Saturday, April 30, 2016

This one's for the boys

My favorite, and I mean favorite, Bible stories are those that show Jesus' human traits. How He threw a holy fit in the temple courts. How He questioned Mary when she bossed Him around at a wedding. And the time He made breakfast for the boys...between His resurrection and ascension - He took time to cook breakfast for the boys...there is something about this one that simply makes my spirit smile.

I can visualize Him sitting on the bank, warming His hands over the fire. Cooking fish over a spit. I smile when I think of how excited the boys were when they finally realized who it was on the bank. When they realized that He loved them enough to share one last meal. Can you imagine Jesus and the boys sitting around a campfire fire, talking about work, fishing, boats, and life.  Maybe it's my country heart but this story makes me cry and my spirit soar.

One day, I will get to meet this Man face-to-face. But until then, whenever anyone asks me why I believe that Jesus loves me...well, for one thing, He made breakfast for the boys, surely that counts for something!

Have a great weekend y'all

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Words, they're just words

I woke up thinking about a goat. For those of you who know my fear of goats, you understand why using a goat as a source of inspiration is just plain weird! But God likes to use the simple things in life to teach us great lessons. So if He prompts me out of bed to write a blog using a stomping goat as my inspiration, well I ain't gonna argue the point: so, today, a goat it will be.

Apparently goats have very useful hooves. They use them to climb, dig, and tamp ground. When you cross the memorial bridge into Hardy County, WV, you can see exactly what I mean. There are several goats on the hillside, it's not as sheer a face as some photos I've seen, but for us locals, it's as good as I can think of.

Anyway, I woke up thinking, no, let me rephrase that, God woke me up earlier this morning with the visual of a goat tamping the ground and I heard "That's what you all do to one another" and I got the feeling that He wasn't pleased. You see, when we tamp something down, we cause it to either die and sprout (a seed) or die and remain (a squashed bug). Words are like seeds and their harsh intent kills.

The Bible says that words spoken in love are like golden apples in a silver bowl (Proverbs 25:11) . In other words, beautiful and nourishing. But the Bible also says that the wrong words can kill (Proverbs 18:21). So I guess the point of this post is to pose a question: "What are our words tamping down?"

Are we speaking words of life or death? Are we lifting others up or cutting them down? Are we using them as a sharp tool? Are we tamping others down to build ourselves up? I guess we should also remember that words spoken with good intent, tamped down in a sharp tone, can cause more harm than good.

I don't know why I was given this thought at 3AM, if it is for me or someone else, but one thing for sure, I can't get that image of a goat hooving the ground or God's displeasure out of my mind.

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Have a blessed Tuesday and I pray that each of us choose to use smart, gentle, kind words today. Words used to tamp down good seed.

Keep it real y'all, in Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

Thursday, April 21, 2016

They Called Him Oral

"If you want to be healed, stretch your hand toward your television set and repeat after me." 

I looked at mom as she stretched her hand toward the tv. I'm not saying I did, but I probably shook my head. I was getting ready for work. Night shift at Rockingham Poultry. It was 1986. It was hot. The trailer was stuffy. Mom was in pain. A broken ankle that wasn't set right in 1965 would swell up twice the normal size on any given day. Hot and humid or cold and damp, it didn't seem to matter. Her ankle was gonna swell.

This particular night, as she was praying along with Oral Roberts, I witnessed a miracle. Maybe it was how she was praying or the tv's blaring that got my attention, but I was looking at her ace-wrapped ankle. The bandage was too tight. It was leaving indents. I will never forget how that bandage slowly fell away from her ankle. There I stood, watching that thing appear to grow longer.  And in the remaining years of her life, I never-ever recall her complaining about her ankle. She was healed from that pain.

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So now it is my turn to ask believing for miracle healings. I am asking each of you to believe with me for a situation that needs resolved. A healing across our land. Across our families. A healing that can only come from God. No matter the specifics of the request- God knows all things- but I am asking you to lift our state's families up in prayer. For deliverance. For healing. For repentance. For eternity. I believe that now is the time for Christians to stop practicing Christianity and start living the faith walk. And I think we need to start right now. I will never be a Joyce Meyer or an Oral Roberts...but Dreama Kelly can still reach God's heart...and so can each of you.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

It's an Eagle!

This afternoon I was sitting under the hickory nut tree watching two birds soar
overhead. Assuming they were both buzzards, I focused on one and watched it swoop and glide.   My goal was to just watch those birds, tune out the traffic, and be still before God. To absorb as much of His majesty as I could- it seemed like a good goal to me!

After a couple minutes, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the other bird coming in closer so I turned to look directly at it - you know, shifted my focus a little. Suddenly, with the excitement of a child, I exclaimed "Oh my God, it is an eagle!" and I felt Him smile on me- because He knows how much I enjoy seeing them in the wild. And every once in a while, because God delights in the praise of His kids and cares about everything in our lives, He lets me enjoy seeing one fly over my own front yard! Now seriously, how awesome is that?! And I sat there with a huge smile on my face, watching both birds but from different angles. Now y'all know that I am always watching for life lessons from this ordinary life of mine so this was no exception. It dawned on me that because I was focused on the buzzard, a not-so-glamorous bird, I could have missed the eagle. And so it is with life.

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We can get so caught up in the dark things, that we don't see the bright things that our life has to offer. How many times do we miss Gods best because we're focused on the other? Notice that I said 'other' rather than bad? Well that's because sometimes we settle for the ordinary when God has the extraordinary just a little left or right of center...and all we have to do is shift our focus...just a little.

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Have a blessed Saturday. I am going to ditch this tablet and resume my quiet time...I may be missing something spectacular!!

In Christ, Coach Kelly

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Psalms, Milk, Cookies, and Sin

So John and I have made some lifestyle changes this year. Mostly a change in eating habits, recipe modification, and watching every calorie (I promise Laurie, I haven't forgotten you or Plexus!). But sometimes, I just want something sweet (or a Mt. Dew)! Tonight after supper, I started craving a no bake cookie. Instead of  walking around wanting something I shouldn't have, I switched up the recipe and made a fifty-nine calorie cookie, which I totally enjoyed. And BAM! my craving was satisfied. All I had to do was give in and this ole flesh was easily appeased by a quarter-sized cookie-wanna-be!

As I was cleaning up, it occurred to me that my little cookie was a lot like those 'little sins' we talk about. Although the cookie still had calories and carbs, its size made me feel like it was okay to enjoy it. Now I am not saying it was a sin for me to eat that cookie - but if one leads to another and to another...well, suddenly it becomes a big cookie and my self-control is in full backslide mode! But back to sin...

A few years ago, I asked my brother, Fred, about big vs. little sins and he told me there is no such thing - that sin is sin. It all keeps us away from God and causes us to hurt others; and I agree with him.

The problem with eating that little cookie (or enjoying little sins) is that one by one they deaden our sensitivity to what is good for us. And in the case of sin, what we become dead to is the voice of the Holy Spirit...those little sins eventually carve a path for more and more sin with less and less conviction.  Tonight, I gave in to my temptation and it felt good...but what about tomorrow? Will I wake up, check my bathroom scale and groan? Will the true colors of that little thing show up there?

How about you? What's your little thing?  Gossip? White lies? Disobedience? Alcohol? Drugs? Infidelity? Lack of self-control? Well, if sin is sin, I guess we're all in the same boat huh? Oh...but by the grace of God, Jesus made a way for us to be redeemed - forgiven - accepted - and He loves us no matter what we are bound by! Don't let those little, or not so little, things drown out His voice...
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If you want to do something about that little problem, I found that Psalm 51 (yes the entire thing!) is a perfect prayer to send heavenward; and if Psalm 51 was milk, then Psalm 139:23-24 would have to be its cookie! Good by themselves but even better together!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Please breathe on me...again.

I am a firm believer in self-reliance, self-control, and self-development. I honestly believe that each of us should develop ourselves into the best version of "us" that we can be.  To me, it just makes since.

But...according to the Bible, it is only through Christ that I can become the person I  want to be. And that scares me. Not that God can't mold me and form me to look more like His Son but that somehow, the picture I have of myself is not who I really am. I worry that the me I see and the 'real me' are two different beings. That my reasons for doing what I do is selfish or for personal gain.

And this makes me wonder if I'm just going through the motions of being a Christian; that somehow I am outside of God's will doing life on my own.  I can't fully explain it but honestly, it scares me to think that I am missing something. That the works I am doing are being done under my own strength and knowledge, for my own satisfaction. And not by His power or for His mission.

Today our Pastor preached from Ezekiel 37 (the dry bones passage). As he talked about how God breathed life into us (Gen. 2:7) and how Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit onto us (John 20:19-22), I felt an urgency to be 'breathed on again,' to feel renewed, refreshed, awakened.

Have you ever felt like this? Like you just need something to confirm that you are where you're supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing? Maybe I'm just having a moment, I dunno...but right now, I need a wet/dry fleece moment.

Prayers for y'all to keep it real and that your life will be blessed,

In Christ,

Coach Kelly

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Your Life...Your Story...Write It.

"I can still see the look in the teacher's eyes as she tore up my spelling test. I was horribly embarrassed and humiliated, but mostly ashamed. But to be honest, I don't know if I was ashamed because I was caught cheating or of my undocumented, but still legit, learning handicap. Feel sorry for me yet? Or maybe disgusted?  Well, hold on and then decide..." - Coach Kelly
I am a firm believer that each of us have a role to play toward promoting God's kingdom; that everyone has something in life that can become a stumbling block or a stepping stone, hindrance or motivation.

Each of us are presented with unique problems. We can allow them to define us or enhance our character. The Bible has a lot of stories where the least likely candidate is selected to fulfill God's plan. Stories where God uses the weak things to stump the wise. Stories where He uses the most ordinary folks to become extraordinary characters. There is even a story about talking a donkey for crying out loud!

For me, it was a learning handicap, a few bad decisions, and life in general. But instead of allowing these things to hold me back indefinitely, by the grace of God, I chose to use these things  as tools. Tools which helped me put a few trophies on my wall. Tools which most recently helped me write a book. Tools which, at the risk of being ridiculed, I share with you good folks hoping to encourage you to keep moving forward.

I mean, seriously, if God will use a talking donkey, surely He will use us too! So what's your story? Are you using it to help others succeed or are you allowing it to hold you back? Don't get me wrong, I am still ashamed of some past mistakes, but instead of allowing them to define who I am, I have repented of them and will continue to use them as stepping stones. As a firm foundation of learning experiences so to it's "Your Life...Your Story...Write It!" and trust God to do what you can't!

Have a blessed Tuesday everyone -

In Christ, forgiven, blessed, and willing to be used for His kingdom - Coach Kelly

He knows the Stars by Name

Photo Credit: Dolly Sods Facebook Group - Unknown Hey y’all.       After journaling morning prayers and reading a devotion, Psalm 147:4 ca...