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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Shift your focus

 
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” Revelation 12:11

 
In previous blogs I have mentioned how I felt as though God was punishing me. I had a wrong view of the Father. I was so caught up in ME that I didn’t truly take time to get to know Him. When we focus on us we will never be able to truly see what God is doing.  I heard someone say something along the lines of “You might think everyone is looking at you….but, Honey, you’re not that important!” And while that may sound rude to most, its true! We worry so much about what others think, how “I” look, how “I” feel, what “I’m” going to do and the truth is, the people we worry about impressing aren’t even thinking about us! Even if they were, their opinions aren’t the ones that count. Our main focus should be on Jesus.

 

It says in the Bible “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Your salvation happens in an instant but the rest takes some time. Day to day, it’s a process of choosing God. Allowing him to transform you, change your thinking and shift your focus from ME to HE! When we put our focus on Him we don’t get derailed by our circumstances because we know that our God is good and His promises will prevail! How do we know His promises? By getting in the WORD! Not reading your bible is like having a million dollars in the bank and never spending it. Adversity may come and we don’t always know WHY but we can have hope because we know WHO.

 
No one is perfect and that’s OK. God uses people from all different backgrounds, lifestyles and neighborhoods. Your past doesn’t define you but helps you tell your story. There's power in your “been through”.  You may have been knocked down but by the grace of God you got up! You’re alive, able see another day and that’s another chance to share your story and glorify our heavenly Father. Keep your eyes on HIM!
                              
 
 
                  Be Blessed,
                             Kennedy
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
References:
 
biblehub.com
 
Steven Furtick
 


Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Potter and the Clay

A while ago my husband told me he had an idea for a blog and felt like the Lord wanted him to share it. This is my first time having a guest writer and I am so happy that it gets to be my sweet husband. To say I am proud of him is an understatement! I pray that the message that the Lord gave him speaks to and encourages you!
 
 
 
Sitting at church during our Wednesday night bible study a few weeks ago I was hit with this message that I believe I needed to share. I have had discussions about “giving it all to God” or “leave it all on the altar” with others of like-minded faith in the past. I took a step back and thought about those phrases we hear consistently in our walks. This particular night in bible study the Lord dropped this scripture reference on me and it really made me think. I’ve been putting off writing this out (delayed obedience is still disobedience), but I hope it makes you think also.
        We see in scripture the reference to our Father as the great potter. We are the clay, He is the potter (Isaiah 64:8). What the Lord dropped on me was if a literal potter is at the wheel, he already has a plan. When he goes to work at the wheel to make a pot, the potter needs the clay, and not just some clay, he needs enough clay to make a functional pot. 90% of the clay he needs isn’t enough. If he doesn’t have enough clay, 100% of the clay, as he comes close to completion of the pot, he will notice that this pot is not going to work properly. It won’t hold the water or substance that it is intended for. An incomplete pot doesn’t retain water. An incomplete pot spills or leaks and makes a mess that the potter has to clean up. He didn’t have enough clay on the wheel to finish this project and for the pot to function where he needs it and how he needs it to function. This pot does not get finished. This pot gets smashed back down to a pile of clay to be turned into something else. This pot didn’t fulfil its intended purpose.
        Now, think of this in the spiritual sense. He, our God, is the potter and we are the clay. He shapes us. He molds us to function in His kingdom, His purpose, His design. If we truly believe in our Lord and His abilities, why do we hold back? Why don’t we “give it all” to God. Why do we think we can handle things ourselves? Why do we hold on to worldly things? Has He not taken care of us up to this point? Does He not give us purpose and use us according to His purpose? We, as followers of Christ, have to stop holding back things of our past worldly, fleshly things. Stop partially giving. 90%, 50%, or even 5% isn’t going to meet the need. We have to start trusting in God and give 100% of ourselves. Take that 10%, 50%, or 95% you hold back and leave it on the altar for God to take care of. Give the potter 100% of the material He needs to make a functional vessel that is useful to His kingdom. Useful to His purpose. This pot could fulfil the intended purpose. This pot has a chance to change and give the Creator 100% of the clay needed to form a sturdy vessel that serves a greater purpose. Don’t live incomplete. Leave it at the altar. Give it all to God.
                                                      Blessings,
                                                             Dalton
 
 
 
Reference:
Isaiah 64:8
Jeremiah 18:1-4

Saturday, February 25, 2017

My Hope Is In The Lord

"My hope is in the Lord, I belong to Him. He will never let me go. My hope is in the Lord. I can count on Him. My hope is in the Lord."

      Teaching preschool gives me constant access to awesome songs to help remember the things of God. The one I shared above is simple but when you dig deeper, is very profound. Let me explain....

      The beginning of February started out rough and I had to learn how to rest in the Lord and put my hope in Him. It's difficult to do that when you are used to doing everything for everyone and being strong in the midst of it all. I don't have time to be weary...or at least to let my weariness show.
 
       February 1st, our youngest son ended up in Children's Hospital with RSV and viral bronchiolitis. He was there for 2 days. That was one of the scariest and most traumatic times of my life. To see my sweet baby hooked to monitors and oxygen and not knowing what was going to happen, really took a toll on me. The second night in the hospital, while wondering what I did to cause all of this to happen to my sweet boy, my friend told me that I needed to just rest in the Lord and let Him work. I didn't know exactly how to do that but I knew it didn't include me blaming myself and going crazy trying to answer all of my own questions. I just tried to be still.



       Through the winter I have really learned how to tune in and hear God's voice. I have grown in so many different ways. And all these ways allowed me to be O.K. when God stopped talking directly to me. Our stay in the hospital started a 17 day season of my life where hard things happened but God was quiet. I am a social person. I meet a friend for coffee or have a long and spiritually profound phone call with someone almost once a week. I thrive on these things. Even just going to work 16 hours a week, fills me up! During this quiet time, not once did I spend time with a friend AND I was only able to work 3 of the 17 days! It was SO odd! I didn't realize what God was doing at the time but I do now!  He was wanting me to seek Him for fulfillment. Not putting so much stock in people or situations. He had to let me see that He is the one who is in control, not me. He wanted me to put my hope in Him.  Now, God didn't make my baby get sick but, like he says in His word: He made all things work together for good(Romans 8:28)

      What does it mean to "put your hope in God"? I didn't know so, like the rest of the world, I googled it! I searched the definition of "hope".

NOUN

  1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen:
    "he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information" ·
    "I had high hopes of making the Olympic team"
    synonyms: aspiration · desire · wish · expectation · ambition · aim · goal · plan ·
  2. archaic
    a feeling of trust


      What I gathered was that putting my hope in the Lord means to expect Him to do what He says He is going to do (according to His word) and trusting Him to do it! It's a very simple principle of getting in the Bible and learning all about God's promises. He loves when we pray His Word back to Him. Yes, he knows what it says, but it blesses Him to hear us asking for and activating His promises with our words. "Life and death lie in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21) That is pretty big stuff.


      Now, you might be wondering why I shared that my season was 17 days long. Many times, in spiritual lessons, numbers are very significant. At the end of this time God gave me a revelation. We recently entered the year of 2017 and in January, our pastor taught on what the number 17 meant. It symbolizes overcoming the enemy and complete victory. The Lord revealed to me that during my quiet time, He equipped me to overcome the enemy and have complete victory! Not only now, but in the coming seasons!

    I have to tell you, this quiet time was hard but as I mentioned before: God taught me how to get through it! Normally, if God weren't speaking I would worry that I did something wrong and that He was punishing me by being silent. I know it sounds silly but that is really how my brain used to work! The whole purpose of this blog is to encourage someone with my journey and share how I've grown and changed in my spiritual life. I share this to tell you....Won't God do it?! He has been so faithful! My prayer last year was that He renew my mind and though there have been many other instances, this one is significant! What normally would have derailed me, changed my life for the better! I would never have expected to pass the test and handle this the way I did but God equipped me! He changed me, molded me into His image and is continuing to do so! God did one of the greatest works in me, while He was being quiet! That goes to show, God has many ways of ministering to us. We just have to be open to receive.



In Christ,
       Kennedy

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=hope+definition&*

http://lamarboschman.com/the-biblical-meaning-of-2017/


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Knowing God's Nature

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:7
 
      The Lord placed this scripture in my spirit the other night and I made a post on Instagram about it. I want to share with you what I wrote there and elaborate a little.
 
       We hear people quote the second half of this verse frequently..."resist the devil and he will flee from you", But it is not often that we hear the first half..."submit yourselves, then, to God". It's a command, not a suggestion. Many people act as though you can pick and choose what you want out of the bible and only do what is comfortable. That is not the case. In order to resist the devil, we have to submit to God. You can't have the one without the other. What does it mean to submit? My pastor said that it means to "come under". Submitting to God looks like dying to flesh. Letting go of fear and choosing to walk in faith, letting go of doubt and trusting in God. Standing on His word when everyone and everything else is telling you the opposite. It looks like forgiving when forgiveness is the last thing on your mind. It looks like keeping your mouth shut when you want so badly to gossip about that person that drives you crazy. I share this because I am there. I am struggling BUT I am learning and growing through it all. God is good all the time. Be encouraged if you are in the same boat. "Cast your cares upon Him, because He cares for you.For me, submitting to God has been a process. It's had to be intentional. Over time it has gotten easier.

         These past 9 months, my walk with Christ has grown and flourished so much and so quickly. I can't tell you how many times I've been on the verge of giving up and throwing in the towel on my faith, BUT GOD! My journey of going deeper in my faith started with me studying Moses and the Israelites, especially their time in the desert. Through the  story of Moses we see that he came to know the nature of God. He knew God's heart. He took time to seek him, gaining clarity, wisdom and favor. On the contrary, the Israelites were only seeking God's hand. What could God do for them and how quickly would He do it? Our generation has such a "microwave mentality", that more often than not, we view God the same way. Through Moses, God parted the Red Sea and they escaped from Pharaoh by walking across on dry ground! And in the entire 40 years that they were in the desert their clothes and sandals didn't wear out! What miracles! Those things should have been enough for them to consistently praise and worship God. It should have motivated them to seek a relationship with Him. But it didn't. They kept wanting more, they even said that they would rather just go back to Egypt, to slavery! Reading those stories , I have thought to myself "How ungrateful! Such miracles and they are being brats!"....Then I realized....I have acted the same way.  Asking God for things over and over, not just worshipping Him for all He has done for me.Needless to say, that is a hard pill to swallow. Yes, being a child of God, I should be confident that God wants to and will bless me, but he doesn't HAVE to. This is where grace and mercy come into play. More on that another day. 


       This whole process started with me submitting to God by asking Him to change my mind. To renew a right spirit within me and help me to be like Moses. I want to know His nature. I had and still have such a hunger to be exactly who he wants me to be. I had to realize that I could never do this on my own. I had to relinquish control. It's been scary, and sometimes it still is. Though now, I am aware that I can cast down those thoughts and ask God to fill me with faith and peace. Day by day. Hour by hour. Moment by moment.

      I have adopted Proverbs 3 as my "life chapter". It's good stuff. I will share a bit of it with you here but you should go read it in its entirety.

 
"Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
    and nourishment to your bones"
 
         Letting God guide my every step and trusting Him totally is not easy but it is so worth it. I don't understand it most of the time but God always tells me that His thoughts and ways are higher than my own. God's plan is not for us to understand. Having faith is a huge part of being obedient to Him. Faith moves God. Keep pushing and striving.  
 
 
Blessings,
       Kennedy 
 
 
 
 


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Changing My Mind


I have suffered under the spirit of poverty for almost my entire life and I've been dealing with a poverty mindset lately.  In a nutshell that means that I have  been focusing on what I don't have (physically, spiritually, and mentally), as opposed to what I do have. Wealth, in all areas of my life, is my inheritance from God. He did not send Jesus to earth to die on the cross so I could be broke, busted and disgusted. He sent him that I may have life and have it to the fullest. You and I have to love ourselves as much as God loves us. We have to change our thinking to change our lives. Once we do that it will be easier to realize that we deserve ALL good things and allow God to restore all that the devil stole from us a hundred fold!

To be totally  honest, I have refrained from sharing because I am so afraid of what others may think of my blessings. How silly is that?? I'm worried about what OTHER PEOPLE might think about the things GOD has blessed myself and my family with! Others may not understand my journey or think that I am worthy to recieve all that God has for me, which in turn leads me to believe that I'm not worthy. Even writing this I feel the need to explain myself to get approval  from others and their "permission" to have what God has given and to enjoy it fully. Guilt and faith are opposing forces. This is not how God wants me to live. The Lord has been teaching me that I am to be confident in who I am and realize that I deserve everything and more that He has given and will give me. I do not need the approval of man for what God has brought forth. He will not set me up for failure.

I don't know about you but sometimes I feel like God will bless me just to take it away and "keep me humble". That is a total lie. It all stems from the poverty mindset. God loves me and wants me to be healthy and prosper, even as my soul prospers (3 John 1). I have to work on getting my soul ( which is my mind, my will and my emotions) lined up with God's will FOR me and His idea OF me. That means casting down wrong thinking and filling my mind with truth, which is God's word. I haven't documented much of it, which I plan to change that from this day forward, but the Holy Spirit has been transforming my my mind and changing my thinking . My prayer has been to be filled with the thoughts and ideas of God. I am learning that there is no room for the lies of the enemy in a mind that is focused on Christ. I am a child of God and the blessing of Abraham is on my life! It is on yours too! Just believe and recieve it!

Blessings,
Kennedy



P.S.
I apologize that I have slacked on sharing my journey. I have a lot to tell you, so stay tuned!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

When you're just not feeling it

Though it is not always realistic or doable, I feel like I need to sit down quietly, alone with my bible and a notebook in order to really tap into prayer or to hear from God. Satan knows this and totally uses it against me. Recently I posted a video on distractions and in a nutshell, I said that sometimes the enemy uses good things to distract us. I have found myself in that dilemma right now. 


 So much has been going on. Within the last 4 days, we have moved to a new house, our oldest kids started school, our youngest started daycare and I started a new job! It wears me out just typing it!   I don't share this as a complaint, I just want you to have the whole picture. While enjoying and navigating through these new blessings, I have not taken the time to really sit and just be with God. I feel totally guilty about it. I'm not feeling very spiritual. 

One phrase I repeat to myself frequently is "faith is not about feelings". It is  hard to die to my flesh and not operate on how I feel but I  know that it is an attack.  Just because I don't "feel" it, doesn't change my position in Christ. I think about David...brother-man was an emotional wreck! Just read the Psalms and you'll see. I have no doubt that he got distrated and felt far from God because he didn't make enough time to sit quietly with Him.  Though he had highs and lows, it did not change God's mind about him. God used him mightily!  The good thing is that I have caught onto it, brought it before the Lord and asked the Holy Spirit to strengthen and help me. If you are in a place like me, please know that it is ok! Push through this season and don't stay stuck. Learn to give yourself grace, God does! 

Monday, August 15, 2016

My voice will be heard!

I sit here tonight just thinking back over the past couple of months and all that God has done. He has made ways and worked things out perfectly. Yet, I have allowed my voice to be stifled and I haven't shared a bit of it with you. Somehow, fear has crept in slowly choking me. Not only has my voice been quieted spiritually but also physically. In the last 6 weeks alone,  I have suffered from both laryngitis and strep throat for the first time in my life. Until today, I didn't really and truly realize that they were connected to my spiritual afflicion. I have a call of God on my life, and that scares the devil. If I can get my story and experiences out there to encourage or lead even one person to Christ, that is one too many in his opinion. He has done so many things to prevent me from sharing and to keep me in fear. I am learing that one way to combat the attack is to do what scares me. Don't let fear keep me bound. I am making a commitment to blog more frequently. I have so much content to share, so many words to type and plenty of pain to minister out of. I plan to clear out and tear down the house that fear had taken up residence in within my soul. There is freedom, peace and healing that is coming to me. And my prayer is that it is coming to you too. I apologize for my silence and I want to thank you for following along with my journey. You will be hearing from me again soon!