Sunday, December 23, 2012

eat.




There are few things as instinctual and natural as when I see my almost 3-week-old son squirm, search and wail for milk, even at all hours of the night. He didn’t have to be taught this. He didn’t have to discipline himself to achieve it.

[From the day he was born, he craved milk.]
                

“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby…” 1 Peter 2:2

I am born again. I am desperate for my Daddy,, and He is so faithful to feed, nourish and sustain me. but just like I can’t force my son to eat, our Father can only give us what we need to grow to the degree that we desire it and put ourselves in the position to receive it.

Our passion, love and desire for the Word, His voice and His presence should be just as natural when we are born again and adopted as His children. We should be desperate. We should crave it from the moment we wake up. We should be in need of it continuously throughout the day,, and even through the night.

So I ask you the same question that He is asking me,,

[[What does your hunger look like?]]

                                    our spiritual lives depend on it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

there is no "dry season".



“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing…


For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert.
The parched ground shall become a pool,
And the thirsty land springs of water…”
                                                      Isaiah 35:1; 6-7


[[Abundance replaces lack]]
What was dry and useless before becomes well watered and fruitful.


If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37b-38

         River {potamos}-  one that constantly flows from a fountain; figuratively, the greatest abundance
           
from the greek word {
pinĊ}-to drink; figuratively, to receive into the soul what serves to refresh strengthen, nourish it unto life eternal


I am the
Fountain of Living Waters.
Jeremiah 18:13.


[abide in Me.drink deeply.walk in My abundance instead of your lack]

Thursday, December 20, 2012

be reminded.





“I am in control of your life”.

            when you prayed for Me to take your life, offering yourself up to Me, surrendering yourself fully,, I took those prayers seriously.

every prayer for My will to be done, for My direction, clarity and wisdom to be given, for Me to go before you,, they were not taken lightly.

when that exchange of your life for Mine was made, it was real.

I am sovereign. I move on your behalf. I have led you. I am leading you. I will continue to lead you. I have you on the path that I have chosen for you. I am over all your circumstances. nothing happens in your life outside of My doing or allowance.


believe it.
receive the peace I give.




“As for God, His way is perfect…”  Psalm 18:30

Friday, December 14, 2012

Let Me be this for you.


  I am sustaining Love.
 
Words that presently echo through my mind and soul.
He whispers them.
Sweetly.
Strongly.
Persistently
Faithfully.

Sustain-
to support, hold or bear;
bear the weight of;
to bear a burden or change;
endure without giving way or yielding, as under trial or affliction;
to keep going;
to supply with the necessities of life;
to provide for;
to support by aid or approval;
to uphold as just or right;
to confirm;
to comfort;
to defend;
to favor;
to keep from falling; to save;
to stand by; to uphold;
to validate;
to abide;
to encounter;
to know;
to live with;
to serve;
to benefit;
to assist;
to avail;
to gratify;
to guide;
to nourish;
to be present;
to provide sustenance;
to maintain.


Let Me be these things for you.

Monday, July 30, 2012

His heart.


We ask “why?”
We long for… answers.
We feel entitled to them.

Our souls begin to doubt, our minds are fogged with confusion, and hearts remain unhealed, as the simple yet poisonous whisper consumes every part of us.

Deceived into thinking that answers will bring peace. That explanations will bring healing. That understanding will bring release. 

Forgetting that those things,, can only be found in Him.


“Why?”
The question that erodes the soul.


I write this with a mother’s heart. With a heart so flooded with Divine love for my son,, a love so pure that it can only come from the Ultimate Father. A Love that’s so overwhelming. A Love that’s so powerful.
As my child grows within me, I almost desire that he would stay within my womb,, my only real hope of protecting him. Keeping him from being exposed to and experiencing anything that would harm or hurt him. Protecting him from the pains, hurt, heartbreak, sin and darkness of this world. As my belly grows, so does this intensity within me to only give my child good, pure, joyful, beautiful things; the things of God.

And I know that as we raise him, he won’t be able to always understand the things we allow and don’t allow him to do. From his limited child perspective, he won’t be able to see the fullness of certain situations or the bigger picture and end results, like getting shots at the doctor or not being able to only eat candy. I know in his mind he will only see a tiny glimpse of what’s actually going on, and all that will matter to him is what he’s experiencing in the moment, not what I’m preventing or equipping him for in the future. I don’t expect it to make sense to him, but I do expect that he’ll know the truth of my heart and love and nature towards him. That when things don’t make sense, he can trust me because he knows me and how I feel about him. That he’ll be able to live and grow carefree, in full assurance of who is taking care of him, and providing for him, and going before him.


And that’s when God showed me.

In an outpouring of His love, God showed me that His heart is infinitely times greater for us, for me. that He desires only good things, the best things,, the things of life, love, freedom, peace, joy and beauty for me. that He weeps when my heart aches and when I’m exposed to things that I shouldn’t be.

“I am not withholding any good thing from you”

The words penetrated the very depths of my heart and soul, clearing the fog that plagued me for years.
He had given me the most accurate, pure, whole, clear picture and understanding of His nature. The reality of His heart towards me, how He feels about me, how He looks at me.

I didn’t need Him to show me the answers, or the reasons, behind all the “whys?” 
I needed Him to show me Himself.

The root of my doubts, and questioning, and what ifs, and confusion, wasn’t a lack of understanding circumstances or decisions, it was a lack of understanding God’s heart towards me and who He really is.
When we see Him, we’re able to let go of our limited, finite perspective and walk in the freedom of simply trusting Him.

I no longer need answers, I know what His heart is behind everything that He brings or that He allows. And the things that come from simply living in this broken world, I know He can work those together for my good as well.

He desires me to walk in the same trusting freedom that I long to give to my children. May we not allow the things of this world and philosophies of man to strip us of our spiritual innocence and ability to live as children who know their Father.

So I encourage you to pray,, not for answers,, but to see and understand His heart for you, in whatever you’re walking through.
He is guarding you, He is leading you, He is keeping you, He is protecting you, He is withholding no good thing from you.





-

Kelsey






Thursday, May 24, 2012

I am now ready to be offered.




"This dandelion has long ago surrendered its golden petals, and has reached its crowning stage of dying - the delicate seedglobe must break up now - it gives and gives till it has nothing left...There is no sense in wrenching: it stands ready, holding up its little life, not knowing when or where of how the wind that bloweth where it listeth may carry it away. It holds itself no longer for its own keeping, only as something to be given: a breath does the rest, turning the "readiness to win"  into the "performance" (2 Cor. 8:11). And to a soul that through "deaths oft" has been brought to this point, even acts that look as if they must involve an effort, become something natural, spontaneous, full of a "heavenly involuntariness", so simply are they the outcome of the indwelling love of Christ."

                                                  -Lilias Trotter

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Your last breath filled my lungs.


Saved from death.
Awakened by Your breath.
Freed from these chains. i
      run.
        Run from the sickness, the pain and the strife.
        Run from the filth that covered my life.
Run from the sorrows, insecurities and doubt.
Run from the emptiness that filled me day in and day out.
            Run from the addictions, sin, and skeleton bones known as me.
     Run from the "pleasures" that nailed Your hands to that tree.

Led out of darkness. Surrounded by glorious Light.
Bound by grace. Clothed in pure white.
You call me Your daughter as I wear forgiveness as a crown on my head
Wrapped in Your presence, overwhelmed by Your love,
You sweetly whisper, it was for you that My blood was shed.

Lungs breathe in deep, Holy Spirit flooding my soul.
Walking in newness of life as I give You control.
 Your streams of living water well up and overflow
I feel Your face shine upon me,
Radiant, aglow.

What manner of Love is this, What pure jealousy!
That it could move Deity to die for one such as me.
              Tears of thankfulness fall, my lips sing forth Your praise.
        Truth penetrates my heart afresh as I realize all that You gave
All that's within me rejoices,
I'm set free.
I am Yours.
       He tore the veil, unlocked the prison.
 It is finished, Christ is risen!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

-photo-synthesis.




This week’s Swallowed up in Light photo.

The moments when rays of sun dance around you. The presence of the Divine breaks through. Warmth floods. And we’re swallowed up in His Light.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The secret we must learn.



Haiti. Kenya. Uganda. The people, the places, the poverty, the love, the need, the hope. My heart is in these places.

I live in America.
[[I’m relearning how to live in America.]]


How do you live in Suburbia, USA faced with materialism, consumerism and extreme affluence when you’re no longer ignorant to the need and conditions of millions around the world? When you’ve held those bare-bottomed babies who have no parents? When the statistics and facts are real faces and memories that replay in your mind daily?

This is the situation that I’ve been given. This is the season I’ve been placed in. This is the challenge that I’ve taken. 

“Once I’m living and serving the Lord overseas, then it’ll be easier to be fully surrendered and focused on Him. Then I won’t be so attached to the things of this world. Then my life will be more honoring to Jesus.”
                  It’s been easy for me to think like this. Even find comfort and justification in this. But this is not what I am called to.

I’m learning how to honor Jesus by how I respond to my circumstances. I’m encouraged that Paul had to learn this too.

{I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Phil 4:11b-14}.

These verses have been pure gold to me in this season.
We can see from them that:
a).There is a secret to living in both abundance and in need-->It's contentment.
b)Paul had to learn how to be content; it doesn’t just come natural.
                  c). Paul had to live this theology out practically just as we do. He had been financially well off, and he   had been financially needy. In both situations, he learned how to honor the Lord.
                  d) Learning how to correctly face “plenty” is just as important as responding correctly in our need.
                  e) Neither financial circumstance was more “holy” or “spiritual” than the other.

And finally, we see from Philippians 4:13, that Paul learned and lived these things by the strength of the Lord.
Sadly, we’ve taken this verse way out of context. And honestly, prior to studying this, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you off hand which verses came before Phil. 4:13 or the context that it’s in. “Many people take this verse out of context and use it to reinforce a “triumphalist” or “super-Christian” mentality, instead of seeing that the strength of Christ in Paul’s life was manifest in his ability to be content”, in abundance and in need.
 
It is possible to honor the Lord with our money. To not have it be our focus or even our concern. To not view it as our own but as the Lord’s. It possible to live detached from it, to truly only steward it.

{Labor not to be rich… Proverbs 23:4a}
{Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy… 1 Timothy 1:16}
{The love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things…1Timothy 6:10-11a}
{No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24}
                  {For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
                  And having food and clothing let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6:7-8}

It is possible to keep ourselves from idols (1 John 5:21). It is possible to follow His Word and not the media. It is possible to not compromise. It is possible to really live as one in this world but not of it, as one merely passing through. It is possible to not always “need” something more. It is possible to be content. It is possible to not be distracted by these temporary riches, affections and comforts. It is possible to rely on Him and turn to Him and trust in Him, and not our resources. It is possible to be detached from “the American dream”. 
He will teach us, He will strengthen us. 

-
Kelsey

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

the day i met you.





i like to think about the day i met you,,

there was nothing special about it, no excited expectation as i awoke.
it was just...normal.average.mundane. one more day to somehow get through. 
i put on that smile that masked my brokenness to the world,,
and somehow held onto that one little string of hope that i kept locked away deep inside--
that maybe something would change. maybe everyone around me would change. maybe i would change.

i wasn't expecting it. i hadnt planned it.
its clear now that you did.
sure, i had heard your name here and there,
everyone had their own opinion about you,,i had my own suspicions.

you were always around,, i paid no attention to you.
 i'll be honest- i just didn't see you.
i never thought about you. i never desired to talk to you. i never really cared. 
i never made the time. i never put forth the effort.
you weren't what i was looking for.

i like to think about that day,,

your timing was perfect. everything else since i could remember seemed to lead up to and prepare me.,
for this one day. this one moment.
you introduced yourself to me--you already knew my name,,who i was..
something about you brought down all my walls.
just being around you caused my heart to move within my chest. 
it was easy to breathe again. 
 it was as if you were shining. you were full of light. 
the darkness began to fade. 
i was starting to see.
 your intentions were pure. you werent trying to manipulate,, unlike every other lover. 
your heart was all love towards me. 
it washed over me.
i was a mess. covered in filth. you were covered in white, radiant.  
i had nothing to offer. you had everything to give. 
unconditional love was fleshed out before my eyes.
you held me. your hand was in mine. every ache and longing was suddenly satisfied and overflowing in your embrace. 
i just knew i was yours.

 our conversation wasn't long. you knew exactly what to say,, 
your words brought life.freedom.
im not sure if i even said anything back. 
you knew how i felt though. 

the moment ended. the tears did not. 
you had broken through.
my eyes had been opened. i was able to see you. 
memories flooded my mind,, 
every moment i had ever felt comforted, you were there. 
the days when i felt warmth and a genuine smile formed on my face,, it was because of you. 
even the days that were heavy and dark, you were with me. 
every moment that brought me to this place of brokenness was you.
all the little love notes you left me over the years were clearly revealed. 

my pursuer. 

i knew what i had to do. i couldn't go back, things couldn't stay the same. 
they didn't have to.
i didn't want to live another day without your presence. without your words. without you. 
i went after you. i followed. i began to run. only your wooing allowed me to. 

you pursued,
you enabled me to respond,, 
you continue to pursue,,
you continue to enable me to respond.
 
a couple years have gone by now,, 
and when i start to think that our relationship is dependent upon me,,
and striving takes over,
and pride creeps in to make me think i somehow earned your love, 
and when discouragement and condemnation lie to me, making me feel unworthy,
i like to think about the day i met you.

the day that things began to change forever--
the day i didnt see coming--
the day you planned all along--

 the day i met you, Jesus.


-
Kelsey



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Through African Eyes



It’s been just over a week since Africa.
There’s just something about being somewhere completely unfamiliar and unlike what you’re used to that creates reflection and growth.
There’s just something about Africa that opened my eyes to how much I have to learn: about life, about Love, about God.

When I close my eyes, I can still so vividly see them; beautiful, radiant faces fill my mind. The faces of the little African boys and girls who taught me more about Jesus, His joy, gratitude, hope, and unconditional love than any preacher or seminary professor ever could.

How can one such as I, born into education, prosperity, health, a stable family and endless opportunity, have more to learn about Love, purpose, and life from those born into poverty, disease, a broken dying family, rejection, and abandonment?

Because for these little ones, the temporary riches, affections, and comforts of this world that so easily distract me don’t blur their view of Jesus.

Because it is written that blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Because when the human capacity of love forsakes and rejects, the unfailing divine Love of God is that much more real.

Because Jesus uses the weak things of this world. 


                                                 {Beautiful Esther,, Photo credit- Becca Dillon}


Sit in a room full of almost 200 beautiful little African bodies. Each one with a story. Stories of hurt, rejection, death, hunger. Siblings dying of starvation before their eyes. Parents wasting away from HIV/AIDS. Stuck in the web of poverty. Sleeping on cold, hard floors. Put out on the streets. Left to fend for themselves. Feeling so unwanted, so uncared for, so unloved. Hopelessness within them, and hopelessness everywhere around them.
Sit in this room, and hear each voice sing praises that fill the throne room. Listen to their hearts cry out of how His Love is higher than any mountain, deeper than any ocean, and wider than any continent. Listen to them speak words that cover you in conviction and leave you grasping for some genuine understanding of what they know. “I’m glad my mother died because it means that I know Jesus and His Word now”. Feel their joy, contentment and gratitude. See their love and fulfillment.
Sit in this room, and something within you cannot help but change.

Be poured into for 5 days by a 14 year old girl who’s parents have died. Be greeted by her precious smile and open arms each morning. Have her hand in yours for hours simply because she doesn’t want to let you go. Be welcomed into Africa as if it were your home. Be unconditionally loved by her as if you had known her your whole life. Receive beautiful letters of her admiration, love, care and gratefulness of you. Be called “Mum” by her. Hold her in your arms, in the dark on the dirt of your last night there, as she sobs, barely making out the words that she doesn’t want you to leave. Be loved by this girl with absolutely everything that she has, and something within you cannot help but change. 


New Perspective.


Africa has heightened my understanding of how small I am. How our love falls so short when it’s not His Agape Love. How limited my perspective is. How in need I am, and we all are, of Him. How much higher His ways are than mine. How much I don’t have it all figured out.  How much I have let my worldly and physical affluence rob me of spiritual richness.



This place. These people. These children. They have shown me more fully how to love. They’ve increased my desire to love those who I encounter today with absolutely everything within me. to love deeper. To love farther. To love more purely. To love more selflessly. To love more passionately. To hold nothing back and show them His Agape Love that requires nothing in return and is not at all dependent upon them. To love everyone I meet just as these children have loved me. To ultimately give Him full freedom to love through me.
                  However that may look.


They’ve increased my desire to run. To run harder. To run faster. To run straighter. To run farther. To run more passionately. To ultimately give Him full freedom to run through me. 
                  However that may look.


“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run…looking unto Jesus…” Hebrews 12:1
        
         This verse is my prayer, my desire, my encouragement from the Lord for this year. To love deeply. To run passionately. To live fully. And allowing Him to remove everything in my life that distracts, deters, or hinders Him from doing that through me.