Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Encouraging Spring Rains week 24

Photo Credit: D. Kelly @ Grant Co., WV

REFLECTION
"Oh Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you." (Psalm 38:9, ESV).

Question of the day: What are my good days contingent upon?
A DEEPER LOOK
Read:
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
&

This week’s verses remind us that God is in control, we’re merely managers of the time He gives.


IMAGINE THIS
It was another rainy Monday. We’d had an abundance of rain and folks were grumbling. The old saying ‘if you can’t beat them join them' came to mind, so I refreshed myself by looking up verses on rain. We’d had enough now Lord. Send us some sunny days.

During certain seasons of excess, enough is enough. We long for a break. We ask God to take it away, make it stop.


But the 'good' seasons? Those we want it to continue...We want them to go on. To last. In nature, it is easy to see the results of too much. Too much sun during times of drought. Too much rain in times of flooding. Too much wind during severe storms. During times of natural excess we long for balance. We hope for it. And when we get what we’ve asked for – before too long, we often forget to be thankful. Like we’ve earned balance, restoration.


During this springtime of encouragement, we need to take a break from daily life to consider where our hope comes from. Does it come from seasons of excessive 'good times' or does it go deeper? In seasons of lack, hurt, sadness...where does our hope come from then?


This is a question each of us must answer for ourselves. We cannot depend upon people, circumstances, or a particularly 'good' life season.

MY THOUGHTS
Journal your thoughts here

The Bible tells us that our hope comes from the promise of eternal life in Christ Jesus. 
That when we are grounded, rooted, connected to God, and have the Holy Spirit residing within, then even in times of sadness, when life isn't all that good, then we still have hope, restored peace, and joy.
What does this mean to you? How can you feel the Holy Spirit during those not so good days?


In Christ with love and compassion - Coach Kelly
#YourLifeCoachingWV #BeyondTheMirror

Posted:
[2018-06-12;
2017-05-04]

Friday, June 8, 2018

Small Town USA

Photo Credit: D. Kelly, Grant Co., WV


It's Friday night. Bumping into old friends as we scurry to keep up with the youngins and find a seat outside since it's not raining (whoo-whoo!).

IT'S...

The last night of Vacation Bible School. 
Youth League baseball and T-ball playoffs.
A Little Miss pageant in town, too.

I cried at VBS...when the week's offering went to the family of a young boy that lost his life this same week. And no, the child was not associated with the church, but here in small town USA...they're all our children.

I laughed at the Dairy Queen...when children covered in ballfield dust stood shoulder-to-shoulder with those in pageant dresses and suits. Their dripping ice cream forgotten for a moment...as together they pleaded for passerbyers to honk their horns...for no other reason than to give everyone a smile. And it worked. Tired moms and dads smiled, exhausted coaches and grandparents smiled, passing motorists smiled, bikers revved up their engines, and the kids? Their chorus of laughter and "do it agains" drowned out the blasting horns. We were making memories without even knowing it.

SO...

Here in Smalltown USA...it's the little things that make a world of difference...giving a donation in the act of compassion...Honking our horns at children to make them smile...and then smile ourselves...I don't have anything to compare life here too...but I have to say...I like my smalltown USA.






I've Got Nothin' week 23

Photo Credit: D. Kelly @ Pendleton Co., WV



REFLECTION
"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11, KJV).

Question of the day: have you ever felt empty inside? Like no matter how hard you try, you cannot feel the Holy Spirit or God’s presence? If so, this post is for you (and me).

A DEEPER LOOK
Read:
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday



This week’s verses remind us that we have a purpose and even when we can’t feel God near, He’s right where He’s always been.
IMAGINE THIS
John Anderson’s ‘Just a Swingin’’ came to mind as I sat down at the keyboard. And I almost smiled – almost. Steam was rising from my cup; the aroma should help wake me up. Time to get to work. Fingers posed…and then…I’ve got nothin’. Nothing. No words of encouragement, no sputtering of the Holy Spirit in my gut. I honestly felt empty, done, weak, tired.

Can I use that? Can sharing nothing be an inspiration to my readers?
Me: “Maybe I’ll skip this week – there is a lot going on – surely folks will understand…”
God: “Just finish the race, don’t give up because you feel empty…remember My Word.”
Me: "Well alrighty then!"

So I sipped my coffee and watched the sun rise. Praying for something on a day when I’ve got nothing.

+++
My writer’s notebook has nuggets of inspiration stashed inside waiting to come to life. But nothing I felt inspired to share. This particular morning, I had nothing in my head or heart. To make matters worse, neither God nor my notebook’s were speaking to me either. My job, my ministry, relies upon guidance of the Holy Spirit. And for some reason, this particular morning, I didn’t feel Him. He wasn't giving me the help I so needed. To be honest, I felt depleted of encouragement.

+++
Can you relate? Have you ever felt like giving up? Like everything is falling apart around you and you don’t know if you should keep up the race or just give up? Personally, that has been my mindset more times than I care to admit. This time, I actually recounted the legs of my Christian race. The endless hours of teaching. The leadership I shared. Raising my children in church. All for what? If this is the result of all that time spent…why do I keep putting myself through this?

I wondered if I should just give up. Quit running this race. Just live life and let everything else run its own course. And then, finally!, I heard that still small voice reminding me of Paul's comments about running the race set before us. Encouraging us to keep going and renew ourselves through the Word. I guess Paul felt like this too from time to time too right? Why else would he have written the solution down?

+ + +
Many of us are questioning the necessity of this race, so I reckon it’s time to remind myself that God has a plan for each of our lives and that if I give up – if you give up – someone dear to us may quit as well…and then what?

Does the team suffer? Will others pick up our slack? We’re saved and heaven bound so why does it matter if we share our faith? Could it be because our salvation is ours but the race we run is for everyone else?

Maybe it’s on those days when I have nothing to give, that’s the day I need to renew my strength, seek the God of Hebrews 12 and ask Him to “strengthen these hands that hang down.”

I’m sure I am not alone here. That many of you have felt the same way. Maybe even today! My mom used the expression “pull yourself together and get at it.” I think I’ll finish my coffee, enjoy the early morning sun on my face, and get at it. Maybe I have something to say after all, Maybe, just maybe, I can finish this race..
MY THOUGHTS
Journal your thoughts here

This week, let’s think about ways we can up our game – finish this race with confidence. Maybe it is to find a different place for quiet reflection. Reread the Psalms. Or regroup by taking a personal day!

Today is___________________ and I am feeling:

My thoughts:
~

In Christ with love and compassion 
~Coach Kelly
#YourLifeCoachingWV #BeyondTheMirror

PUBLISHED:
[2018-06-08;
2017-06-03]



Friday, June 1, 2018

It's About the Fight Week 22

Photo Credit D. Kelly @Hardy Co., WV

REFLECTION
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, ...” (Psalm 91:1-16,ESV).
Photo credit D. Kelly @ Hardy Co., WV

A DEEPER LOOK
Read:
OT: Isaiah 54:17; 2 Kings 6:15-19; Psalm 37:12-16
NT: Revelations 3:15-16; 2 Timothy 3:5; Matthew 7:21; Ephesians 6:12

IMAGINE THIS
Have you ever considered what it means to fight the good fight?
You know, take a stand for what you believe, and fight God’s way?

The older I get the easier it becomes to shrug my shoulders and let things run their natural course. After all, God is in control and He knows the beginning from the end and all that.

I guess what I’m trying to say, regarding my personal beliefs and Godly convictions…is that if my shrugged shoulders and rolled eyes indicate my mindset…I question just how close I am to becoming lukewarm. I’ve read the book of Revelations…so being lukewarm is a scary thought.

Then there is Matthew’s recount of Christ’s sermon on the mount.
Once again, scary stuff for a believer who may or may not be living in a state of “holy complacency.”

Recently, I was working on a Sunday school lesson and the thought came to me that when all hell is coming against you, look up and remember that the King of heaven is fighting  for you.
But who is fighting for Him?
Have we become a church of lukewarm Christians too lazy to fight for the cause of Christ? Or too busy to take a stand, share our faith, be open about Jesus, and lead those we love toward salvation?

Are we willing to fight?



But then again, when we do fight, do we even know who or why?
Imagine standing toe-to-toe with Satan, armed only with God’s word. Imagine him presenting everything he has on us, all our hidden sins, our deepest blemishes, our darkest thoughts. How do we defend ourselves against these damning facts? How can we fight against him when he has such dirt on us?

Now consider this…do we really know who we are fighting? More to the point…do we know who is he fighting? If we are the lost causes he wants us to believe we are, why is he fighting so hard against us? What does he stand to gain when we fail?

Maybe it isn’t us he is really fighting. Maybe we are simply caught in the cross-hairs of a spiritual battle or power struggle. Think about it: Christians believe that if we have a relationship with Jesus, sought forgiveness, and believe Jesus is who the Bible credits Him to be, then we are heaven bound. If this is the case, and I believe it is, then surely Satan is fighting us to collect souls as trophies. Souls he can only gain when we stop fighting the good fight. If we know that eternity is at stake, why are we so quick to give up? What are we afraid of? Or are we too tired, too lazy, too comfortable, to keep fighting the good fight?

MY THOUGHTS
Journal your thoughts here
“He who started a good work in you…” Consider the impact of these things on today’s Christian: depression; anxiety; distractions; spiritual vs. carnal living; the whole armor of God; using what’s in your hand (Moses had a stick, Gideon had a jar, Balaam had a donkey, David had a bone, Esther had a pretty face, Abigail had a lot of food, Rahab had a cord…).


Have a blessed week y'all -
In Christ with love and compassion
Coach Kelly,
#YourLifeCoachingWV
#BeyondSeriesBeyondTheMirror

Published on:
[6/01/2018;
5/26/2017]


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Midnight is Coming Week 21

Photo Credit: D. Kelly @ Grant Co., WV


REFLECTION 
"But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed." (Acts 16:25-26, KJV)

A DEEPER LOOK
Read

Monday 
Tuesday 
Wednesday 
Thursday 
Friday 
Saturday 
Sunday 

IMAGINE THIS

If it can go wrong, it is going wrong.
Can't sleep.
Can't get caught up.
Nothing is the way I want it to be.
I need a break, a reprieve.
Surely enough is enough.
And it isn't just me, but my whole family - biological, work, church.
You name it, we’ve faced it.
Folks everywhere are going through something and wanting out.
But as Christians – followers of Christ – we should expect this stuff right?
Jesus went through a lot of dark hours, yet He persevered. Held on. Kept going.
He even sent us the Holy Spirit so we could too…
Nevertheless, the time is now.


Quite frankly: I need a break.

+++
Have you ever considered the power of midnight? At this hour, under the disguise of darkness, as one day ends, a brand new one begins. A. Brand. New. Day. I was reading Acts 16 when I suddenly experienced an ah-ha moment. I realized that midnight was right around the corner. If I trust God and humble myself to accept the things I cannot change, He’ll get me through. Through – not over – in order to get where He is leading me. And I’m going to need a few things for the excursion: perseverance, praise, even these chains.

So I can either kick off my shoes, prop up my feet and wait it out; or I can roll up my sleeves and work through it with Him. In other words, I can either stop or keep going...either way, the journey is mine to take. 

+ + +
Paul and Silas found themselves beaten, bound, and locked up behind bars. They were surrounded by others in similar situations but instead of midnight being the end of a bad day, it became a new day of possibilities. In prison chains they realized the power of midnight praise. The others listened and waited, Paul and Silas sang out to God. They were seizing the opportunity to praise Him. And God heard their plea. It was through the power of midnight praise that chains were broken, the ground literally shook beneath their feet and prison doors burst open. When those doors flew open, so did doors of opportunity. They were all free. Free to flee, free to make new friends, free to encourage broken souls, and free to share the story of Christ. Interestingly enough, they all remained. Right there in the middle of their darkest hour, everyone under the sound of praise knew that something spectacular had happened… all because Paul and Silas had chosen midnight as the perfect time to vocalize their faith. 

+ + +
Unlike most of our darkest hours, theirs was a literal prison. But ours? Well ours probably looks more like negative dollar signs, a clock winding down, family problems, or deteriorating health. There are so many things we recognize as our darkest hour. Horrible things. However, these things always morph into midnight...a new beginning. A new day. Sadly, what we need to accept, is that we have to experience hard times, for ourselves, in order to get through them. Easy? Nope, not at all. Do they it hurt? Yes, definitely. My advice?Hang on to our faith and the promises of God. Then just keep going. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our midnight is on its way. Through the power of Emmanuel - God with us – we have hope. Hope that morphs into faith and faith that transforms into sight. Hope strengthened though praising God in our darkest hours…and we can be thankful that midnight is coming. 


MY THOUGHTS
Journal your thoughts here

Each to us have to determine how we are willing to spend our time in those midnight hours. Consider yours this week - and create a prayerful plan of action. 

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

#BeyondTheMirror #YourLifeCoachingWV

[Published:
2018-05-23
2017-05-16]

Ordinary Blessings

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace."
 (John 1:17,KJV).
+++
Day One: technology 
Day Two: yestetday's rain
Day Three: work
+++
This week I'm making it a personal goal to celebrate ordinary blessings. 
+++
Just take a moment each 
morning to see the good in real life. Nothing huge that screams "Girl, you are blessed!" I just want to 
reflect on things I often take for granted.
+++
Will this make my problems go away? Certainty not! But when I refocus, I can see that life has a lot of 
good, little things, that make the not so little, not so good, things more bearable.
+++
"When we take time to focus on God at work in our everyday life, we can see that we're truly blessed."
+++

Be blessed today y'all,
In Christ with love and compassion, 
Coach Kelly, 

#CelebrateOrdinaryBlessings
#YourLifeCoachingWV 


Encouraging Spring Rains week 24

Photo Credit: D. Kelly @ Grant Co., WV REFLECTION "Oh Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.&quo...