The Nudges…

I’ve learned not to ignore the nudges. Often times when we are seeking direction from God or not, we expect Him to instruct us with lightening and thunder, with a James Earl Jones voice hammering down from Heaven. Yet, some of my most critical instructions in  a moment’s notice have been given with just a nudge, an unction, an ever so slight tap towards a certain action or direction.

Oh, how I’ve learned not to ignore the nudges. Sometimes we want a raindrop to fall just above our left eyebrow in the scorching sun so that we will KNOW that it’s God speaking, but that wouldn’t require much faith or stretching would it? That wouldn’t require that we stay tuned in to His frequency.

Although I grew up in the Bay Area and lived there until a year and a half ago, I do NOT like driving in San Francisco. You really have to know the one way streets, having committed them to memory to navigate the downtown area efficiently. It’s all just a maze to me, and years ago, one of the countless times I was lost, I was in a residential neighborhood. Mind you, this was before GPS was a “thing”. I was desperately trying to find my way back to the freeway and was growing more and more frustrated. I was literally at the point of tears. I felt a gentle nudging to turn left, but turning left didn’t make sense to me. From where I could see, it appeared to be a dead end. I could see the house that faced me at what I perceived to be the end of the street, yet the nudging just wouldn’t go away.

Finally, I said something as ridiculous as “Ok God, I’ll drive down here just to SEE that it’s a dead end!” I had been circling the same blocks for quite some time and didn’t feel I had much to lose. I figured at least if I went ahead and turned left, I could get rid of this nagging “nudging”. To my surprise, when I got to that house that faced me at the end of the block, I could see that the street actually continued in a perpendicular direction. Furthermore, the street literally turned into the freeway onramp!

I could bore you with countless examples, but I think you get my point. There will be times you have an unexplainable nudging to pray for a person, take a certain route home, change an appointment time, go see about a friend, etc. . Don’t ignore it. Remember, God isn’t obligated to explain Himself on the front end. It is our responsibility to trust Him one nudging at a time and obey one often blind step at a time.

Don’t Box with God!

A little over a year ago, I listed a house to sell. In a short time, I was heading out of the country and really wanted to be in contract by the time I left. No problem! I just KNEW it would be an easy sale. The house was only a year old! I prayed, had it staged, invested in a great marketing system, and scheduled my OPEN HOUSE dates. I honestly expected to only have to do one OPEN HOUSE though. I knew this particular floor plan was limited in this development and was in high demand.
The most ridiculous things started happening. And I do mean ridiculous. I fell out of contract before the ink had a chance to dry. At that point I had been in real estate for twelve years and had never heard of such a thing that happened, happening. JUST BIZARRE!!! Then, there was all of this interest, but no bites for no particular reason.
I go out of the country trying to manage phone calls while I’m a whole day ahead and busy with a full schedule. When I returned, the client was in danger of losing her deposit and another house that was being built, because her offer was contingent (upon the sale of this subject property). It was a MESS that made NO SENSE!!! I WAS STRESSED OUT!
Finally, one Saturday morning I prayed, “Father, I need you to show me what is going on. In warfare I have You on my side and I don’t struggle like this. I’m out here getting mollywapped, and that is leading me to believe I’m not fighting the enemy, but that I’m fighting YOU. I know I can’t win a fight with you! Am I fighting You? Are You keeping the house from selling???”
*ding*ding*ding* I had finally asked the right question. I offered the right prayer. He revealed the house hadn’t sold, because He wanted ME to move into it. Only this meant a relocation. A relocation I hadn’t planned for. A relocation I didn’t want!
I asked Him to confirm it while I was out of town that weekend at a prayer retreat. I vowed I would obey His answer, I just needed to be SURE. He confirmed. I cried for a week before asking Him to deal with my heart concerning the matter. I was expecting to relocate, but I thought it would be to Dallas or LA. I wanted my heart’s desires to match His. I didn’t want to obey grudgingly.
Two months later, I was out!!! And let me tell you this. It wasn’t until the morning after I spent the first night in the house that I walked out of my bedroom and realized I NEEDED the move. I had been suffocating and didn’t even know it. I had become so used to my atmosphere, that I didn’t realize the season was up, and that staying longer would have put me out of alignment with the next leg of my journey. Time was of the essence. There were connections that needed to be made, and relationships that needed to form. And my face needed to be in the new territory for the hand shakes and dinner dates to happen. If you’ve ever traveled, you know that “connecting flights” are critical and are the reason you do or don’t get to your destination on time. Sure, we’d all like a direct flight, but sometimes paths need to cross, a person critical to our journey is flying out from a different airport, and is en route to wrap up an assignment in a city we aren’t designated. The connecting flight the two of you have in common reveals the next move to and for you both!
Lots of supernatural occurrences happened throughout this transition, but I will abstain from sharing for now, due to the length of this post.
My point: Because of our humanity, we don’t like to suffer. We don’t like discomfort. And often times when we encounter discomfort, setbacks, suffering and/or a lack of fulfillment, we assume it has to be the enemy. Not so!
Sometimes it is God! Sometimes, He’s pushing us to higher heights, deeper depths, and a place of humility and service that is outside of our comfort zones and realms of familiarity. We’re being pushed out of the nest! Sometimes the pain and inconvenience is TOTALLY GOD!
Look at Jesus! NOTHING was comfortable or convenient about His trip to the cross, yet it pleased and glorified God.
Submit, surrender, and don’t give up. He’s got a plan for you, and it is GOOD even when the process FEELS contrary.
Oh and let me tell you this…. the house that wouldn’t sell? Yeah, the one I live in! There hasn’t been ONE month that has passed since I submitted and moved in, that someone hasn’t called to buy the house. Some are rather aggressive asking when it will be back on the market! What can they offer!!? When God holds something up, He holds it up! When He releases it, He releases it! He holds the POWER!!! When we strive with Him, we WILL NOT win!

What a Difference a Year Makes…

“He slapped me! I know I’ve put up with a lot of things, but THAT I cannot deal with. I can’t be with anyone I’m afraid of!”

 

“Wait, what? What do you mean he slapped you?”

 

“Just that! I walked up to him when he was up in arms about something with one of the counselors. When I approached him to ask what was wrong, he looked at me with some deranged look on his face and hauled off and slapped me!”

 

“Okay, wait…. Did he say anything? That just doesn’t sound like him. What did the counselor do? If this wasn’t you telling the story, I wouldn’t even believe it. I want to say are you sure, but I know you’re sure you got slapped. I’m so confused.”

 

“I just left.”

 

“Wait what? Where are you?”

 

“Home.”

 

“You mean in your cabin?”

 

“No, HOME. As in seven minutes from your house. I came home!”

 

“Wait a minute… something isn’t right. Elyse, this doesn’t make sense! This is bothering me. He didn’t say anything…you just left the village?”

 

“They were trying to stop me, but I just ran to my cabin to pack. I’m DONE!!! I was on the next bus before he even knew I left. He didn’t even come to my cabin to try to stop me from leaving! He doesn’t even care!” (bursts into tears)

 

“Have you heard from him?”

 

“I blocked him.”

 

“Oh GOSH! Elyse!!!”

 

“He hit me! Are you defending him?”

 

“No, I’m saying something isn’t adding up.”

 

“Right! Like me agreeing to go on that missions trip with his youth and I don’t even like camping! Then getting humiliated.”

 

“Noooo, I mean his actions don’t make sense. Something isn’t right. And you’re not giving his consistent behavior a voice at all! ”

 

“Anyway girl, I’m done with this city. I had plenty of time to think on that 12 hour flight home. I told Synergy Inc. I’d have an answer for them upon my return next week. I called and told them I came back early and that I’m going to take the assignment. I’ll be gone for 12 months. Unless he gave me a reason to stay, I was prepared to leave. I feel like this opportunity is timed perfectly. I fly out tomorrow morning.”

 

“Wait a minute… I think you’re rushing a major decision. You don’t even like cold weather and you’re going to move across the country over a relationship not working out? You need to think about this.”

 

“God provided an opportunity that’s right on time!”

 

“I don’t sense God in this. I sense confusion! Don’t put my Papa in this!”

 

“Gurl, I’m tired. I was already thinking about going. You know that. He was the only reason I would have stayed. I need the change. I need to get my mind off of everything. I love you gurl, and thank you, but I have to finish packing. I gotta be in a car to the airport at 6am. I’ve got 11 hours to finish packing for a year and setting up my bill pays. I’ll call you from the airport.”

 

“Elyse, wait!”

 

“It’s a done deal girl! I docusigned my offer letter. I’ll call you in the morning, pray for me! And if you come over I’m not gonna answer the door. I’m doing this!”

 

“Elyse!”

 

Meanwhile, in the Philippines…

 

“What do you mean she left? You let her leave? You slapped her and let her leave?”

 

“I didn’t slap her. I killed a mosquito.”

 

“Okay, but you didn’t even tell her that?”

 

“I couldn’t! She went crazy! I was trying to calm her down and she said something about being done with abuse and ran off. I was due at the other end of camp to introduce the new students and thought I’d head to her cabin and explain later. But when I got there, they said she had packed up and caught a ride back to town on the supply bus. She told them she was headed back to the States man!  My calls are going straight to voicemail. She’s crazy man. But I can’t have her thinking I just slapped her. I was yelling about the vaccinations being late when she walked up. I don’t even know if she knows what I was upset about. I was gonna ask her to marry me tonight, but I’m sitting here talking to you and she’s God knows where. What happened? Gary rubs his hands over his face, what am I going to do?”

 

“Hey man, there’s nothing you can do. You’ll be on furlough in two weeks. You’d better head to Phoenix and straighten this out.”

 

“And what, she just gone keep her phone off?”

 

“Nah man, you got blocked! Straight to voicemail when you call?”

 

“Yeah!”

 

“Did your text messages show as “delivered”?”

 

“Nah…”

 

“Yeah, you blocked homeboy…”

 

“What is all that? I’ll go crazy thinking about this while we’re seven thousand miles apart. I gotta get a handle on this situation with these malaria vaccines. I’ll deal with that when I take my time off. I just can’t believe she’d think I would hit her. I can’t believe she’s shutting me out. I’ve never been violent towards her…never! WOMEN!”

 

….

 

I’ve got it all lined up! Janine is flying in Tuesday, and we’ll pick you up at the airport Thursday! I can’t believe I haven’t seen you in almost a year! And FaceTime doesn’t count!

 

“I know girl, I can’t wait to get home! I’m done with snow. I’m done with New York traffic. I’m done with 14 hour work days. I’m ready to get back to the desert. I’ll never complain about Arizona winters again. As soon as y’all pick me up, the first place we’re going is Spinato’s… matter of fact, y’all can have a medium pepperoni waiting in the car!”

 

“Gurl, we miss our friend, and our friend misses her pizza! Anyway!”

 

“No shade, no shade. Well, I gotta get things wrapped up here. And I have to meet with the owner of some charity or non-profit we’re committing funds to this year. I’m on my way out, so I don’t why I have to be the one to meet with them, but whatever. Tomorrow night I’m on a plane back to the west coast! Yayee, yayee, as Ice Cube would say.”

 

“Gurl, you crazy! Bye!”

 

“Bye gurl.”

 

“Ms. Robins security just called from downstairs. Your 3 o’clock is on his way up, should I just show him to the main conference room to wait for you?”

 

“Yeah, I just have to run down to HR to sign a few documents. Just tell him I won’t be long. Make sure he’s comfortable.”

 

“Will do.”

 

Elevator dings…

 

Elyse steps in only to freeze mid-stride as her heart turns to a rock in her chest. Oh God…Oh my God. What is he doing here?

 

New York? She’s been in New York all this time? “Elyse…”

 

“Hi… you’re the representative from the non-profit? I hadn’t even looked at the name of the organization, or else I would’ve…”

 

“It was a mosquito.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“There was a mosquito on your cheek. I had just been made aware of a malaria outbreak in the village. A few people were really ill and we didn’t have our vaccines yet. I just reacted when I saw the mosquito. I was worried. I’m so sorry…”

 

“I…”

 

 

**Moral of the story… Often times, it isn’t the act itself that scars you. It’s what you believe about the act. Don’t allow your past to narrate your present.

 

What if she’d allowed him to explain about the malaria outbreak?

 

What if he’d been a few minutes late to his meeting to explain?

 

What if they’d come home from the missions trip engaged after having a moment of clarity about “the slap”?

 

What would things have looked like these 12 months later?

 

What if…

 

© 2017 Kelsi Marie

 

 

 

Guilty!!!

I’m guilty. I don’t just mean in the past, but lately. I’ve been guilty of frustration. Guilty of impatience. We do know that patience isn’t waiting right? We’re going to wait regardless when it comes to what only God can release. Patience is actually waiting with the right attitude. We can murmur, complain and pout while we wait, or we can trust, praise and rejoice in the promise that is on the other end of our wait.

I became frustrated, because I couldn’t understand the point. I couldn’t understand why He has revealed some of the things He has, if CLEARLY some of the things aren’t coming to pass any time soon. Sometimes, when hope hurts, you’d just rather not know. Ignorance can be bliss at times. But when He reveals His plan and purpose you have to deal with the burden of conforming to His divine schedule. So I ask questions like… why did you show me if I was just going to remain irritated by the process? Why did I even have to know?

He had a talk with me today to remind me that it isn’t about my conveniences, but His purpose. And He also reminded me that cooperating with Him during the process is the same as cooperating with Him for the plan itself. A sous chef doesn’t get the credit, but certainly has responsibilities and must take orders and execute as the meal is prepared. The longer a sous chef works beside an executive chef, the more they learn, and the better they become.

So AGAIN, my heart has been restored. I needed it restored AGAIN. And I told Him tonight, that I commit to his purpose AND His schedule (ARRRGGGGHHHH it’s KILLING ME…. I guess that’s the point). I desire to execute my role in His plan with complete synchronicity, virtue and excellence. I am walking this out WITH Him. It’s His plan., so it will be accomplished in HIS time. Inhale… Exhale… Inhale….. Exhale…

Psalm 119:133 is my anthem right now. No iniquity!!! No iniquity tied to doubt, fear, frustration, impatience, bitterness, intolerance, pride….. NO INIQUITY!!! (If you read the scripture you’ll get what I’m saying)

We should feel honored to have a role at all!

Perspective is key….Selah

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.

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​!!!

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!

To The Open Heart on Valentine’s Day….

To the Open Heart This Valentine’s Day….
I was talking to one of my brothers in the Lord last night and he was sharing with me a recent revelation God gave to him about true Godly manhood and the masculinity revealed through responsibility. Divine masculinity that isn’t being taught and is missing in too many adult males around us. He shared that a man’s responsibility, even as a husband, isn’t contingent upon “feelings”. If Jesus was led and motivated by His “feelings”, He would never have drank from the cup. Conviction had to trump convenience and feelings. I appreciate these conversations we have because it becomes so OBVIOUS that the word of God is the skeletal framework of these revelations. I won’t share any more about his revelation about masculinity, as it is His to share. My spirit leaped because I understood, and in that realized that I was being understood.
You see, I made this vow to God a long time ago that I would give Him my life and really LIVE ON PURPOSE and by His design. It was then that I knew with certainty that I wouldn’t exist to pay bills and die. I decided that I would agree with God concerning His will for my life and do my best to partner with His plans and bring glory to His name.
If I am to partner with His plans, then I cannot partner with those who don’t partner with His plans- even if it means walking alone at times. If God’s plan looks like “this”, then I can’t marry someone whose life plan and pursuit looks like “that”.
We don’t choose one time to live for God, we choose to live for God CONTINUOUSLY, one opportunity at a time, overcoming by His strength, one temptation at a time, siding with Him, once choice at a time. Victory doesn’t mean there are no injuries, but it does mean you are at least TRYING to aim right and that there are more hits than misses. There should ALWAYS be measurable growth.
So tonight, I am saluting those who make the inconvenient, unpopular and often misunderstood decisions, in an effort to remain in the will of God. I salute you because it is a lonely place. There are those who have walked with you that will fall asleep on you (won’t you pray with me for one hour?). There are those who will tell you that it doesn’t take all of that. There are those who will tell you that since you only live once, you might as well do all that makes you feel good, DESPITE biblical principles such as those shared in Romans 8:1-5.
So to those who could have continued to stay on a job that allowed them to be rich, but chose to start all over, even if it meant less pay, to do things God’s way, and WAIT for the fruit of that decision, I salute you and can relate. Napolean Kaufman still had good playing years left in him in the NFL when he left to pastor (just in case you needed an example).
To those who desire to be married, but have had to forego opportunities to do so, because they haven’t YET met one that God said He endorses and fits well into His plan for their lives… I salute you and can relate.
For those who have had to endure public scrutiny whether at a dinner table or a board meeting, because they have defended the truth while everyone else was in agreement and slapping fives over a lie, gossip or demonic agenda… I salute you and can relate.
For those courageous enough to walk away from their desires, to pursue God’s desires for them…. I salute you and can relate.
Jesus set the example of sacrificial love and commitment for the sake of doing the will of the Father and THE WAY hasn’t changed. Nobody said it would be easy, but in the END, it will be worth it.
There are so many decades we’ll spend here. And there is an ETERNITY we will spend… somewhere else. Are you willing to sacrifice here to reign with Him there? You aren’t alone.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY…..where is your heart…..really?