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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com. Ticket non-transferable/refundable.
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.
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…
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.
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.
When I was a little girl I loved the story of Cinderella. She was the most unlikely candidate, yet chosen. She was raised from a low-standing to a royal position. She was pursued by one and she found love.
Stories like this capture us, don’t they? We love to see the one who is down and out, lifted up. The unlovable, loved. The unlikely, redeemed.
I wonder if you feel like Cinderella before she went to the palace? If you feel unloved? Down and out? Unseen? Unwanted? Perhaps, your marriage feels dead and you feel left behind.
May I encourage you for a moment? The Cinderella story is yours…
“By the purpose and choice of God”, (Eph. 1:1 AMPC) you are wanted.
By Jesus you have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing. (see Eph. 1:3)
By His love, He chose you.
He “[actually picked you out for Himself as His own] in Christ, before the foundation of the world.” Now you are “holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4 AMPC)
Because of Jesus, you are fully seen and fully wanted. In fact, He “[desinted, planned in love (for you)] to be adopted (revealed) as His own…” (Eph. 1:5 AMPC)
God is not ashamed to reveal you. Just like the prince revealed Cinderella as his own, with proudness…Ephesians 1:5 says, “it pleased (God) and was His kind intent”— to reveal you.
You are His, radiant daughter of the High King. And, God is yours too. He wants you, has adopted you and He freely bestows this love on (you), His beloved. (Eph. 1:6)
Let this all soak in. You are a princess. The daughter of the Most High King. Can you be any more wanted than that?
Prayer: May the truth of this love overwhelm you today. May the fullness of His desire for you — be made known to you. May the beauty of the work of His hands (which is: who He created you to be) be appreciated, as you think of how much He loves you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.