Purposeful Faith

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.


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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Putting our Trust in Man

Why put your trust in man?

Man gives one day and takes-away the next. Man cheers today, then whispers behind your back the next. The applause of man is waning.

Just think…Jesus was cheered by the people… yet, not too long later, people shouted, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

For the longest time, I wanted man to recognize me. I wanted to be chosen. I wanted to prove I was good enough.  I wanted to climb to new places because people would finally “see” what I carried. I wanted them to give me things. I wanted them to make a way for me to get to some higher place. Yuck.  Writing this is sickening.

Why? Because you can’t really love people when you are constantly wanting from them. You can’t hear them when your mouth is too busy proving things to them. You can’t be about others when you’re all about getting what you need for yourself.

Plus, as I said before, man’s love is fickle, while God’s love is solid.

Even Jesus knew this…

“Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.” (Jo. 2:23-25)

We don’t need a testimony from others about how great we are, for then we will miss the testimony God is working. God is our best portion. We can trust Him to take care of us. We can trust Him to provide for us. We can trust Him to show up for us. We can trust Him to move for us. And, He will — when we trust HIM.

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Ro. 5:5 NIV)

God’s love is so rich that it can more than take care of your every need, want and hope!

Prayer: Father, I confess, I sometimes want man’s approval and validation.  I confess sometimes I have relied on my own self-efforts rather than your providence and sustenance. Please forgive me. I don’t want to exchange your love for love of another. In this, I rely more on them than I do on you. Forgive me for doing this. You are my greatest portion and my highest reward. I thank you that you created us all to love. I thank you that you have created me for relationship. However, please help me to put my trust in you and not in man. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


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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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.

 


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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