Purposeful Faith

Tag - peace

Pursued with Love

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)

Radiant.

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.

Do you want to learn to rest more in the love of God? Consider my new book: “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy.”

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Your Good Father

good father

The woman, sitting with me at the conference table, did an extraordinary thing…

It all started with my saying, “I love your bible.”

On the spine, I noticed the words “Amplified version” printed. I love the Amplified Version. It gives rich context to the original Hebrew and Greek words in the Word.  I admired her treasure. Yet, what this woman didn’t know was my hunt in the last year to find, not just an “Amplified Version” bible, but a “Classic Amplified” version bible.

“Classic Amplified” bibles are out-of-print and not so easily found. I’ve looked here and there online, without much success. I’ve thought about how I want this translation on multiple occasions.

So, needless to say, I was surprised when she responded, “Well, this is actually a Classic Amplified Version.”

I didn’t want to covet. Yet inside, I wondered if coveting a bible is okay?? I didn’t know. Either way, I oohed and ahhed a little louder.

“Oh my goodness, that is a Classic Amplified Bible?” I said. “I’ve searched far and wide for that very book.”

Then, the conference started up, proceeded on, and before I knew it, it was over.

Looking longingly at her treasure, I waved goodbye to my fellow seatmate saying, “Hey. It was nice meeting you. I hope you really enjoy that bible.”

I wasn’t about 5 steps away when I heard her call my name. I looked back, and I saw her plucking papers out the book.

She extended it towards me. A tear formed in my eye. This woman was giving me her treasure so I could treasure it.

My heart was touched. God knew what I wanted– and He gave it to me. God saw.

My friend, God sees your heart. He knows what you need. He is aware of what you desire. He is a good Father.

If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him! (Mt. 7:11 AMPC — Classic!!!)

The Lord has good and advantageous things to give to you.

Are you asking? Seeking? Hoping? Or, have you lost hope that you have a good Father who cares for you? I’m sure of it — He loves to hear your voice.

My dear friend, I feel strongly led to say: do not give up with your requests. Do not back down. Keep asking. Ask more. Ask louder. Knock more. Talk to your Father; He loves you.

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Opening Up to Others

I remember when I sat at a coffee table with a new friend.

As I sipped a warm latte, I wanted to encourage her, like I do with most people, yet I couldn’t…

There was a huge block: I felt jealous of the opportunities she was getting. These were opportunities that I was not getting.

Facing my sin, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t stop thinking bad thoughts. So, I did the only thing I could think of…

I mustered up courage and said directly to her face, “Can I tell you something? I feel jealous of you…all the open doors you are getting are things that I’ve been wanting for a long time.  I don’t want to hate you this way. Will you forgive me for this jealousy? God, will you forgive me too. I am so sorry.”

She sat there for a second, just staring at me.

“Wow, Kelly, thank you for saying this.” She said.

Following this moment, we talked together about the areas where I felt sad. We acknowledged the pain I was feeling. We talked about my story. Then, we moved on to how God was working, even in my difficulties.  She encouraged me. Quickly, my feelings of jealousy dissipated.

I was able to celebrate her agin. I loved her even more, in that moment. She loved me too.

Before leaving our coffee date, her parting words were, “Kelly, thank you for opening up about your jealousy towards me.  You really taught me that I can be vulnerable and open about my struggle and jealousy.  Thank you for this.”

Wow. My struggle gave her permission to share her struggle. The amount of connection that I felt with God, and this friend, were on super-high levels now. I was amazed.

Soon after that she, once again, got an opportunity that I wanted.  Yet, as I watched her seize it, I no longer wanted what she had. Instead, I celebrated what she had.  Interestingly, she used a little piece of wisdom I’d previously given her to add to this project — and she acknowledged me. God made me part of this project too. It was a head-nod from God. He knew.

With this, friends, I cheer you on and say — don’t be afraid to confess your sins to one another.  What we reveal to God, and others, gets healed. To receive forgiveness is to restore heart-connection. Even more, healing is not only for us, but often for them too!

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (Ja. 5:16)

Who do you need to confess to? How is God calling to restore connection with Him and others?

Please know, I understand that people may not always respond as beautifully as my sister-in-Christ did. I get this. At the same time, we do not serve man; we serve God. In this, no matter what they say, do or think — you can be sure of one thing: God will be faithful to heal you. God is Healer, no matter how the other person responds. He is forgiver, even if the other person doesn’t take it well. He lifts up, even if the others still put you down.

God is the rewarder, no matter how others act. As we honor Him, He honors us. (see 1 Sam. 2:30)

Be encouraged. Ask for confession. Offer forgiveness. Restore connection.

A Prayer Request from Kelly: On the launch day of my book, “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy” a toddler spilled water on my computer. My computer does not work anymore. I am now writing these posts on my phone, which cumbersome and difficult.  Can you all pray for my computer to miraculously work again or something like that?! I love you all SO much!

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Breakthrough is For Today

rest now

Do you all remember those MasterCard advertisements?

New dress: $100
Lipstick: $35
New handbag: $90

The look on your ex-boyfriends face when he sees you: priceless.

It is easy to accumulate things to accumulate worth. I remember when I got my first car. I couldn’t afford it. I didn’t have enough money for that beautiful sports car. But, still, I looked at my dad and said, “Can I?”

He said, “Sure.”

So we put a whole chunk of debt down and I worked forever… to pay that baby off. In the moment, it was all thrills. I kept looking to see who was looking at me when I stopped at lights.

Then, the pleasure wore off.

Many of us are searching for this pleasure of a greater measure.

What others think…$100

If we look good…$200
If we do well…$250
If we are better than she is…$99
If we are seen…$800
What we wear…$300
How much bible we know…$400
Our position, our power or our placement in this world… $400
How much money, how many vacations or what social media influence we carry… $1000

Yet, the irony of pleasure-seeking is that it always leaves us wanting: more. We can’t climb high enough. Or, go far enough. Fashions change. There’s a naysayer. There’s that nagging feeling that we’re not enough. We fear exposure.

I remember this hamster-wheel; I lived on it for the longest time…until, I got off.

Until I found a treasure of greater measure:
Knowing Jesus. Priceless.

Just to be clear, the difference from then and now — was more than just accepting Jesus into my heart. It was about choosing to know and dwell with Jesus. You know, we can know about Jesus in our head, yet miss Him in our heart?

This can be one of the greatest tragedies of the Christian faith as I see it…

What about you? Do you know Jesus — in a way where HIs love frees you, where His peace holds you, and His trust overwhelms you?

My hope is “[that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].” (Eph. 3:18-19 AMP)

Dear friends, I want you to experience this love and wholeness. I want you to find soul-rest that shields you from the sweaty pursuit of lesser crud. I want you to have an experiential knowing of a Good Father’s love. I want you to leave worry and anxiety in the dust as you come to know hope and peace like no other. Jesus is my treasure of greatest measure and He is the Prince of Peace in my life.

If this speaks to you at all today, consider getting my new book, Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries, and Seize Joy. t releases today! Your support means everything!!! Through it, I believe God will radically transform your life. He will liberate you in light of His love and care.

rest now

“Rest Now” will not only will bless me but, undoubtedly, I believe it will richly bless you in knowing God and His radical, unconventional peace. My belief is that you will truly find what is: priceless.

About Rest Now
Rest Now offers permission to breathe. It exposes the lies that distract, tire, and bully us, so we don’t strive for rest but love from it, like Jesus did. Learn how to

– create boundaries that allow you to overflow with love
– say no so you don’t hate yourself later
– ditch passive-aggressive behaviors in favor of healthy conversations
– embrace permission-giving thoughts to create mental space for God

Get it.

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Regaining Hope

The reality is, my husband would give me the shirt off his back. He also would lay down what is good for him for the betterment of me. He has sacrificed much so that I can write and pursue ministry work. He gives up things for me. He thinks of me. He helps when I don’t know what to do. He shares wisdom and tips and ideas. He is there when my head gets droopy; he picks up my chin. He shares his heart with me too. He tells me things he wouldn’t tell others.

My husband is my friend. I call him, “my best friend.”

Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t have a friend like this.”

To you, I want to explain, “Jesus is your friend like this…”

He says, “I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” (Jo. 15:15-17)

Note: everything Jesus learned from the Father he made known. Even today, by the Spirit, He continues to make all things known: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (Jo. 14:26)

Friends share deep things with friends. They share hidden truths. They bring to light what is true. They walk together. They talk together. They laugh together. They cry together. They dream together.

Friends love to take care of their friends. When I see a friend in need, I do my best to — show up. I want to know how they are.  I check-in.

You have a friend in Jesus. He is teaching and reminding you of important things through the Holy Spirit. He is there for you. If you can’t remember the last time you felt close to God, maybe you’ve forgotten that He not only is your Lord but that He also is your friend.

Oh, what a friend you have in Jesus! Lean your heart close to Him and ask Him to share some of the deep treasures. Connect with Him in Spirit and in truth.

Prayer: Father God, I thank you for your Son, Jesus. Oh, what a friend I have in Jesus. I also thank you for the Holy Spirit who leads, teaches, and comforts. Fill me afresh today with your Holy Spirit so that I might be full of you and your love (Eph. 5:18). Fill me afresh so that I might be led by you. Fill me so that I may worship and love you, with all my heart. Fill me so that I may know you more.

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Do You Have Childlike Faith?

childlike

We make things far more complex — when, in so many ways, the Kingdom of God is simple.

My kids ran around my car last night like kids. It was simple. They had fun chasing each other down. The driveway was a playground. They were not worried about what dinner would be. They were not thinking about what they needed to do next, for bedtime.  They were present in the fun, in the joy, in the moment. Complexities did not weigh them down.

“Truly I tell you anyone who does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Lu. 18:17)

The practice of receiving the Kingdom of God is not a heavy task; it is light. Childlike.

“My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:30)

Some of us love to weigh down the Christian walk. It’s so hard. I have to do this…. I’ve gotta wake up and spend time with Jesus. I don’t know how to obey. I’m always…(doing such and such).

With such a heavy burden on oneself to accomplish and figure out God’s work, one almost — can’t…

Kids, with good parents, don’t fixate on self-issues. They know dinner comes. There’s an excitement about what’s to come. Worry isn’t necessary; they’ll be taken care of. Children believe God on face-value. Faith is easy.

Are you a child or do you feel weighed down by religious expectations that feel impossible to meet?

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things….” (Ro. 11:36)

“(Now the God of peace)…make you perfect in every good work to do his will…” (Heb. 13:21)

Somewhere along the lines, we picked up a bag of “self-effort” and began to think the work was up to us. But, every work of God belongs to the Lord. It starts from Him, it is by Him, and then, it is back to Him.

Let’s not get confused, lest a yoke of heaviness weigh us down.

Prayer of Repentance: Father, forgive me for carrying a heavy burden that is not mine to carry. This is pride. I repent of thinking that I have to do more or be more to be loved more by you. Jesus, you died for me while I was yet a sinner. I receive your grace today. Equip me and Empower me to be like a child. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Good Father

good father

I stood looking over a box filled with cash. Should I give her two dollars or should I give her five?

Earlier in the day, my daughter said, “Mommy, mommy, please give me a five-dollar bill tonight — for the tooth under my pillow.”

I replied, “Madison, this is your third tooth you’ve lost. For the first tooth, you get a lot but for ones after, you get a little less. Don’t expect a five-dollar bill, you’ll maybe get a couple dollars.”

She asked me again for the $5 bill and then I shuffled her off to do other things…

Yet, when night came, and I stood looking over the cash box…I realized how badly I — wanted — to give her more. I wanted to delight her. I wanted my daughter to have the very best. I just love her so much.

I grabbed the $5 bill, snuck up to her room, and tucked it under her pillow, with joy.

“If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him.” (Mt. 11:7 AMP)

If I love to give what is good, how much more does my Father in heaven want to give good, to me? If I want what is advantageous for my little one — and I’m not even nearly half as amazing as God is — how much more does God give what is advantageous?

Sometimes I long to do the most amazing things for my kids… I desire so deeply that hard situations change… I want, absolutely, their best…

This makes me see, the enemy has been telling me lies. Namely that: God doesn’t give me good things, God doesn’t want to give, and that He won’t help me. He might be busy with other people. I’m last on the list.

What lies have you been hearing?

The truth is that God has a heart to give: He gave His son. He gave us eternal life. He gave us the flowers, the birds, and the stars out of kindness.

He gave everything for us. He loves us, incredibly, absolutely, and eternally.

Believing we have a Father who gives is important.

If we don’t believe God is good and that He gives, we will keep our head down and miss all the goodness He has set before us. We may even develop a victim-mindset. I think I’ve missed God’s good gifts before. I’ve likely walked right by them, but I am determined on lifting my head and seeing what He has for me now!

What about you?

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Little Foxes

little foxes

We just had a fire-drill in my house!

A must-act-now email popped up in my inbox demanding my immediate attention… I got flustered because of what it was requiring me to do. My son was demanding that I play chess with him now. The world needed everything I had in that very milli-second. I couldn’t take it.

Can’t you just wait a second, son?!  Give me a break!

I was so aggravated, both at what was coming at me, and because of this needy child, I lost my composure. Then, I felt guilty about it.

Grr… A stupid email set my house on fire.

Small things cause big damage just as little foxes spoil whole vineyards…

“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.” (SOS 2:15)

What little fox tries to attack you? Is it a mistimed word from a family member? Is it your boss’ critiques? Is it a house out of order? Is it people with different political points of view.

The enemy desires to use small things to create big havoc. If we let him… But, we don’t have to.

““Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God.” (Mt. 5:9 AMP)

When I keep the peace I literally express God’s character. When I maintain calm, I am blessed with life and joy and God’s favor. When I remain calm, I am a child who trusts God.

I want all to see the character of God being expressed through me. For then, He will calm them. He will heal the situation. He will add himself to my situation, whereas before my anger and frustration would have stopped me from seeing Him. This is favor.

Where is God calling you to new calm and peace?

 

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Without Reason

Noah built without reason…
Abraham went without knowing where he was going…
Sarah trusted without the physical ability to birth…
Isaac believed without crippling doubts about what God would do…
Joseph spoke without reservations that death could separate Him from God’s promise…

The faith of these Hebrews 11 biblical-greats convict my insides. Think of Sarah…it must have felt ridiculous to think that she, as a 90-year-old, could have a baby. Or, that Noah — on all those sunny days —  needed to build a huge ark because of a “purported flood by God”.

These people did not allow feelings of doubt to overpower faith in their God. They saw what things looked like on face-value…and believed anyway. They heard what people were saying…and held on to God’s truth, even though. They understood that the issue was beyond their means…and trusted despite the fact.

So, impossible feats were accomplished, to the glory of God, despite the weakness of these men.

Against all odds, God showed up.

And, He still does. He still comes through. He still parts seas. He still makes walls fall down. He still heals. He still resurrects marriages. He still saves people who need saving.

God is not dead; He is very much alive and working, moving and healing, helping and leading us into the best paths for our life.

“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping…” (Romans 4:18)

You may have no good reason to hope anymore. But, even in the face of your no-hope situations, I remind you: “There is still glimmers of great hope.” You may not be able to see them right now, but so what??!

Hope is not necessarily something you see; it is your God.

Invite God right now to resurrect hope in your life. Jesus is Resurrector! Ask God to give you faith. He is the giver of good gifts. Then, choose to believe despite how you feel and watch God show up!

I love you all.

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A Secret to Communication

I knew I said too much. 

She was sharing her heart, but for some reason I felt like I had to have her “fixed” by the time the call ended. She phoned me because she needed help. And, I wanted to really be there for her. To leave her where she was — didn’t feel right.

I offered some advice. I gave her some strategies. Yet, after hanging up — I had a sinking feeling that I said too much. That my words were — input-overload.

In retrospect, she didn’t need my lofty words, but just my care. My heart. My presence with her in the heat of a hard moment.

She didn’t need an answer as much as she needed an ear.

I noticed when I did stay quiet on the call, she had room to pray. I also remember how she seemed to pray her way out of her own hole.

It was my pride that made me want to be a savior.  It is also my pride that makes me unload harsh words on others because of my inflamed emotions. It is pride that feels like it has to have an answer to everybody’s every question.

Humility does the opposite, though. It says less so that God can move more.

“A truly wise person uses few words…” (Prov. 17:27)

Wise people say less and listen more. They weigh words carefully before blasting them like a water gun. They intentionally think about restoring the other person, rather than ripping them apart or giving too much advice. They don’t let their emotions get the best of them.

Wise communicators know they don’t have to respond. They are okay with silence. They give space for others to help themselves. They allow ‘no response’ answers or ‘let me think about it’ approaches so they can release life-giving, redeeming words.

Using less words provides more impact. Where, in your life, might God be calling you to use less words? What would this look like practically?

 

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