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!
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.
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.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16, NIV)
I remember the corporate world. I was afraid that people would judge me for being a Christian. Will they think I am odd if I share about Jesus? That I am too radical if I want to start a bible study during lunch?
There was a part in me that wanted to hide who I was to please the person before me. Be it family, a co-worker, or sometimes even a stranger, I felt responsible to take care of their emotions, to make them feel comfortable.
Today, however, I feel 100% different. I am not ashamed of the gospel because I believe wholeheartedly in its power! It is the power of change. It is the power that renews, reforms and revives. It saves, helps, heals and sets free.
The gospel, the very power of God, not only saved me for eternity, but this power has saved me from: an eating disorder, family disfunction, fears, worry, health issues, mental holdbacks, financial fears, accidents and more. Frankly, the gospel and the work of Jesus, hasn’t saved me once, but Jesus keeps on saving me. He doesn’t quit, He keeps on helping. Grace does that. It puts an extra helping of what you do not deserve on your plate.
It is the power of the gospel. When you understand it and the reality of grace, so much can change in your world.
For some of us, though, we don’t feel this power. I get it. Life gets tough. Times get hard. Callouses come on us. Our heart gets heavy. This is why we need a sister or a brother to lift us up. This is why we need encouragement. This is why we need hope. This is why we need the Word of God to point out real truth to our heart again.
And, this is why I want to invite you to join the Breakthrough Retreat this Saturday via Zoom from 10 AM ET to 1 PM ET (*recorded version, available with sign-up too). If you feel God nudging your heart, please answer His call. I believe that this weekend we will experience the power of the gospel that will help, heal and liberate our hearts. I am confident of it.
Will you join me? I believe we will come to know the power of God that will release us to new boldness of faith.
Prayer: Father God, I thank you for each and every reader today. Father, I ask that they too might know the power of your grace in their life. Father, we give thanks for your Son, Jesus. We give thanks that we are saved. We give thanks that you care for us and that you want to help us. Will you help each one of us to intimately understand and perceive the power that is the gospel? We want to know you more. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Often we look at our past and declare it our present. Because we’ve seen it, we expect it. Because we’ve lived it, we know it’ll repeat.
I see how I am as a mom and figure I’ll always respond the same way. You look at your husband and figure — it’s hopeless. You see your body and — want to give up.
But, what if I told you God has the power to move — quickly?
This morning, when I was in the bathroom, a gnat kept bumping into my face. I simply clapped my hands and the gnat was a nuisance no more. With just a simple move, a clap, everything changed. Likewise, through simple praise, simple truth, a simple word, God can accomplish much…
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” (Acts 16:25-26)
Suddenly and at once, everything can change, with God. At once, your mind can be renewed with Jesus. At a moment’s notice, the enemy has to flee at the sound of your praise-filled clapping. All of sudden, you are released from what you figured would imprison you forever!
When big faith shows up, we get the chance to see a BIG God move. What if — all of a sudden — God is ready to break through in your life? Do you believe it to be possible? Do you believe He can? Do you believe He is bigger than the molds you have placed on Him?
I want to invite all those in search of a great God to meet with me this Saturday for the next Breakthrough Retreat. On this Saturday, March 6 (10 ET – 1 PM ET via Zoom), we will meet God through worship, His Word and wonder. I am expectant that our simple act of — showing up, will yield much fruit. He is faithful. Come if you would like transformation in your life!
At once, so much really can change. Our God is that great.
I know people don’t tell you that often and you probably are thinking, “How can Kelly even say this? She doesn’t even know me that well?”
Well, I know Jesus. And, I also know that, if you are a believer in Christ Jesus, then Jesus is alive in you.
“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20)
This isn’t a tall-tale, but the truth. This isn’t a theory, but a reality. Christ lives in you.
The King of Glory…
The Hope of all Nations…
The One and Only…
The Embodiment of Love…
Wow. He is alive in you. Through Jesus, you are now dead to the overwhelming power of sin and alive to Christ Jesus.
The thought it profound. Can you even imagine how amazing it is that the Wonderful Counseling Holy Spirit has chosen to make His home within – us? Of all people — you and me?
God wants to be with us. He wants to be near us.
If you ever feel bad about you, remember who is in you, the one who chose to live in you. If you ever doubt yourself, remember that you are dead and alive to Christ Jesus. If you ever feel too bad for God’s love, remember the imputed righteousness of Christ Jesus has been won for you thanks to Jesus. When Jesus looks at you He sees goodness. When Jesus looks at you, He loves.
Where and how do you need to receive this as truth? How might God be calling you to receive Jesus’ work in a fresh way?
I tell myself things like this: I am now clean. I am loved. I am whole. I am chosen. I am wanted. I am called. I am infilled by the Spirit. I am busting at the seams with Christ’s love. I am dead to me and alive to Christ’s goodness.
When I remind myself of these truths, I truly feel Christ’s power working out, from the inside-out.
Our life is meant to lift other people higher. Like Jesus. He laid down His life to lift us to new life. In the same way, we lay down our life for others.
The second we lay low; He gets lifted high. People see the power of Jesus from new heights…
One time, I forgot a towel at a retreat. A bunkmate that I didn’t know offered me her only towel. She laid down her right for a towel for me. This act of generosity opened my heart to the love of Christ. Who is this girl that she would give up her own towel so that I could be clean? It was such a weird offering but it touched my heart. It didn’t seem normal. After that retreat I accepted Christ in my heart.
Because she put her rights low, I saw the love of Jesus lifted high.
There is a working-power so immense when one give up the pursuit of themselves for the betterment of others.
Often, I want to preserve my own life. I do something that I think is really fantastic — maybe, I give to someone in need — and I base my work on their response or, I tell others about the great work I did. I want to be appreciated. This is not going low, but putting myself high.
It can feel very hard, sometimes, to do things just for Jesus… Just because you love Him… Just because you want to please Him… Just because He is your all-in-all… Just because you want to imagine His smile… Just because Jesus is worth all the glory…
It is hard to separate flesh from Spirit sometimes.
Is it hard for you too? Maybe you pray, but you want people to hear. Maybe you talk and hope people will think you have good things to say. Maybe you help out but expect people to appreciate you. Maybe you help your husband with something specific, and yet, he never returns the favor. Maybe you talk to be heard…
The main question is: are you doing these things for man or God?And, is it about gaining credit or is it to the credit of the one who paid it all?
Oh, to bring an offering of great measure can never compare to the great treasure in which Jesus paid. However, to operate from the secret place — where it is all for His glory — still brings incredible pleasure to His heart. I want to please Him. Don’t you?
I want to bring a pure offering.
Verses to Ponder:
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Mt. 10:39)
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Mt. 6:6)
Father, give us the grace to lay low, so that we can see you lifted high. Give us the power to set down our ways to see yours in motion. Give us the ability to let go of us to gain all of you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
As it pertains to mothering. I keep thinking, “What have I done? What have I done to make my child act like this?”
With this line of questioning in my heart, I try to fix myself. I try to act better. I try to talk nicer. I try to hug more. I try to lean in when I talk. I try to soften my voice. I try to share my feelings. I try to listen better.
And, when that doesn’t work, I ask myself again, “Where did I go wrong?”
Ever been there? Ever tried your hardest, only to feel like you’re going nowhere? Not succeeding?
I feel guilty. But, the one simple thing God speaks is: grace.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
I mess up. God still gives to me…
I don’t handle everything right. God loves me anyway…
I need help. God helps me…
I am not perfect. God shows up for me despite this…
I am not sure about what to do. God leads me to where I need to go…
Jesus meets me in the place of my need. I never need to fix-myself-up for Him.
There He is — perfect and providing.
Here I am — in-need and dependent.
I don’t have to hate my needs. Jesus paid the price so I could take-home all His goodness, without me having to pretend or hate the fact that I am not a better mother. This is grace. And, yes, it is abundant and it is amazing.
I haven’t gone wrong; I have gone right into His arms. What about you? Do you know the face of the loving Father, even when you face a million problems? What does His grace do for you? What might it want to say to you?
Prayer: Father God? I love you. You are a good Father. And, I am a loved daughter. Will you help me know this — as truth. Real truth. I want it to be more than just mind-truth; I want it to be heart-truth. I want to know your love, more and more. I want to understand your grace, day-by-day. I want to live and breathe from this very place. Help me, God. I love you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.” (Mark 16:1)
Sometimes I stare at the body of Christ while I am in church.
While everyone else is worshipping, I open my eyes and look at the body of Christ, His people (1 Cor. 12:27). Even while the pastor is speaking about the headship of Christ, I behold Jesus’ body, each precious soul He died to save. I love my sisters and my brothers. I desire to care for their wounds. I so want them to be anointed in His love. The body, along with the headship of Jesus — both, are vitally important to Jesus.
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome came first to care for Jesus’ body. What a ministry of love. These three women showed up to love — His body, post death. At this moment, it wasn’t about getting more knowledge about Jesus…it wasn’t about memorizing bible verses…it wasn’t about being right politically…it wasn’t about being seen, it was about the body. His precious war-torn body. They came with the best for — His body.
I can’t help but think that there are many Christians, people who make up the body of Christ, who are in pain, in a tomb, discouraged, and hopeless right now. Are we loving the body or we tearing it down. Are we seeing those in need or are we only focused on a stage that speaks of the headship of Jesus?
Oh, to love the very body of Jesus! It is vitally necessary these days. Consider this: what is a head without a body? How effective when a body lays paralyzed and immobile?
This weekend, during the Breakthrough Retreat, all who attended got a chance to love the very body of Jesus. And, oh how souls were revived through it! It was sister-loving-sister. It was hearts coming to Jesus. The women who joined said it was “amazing”, “inspiring”, “uplifting”, “encouraging”, “timely”, “insightful”, and “hopeful”. The women who watched the recording wrote to tell me of the hope God brought them. This is exactly what I was hoping and praying for.
You know, dear sisters in Christ, it is not too late to join the retreat. If you want to take part, via the recorded version, just sign up below. I will send out the link to you. Even more, stay tuned, I will be hosting another retreat next month.
Breakthrough Retreat 1/27
Make space to encounter God. Gain new strength for this year.
January 9, 2020 from 10 AM ET - 1 PM ET via Zoom.
But, until then, look at the body of Christ. It needs you — your love, your care, your words of encouragement, your hope and your attention.
Prayer: Oh Jesus, there is none like you, none before you, and none after that will ever compare. We exalt your name. We love your headship. Father, at the same time, we ask for grace to love the very body of Christ — not forgetting it, no matter how they act and what they do. Pour out your Spirit of Grace upon us to love without measure and to lift each other higher. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let me start off by saying…I’m starting something new (scroll down to the bottom if you have to know before I tell my story!).
There’s nothing I love more than to see God work in my devotional emails. At the same time, I want more…I want more live connection with you and deeper intimacy with God. Many of you have participated in The Journey Together Summit and/or read my three books…and while I hope these have blessed you…what I am talking about goes beyond this.
To uncover the more, I feel now is the time to pull together to go deeper and farther in Christ…WITH EACH OTHER. This is why today I’m launching a series of retreats called “Breakthrough Retreats”. My hope is to gather a tribe together — that sticks together and moves forward together. I’ll tell you more about all this in moment, but — before I do — let me say…
I didn’t get to where I am because I have something you don’t. For many years, I was — stuck. For a long time, I couldn’t move forward.
During these years, I was even reading God’s Word, asking God to help me and trying with all my will to change. Yet, internally, I was scared and immobilized. I didn’t believe in myself or in who God made me to be. I couldn’t quite access depth with God.
Ever been there? Ever felt unsure about yourself? Ever known what youshould do, but you still can’t do it…? Ever wanted (to take action, change, forgive, leave the past behind, draw closer to Him, get healthy or reach out to someone) but felt hindered? Maybe you start and then stop. Or, you just can’t seem to deepen your relationship with God.
Oh, I know all the defeatist feelings that say — you’ll never change, you’ll never do it, you can’t.
Oh, but — my friend, you can — change! And, this year? In 2021…I believe you will. Why? Because, perhaps what you are missing is not as hard or distant as it seems, but instead it’s — super simple (it was for me).
Hebrews 10:24 says, “and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…”
I found people who stirred me up. They encouraged me, inspired me, asked me tough questions, gave me the right scripture at the right time, and kept me accountable. This was my breakthrough.
Said another way, stirring-up means, “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” (Heb. 10:24 MSG)
My friend, do you want or need to be spurred on or stirred up?
Often, our breakthrough comes from the people, used by God, who make up the body of Christ. The simple-folk who just — believes in us. This helps us to walk into all God has, up and over the hill that blocks us. It’s not hard.
With this, I feel called to raise the bar higher…and higher still. Do you want to be part of tribe of women pressing in to all God has? Is God calling you to do this, even right now?
I want to invite you to a “Breakthrough Morning Retreat”, designed to stir-up faith, connection, resolve, rest, and passion.
During this Breakthrough Morning Retreat, my hope is that you will:
1. Worship and Connect with the Heart of God.
2. Hear from God about practical next-steps for this coming year.
3. Be encouraged with teaching that will inspire courage, hope and breakthrough.
4. Connect with sisters within a small group context post-event, helping you to forge new bonds, accountability and friendships. (My thought is as we do quarterly retreats this year, you can meet and encourage the same group)
5. Find yourself activated and uplifted via mountain-moving prayer.
***You will also get a 2021 Encouragement Post-up Sheet that includes key reminders and biblical declarations to keep you on your game.
The morning retreat cost is $29. The morning retreat cost is $29 (to cover costs, technology, logistics and more…) Beyond this, I believe that when people put something in, they get more out.
Don’t miss this heart-to-heart event, where you will learn to leave the past in the past so you can press ahead to all 2021 has for you! Now is the time to: do it with others, build a support group, get encouragement and revive hope.
Register today (via the button below) for the Breakthrough Retreat on January 9, 2021 from 10 AM ET to 1 PM ET.
Breakthrough Retreat 1/27
Make space to encounter God. Gain new strength for this year.
January 9, 2020 from 10 AM ET - 1 PM ET via Zoom.
“Kelly is a great encourager! Her greatest desire is that you should know who the Lord created you to be and who you are as a daughter.” – M.R.
“Kelly brought light into my very dark world by demonstrating what the true love of Jesus looks like!” – D.P.
“Kelly’s “realness”, no matter the cost has helped liberate me from all the masks I carried. Christ uses her to powerfully deliver freedom in every conversation.” – S.A.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will there be a recorded version?
If you are unable to attend, but you would like to be a part of the event on your own time, my plan is to create a recorded version. Simply buy a ticket for the retreat and let me know via email that you will be “watching at home”. I will send you the file after it is complete. For more information or if you have questions contact email@example.com
2. How will we have the meeting?
The event will be hosted on Zoom. Please check your Zoom account for updates prior to the event. Lines will be muted.
3. How often will you be having retreats?
I would like to have these retreats quarterly or every other month. My dream is that we can know each other. I would also like to place people into small groups that they can regularly meet with and form relationships. My dream is that we become even more of a tight-knit community. I will love to pray for the small groups at times and I hope this is something that can continue for a long time.
4. How can I continue to connect and build accountability?
I will be creating a dedicated page for your small group to meet, talk, encourage and support each other. I am looking for alternate locations to Facebook. Stay tuned. I hope to announce this during the retreat so that you can continue to meet with a small band of women. Additionally if I can set it up (depending on the retreat group size), I may even have you meet your small group during the event.
5. Is there more I can do with you?
On the retreat, I will share some more ways we can go deeper and grow in intimacy with God. Stay tuned.
6. Will I stay with my small group?
Yes, I hope to form a small group at the first event and to keep you connecting at future retreats. Let’s do life together!
7. Can I invite my friends to join this or is it only for Purposeful Faith readers?
Everyone is welcome!
Breakthrough Retreat 1/27
Make space to encounter God. Gain new strength for this year.
January 9, 2020 from 10 AM ET - 1 PM ET via Zoom.
For more information or if you have questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Ticket non-transferable/refundable.