Seasons Change…

Seasons change. I have loved people that I’ve had to release, whether because of death, marriage, miles or just the expiration of a season. As life shifts, sometimes configurations change. You’ve heard it before, you have some relationships for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime. Not all endings are bad and bitter.
That said, I cherish the moments, use my words, write letters, send messages and give gifts. I know I mustn’t hold on and prolong anything beyond the season for which it is purposed. I must yield to His plan and respect His course. My endeavor is to make sure that when one reflects across the miles and memories, the sunsets and secrets, the gifts and gains, when a person remembers me and thinks of our time and season of doing life together, they remember honesty, safety, laughter and loyalty…and they simply remember being loved. ❤️❤️❤️ #kelsimarie

Missed Opportunities…

I remember one day at church many years ago, the Holy Spirit told me to go ask an older gentleman…a seasoned elder in our church to lay hands and pray for me. I came up with every excuse imaginable. I was embarrassed to ask. I was afraid of how I would sound. What do I say? Then I said, “Okay, next Sunday…I’ll ask next Sunday.”
God knew, but I didn’t know that would be the last time I saw Him. You really never know when an opportunity will expire…when your season with a person will end.
I’ve repented. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ll never know what he would have imparted. I’ll never know what God’s intentions were. I’ll never know how my obedience would have affected my life. My flesh would love to believe I didn’t miss out…that it’s all good…that somehow, some way, SOMETHING has made up for it. But I know God and I know He ALWAYS instructs with purpose.
Years later, I stopped by my parents’ house and my father surprised me and wrote a check. I looked at the amount and said, “Thank you Daddy!” I was in a rush!!! I got to the door and had a fleeting thought to run back and kiss him and tell him I loved him. I didn’t. I was running late. I told myself I’d just come back in a few days. It was the last time I saw him. He passed two days later.
My lesson…there ARE missed opportunities!!!
Sometimes people know what they can’t tell you. Some time later I told my mom I wished I had turned around and run back. What harm would 90 more seconds have done? She told me she asked him what prompted him to write me that check that day. His response, “It’s the last gift I’ll ever be able to give her.”
Friendships expire. Seasons change. Doors close. People die. Folks move away. Life carries people in different directions. Winds of change are often unexpected…. The BEST we can do is maximize moments, make sure people know we love them and that they’re appreciated. Leave a good mark, something that makes people smile when they think of you or remember you.
And WHATEVER He is telling you to do. DO IT!!! Sometimes we’ve only got ONE SHOT to get it right and divinely timed for purpose. Mediocrity and settling present opportunities all day, everyday, as long as you’ll take them.

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 ❤️)

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).

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!!!

I’m Unraveling….Join Me!!’

I’m a planner. I like order. I create forms, checklists and systems to make my life flow easier. I write things down and organize. I believe in preparation. There is so much beyond my control, so I try my best to make sure that what is in my control is taken care of and properly planned. If things go awry, I’d rather it be because God allowed it or wanted things to go differently than for it to be because I didn’t prepare well or  complete my tasks. I don’t like suffering when it is MY fault- talk about depressing! So I try to use good judgment and I’m careful with decisions. All of this is just a quirk in my personality, but it’s Kelsi all the way. When my home isn’t clean, I get anxious. I don’t like the way clutter makes me feel. I like seeing lines in my carpet (from the vacuum cleaner) and unclean bathrooms (anywhere) send me THERE. I don’t move (residences) a lot and I pray before EVERYTHING, not only to honor God, but (I’m admitting) to minimize regret. I like SURE moves because they are STABLE. Stability is important to me. Even before salvation, for me, Vegas was never a place for gambling (I think I did nickel or quarter slot machines ONLY), simply because of the risk involved. If I was going to spend my cash, I wanted to have something to show for it. 

In case you haven’t noticed, all of this is about maintaining my comfort, and SANITY. Well, recently I’ve decided to yield my comfort, sanity to God on a deeper level. I have ASKED for an opportunity that is going to challenge my systematic, methodical, “plan everything out so nothing messes up” self!!! 

You see, I want to free fall so that He can catch me. I’ve learned to live on a little after having much more. I’ve learned to sacrifice the “look”, the “clothes”, the regularly scheduled hair appointments, the “only shopping at this or that store”, the “never repeating an outfit to church more than once in a year”, the “switching purses everyday”. All of that seems so silly to me now. Don’t get me wrong, I STILL like nice things, but there was a time I put more concern and energy into my image, than I did my actual walk or prayer life. I’ve been broken and stripped in ways people would never know unless I told them. There are so many things that were “important” to me that had to become less significant so that I can keep in CLEAR VIEW what is REALLY important. It hasn’t been easy, especially when you watch others, and comparing is NEVER wise. It has been downright humbling and painful BUT what it has done in my walk with Him, cannot be measured. What I have experienced in HIM cannot be bought!!! Besides, I KNOW the day will come when all is restored. 

Again, I’ve decided to go DEEPER, because I want so much more of Him. No matter what I’ve lost, or where I stopped working, how lean my bank accounts are, or how much less my yearly financial contribution at church is (has anyone else ever been embarrassed by that and then convicted by the Holy Spirit, realizing the pain of it is really about pride), I realize that with all the things I’ve learned to live without….I can’t live without Him!!!! And I want MORE of Him.

So I’ve asked for this particular opportunity that is going to challenge the area that I’ve still held tightly and kept so neat….everything and everyone concerning my personal space. It’s going to challenge me and I’m going to look for Him and to Him at every turn. When I feel like I’m going to lose my mind, because I can’t “plan and prepare” concerning this, He is going to find it (my mind) and continue transforming it!

Anything that ceases to grow & produce is dead!!! 

I’m yielding….DEEPER LORD!!!! 

I challenge you today to think about what you’ve been protecting. Think about what would make you come completely unglued and give it to Him. There is nothing wrong with our personality quirks! He created us to be individuals!!! It’s just that EVERYTHING concerning us, every quirk and aspect of our personalities, need to be yielded to the instructing, shaping and character molding of the Holy Spirit!!!

#kelsimarie

Blaaaaah…..nasty….but GOOD!

I was just thinking….worshipfully thinking about this “cup” we must drink from- the self-denial we must all drink in order to really follow Christ. Take a picture, because THE “non-drinking” is what is causing the pollution and the “stir” everyone complains about in the body of Christ.

Let me be ever so CLEAR- what we are required to give up is NOTHING compared to the sacrifice God (as Father) and Jesus (as Savior) made to reconcile us to Divine harmony and relationship. Nothing we do or sacrifice will ever compare. See Hebrews 12:4

Getting back to my point…We all have this “cup”. In drinking from the cup, you gulp the will of the Father that is opposite the will, timing and process your flesh has conjured up to get the results you think you want. Flesh doesn’t like to wait and flesh doesn’t like to lose anything. Oh, flesh doesn’t like boundaries either.

While a cup filled with self indulgence may taste like sweet cream for the time being, it will be detrimental to your life and soul. Then there’s the cup filled with self denial. Not the denial of good things per se, you know,  blessings, happiness, fun or things of that sort, just your own methods,timing and means of getting there. That cup of self denial tastes bitter, but in reality IS bitter-sweet. When the content hits the untamed tongue, it is more bitter than one can imagine, but the lasting effects are sweeter than you can fathom. The contents, God’s will, will even save your life. That’s not a bad deal.  That’s our cup, but Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath for our sins. That is an entirely different level of bitterness. “There are levels to this!”

Drink from the cup of self-denial, which can also be described as patience, virtue, discipline, faith, kindness, love, goodness and self-control all being mixed into one beverage. Drink it because it secures a destiny which is much better than the one you imagined for yourself. THIS destiny only comes one way, so…… BOTTOMS UP!

“1 Workout @ A Time”

I have never been more cognizant of my health than I am now, as I stare down the hallway at 40…mid-life…. the age stuff begins to happen if you allow it to. As a youth, I played sports. My freshman … Continue reading

Some People Will Never Ask Me To Preach….

Recently I was given a very valuable test…an examination of my heart. Y’all do know that your heart can deceive you right (Jeremiah 17:9)?
I preach and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ (no surprise). If you know me, you know that I have given my life to the furtherance of THIS gospel. Since ministering is what I was created to do, I want to excel in ministry and be the best I can be… and not just on the exterior! I have no interest in a polished public life and a dull private life with Him. That just isn’t real to me. Moving on….
I mean… who doesn’t want to be excellent and effective at what they have committed their life to right? Who doesn’t want to be successful? And right here is where we get all tripped up if we aren’t careful. We forget to define success by biblical standards. To be successful in God is to maximize your potential and be EFFECTIVE in what He has called you to do. Think about it. If He called you to evangelize, but you’re too afraid to appear “fanatic”, so you choose to pastor, how effective are you being in comparison to how effective you CAN be through obedience? And if He has called you to pastor, tend to and shepherd souls, but you like the freedom of evangelizing and choose that form of ministry for yourself, how much are you REALLY pleasing Him in your disobedience? You see, pastoring and evangelizing are great, but not as good as doing what He has specifically called you to do. If he called you to brighten people’s day by being a florist, activist, doctor, waitress, or teacher, than nothing you choose to do will be a better fit for you. Haven’t you heard about people who perform (what to others may just be) a job and exclaim it is their calling? What if Nehemiah had aspired to be a warrior or royal guard instead of a cup bearer? His position is what gave Him ACCESS to the king and the resources He needed to change a nation! As a creation, our purpose is to obey the Creator. Every good thing isn’t a “God” thing. The God thing is His will for your life, His timing included. Ouch.
Now that we have established the fact that even in ministry and “good things”, our selfish hearts can sway us towards the comforts of our prideful agendas, we can focus on the fact that we are not exempt from temptations that disguise themselves as harmless opportunities… even Godly opportunities.
There are three sinful and sneaky dispositions mentioned in the bible that I want to interject here, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). I call them sneaky, because these demonic agendas can attach themselves to the most well intentioned minister of the gospel. Let me tell you, we must CONSTANTLY keep our hearts under the magnifying glass of God’s word!!! We must constantly ask ourselves and God WHY we want what we want. Motive is everything.
I’m getting to my test…..
An opportunity was presented to me five times in about six weeks. I’ll share some of the questions posed to me: Don’t you want to be on television? Don’t you want your name to be in lights? Don’t you want to preach to nations? Don’t you know you can spend so much time on a plane going to and fro to teach the gospel that you’re rarely at home? Don’t you know that you can become very wealthy doing this?
I’ll be very CLEAR here, there is nothing wrong with any of the aforementioned in and of themselves, however, something becomes very wrong when they are opportunities that God didn’t create and were presented to me to lure me through any temptations to be successful, popular and comfortable. The prideful aspect of our personalities like attention. The prideful aspects of our personalities cause us to crave success for the wrong reasons. I had to stop and ask myself a question… Isn’t my sole motivation to please God; be effective and do good works ON HIS TERMS (Matthew 6:33)? This being the case, I had to acknowledge Him, even in what seemed like a good opportunity and allow Him to “direct my path” (Prov. 3:5-7). We can be so excited about being popular, rich and admired, that we will walk through a door without ever asking God if it is a door He presented and whether or not the next dimension of His will is awaiting us on the other side. It can get really tricky if the opportunities presented are in line with opportunities He promised. Have you ever heard of the term “counterfeit”? Okay, so you know there are things that don’t carry the integrity of authenticity, but look like the real thing. Moving along…
When I took this opportunity before God in prayer, I expressed that if He didn’t send it, I wanted no parts of it. I was resolved that I would rather stay right where I am until HIS appointed time, than step outside of His will to have access to all that my flesh would desire.
The truth is that there are some who will never call me to preach. I’m not being negative, let me explain. The insight God has given me empowers me to preach the uncomfortable charges expressed in the gospel with clarity which leads to a CHOICE to be delivered. In case you didn’t know, choosing God over what is comfortable is… well…. UNCOMFORTABLE. Many people aren’t interested in THAT level of discomfort. He gives me messages that challenge and expose FALSE CORE BELIEFS & FOUNDATIONS that have been the building blocks of relationships, marriages, paradigms and ministries for most of people’s lives. I TOTALLY understand why many don’t want to hear such an uncomfortable charge- even if it is purposed to make them free. Any place God permits me to go is a place where He has already prepared the hearts of the people for the root work He desires to do through the ministry He’s entrusted to me. If I go anywhere before He sends me, anywhere they aren’t ready for the message He sends, how effective could I be? Remember that operating outside of His timing, places you outside of His will. I must always be cognizant of the fact that this ministry inside of me is HIS vehicle and not my own. I will wait on the Lord in all things concerning my life. There are lives hanging in the balance and people depending on me to be properly postured and positioned. My life is not my own.
I have written this to encourage the others who are waiting on God. You may be obeying and watching others moving faster and more often. They may be securing engagements, marriages, properties, and opportunities while you are YET waiting. I tell you today to WAIT ON!!! Wait for the provision that comes from HIS hand. You don’t want the opportunities that just look good…you need them to be FROM God. In obedience, you cover much more ground with less effort and hiccups. We spend too much time finding fault in leaders that fall and ministries that fail, when we should be asking God to expose where the culprit of their demise is lodged in our own hearts. Many times esteemed positions and ministries were being fueled by impatience, pride and the lusts I mentioned earlier. Is anyone really above those things? If your private lives and disciplines (or lack thereof) aren’t consistent with your public persona, don’t make excuses, just ask for His help to dispel the lie you are living. Holiness should be preached AND practiced. When someone is off track, there are always indicators, circumstances and relationships present that reveal the condition of the person’s heart. God calls people to BE what He has called them to do and there is a process in becoming.
Some people were advanced to high school with all of the perks and privileges of being an upper class man, while they were only reading at third grade level. It is truly embarrassing to fail a high school exit exam when the scores are published to the public. This is the same type of humiliation leaders experience when they have been promoted by men, but skipped their private tutorials with God. The virtue isn’t in the popularity, but the authenticity.

Wait on the Lord, let Him go before you and clear the paths you will walk. You will stumble a lot less!

I’m excited about the things God will do, and the doors He will open. And until then…I’ll wait.

Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world- the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]- these do not come from the father but are from the world [itself]. And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.
1 John 2:15-17