Thursday, September 12, 2013

I Said Yes to Radical Obedience

P31 OBS Blog Hop

When we started this study I wondered how our "When Women Say Yes to God" book would keep us busy for an entire bible study.  After all, it was all about saying YES to God; how many ways could could Lysa (TerKeurst) possibly share with us?

Last night as I sat down on my hotel bed, while working in Morristown, NJ, I prepared for my quiet time. I went to God in prayer, as always, and asked Him to provide me with the perfect words; words that are life changing and transforming.  He never disappoints.   As I scanned my book, reading the bright yellow highlighted words, I realized just how many ways there are to say Yes to God. Quote after quote, verse after verse I read.  

Throughout this study I too said YES to being radically obedient!   God first ~ in all things ~ all the time.  To do this requires spending time in His word, in prayer, and in listening for his instructions.  I will live aware of His presence and respond in radical obedience to whatever He asks of me, only then will I continue to grow closer to Him.  Only then will I become the Jesus girl He desires me to be.

I said YES to radical obedience in my marriage.  Regardless of circumstances (and there are many), I said YES to my marriage.  I have been married for 20 years and am committed to my husband.  Some days we may be the honeymooners and others we may be walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls. However, I stand committed to this man I said yes to on May 29, 1993.  It is my prayer that God will change ME so I can be His perfect bride ~ and with that become the Proverbs 31 woman, and wife God instructs me to be in my marriage.  Even in the turbulent storms, I will stand firm in obedience.

My children - Although they are grown, I said YES to being a Godly mother to my children. It is my goal to live my life in such a way that they will see God in me.  I want to be the light in their lives, sharing God's Word throughout every trial and tribulation, teaching them about radical obedience as I continue to grow in my own.  I wasn't always the role model I should have been and I watch my children make many of the same mistakes I did. My mama's heart breaks. Today I say YES to being a loving Godly mother; the teacher I couldn't be many years ago, praying hearts will soften and open to this amazing God who provides for, blesses, and loves us every day - regardless of our mistakes, regardless of our failures.

Being radically obedient means telling the story to multiply His kingdom. It means loving others and serving others as God serves us.    We don't get to pick and choose. Where He leads, we follow.  The need is great.  War surrounds us and people are lost.  One by one we must reach them as we are taught in His Word.  We are truly disciples, His hands and feet.  Today I say YES to serving Him, radically - in all things, all the time.

Each morning I pray,  'Mold me and make me Father, Empower me to become the best I can spiritually and physically so that I can carry out every desire of Your heart. Remind me to be radically obedient.  Bless me with the words and scripture to share with those in need so they too can find peace and hope in you. Teach me to be a vessel in all things, for You.

It is this prayer I also pray for you!  What a truly amazing study this has been!  I pray that you too will commit to becoming radically obedient to God in your life.  It is truly transforming.

I hope you will join us for another awesome bible study with Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Our next book is by Renee Swope.  Renee shares her heart and stories from her life as she worked to find 'A Confident Heart'.   What a blessing this book has been on the life of so many!

<3 Kelley

She Speaks Graduate

Friday, August 30, 2013

Our Unlikely Package

P31 OBS Blog Hop
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose
Romans 8:28

About 7 years ago my college daughter announced she was pregnant. The flood of emotions ranged from anger to disappointment, from embarrassment back to disappointment, around and around the emotions churned in my head and heart.  She had always been an A student.  She did well in school, she was smart, and had never been in trouble.  She graduated from high school a year early and immediately started taking college classes. It was then she started down a path of her own that was wider and wilder than I could ever admit out loud.  In fact, I tried my best to pretend some of the teenage things she was doing were not really happening. Unfortunately, her path seemed to be the path of the majority. Something I could not fathom. As a parent I felt defeated by the darts of life.

My teenage life was so different, in ways I fought for my life. I had to grow up early.  I had to become responsible or I would have been living on the streets. I had to go to work as soon as I was old enough and have worked every day since.  I didn't 'party' as a teen. Peer pressure was never my friend, in fact, I was somewhat of a loner. I wasn't a popular kid in school and that was okay.  I was always driven by a purpose and that purpose was to make something out of myself and my life; to be the best I could be regardless of the circumstances that had been laid out for me.  I knew God, but I did not have a relationship with Him. I couldn't tell you that He was at the center of my life - but there was a prevailing force that continuously pushed me forward and so I trudged day by day, month by month, year by year forward. It was far from easy. In fact, so many times I wanted to give up and felt so alone but then I'd feel the tug and step by step I would keep moving forward. I didn't have time or money to waste divulging in the alcohol and other recreational vices others were participating in.  I did make some bad choices looking for love in all the wrong places and for this I'm not proud.  In my quest to become the person I wanted to become I also wanted a family - the family that I did not have.  This led to seeking relationships and eventually a very early marriage that brought me this precious daughter that I get to write about today.  Was I really so different than my daughter?  Did I have the right to be angry? Disappointed? Emotions were rampant.  Satan was having a field day and I didn't even know it.

My daughter was working for a law firm and going to college.  She was in a relationship with the baby's father and was now setting up her own house.  The advice I gave her may sound startling to some - but she did not have to get married.  And she didn't, not for 2 years.  

I couldn't get excited about this baby on the way.  I went to doctor's appointments with her, experienced ultrasounds, bought lots of sweet baby things, but the thought of her life changing with a new baby at such a young age destroyed any possibility of me being happy or excited, much less ecstatic.  I didn't feel it.  I went through the motions, went down the path; for nine long months I tried to build some excitement. The joy never came.

My husband was not even 40. I was only 42 when a little boy came into the world that January. He stole  my heart immediately. The joy came.

From the day he was born he became the love of my life. When things were tough and I was down,
Our 1st Grandson - Trey
all I had to do was pick up that sweet baby boy - that innocent little guy that knew nothing about the circumstances of life - and the heartaches of those days were washed away.  Complete and utter joy.

'Some of God's greatest gifts are wrapped in unlikely Packages'                   (taken from study)

I allowed circumstances to steal 9 months of my life. I burned 9 months wishing I could be happy, struggling with feelings of guilt because I wasn't.  I tormented myself internally during this pregnancy thinking only about the negative.  She wasn't married (yet I was happy she wasn't getting married), she had school to finish and a degree to get, I didn't know much about "dad" but she didn't meet him working in her law firm or in church!  He couldn't be good enough for her.  In fact, he was totally opposite from what I wanted for my daughter.  She was doing everything backwards. She wasn't doing anything the right way.  (or the way I thought she was supposed to.  This wasn't in MY  plans!) And I dwelt on these things day after day after day. What a complete and utter waste of God given days.

In my bible study book, 'What Happens When Women Say Yes to God" by Lysa TerKeurst, Lysa says this:  ".......God will work in and through every situation to bring good from it. ....God has a purpose and His plans to accomplish that purpose are perfect.  Trusting God's purpose, and seeking to understand that He takes all the events from our life and orchestrates good from them, leads to a changed perspective'

Only now that I have a relationship with God can I look back at this situation and see how God used this situation to bring good from it.  How our joy came in a very 'unlikely package'.   God took a situation that to me at the time was a nightmare and turned it around to bring joy into a place that needed joy.  My life's perspectives changed. Among the joy he brings to our family, he continues to teach me every day about unconditional love, along with his little sister.

I am sad today because I have a brand new grandson that I have not yet met. My son fathers a baby that is 5 months old. Due to the choices of this baby's mother, our family is unable to spend time with him.  I have not yet held this precious, sweet boy but have no doubt in my mind that God will take this situation and use it to bring good from it. I have no doubt that He is working this out so that this sweet boy will have the love of not only his mother's family but of his father and his father's family as well.
God's newest creation.
 Today I praise God for these 'Unlikely Packages'.  Today I have faith in a God of restoration and healing. Today I can stand here thinking about this new grandson knowing that it won't be long before our lives will be blessed as a result of the works of our Father, who 'takes all the events from our life and orchestrates good from them, leading us to a changed perspective'. 

Take some time today and think about an 'unlikely package'  in your life.  My life has been full of them; however, today I stand in awe as I think about how each was used.  God is Good all the time!


Father, today I pray for each reader, for the circumstances or unlikely packages in their lives.  Father may they be comforted knowing that if they will have faith and believe in you, that according to your purposes, each will be used in their lives to bring them closer to you and to provide a 'changed perspective'.  I pray that we will face each day with joy in you and not waste  precious time in negative thinking or brash attitudes. I love you Father and am so thankful that today I stand at your feet with complete peace in all things. Amen.         
In God's Holy Light,
<3 Kelley                          

She Speaks Graduate

Thursday, August 22, 2013

#AMAZED - Being the Bride

P31 OBS Blog Hop

'God is using all of your experiences, both good and bad, to develop your character to match your calling' Lysa TerKeurst

The picture above was taken on a drive into my office in Scottsdale, AZ.  #AMAZED by the power of His ability.
Not a day goes by that I am not amazed by the power of God.  I went through many years of my life not truly seeing the greatness of the one who gave me life and created me, uniquely, in his likeness. Yes, I believed; however, never truly saw the vast power and total control He exercised over my life. For better or worse - for richer or poorer.  I was the bride and He the groom.

With eloquence Job describes the greatness of our Savior to Bildad; understanding what is difficult for the layman.  

God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. 
He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds don’t burst with the weight.
He covers the face of the moon, shrouding it with his clouds.
He created the horizon when he separated the waters; he set the boundary between day and night......
These are just the beginning of all that he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of his power? (Job 26:7-10,14 NLT)

With a power like this, where do I fit in?  In His perfect timing He showed me.  With every trial, every day of suffering, of pain, of wearing my knees out begging for change it has been made clear - I am to walk in discipleship with Him, only then will I be able to grasp the magnitude of what our relationship means.  Only then will I continue to stand amazed and in awe of everything He represents. Only then can I be a part of His plan to transform.

Just a few minutes ago I received a message from a friend requesting prayer. She told me to use my "Bat Line" that she knew was a direct line to God.  I laughed and told her she had use of that direct line 24/7 and I was given a chance to witness.    - I stood amazed in God's timing of that message.

Several months ago one of the OBS leaders had a participant in her group that had a husband in ICU in my hometown. He was not expected to live.  I took a care basket to her from the Online Bible Studies team.  She asked me to go back and pray over her husband - WHO ME?  - and I did. I stood amazed. He used me.

A little over a year ago God placed a crack addict on my heart. She had a disabled son and had alienated most every friend or connection she had.  I invested a year in their lives and today she walks clean with her son, renting her house, paying her bills, driving a car with license and insurance, and holding a job.  This friend is a 20+ year crack addict - this is nothing I can begin to take credit for. This is all God with a little on-the-ground facilitation to manage logistics.  #Amazed

Every time God uses me as His hands and feet in a situation I am fascinated, I stand in awe, I am amazed.  Who am I to do this work?  How can I possibly be worthy enough?  It's only been 5 years since we established this relationship, I don't have the knowledge for this.Then I remember, I am His bride
In our online bible study chapter this week, You Never Know How God Will Use You Until You Let Him, from the book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst,  Lysa writes:

'When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our life, we exchange our worthless sin for immeasurable worth of righteousness' she goes on to say 'A person pursuing obedience (in Christ) is able to pause and touch those that He says need our time......the radically obedient woman realizes she is righteous and will find God's best when she pursues right choices that bring glory to him' 

He calls us to be missionaries, to spread the Good News.  To be disciples.  To pursue Him in all things means serving Him by serving His people.   Someone said, He doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. 

Lysa ends this chapter by saying, ' never know how God will use you, until you let Him'.

Are you letting Him use you today?  If not, #SayYes and begin living a radically obedient life - making sure you don't miss that call, or that chance to step out in faith, to do His work and be His vessel - so  you too can stand #Amazed and be #Blessed as you watch Him work - being a part of multiplying His kingdom. 

Here I am Father, Send me.  (Isaiah 6:8)

Until Next Time
In God's Holy Light, 

<3 Kelley She Speaks Graduate

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The "God" Filter ~ It's in the D's!

                                                               Powerful D's!

Desire, Discipline, Discernment, Direction and Delight ~ in Reading "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, Lysa TerKeurst shares this personal filter that she uses in her relationship and talks with God. I fell in love with it immediately! There's something awesome about these 'D's!

In my weight loss journey an awesome training mentor taught me 'Dedication, Discipline, and Determination'. More D's!  There's a powerful trend going on here. I'm excited and anxious to expand my D's to not only those things that have applied to my personal perseverance through circumstances and tough goals to now growing deeper in my relationship with Jesus Christ.

After many years of believing in and knowing Jesus, I now KNOW  Him.  I remember the day as I sat in a new church for the first time.  It was a make-shift church in a borrowed building full of folding chairs and tear down walls.  There wasn't anything audible from God but I sure  was feeling different.  I knew immediately I was home, or as close as I would get while on this earth.  I'm not sure what the message was that this very different pastor was giving that day, but he was speaking it from a place of passion.  He wasn't your traditional pastor (remember this wasn't your traditional church) - he stood up front in jeans and a button down, maybe even flip flops, and was real. I realized I would need a journal for sermon notes because he was giving me more than I could possibly absorb - scary part was, I wanted more and still do.  This is how it all started not quite 5 years ago.

This same pastor over the past 5 years continues to be a major vessel in my growth. He continues to be real. Do I agree with every decision he makes within our church, absolutely not.  In fact, I think he some times has tunnel vision and I pray that his advisory team stands up to him and broadens his box. There are a few times I have felt like I didn't have the support of my church, where my heart was slightly jarred as a result. I could present my case to them but why - so I could feel recognized? I had to use my 'filter' to determine what I was looking for, who would get the glory in the situation, most times I realized it was ME. Then I remember, he is human.  He lives in the flesh.  He is still growing and learning like me.  He is a gifted disciple, but has to be spiritually fed by mentors and must continue to look for discernment every day as well.  Yes, Pastor was his official call around the church, but more than that he was a mentor, a teacher, and a wise friend. He had seminary knowledge, knew the bible, but was continuing his growth every day the same way each one of us do. He too had to discern and get his direction from above.

In describing my pastor above, I've also described Lysa.  Lysa is a gifted disciple who had a call to women's ministry and wants nothing more than multiplying the kingdom.  It is her personal wisdom that helps each of us grow with her so we too can work to multiply the kingdom. Here is her filter (and now mine). What does yours look like?

Desire - to want God more than anything else
Discipline - to make my relationship with Him my #1 Priority
Discernment - to know the difference between my own thoughts and God's voice.
Direction - to reach out to Him for clear direction in all things
Delight - may my relationship with God be characterized by sheer delight rather then a sense of duty

and to take this a step further, my old - but new 3 D's!

Dedication - to ministry. To multiplying the kingdom by building disciples. One disciple at a time!
Discipline- to become the best I can be physically and spiritually for Him. Taking care of my Temple!
Determination - to keep on keeping on regardless of the circumstances.

Filters to live by.   His will over mine ~ in all things ~ all the time.

My pastor, described above, shared his wisdom with me regarding discernment. This can be found on our church website (Link below) and is worthy of sharing.  You will find it a combination of Lysa's personal filter, his filter, and the filter of another wise author.  How awesome to have these incredible teachers in our lives.  Praising God for Proverbs 31 Ministry and my ability to grow as well as participate in an organization that is working to grow disciples across the USA and now 120+ countries.  There's something to say about social media ministry! How else can you reach so many women without leaving your office?

and just for the record, I still have that same non-traditional pastor - we now meet in a high school auditorium instead of the make-shift church (our first goal for funds is mission work, our belief - it's not the building that makes the church - its' the people.  A building would bring us comfort and beauty as we worship, feel-good stuff for us.  Is that the best use of our funds?)  He remains passionate and sometimes still thinks-in-the-box but he has been full of incredible wise messages over the last 5 years and like you and me, he is still growing.  Every day as a disciple means growing in Him, our Father.  One of the perks of  heaven on earth!

Get ready for Chapter 3 - When Obedience Becomes Radical!   Loving radical obedience!

Join us over at Proverbs 31!     
P31 OBS Blog Hop
Until next time!
Basking in His Presence,
<3 Kelley 
She Speaks Graduate
Link to Checklist for Knowing God's Will - The River Church/Camden, SC

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Say Yes to God ~ In All Things

    Really God?  RADICAL Obedience?

As most of you know I volunteer for Proverbs 31 Ministries On-Line Bible Study Ministries. We are in Chapter 1 of an amazing book by Lysa TerKeurst - AND, across the US and 120 countries there are over 22,000 ladies reading this book and studying the Word with us.  Does that not just make you want to squeal!  It does me!  The book, "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God".  

The very last sentence of Chapter 1 is where my focus was  this morning - not only is it highlighted PINK but today it now has blue ink circling it too.  Check this out!...................

It is the call of the radically obedient woman who makes the choice to say yes to God
 Lysa TerKerust.

My first knowledge over 'radical obedience' came from David Platt in his book 'Radical'. It is one you will have to read yourself to understand how David sees 'RADICAL'.   How about being told to list your house with a realtor when it wasn't even on the minds of you or your husband? (Lysa's experience!)   Now, let me take this down a few notches, I am all for being obedient - but God hasn't yet placed something really 'radical' in my path yet. (I am looking for it to come at any time though) and wonder how I will react when that time comes.

In dealing with my routine of hitting the gym (not because I'm trying to maintain my fit body, but because I have another 70 lbs. to lose in order to reach my goal), I struggled this morning. I did a mile on the treadmill (at my own pace! nothing radical about that) - and I so wanted to quit - I had an internal battle raging.......Instead of quitting I programmed the machine and this time took off working 100% harder than the first mile.  AH, obedience.  God has been my biggest cheerleader in this fight to get healthy and fit.  I want to serve Him in big ways.  I want to be radically obedient in all things - for me it has to start with my weight.  I was over 100 lbs. overweight.  Do you think our Father in Heaven is looking upon us saying "It's ok Kelley, don't worry about that 70 lbs.  You are ok at your current weight" - I don't think so!  It's not healthy.  I am totally disgracing my body, His temple.  Radical Obedience,  to keep on fighting to be the best I can be for Him.

My bible reading today took me to Nehemiah.  What an incredible leader.  This is an excerpt from my study bible:

'Simply claiming we have done as much as others isn't enough; we must do as much as we can as long as the Lord enables us' - Notes from the book of Nehemiah.

That's pretty powerful! How many times do we do just enough to get by, or we work until we feel we have done as much as our friend or neighbor.....THAT is not enough.  Nehemiah says we must do as much as we can as long as the Lord enables us.  (This my friend is the thinking that kept me going on the treadmill today - I gave the 1st mile 50% effort - that IS NOT the effort the Lord enabled me with).

In our P31 Bible Study Lisa says that the 'Road That Leads to Blessing' can only be achieved when you 'give walking in obedience your full attention'.   

Walking in obedience, in all things, is going to change our lives.  In Lysa's case, she was told to put her house on the market and sell it. Can you imagine hearing that from Jesus?
Take some time today and read the first few chapters of Nehemiah. He had concerns and felt called to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  He followed up on what he cared about and knew would bring glory to God. 

I'll close with this excerpt from my study bible:

A trait leaders share is an attitude of attentiveness that sees opportunities and cares what happens next. 

How can you be obedient and take the next God given opportunity so you can make a difference in what happens next?
Until Tomorrow
In God's Light,
<3 Kelley

Recommendations:  "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God" by Lysa TerKeurst.  Lysa's book can be purchased on the Proverbs 31 website.  All proceeds from the books go back into purchasing more books!

Our Online Bible Study can be found on the Proverbs 31 website as well. Follow the headers for "Online Bible Studies"

Join me in saying Yes to God and becoming RADICAL in my obedience for Him!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Say Yes to God - What if I Just don't Get it!

I'm sharing from my Journal this morning!  Let me set up my surroundings first!  I am sitting outside in Florham Park, NJ at the beautiful Hamilton Park Hotel; outside by the pool and gardens!  It's quiet and beautiful as I sit overlooking gardens and flowers - it's very cool, temperatures have to be in the 60s.  What a nice change from the muggy heat of SC! This is what I keep telling my husband I need at home - my own personal garden with the perfect chair - sweet table - but oooops - I don't think I can put an order in for the 60 degree weather yet!

 I worked out this morning as well! I have set myself up for perfect Jesus time.  I find it so hard to get this time at home, I do not have that perfect place yet.  I recommend you make this perfect place if you don't have it yet; it is 1st on my priority this weekend! You will find you get so much more out of your time with Jesus. 

I prayed before opening my bible and asked Jesus to put me right where I was supposed to be - He did!  I love it when a plan comes together.  I had been reading in Job a week ago and somehow the page got crumpled and that's where I opened today!  Today's reading was different than last week's tho!

He is tying my bible reading to my online bible study  (I love when that happens!!!!). We are reading What Happens When Women Say Yes to God - by Lysa TerKeurst.  Here are a few of the highlighted lines from Chapter 1 (this weeks chapter)...let me start right there...

'Look at my loss as a sacrifice of praise to God'

'Being a woman who says yes to God means making the choice to trust Him even when you can't understand why He requires some of the things He does.'

'When you look at your every day circumstances through the lens of God's perspective, everything changes'

Can I just say WOW! 

Here are the scriptures to accompany my quiet time today - along with some personal thoughts. Yes, I am going to share those with you!

James 1:12 - God blesses those who wait patiently, endure testing and temptation 
v18. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true Word - we became his prized possessions.
v21. Get rid of all the filth in your life and humbly accept the Word God has planted in your heart for He has the power to save your souls. (WOW)

My prayer for weeks has been

Dear God, when is it my turn to be blessed in big ways?  When will my marriage and home life become 'Godly' - Will we ever pray together? Attend church together? When will I not be alone in worshipping and loving you? When will my husband love you first and foremost? and when will our marriage reflect you in all things? and yes God, sorry for the whining......but it's been a long, long time. When will it be YOUR perfect time for me? When can I have what others have? (ouch, yes, all those things that do not reflect trust in Him and His timing) - I'm human.

For several years now I have worshipped alone on Sunday, with just my daughters and grandchildren. It is painful every Sunday as I watch sweet couples pray together, worship together, and love the Lord - together.  How I envy (covet?) those couples.  A sweet, beautiful young  child of God that went to Nicaragua with me on a mission trip is getting married very soon.  As I look at pictures of she and her soon to be husband, God shows and reflects in their smiles.  Together they love God, they worship and praise Him.  I am so happy for her and for this life God has laid out for her. But then I say,

God, I'm no Spring Chicken!  in fact I'm nearly 50!  Can you speed this process up please!!!?

However, every day I surrender my life to Him and know that He has a plan for me.  I continue to praise and worship Him and I love God in huge ways.  He defeated the Cross! For me.  Whatever He plans MUST be enough for me. I must be in acceptance.

Luke 14:12 - When you put on a banquet do not invite your friends, brothers, relatives, invite the poor, cripple lame and blind.
Our motives for serving others is not to obligate them to serve us.

I am not sure why God laid this verse out for me this morning.  (as I type this the sun is now up and warmth has replaced the chilly air......ahhhhh just perfect).   Perhaps this verse is just a reminder that we are called to serve. We are to serve those that are the worst of the worst as well as those that are righteous.  We cannot pick or choose who we serve.  When we SAY YES TO GOD, we SERVE.  We serve all in His name.  All of our works should bring nothing but glory to Him. When we are at this place in our lives, it is our desire to always find positive and good in even the worst.  - YES, I think I now understand why this was laid on my heart.

Job 33:14 - For God speaks again and again though people do not recognize it.  He speaks in dreams, He whispers in their ears, and He terrifies them with warnings. He makes them turn from wrong doings and he keeps them from pride.  He protects them from the grave and disciplines on the sick bed.

 He does indeed.  We have got to be still and listen.  We must pay attention for those whispers and the nudges.  When we SAY YES TO GOD - he will provide us direction and wisdom (Proverbs 31:26) We have to position ourselves to hear from Him.  This is a loud busy world, don't miss His message.  He will try many ways to get through to us.  Slow down long enough to be still in Him. Recognize the messages. 

Job 33:23 - But if an angel appears from heaven a special messenger to intercede for a person and declares that he is upright- he will be gracious and save him from the grave. for I have found a ransom for his life. 
25-Then his body will become healthy as a child's firm and youthful agin.
26 - When he prays to God He will be accepted.  God will receive him with Joy and return Him to good standing.

My boss is traveling with me this week.  She reminds me at times that she  believes in angels of protection. She said this again yesterday.  So, this verse did not surprise me when I read it this morning.  Several times in the past couple of week topics have turned to angels, messengers? protectors? I like to think so - the Word tells us so -  angels in the bible have brought special messages - the Word says they can intercede for a person...Yes, I am thankful for angels. I am thankful for God as he uses people to bring messages as well - for He continues to use even my corporate boss as a vessel for Him. AMEN!

After an incredible time with Jesus - I must now return to the corporate world of meetings. ahhhhhhh Looking forward to the day when God blesses me with full time ministry.  Until then, He continues to fill me with wisdom, strength, and endurance in Him.  AMEN, Can't ask for more than that!

Until tomorrow!
In God's precious and Holy Light
<3 Kelley

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Magic~n~Miracles - She Speaks - My Heart is Full

It is hard to believe that a week ago today we were saying good-bye to new friends, taking pictures with our favorite authors/speakers, and eating some incredible desserts as we mixed and mingled.  Yes, it was our last night of SheSpeaks.  I wasn't ready for it to end. In fact, I have had a difficult time readjusting to reality!

Our worship music was by led by the very beautiful London Gatch of Elevation Church and the amazing Michael O'Brien,  Our keynote speaker was Lysa TerKeurst.  Once again she blew me away with her life stories, that by the way, can always be taken back to an episode in the bible. Mostly, I am anxious to have dinner at the TerKeurst's home  so I can sit at the "Sticky Farm Table" on family night! PS.  I'd really love to know what a Sticky Farm Table is! Whatever it is though, I'm in!

God showed up and He showed out.  Many experienced pretty amazing God moments, I was not excluded from that!  He chose my roommate on purpose,  I sat beside an amazing Jesus girl at a special invitation lunch, had several of my Online Bible Study sisters there to meet in person; incredible things occurred all weekend.  'This' is what is keeping this Jesus girl from coming down off of a 'God High' and making her way back to reality! God's presence kept us in awe. 

Do you imagine it was like that in the bible?  God performed miracle after miracle.  In Luke 2 the bible tells us that 'they spread the word and were amazed at what they heard of this new baby', much like the 750 of us at SheSpeaks. 

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.

Mary 'treasured'  all these things and pondered them in her heart.  My heart is full as I continue to 'ponder' the wonders of this world, the wonders of what He brought to SheSpeaks; the blessings provided by His people, His disciples, those He uses as His vessel to share the good news.

Thankful and praying for each Jesus girl that attended SheSpeaks2013.  May God continue to direct and guide you as he molds you into the person He desires you to be.  Looking forward to 2014!

Treasuring and Pondering the Memories.

In God's Light
<3 Kelley   

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Magic ~ in ~ Miracles - The Story Behind the Title

We live in a world that is full of grown up 'stuff'. Ever since we were old enough to understand news reports our lives changed in big ways.  Some of us changed even before that because we were born into families that were already struggling. But each one of us needs a place of escape; a place for the positive, a place for encouragement, laughter, and smiles. A place we can be free for a few minutes as we bask in the sunshine and see the world through the eyes of a child.  Nothing makes a child happier than watching a magician do his tricks.  They look on with their eyes bright and glittery while rabbits are pulled from hats, or while scarves are pulled from sleeves.  It's a time of nothing but sweet, sweet fun and escape.  Sure, they know these are tricks - but are totally fascinated nonetheless.  And well, miracles - we all love a GREAT miracle! 

Miracles don't require much explanation.  These are those beautiful things that are brought to us courtesy of our astonishing God!  Miracles can be big or small and if we aren't careful sometimes we may even miss one. But they come in abundance and fill our lives daily.

I sat teaching my beautiful K-5 kids in KidZone a couple Sunday's ago.  Our lesson covered Peter's story.  They sat on their puzzle mat watching the story on the big screen, their eyes were big and there wasn't a whisper to be heard.  They were mesmerized.   As Jesus performed miracle after miracle for Peter they were drawn more and more into the story.  For them it was a lot like magic! To look in their eyes and watch their little brains process these amazing feats was for me a gift in itself.

For a few minutes I simply gazed at those children, my eyes tearing up and glazing over as I watched them experience the works of Jesus.  They were in awe and so was I.  It was like they were seeing Jesus for the first time. And for some of them, it could have been the first time. 

There is absolutely nothing more wonderful and beautiful than witnessing Jesus through the eyes of a child ~ or seeing life through the eyes of a child.  Of seeing a little 'magic' and escaping from the world of chaos and calamity.  It is a bit like witnessing Disney World and getting to walk in a world of make-believe while inside those gates.

In John 11:40-44 Jesus performs a 'miracle'. Telling Mary and Martha, "Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?".  He then raises Lazarus from from death.

Priceless. To see the world through the eyes of a child; to be awestruck every day as you see and experience the beauty of knowing Jesus Christ. To feel that magical presence daily.  To know that He is going to show up and provide blessing after blessing so you can see the glory of God.  Although as adults we know the difference between magic and miracles ~ its precious to be able to live in a magical place with my Heavenly Father every day, as I attempt to see the world through the eyes of a child.

Experience some 'magical' today as you experience Jesus!!!

<3 Kelley

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Winding Down SheSpeaks ~ The Sponge is ...........

Full with an Abundance of Brand new Knowledge

This is just a TEASER!  No time for a big blog post today ~ however, you can look for them to become more frequent and full of great news regarding the next steps in my personal ministry!  I have been in Concord, NC with an amazing array of beautiful women, from all over the country, at SheSpeaks.  

Every day has been full of riveting sessions by Proverbs 31 staff, publishers, speakers, and one of my last sessions was a literary agent.  The knowledge is vast and my sponge is near full for the day.  In just a few minutes I will head back downstairs to spend 2 hours with a critiquing group as we submit and have articles critiqued.  It is my desire to receive feedback that will strengthen the work that I know God is laying out for me in my personal ministry. The task has been given, now the work is mine.

I head home tomorrow afternoon and will be back here next week to share a series of blogs on the many things I learned this week, the relationships formed, and the amazing God that showed up to walk along side of us as we prepare to multiply His kingdom!

Until then.
Be the Light!
<3 Kelley

Friday, July 19, 2013

Following a Call ~ Attending Proverbs 31 SheSpeaks Conference

Moses to the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled. Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord?  Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”  
Exodus 4:10-12

As I write this I am feverishly preparing for the Proverbs 31 SheSpeaks Conference being held in Charlotte, North Carolina next week!   There were business cards to order, a new blog to get up, a website to build, outfits to pull together, and most of all - there's an article to be written.  (it's almost finished! just not quite!)   I made the mistake of pulling out my favorite P31 Woman magazine to  scan the articles there - of course, 'doing the comparison' - allowing Satan to crawl into one very tiny crevice in my mind to plant doubt and negativity.  However, it only took a minute before He was put back into his place...far, far away.  It was then that I turned to The Word - to the one scripture that I hold close to my heart, the perfect scripture, the one that was chosen by God just for me, at just the right time.

Last summer I was planning my 1st trip to SheSpeaks.  It soon became very frustrating and discouraging.  The finances were not coming through and the planning just wasn't coming together.  It wasn't much later I found out that God had a different calling on my life.  He had a divine appointment for me.  I was to travel to Salinas Grande, Nicaragua with some amazing members of my church family to teach values to the children there.  I will never forget the day in church when the trip was announced; I knew immediately THAT was God's plan.   For this mission trip the  financing came through, I was able to get the time off from work, and it all came together very nicely -  it became obvious that I was not meant to attend SheSpeaks 2012.  I wondered at that point, if 2013 would be the year for me.

The modest but beautiful mission house was on the beach, next to the salt mines, built right in the middle of a local village.  To get there, we piled into Safari Land Cruisers and drove several miles down a very rough, sometimes very muddy terrain . We stopped  for horses, cows, handmade wagons being pulled by horses - you name it, we saw it.  Then we arrived!  Hammocks facing the ocean, local villagers cooking delicious meals for us, a very special mission team, who could ask for more! ~ We were in God's country!  

It was here that I had some of the best "God" time I ever had.  However, as I sat down with my bible that first morning, strangely with no idea where to start. I prayed "God, show me what I am supposed to read".  I flipped back and forth a few times when all of a sudden I stopped on Exodus 4 and began reading.  YES, once again - God provided.  You see, that morning we were scheduled to go into the schools to teach the children about values.  I woke up thinking - how am I going to do this?  I have never done anything like this before - I couldn't even focus on what to read for my God-time! Then, our amazing Father laid it out beautifully for me.  He took me directly to a scripture that spoke to not only me but to each one of us on that team that week.  An example of God's amazing grace! 

If we are following His will, He will provide the way.  He will provide us with the words to write or to speak ~ He will not let us falter or fail.  He will provide for all things.   So, when the words aren't coming - your writing pad bare ~ your computer screen empty - when doubt is creeping in without permission - when you suddenly realize that Satan is attempting to take up residence in your head - go to the Word, read the story of Jesus and Moses and let it speak to you.  

When Jesus told Moses to go bring the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses had no confidence they would listen to him or believe he was sent by Jesus.  He felt he didn't speak eloquently enough - he had a "slow tongue".....but Jesus told him, "I will give you the word to speak".  Did you get that!?  He will give us the WORDS!

So as we prepare for SheSpeaks, it is my prayer that you will turn to the Word and remember His promises.  Find your perfect "God's Country" place and pray for the words that only He can give you in order to share His message.  WE are His hands and feet.  May we always remember to get our instructions from Him.  May we not get wrapped up in the commercial aspect of writing or speaking and forget our ministry goals.  May we always make sure we are following His Will for our lives.

Happy Writing!  Happy Speaking!  The countdown has started!

See you next week!
Seeing Jesus thru the Eyes of Babes,