Purposeful Faith

Category - failure

Never left Alone

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“You don’t understand.”

We’ve probably all thought this thought one time or another. Someone gives us advice that does not resonate… Another thinks we’re doing something that we’re not even doing… People misinterpret our motives or our words…

They don’t understand. We feel alone and by ourselves.

It certainly has happened to me in marriage. At times, I have said one thing and my husband has heard a whole other thing. I am misunderstood. I am sure that I misunderstand him too, sometimes.

In this case, when I feel all alone, it is easy for me to think, “Who is fighting for me? Who understands me?” It’s easy to sink deep down into a cave of sadness all alone and to believe that I have to: 1. fend for myself 2. make sure I am going to be okay 3. lick my wounds.

Have you ever been there too? Felt unprotected? Undefended?

This verse is encouraging, “But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

In tough moments, we can gain hope by remembering that God isn’t leaving us, but He is strengthening us. He isn’t unstable and unavailable, He is faithful. God is with us.

When the enemy sets schemes in relationships, even then, God guards us from them.

We are not left alone; we are protected.

When we don’t know what to do, Jesus intercedes for us (Heb. 7:25). When we don’t think there’s anyone fending for us we have an advocate in Jesus (1 Jo. 2:1).

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Ro. 8:26)

In tough moments, we can keep our thoughts and our feelings out of dark, isolating and mentally draining places by remembering: we are never alone because God is with us. Not only is God with us, but God is for us, too. He is actively helping us in whatever we are going through.

Prayer: Father God, I need you to fight my battle for me. I give up the fight, so you can fight on my behalf. Forgive me for believing that I am alone. Forgive me for believing that I am left behind by you in any way, shape or form. You are for me. Thank you. Jesus advocates for me. Thank you. You are with me always. Help me to remember these things in tough moments. Help me to put all my trust in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Go with God

“Mom, I don’t want to go outside and get the present out of the car.”

My son resisted. It was dark. Taking this action felt scary. Who knows what looms outside in the middle of the night? Who knows if he could see? Who knows if it’s safe?

“Son,” I essentially said, “It’s morning time. You’re safe. The son is coming up.”

Many of us feel afraid to take action because — we don’t know what is “out there”. What is on the other side of our current situation. We don’t know if we’re safe, or if we’ll get hurt, or if bad things loom ahead. We resist change because we fear what may be on the other side. Some, stay in bad because they fear worse.

What action has God called you to take? Does He want you to change a bad habit? Are you called to move somewhere or start something? Is there a relationship that needs a new approach?

Faith is evidenced by actions, or works. These things are the proof in our pudding.

“…Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18)

I want people to know me as a person of great faith, don’t  you?

People see our faith by what we do, not what we say.

I have talked a lot of talk, but, friends — may I tell you? I’ve been scared in past years. I haven’t pushed into all God has for me. Some days I’ve felt His Word or His heart nudge me a direction, but I’ve resisted, I’ve questioned, I’ve discounted, I’ve delayed. Frankly, I’ve rebelled. Fear stopped me.  I repent of all this.

There’s a new day dawning…

And, if I’ve learned one thing it is — we can’t defeat fear or inaction on our own. Just as my son knew that the light was greater than the dark, we must also know that our God is greater than anything that looms beyond us…

Here, we can help ourselves to take action — or to make movement — by:

  1. Remembering the size of our God.
    Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. (Ps. 147:5)
  2. Knowing God’s strength and leading is enough to help us.
    “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Is. 41:10)
  3. We can and should lean on Him as we go.
    “O my God, I trust, lean on, rely on, and am confident in You. Let me not be put to shame or [my hope in You] be disappointed; let not my enemies triumph over me.” (Ps. 25:2 AMPC)
  4. Declaring & depending on Christ’s victory.
    For [a]everyone born of God is victorious and overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has conquered and overcome the world—our [continuing, persistent] faith [in Jesus the Son of God]. (1 Jo. 5:4 AMP)

We cannot work without God. We cannot go without His help and power. We cannot walk in courage without His power. God is the God who saves, heals, helps, leads, loves — it is not us at work, but Christ at work in and through us.

Prayer: Father, many of us have been called and there is a portion of us who are scared. Give us courage. Give us hope. Give us strength to persevere. We need you more than we need this life itself. We ask for all the power and the strength we need to rely on you, to lean on you, to trust in you. Equip us for every good work and help us to see it through. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

Is Something Wrong With Me?

Have you ever started a recipe only to find that you are missing one ingredient?

This can be frustrating. You don’t have all you need to make your dream dish. You’re left short. You can’t proceed forward — or so you think.

Some of us feel this way in faith… We feel we keep coming up short. We don’t have giftings others have. We don’t pray like Mary Sue. We feel weak. We can’t overcome that one sin. We keep fearing and worrying. We are missing  one ingredient, our breakthrough to peace and joy.  Grr…

Ever been there? Have you ever felt like you don’t have all you need? That something is wrong with you?

Friends, I come to you to tell you: There is nothing wrong with you.

Scripture says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3; NIV).”

His power — has given everything we need for life (in the here and now). His power has given us all the godliness (righteousness and overcoming) we need. This is HUGE. We have it in-hand. Here. Right now.

We are not lacking or sinking, as the enemy would love for us to believe. We have the ingredient we need – Christ’s power. Through our knowing God and by his super abundant and extravagant glory and goodness — we have what we need. It’s all available to you. Just believe.

Don’t allow the enemy liar to lie anymore and to tell you otherwise!

Overcoming is far more easy when you believe this truth — is truth. When you take God’s Word as His Word.

It, then, becomes as easy as getting on Google and searching, “Canola oil replacement.” Here you find jazzy solutions display, like Apple Sauce or Maple Syrup.

When you believe you have all you need- and that there are resources available – you will, by God’s goodness, uncover new paths and new ways. Your hope in the Lord will open up new things, new sight, new paradigms. This concept is huge. Do not read this fast and pass it by. Some of you (myself included), need to more greatly understand this.

I love you all. Merry Christmas to my fabulous friends that I would love to meet in person one day! Big hugs. I love you all so much. I pray many blessings on you this season, in particular the joy of the Lord, In Jesus’ Mighty-to-Save Name. Amen.

Let’s pray: Father, I break off the lie that I don’t have what I need. I repent of believing a lie of the enemy. I submit to you and your word. I have all I need for godliness and righteousness in Christ Jesus. I am loved. I am helped. I am equipped. You are the Shepherd of my soul (1 Pet. 2:25). I thank you. I praise you. I lay down my way to find yours. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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God Sees Me

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“I can’t miss seeing her.” I keep thinking this…

My daughter hasn’t played sports before. She thought she wouldn’t like it, but she now loves it. When she played she ran around the field with a huge smile on her face. I couldn’t be happier. This week, I have a conflict with her practice, however, I want so badly to see her. I just want to watch her, enjoy herself.

Yesterday, with my son, it was a similar sort of experience. He tried out for a role in the school play. I was so happy for him. I really wanted to watch him. I called his dad and prayed for him while he was trying out. I ran into the school beforehand with a snack and a hug. My joy was so full, it felt like I might explode.

After this joy of watching my kids, in their moments, I couldn’t help but think: God has joy in watching me, in my moments too. Just as I want to jump around and celebrate my kids successes, God must really be happy when He sees me doing well. He must want to celebrate with me. He wants to be a part of my world.

Our Father God is “El Roi”, meaning, “The God who Sees Me.”

Somehow, knowing that Father God wants to see me, makes me feel loved. He wants to be involved in my world, in my joy and in my excitement. He knows what is happening. He cares to see. He wants to be a part.

In fact, the mere idea that He wants us to continually abide in Him is evidence of how much He wants to see and know us.

“Abide in me, and I in you.” (Jo. 15:4)

God wants us, to be together. He wants us, to be with Him. I think He likes us too.

We are never alone. We are united with a God who not only cares, but who sees, us. Be encouraged — we are not alone or left behind. He loves us. We are His children.

If we delight in our kids, how much more does He delight in our special moments too?

Prayer: Father, I want to be with you. I want to remain in you. I want to feel your love and understand how much you care for me. Will you help me gain greater understanding of this? I love you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Things are Not What They Seem

“You always looked so put together. I didn’t know if I could talk to you or if you would be nice,” said one lady.

The other woman, replied in a similar way, “I wanted to talk to you too but I thought you were…”

Looks are deceiving. That’s all I could think as I sat there listening to these women share perceptions. It seemed, now, they were surprised by how relatable, real, and easy it was to be together. They were becoming fast-friends — all because they got a real chance to know each other, rather than to think things about each other.

How often do we allow what we think we know hold us back from what is truth?

I perceive a lot of things about myself: I haven’t done good at this. I didn’t succeed at that. 

I perceive things about people too: They think this about me. They are doing ___. They must want ___.

Yet, like these women, thoughts not founded in truth, hold me back from real things — real relationships, real progress, real breakthrough.

Look at what happened to Elijah in the Old Testament because of his perceptions…

“Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” (1 Kings 19:10)

Elijah was right in his statement. He did served the Lord “zealously” and the people of Israel had “broken their covenant”. But, what He didn’t perceive right was that he was “the only one left”.

He allowed his loneliness and his discouragement cloud his eyes. Others had been faithful too.

Soon after sharing this with the Lord, God told Elijah, “anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.” (1 Kings 19:16).

I wonder if Elisha’s perception of his situation led to the culmination of his ministry? One can wonder…

But, one thing I do know is that I don’t want to let — things that appears to be — take me down. Do you? Things are not always what they appear.

Just like your rear view mirror says, “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear,” objects in our life are not always as we see them.

Where have perceptions prohibited you from real relationship? Where are you thinking you are defeated, when God had not declared that over you? Where are you thinking thoughts about others that you don’t know to be true?

The easiest way to get rid of a lie is to repent of it and replace it with God’s truth — then you will be back on the path of life again.

Prayer: God, we don’t want any lies to hold us back. We only want to live by your truth, love by your truth and praise you with truth. Help us this way. Forgive us in any way where we have spoken, thought or carried lies about ourselves or about others. We ask you to give us your thoughts and your heart to love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Only by the Blood of Jesus

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In the morning, I go outside. I love hearing the birds chirp when the sun rises. I love seeing green land and thinking of who created it. I love swaying trees. What I don’t love is getting attacked by bugs…

This morning, I woke up thinking about some mistakes I had already confessed to God. Grr… I didn’t mean to sin. I want to stop. I need God’s help. To add insult to injury, mid-thought, I looked down at my leg and —  a mosquito was biting me. Annoyed, I slapped it hard. And, when I lifted my hand, I saw —  blood on my hand.

Father, it’s true, I do have blood on my hands.

I make mistakes. I do what is wrong. I think wrong-thoughts. I hate the ick of what I see myself do sometimes.

But Jesus. But, Jesus removed the blood on my hands when he shed His blood on the cross.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…” (Eph. 1:7)

Here, I am no longer under back-breaking, burdening and self-beating sin any longer. By the blood of Christ I have been freed to new life. I am out from under all that. And, the same goes for you too…

The blood of Jesus washes the blood off our hands.
The blood of Jesus shames the powers of darkness trying to tell us we are bad. (Col. 2:15)
The blood of Jesus disarms evil so its schemes and methods do not have lasting-power. (Col. 2:15)

When I forget the power of the blood, I, in a way, negate the price Jesus paid on the cross. I devalue His blood. Yet, His blood is truly enough to forgive me when I repent. It is enough to save me for eternity. It is enough to lead me into new actions as I walk away from old sin.

Jesus’ blood is enough. It has freed me and it continues to free me! The Living Water washes me and it does again! The body-broken heals me and it always will.

I may see blood on my hands, but the blood of Jesus more than overpowers any mistake I could ever make. It is finished. I am free. Amen. Selah. Breath deep. Let go. He loves me.

Prayer: Father, I repent of anything I have done against you or others. I do choose to go a new way with you, God, as you lead me into all righteousness. I thank you for Jesus. Today, I fully accept His sacrifice. I accept the full price He paid is more than enough. There is nothing else that I — or Jesus — owe. It is finished. Thank you that the blood on my hands is washed off by His mercy and grace. Thank you that it is done. Because of Jesus, I walk in the newness of life. I am so blessed. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Not Doing So Good?

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.

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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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I Can’t Keep Going

keep going

Rushed. Pressured. Little time. Ever experienced being under the gun?

People. Distractions. Problems. Does it seem like there’s no way for you?

Right now, I am in a coffee shop, trying to write the devotional that you will read tomorrow… It is noisy; I can’t think. People came up to me; they wanted to talk. I couldn’t pull away. Now, I have no time left to write. I need to leave soon. I can’t, not under these conditions. I can’t work for Jesus, like this.  There’s every reason why I should — quit.

There is every rationalization as to why lack will hold me back.

What lack are you experiencing? No time? No money? No way? No people who understand? No resources?

As I sit here, I can’t help but think: Jesus didn’t quit. No. He kept walking with that cross. He kept His eye on the prize. He kept going, even though many of his close friends, the disciples, abandoned him. Even though those He loved, abandoned Him. Even though He was wrongly accused. Even though He went down a torturous, hard road…

Still. Jesus moved.

Jesus walked.
Jesus went.
Jesus loved.
Jesus persevered.
Jesus triumphed.

The many-million reasons why Jesus couldn’t did not ruin the will of the Father, letting Him know: He could.

If Jesus persisted in love, with all the offenses of man all up in His face, can’t I — persist.

Actually…I think I just did. This is nearly the end of the blog post. I persisted in moving my fingers — and God completed the work.

And, you will persist too — because God is equipping you, enabling you and energizing you in all His ways. He will give you strength, no matter what lack you face. It doesn’t matter.

Keep loving.
Keep walking.
Keep praising.
Keep worshipping.
Keep going.

God is for you and helping you.

My prayer for you: “May He grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self, [indwelling your innermost being and personality], so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith.” (Eph. 3:16-17 AMP)

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Wait and Renew Your Strength

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…” (Is. 40:31)

When I wait, I usually don’t feel strength rise. Instead, I’m wondering…

“When will you show up, God?”
“Why is this taking so long?”
“How do I do things differently?”

The more I wonder, the more I feel confused. Ever been there?

Well, I asked God about this verse I could not understand. I knew the issue was not with God, but with me. I needed clarity. Ironically in-line with this bible verses whole concept, I didn’t get an answer from for a while…that is, until He provided me clarity in the most unlikely of places… the ocean.

Surrounded by waves, with my son on top of a boogie board, I was looking into the ocean for just the right wave for him. I explained, “You gotta look for the right wave, son.”

I went on, “If you take any old wave, it will be a dud. If it is a dud, you’ll ride that wave and go hardly anywhere, and then you’ll have to fight all the waves to get back out to where you originally were.  That’ll tire you out.

Wait, son, don’t go too early, and when the time is right — go!”

God hit me in that water. I realized, just like riding dud waves, we often let our mind go where it wills when we are waiting. We ride dud emotions and little lies and let them take us where they will. No wonder we feel tired as we have to work our way back; We fight the tides of opposition to get back to a place of faith and trust in God.

Yet, when we stay near to God, keep our eyes on Him and remember that He has the perfect wave of faithfulness coming our way — we stay at peace. We feel renewed. We often see God’s mini-encouragement show up through His Word or people along the way. We stay afloat with God. There, we can enjoy His creation around us and all He is doing.

Here, we rest.  We rest and see His nature. We rest and wonder at what He is about to do. We rest and remember how good He has always been to us.  We rest and wonder what that beautiful wave of His might look like when it comes…

All these things renew strength. And then, at just the right moment — He breaks through and, boy, were we glad that we didn’t follow every little emotion and instinct that came on us along the way…

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