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19/346: What do you do when you’re having a bad day?!

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Psalm 30:1-5 NKJV I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

Hello! I’m glad you are reading this, friend! Thank you! That encourages me! :)

What a day! I got a phone call today that I took as bad news, and I was filled with dismay and couldn’t encourage myself at all. :(

So what do you do when you’re having a bad day? Me? I got on my knees to pray, but that wasn’t enough. I was so distraught that I knew I had to get on my face, so I grabbed my Bible and laid flat on the floor with my face in the Word. I guess the Bible calls this falling prostrate before the Lord, but this is what I always mean when I say, “I was on my face.” ;)

What we are doing today: God says whatever He tells/teaches [me], I am to tell/teach others. Lists too there will be! :)

First, just start reading the Word, and for a time of distress I recommend the Psalms of David. I read many, but then I settled on Psalm 30. (link above)

I, eventually, realized my crying would never end unless I began to praise. iPobrecita! Praise, my friends, is something that moves God’s heart deeply and a sacrifice of praise can more so. I offered a sacrifice of praise (which means I wasn’t feeling it yet) by reading Psalm 30 back to God. (Prayer is a conversation.) It says, “I will extol You, O Lord.” I praised Him for a time and began to sense Him changing my countenance. I no longer felt dismayed, but there is not only me, a damsel in distress, talking in this prayer time; there is also a handsome King who is the Mighty Rescuer.

Finally, He began to show me Scripture and teach me about something that only matters to you if You sincerely are seeking His face: Godsense. It was about Him Whom I love!! He started to teach me this…

Psalm 29:3-9 NJKV The voice of the Lord is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, Yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; The Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth, And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”

Let’s pull it apart like an orange!!

The voice of the Lord:

  • is over the waters
  • is powerful
  • is full of majesty
  • breaks the cedars of Lebanon (trees?)
  • makes the cedars skip like a calf (breaking trees flying everywhere?)
  • divides the flames of fire!!!
  • shakes the wilderness
  • makes the deer give birth
  • strips the forest bare

The God of glory/Lord:

  • thunders
  • is over many waters

Everyone in His temple/we:

  • say Glory!

Well, Glory!!! He does all that with HIS VOICE, people!!!! Hallelujah! I got excited! Then He led me deeper still…

I read Job 36:26 – Job 42:9, but we will focus on specifics…

Job 37:2: Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.

Job 37:4-13: After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back. God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ So that everyone he has made may know his work, he stops all people from their labor. The animals take cover; they remain in their dens. The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. 10 The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen. 11 He loads the clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them. 12 At his direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them. 13 He brings the clouds to punish people, or to water his earth and show his love.

His voice:

  • roars
  • rumbles
  • is majestic
  • When it resounds, God holds nothing back!!!

With His mouth/voice He does marvelous things:

  • He commands the snow.
  • He instructs the rain.
  • (He uses His voice’s strength to remind His creatures that He is bigger, louder, and very PRESENT.)
  • He wants us to know His work. :) (Oh that one is close to my heart!)
  • Ice is made of God’s breath. (That’s literally kool!)

In the last verse, I see two things: God is about balancing justice and mercy, as well as giving people what they need.

Overall, I see here God is a God of order and capable. Our God is a working God!!

Not only did my King rescue me, He thoroughly distracted me with Good Learning! He knows me better than I know myself, and He knew I would get caught up in His wonder and His word. I literally felt His Spirit so strong during the learning time though that at different times I began weeping again and shaking, because He is the Maker of the whole earth yet He cares for little bitty me! And all such wisdom is too wonderful for me!!

I hope you remember this method, friend, the next time you have a bad day. I hope this Scripture and my little bulleted lists have blessed you!

I will tell you this one thing before I go that I hope you will see so often here that you never forget: I can tell you that in all my four decades I have experienced no one greater and nothing better than God and His Presence.

I’m not talking about just church on Sundays. I’m not talking about just reading a verse or two and turning out the lamp. I’m not talking about living on spiritual milk your whole life.

I’m referring to constant seeking, daily seeking, moment-by-moment seeking of God’s face. How much do you seek God’s face and request His Presence? How much time does He have in your day/schedule? Yet you require Him. I know you do; you know you do; He knows you do. He waits for you, His own beloved. I sincerely pray you go to Him now.

Pray with me in agreement that God will do these things? :)

Holy Spirit, come! King Jesus, You reign forever! I want more of Your Presence!! Draw my friends and readers to Yourself so that they can see that they are addicted to You and are made that way by You, Maker. For those who walk with You closely: more peace, blessings, and prosperity. Father, I no longer concern myself with the readership of this blog; it is Yours so You will bring here whom You will bring. I will obey anything you tell me to share or broadcast, but I see now it cannot be my obsession when You have given me so many to love on. Love through me here and wherever You send me. Make us little loveys and punkins who spread Your love, Big Love! Help us see with loving eyes, bc You know the world we live in is mean, uncaring, and chaotic. Makes it all the more important that we love as You love us and no less! Teach us, Truth. Lead us, Lord. How great is our God! Be glorified in our lives, Great God! You roar like a mighty lion, O Lamb! Thank You for teaching us about Your voice! :) You are worthy of all praise! In Jesus’ holy name, amen! (This is the May 28th post.)

18/347: Make a Choice

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2 Chronicles 19:9 NIV: He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord.”

“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” –Jim Elliott, “whose life was cut short tragically when he and four friends were killed bringing the gospel [of Jesus Christ] to the Auca people in Ecuador.” (p. 156)

Dear friends and readers,

I hope your day was thoroughly blessed! I hope you can sense God at work in your life! i would love to hear what you are growing through right now with God’s help!

The only thing new to report in my Pause is how it amazes me that the evil one persists in attempting to tempt me to pull away from my focus with continued messages from those who “miss [my] kisses,” and other things that I honestly wish I did not have to hear. Tonight I finally told one of them that I was taking a year off dating since he must not have a clue what is on my facebook wall daily about this blog. And these men, I have taken note, will message me at 3 am, but where are they at 3 pm? And so they shall not have my attention for long, and eventually they will wither away as it says in Psalm 37. And so I press on.

Today I wanted so much to finish up with posts on Do Hard Things, and so I made myself do just that despite lack of time. This book will continue to inspire me long after I have put it aside. These young men have a powerful message! As you know, this book by Alex & Brett Harris, was written by teens for teens. Even though we may be older and some of you much, much older, we know that a wise person can learn from the young!

In this final post on this book, I will highlight what some of these teens have to say. They all have their own story and their own endeavors, but you can glean what is needed as I attempt to be succinct. Here I give you four quotes from different teens:

I will never stop seeking young people who don’t yet know God. I will never stop chasing them, winning their souls to Christ. I believe that God will equip me with the strength and the right spirit. Deep inside me flows the DNA of a rebelutionary.

Even though I am just a young lady–a small voice in a big world–I believe I can do great things for God’s glory. I am just a humble servant–geared up to face any challenge my Master sets before me.

–Jazzy Dytes, (then) age 17

Who ever said that doing hard things isn’t fun?! On the contrary, I feel I missed out by not aiming toward more hard things. You’ll find more joy in doing what God has called you to do than a trip to the mall or a night at the movies will ever bring.

–Brittany Lewin, (then) age 18

Nothing is impossible with God! If you have a passion or a desire to do something for God, don’t say, “It’s impossible,” and close the door with doubt or fear. God can do it, and He may want to do it through you! Don’t underestimate Him. He can far exceed your expectations–I know that because He has done it for me.

–Leslie Reavely, (then) age 16

When I do missionary work…it reminds me of what Eric Liddell says in the movie Chariots of Fire: “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.” Well, when I do missionary work…I sense God’s pleasure and feel like I am doing His will… And for me that’s what it means to live a full and fun life as a teenager.

–Brantley Gunn, (then) age 16

These are powerful words for teenagers! Let these words inspire you, friend.

Here is more food for thought… Brandon, a fourteen-year-old, had to “reevaluate who he hangs out with,” and in his story, the Harrises tell that Brandon “realizes…he is going to need friends who will encourage him to fight for that higher standard.” (p. 220)

That is precisely what I have been trying to do myself: passionately pursue godly friends whom I can baste with godly love so that love is not absent in my life (especially during this year of no dates/”love”) and hopefully co-labor with them in some way to serve God and the Kingdom with joy. Yes, I said “baste,” but lavish or slather or super-soaker spray or seek out intently would all work just as well! I am not trying to appear to behave in common ways when uncommon love is what I must learn from God Himself, who IS Love. Soon maybe my friends and mentors will catch the vision; but until then they may find me odd. :)

Naturally, not everyone is on the same page or the same level, so we have to pray for God to work that out, and He wants it for us or He wouldn’t show it to us to ask it of Him. I am not clever enough to figure all of this out alone. God is at work all around us. Line yourself up with Him, friend, and watch Him move through you.

Finally, the Harris Bros. write, “Getting from big idea to meaningful change is tough.” (p. 214) They ask what we want to know: “How” then do we do it? And they respond, “The answer is to chart a clear course.” (p. 214) In the pages following they give individual teens’ step-by-step plans as they prepare to do hard things. One includes “Put my XBox 360 for sale on eBay,” and another “Set up a blog and start writing articles.” (p. 215, 218) As adults, we know how to make plans and follow through, but I wanted you to see how committed these teens were.

Now I ask you, friend, if teenagers can do such things, can’t we?! What are you doing? Who benefits from your life? Maybe God just wants you to come alongside else who is doing hard things and join them. Maybe He wants you to lead a “rebelution.”

How can you know what He wants to do through you if you don’t ask Him? And then what?! Make a choice. Tomorrow may never come; we live for today! Choose for yourself the life you will live. Choose for yourself who it is you will be. Choose what it is that will define you. I pray you choose well. I pray you choose to Do Hard Things for God!

Harris, A., & Harris, B. (2008). Do hard things: A teenage rebellion against low expectations. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books.

Praying now! :)

God, You are greater! Hallelujah! Build Your Kingdom and Your people, who are Your church! Jesus, You are Everything! Help us to live like we know it! This is all Yours and for You and of You so what more can be said? Have Your will here, Perfect One! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

17/348: A Holy Ambition

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Matthew 5:13-16 NIV 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Friends, readers, and Mom, :) So this is how it is to be for now: I will be walking by faith even more than before. Balancing my checkbook today is not the only way God showed me this truth, but it was sobering as it often is for all of us. God’s promises are true. We can believe them. We can trust Him.

I have finished reading Do Hard Things so there will only be this and another post or two about it. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.

We have been reading a book about Doing Hard Things for God instead of being complacent and taking it easy. Here is where we are now. First, the Harris boys want to clarify for us what Jesus meant when He called us “the salt of the earth.” They say, “we have been placed here to preserve it until He returns–to fight against the decay of sin, to combat sickness and suffering, and to oppose corruption and injustice.” (p. 172) Next, they want to clarify who is to be salt. From page 173-174, see this:

There is a misconception among some Christians that to “really live for Jesus” you have to go into ministry, become a missionary, or marry someone who does. Those are high and noble callings, but to limit our idea of the radical Christian life to just a handful of areas isn’t only wrong, it’s dangerous.

The Rebelution needs Christians all over the world to be living as salt and light in business, science, medicine, law, politics, home-making and parenting, engineering, education, the arts, and every other field of endeavor…God’s Word is Truth for all of life…

Then they present “the three pillars” of their Rebelution, which also apply to us adults: “character, competence, and collaboration.” (p. 179) “Character, competence, and collaboration are the means by which our generation can fulfill its call to be salt and light—and keep from being “thrown out and trampled,” the authors tell us. (p. 179) I ask you now… How is your character? Does it need work? Are you growing in competence and effectiveness in something that God is teaching you to do for the Kingdom? Who are you collaborating with? When will you start, if not today?

Then Alex & Brett teach us something that catches my attention. They report that the difference between others and us Christians is that we have “a holy ambition.” On page 181 they give us this:

John Piper, pastor and author, defines a holy ambition as something that you really, really, really want to do—and that God wants you to do also. Some people would call this passion, but it’s passion under the lordship of Jesus Christ. What’s yours?

I know mine easily! I will tell you as I close. Since I was about eight years old, I know God called me to missions, and I sincerely want to be a career missionary. Part of this year is about finding out why I’m not on the mission field already, what I need to do to get there if that’s truly God’s will, and possibly who needs to be there with me. Maybe I already met him at John Brown University when I got to attend for the most wonderful half-semester of my life as a Cross-Cultural Ministries major! Maybe I’m meant to be alone since I can so well. Who knows what God will do?! What about you? What’s your passion? Tell somebody today!

Harris, A., & Harris, B. (2008). Do hard things: A teenage rebellion against low expectations. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books.

Prayer Time! Yay! :)
Father God, I’m ever in prayer to You. You are magnificent and wonderful! You full on amaze me! No one is like You!! I’m awe-struck by Your power! I love all Your ways! All Your ways are holiness and truth! You are absolutely the passion of my heart! I want nothing less than a life spent serving You and a death to glorify You. I’ve wasted so many years, but nothing is impossible for You! Send me! I’ll go! And even now, “as I go along the way,” as my Pastor taught me, I will tell others about You and in so doing fulfill the Great Commission. Do Your work in me and in my friends, readers, and mentors. Make me the mom my children need continually. Make me strong when men try to proposition me in the night.

God, my friends and readers have many needs and You have many names. I love to study the Names of God, because I want to know everything I can about You, Holy One! Help them to trust and rely on You, Jehovah Jireh, the Great Provider! Heal them, Great Physician! Be their righteousness, Jehovah Tsidkenu, so that they can come to You! Be their Peace, Jehovah Shalom! Oh My Maker, my Husband, You are my Everything! I pray for these You have given me, most of all this: Draw them in to the cleft in the Rock and make them men and women of Bible Study and prayer who know their God and are known by Him. Also, according to Your will, prepare godly mates for Your own bc I don’t want them to be lonely. Help us be a blessing to You! If You won’t answer our prayers, Lord, what will we do? For we trust in the name of the Lord our God, and You alone can save us!! We know You are our Rescuer even now in every way!! We trust You with our needs! “A mighty, strong Leader is on the way!” Be glorified in this online writing project whatever its true purpose may be. Let me not be put to shame. Move me out of view; be glorified in my life! Be blessed by us, Your Punkins, Your beloved, Your church! I love You so much! In the mighty, strong name of Jesus, amen!

16/349: no post/Memorial Day

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Have a great holiday with your family! After swimming, everybody fell asleep, so somebody has to do all these dishes. That’s me. No blogging today. Happy Memorial Day! :)

Kelly Kelly Kelly

15/350: Take a Stand!

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Howdy, friend! :) I hope life is good for you. Mine certainly is, because God stays near! So I guess it’s important to update you sometimes on how my Pause is going since that is what I’m supposed to tell you here. No soda. No dates. No texting guys who are pursuing me for dating. No sex. (I have done pretty well at staying away from the men who see me and think sex, because I know they will still try to tell me or touch me. They say the very things I want to hear, and do I not love touch?! Yes. This is tough!! One of them is really cute, but I’m not seeking hot abs. I want something more substantial. Pray they continue to stay away)

I did have a challenge several days ago when a friend who I wouldn’t expect to mention sex reminded me with one vivid sentence in a text that it still exists in the world. (I just try to keep my mind stayed on God, and it’s a struggle if I don’t.) So of course, I started thinking about my ex-boyfriend (from last year) for that reason alone…and it took more than a few minutes to stop those lustful thoughts. (And, then my ex messaged someone I knew and asked them to tell me to unblock him on facebook because he misses me. Great timing!) Is abstinence from these things easy? No. This is very hard! I dare ya to try it! Honestly, focusing on getting this blog post done daily is a really great distraction that I need. Praying for my family, friends, and you who read it takes up the rest of my time. :) Let’s do this now.

Mark 8:34-35 34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.

We are still discussing Do Hard Things, and maybe you have started to Do Hard Things or maybe you already were but have been trying to do more. Have you suddenly become aware that this is not always a popular decision? Peer pressure can affect our actions. I’ve never been one of the kool kids even if introduce myself to everyone like the banker I once was, but I never care what is trending for other people. I appreciate being different, and I respect others who have the backbone to pull it off too. Yet everyone has that moment when we have to take the stage for a speech, go to the pulpit to sing at church, or even write a paper that our instructor expects us to read to the class. What will they say? Will I be shunned or disgraced?

You know that I fear this, because I never stop praying about it in each of my posts. Yet we have to make the choice on how we will live, and who will we be? I write in spite of that fear. If Jesus can take a stand for me, be tortured for me, beaten for me, spit on for me, and die a publicly humiliating death for me then I can type out some dinky blog posts to hopefully bring Him glory. No comparison.

Alex & Brett Harris, the authors of Do Hard Things, remind us that, “you could lose friends and popularity, you could lose opportunities, and in some countries you could even lose your life…But…It all boils down to a principle at the heart of Christian character: we have to care more about pleasing God than we care about pleasing man.” (p. 148) Have I been more concerned with pleasing mankind or God? Important question. Another important question is “What defines you?” (p. 149) The Harrises say, “…a changed heart will result in a changed life—that true saving faith in Jesus Christ will show in our actions.” (p. 151) The authors give the following Scriptures for us to consider:

John 17: 14-16 MSG Now I’m returning to you. I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing So my people can experience My joy completed in them. I gave them your word; The godless world hated them because of it, Because they didn’t join the world’s ways, Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways. I’m not asking that you take them out of the world But that you guard them from the Evil One. They are no more defined by the world Than I am defined by the world. Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth. In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. I’m consecrating myself for their sakes So they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.

Hmm. What defines me? “When we take a stand for God, we’ll often suffer persecution of different kinds. But God is at work. Good is being accomplished in many lives—and so often we are the beneficiaries,” the authors tell us. So there will be bad, but there will be good too! We can do this! How do we know though what to do, how, and when to do it? The smart Harris Bros. made us a kool list! They advise us on page 157, to use these six principles as a guideline:

  1. Start with the Bible. (“What does God’s word say on this topic?”)
  2. Examine yourself. (“Don’t get caught up trying to get a speck out of someone else’s eye & ignore the log sticking out of your own.”)
  3. Listen to your conscience. (“If you can’t do something with a clear conscience, even if others can, you shouldn’t be doing it.”)
  4. Seek godly counsel. (Mentors! Difficult books on leadership! Godly friends!)
  5. Be humble, loving, and bold. (“The attitude with which you take a stand says just as much as the stand itself.”)
  6. Be part of the solution. (“Don’t get a reputation for always being against everything: be for something. Try not to point out problems without providing solutions.”)

You’re already thinking, aren’t you!? God is at work. I know. If you still need something to help you here are some questions Alex & Brett provide:

  • Is there a stand you know you should be taking but haven’t?
  • Is there something in your life you know is wrong but continue to do?

Reading that last one, I think back to my own addiction to online chat back in 2005-2006, and I remember how much time I spent away from my family doing meaningless things like chatting with strangers or playing dumb online games like Cityville. That was a heavy addiction, but how dumb!? The people I chatted with were from Yahoo Christian Chatroom 19, they called me Goody, and they were Christians so I rationalized it. A couple of those same Christian men introduced me to porn. (Yes, friend, even women watch porn, and I did not want to admit this so much that I had to take a minute or 30 to ask God if I really had to.) I will sometimes suddenly find myself in the wrong place online even as recent as this year. (Lord, please let me not be put to shame! In Jesus’ name!)

Isn’t our culture steeped in sex so that I think not just us Singles, but even our country’s children may struggle with porn, sex chat, and sexting? I just sat in McDonald’s the other night near a little(apprx) 12 year old boy video chatting with a 12 year old girl, and I accidentally looked at the wrong time when she showed him down her shirt. I was so saddened by that. Where was her mother?! Where was his?! She may have been like I was off too busy with my own addictions in the other room. I was thankfully able to break those addictions individually at different times on my own, but I am uncommon in that way. For my endless pursuit of love relationships (called love addiction), my good friend, Rhonda, recommended (rather dragged me to) Celebrate Recovery.

Celebrate Recovery is like a small church within a church, and I recommend it! It definitely helped me! I was able to share a testimony on a stage to show that I took a stand against that stronghold and to show that the Mighty God gives freedom to those who seek His face. CR groups meet in various churches all over your town, most likely! I’ve provided a link if you feel like you need it in order to take a stand against something in your life. In conclusion, the Harris Bros. tell us the following on page 164 so I will let them inspire us since they are so good at it! Here goes:

The hard thing you’re contemplating may be the biggest, most difficult, and most rewarding hard thing you’ve ever done. Don’t miss this good thing God is inviting you to do, and don’t tell yourself it doesn’t matter. Doing what is right always matters—and it matters now.

Let’s Do Hard Things for God’s glory! Remember to be gracious and longsuffering with others, because God is to you and because they need it whether they deserve it or not. Don’t be a punk; be a punkin this Memorial Day. Remember why we have Memorial Day; because of people who Did Hard Things so that we can live in freedom and safety and gave their lives. Honor them & their families. And, think about this as you go along the way: What defines you?

Harris, A., & Harris, B. (2008). Do hard things: A teenage rebellion against low expectations. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books.

Father God, You’re wondrous and amazing! You, God are gracious and compassionate and faithful toward all You have made! You give good things from Your hands! You are such a good Father! Thank You for providing for us every need we have. Thank You for bringing my friends to read my blog, because that is an answer to many prayers! Thank You for our soldiers, police officers, firefighters, EMT personnel, and other service members who put themselves in dangerous situations to keep us safe and give us freedom. I ask You to work in our lives, all of us, to accomplish Hard Things thru us since this is what You are leading us to do. I don’t make this stuff up on my own! We trust our lives to You. For the readers and the friends: help, safe travels, tender mercies, good health, favor at work, fun & peaceful times with family & friends, blessings, and hear their prayers, Lord. I pray specifically for my friend, Rhonda, who has in the past directed Celebrate Recovery groups and is now an officer of the court: bless her for how she blesses and cares for others with her tough love. I wouldn’t be where I am without her. Bring the lost here so that they can learn about You and Your grace!! Grant that I can have the privilege to help someone find their way to You. Lord, use this little blog for not small but great things, because I want You to be greatly magnified and glorified! And because I want people who know You to be reminded of Your love for them! Lead me on this journey and bring alongside friends and mentors for support. I still need time with a mentor when she can so I ask for You to work that out. For all of us: Lead us in the way everlasting! Purify our hearts. Move me out of view; be glorified in this blog and in my life. Please let me not be put to shame for saying here what I felt strongly led by You to say for someone’s benefit. Oh God, hear me! You know I can’t bear up under public humiliation even with as fearless I am. I trust You, Prince of Peace. We bless You, handsome Lord! There is none like You. I pray these things in the name of my King, Jesus, amen. (This is the post for May 24th.)

Bonus Post: Never Without Blood

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Bonus post: Never Without Blood This subject is beyond my understanding, but will that keep me from studying it?? No! I want so much to learn and understand! So this is what God only (and not some man or devotional so that He is my Mentor, my Teacher, which makes it far more exciting!!) led me to today:

Genesis 14:18-20 NIV: 18 Then Melchizedek king of [Jeru]Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Who is this Melchizedek, this High Priest, whom Abraham tithed to? Is he Jesus? Because it says he is King of Salem, which is Jerusalem if you read the footnotes as I do. And then this:

Psalm 110:4 NIV: The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 7:1-10: This Melchizedek was king of [Jeru]Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.

So it said, “LIKE the Son of God he remains a priest forever,” which means maybe he’s not Jesus. Or he could be, and I need someone above me to teach me! But Melchizedek must be important, because he is part of not only Abraham’s story but also Jesus’.

Hebrews 7:11-12 11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.

Hebrews 7:17-22: 17 For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”[a] 18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. 20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’” 22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

That’s exciting! A better covenant?! Yes, please! He is a priest forever! He earned that by Doing Hard Things for us! We were His one true desire, His beloved. We are His beloved!!

Hebrews 7:23-28: 23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

Jesus, our High Priest, is exalted above the heavens!!! He is worthy of all honor and glory and praise for His sacrifice!

Hebrews 8:1-2 Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being. Hebrews 9:7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.

Did that say “never without blood”? See, God is a Holy God. Because of His holiness, He cannot be where there is sin. Isaiah 59:2, teaches us this, when it says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” And because of the law a blood sacrifice is required in order to be righteous enough to stand before a Holy God. So it makes sense that the priests went in “never without blood.” Let’s go deeper! If Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness (Gen. 15:6), what about us?

Hebrews 7:11-14 11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

Let this simple girl simplify it for you, friend, because I know, I know this Scripture is deep like a great well from which we, in the desert, crave cold water. Our own righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), but because of Jesus, when God looks at us we are covered with the Blood of Christ so that we are seen by our Holy God as the righteous, because of our belief and public proclamation/profession that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. This message should free you just for that alone!!!! It is everything I live for and all that I hope in! I hope you can say the same. But wait, there’s more!!! How can you apply this to your daily life? I pray in Jesus’ name that this will open the very Word of God for you! Everywhere you see a Scripture that uses the phrase “the righteous,” substitute your name there. But don’t stop there! Pray it back to God. He loves to hear His children remind Him of the Word He taught us!!! What better words could we say to Him? Learn this. It will change how you pray. So here are examples: Habakkuk 2:4but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness”

“[Kelly] will live by her faith.” Thank You, Father, for helping me live by faith!

Psalm 34:15 “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;

“The eyes of the Lord are on [Kelly.]” Oh, dear God, thank You, for having Your eyes on me so that I know You see wherever I go and watch over me always.

Proverbs 3:33 “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.

“He blesses the home of [Kelly].” Ooo! Heavenly Father, thank You for always blessing my home and my crazy teenagers!

Those were all just random Scriptures, but now do your name! It’s fun! Pray your children’s names, your spouse’s name, your mother’s name, your co-worker’s names that are godly examples, and your friend’s names who are believers. I pray this way for my people! If you know me, know this is how I pray for you at times. Other times, I just cry like you do about your situation, and say, “Oh, God help my poor little fren!” In closing, when you pray always remember “never without blood,” and pray in Jesus’ name because that is how God has taught us. I want to leave you with this strong verse that I always sing as the song I taught my daughter when she was studying Scripture for AWANA. Yes! Make Scripture into song! King David did by God’s inspiration. This is the reason for me writing these words for you: John 20:31 “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the [Christ]/Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

Pray with me as always even after so much studying and so many typed words, because it is good that we should do this. :) Gracious and Longsuffering Heavenly Father, How wonderful You are to us!! Your ways amaze us! Who would die for us?! We are just a bunch of punks, skeezes, rebels, rascals, sinners, criminals, prostitutes, and outcasts! No one else would desire us, but even when we were sinners You loved us! You came running for us to claim us, Your beloved, and You made a way to redeem us from our sin and a way for us to live and walk in freedom! Your plan is too wonderful and too lofty for me to grasp! I know I wouldn’t have died for me, but thank You, Jesus, that You did!! Work thru Your Word here, and bring us to Your side, to right relationship with You in all ways. I want Your fullness and Your Presence for my friends and readers. I want Your Best who is Your Son, Jesus, for my friends and readers. I long for it. Let these words be healing and life for all who read them. Let these words be a blessing. Thank You for teaching me, Good Teacher. Grow me, grow us all! Build Your church and make us strong with ripped spiritual muscles like Vikings! Have Your will in this small blog. Be glorified thru it and be glorified in our lives! In the precious name of Jesus, I pray, amen.

14/351: Small Hard Things

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Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,Colossians 3:23 NIV “…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV

Hello, friends! I’m praying for you! I hope you have had a blessed day! I have! :) Okay, we are still discussing the book, Do Hard Things, but I am reading ahead and looking into what God will lead me to next. I can’t wait to see what He will do!

This chapter is on doing Small Hard Things, which Alex and Brett Harris say, “equip you for big things in the future. Habits like working hard, maintaining a positive attitude, living with self-discipline and integrity, and serving others bring benefits to our lives now and pay enormous dividends in the future–if we do them faithfully.” (p. 137) Some of those are easy for some of us, but others are kinda hard. Self-discipline? The Harris Bros. talk about the dailyness and minutiae of life, and tell us, “Maybe you feel forgotten and alone, grinding away at pointless routines that seem guaranteed to lead you nowhere. You feel like you have incredible potential, but it’s all going to waste.” (p.133)

The authors assure us, “God cares a great deal about small things, and the Bible has a lot to say about them.” (p. 138) They share on the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. I encourage you to read it. Of course, we know God wants us to be faithful in small things, because they keep us humble and grounded for one thing. Also the Harris Bros. teach us, “Being faithful in the smallest things is the way to gain, maintain, and demonstrate the strength needed to accomplish something great.” (p. 139) The Harris boys tell about the great Vikings who did Small Hard Things. Here are the important parts (p. 140-1):

The Vikings were fierce pirates and warriors who terrorized northern Europe nearly a thousand years ago…Europeans were so frightened of the Viking menace that churches often offered a special prayer: “God, deliver us from the fury of the Northmen.” Most historians attribute the Vikings’ devastating effectiveness to their warships, which were light enough to be dragged up onto the beach… However, another contributing factor holds great significance for rebelutionaries: the Vikings rowed themselves to battle. Most other sea powers at that time used slaves or professional rowers to propel their warships, but the Vikings took full responsibility for that repetitive and strenuous activity. That tells us one very important thing about them: they were seriously ripped. No wonder an entire continent lived in dread of them. By sheer muscle power, they routinely moved twenty-ton boats across miles of ocean… We can all learn a lesson about small hard things from the Vikings. If we’re willing to strive for excellence, even in the boring, repetitive tasks and responsibilities that others delegate or neglect, we will reap the powerful benefits that others miss. Embracing small hard things can make a radical difference.

So I guess I should enjoy washing the dishes, folding the laundry, and cleaning out the car. Isn’t that another way of worshiping God though? I was taught that it is. We bring Him glory when we do and enjoy doing whatever work our hands find to do. I am reminded that Ecclesiastes often teaches on working and enjoying the life you have been given. In Ecclesiastes 11:6 NKJV, God teaches us, “In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good.” I like these questions from page 143 that the authors ask:

  • Think of a regular or daily task that you hate that takes less than five minutes a day. How do you most often deal with it? Procrastination? Inconsistency? Irritation? How might you benefit from a shift in attitude and a renewed commitment to this small thing?
  • Do you have a big goal for your life that you can’t achieve without a commitment to small hard things? Write down your big goal. Then write out the small hard things that will help you achieve it–and how faithfully doing those small hard things now will help you achieve your dream later.

“Procrastination? Inconsistency? Irritation?” How do they know so much about me?! If I worked on procrastination alone, I might increase the readership of this blog, because no one is awake at two in the morning. And that isn’t all! I think I need to do the second point myself: write down a big goal and plan it out.

I will let Alex & Brett Harris inspire you with their words as I close: “Take up your Viking challenge today to do small hard things. The fact that you face those unwanted tasks is not a mistake; it’s an opportunity. That’s why we encourage you to put your full weight into every stroke of the oar.” (p. 144)

Harris, A., & Harris, B. (2008). Do hard things: A teenage rebellion against low expectations. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books.

Pray ye now with me. ;) Super Big God, hello! It’s me who never stops talking to You! :) iTe adoramos hoy! iMuchas! Oh so so so much! You are a good God and so kind to us! Thank you, Jesus, for taking beatings that were meant for me! And for being tortured for me!!! I can’t even imagine how terrible it was truly, because You bless me so much that I never fear attack. You are with me always! “Surely [Your] goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life!” How excellent are You in every way, Lord! We seek to be like You!! You are our Leader in all Small Hard Things and Big Hard Things. We know You are most worthy of our trust, our honor, and our praise! Thank You for teaching me to read my Bible so that I can always have my Sword with me!

Well, here we are again blogging together, You and me, and friend makes three. I wait for You to accomplish what You will here in this project. The Director of Leadership at Lifeway is now following me on Twitter, I suspect, because of this blog. I cannot imagine that it is an unknown blog now, because You are the Maker of ever man and You, God in Heaven, own this blog. I say that to recognize a shift has occurred. I am still your little bitty girl, but through my awkward obedience You have and will do a great many things. I know it full well as I always have known. Because I surrender to You completely. Help others that need to surrender to You to come to You and give it all to You: all the hurt, the pain, the weariness, the hopelessness, the sin, the ache, the devastation. Renew their spirits. Teach them Whose they are and heal them. Love them with Your everlasting love. “Oh Holy Spirit, you are welcome here! Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere! Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for! To be overcome by Your Presence, Lord!” Thank You for worship music that keeps me close to You with every post! Thank You for making me think that I was going to blog about not dating. Haha! You fill my heart with joy! I would happily tell all the world of Your goodness, grace, and glory!! I’m in love with You in a most sincere way. Help others to know You the way I get to. I cannot go back to a life without You permeating every minute of my thoughts! I’m hungry for You! Give others a hunger for You. Thank You for the mighty work You are doing here. I know that I will not be put to shame for being vulnerable here, because You are so much greater than anyone who might try to come against me and bc You are so sweet to me always. Be glorified in this project and continue to bring readers and friends so that hearts might be turned back to You and that we might grow in Your word thru what the Harris family teaches well. Bless and help the friends, mentors, and readers, Father! Make us like Vikings who are not too good or too high and mighty to do Small Hard Things. Make us Vikings in the realm You have given us! We bless You, Almighty God! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

13/352: Do Big Hard Things: Stop! Collaborate, & Listen…to God

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“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep one warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” –Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV (This has been one of my favorite Scriptures!! A cord of three strands is you, me, and God in relationship together, which makes it much more beautiful than what us two can be without Him.)

What are “Big Hard Things,” you ask? The Harris boys give that name to any project that is “too big to be accomplished alone,” and require the help of others to be completed. (p. 109) What hard thing has God given you that requires you to involve others and work as a team to complete?

For me, I know any girl can blog alone, but I want more from this endeavor so I have attempted to pull together two or three friends to keep my spirits up for this and mentors to bring me further than I could get on my own. I’m also hoping my church comes alongside me at some point, but I’m new there. So far, I feel alone honestly. Is that going to stop me? Nope. That’s just one of my hard things right now. Soon enough people will catch the vision, I hope.

Brett and Alex Harris say this, in Do Hard Things: “We need to change the way we think about large projects and big ideas. Instead of focusing on our individual limitations, what if we stepped back, looked around, and asked, ‘Who could be motivated to tackle this with me?’” (p. 109) Collaborate…”co and labor” means “literally ‘working together.’” (p. 109) We do things at work often that require collaboration and in college now working in groups has become part of each class’ objective to develop a more well-rounded individual. But in our personal lives, we do this less, if at all.

The Harrises present the following (kool) example on page 111, of working together:

A study of horses revealed that a single horse could pull an average of 2,500 pounds. The test was repeated with two horses. You’d expect the weight pulled to double—to about 5,000 pounds. Not so. Two horses working together pulled 12,500 pounds! That’s five times the amount one could pull alone.

Would the numbers hold if instead of horses researchers had used Vespas or Volkswagens? We doubt it. There’s something inside a living being that rises to accomplish exponentially greater things when part of a team.

God has made all of us (not just horses) to be more effective when we work in fellowship with others. In fact, the Bible warns of the danger of isolating ourselves from others. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us consider how to stir up one another in love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.” Proverbs 18:1 is even more blunt: “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”

I think that’s pretty kool, and it inspires me to wonder what could He have in mind that He wants me to do? Maybe you already know for yourself, friend. Maybe He is preparing you for a mission trip, a rally, or some type of campaign. Will you pray about it?

One thing I have found is that just having a mentor for daily living makes my growth far better than how I can grow alone. In fact Proverbs 13: 20 speaks on that very thing when it says, “He who walks with the wise grows wise…” Do you have a mentor or older, wiser someone who counsels you in life? I am thankful I can say God has blessed me with several through the years, and I have at least one now. It’s so good to know I’m not alone! I can call her and ask for prayer or she will see me post something stupid on Facebook and send me a long message in Messenger to help correct me lovingly. I need her! I hope you will pray about finding a mentor of your own through church or somewhere. I hope you go to church. So many of the big hard things are done in churches daily, people find mentorship there, and we corporately grow weekly.

When talking about working with a group of people, it’s important to note that Alex and Brett say, “Probably the hardest thing about working with other people is that you actually have to work with them…That’s why big hard things require patience, humility, and a nearly endless supply of forgiveness.” (p. 126) We know about this, don’t we?! I hated working in groups in college, because I’m committed to excellence so that I want that A and will fight for it. But also, every group has a lazy person, which makes me say, “If it’s okay, I’ll just do it all, and when it’s time to present, you can show up, smile, look pretty, and do a little talking.” I need to adjust my attitude and work as a team!

I’ll leave you with these thought from the Harris Bros.: “The most exciting thing about stepping up to the challenge of big hard things is that when God calls on you, He will bring the help you need to get the job done. So don’t be afraid of tackling big goals with others…Together we can accomplish great things for God, starting today…What could you do with three people, or ten, or a hundred? Pray and plan. Then go for it.” (p. 130) Wooo! Exciting!

Harris, A., & Harris, B. (2008). Do hard things: A teenage rebellion against low expectations. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books.

Pray with me, friend. :)

Heavenly Father, the Trinity is the Great Team that walks with us! You are a God who loves collaboration! I never wanna do anything You aren’t with me in! What big hard things do You plan to use us for? Lead us. Show us. Help us. Build us. We trust in You. Give us mentors. Help us go to church. Build us as the church, Your hands and feet. Use these typed words to influence change, because I don’t want to just breathe air on this planet. If You won’t use me, take me Home, and You know I mean that sincerely. Do something with this blog. I’m not good at bringing people to read it. I feel like my 908 facebook friends are too busy to read more than a Twitter status of 140 characters, but You are their God. I think they can benefit from what You are doing here, but they are Your workmanship so You know what they need. You know how tired I am; I fell asleep when I first sat down to blog, and now it’s very late. I don’t wanna do this if You won’t bring people to read and be changed or at least encourage me. But I will not back down. Make us resilient. Send people to catch the vision for what You’re doing that will at least help me stay strong, etc. Take care of my friends and the readers who come here. Meet their needs and bless them. Give them big hard things to do. Move me out of view; be glorified in this project and in my life! We magnify You, Lord, with whatever little magnifying glass You’ll give us! We praise You for what You are doing! Keep doing Your work in us to make us more like You!! In Jesus’ name, amen (This late post is the May 22nd post.)

The Road to Heaven ~

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Kelly Zooms:

Being a Christian is not meant to be easy. Do Hard things, fight the good fight, stay on the narrow path, seek God’s face. You can do it!

Originally posted on CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann:

The Way to Heaven ~ CHRISTian poetry by deborah ann~ Phot by Chris Kennedy Creation Swap

The road to heaven,
isn’t on a street of clover
it’s full of dips and ditches
huge bumps to get over.

It’s chuck-full of potholes,
to maneuver through
gaps and depressions
with lots of pitfalls too.

The road to heaven,
isn’t on a street called easy
it’s full of twists and turns
with curves that are sneaky.

It’s full of detours,
that will slow us down
roadblocks and delays
we have to get around.

The road to heaven,
is on a one way street
there can be no u-turns
if Jesus, you want to meet!


John 14:6

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way,
the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

King James Version
by Public Domain

Copyright 2015
Deborah Ann Belka

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do stuff | GO

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Kelly Zooms:

Found someone else who has heard the call to DO HARD THINGS! 😊😊😊 :)

Originally posted on prof's blurbs:

Working through DO STUFF we started with GROW and then built off of it by saying we play our part by GETting INVOLVED. We looked at Acts 2 and said that God often shows up when we GET INVOLVED. In week 3 we wanted to take this action theme further by looking at GO. GO and do something about what you believe.

Our big idea for the week was: Prove what you believe by doing something about it. We looked to the book of James as our guide and realized that what we say isn’t as important as what we do. We can say we believe something, but if there isn’t any evidence in our daily lives then all we’re doing is talking.

Just because we say something doesn’t make it true. I can say I have a Ferrari, but if all you ever see me driving is my Corolla you’re…

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The Holy Spirit

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Kelly Zooms:

I <3 the Word! Don't you?!

Originally posted on Writers Of Faith:

Something to think about.

22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness and self-control…” Gal 5:22-23 (NIV)

The attributes of God in you.

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12/353: nada/no post tonight

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Tonight instead of blogging I’m doing a different hard thing…. It’s just a project I’m tackling at home. I am also very distracted in my thoughts right now so that I probably couldn’t focus if I tried. Please pray for me as I continuously pray for you. Thank you, Punkins! God bless you!

Kelly :)

This LITTLE Thing Called Jealousy

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Kelly Zooms:

Sometimes God takes someone out of our lives…. For God’s name is Jealous One or Jealous…re-read Exodus 34:14. ;)

Originally posted on letsgetpersonal101:

Guys, I have a situation. I’ve been struggling – really struggling –  for the past few days with an emotion that makes me feel completely frustrated and awkward. It’s consuming my every waking moment and I’m just about ready to hand it over to my Lord. I know I should have done so from the start but I really never thought my feelings would escalate to this. I thought if I ignored it, I would have gotten rid of it but oh how wrong was I!

I’ve been at ends with myself about this feeling. Its uncomfortable and makes me sad because I believe that it is unwarranted, But is it really? Here’s the situation; someone who I really care for and kinda stamped as ‘mine’ has turned their attention to someone else. Now I feel like someone stole one of my favourite people from me. What’s worse is, because…

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Bonus post: Hard Thing–Be gracious and longsuffering :)

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I see Facebook posts about “sometimes walking away is the only thing you can do.” We Singles seem to post them most in a snobby way. Question… Are we to be like God? Yes. Does He walk away from us when we are stupid, stubborn, abusive, unlovable, mean, sinful, terrible, fill in the blank? No.

This world has enough Leavers! They know abandonment! So many have been abandoned! I know well what it destroys within a spirit. Who will show them something that looks like everlasting love? Who will stay? Who will not abandon those whom He has given? Who will be long-suffering? Who will be gracious under abuse? (Don’t think that I don’t know abuse.) Who will be like our God for the sake of the hurting soul who is being mean, etc., who completely doesn’t deserve it? Why would we put our comfort ahead of what He has called us to do and those He has given us to love?

In Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses told the people, “…for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” When Joshua became the new leader he told the people the same thing but not about God; about HIMSELF. He said, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5 NIV)

I want to be like God. I want to be like Joshua. Who are you like?

11/354: Start Now…. Doing Hard Things!

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“Without a doubt, pushing yourself to do more than is asked, expected, or required is nearly always a lonely choice. It can set you apart from friends, co-workers, other Christians, even family. As we’ll see, the desire to do your best–even when no one around you requires it–takes a special kind of character.” —Do Hard Things, Brett & Alex Harris (then age 19), page 89

Do you ever feel lonely for making the right choice? for doing the right thing? for being godly? for waiting on marriage/sex/baby/career/fill-in-the-blank until God directs? Sanctify means to set apart. (one definition; there are others) Have you set yourself apart from the world for something special and deliberate? Has God sanctified you/set you aside for a different path than the norm? It can be lonely. I feel it. Do you?

Some friends tell me they miss me…or our conversations are shortened… usually by me…because they are much into the world, and I just don’t have fellowship with them anymore. I’m praying for them, and I miss the (core) person. If I could be around them without sinning, I would. Other friends have stopped talking to me altogether, have suddenly become unavailable, or say I’m doing my “God thing and all” or that they “don’t mind” the Scripture I texted. (At first, I’m like, “Umm excuse me?!? Mind?!” Then God corrects me. lol)

Someone mentioned recently someone being “so heavenly-minded that they are no earthly good.” Is that a real thing? I don’t know. If it is, is it bad? How do you please both man and God. Well, I’m going to stick with God, my Constant. I hope more Christian friends come into my life soon, because I’ve just separated myself/set myself apart/sanctified myself and lost several. (gulp lol) Do you ever feel like you can try really hard to do something, pour everything into it, and when you get done you look and see that it must have had a hole in it somewhere?! Yes. For months, I have poured myself into making friends, because of Surviving December (something I can’t share here, but I’m not going to be a loner anymore even if I want to so badly).

Don’t think I have few friends; that is not the case. I moved to a new part of my state six or so months ago. People like me, I’m pretty sure (Heck! I’m adorkable! and so loyal! What’s not to love?! lol), but I require a deeper connection and more intimacy to be satisfied. (Ain’t nobody got time for that!! Right?! haha Okay so I’m high maintenance & intense, and I know it.) I’m still going to seek that higher level of vulnerability, connection, intimacy (not sexual), and friendship.

After all this striving and these higher expectations of people? Now I’m nearly exhausted, but I will persist even if daily I cry from loneliness…even if it’s just two seconds. (I’m a baby!) But I know I’m not the only lonely baby out there!! I see your faces and your facebook posts. You think I can’t see it on your faces, but it’s a spiritual gift. Let love in!! You’re not the only one who needs it! (I have teenagers y’all! Do you think they love on me?! lol Nooo!) Let me focus on Hard Things now. :)

In Do Hard Things, the Harris boys give “Three Strategies for Stepping Higher,” from page 92, and are quoted as follows:

  1. Do what’s hard for you.
  2. Be known for what you do (more than for what you don’t).
  3. Pursue excellence, not excuses.

The first one seems easy enough. Challenge yourself to do what is difficult for you, “like reading difficult books.” (p.94) One young lady, Heather, who wrote a letter to the authors of the book, says one of her hard things is she has “been trying to direct the conversation to more substantial matters.” (p. 96) The second point pertains to being set apart not for what you don’t do, but for what you do. For example, “Suzie is such a good girl, because she never goes out on Friday nights. She’s such a good Christian girl and never gets in trouble.” Instead Suzie might strive to be known as the girl who helps at the nursing home or gets in “trouble” for reading her Bible at school. The authors advise, “We’re not just supposed to avoid sinning; we’re supposed to pursue righteousness in a way that others will want to imitate.” (p. 98) The last point seems like a no-brainer, but so many of us are gifted so that we excel without trying.

Another “rebelutioner,” Mary, wrote a letter to the Harrises and in it she writes, “Challenge yourself and others to call the normal things normal and save that word excellent for things that really are.” (p. 100) (That’s a good challenge, no?!) Friends, let us not get caught being mediocre in our efforts just because less is required or expected. “We fall short of our true potential because we aimed only to be bigger than the next fish in our small pond,” write the Harris Bros. (p. 101) Challenge yourself to do hard things!! (You can do it! I believe in you!) My main hard thing today was finally updating the introductory tab on this blog, called, “One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus” and one other unmentionable thing.

The following Scriptures are given in the book and these are “hard things”:

Those are definitely hard things!! I’m the most selfish person I know, yet He will make me a little server in a heartbeat who is so happy to serve just singing along all off-key like I do. The Harris Bros. quote teen girl, Wenslyn Reyes, who said, “‘Do hard things’ means fighting for greater levels of excellence because there is always something harder to do. It is never a matter of arriving; it is a constant battle for growth.” (p. 103)

The authors then tell of Teddy Roosevelt, the respected man who was once a weak, sickly boy. He worked to develop his body to overcome his weakness. He proclaims this for us on page 105-6:

I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.

Let’s do hard work!! Pray to ask God what hard things you can do in your circle of friends and family, in your community, in your school, in your church. The Harris boys say on page 106, “Start now.”

Harris, A., & Harris, B. (2008). Do hard things: A teenage rebellion against low expectations. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books.

Who will stay to pray with me?

Dear God, I am too tired to know how to pray after working so hard on this project all day since I wasn’t needed at work. I still want to praise You always! Your love is everlasting! Your faithfulness astounds me! Your dedication to us is excellent! You are more beautiful than many words and many blogs! Today I thank you for some encouragement from readers. I needed that as You know. Thank You! I don’t know anything about blogging, and everything I learned about WordPress three years ago has been forgotten. Yet You will do what You will do here thru this. I pray for the friends and readers to have Your help in figuring out what hard things you are leading them to do so that their lives can be more fulfilling and more glorifying to You and be a greater blessing to others. Do Your work, Hard Working Father. Bless those who will lead us in our hard things, our mentors. Give us friends, real friends, true friends. We don’t want mediocre. We seek the Most Excellent One and the Holy of Holies! We seek to be excellent and holy like You. Build us up in You. Let me not be put to shame for a single word I say in this blog that I pray over and trust to Your care! You know I was raised by critiques so that it’s always there. Move me out of view and be glorified in this. You’re so lovely to me, and how can I not tell the whole world?! You know today I thought it would be such an honor and privilege to die for You, Jesus, as I often do. Help me LIVE for You. Help us all. You are Everything! Help us live like we know it. We bless You, Lord. In the mighty, strong name of Jesus, amen. (This is the May 20th post even if it’s late.)

One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus

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One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus. This is the front page that introduces it all…. See what God will do! :)

Compassion In Action

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Kelly Zooms:

I love what the author says about Jesus arguing with no one about their beliefs except the Pharisees. Now that I think of it, I can’t think of anyone else either. So then how should WE live?! Am I/are you arguing with people you should instead be compassionate to?

Originally posted on The Narrow Path:


Acts 19:8

He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly with persuasive arguments about the kingdom of God.

Paul understood that following Christ was about taking part in the building of the kingdom of God…right here…right now. But trying to “argue” someone into believing that will probably not be very fruitful. Arguments usually result in counter-arguments and resistance. From the very beginning…the followers of Jesus were already making Christianity into a left-brained, intellectual argument. In many ways we are still arguing over words and their meanings when it comes to religion. Funny…but Jesus never seemed to get into arguments with people over doctrines and dogmas. As far as we can gather from the gospels, Jesus spent His time living-out the Good News…extending love, mercy, forgiveness and compassion to all people…never seeming to care what their beliefs were. (The only people Jesus argued with…

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Kelly Zooms:

Oh so many rules and restrictions put on girls/women. There is freedom in Christ! I do not stand a chance if I lived by these, because I am assertive, opinionated, challenging, love sex, study theology, and claim God and His Word as my own! According to this, there is no hope that I would ever be chosen by a man, and yet, in God, I hope that He made (only) ONE man just for me to fit. How can God be so good and yet forget me whom He loves? He didn’t!!!!!! I can’t wait!!

Originally posted on Kelsey L. Munger:

Don’t show cleavage it’ll make the boys stumble
Don’t wear spaghetti straps it’ll make the boys lust
Don’t bend over without bending your knees, it’ll remind the boys you have an ass
Don’t wear prints or logos,
it’ll remind the boys you have a chest
Don’t you care about your brothers in Christ?

Don’t be too assertive or they’ll know you’re not submissive
Don’t dress too boyish or they’ll know you’re not a lady
Don’t neglect your appearance,
it’ll make the boys think you’re lazy
Don’t spend too much time in front of the mirror,
it’ll make the boys think you’re vain
Don’t you care about your reputation?

Don’t wear red dresses or they’ll know you’re not a nice girl
Don’t take off your purity ring or they’ll think you’ve lost it
Don’t go for a car ride alone with a boy,
it’ll make him think you’re the slut you’re…

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10/355: A Hard Thing: Repentance

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Oh, friend, I do not want you to be disappointed with today’s post, but my heart has been elsewhere. I have not read any of Do Hard Things today, but I know you like the depth of the book. Instead God called me to my knees today heavier than usual. You know how sometimes you think you are about to continue praying/interceding for someone else just harder, you get on your knees and suddenly God convicts you, moves you to tears, and suddenly it’s a bawlfest of repentance?! Ohhh….so it was for me today.

Today I invite you to consider doing this hard thing: repent. Confession has a good purpose, but more is needed. Repentance offers a new posture. To repent means “to turn.” The Bible says, “Turn from your wicked ways.” (Ezekiel 33:11 & Acts 3:26) Repentance is so necessary for growth, for continued communion/fellowship with God, and for breaking the chains of the enemy. It’s a million other good things, but those too. Repentance leads to cleansing, and so He led me to pray, “Cleanse me … and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow” which is part of a Scripture. (Psalm 51:7) So I repented. He even made me confess something to a friend that I would rather not have confessed. (Ouch, Lord! Really?! lol) But He soothes too, doesn’t He? “There is a balm in Gilead.” (from something Kay Arthur wrote, I think, and referencing Jeremiah 46:11. Y’all don’t turn me into the Plagiarism Police, when I do my best to recall! lol)

Then I get on Facebook. (I’m addicted, y’all, I won’t lie.) And I see Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham’s adult daughter, calling America to prayer and repentance. I know Jesus is coming soon. Everything is telling me it’s true. If you don’t know Jesus as your own Savior, I direct you to a pastor, a Christian friend, or even to my own “Bible Study & Prayer” tab for some good information on it.

As far as my own Pause goes….I will admit that the past two days, I’m aware that I’m a woman with real physical needs. That is all I will say, but I say it only because I may seem all “holier than thou” with my cry to repentance. (But it’s not my cry alone!! And so important! We Americans get haughty so that we forget we need a Savior. We do!) But I am just as flawed as yesterday, friend. You know that. (Y’all don’t know how hard it is for me to be pure sometimes! That is all, Kelly, shut up.) In other news, (lol) I accidentally drank out of my daughter’s drink, and first of all as a germophobe: grosso!! no!! Secondly, I had one accidental sip of Dr Pepper, and I know I’m not going to Hell no matter what my punk friends may try to jokingly convince me! :) I love my friends! (I know today reads like a diary maybe more than other days, but this is nacho blog. jk) :) I’m praying for y’all! Do Hard Things! Be blessed! And remember: Don’t be a punk, be a punkin. :)

Holy Spirit, Come! Jesus, come! You are welcome in this place! We need You. We invite You. We want to be changed. We want something more. Change us, shape us, make us like You! Help me to read the book tomorrow so that these friends do not tire of me and try to make me wear a John the Baptist camel hair outfit with a little rope for a belt…(focus! lol) for all this talk of repentance. But help us to repent!! We need it so, Lord! Selfishly, on my tenth day I ask for SOMEONE, Lord, to affirm me or this effort. I need it, Lord, or You wouldn’t have made Words of Affirmation my love language. I feel like I write for me alone, but I yield to You. Your will be done. Move me out of view, and be glorified in this whatever it is. Be glorified in my life. Bring alongside friends and mentors. In Jesus’ name, Amen.