Tag Archives: jesus

Offense Like Magnets

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As I was falling asleep the other night, I felt God bring up an offense I had in my heart. I was surprised that it was in there and confused that I hadn’t even realized it.

Here’s the scenario that played out…

I was out for a meal with some people I know and love dearly.

I’ve struggled to eat out because both SK and I have food allergies and have even had food poisoning on more than one occasion.

It’s definitely easier to just eat at home!

It can be exhausting explaining to people who don’t have food allergies/irritations why you really CAN’T eat just anything.

The whole reason I’m in the States right now is to get my health under control and I try to avoid foods that’ll trigger my body.

So here I was having placed an order I felt safe about and was specific with my requests to our young waiter.

My food rolls out soon and it’s not quite what I requested.

I always hate asking and having waiters check and make sure it’s safe, but when it’s not what I ordered it’s not worth becoming ill.

A friend sitting next to me knows our waiter and apologizes for my requests by saying, “sorry she’s being all high maintenance over here…”. 

Several nearby people heard this person and looked my way.

In the moment I was just slightly embarrassed but didn’t give it much thought.

I ate my food and had such a great time with those I was with.

I’ve interacted with this person who made this remark, prayed for them and never thought of their comment that night.

Until Holy Spirit brought it up. 

I’d prayed earlier that night like I have many times, “God if there is any offense in my heart against anyone, please show me…”

As I’m drifting off that night, I see this scenario play out and I feel the tiny sting of not being understood and feeling embarrassed in front of a group of friends.

Then I realized I had an offense.

Obviously it wasn’t a huge offense.

It was easy to pray this one out and release that person.

But I realize it had stuck to me.

Like a magnetic pull, this offense hit a vulnerable place in me and stuck. No, more like it clung to me.

I was its prisoner, but I had a choice to let it go.

There are major situations that can cause us much pain and heartache in this life.

There is no shortage of cruelty or craziness in our world unfortunately.

While there are times that we might be slighted by a large offensive scenario, it’s usually the day in and day out offenses that take their toll on us.

As a Christian and one who prays to keep her heart un-offended, I can recognize the LARGE battles.

I sense the luring ways of a wrong doing vying for me to lose my cool and become offended.

It’s the small offenses however that subtly come along that can easily go unnoticed.

When we keep these areas of our lives unchecked and/or we are defensive about something, feel insecure, or vulnerable, we are attracting offenses to our heart like magnets. 

When we don’t deal with these hurts as the opportunities come to be offended, they begin to pile up and create an offended heart.

My husband always says that offenses literally build a fence around our hearts.

When we have a fence erected, we are not able to let others love us or let our love flow to others.

The offenses in our hearts keep God’s perfect love out as well.

The picture at the top of this post is of my husband and a missionary colleague trying to get into our Bible School property in Madagascar, but the fence was stuck.

There was a large rock placed behind the fence that wouldn’t allow anyone in.

It was a GREAT security measure from unwanted guests, but behind that fence was a container that had Stephen and I’s personal belongings we had shipped overseas and we wanted in.

We wanted to get past the fence, but until someone on the other side moved the rock, we couldn’t get in.

Who or what are you keeping out by the offenses that  you’re holding onto?

There are treasures inside of you that this world needs.
Beauty that God Himself has placed within you to share with this world.

What are you attracting in your life? Are you attracting offenses because your heart is wounded?

What would your life look like if you attracted love and repelled offenses?

 

Other blogs on dealing with offense found here

5 Reasons Why Jesus Isn’t Like All Christians

5 REASONS WHY JESUS ISN'T LIKE ALL CHRISTIANS

I have a great primary care doctor.

When I deal with her directly, I am always treated well, have great advice and assistance.
However, when I deal with her staff it’s an entirely different story.

They often don’t follow through or follow-up with what the Dr. has asked them to do.
They usually aren’t knowledgable to answer my questions.

And on my last visit, the nurse was literally YELLING at the front desk people about something in front of all of us in the lobby.

Had I no knowledge that this doctor was truly excellent and kind, I wouldn’t stick around.

Sometimes I feel that what happens with my doctor’s office staff happens with Christians.
Those who are supposed to represent Him aren’t always portraying a correct picture to the world.

Now before I go any further, I want to say I am a huge fan of the Church, Jesus’ Bride, in all of her components, world-wide, cross-denominationally. I cheer her on because she truly is the heart of Jesus Christ and the means of which He uses to share His love and truth.

It’s just that sometimes she misses the memo.

Sometimes she loses sight of her first love.

She is clearly in the midst of her own transformation of glory and sometimes looks like a mess.

While the Church as a whole is demonstrating that Jesus is alive and moving in the hearts of His people, there are some places that are pretty messy.

The reality is that people are imperfect, BUT they are the means by which Jesus left His message to be spread throughout the world.

People, His Church, are His #1 plan. There is no “Plan B”.

These people who were left to spread the good news were people from all walks of life. Some were liars, some were former tax-collectors, while others had just denied Christ at His time of death. They were then entrusted to tell the entire world that Jesus loves then and died for them and that they too can be forgiven of their sins.

Wow! Quite daunting for sinners saved only by grace.

And so the story goes with a lot of believers today. Some are discipled well and know Jesus rightly and live a life in surrender to Him.

Other Christians are “babies” in the Lord and make a lot of big mistakes (oh do I have stories from my life…!!!)

What we ALL have in common as Christians is that none of us will ever truly be perfect.

So long as the world looks exclusively to Christians and not to Christ for their relationship with Him, they’ll always find reasons to not accept Christ.

What a Christian’s life has the ability to produce is the fruit of the spirit, a deep love for Jesus, compassion for people, and a passion to share His message of salvation and redemption to a lost and hurting world.

Let’s take a look at a few areas that show why Jesus isn’t like all Christians;

1. JESUS EMBRACED WHAT THE FATHER SAID OVER HIM.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,  that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 

When we make Jesus the Lord of our lives and invite His Holy Spirit to come live inside of us, we are welcoming the true creation that we were designed to be to take over us.

When Jesus was being baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, the Bible says that the Heavens opened, a dove descended upon Jesus and the Father spoke ,“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)

Jesus heard the affirmation of His Father saying;

1. You are mine. You are my son

2. I love you

3. I am well pleased with you.

Jesus went from that place to the wilderness for 40 days of fasting and he was tested by the devil.

Because Jesus knew what the TRUTH was of His identity and what the Father thought about Him, he was able to stand against the lies the enemy brought.

Many people believe that Jesus died for their sins and they have made Him the Lord of their lives, but they haven’t accepted the identity of Heaven and they still embrace the lies and accusations of the enemy as their identity.

This produces a lot of broken examples of who Christ really is and dilutes the power of His identity to transform people’s lives.

We must know that there is a greater hope in Jesus to embrace the love and affirmation of the Father and walk into a new life in Him.

2. JESUS’ HEART BEATS FOR PEOPLE.

I know and have met Christians who did not like being around people nor embodied love and compassion for others.

I myself have had bad days where I know I’ve not exemplified Christ in my actions towards others.

Whenever we see Jesus in the scriptures interacting with people, it was obvious that they were the priority.

Sure He rebuked them and challenged them, but it was because He wanted their lives to be changed and transformed.

He poured out His entire life loving and serving others.

He truly is the ultimate example of a servant leader.

All He did was for others including the ultimate sacrifice that He gave of dying for the sins of the world.

When we get to know Jesus and listen to His heart, we see how passionately it beats for others.

When Christians are consumed with themselves and try to preserve their lives, they are ignoring the heart beat of Jesus.

If you’ve been turned off to Jesus because other people haven’t reached out or loved you and shown you truth, please know that is NOT His heart.

Irregardless of how others may act, He is passionately pursuing the hearts of mankind to reveal His truth and love.

He is the ultimate lover of our souls and through His eyes, we can see others rightly and be moved in compassion to bring Christ’s love to them.

3. JESUS BROUGHT HEALING.

Everywhere He went, Jesus was healing people.

“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” Acts 10:38

While physical healing is incredible, (trust me I know because I am believing for my own body right now) there are definitely other types of healing.

Some need emotional healing and mental healing.

Others have been wounded spiritually and need a fresh touch from Jesus Himself to heal the wounds others created.

When people are hurting and in need of healing, they often feel isolated and alone.

Fear is usually another strong component and they are doubtful that God wants to be near and heal them.

I think of the lepers and how Jesus healed them. The outcasts of society met Jesus face to face and received their healing! WOW!

 Luke 6:6-11 shows us a time where the religious leaders of the day opposed Jesus healing someone because it was unlawful to heal on the Sabbath. Mind you they weren’t Christians but it is a similar reaction some believers might have today.

“On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath.  But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.”

What would it look like for Christians to be so moved in the love of Christ to pray for and stand with those around them needing healing? To not be intimidated by what others might think? To not be held back by a legalistic spirit?

If you’re in need of healing in any form, know that Jesus wants to heal you. He wants you healed and whole and it is the other reason He died for you.

He is reaching out His hand to heal and to restore…

4. JESUS WASN’T AFTER BEING POPULAR.

While Jesus called many to come and follow Him, more chose not to follow Him and commit, than those who became disciples.

He didn’t change what He was saying to appease His followers.

He spoke truth and He spoke it plainly.

The only ones who truly followed Jesus to the end, to the place of the cross were the disciple John, Mary Magdalene, and His mother.

If we were evaluated exclusively by how many people followed us to the end of our lives, Jesus certainly wouldn’t be our example. 

I think that if a Christian is not rooted in the truth of Jesus Christ, they will seek popular opinion and strive to maintain followers often at the cost of compromising God’s word and not being bold about the truth of the gospel.

Often when we are seeking to be popular with man, we lose sight of carrying the heart of God TO mankind.

5. JESUS FORGIVES

Forgiveness is a huge area that many people, let alone believers have a hard time grasping.

This message is so powerfully displayed in the new Cinderella movie and I think this is why this blog entry of mine, Cinderella Says the F Word, went viral so quickly.

If anyone had a right to be offended, it was God. Yet He sent His son to die for us.

Then Jesus completely laid down His life with His last breaths crying out, “Father FORGIVE them, for they do not know what they’re doing”.

 There is no greater forgiveness than from the One who created us, the One whom we have all sinned against laying down His life and forgiving us from ALL of our iniquities. 

When we get offended in this life and hold onto bitterness and anger, we aren’t forgiving others the way that we have been forgiven.

There are horrific things that can be said and done and such cruelty in this world.

People across the world are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ and it’s an injustice.

Yet, they are forgiven when they make Jesus their Lord. They are eternally with Jesus FORGIVEN from all of their sins.

If we’ve been forgiven of everything, who are we to withhold forgiveness to others?

As people face difficult situations, it is a difficult thing to forgive and release others especially when we don’t understand the forgiveness that has been extended to us.

Bitterness and offense are not becoming on anyone, especially those who are Christians who know the forgiveness of Christ.

Nothing you have done is out of reach of the forgiveness of Christ.

Others might not forgive you and there will be natural consequences of sin in this life. Yet, even in a prison cell, you can be forgiven.

 

My prayer is that whomever you are reading this, that you would know how incredible the love and salvation of Jesus Christ is. That if you are already a Christian, you would accept the identity of Heaven for your life and walk in Christ’s character and nature. That you would grow in maturity continually in your walk with Jesus.
If you aren’t a Christian, I pray that you’d see the truth and the light of Jesus’ life and make that decision today to follow Him even if His church isn’t always perfect. He is perfect and that is enough to follow and begin to love others as well.

Christians are continually being transformed into the image of the One who created them and loved them. Let’s be like Jesus, embracing our cross daily, denying ourselves, and living passionately in love with Him. Our world needs this type of Christian.

 

Cinderella Says the F Word

Forgive

Cinderella said the F Word

I heard her and I was SHOCKED!

I had seen the advertisements for the new “Cinderella” movie, but resisted seeing the full trailer because I knew I’d anticipate its debut too much!

Today, once I knew it was released, I watched the trailer.

I teared up watching the preview while in a public place. I made Stephen watch the preview with me and he looked at me and said, “Are you crying already?”. To which I remarked, “Of course! It is just so magical”.

My husband then graciously took me to see the movie later that evening with some of our friends.

The story line of course is the same as it has always been :) Yet it appears to come to life more with actual live characters.

On a side note: I may or may not have a song from the Roger and Hammerstein Cinderella version on my phone… “do I love you because you’re beautiful…”…moving right along…

I was intrigued by the beauty of Cinderella’s relationship with her mother and father and saddened by her loss of both of them (that’s NOT a spoiler ;) c’mon you know that already).

The actress who plays Cinderella, Lily James (or Rose as some know her ;) ) does an incredible job portraying her role.

I was captivated.

She wasn’t just a servant who rolled her eyes and replied with a sigh to her evil step-mother like the cartoon Disney version often portrays.

She served with kindness in every moment as her real mother had told her to live out her days with courage and kindness.

Through all of the wickedness, cruelty, and dashed dreams, Cinderella meets all circumstances with kindness in this movie.

She even offers the fairy god-mother disguised as a beggar some milk even though she herself is in some serious heartache of her own.

Tears of sadness are shed as we walk with our beloved princess as she walks through losing her parents, suffering cruelty, being rejected, and seemingly losing all hope.

If you’re like me, you cry when her dress is brilliantly transformed by the “bippity boppity boo” magic!

Her dress and the carriage are nothing short of stunning!

Nothing could have prepared my heart for the joy of the royal ball scene!
It was quite grand.

Then I had to endure the scheming of the step-mother and Cinderella’s invalidation of being worthy of the love of a Prince/King.

In the end when of course Cinderella is the absolute last woman in the kingdom to try on the shoe and it fits, she is whisked away instantly with the now, King.

Before leaving the farmhouse that she grew up in that holds the precious memories of her parents, we see the step-mother on the staircase.

And that is when Cinderella says IT.

The BIG F word…

The one we don’t hear often.

Cinderella looks at her step-mother, the one who has hurt her so deeply knowing that she now has full power to repay and bring vindication and she says,…

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“I FORGIVE YOU”.

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I don’t even remember the rest of what was said in the movie. I was already sitting on the edge of my seat and when that line was released, I bawled.

I didn’t bawl at the true love of a common girl and a Prince, although what Jesus has done in my life CERTAINLY reminds me of that and is part of why this movie unlocks my heart.

I didn’t bawl at how pretty her dress was, although I did cry at that.

I didn’t even bawl at the loss of her family and all she loved.

I wept so hard at the end, because I wasn’t expecting her to forgive and release the one who hurt her so much.

I’m accustomed to our culture where we strive to defend ourselves, seek vindication , and wish the worst on our enemies.

Where the world says a different F-word altogether when given the opportunity to slay our enemies.

How easy it would’ve been for Cinderella to have made a cheeky remark.

Instead “I FORGIVE YOU” comes out of her mouth….3 of the most powerful words that one can experience.

The way she reacted in kindness reminded me of  the blog I wrote about the avocado tree and what happens to it when it’s beaten.

The movie didn’t end with the step-family characters dressed in rags serving Cinderella all the days of their life.

There was no focus given to evil in the end, because it was defeated by love.

And not even the love between the King and Cinderella,…

but the love in Cinderella’s heart towards the ones who hurt her.

Who do you need to forgive today?

Like Cinderella, the kingdom of Heaven belongs to those whose hearts aren’t bound in offense.

It is released in and through the lives of those who choose kindness. Who choose love.

Those who walk in the words of their King and extend the forgiveness that He has so freely given to them.

Who needs to hear “I FORGIVE YOU” from your lips today?

For more popular posts from this blog click here

Author: Bailey Kuert

Next Article  5 Reasons Why Jesus Isn’t Like All Christians

You’re Not Stuck

Yesterday SK and I braved the 3 hour trek “home” (not sure what that means anymore) to Missouri from Tulsa, OK. We had a couple of speaking engagements over the weekend  in Tulsa and we were glad to be “home” a bit.

Unfortunately, a lot of winter weather rolled its way through T-Town and Missouri causing a hectic weekend spent mainly indoors.

The news forecast on Saturday night revealed there was a lot of ice, hazardous roadways, and whole roads were closed off, like to where my in-laws are staying!

When we went to bed that night, we were unsure if we would be able to drive home the next day.

The forecast was calling for more “winter weather” (which in Tulsa could mean anything and everything) and it looked like we could get stuck.

Sunday morning rolled around and the temperature rose so the ice melted! Wooohooo!

We attended a church service, hugged some of my family super quick, went to an appointment I had scheduled, and hit the road!

3 hours later we found ourselves back at “home” unloading our infamous suitcase and grabbing some groceries.

Recently, I’ve felt “stuck” in many ways.

Stuck in the USA, which no offense, I LOVE my country and the people here, but I want to be overseas.

Stuck with medical issues.

Stuck with being isolated in yet again another new city.

S T U C K, stuck, STUCK! 

God has been so sweet to meet me in this “feeling” and bring truth.

When we misplace something, we might initially feel loss and sick to our stomachs.

However, when the item that was perceived as lost is then found, we rejoice and forget the stress of misplacing it.

We don’t get stuck in the anxiousness of searching for something because we’ve already found it. Our emotions have MOVED ON.

This is proof that we don’t have to be stuck in something.

YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH! 

You are not stuck in sickness, in debt, and sin.

Jesus wasn’t STUCK in the grave, and because He ROSE again, you can find new life and move forward into what God has for you!!

Some of you feel like there are impossible circumstances surrounding you and you’ll never make it out if it.

I realize the weather story isn’t as challenging as a long-term illness, broken marriage, or other tumultuous circumstances, BUT things aren’t always what they seem.

What others and yourself may have believed is the end of the story and you’re facing the “facts”, Jesus is the author of your story and He says it’s not over!

There is victory for you and breakthrough out of the “winter storm” you might feel stuck in! 

There. is. hope. for. you. in. Jesus.

You’re NOT stuck! There’s hope for tomorrow!

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Question(s) of the day;

Do you feel stuck? If so, what is holding you back?

How do you think Jesus sees your current situation?

Scripture(s) of the day;

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.–Romans 8:28

I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth–Psalm 121:1-2

He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.–Psalm 40:2 

Worship song of the day;

“Come away with me, come away.
It’s never too late, it’s never too late,
it’s not too late for you.
I have a plan for you, I have a plan.
It’s going to be wild,
it’s going to be great,
it’s going to be full of me

Open up your heart and let me in”

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment below or share with friends :) Praying you’re encouraged to move forward into what God has for you! It’s going to be great!

The Best Unused Gift

When my husband Stephen proposed to me on safari, on the Equator, in Kenya, you’d think I would’ve caught every.single.word. that he said.

HOWEVER, because of the location where he proposed, I was preoccupied with why the ring was placed in the wild African plane for any roaming animal to stomp or tourist to steal.

Sweet Steve is on his knees pouring his heart out with a cut-out of Africa behind him and I’m only thinking, “HOW DID THAT RING GET THERE?!“.

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I managed to finally get out of the administrative part of my brain and tell him, “yes!”

I quickly found out that his buddy, Sach, who was with us placed the ring behind there right before we started taking pictures. I was shocked!

Now I had a ring with two rubies, a diamond, and yellow gold on my hand and it was a little loose. What a special gift though. I’ll have to tell the whole story of what happened with this ring later and how God spoke to me, BUT the point for now was that it was a special gift.

A symbol of our lives about to start together–forever.

No more thousands of miles separating us.

I cherished that ring and never took it off once it was sized. I clung to it the entirety of my Africa trip as to not lose it.

Yesterday as I was sitting in a church service, I heard something in my spirit unrelated to the message. I began to think about what a gift the Holy Spirit is.

To have fellowship with the SAME spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. 

To have the ability to communicate with the Father and Son and reveal all things to our spirits here on earth! WOW!

Jesus said when He left the earth that He wouldn’t leave us as orphans, or those without guidance, but that He would “come to us” (John 14:18).

TO be perfectly honest, in that moment, I was thinking about how much I’d let the BEST gift ever given to me get pushed aside recently. I clung to my wedding ring more than the gift of Holy Spirit!

How could I treat the Holy Spirit as a sideline gift while taking care of more material things like my wedding ring, my car, and other possessions? 

Friends, He is our best gift. And it is the best unused gift in this generation.

Our generation doesn’t need more material possessions or titles and positions. It needs a move of the Holy Spirit.

We have access to the greatest gift on Earth! Not to hide Him away or forget about Him, but to display Him in and through our lives. To strengthen us and reveal more of the love of the Father and Jesus to us.

Take some inventory today and ask yourself if the best gift you could ever or have ever received being used less than intended :)


 Question(s) of the day;

What measures have you taken to keep a precious gift from being lost, ruined or stolen?

How can you guard and maximize your gift of the Holy Spirit? If you haven’t received the gift of salvation start here ;

Say: “Jesus, I make You the Lord of my life. I’ve sinned against you and I receive Your cleansing blood, Your work on the cross, and Your resurrection from the dead. I turn from my sin and I give my life fully over to You. Come and live on the inside of my heart, mind, emotions and take over my will.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I love You–thank You for a new life in You! I receive Your love, Your mercy, Your forgiveness, and Your best gift ever–Holy Spirit. Amen” :) Congratulations!!! You now have the best gift EVER AND the gift of Him being with you always and forever!

Scripture(s) of the day;

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.–John 14:26

But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.–John 15:26

Worship song of the day;

A Tangled Mess

Today I had a huge knot in my hair.

Not the kind you can easily comb out.
It was like an all out strand fight between my whole head of long hair.

The freezing temps this week made sure that I secured a hat and static electricity came along for the ride. My hair doesn’t agree to this type of harassment so this trend climaxed on my head last night while slept and resulted in a massive knot today. Even though I’ve clearly brushed my hair every other day, my hair decided to call it quits today and give up.

After working on the knots for quite some time and being pressed to leave the house, I decided to just cut the knot out.

It was causing such a mess and ruining my time. After all it’s just hair and who needs it to be cut evenly right?!

No, I didn’t do that.

That would’ve been really dumb. Yes a few hairs were sacrificed in the process of the knot becoming untangled, but it eventually worked out and I left the house with combed hair all intact.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I’m such a mess that God can’t do anything with me.

Surely He’s got more important things to move onto than to deal with me getting entangled in life’s messes again.

I feel like it would be easy to see me in my “bad hair day” state and for God to say,”Woah woah woah! Let’s cut her out! It’s too much! I can’t handle this!”.

Yet, I find Him drawing closer in my messy moments. The moments when my heart is breaking and I feel like there’s no way out but to cut the knot. He’s there untangling the pieces and unraveling my hurt heart.

It’s so beautiful. This work of grace. He doesn’t deal with order and straight lines and perfect strands of hair like I do.

He deals in love. And He deals in mercy. And brings restoration.

He doesn’t leave me in my tangled mess. He restores my soul and gives me hope.


Question(s) of the day;

Do you see your mess or His ability to save you from your mess?

He hasn’t given up or cut you off…ask for forgiveness and allow Him to transform your heart.

Scripture(s) of the day;

There is hope for your future–Jeremiah 31:17

I will be your God throughout your lifetime–until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.–Isaiah 46:4

Worship song of the day;

Worship Circle originally wrote this song I believe, but I LOVE “You Have Redeemed My Soul”. Here’s a listen to a longer worship set singing about thankfulness of what God has done with this song included :)

 

#giveup40 Day #4

Love this…

jesus stood with me

#giveup40–Your Pain & His love

Easier said than done to write this post, but here I go…

While God doesn’t make bad things happen to us, we live in a fallen world and bad things will happen in life.

The challenges that come are opportunities to invite Jesus into our struggles and our trials and meet with Him in a way that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

When we walk through challenges and overcome them with the help of Jesus, we are then able to reach out to people in a way we never could have on our own.

There are a few thing that you need to know in the midst of a challenging situation in life; 

1. God is good…always and loves you with an everlasting love. If you have this assurance of knowing Him and making Jesus the Lord of your life, His love is always available even when things are hard.

2. Someone around you is hurting and doesn’t have the assurance of Jesus’ love and peace.

I’ve found that when I’ve walked through a particular hardship, that on the other side are people that need hope in that same struggle. While I might not LIKE what I’m walking through in a given season, I know there are always other people who will benefit from my testimony in the end.

We need hope in our difficulties. The world around us needs HOPE not just for the present circumstances, but for their eternity.


Question(s) of the day;

In what ways are you walking through challenges right now?

Have you invited Jesus into your present pain?

How do you think Jesus sees your physical, emotional, & spiritual pain?

Who around you needs hope and encouragement to hold on to His promises?

Scripture(s) of the day;

 2 Corinthians 9:8 – And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

Colossians 1:13 – He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.

Worship song of the day;

This song was written by John Mark McMillian and in the original format (below) he shares the testimony of how God met him when his friend Stephen died. “You met me in my breaking…I know that I still love You God despite the agony”…”He loves us, woah how He loves us…” This song has to this day marked me in difficult times. His love is still available in my pain.

 

What songs and scriptures have ministered to you or do minister to you in hardships?

#giveup40–You Know Me

I looked at my husband at a point today and said, “Can you read my mind?”, to which he replied, “Can you read mine?”. We both ended up chuckling because we in fact knew what the other was thinking.

Some days I make it hard on my sweet husband though.

I don’t even know what I’m thinking or what I want and/or need, so I can’t expect him to know.

There are things that I do know about myself. My favorite season is Autumn, my middle name is Kristen, I love passion fruit and chocolate. Random things like that…

But some days I learn new things about myself that I didn’t know before. Often this comes from times spent in my husband’s company or in a conversation with a friend.

Mostly I learn more about myself by spending time with my Father.

He after all is the One Who created me and knows me for who I really am.

He isn’t guessing, assuming, or basing His assessment on perceived information.

He knows the facts about me. He knows me.

AND…He knows you.

Better than you know yourself.

He knows the good, the bad, the GREAT, aaaaaaand the ugly.

He knows the plans that He created you to walk in and the unique traits, personality quirks, and giftings inside of you.

When you spend time seeking Him and desiring His will for your life, He’ll reveal the best for your life and in the process you’ll learn His heart.


 

Question(s) of the day:

Do we really believe that He knows us better than anyone else?

What ways do we believe other voices including ourselves over His truth?

What can we do to listen to His voice and truth in our lives?

Scripture(s) of the day:

Ps 139: 1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.

Song of the day:

You Know Me–by–Steffany Frizzell Gretzinger

“And nothing is hidden from Your sight
Wherever I go, You find me
And You know every detail of my life
And You are God and You don’t miss a thing”

 

Comment below on how God has been speaking to you the past couple of days.

Missed a blog? Check out the category on the right margin for “Give Up 40” and use the hashtag #giveup40 for reposting and comments.

#giveup40–Nailed It!

Welcome to day #1 of #giveup40 If you don’t know what Give Up 40 is, check out this post before continuing ;)


I nailed it! The perfect cup of coffee this morning! I was THRILLED!

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me, the perfect cup of coffee can make my day.

With all of the traveling that I do, my nerdy barista coffee snobby skills, and my desire for only Organic Decaf, Swiss Water Process Coffee, it’s HARD to get a quality cup of coffee.

Some days I nail it! The coffee is perfect and I’m satisfied. Other days, bleh….not so great and I long for a good cup of coffee ;)

And the same is true with my walk with God. Sometimes, like yesterday and today, there are rich times in His presence.

I see a cardinal on a nearby tree against the fresh snow and I feel Him drawing me to stop and listen to Him speak to my heart. And I actually STOP and take that moment with Him.

Other times God is doing the equivalent of fireworks and screaming in a megaphone at me, and I’m distracted by the cares of this life. Even though I might read my Bible or sing worship songs, it’s lip service and my heart isn’t connected.

There are days where I think, “I nailed it!!!”, and other days where I’m like, “Why didn’t I make more time for Jesus?!? He is so much more important than _____”.

He loves my heart that seeks His heart and He is always speaking. I just need to position myself to listen, to let His love fill me, and let His word ground me.

This is what these short 40 day devos are about–stopping and taking time to spend with Him. He is the giver of life, the lover of our souls, our HOPE.

Question(s) of the Day:

What keeps you from spending time in His Presence?

What  ways do you connect most with Jesus? Prayer? Worship? Word?

What can you do to eliminate distractions and let your heart stop and hear Him more these 40 days?

Scripture(s) of the day:

Mark 6:31–Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Worship song of the day:

A favorite of mine, Beautiful the Blood (Bryn Waddell version)–available on iTunes and can be viewed at this link ;

How’s your first day of lent going? What did God speak to you today? Use the “hashtag” #giveup40

Give Up For Lent

Wanting to give up something for Lent this year or desire a more strict focus on Jesus as you head towards Easter season?

Why not give up your time to spend in His  Word?

I used to give up Oreos in Middle School for lent…no joke ;) It was a sacrifice for me back then and likely prepped me for more food fasting later on.

While I absolutely believe in and do fast food, if you just fast without adding time with the Word of God and intentionally seeking His heart during a fast, it’s more like a diet;)

This past year I shared a message that I believe God dropped in my heart titled, “Give in or Give Up”. I spoke at a couple of young adults service in Kenya. It’s a lot like 3D for those of you connected to my home church in Tulsa :-)

The concept came from this scripture;

Those who try to hold on to their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life. (Matthew 10:39 NCV)

We can either give in to the enemy’s plans for our lives, OR surrender ourselves to Jesus Christ and give up our lives for Him.

So what does this have to do with lent?

Whether or not you participate in this 40 day fasting ritual, there’s something to be said about going deeper with Jesus and learning to give up our lives for Him.

In the hour that we’re living, there’s certainly a constant need to surrender ourselves to the way of the cross and allowing Jesus to truly be Lord of our lives.

I think of the 21 Egyptian men who were just martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ in Libya and I recognize their life was not their own. Their lives weren’t taken from them, they willingly gave them up to Jesus long before the moment of their physical death.

We too are invited to submit ourselves to His way and to learn His heart.

I invite you to join me on this journey of “Giving Up” our lives to be more like Jesus during the 40 days of Lent.

I’ll be posting short devotionals of scripture and questions to guide us into a more intimate fellowship with His heart and His way for our lives. Let’s give up our time for something intentional–more of Him! :)

Feel free to comment or hashtag your comments with #giveup40