Purposeful Faith

Category - Contentment

Finding true contentment

Prayer to Move Mountains

good father

“Where are you, Kelly?”

Friends, I got your emails. You wanted to know where I was and if I was okay.

Can I tell you? I am more than okay.  Friends, despite the fact that masses of people were vying for one listed home…despite the fact that nothing new was listed…despite the fact that my future home was not even put online…

…WE GOT A HOME!

God showed up, like always. He did it, again. He always does that.

Sure, it may have been the 11th hour; it may have looked like there was no way; I may not have done things perfectly or acted perfectly, even so…God came though!

Your prayers moved mountains and, my dear ones, I cannot thank you enough. With this, I want to encourage you the same way…

God will come through for you too!

Can you remember a time when the Lord showed up in your life? A time when, against all odds, He made  something — a miracle of sorts — happen?

“It seemed like a dream, too good to be true,
    when God returned Zion’s exiles.
We laughed, we sang,
    we couldn’t believe our good fortune.
We were the talk of the nations—
    God was wonderful to them!”
God was wonderful to us;
    we are one happy people.” (Ps. 126: 1-3 MSG)

Can you remember the feelings, the joy, the praise, the wonder at how a Mighty God, showed up? How He changed everything? How He made something out of nothing? Give Him thanks for that time.

And then say, over your needs today, “Do it again, God! Do it again!”

And now, God, do it again
    bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
    will shout “Yes!” at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
    will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.” (Ps. 126:4-6 MSG)

Just like I experienced, when you all prayed for me, there is power in numbers. There is movement in masses of prayers.

“If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” (Mt. 18:19)

Let’s all pray for each other.

Can you even imagine if thousands of us agree for God to address our needs? Can you imagine how many mountains we can move through thousands of collective prayers? I want you to experience mountain-moving prayer too!

So, let’s all pray for our Purposeful Faith family’s needs now — and watch what happens! (Go God, go! We believe in you and we support each other!)

Prayer for all of us: “Father, we thank you that we are the body. Just as the arm needs the head and the legs need the torso — we need each other. With this, we come to you right now, Father God. We usher in front of you — all our needs. We bring to you health requests, family needs, relationship turmoil, hardship, suffering, tears, mourning, grief, mental health issues, job losses and requests, discouragement and doubt, financial issues and marital suffering and we ask to do the impossible. Because you are THE GOD of the impossible, we bring every request before you and we ask for a mass-answer to our massive needs. Why limit you? Why doubt you? Why not, believe? With this, we ask for massive prayer breakthrough and a mass deliverance, God. Like never before. God, you see every child here. You see every need. You know what is on every heart. We pray that you might move. We pray that you might change things. We pray that you might bring heavenly answers and movement to earthly issues. We bring all of it before you. We call on heaven to move for our brothers and sisters in Christ! We ask for your hand, the sovereign hand of God to move with power on everyone’s behalf. We not only agree with each other’s needs, but we believe that it shall be done. Be it on the last hour, or against all odds, or different than we thought — we declare, we trust you. We believe. We thank you for hearing our prayer. We thank you for seeing our need. We thank you that your ways are the best way. We surrender to a good, good Father. Give us peace in any gap of you showing up and showing your goodness, so that we may trust you more and more. We praise your name. You alone are worthy! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

Having Ears to Hear

“Son, clean your room.”

Dead air.

“Son, clean your room.”

Dead air.

“Son, do you hear me??? Clean your room.”

“Oh mom, did you say something to me?”

“Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” (Mt. 13:9 NLT)

Did you know that even as grown adults we can actually hear, but not listen?

It happens to me too, when I am thinking about other things, when I have my own solution in mind or when I am in a rush. Other times, I’m so used to what is being said words lose meaning.

Ya, ya, ya, I know that already.

We can do this with God’s Word too. We can hear, but not listen. Read, but not understand.

Recently, I realized this sort of thing was hurting me. I was reading God’s promises, but not believing. I was holding tight to prayer, but not believing God would show up. I was worrying and stressing more than knowing and trusting in God’s help.

The result was I began to hold on to my natural circumstances more than God’s truth. Do you find yourself there right now?

This can easily happen when we hear but don’t listen, internalize but don’t understand, what God is trying to say to us.

Never allow God’s Word to get ordinary. When His Word gets ordinary we forget God is a God of extraordinary break-through. We revert back to our own plans.

At this past Breakthrough Retreat, we honed in on the power of God’s Word. We activated truth in our life. We restored faith in a God who shows up. We gained fresh hope, even in the places of our wait. We covered practical ways to stand firm, steady and strong even in the midst of a hard time. We put together an action plan to have courage in the midst of a storm.

If you are still interested in attending the Breakthrough Retreat it is not too late. You can join me for Breakthrough Retreat via Zoom (via the recorded version, $29).

Allow the truth of God to become your truth!

Prayer: God, help me. Help your Word to become my words. Help your truth to fill my mind. I ask for your Holy Spirit to renew my mind. I do not want to conform to the world around me. I want to be transformed by you. I ask for fresh faith, hope and love for others. Renew me and restore me. Give me a love for your Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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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No Appreciation

Have you ever poured out all the gory details of your heart to someone? And, you get a blank stare…
Or, shown up with an amazing gift for a friend? Yet, they don’t say thank you…
Maybe you were thoughtful and intentional? And no one notices…
Patient and kind? You get no appreciation…

What do you do — when what you do is not recognized?

As a mom, I pour out a lot, yet my kids aren’t knocking down my door to say thank you. As a wife, I try to give a lot, but moments pass and it seems ordinary. I always want to bless people, but I’m not sure how much they notice.

These feelings of doing and not being seen make me ask myself — who am I doing it for anyway? God or man?

And, what’s my goal? Getting recognized by man or giving thanks to God for ALL He has done for me?

Sometimes, I seek the applause of man.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10)

One cannot serve two masters. To please man is to lose complete servanthood to Christ. This convicts me. I don’t want to gain man’s credit at the expense of God’s pleasure. I want to bring my Father overwhelming joy, all the time!

What about you?

Prayer: Father, thank you that you have withheld man’s praises in my life. I see that you do this for my good. I see that, in this place, I am reminded to put all my trust in you. Man cannot give me what you give. Man’s praise is fleeting, while your love and rewards are eternal. I thank you that serving you is the best gift of my life. May all I do be a living testimony unto your glory. You are amazing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Think: How is God practically calling you to depend on His pleasure rather than man’s approval? He will give you the grace to walk this out!

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We Cannot Change People

One of the greatest frustrations is sharing truth with someone who doesn’t want to change.

This can happen with an unbelieving child, an unchanging husband, or with a super-close friend… Have you tried talking to them a time or two, or five?

It hurts when you know what someone should do, yet they don’t do it.

I recently talked to a leader who told me, “No matter how much I tell people what they need to do, and why they should do it, they pretty much never follow through.”

Why could that be?

Well, let me ask you — how do you feel when people tell you what to do? When they point out what you are doing wrong? How do you feel when advice is thrust upon you? Do you receive or push away?

I can’t help but think — forced-change is resisted.  No one likes being held down and commanded to change.

Yet, Proverbs tells us, “Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.” (Prov. 15:31)

I want to be wise, don’t you? How do we contend with this verse? I think the notable keyword here are the words: life-giving.

Many of us hit people with a sharp stake of truth and call that life. But, is it? Living-giving without love under them are just cutting demands. These sorts of words tend to shape people into our image, rather than Christ’s.

This is why having love at the foundation is so key. If people cannot see your interest, they will question your intent. And, they’ll likely resist.

But, if they know you understand? They sense that you care? They believe that you want for them a better life? They see the vision, because of your pure heart?

Then, they likely will value what you say.

God instructs us to look at the log in our own eye, before examining the speck in other people’s eye. We should be wise and make sure that what we call-out is not something that we, ourselves, actually walk with.

What about you? Are you wise? Do you speak God’s wisdom in love? Or, do you want others to change so that you can finally be happy with them?

Prayer: God, I need you. I want to listen and heed wisdom. I also want to share wisdom with others in a way that their heart can receive it. Teach me the nuances of this. Teach me how to love in a greater proportion. Give me your heart, your Word and your vision for others at just the right moment. May I be full of grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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Job Hope

Need Rescuing

You’d never see a church named what I am about to name it… While, you absolutely might see a church named, “Grace Church” or “Abundant Life Church”, you would never see a church named, “Job Hope”

Who would want to go there?  Who would want to go to the places of Job — losing family, getting boils, losing all material items and family — to find out you have hope?

But, that is exactly what you find when you go there…

You find that you are stronger than your circumstances.

You find that, by His grace, you can endure almost anything, afterall.

You find that there is a greater hope than you, God.

Job Hope is where — no matter what hopelessness or loss you face — you get to the end of yourself and say:

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job. 1:21)

You can still bless the Lord. You still want Him even though He took away. You don’t love Him for what He gives, but for who He is. Even more, you trust that it will ultimately be good. Painful as you go through it, yes, but good. Hard to endure, indeed, but still strengthening your perseverance.

Without every answer…as other things fade away, you see Him more clearly.

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,

And at last He will take His stand on the earth.” (Job 19:25)

You more-so understand that God is God: a Redeeming God, a Rescuing God, a Restoring God, more than you ever have before… You begin to understand that His ways are higher than yours, stronger than yours, more purposeful than yours.

God said to Job…”Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding…” (Job. 38:4)

You don’t have to know-it-all to know that He loves you.

And then, your Father comes, He restores. After you have endured the test, He restores your life.  You made it through Job Hope. You got the hope which cannot be stolen from the enemy; you endured the great trial and came out with the gold.

Don’t lose hope.

God redeems Job in the end: “So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.” (Job 42:12)

 

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Wanting God to Show Up?

There are no woods near my house. So, not knowing where else to go, I found a patch of trees away from my house and sat there.  I wanted to be alone. I felt sad because I had a disagreement with my husband. Today, I can’t remember what I upset me. What bothered then, is unimportant now. It’s funny how arguments go that way…

Anyway, as a cried in the woods, my find-myself-moment-with-God, didn’t work so well. Women walking dogs kept passing by. They kept staring at me. Looking away and trying to stuff the embarrassment down, I really tried not to pay attention to all the  trash around me. It seemed that someone made this a dumping ground for water bottles, old chip bags and paper.

Earlier, I had read in God’s Word how Jacob named a place that meant something to him. In one particular place, God let Jacob know that He would be with Him. He told Jacob that He would “not leave him until (He) had done all that He had told (Jacob). (Gen. 28:15 AMPC)

So, Jacob named that place Bethel (which means “house of God”)… (Gen. 28:19 NLT)

I named the place where I sat, “Where God met Me Amidst a Heap of Trash.”

God did touch my heart that day. There, I realized I was fearing man more than my Maker. Although it felt painful, I wrote the moment off as a win, headed home, and had conversations with my husband.

A week passed. Then, yesterday, I drove past those very sparse woods from the road. I was surprised. The whole like of them bloomed.  I couldn’t believe it. They were now beautiful. The time made them change. The different season made them come to life. The passage of days made something new.

There was another time that Jacob named Bethel, Bethel. It was after Jacob had gone through trials and family issues. This time, at Bethel, God gave Jacob a new name –“Israel”. He also gave Jacob new charge to “be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall come from you and kings shall be born of your stock…” (Gen. 35:11 AMPC)

“So Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him, Bethel (the House of God).” (Gen. 35:15 AMP)

God exchanged what was for something even more beautiful. He did the same for me.

And, He can do the same for you…

You know, only a short time passed by until those cruddy woods were made completely gorgeous. Only days passed until the whole look of thing was radically different. Only God can do that! God can take what looks ugly and work through it until He forges something meaningful, as you meet with Him. Do not think you sit on a heap of trash or in a place of embarrassment. God wants to meet you right there. He will take what you want to name “trash” and make it bloom!

Prayer: God, I want you. I need you. I need help. I ask you to speak to me. I ask you to help me. I ask for your heart to meet mine. 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.