Monday, June 25, 2018

My Three Brides Week 26

REFLECTION:
"Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil." (Proverbs 4:25-27, ESV).

A DEEPER LOOK
Read
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

IMAGINE THIS

We’d butt heads, My girls and I; they’d make me mad, I’d make them cry.
Their many messes would make me sigh “Grow up already!” Then time did fly.
One’d climb trees, she’d go way too high.
One’d check the weather, before saying “Goodbye”.
Soon one was driving, and me oh my, the things she’d hit…would make her lie!
Too soon they were grown, no need now to try.
But I wish it back…that time gone by.

When our daughters grew up, we emotionally gave them away. Spiritually speaking, just as I helped dress my daughters on their big day, tightening up laces and fluffing vales, the Holy Spirit was sent to us to help prepare us as Christ’s bride.  He knows we’re gonna mess up from time to time. He knows that He’ll be spending time with us, preparing us to take steps on our own. And He’ll want to pull us tight, bring us back to safety. Shucks, maybe He’ll even sigh, shake His head, and wish we’d just stop making messes and get life right.
As a working-outside-the-home-too mom, there were plenty of days when I wished my girls would grow up, be old enough to help out, claim their independence…but when that time came…I questioned if I’d done it right: the mom thing.
June 10, 217, we gave our baby girl away. And although she’d been out of the house for two years, she was one of the hardest to let go. She asked me why I’d been crying for weeks, so I told her. “Jillian, I don’t think I was a good mom. I worked too much and feel like I wasn’t a good mom.” And she laughed in my face. Tell me again why I was crying over this kid?! Oh I know. She acts a lot like me. So she said to me point blank: “Momma! We fought the most and I’m your best kid. You did what you had to do. You raised us right.” I took that to mean I wasn’t too much of a screwed up mom. I reckon the kids knew the intentions of my heart…just as God knows the intent of His kids’ hearts too.
As His daughters, we’re going to make mistakes. And we’ll want a do-over. Ladies, the Holy Spirit is definitely our do-over Guy. He resides within us. He wants us to turn to Him.  To ask for advice. He expects us to look to Him for guidance. Do we ever make Him cry? I’m thinking yes. Does He love us through the hurt? He sure does. I know I need to reach out to Him more. Not just in difficult times, but just a short “I appreciate what You do for me, thank You”.

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

[Published:
2018-06-25
2017-06-24]

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Her Three Dollar Smile Week 25

Photo Credit D. Kelly @ Grant Co., WV

REFLECTION
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and  to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God” (Micah 6:8, NIV).


Question of the  day: How much is a genuine smile worth to you?

A DEEPER LOOK
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
This week’s verses stress ways to help bring a smile to the face of others and in the process, give ourselves a happy heart.

IMAGINE THIS
The truck is running a little rough. My son-in-law says it’s on its last last leg. I agree. Especially when I notice the fender rust.  I sighed and peered into the side mirror. Yes, George as the grand-kids named him, is looking pretty shabby. That was when I saw her. The lady waiting her turn in line. She had a look about her that made me sort of sad.  So I decided to smile into the mirror Thinking maybe she’d smile back.

Nothing. Her car was nice, really nice. Made me feel even worse for George’s lack of luster. But I knew he’d been a great truck for us - and now for this very reason, seemed like part of the family. I laughed at the thought. George is part of our family, he carries the water balloons to the family reunion, is a safe hiding place for the grand-kids, did a lot of work around the house, and he knows his way around some pretty good fishing spots. I symbolically patted his dash and pulled forward. I glanced back the lady's expression had not changed. She must be on her way to work too. As I placed my order, I thought maybe I’d buy her breakfast. So I did - no pomp and circumstance, just breakfast. 
As I pulled off, I caught a glimpse of her again. Her countenance had changed. She waved so I waved back. Then we gave each other a priceless, three dollar smile. Have you ever felt like you had nothing much to give to someone?

Sometimes we see someone that appears to have it all together. Dress. Car. House. But somehow we’ve managed to let their material blessings fool us. So we take inventory and determine that we have nothing of value to give. It occurred to me that just as I was judging this lady for lacking a smile, she may have been judging me too. Why had I decided to buy a total stranger breakfast? I wanted to see her smile.

Often times we forget that we are all on this earth together...for a purpose. To love one another without condition. To accept each other as humans first. The next time you are tempted to judge someone, especially yourself, remember that a simple smile or hello can make all the difference in the world. Why just this morning, at Walmart, a young cowboy and I had a conversation over choice of ink pens! And we both left smiling - he in his hat and boots and me in my little red dress and matching shoes! But I left feeling light hearted. It was a simple conversation yet one that I am willing to bet God was proud of.

MY THOUGHTS
Journal your thoughts here

Diversity is all around us, this week I encourage you to find someone different from you and share a smile and simple hello.
Ask yourself these questions:

*How can I step outside my comfort zone and allow God’s Holy Spirit to witness to someone a little ‘different’ from me?

*Is it hard for me to take the initiative in sharing something as simple as a smile to a stranger?

*What can I do to be Jesus to someone this week?

Today is___________ and I am feeling:_________________________

Published:

[2018-06-20;
2017-06-15]


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]


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