Purposeful Faith

Category - awe

God Sees Me

love

“I can’t miss seeing her.” I keep thinking this…

My daughter hasn’t played sports before. She thought she wouldn’t like it, but she now loves it. When she played she ran around the field with a huge smile on her face. I couldn’t be happier. This week, I have a conflict with her practice, however, I want so badly to see her. I just want to watch her, enjoy herself.

Yesterday, with my son, it was a similar sort of experience. He tried out for a role in the school play. I was so happy for him. I really wanted to watch him. I called his dad and prayed for him while he was trying out. I ran into the school beforehand with a snack and a hug. My joy was so full, it felt like I might explode.

After this joy of watching my kids, in their moments, I couldn’t help but think: God has joy in watching me, in my moments too. Just as I want to jump around and celebrate my kids successes, God must really be happy when He sees me doing well. He must want to celebrate with me. He wants to be a part of my world.

Our Father God is “El Roi”, meaning, “The God who Sees Me.”

Somehow, knowing that Father God wants to see me, makes me feel loved. He wants to be involved in my world, in my joy and in my excitement. He knows what is happening. He cares to see. He wants to be a part.

In fact, the mere idea that He wants us to continually abide in Him is evidence of how much He wants to see and know us.

“Abide in me, and I in you.” (Jo. 15:4)

God wants us, to be together. He wants us, to be with Him. I think He likes us too.

We are never alone. We are united with a God who not only cares, but who sees, us. Be encouraged — we are not alone or left behind. He loves us. We are His children.

If we delight in our kids, how much more does He delight in our special moments too?

Prayer: Father, I want to be with you. I want to remain in you. I want to feel your love and understand how much you care for me. Will you help me gain greater understanding of this? I love you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Things are Not What They Seem

“You always looked so put together. I didn’t know if I could talk to you or if you would be nice,” said one lady.

The other woman, replied in a similar way, “I wanted to talk to you too but I thought you were…”

Looks are deceiving. That’s all I could think as I sat there listening to these women share perceptions. It seemed, now, they were surprised by how relatable, real, and easy it was to be together. They were becoming fast-friends — all because they got a real chance to know each other, rather than to think things about each other.

How often do we allow what we think we know hold us back from what is truth?

I perceive a lot of things about myself: I haven’t done good at this. I didn’t succeed at that. 

I perceive things about people too: They think this about me. They are doing ___. They must want ___.

Yet, like these women, thoughts not founded in truth, hold me back from real things — real relationships, real progress, real breakthrough.

Look at what happened to Elijah in the Old Testament because of his perceptions…

“Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” (1 Kings 19:10)

Elijah was right in his statement. He did served the Lord “zealously” and the people of Israel had “broken their covenant”. But, what He didn’t perceive right was that he was “the only one left”.

He allowed his loneliness and his discouragement cloud his eyes. Others had been faithful too.

Soon after sharing this with the Lord, God told Elijah, “anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.” (1 Kings 19:16).

I wonder if Elisha’s perception of his situation led to the culmination of his ministry? One can wonder…

But, one thing I do know is that I don’t want to let — things that appears to be — take me down. Do you? Things are not always what they appear.

Just like your rear view mirror says, “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear,” objects in our life are not always as we see them.

Where have perceptions prohibited you from real relationship? Where are you thinking you are defeated, when God had not declared that over you? Where are you thinking thoughts about others that you don’t know to be true?

The easiest way to get rid of a lie is to repent of it and replace it with God’s truth — then you will be back on the path of life again.

Prayer: God, we don’t want any lies to hold us back. We only want to live by your truth, love by your truth and praise you with truth. Help us this way. Forgive us in any way where we have spoken, thought or carried lies about ourselves or about others. We ask you to give us your thoughts and your heart to love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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How Do you Deal with Pain?

I lifted a heavy weight. My arm struggled to reach it all the way to my shoulder. Although the weight training work was hard, I knew the result — down the road — would be significant, good even. There is gain, often, through pain.

After working out, I couldn’t help but think: Sometimes, God permits our pain for His greater gain.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Cor. 4:17)

“Hard” produces something. The grueling, horrible and it-feels-like-you-are-going-to-break pain is not a waste. It is not trash. It is not something we run from. Instead, we hold God’s hand and trust Him to carry us through.

I met with a friend not long ago who experienced major relational pain with a friend. The conversations were painful. The decisions she had to make were even harder. She didn’t know if she could set boundaries. Yet, looking back, I see that her life is now transformed because of what she endured and how she trusted God. There was a greater glory God was working (even when she couldn’t see it). Now, she is serving God and others like never before. God may not have caused her pain (we have an enemy), but He certainly used it for her (and others) good.

Be it on Earth or in Heaven, through pain, God produces something greater than we can explain.

Pain often causes us to:
– draw near God (and He draws nearer to us)
– need a greater rescue (and we gain a testimony)
– pray (and see Him move)
– look beyond what we see in the natural (and trust God by faith and not by sight)

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Cor. 4:16)

What looks like it is going to kill us, God uses to renew us.  God is always producing something greater…

Need proof? Look back upon your life. What good did God teach you from your hard times of the past? How have you grown? How have you learned to endure and persevere? Give thanks. These are good lessons.

Pray: God, we love you. We know that you are not not evil. You are good, not evil. What you create is good, not evil. At the same time, there are times in life where you allow pain. God, we want to thank you, although it is difficult, for the pain we are going through. We trust you with it. We believe that you will work out a better end, then we can see. It is hard to say this. It is sometimes hard to even believe this. Will you give us faith and hope during these times? We need you more than ever. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

On another note, I need your opinion! Which online course would you be the most interested in?

  1. How to Set Boundaries: Strengthen Relationships & Gain Peace
  2. How to Say No: Let Go and Gain More of What Matters
  3. Receiving Rest: Move Beyond Worry and Fear

I am thinking of doing a multi-part recorded and live workshop on one of the above topics. Which number are you most interested in?

Also, would a weeknight (a), a weekday (b.) or a weekend (c.) work best for you?

Keep Going, Don’t Quit (& Invite)

We cannot give up. We cannot back down. Hard times will come and hard times will go, but one thing remains: Our Lord. Rather than going down with what aims to take us down, we can stand firm and stronger than ever.

Lately, I have been going through a hard time. One domino after another is falling. Things are piling up. Here, in this scary place, I know I have a choice — I can either look to God or look at my problems and worry, worry, worry…

I’ve been here before. I’ve hit hard times. I’ve known what it is to have a choice — to stand or to fall. The decision between victory and defeat is narrow sometimes.

With this, I’ve been thinking of all the ways I’ve learned to stand strong. I want to share them with you. Through God’s leading, I am changing course on the content of this Breakthrough Retreat. I am going to teach the biblical ways to stand strong during hard times. I will offer practical tips.

This is vitally important to our faith-walk.

Scripture says, “…Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Is. 40:31)

This is not a myth, but truth. You really can grow stronger as you wait with the Lord. He really can take you thousands of miles higher than the pit you may find yourself in today.

In our wait, we grow strong when we do things God’s way. We grow steadfast when we lean on God’s truth. We advance when we go where God is taking us. We win when we don’t lay down.

Get up and get going. Let’s do it together.

We don’t just want to just survive; we want to thrive with God during all times. We want to have our hearts full and soft, no matter what we face.

If you want to be built up in hope, faith and a persevering spirit, then join me tomorrow for the Breakthrough Retreat via Zoom (10 AM ET- 1 PM ET, via zoom or via recorded version, $29).  We will pray. We will worship. We will be honest. We will examine our own story. We will reflect. We will find hope.

I am confident it will be a time of refreshment, renewal and recharging. God has really been highlighting scripture and at the message and I can’t wait to encourage you tomorrow. Join me. 

Love,

Kelly

 

Help to Get Back Up

take advantage

Are you between a rock and a hard place?

This is how I feel right now. Without going into details, I am facing what looks to be an impossible situation. I am facing a deadline that is quickly approaching… Nothing in the natural looks promising…

Will God breakthrough?
Can He really show up?
Am I going to be okay?

The Israelites faced a similar situation.  In the wilderness, God humbled them and tested them in this place. Why? “To teach (them) that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:3)

Every. Word.

This means: I do not rely on me (my answers, my opinions, my track, my plan, my worries, my fears, my timelines), but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

Yes. Every Word. Meaning, God will see forth every word He says. God will do what He says He will do. His promises are not a maybe or a possibility, but a yes and an Amen.

The Israelites could not make food for their own eating.  Our bread of life comes from Jesus, and Jesus alone. The Israelites could not force themselves into their own Promised Land. It is the grace of Jesus that brings us into places of God.

It’s a Christ-alone life. By His grace. By His price. By His Word. By God’s plan.

At some point we get to the place where we say: God I can’t do it anymore!!! And, by goodness, I think this is exactly where He wants us.

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” (Mt. 5:3 MSG)

What would it look like for Christ’s rule to overpower our rule? What might it look like for the promises of God to transcend our natural view of our life?

For me? It looks like reciting aloud God’s promises. It looks like praying for faith. It looks like worshipping when I feel like crying.

Only when we get to the end of us do we begin to understand the all-surpassing greatness of our glorious, just-on-time, providential God.

Do you need encouragement to get through all you are facing? If you want to rely more on God’s power than your own…if you need hope and refreshment…if you are not sure how you will make it…if you need to be reminded about how faithful our God is…consider joining me for the Breakthrough Retreat via Zoom on May 15 from 10 AM – 1 PM ET. The cost is $29. Join live or get the recorded version post-event.

Through worship, prayer, teaching and time together gain fresh strength to persevere and endure until God delivers you, one way or another!

Join me. 

Prayer: God, I can’t. I just can’t do things on my own. I can’t find my own way. I can’t do everything right. I give up and give in to you. You are my Deliverer. You are my hope. You are my Bread of Life. You are The Door. You are The Way. You are the King of Kings. May I stop looking at me and my problems and start looking at you. You are The Way. I love you. I need you. Come rescue me today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

We Need Each Other

I just got off the phone with a girlfriend. I thank God that she shared her truth.

When I first asked her, “How are you?”

She replied something like, “Kelly, honestly? I don’t feel peace and I feel unsettled.”

I could hear the pain in her voice. I could sense the struggle. Not only that, but I knew– she wasn’t looking to complain or to throw a pity-party. She just needed a friend.

Many of us feel bad about being honest. We feel guilty for being truthful. We feel exposed when we allow others to see our real needs. But, the truth is — we all need a friend. We all need support. We all need encouragement.

Life returns when we admit our real needs and faults to others. Then, we see how much we are cared for.

The truth is: all of us go through life with problems and needs. All of us have weaknesses. All of us cannot do this thing called life alone. Even more, we cannot be united with Christ apart from the body of Christ.

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph. 4:16)

As we grow together we are built together into the fullness of the love of Christ.  As the body gets united, the body gets powerful!

Today, I am more convinced than ever that we need the wisdom of people who have walked through tough things, for God teaches us through their words. We need prayer from a sister, for God speaks hope and restoration through their heart. We need encouragement from a friend, for God builds us up through the strength they impart. We need a place to be real, for God heals through through authenticity.

Do you have a place where you can be yourself? Do you have support in your life? Are you feeling encouraged by the body of Christ?

I created the safe-space of the “Breakthrough Retreat” so we can learn together, grow together, pray together, and be together. Every voice matters. All are welcome. Let’s encourage and uplift each other.

After past retreats, people have written to me letting me know their life has been changed; they’ve been encouraged, uplifted and renewed. I couldn’t ask for more.

During the upcoming May 15, Breakthrough Retreat, you will:
– Uncover the heart of God towards you through worship.
– See your own weaknesses and faults in light of God’s glory, grace, and power.
– Learn to rely on the power of God that transcends the work of your hands.
– Meet with a small group to be activated in the teaching.

During this Breakthrough Retreat, you will begin to stop hating all the ways you are not perfect! God’s power is perfected in our weakness. With this, I am confident insecurities will be healed, hopes will be renewed and you will rely and trust in God like you never have before.

To say that I am fired up about what God will do — is an understatement!

Take part in the Breakthrough Retreat via Zoom on May 15 from 10 AM – 1 PM ET. The cost is $29. Join live or get the recorded version post-event.  Join me. 

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Understanding What is Behind Someone’s Words

Just because someone says something doesn’t mean you should receive it. Even if what is said sounds good — filter it.

Not too long ago, a woman gave me some words of warning. She sounded the alarm by letting me know what she had gone through. She wanted me to “be aware”.  I understood her heart; she didn’t want me to go through what she went through.

Not wanting to forgo wisdom, in the moment, I listened. But, later, I asked myself, “Should I receive her words? Are they upbuilding or fear-inducing?”

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Eph. 4:29)

After talking with her, I felt less built-up. Her words made me want to hide-out and turn away from what God was calling me to do. I felt scared.

Furthermore, I remembered back to another time, years ago, to when one friend shared a hurt about another person. I ended up forming an opinion about the person he talked about. Only recently, did my husband and I realize that we missed a great relationship because of what we believed. Our loss.

Needless to say, when people speak from injury it doesn’t bring life. When people speak from trauma it does not uplift. When people speak gossip it backlashes.

Uplifting rarely comes from one absorbed with unresolved hurts.

This is why we need to use discretion with what we listen to. We cannot absorb sour words.

“Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you” (Prov. 2:11)\

To use discretion and understanding, in receiving other people’s words, ask yourself the following:

–  Is the speaker reaching out for healing or are they just venting?
– Are their words good, true, noble, and of good report or are they questionable, back-biting, and/or gossipy?
– Do they speak of the power of Jesus or are they centered around the limitations, issues, and the hold-ups of man?
– Are the words life-giving or fear-inducing?
– Do I feel full of faith, hope and love after talking with this person or does it seem the words are giving way for the enemy to steal, kill and destroy some of God’s purposes in my life?

Just because we are loving people, doesn’t mean we accept every word that comes from every believer. You must discern what is behind their words. Jealously, comparing and deep hurts give even the best of people stingers. When use discretion and understanding to identify their pain, you can love them more, without owning and taking offense to their words.

Prayer: Father, we all hurt at times. Father, we also need the body to help us see our blind spots and to protect us from harm. Give us wisdom to discern what is from you and what is not. Give us wisdom to know when it is your heart and your Word speaking to us. Give us understanding about how to deal with others, how to excuse ourself and how to love hurting people. Likewise, Father, please help us to receive words that make us more like you. Help us to listen to correction when it is from your heart. Give us the ability to rise above offense and to care for others, even when they have hurt us. We need your wisdom and understanding. Please give it to us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Don’t miss the next Breakthrough Retreat via Zoom. Join me May 15 from 10 AM – 1 PM ET as we pray, worship and spend needed time with the Lord. Gain fresh perspective on your life, fresh faith for believing and renewed hope. The cost is $29. Join live or get the recorded version post-event. People have written me to say that this event has changed their life. I am confident God will bless you as you spend time to meet with Him.  Join me. 

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Where are You, God?

“Mom, can I wear this?”

My kids dug into my jewelry box. A watch that my husband gave me on a prior anniversary was now dangling in the air.

“Of course you can,” I said.

Frankly, there’s nothing in the box that I wouldn’t give to my kids. I plan to give it all to them one day. My son wanted to keep the watch, now. Yet, to give to him now, would take away the joy of a future moment for him (or his wife).

Still, the fact remains, everything I have — I want to give to my kids.

I can’t help but think that God feels the same way towards us…

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (Jo. 3:16)

If God gave His son, how much more won’t He give us?

“Jesus has the power of God. And his power has given us everything we need to live a life devoted to God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus chose us by his glory and goodness, through which he also gave us the very great and rich gifts that he promised us.” (2 Pet. 1:3-4)

If His power gives us everything, how much are we equipped with all we need?

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” Lu. 12:32

If it pleases God to give, how much does He give that we don’t even recognize?

The enemy would love to blind our eyes with lies. He would love to convince us that God doesn’t give, doesn’t help, and that he won’t intervene. He would love to have us declare ourselves stuck in a pit, when we are actually in the arms of a Good Father. He would love to keep us in fear, when we are actually surrounded by a heavenly host and the King of Kings who cares for us. He would love to make us think we are failures, or wash-ups, when we are actually sons and daughters.

I was thinking this morning that —  leaving a room of fear is as easy as crossing over a new threshold to faith. You can enter a new room easily — through repentance. You just choose to leave. And, Jesus, as The Way, takes you in. He takes you through. It is as simple as leaving what was – behind.  You enter what will be, by faith.

Prayer: God, fear and worry sometimes make me feel like you won’t show up for me. I renounce this mistruth as a lie. You are faithful. You are true. You love me. You help me. It doesn’t mean that life will always be easy. But, you perfectly time your gifts and your treasure. You know just when to give to a child, a treasure. Your timing is perfect. You know what you are constructing, forming and fashioning within. I will not fear. I will not fret. I will not panic. You are good and you have good for me. I may not see it, in full today, but I can give thanks because your ways are higher than my ways, mightier than my ways and more effective than my ways. Today, I put my trust in you. Today, I declare that you are faithful. Today, I rely on your strength, not mine. I love you. You are the best Father ever. You have gifts and love and fruits of the Spirit for me. I am blessed. Thank you for all you do for me. Your plan is the best! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Do you Fight or Flight?

good father

Not recognizing the needs of your heart is a big deal…it can cause you to walk away from God.

Remember the two sons in the Prodigal Son story (Luke 15)? One son walked away from the Father and turned to wild living because He didn’t consider his life — good enough.

I sometimes forget how good I have it with God… I complain and murmur. I let distractions grab hold of me, instead of letting God grab hold of my heart. I ignore the nudge to pray, and figure I’ll handle it later. Like the Prodigal son #1, I flight from God and head my own direction.

Son #2, seeing the great celebration the Father threw when his repentant brother returned, had His own walk-away-from-God-moment. In pride, He essentially said, “What have you done for me lately, Father?”

It could be translated to something like this: Look at all I’ve gone through, all I’ve done, all I’ve sacrificed, all my obedience. Where are you? What have you done for me lately?

Rather than flighting, He goes about fighting to get what he thinks he deserves.

Both sons didn’t believe the Father had good for them. Do you believe God has good for you?

Take a look at the Father’s response to son #2:

“Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.” (Lu. 15:31 NLT)

Today, I believe, the Father may want to remind us:

All He has is ours. All we need, He has here for us. All we are searching for, is found in Him. He hasn’t forgotten us. He walks with us. He sees us. He knows our story. He IS caring for us.

Prayer: Father, may we know your closeness, your care, and your compassion for our walk. You are not a distant Father, but ever-near. We are not left behind. You have good for us. Will you help us to understand how much you love us, provide for us, and see our heart? We don’t want to fight or flight anymore. We don’t want to miss the goodness you have, for then we will walk away from our first love, whom we love the most. Father, we need you. We have a deep need of knowing your nearness and faithfulness more and more… Show yourself to us today, and days forward, like you never have before. Let us feel loved, no matter what we face. We ask all these things in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Knowing the Power of God

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16, NIV)

I remember the corporate world. I was afraid that people would judge me for being a Christian. Will they think I am odd if I share about Jesus? That I am too radical if I want to start a bible study during lunch?

There was a part in me that wanted to hide who I was to please the person before me. Be it family, a co-worker, or sometimes even a stranger, I felt responsible to take care of their emotions, to make them feel comfortable.

Today, however, I feel 100% different. I am not ashamed of the gospel because I believe wholeheartedly in its power! It is the power of change. It is the power that renews, reforms and revives. It saves, helps, heals and sets free.

The gospel, the very power of God, not only saved me for eternity, but this power has saved me from: an eating disorder, family disfunction, fears, worry, health issues, mental holdbacks, financial fears, accidents and more. Frankly, the gospel and the work of Jesus, hasn’t saved me once, but Jesus keeps on saving me. He doesn’t quit, He keeps on helping. Grace does that. It puts an extra helping of what you do not deserve on your plate.

It is the power of the gospel. When you understand it and the reality of grace, so much can change in your world.

For some of us, though, we don’t feel this power. I get it. Life gets tough. Times get hard. Callouses come on us. Our heart gets heavy. This is why we need a sister or a brother to lift us up. This is why we need encouragement. This is why we need hope. This is why we need the Word of God to point out real truth to our heart again.

And, this is why I want to invite you to join the Breakthrough Retreat this Saturday via Zoom from 10 AM ET to 1 PM ET (*recorded version, available with sign-up too). If you feel God nudging your heart, please answer His call. I believe that this weekend we will experience the power of the gospel that will help, heal and liberate our hearts. I am confident of it.

Will you join me? I believe we will come to know the power of God that will release us to new boldness of faith.

Sign up today. 

Prayer: Father God, I thank you for each and every reader today. Father, I ask that they too might know the power of your grace in their life. Father, we give thanks for your Son, Jesus. We give thanks that we are saved. We give thanks that you care for us and that you want to help us. Will you help each one of us to intimately understand and perceive the power that is the gospel? We want to know you more. In Jesus’ name. Amen.