Purposeful Faith

Category - faith

Wait for It

This morning my husband laughed when he looked in his coffee cup. I had no idea why…

A little before the laughing, I had asked him, “Do you want cream?”

He said, “Yes.” So, while he was looking away, I poured the cream in. Then, I handed him the coffee, basically saying — here you go… But, when he looked down — he didn’t see anything, so he started laughing.

He pronounced, “Where’s my cream?” We stood there looking at the coffee.

And after a few seconds, the cream rose up to the top. Only then could my husband see what he couldn’t see before — the cream that was already there. He just had to wait for it.

Some of us — are nearly there. We just have to wait for it…just a little more.

There is something rising to the top.

Think of Jesus. Things looked dark in the tomb, but then he rose up to new light.
And Lazarus. Everything was dim when he was dead, but then there was life.
Or, David. He hid out in caves, only to later reign as King.
Even the Israelites were enslaved and, after a time, set free to head off to their Promised Land.

The best things — take time. Just as honey isn’t done before the bees have done their work, likewise — the sweetest things take time to make…

So, don’t give up hope on day 6 when God is coming on day 7. Don’t start cursing God when He is working together a greater glory for your life. Don’t think He won’t show up…when He is working things out.

Jesus told his disciples and friends to wait for a word, at one point. He said, ““And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.” (Lu. 12:12)

Jesus knew — at the proper time, they’d get proper words. But, they had to wait for him to show up. He’d give them what they need — at just the right time.

Do you trust God to give you what you need — at just the right time?

God’s timing is always right on time, no matter how you feel in the meantime. Keep hope and keep looking up. He loves you.

Prayer: God, give me the power to — wait well, to hope in you continually, and to trust you endlessly. Please bring breakthrough in my life. I don’t have the best way, but you do. In this, I surrender afresh. I die to my ways and agree with yours. I trust you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Need more rest? Consider my newest book, “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy.”

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A Spiritual Secret Weapon

trust

There is one spiritual weapon many of us forget about. We don’t think to use it, to leverage it. It’s too bad, because this weapon keeps us strong. It prevents us from getting battle-weary and war-torn.

Before I tell you what it is, let me tell you a story…

My daughter, Madison, loves to fall. She will look at me and say, “Hey, Mommy, I am going to fall backwards. Catch me.”

She will make her body rock-hard and strong like a plank of wood and then she’ll fall backwards. Knowing I’m behind her, I catch her.

She calls it a “trust-fall.”

Again and again — she trust-falls. Everytime, she knows I will catch her. Because “I-have-her”, this INCREASES her joy. This adds to the fun. This makes her feel strong and taken care of.

How many of us are trusting God to catch our fall?

To trust-fall is to know that your All-in-All will save you. Will help you. Will strengthen you. Will be there for you. Will even — add to you…

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  (Jer. 17:7-8)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov. 3:5-6)

Trust. It has promises and benefits tied to it.

Parents hopes their kid trusts them when they say not to have candy before dinner. There’s a good reason why…

In the same light, God has good reasons why He’s completely worthy of our trust. May we trust that He will make good even when in the bad. That He will help us, even when we don’t know how to change. That He will show us, even when we see no answers.

When we fall, we can trust God to catch us. He is the best trust-fall catcher, ever.

Rather than relying on our ability to catch ourselves — our understanding — we rely completely on Him and His better plan. 

“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.” (Is. 40:31 NLT)

Prayer: Father, give me the grace to trust you more today. I want to trust you with all my heart, all my soul and all my strength. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Need more rest (aka. trust in the Lord)? Consider my new book, “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy.

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Things are Not What They Seem.

Things are not what they seem. It’s like walking at night. You think you see a person, but it is only a shadow. In the light, you can see how the darkness fooled you.

There is more than meets the eye.

I love the story in 2 Kings 6:15-17 that illustrates this point…

“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.”

He was surrounded; it looked like there was no way out, no way to win and no hope. Maybe you’re in a place like that today…

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

Just because it looks like defeat, does not mean you’re defeated. Just because you feel all alone, doesn’t mean that you are. Just because you can’t see all that God is doing for you, doesn’t mean He isn’t doing anything.

Things are not always what they seem.

Darkness can easily trick us into seeing things or believing things… But, in God’s light, there is always more of Him and His forces with us, than  against us.

Can you even imagine what you might see if God opened your eyes up the way He did Elisha’s? How might He be defending you, protecting you or fighting your battle?

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1 Tip to Combat Stress & Maintain Peace

Not knowing is hard…

I spent Tuesday night glued to the TV, yet now, not knowing which way our country is going — feels unnerving.

Will we be okay?
What is going to happen?
How will this all work out?

I keep refreshing news websites and swiping on my phone. How long until everything is wrapped up.

Maybe you are there today too — in the space of not knowing. Maybe not knowing is making you feel restless, a little nervous or worried. Maybe it isn’t even the election that is bothering you..but, other areas in your life: finances, marriage, relationships, or health.

You don’t know if you are going to be okay. If things will be okay. If everything will work out.

I understand.

I think the one thing cuts through not knowing is remembering: Christ always has the victory.

Always.

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Ro. 8:37 NLT)

Despite natural outcomes, Christ loves us.
Despite what we see, Christ has a good, perfect and pleasing will.
Despite what feels hard, we are being transformed from glory to glory into His by the Spirit (See 2 Cor. 3:18 KJV)

Nothing can remove the love of Christ for us. Nothing can stop the Lord Almighty. Nothing, with God, is irredeemable.

God can work good, in even, what even seems bad.

“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.” (1 Jo. 4:5)

Prayer: Father God, I trust in you. I do not look at what I can see — or what I can’t see. I look at you. I look to you. I wait for you. You are King. You are Lord. You are Conqueror. You are Faithful. Today, I release fear and worry and I take on your faith. I thank you for Jesus, the son, who died for me. I trust Him to continue saving me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Need more peace and less stress? Consider my new book, “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy.

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Peace, Be Still

peace

More than anything else I think, today, we need peace.

Many of us are beyond concerned. Everyone had an opinion online. The TV is telling us this or that. We wonder where things are headed?

More than anything else, today, we need: peace and prayer.

Tackling prayer is easy, we ask: Father, you will be done.

Peace can feel more elusive. This my reasoning for including 7 verses of peace for you today. I advise that you read them aloud and that you pray them over yourself.

7 Verses that Bring Peace

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps. 46:10)

Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. (Ps. 100:3)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)

The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. (Is. 26:3)

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, for to this you were called as members of one body. And be thankful. (Col. 3:15)

The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Nu. 6:26)

Prayer:  May the peace of God reign in your heart today, no matter what you face, no matter what you see. May you remember who you are in Christ and whose you are.  May you remember that God is in charge. May you rest in knowing that He has the whole world in His hands. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Defeat the Enemy

Sneaky devil!

I found myself thinking that phrase in my mind this morning, as I made coffee. I am not sure where it came from, other than the fact that a day ago I was standing strong with Christ, yet, this morning I was crying my eyes out…

Hmm… Why is it one day we are all prayed up and ready to go and the next we’re whining that we’re not okay?

Nothing changed. Yet, I’ll tell you why this happens…in part, it’s due to sneaky devil! 

He roams in the night…

Seeking to discourage us…

Desiring to steal God’s goodness from us.

Hoping to kill what is life.

Aiming to destroy hope…

Same tactics, different day. So what!?

The devil never stands a chance against Jesus. This thought immediately annihilates even his best-laid plans.

The devil cannot defeat Jesus.

Beyond this, I’ve learned a couple breakthrough points, as it pertains to defeating the devil. Many of the points can be pulled from Ephesians 6:14-18 Message.

Point 1: You can’t just know about truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation, you have to have activate them in your life. This means dedicating yourself to knowing truth and to being truthful. To wearing the the righteousness of Christ morning-by-morning. To receiving the peace Jesus left you. Etcetera…

Take what is theory and make it living.

“Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life.” (Eph. 6 MSG)

Point 2: “God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.” (Eph. 6 MSG)

Read it, think it, speak it, wield it. Enough said.

Point 3: “In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” (Eph. 6)

Pray. Pray. Pray. Get your eyes off of you (because that is a mindset the enemy loves to work through) and think of who you can love.

Be alert. There are things happening around you, that prayer can — and will — immediately defeat if you have your eyes open. Don’t be a sleepy Christian. Noticing what is happening in your world and your heart. Pray against anything that is not of God.

Stand firm and stand strong. Just like a big wave passes, so too shall this enemy attack as you continue to trust in your God.

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Don’t Lose Hope

take advantage

This is a funny story. A turtle showed up on my doorstep. Can I tell you all? He was the cutest turtle. His back had all these fun little stripes and lines and I just loved the little fellow the second I saw him… But, before long, I knew we’d have to return him back to the wild, much to my son’s disappointment.

When we released him, I felt like I was watching some sort of kids movie. The little guy swam off into the lake behind our house and there was nearly a dry-eye. There should have been sad music playing in the background. The second he was gone, we all wanted him back.

My son prayed just that, “God, bring me a turtle back.”

About a week later, my boy came into the kitchen from a playdate at a friend’s house. He said, “Mom, I have a surprise for you!” He led me outside with my eyes closed.

“Open them!”

I looked down and saw, not one, but two turtles. God hadn’t just addressed my son’s loss by answering His prayer, but He’d given him a double-portion.

Some of us, like what happened with my son, are experiencing loss. We have lost a relationship, a person, a dream or a hope and it seems it is long gone. We miss — what was. We want to cry. We feel so — at a loss…

I understand this. However, what looks like loss, through Christ is gain. What looks like defeat, through Christ, is resurrection life. What looks like the end, through Christ, is only a new beginning.

Just as God brought back — not one, but two — turtles for my son, God can bring back life, hope and joy to you, in a double portion.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21)

Our God is prepared to do: more than we can ask, more than we can imagine, more than we can understand.

Today, what would it look like for you to get beyond your own understanding, to leave the past in the past, and to hope again?

Find Rest: Order “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy” today.

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Your Good Father

good father

The woman, sitting with me at the conference table, did an extraordinary thing…

It all started with my saying, “I love your bible.”

On the spine, I noticed the words “Amplified version” printed. I love the Amplified Version. It gives rich context to the original Hebrew and Greek words in the Word.  I admired her treasure. Yet, what this woman didn’t know was my hunt in the last year to find, not just an “Amplified Version” bible, but a “Classic Amplified” version bible.

“Classic Amplified” bibles are out-of-print and not so easily found. I’ve looked here and there online, without much success. I’ve thought about how I want this translation on multiple occasions.

So, needless to say, I was surprised when she responded, “Well, this is actually a Classic Amplified Version.”

I didn’t want to covet. Yet inside, I wondered if coveting a bible is okay?? I didn’t know. Either way, I oohed and ahhed a little louder.

“Oh my goodness, that is a Classic Amplified Bible?” I said. “I’ve searched far and wide for that very book.”

Then, the conference started up, proceeded on, and before I knew it, it was over.

Looking longingly at her treasure, I waved goodbye to my fellow seatmate saying, “Hey. It was nice meeting you. I hope you really enjoy that bible.”

I wasn’t about 5 steps away when I heard her call my name. I looked back, and I saw her plucking papers out the book.

She extended it towards me. A tear formed in my eye. This woman was giving me her treasure so I could treasure it.

My heart was touched. God knew what I wanted– and He gave it to me. God saw.

My friend, God sees your heart. He knows what you need. He is aware of what you desire. He is a good Father.

If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him! (Mt. 7:11 AMPC — Classic!!!)

The Lord has good and advantageous things to give to you.

Are you asking? Seeking? Hoping? Or, have you lost hope that you have a good Father who cares for you? I’m sure of it — He loves to hear your voice.

My dear friend, I feel strongly led to say: do not give up with your requests. Do not back down. Keep asking. Ask more. Ask louder. Knock more. Talk to your Father; He loves you.

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Stir it Up!

stir it up

If you don’t stir the pot while something is cooking, it sticks to the bottom of the pan. Before you know it, you have clumpy mess that will not move. And, that is hard to clean up.

I, in the past, got clumpy this way. I got in ruts where I mechanically read God’s Word. I became defeated because I lost hope in a greater thing. I got plowed down because people weren’t nice.

Yet, these conditions-of-heart were on me. The fact-of-the-matter was I didn’t stir my own pot. I allowed myself to get clumpy.

“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2 Tim 2:6 KJV)

The early Christians were reminded to stir! They were told to stir up the gifts given to them by God. To stir means to “kindle up” or to “fan into a flame”.

The responsibility here belongs to us. We fan our own God-given flame. We stir things up.

How?

Well, how has God gifted you? I am an encourager. What are you? A giver? A teacher? A helper? A builder? Consider your passion and how God likes to use you.

Even if you can’t think of your gifting, you can still stir things up. We all have been gifted with grace upon grace thanks to Jesus. Remind yourself of this fact. You are loved, equipped and empowered. Christ lives inside you. He has, and currently does, call you to great things in and through Him.

Stir up your gift. Fan your flame. You are here for a purpose and on purpose.

Another way to stir things up is to use your gifting. Love others. Speak truth. Encourage. Share what God has put on your heart. Step outside the bounds of comfort.

We don’t need continual comfort anymore than we need last month’s paper. Be a pioneer through God’s Spirit rather than retracting from this world in fear. Stir your gift up.

Activate it by engaging with it, as you love others. Love them BIG, and love them bold!

The more you do this, the more on fire for Jesus you will become. You’ll be excited about your faith. You will rekindle the excitement for Jesus you once had. Stir things up.

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Opening Up to Others

I remember when I sat at a coffee table with a new friend.

As I sipped a warm latte, I wanted to encourage her, like I do with most people, yet I couldn’t…

There was a huge block: I felt jealous of the opportunities she was getting. These were opportunities that I was not getting.

Facing my sin, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t stop thinking bad thoughts. So, I did the only thing I could think of…

I mustered up courage and said directly to her face, “Can I tell you something? I feel jealous of you…all the open doors you are getting are things that I’ve been wanting for a long time.  I don’t want to hate you this way. Will you forgive me for this jealousy? God, will you forgive me too. I am so sorry.”

She sat there for a second, just staring at me.

“Wow, Kelly, thank you for saying this.” She said.

Following this moment, we talked together about the areas where I felt sad. We acknowledged the pain I was feeling. We talked about my story. Then, we moved on to how God was working, even in my difficulties.  She encouraged me. Quickly, my feelings of jealousy dissipated.

I was able to celebrate her agin. I loved her even more, in that moment. She loved me too.

Before leaving our coffee date, her parting words were, “Kelly, thank you for opening up about your jealousy towards me.  You really taught me that I can be vulnerable and open about my struggle and jealousy.  Thank you for this.”

Wow. My struggle gave her permission to share her struggle. The amount of connection that I felt with God, and this friend, were on super-high levels now. I was amazed.

Soon after that she, once again, got an opportunity that I wanted.  Yet, as I watched her seize it, I no longer wanted what she had. Instead, I celebrated what she had.  Interestingly, she used a little piece of wisdom I’d previously given her to add to this project — and she acknowledged me. God made me part of this project too. It was a head-nod from God. He knew.

With this, friends, I cheer you on and say — don’t be afraid to confess your sins to one another.  What we reveal to God, and others, gets healed. To receive forgiveness is to restore heart-connection. Even more, healing is not only for us, but often for them too!

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (Ja. 5:16)

Who do you need to confess to? How is God calling to restore connection with Him and others?

Please know, I understand that people may not always respond as beautifully as my sister-in-Christ did. I get this. At the same time, we do not serve man; we serve God. In this, no matter what they say, do or think — you can be sure of one thing: God will be faithful to heal you. God is Healer, no matter how the other person responds. He is forgiver, even if the other person doesn’t take it well. He lifts up, even if the others still put you down.

God is the rewarder, no matter how others act. As we honor Him, He honors us. (see 1 Sam. 2:30)

Be encouraged. Ask for confession. Offer forgiveness. Restore connection.

A Prayer Request from Kelly: On the launch day of my book, “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy” a toddler spilled water on my computer. My computer does not work anymore. I am now writing these posts on my phone, which cumbersome and difficult.  Can you all pray for my computer to miraculously work again or something like that?! I love you all SO much!

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