A Sowing Assignment…

I remember someone who broke my heart told me later that he was engaged. He said after seeing the pain on my face when he hurt me, he committed to never hurt a woman like that again. For a long time, I wondered why I had to be the “sacrifice”. With time, I realized he wasn’t for me. And if our interaction and my pain helped him become a better person, and contributed to a woman being treated well, then it wasn‘t in vain.
I had a crush on someone once and the Lord told me he didn’t belong to me.
I put my feelings aside, and helped him see the light in someone else. They’re very happily married now.
I had an ex (we were able to salvage our friendship) call and ask me to go ring shopping with him, because he wanted to propose to his girlfriend and trusted my taste. I did. And I picked out a ring I would have liked for myself.
I could go on, but sometimes you just have to plant seeds and expect God to water your garden. He doesn’t forget any of our labor. He bottles every tear. He sees every desire.
The ONE who is for you won’t walk away and will not risk losing you. He’ll see his future in you, and hopefully some people will have poured into him, preparing him for just you!!!

Jesus IS the middle….

The truth for a Christian, whether you’re ready or not, whether you like it or not, is that Jesus IS the ministry of reconciliation. He is SUPPOSED to be the CENTER of EVERY relationship you have, whether it’s marital, friendship, parental, sibling or otherwise. He will allow EVERY relationship you have to suffer and fall apart, just so that He can reconcile it and be the center of it. No, not to be mean, but because only through Him….only by Him being at the CENTER of the relationship, can you experience the FULLNESS of the blessing the relationship is intended to be. He HAS to be the center!!! I’ve been ruminating this revelation for about three months.
Here’s an example:
Isaac was a promise for Abraham. Sometimes we desire a promise so much and wait so long that when it manifests, we idolize the promise. We serve it and have a greater affection for it than we do God. Sound familiar? God desired to be the CENTER of Abraham and Isaac’s relationship. He has to be the middle, the reconciler. And when Abraham lifted the knife, he proved his faithfulness to God. He chose God over his son, therefore God gave his son back to him (provided a ram in the bush). At that point God became the mediator, the CENTER of the relationship, His rightful place. With order established, every future blessing God intended for Abraham to have through Isaac, could be given. He HAS to be the CENTER!!! Make Him the center so that He doesn’t have to SHOW you He’s the one keeping it together!!! (One of the many things I’ve learned from Bonhoeffer ❤️)

Friendly Fire…

Someone asked me recently if I had a “standard” as it relates to whether or not a person can be my friend. I’d never been asked such a question, but it was a great question. Associates are many, friendships are few (although I use the word too loosely). My response was, “Absolutely! The person just has to be safe. I can’t afford to give personal access and vulnerability to someone who is likely to maim or abuse me. The time I’d have to take to recover, heal and be restored from such close range friendly fire won’t just affect me, but everyone I’m called to affect.”
Mistakes happen and there is such a thing as a hair (hairpin) trigger. The thing is though, the gun should NEVER be pointed at me. Fight beside me, not from behind me.

Accountability is Freedom…

God taught me a lesson a LOOOOOONG time ago that I’ve never forgotten. I, Kelsi, I (emphasis on me) injured a sister at my church and in her pain, she basically yelled it from the mountaintops. Some of what she told people was the truth and some of what she told people were lies. C’mon she isn’t the only one to ever embellish a little due to the sting of pain. In my pride, I was appalled. I began to tell others….”How dare she go around telling people these things!!! She is ruining my reputation! It is so mean for her to tell others what is between she and I- and now she’s started lying!!!”
One day in prayer, the Holy Ghost impressed upon me to STOP and He showed me my fault- my fault alone. At that moment, I realized that the genesis of ALL of it was my transgression against her. I basically overlooked what I had done, to be angry about how she “mishandled” it. With my own sin illuminated before me, I sincerely repented and didn’t look towards her faults anymore. And guess what? In return, for my [now] clean hands, the parts that she shared that were lies, were eventually exposed (yes, it took YEARS). GOD HATES SIN no matter who the culprit is.
You cannot step over your mess in hot pursuit of pointing out someone else’s (Matthew 7:5). You cannot set your own faults aside to deal with how someone else is handling your faults. Your pursuit should be to live above reproach and a life worthy of your calling. With clean hands though, you can plead mercy, especially if others can be hurt. Yes, all of us have been lied on, and someone bearing false witness is a different topic. Here I am referring to when you KNOW you have done wrong, but choose not to take responsibility, all the while, playing victim, angry and upset that someone shared it.
The next time someone gossips about you, before becoming indignant, repent for whatever TRUTH there is in what they are saying, next become resolved that you will not give the enemy anything else to work with, and finally, ask that the truth of the matter be exposed and any lies dispelled. I learned this SOOOO early in my walk with Christ. And I will teach here that you CANNOT be a mature christian without understanding this fundamental element of integrity.
Sometimes if you don’t start none, there won’t be none….. (improper use of english language noted).

Doggy Tales of the Enemy’s Strategy

I want to share something about “false threats”.
I have a 5lb. chihuahua named Christian and boy does he think he’s hot stuff. I think the lion (hair) cut he sports has him really believing he’s Mufasa. Even one of my neighbors who happens to have a large dog that is afraid of Christian, commented to me once that my dog is the “king of the complex”. At five pounds, that is far from true, but what makes it so convincing is that he believes it and, therefore, projects it!
 
Lately, as many of God’s children are awaiting instruction and marching orders, the enemy has been creating smoke screens and whispering threats of failure, “trouble hearing”, and missed opportunities. If we aren’t careful, the bark of the enemy can cause us to become disoriented and disillusioned, but fortunately, it is a bark much bigger than his bite when he has been denied access to your life and territory.
 
Just today, my mother’s neighbor came to her door and her dog was on a leash. Of course my ill behaved chihuahua runs through my legs and out of the door. I watched, prayed and yelled as the older lady fought to keep her balance as her (rather large) dog jumped and howled in an effort to start a mad dash. I was baffled. It reminded me of the time we were at a pet store and Christian (I know, I know, sometimes he doesn’t live up to his name) began tormenting a full grown german shepherd. Eventually, the owner got my attention and asked me to pull Christian closer to me, because her dog was extremely frightened and was becoming unmanageable. I was BAFFLED that time as well. Christian could literally fit in the german shepherd’s stomach, but because the dog didn’t know her own strength, she was intimidated by a dog who had no ability to harm her.
 
German Shepherds are trained watch dogs, elite in the sense that they are chosen for police work, and here was one who had no clue about her lineage and ability. Sound familiar?
 
Many of us need to get back into the Word, become reacquainted with who God says we are and shut the enemy DOWN!!! When you live in obedience to what God has spoken, you have the authority to speak peace, protection and provision.
 
Here are two more doggy stories that will preach:
 
One day I was walking Christian on the bay trail and there were some children playing on the grass with their new [baby] chihuahua puppy. When they saw Christian, they became excited (as most children do) and Christian began to bask in the attention while staying very close to the puppy (he’s very protective). Soon a large dog approached with its owners who were walking him. Christian sprung into action, growling and barking and before I knew it, had jumped on the dog’s back and was trying to bite his neck. Guess what the dog did? NOTHING! Obviously, the dog knew Christian posed no real threat and being secure in what he was, remained unfazed as I YANKED Christian away for fear he would be eaten alive. What I want you to pay attention to is the fact that Christian was on a leash and was pulled off of the dog. Satan is on a leash too (please hold, while I get up and dance).
 
Okay, I’m back. On a sad note, here’s the last story. My father used to have a Boerboel. These dogs look a lot like Bull Mastiffs. After adopting Christian, I brought him to my parents’ home for the first time and we all went into the backyard to make the introduction. I made my dad come with me in case his dog tried to kill mine. Christian barked and growled, but Marley just stared at him like he was a little peon. Christian came closer and finally enough was enough! Next thing I knew, I heard myself screaming, because Christian was in Marley’s mouth. My father commanded, “Oh, put him down!” Marley flung Christian across the patio and when Christian finished sliding, I noticed his shirt was torn and everything. I was livid and began to scold Marley (from behind my dad of course) and before I knew it Christian was right back in Marley’s face snapping and barking. Christian’s anger was at an entirely new level. My dad just shook his head and said, “That’s one dumb dog.” I grabbed Christian and ran in the house. My point, Marley knew her territory and the rights she had within it. There was only so much yapping she was going to tolerate.
 
Now for the sad part. After my dad’s passing, Marley tailspun into grief. The dog who picked up my dog with her mouth, literally slapped Christian around with her paw anytime Christian got out of line, had suddenly forgotten who she was and who’s she was. Her territory didn’t matter anymore and Christian took full advantage. For the rest of Marley’s days, I had to stop Christian from terrorizing her. All Christian could do was bite her legs and jump up to bite her stomach and she would let him. She had no more fight in her.
 
You want the moral of the doggy post? I want to remind you that you have a Master who will NEVER leave you. You will always have the companionship of the One you serve. As long as you authentically represent Him, you will always have His backing. No matter what or who comes and goes, He will always be the author and the finisher of your faith, so no devil can place a period where God intends for there to be a comma. Often times, because of stress or emotional despair, the enemy’s bark becomes disorienting and we just want God to silence it. We must realize that often times, God just wants us to become unfazed by it, and be able to tune it out and work around and despite it, knowing that no matter how loud it is, it just better stay over THERE.
 
Pray this prayer with me: Father help me. I yield as I ask you to infuse me with strength. I am adopting complete confidence in your ability to protect and provide for me. I no longer want to be intimidated by a bark whose bite has no power to harm me. Reveal to me what you have placed in me. I KNOW WHOSE I AM! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Proverbs 31 Women Know This…

Another confession: In my twenties I spent most of my income on clothes and shoes. I could EASILY not repeat an outfit at church during a year’s time or not wear something for years and come back to it. One time I gave away 30 pairs of black heels and had plenty pairs of black heels left over….(notice I didn’t even mention the other colors, that was just BLACK). I felt crummy about myself on the inside, but I made SURE I looked great on the outside! 

There is NOTHING wrong with liking clothes, shoes and the like…but when you have no money to eat, are constantly dealing with overdrafts and can’t even take a vacation because one fire could destroy your entire “portfolio”, something is off. 

And priorities…. When you won’t go do something that is majorly important (like church for instance) unless you look a certain way, something is off…. You just may be protecting an “image” like I was. 

When you’re fiscally responsible, you spend money (after giving) first, on what makes more money. Once your businesses, savings accounts, and investments and such are in a good place, you spend the money you have left over, to play with, instead of playing with the money you’re supposed to be living on. And I personally believe we SHOULD play hard, vacation and enjoy this Earth!!! Yet and still, good stewardship means keeping things in context. 

How much do we give just to give-expecting nothing in return? Bill Gates & Oprah have a lot- but they GIVE a lot too! The law of seedtime and harvest 

applies to ALL! Believers shouldn’t be the last to catch on!!!

I still like nice things. I may not “look” the way I used to, but when I do, there will be something behind it and God will be pleased with my stewardship. I almost want to quote E-40, but I won’t. 

#thebreaking #grownupstuff #kelsimarie

So Right I Was Wrong…

I had a really bad habit that came from a very sincere place. Because I didn’t want to deal with negative or painful emotions in a way that is unbiblical, I found myself making it a habit to not deal with them at all. I know how dangerous and destructive the spirit of offense is. I noticed how some people were so self-centered, EVERYTHING seemed to offend them FOREVER. People who operate in a spirit of offense will become bent out of shape over the most minor violations. I didn’t want to be a whiner who always went on and on about who did what this time and become stuck in a place where I couldn’t let anything go. I didn’t want my hurt or anger towards people to interfere with my ability to love them as I am commanded.

What I noticed was that several times I endured injustice when I probably should have stood up for myself. You see, some people are of weak enough character, that if they CAN take advantage of you or mistreat you, they will. They don’t have an inner conviction that would steer them otherwise. I also found myself sad and crying DAYS later only to search my heart about what was bothering me and find it was something mean, vindictive, dishonest, manipulative or destructive someone had done. And since I didn’t want to walk in “offense”, I shrugged it off and didn’t deal with it in a timely manner.

I’m sharing this with you today JUST IN CASE I’m not the only one. It is not God’s best, nor His will for you to voluntarily remain in a position or posture where you are abused and beat down. Doesn’t that sound like bondage or slavery? He whom the Son sets free is free INDEED (John 8:36).

-Remaining in tumultuous relationships where there are vicious cycles of abuse is not “admirable”. So if you stay, don’t say it is because it is what He wants or planned for you. Be honest about the fact that it is a fruit (albeit a sour one) of your choice.

-If something hurts you, allow yourself to FEEL. One of the best pieces of instruction I’ve ever received was when Holy Spirit told me to be still and GRIEVE. He needs a clean palette to work in, with and through. Cast all of those cares to Him (1 Peter 5:7)- He can handle it!

-Remember that the sin isn’t in the honest feeling(s), but in HOW you choose to process it / them. There are times we need to repent for the way we feel and ask Him to do a work in our heart as we open it to Him. There are times we need to admit anger, hurt and frustration and then yield it to Him, asking Him to strengthen us to process it biblically and in a way that glorifies Him. We are never instructed to ignore feelings that are honestly there!

-Ignoring your feelings isn’t noble. Not allowing your feelings to rule your actions and yielding your heart to God’s instruction about life events and how they impact you (including the actions of other) is. Acknowledge Him in EVERYTHING and then let Him lead. There is no hurt on Earth that He cannot heal.

And remember, time does NOT heal all wounds. I know some old and bitter people. Some people end up diseased because of all the dis-ease they have carried. It is God in His timing who can heal ALL wounds…when we let Him.

Say this prayer with me…. Lord, help me not to tie your hands in my life. Amen.

I love y’all. Remember, God is good and Clarity Is Divine​!!!

Godly Character Needs Giftwrap…

I had an insightful weekend. Sunday night I ended up in the gospel according to Matthew. I was actually DRIVEN there by my desire to please God in the midst of a frustrating circumstance. When lines get blurry, I have to go to scripture to have my lenses adjusted. 

We are admonished by Jesus to bless those who curse us….to LOVE our enemies….to pray for those who despitefully use us. 

There are times when NOTHING or NO ONE can comfort and settle me, except Jesus Himself. 

When we truly desire to yield to the Word of God, we are extended a grace and strength to do just that. 

I’m grateful.

What I realized is that, while I am required to love those who are kind to me AND those who are foul to me, I cannot take credit, nor can anyone else. This “love thing” is totally Him. Even when we don’t deserve it, He desires that we have….love from others. Even when they don’t deserve it, He requires that we…love others. 

I then realized that there are some people in my life who I not only love, but are so driven by His agenda and undone by His love, that they demonstrate trustworthiness …. The God in them. And that says a LOT about them. I’m not required to trust them. That makes me wealthy among ruins.  

To those who are trustworthy, thank you for being a breath of fresh air! 

Sometimes the best bonding is time spent in a joint effort to be the best reflection possible of the One who is COMPLETELY worthy of our trust and confidence and who loves absolutely perfectly!!!

It’s OVER!!!

So, there’s been road work by my home for the past 22 months. The detours have caused delays and visitors to the area to become lost. Businesses have complained about the losses in profits – it has just been a mess! The kind of mess that had me checking the city’s website for a completion date and always noticing it needed to be updated more often. THIS WAS ONLY SUPPOSED TO TAKE A YEAR!!! 

When you want to go west, a windy road will lead to the freeway eventually. If you want to go east, EXPECT DELAYS!!! There will be a train crossing your path, but only when you’re in a rush. 😊😉

Well eventually, as you can imagine, I no longer needed to follow the detour signs. I had the detours down pat. I stopped looking to see if any progress was being made, I just followed the detours as the blocked road and extra time driving became what I was used to. 

Then it happened….A few days ago, I noticed a car in front of me go straight as I made my right to follow the detour. Don’t they see the sign! They’ll have to turn back! Don’t they see all of us turning right, taking the detour!!!??

Wait a minute, the car disappeared! Wait! Hold on! ….

I made a u-turn in the middle of the street (sorry) to see where this lone car wandered to and… ALAS! I drove straight through!!! We have access again!!!

Wait, how long have I had access? How long have I been following the detours, because I didn’t LOOK to notice there were no more signs up?

How often do we become so used to delays, messes and dysfunction that we no longer look for the completion date, the END that was promised? 

I knew this situation was prophetic and I immediately repented and prayed. I repented, because somewhere along the line, I stopped expecting the road to be complete. Somewhere along the line, I became tired of being disappointed every time I looked for a “through street” and I just stopped checking! I had been taking detours longer than I had to!!! 

I asked the Father to OPEN MY EYES and reveal every place in my life where I have stopped expecting, become stagnate and accepted delays and detours as though they belong in my life, and thus extended and strengthened their presence. Some stuff is no longer blocked!!! I wanted to share this experience and prayer so that you too will look for the changes you stopped expecting to see. There are some areas where you are no longer hindered. You have FULL ACCESS!!! Drive right on through- LET’S GOOOO!!!!! 

IT’S OPEN & OVER!!!

Love Levels

Human love has levels. Often times we say someone doesn’t love us….or else they wouldn’t have done “this or that”. In the context of being treated with respect and loyalty consistently, sometimes the person does love you, they just don’t love you ENOUGH. They love you or what you do for them in the sense that they would cry if you died and they don’t want to see you hit by a car or something. YET, they haven’t the ability to love you with God’s love. The love that nurtures, protects, defends, guards, is truthful, thoughtful, selfless, compassionate, etc.. In order to love you well, they have to hate hurting you, more than they like or love doing what harms you.

 Sometimes people love us the best they can given their capacity and maturity, but it just isn’t at the level with which a healthy relationship can be sustained with us. There are many people whom I love, but from a distance. Not because I’m angry or hurt, but because when they’re too close, there’s a toxicity that is abusive and damaging to me. When one can’t maintain the distance which keeps them safe, one must question their self-love. You have to BE WELL to LOVE WELL. #kelsimarie