Purposeful Faith

Category - Contentment

Finding true contentment

Being Friend’s with Jesus

Have you ever been with a friend who constantly looks at their phone when they’re with you?

My pet peeve is when I meet someone for coffee and they keep looking at their phone. I can’t help but think…is it me? Is it something I’m saying? Am I not good enough to have their full attention?

This also happens on occasion at social gatherings when a person looks behind me or around me, rather than looking at me when I’m talking. I have to admit, I wonder why they’re so distracted.

It is hard to build a relationship with someone who is only half-in. Or, half-way listening. Or, half-way minding what they’re saying to you.

I couldn’t help but think about all this — this very morning, as I made coffee, while trying to pray…

I muttered some words, but as I got the grinds in the cup, I only half-way put my heart into what I was praying. I spoke some things that sounded good, but as I assembled the cups in the right place, I wasn’t much thinking about what I was saying. I tried to think about God, but I was much more thinking, “Where’s the cream?”

My attention was divided two ways. Looking at coffee, I couldn’t  — in actuality, look at God. It’s like trying to drive ahead while looking out your rear window. You can’t look two places at once.

Good friends focus on each other. They are attentive and available, rather than distracted and double-minded.

“…But I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (Jo. 15:15)

Good friends set down their phones, their to-do lists, their mind, even — and hone in on what’s happening between them. They talk. They make room to listen. They aren’t trying to do 5 things at one time. They rest in each other’s company.

Are you a friend of Jesus or are you far-more a distracted doer? Are you following a million rabbit trails around you and in your mind — or are you attuned to God’s heart?

I’ve noticed as I’ve set things down, or given my thoughts a time-out, I’ve been able to make space for exceptional times with God and for His breakthrough. I’ve noticed as I’ve said no to other things — I have made space for my first love. With this, I’ve come to know Him on such a deeper  heart level. I believe the same is available to you…

Prayer: Father, I want to know, love and be with you more. Will you give me focus? Will you help me be available to you? Will you pour out grace so that I can leave everything else behind as I read your Word? As I pray? You are my treasure of greatest measure. Please help me to treat you this way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

For more on attentiveness and focus on God, consider my newest book, “Rest Now: 7 Ways To Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy.”

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When Dealing with Repeated Mistakes

love

“Mom, you have to come!”

The face on my 7 year-old, with her head jutting through my bedroom door, said it all… There was an issue.

Oh no…what happened?

Once I got to the living room, I knew: Bright red lipstick was striped all down the arm of my living room chair.

She looked up at me, “Mom, it is not just on that one chair, but it is on the other one too.”

At this point, she apologized profusely. But, my insides boiling and turning within me… I was angry! These weren’t just any chairs, but expensive chairs. If I hadn’t told her once, I’d told her 500 times not to sit on those chairs with food and not to put on my lipstick without asking.  But, there she was — caught red-handed…

Grr…

Yet, after a bit, I forgave her. Why?  Because if I’ve learned anything from ministry it is that to hold unforgiveness — is to hold yourself in bondage. But, to let go — is to let go of bitter pain targeted to hit your hearth in the future.

I forgive you, Madison.

“Mom,” she said. “I’ll pay for those chairs.”

“You can’t afford them, Madison. The price I paid for them is far too high.”

The second these words came out of my mouth, the second it felt like Jesus’ sacrifice was talking straight to my heart….

The price I paid for you, Kelly…
You could never afford it.
The price I paid was far too high for you to pay.
But, I paid it on your behalf and I still forgive you…for it all.

It was as if…just as I wiped Madison’s art-chair clean…Jesus was reminding me how He wiped my slate clean too. I deserved so much punishment… I still make  mistakes — yet, Jesus. Jesus paid the complete (and expensive) price to wipe me clean. To make me whole. To mark me holy. To see me as righteous.

I am off-the-hook because Jesus hung on the cross.

He “bought (me) with a price…” (1 Cor. 7:23)

A price I could never pay on my own.

And, the price He paid still covers me. When I make a mistake… When I talk in a way that I shouldn’t… When I think that thought… When I don’t do what I want to do… Still, His grace and His love cover…my many I’m sorrys.

I spent a good amount of time washing those lipstick chairs. When I look at them now, I keep noticing the way they are matted-down, imperfect. But, you know what? I’m like those chairs, imperfect. And, Jesus loves me anyway. He still wants me too.

Despite my flaws, Jesus marks me more than enough, more than helped, and more than equipped, even though… Those imperfect chairs stand as reminders that His perfect price was more than enough to make imperfect me  — white as snow!

Jesus’ love continually wipes the marks right off me. Now, I am clean, accepted and loved, always.

Glory to the King!

Prayer: Oh, how I thank you, Jesus, for the price you paid. Oh, how I praise you for how you wipe me clean again and again. You free me — not once, but all the time. You save me, not just for eternity, but for today. I cannot thank you enough Jesus. I cannot praise you enough. I receive all the grace and mercy I so desperately need. You are faithful. You love me and see me as righteous, holy and pure…all because of your blood, Jesus. Thank you. Amen.

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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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Don’t Give up in Prayer

What do you do when you don’t see results?

If you try a craft and it becomes a hot-glue gun mess, do you keep going? If you phone someone and won’t pick up when you call, do you keep calling? If you communicate with a friend but they never listen, do you keep talking?

It is hard to continue something without results, isn’t it?

Many of us, for this reason, have given up on prayer. We haven’t seen the results we want. God hasn’t answered in time. We question if He’ll come through. So, we give up, before we’ve only just begun.

Are you there now?

Here’s how you know if you’ve given up: 1. You aren’t passionate about what you pray about. 2. Your mind drifts elsewhere when you pray. 3. You forget to pray. 4. You don’t believe your prayers will be answered. 5. You lob up words to some black abyss.

Jesus knows our mind. It’ why in Luke 1:8, it reads, “Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit.”

Jesus told the story about the persistent widow (Lu. 18:1-8). She kept asking. She kept “badgering”. She kept pursuing her cause. She did not give up until the answer was what she wanted.

How many of us pursue prayer in this way?

Jesus tells us: Don’t stop. Don’t quiet. Be persistent. Be consistent. It is necessary for us to do this.

You know, I’ve grown a little tired of praying. It seems like I may be talking to the air. Yet, I know this is a lie.

Why? Because of you. Because so many of you have sent me emails telling me that God answered prayers we prayed together in the past. He showed up. You requested, He answered.

You asked me to pray over a year ago.  He showed up.
You needed His providence. He showed up.
You didn’t know how He’d do it. He showed up.

So many of your emails encouraged me. So, whether you are still waiting or He’s answered your prayer, let’s keep asking. Let’s lift every reader up today. Some need breakthrough with their kids, or with health, or in their marriage. Some need support, or help with an aging parent, or wisdom as to which direction to go.

Let’s all support each other today. Beyond this, feel free to email me your request. I will NOT be able to email you back (because of the sheer volume of emails I will get), however I will seek to pray for each one of you by name.

“Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.” (Is. 65:24)

“Pray without ceasing…” (1 Thess. 5:17)

“…pray one for another, that ye may be healed….” (Ja. 5:16)

Prayer: Father, you hear us. You care for us. You hear our prayers. We believe that “the heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].” (Ja. 5:16 AMP) We thank you that prayer is not a waste of words, but a move of God. We trust you to do what you think is best. We believe in your power to move mountains. We know that you are working out a best-end. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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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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