

Jesus understands pain. He took it. He knows struggle. He lived through it. He felt emotion. He also cried. Our feelings weren’t given to us to be hated. They weren’t created by God to be called “bad, bad things.” They were handed down to us because God wants to hold them for us, care for them and show us how much he can provide.

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Why Christian’s stay Blind and Struggling

Blind and Struggling

I’ve been praying lately, to be rid of this flesh-eating bacteria. I know, trust me, I know, it sounds weird. And, I guess you wouldn’t even call it a “flesh-eating bacteria,” because it is more like “soul-eating bacteria.” Or maybe a “peace-eating bacteria”. A “night-time sleep-ruining bacteria.

It chases at my heels telling me I should settle tomorrow’s emotions rather than claiming right now’s peace. You too?

Worry.
It smothers hope; making you desire fix-it dope to feel better.
It exchanges the peace of God for fear of _____.
It stunts the muscles God plans to grow during trials.
It debilitates peace.
It corrodes holy.
It eats joy, causing doubt.

This is why I pray so often, “God, I don’t want to worry. I don’t want to continuously think about people or problems one day longer.”

Because these things blind me. 

..Some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” Mark 8:22-23

Do you see anything when you worry?

Where does worry incline your eyes?

He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Mark 8:24

People like trees? Jesus, the miracle-maker, the Prince of Peace, the great physician left this man seeing – trees?  Did the greatest healer – fail? What kind of jacked-up miracle was this?

Let’s consider this deeper…
When the blind man opened his eyes, following Jesus’ touch, “He looked up and said, ‘I see people.‘”

Notice: The blind man did not focus on the Man with Power, but the people with none.

The very God before him – he did not see.
But, he what did see was – his issue.

Where do your eyes head 10-minutes after you get with God?

To people? Problems? Predicaments?  

Sometimes our focus prevents us from seeing – and receiving – God’s greatest work. Like a stray lover, we look at everyone but our first love; we miss his best intentions towards us. We can’t see, because we are too busy looking elsewhere. We become infected with the virus of looking-at-man, looking-at-issues or looking-at-distractions. We partially see God, but we mostly do not.

If we focus on people over the person of Jesus, we’ll never see progress. But, if we focus on the person of Jesus, before the face of our problems, we will face peace.

When we:
1. Wake and seek Jesus as our first thought, our day often is established.
2. Pray and expect God to answer, we get excited to see.
3. Look in order to find God we, many times, do.
4. Ask to see the Lord’s handiwork it becomes more obvious.
5. Hope and request to feel his love, it circles.
6. When we believe that God can do the unthinkable, we perceive God can do the unthinkable.

Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Mark 8:25

I don’t believe this man could see because hands were – on his eyes,
but because Jesus was entirely – in his eyes.

When he opened his eyes, the second time, unlike the first time, he didn’t see problem people, but Jesus, all Jesus, the full-force of Jesus in power and glory, standing right before him. You simply cannot come face-to-face with Jesus – you simply cannot let him into your heart – without something miraculous happening.

This man? With the radiant power of Jesus before him, all he could do – was see. For, Jesus, the man known to have eyes like torches (Dan. 10:5-6) opened his vision to a whole new path. A path to recovery. 

He saw everything clearly. Mark 8:25

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Come Away With Me

Post by: Karina Allen

I’m a doer by nature. I’m always on the go. I’m a mover and a shaker. My schedule is full and my planner is happy. I like it that way. However, sometimes my body does not.

Like right now. I think my body hates me. I have been exhausted for the past several weeks. Summer, for me is just as busy as the rest of the year. I’ve had a few trips and the travel always wear me out.

So here I am. Pretty much every morning I have woken up tired, which makes for an incredibly long day.

So, what do I do about? If you are in the same place, what do you do about it?

I’ve been sensing that Lord wants His children to rest a bit more and strive a bit less.

The Lord knows what’s best.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;” Psalm 23:2-3

I more than often think I know best. I tend be strong and independent. I push myself to the limit expecting not to crack. The last thing I want is to experience burnout. But that is where we are heading if we continue to move at a breakneck speed. It’s interesting how these verses in Psalm 23 say that He makes me lie down. God knows that we don’t want to stop. We don’t want to rest. We don’t and sometimes can’t be still. But that is when He does His best work.

Restoring comes out of resting.

God is the giver of rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Matthew 11:28-30

Rest doesn’t have to be a fight for us. God intended for it to be a gift to us. He delights in giving us rest. We trade off our heaviness and weariness in exchange for His joy and ease. Problems don’t disappear. Hardships still exist but The Lord’s joy brings us strength. So the weight of our circumstances don’t crush us.

If you’re feeling weighed down and overwhelmed, do not lose heart.

Trust that God knows best.

Trust that He will give you His rest.

Trust that He delights in restoring your soul.

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Karina AllenKarina
is a devoted follower of Jesus from New Orleans, Louisiana, but has made her home in Baton Rouge for the past 15 years. She spends much of her time leading worship at church, writing, reading, dancing and mentoring the next generation. She has a huge heart for serving and missions. She is an advocate for the local church especially the one that she attends, Healing Place Church. She also enjoys working out, traveling, photography and going to concerts/conferences.

Karina believes that every woman has a God-sized dream on the inside of them and it is up to an encouraging community to help nurture that dream. Her goal in writing is to see women get a revelation of God’s Word and discover how to apply it to their lives in order to walk in freedom and live the life that God intended. But the most important thing to her is to live out the call of Isaiah 26:8…For His Name and His Renown are the desire of our souls! You can connect with her at “For His Name and His Renown.”

The War in Your Mind: 12 Peace-Tactics

war in your mind
My daughter felt hot. Hand on head, all I could think was, “Great God. Add this horrid sickness to the list.”
Add it to the uncertainty of our future.
Add it to kids acting up.
Add it to no time to get my work done.
Add it to no energy to continue pushing through.
Add it to the pain of an injury that won’t relent.
Add it to my anxiety levels as of late.

Add it to feeling alone and isolated.

The sum = discouragement.

Are you in that place where the face of God
looks far smaller than the weight of your problems?

Maybe finances are tumbling. Maybe fears are rising. Maybe hope for a family member is vanishing. Maybe car problems are plaguing. Maybe insecurity is surfacing. Maybe a job is harassing. Maybe health is faltering.

Last night, I laid in bed. Ever notice? When you silence your mind, you have a choice: You can either fall into worry or worship. Wonder or wrestling. Wrongs or rights. I sunk under the swamp of worry; floundering and fearful.

You all probably know, my name is Kelly. In Gaelic, my name means: warrior.

What if rather than being a worrier or a wrestler with life,
we became warrior’s with truth?

 

Be strong, and let us fight bravely
for our people and the cities of our God.
The Lord will do what is good in his sight.
2 Samuel 10:12

 

Joab, captain of David’s army, knew:
You fight the good fight believing
God’s good way will prevail. 

If I am warrior – if you are too – can’t we fight in the same way?

Can’t we fight, saying, “I’ll be strong, I’ll let God’s truth to reign in my mind, relationships and over my fears. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.”

What peace might that bring? If our internal words were more warrior than wussy?

If they sounded like this:

God things don’t look good. They look tough, dark, barren, unmoving, but your will is working. I believe that. I believe you can. I believe you will. I am not going to sink into discouragement. I am not going to fall into the strangulating hands of despair. I am not going to become oozy and doozy with fear. Forget it.

Not today, no God, not today. Today, I am choosing another way.
 

Today, the way of peace is the way of faith.

Faith says: I see horrendous before me, but God sees heavenly. He is working it out and that is enough.

Faith says: God even though every door looks closed, God can open them with just an exhale of breath.

Faith says: A good God is in control. I trust him.

Faith says: Yes, a war in motion, yet I am not the commander. He knows the way.

Faith says: I don’t have to know, because God does.

Faith says: Never once has God let me down and never will He.

Faith says: Evil may want to leave me ruined and in pieces, but God wants to leave me ruined in his love.

Faith says:  Hold firm, like the disciples did – love always wins.

Faith says: My wait isn’t for nothing, for – in me – God is working something.

Faith says: I need not be leashed by feelings, but unleashed by God’s love.

Faith says: I will focus on his more versus continually perceiving my less.

Faith says: My joy found in Christ, through suffering, becomes His light of glory shed upon the world.

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

 

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So, #RaRa team, I totally flubbed it up yesterday and missed the linkup. Can you even believe it? I got so overwhelmed with life that I overlooked this post. Forgive me! I am sorry; I never pressed publish.
With this, I don’t know if anyone knows about our rain-date today. Will you share this post on social media to help get the word out about this random Wednesday linkup?
See you next Tuesday!
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When You Don’t Feel Able

Don't Feel Able

God called me to write a book.

And the angel of the Lord appeared to [Gideon] and said to him,
“The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” (Ju. 6:12)

This summer, God has felt not felt “with me” and I’ve felt not a smidgeon mighty.

I wrote this thing last winter, with power, but this season, I lamented.

Everything broke. My knee got hurt; I couldn’t exercise. My shoulder continued to hurt; it wouldn’t stop. My house was isolated; I knew no one. Kids camps got cancelled; my time got cut short. Rejections came; my heart got burdened. I re-read the words of the book; doubt covered me.

If you remove the promises of God
from the work of your hands,
you’ll land in the dirt of defeat and doubt.

And Gideon said to him, “Please, sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (Judges 6:13)

And Kelly said to God,
“Why has this happened to me? Where are your wonderful deeds?
Did you not say 
you would use this book, me, and my life?
But now you have forgotten me and left me looking up unscalable heights.” 

Don't Feel Able

I haven’t learned much this summer, but I’ve learned,
when you get real with God, he really answers.

And the Lord turned to him and said,
“Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” (Ju. 6:14)

And the Lord turned to me and said, 
“Kelly, this is my work.
Go in my might and
minister to fearful hearts.
Do I not send you?

Abandoned?
Less than?
Where do you feel more minuscule than mighty?

And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel?
He continued Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” (Ju. 6:15)

And Kelly said to him, “Me? I am a nobody. I don’t look like her. I don’t talk like her. I don’t have gifts or money or a way. I am the least and hardly even a writer.”

Don't Feel Able

And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” (Ju. 6:16)

Admit to God authentically where you can’t
and he’ll remind you how He can.

There is no method to God’s mightiness.  No recipe to his success. No progress without him. No encouragement apart from him. This God, needs nothing from us, because everything, all power and purpose, is Him.

In one strike, through one woman or man, he can – and will – do what he wants to do. He’ll win. It’s that simple.

Rest easy, friends,
no ability, no skill, no strength, no plan, no power is required – but Him.

This is where beauty is, because…

When all strength comes from God,
all glory tends to go to God.

One man.
One woman.
One step.
His power.
A connective spark of glory is lit.

Don't Feel Able

He doesn’t need our anything,
because he is everything. 

Wherever you feel incapable, know: God is capable. Wherever you feel anxious, know: God already has the end in mind. Wherever you feel less than, know: God is greater than your perceptions of yourself. Wherever you feel unseen, know: God cares for every stray feeling, thought and tear that falls.

You are not left, but loved. Not forgotten, but being forged into his image. Keep at it and keep trusting and His wind until, one day, it pushes you home.

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5 Ways: Calm the Inner-Rumbles of Rejection

Rumblings of Rejection

I am joining Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited Book Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers.

Her belly stuck out like a balloon, her shoulders slumped and she wore a skirt like a table cloth. Face as cute as a button, no doubt, this girl was ready to pop.

I remembered those days. Sweaty, in the summer heat. Eager, to be done with it. Waddling, in discomfort. I remembered the odd feelings, the circles in front of the mirror, the clothes wedged up in the small parts of my body. The discomfort.

Striding into the coffee store, I determined to – make her day!

“You look beautiful. Just beautiful,” I declared with oomph, power and confidence.

I waited. She stared.
I hoped. She looked confused.
I felt awkward. She shifted her eyes away.

I put my head down and flew that coffee store door wide-open.

She hates me!
I made a fool out of myself!
She thinks I pity her!
She thinks I am one of those weird “I-want-to rub-your-belly-types.”

Why do I try to be kind?
Why do I always mess up?
Why can’t I do things right?

In that moment, I signed an internal declaration stating I would no longer do dumb things. I put my initials on the blank line, agreeing, “I will not risk, when the greatest one at risk of getting hurt – is always me!” The deal was done. I was over feeling like the loser, who couldn’t succeed at making others feel like winners.

sting of rejection

Oh no! Here she comes. Just 4-feet away. I fumbled around in my purse, trying to find safe refuge (a.k.a. my phone). Heart beating faster and faster, I swiped, clicked and typed. I did anything to remain unseen, until…

…her friend arrived and they mumbled in some foreign language I could not understand.

I stared.
I looked confused.
I shifted my eyes away. 

What I declared as rejection, was never her intention.

She likely couldn’t understand my words. She likely felt insecure. She likely felt alone and afraid in a foreign country, where everything in her world was changing before her very eyes.

For every backslap, there is usually a backstory.

What if I considered what others see,
rather than letting responses be declarations of me?

In Lysa Terkeurst’s latest book, Uninvited, she says,Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.”

Well, Lysa, you get me thinking, really thinking. Rejection not only steals, he plunders my greatest opportunities to love others. He makes me hate myself sometimes. When I hate me, I tend to only think about – me.

Yet, what I am realizing is the inner-mumblings of rejection, well – they almost always lie. Man doesn’t define who I am – Jesus does. Let him define you too.

5 Things to Remember when Rejection Stings:

  1. You are chosen by God to do great things.
  2. You are royal. Daughter’s of God are always taken care of.
  3. You are holy. God sees your heart, knows your desires and delights in you.
  4. You are God’s special possession and treasures you.
  5. You are called to the light and being led to greater places.

Essentially, remember this verse: You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Pet. 2:9)

sting of rejection

With God’s ownership over me, I am no longer the byproduct of whom others declare me to be – now, I am an escapee. In God’s truth, I am set free.

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Even when you’re overlooked by others, you are handpicked by God. In her new book, Uninvited, New York Times bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst will help you live like you really believe that truth! Order your copy.

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When You are Rejected, Rejected and Rejected Again

The Promise Inside the Sting of Rejection