Greater Works

Have you ever made a list of the miracles Jesus did in the Bible? It is amazing. Jesus was for the people. He was caring and so willing to heal—when it was met with faith.

After all of these incredible miracles, Jesus made this bold statement:

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12 NIV)


You will do even GREATER THINGS…”

At the time I saw this verse, I had hardly seen any miracles, much less greater things. My mom was sick, and I wanted her to be well. I prayed. I asked. I begged God to heal my mom.

Its really hard to have faith for God to heal cancer when you havent even begun to trust Him with a headache or a cold. There is all this fear that creeps in when you hear the word cancer. Fear and faith dont make great companions.

How do we see even greater things than the works Jesus did in the Bible?

Start with the little things:

  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Cramps
  • Earache

Stop trusting in medicine and home remedies and start putting your full trust in the name of Jesus. I am not telling you to get off your medicines. I am challenging you to ask yourself, What tradition am I putting before God?

Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition… (Mark 7:13 KJV)

One tradition can be running to medicine for a headache before you seek God.

In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians. (2 Chronicles 16:12 NIV)

God wants us to seek Him first, not when He is the last chance for survival.


The greater things begin with trusting God for the little things. As we trust God, not methods or traditions, we will begin to have faith for bigger and bigger things.


What are your methods or traditions that you run to before you go to God? Coffee to wake up in the morning? Food when you have a bad day? The phone to talk to a friend about something thats bothering you? Medicine when you have a headache?


Make a commitment to run to your Father God first in all things.



Parents Are Asking the Wrong Question

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“Did you have fun today?”
“What did you do for fun?”
“Did you have fun with your friends?”

What is the one consistent word here? Its the three-letter word fun

 

F-U-N. 
Fun.

This type of question is ruining our children’s ability simply to BE. I hear parents, grandparents, and siblings asking young people, “Are you going to have a fun day? What did you do that was fun? Did you have fun with your friends?” 

I hear people asking this sort of question all of the time, even in my own house.

Is this really the question we should be asking? Should we gauge the quality of a young person’s day based on whether he or she had fun? 

We need to ask ourselves what we are teaching our children by asking this.

We are giving them the impression that 
life is all about having fun.
I’m not trying to suggest that children—or adults for that matter—should never have fun. We should love what we do. We should be engaged; we should have energy for life. We should enjoy our lives because Jesus came to bring us life “to the full” (John 10:10 NIV).
On the other hand, Jesus also said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). 
 

Hardships are part of life. We will experience struggles. We must often deal with troubling circumstances. In times of trial, however, we can have peace and find strength because we know Jesus loves us. He understands our pain and is both able and willing to help us in all things. We can find joy in the growth of our relationship with Him.

It will not be fun, but there is GOOD in it.

Recently, I took care of a child for a friend of mine. When my friend came to pick up her daughter, one of the first things she did was ask her child, “What did you do for fun today?” Her daughter replied, “Nothing. I haven’t done anything fun today.” The reaction to this statement bordered on shock, as if such a circumstance were unthinkable.

Why is it unthinkable? What is horrible about a child not having fun all of the time? You shouldnt entertain your own children, and I shouldnt entertain them, either.

If I gear my children’s lives toward fun, I am setting them up for future failure, depression, and battles when life isnt fun. I am setting them up for disappointment in marriage because they won’t be able to appreciate those low-key days of rest and recovery with their spouses after hectic times. I want my children to be able to treasure the quiet moments of simple companionship. 

When we emphasize the value of fun, 
we are sowing in our children 
the need to be entertained continuously. 

We are setting them up to view other people in terms of how they can make life more fun. We are encouraging our children to seek relationships based on fun. We are teaching them that it is okay to avoid or abandon tasks and relationships that don’t seem fun.

Many children today are constantly asking, “What are we going to do now?” They are always seeking new ways to entertain themselves. Next time your kids are with a play date or hanging out with teenage friends, listen to them talk with each other. Take note of how often they ask each other what they will do next.

Listen to them tell each other that what they’ve been doing is getting old; they are bored and ready for the next source of entertainment. Girls who play indoors are always jumping to the next activity: “Hey, lets edit pictures. Lets do a photo shoot. Let’s play a game. Lets make a video. Lets make a song. Lets do all of these projects together. Lets go play this sport. Lets go play that. Im tired of this—lets move on.”

As a mother, I certainly appreciate when my children can entertain themselves and come up with activities on their own. The trouble is that kids don’t stay focused on a particular goal. They don’t stay engaged and committed. You don’t see kids building a fort all day long the way we did when we were young. These days its more of a frenzy. Kids dart from one activity to the next to the next to the next. Theres no break.

I don’t hear kids suggesting to each other that they hang out and talk for a while or read a book or study the Bible. I know these suggestions sound odd, but they shouldn’t. Life isnt about bouncing wildly from one fun activity to the next. I’m afraid that children who live in restless pursuit of entertainment will grow into adults who are never satisfied with simply being. God created us as human beings, yet we allow our children to be only human doings. We are setting our children on a dangerous course because, let’s face it, most entertainment for kids and for adults is of this world and not of God. 

The desire for stimulation can distract us from 
the values and purposes of God.

Will our children be too busy ping-ponging around to realize that?

I believe we need to stop asking children, “Did you have fun today?” We need to stop telling them when they leave the house, “Be sure to have fun!” Since it’s in our power to influence our children’s focus, let’s choose some different questions: 

Whom did you encourage today?
How were you encouraged today?
Did you share your beautiful smile with someone?
Did anyone surprise you with a beautiful smile?
Did you see someone do something kind today?
Did you share with a friend today?
Did you help your friends mommy when you were at their house all day? 
Did you leave their place better than you found it?
When you spent time with your friends, did you ask how they were doing and actually listen to the answer?
Did you ask them if they were hurting in any way?

We assume our children are too young and emotionally immature to have those kinds of conversations with us and their friends. How can we believe this when we know that children are not too young to be hurt? They could already, on any given day, be suffering rejection and deep wounds. They are already being challenged morally. They are already struggling with matters of the mind and spirit and body. Our children need adults who are willing to be transparent and dig deeply with them at the earliest ages.
We should never look down on people because they are young. We shouldnt assume children are incapable of deep conversation. It is up to us to teach them. 

If we raise our children to pursue fun, we can’t expect them 
suddenly to transform into insightful, compassionate 
human beings when they reach adulthood.

We need to teach them while they are young: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6 NIV). We need to teach our children how to be introspective, how to search their own souls and seek the Lord. We need to teach them to pay attention to their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. We need to teach them to take a genuine, loving interest in other people’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences. People are never too young to learn the Lord’s ways and do the Lord’s work.

It is important for our children to learn how to connect with their friends on a deeper level. Otherwise the friendships they have when they are young won’t be sustainable beyond this particular season of their lives. We should teach kids from a young age the value of developing sound, lasting relationships.
Spending time with other people isn’t about cramming in as many fun activities as possible. Rather, it’s about companionship. It’s about relaxing your guard and getting to know each other. It’s about learning how to love each other. Close friends know how to rest together. They find refreshment in each other’s company. Kids need to understand that it’s okay to say, “You know what, Im tired. Lets chill and hang out. Maybe we can read together or talk for a while.”
What’s not okay is complaining about being bored. Maybe one person enjoys sharing some quiet time while another person doesn’t. The main objective isnt to have fun and be entertained. When you are with the people you love, you can find enjoyment in the busy times as well as the quiet times.
I notice many children today who seem overstimulated and utterly exhausted. Adults allow and expect kids to stay on the go all of the time, jumping from one activity to the next to the next to the next. No wonder kids are tired! No one has taught them how to be still. No one has taught them the value of being still.
Stillness calms people. It is enjoyable. It allows us to rest and reflect. Kids, too, can learn to be comfortable enough with themselves and the people around them simply to be. 

How else will they ever hear the still, quiet voice of God?

Why Do You Follow Jesus?

He loved me when I felt the most unlovable. Romans 5:6–8 opened up my eyes to the depth of God’s love for me.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6–8 NIV)

God saw everything going on in our lives, and He chose us anyway. He saw all the sin, hate, anger, and greed, and He decided to save us anyway!

He NEVER gets angry at me, even when I mess up A LOT. Isaiah 54:9–10 showed me this.

“To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:9–10 NIV)

I used to think I was never going to be good enough, that I would never measure up. I thought that no matter what I did, God would always be angry with me. Instead, He says He will never be angry with me again. Then He goes further and says His love for us is unfailing! I love that!

He chose me to be holy and blameless in His sight. This is so awesome, you guys! I used to be weighed down with the thoughts of my sins. They ate at me until I thought I would crack under the pressure. I thought there was no way I would ever be able to escape how gross and disgusting I thought those sins made me. Then I read Ephesians 1 and found this verse:

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Ephesians 1:4 NIV)

He had already chosen us. He had already made the decision that no matter what happened and what we did, this is how He was going to see us. Every day He has chosen to see us as holy and blameless.

He forgave ALL my sins AND forgot them. Hebrews 8:12 really shined light into my life when I realized how real this verse was and how it related to my life.

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12 NIV)

I had always believed my sins were forgiven, but I didn’t think they were forgotten. I thought they defined who I was. I thought they were what Jesus saw when He looked down on me. Instead, He looks down on me and doesn’t see any of my sins. They were all covered by His blood. He forgave them all and forgot them all. I have never seen a love like this before!

These are just a few of the reasons why I chose to follow Jesus. He takes care of me, He loves me unconditionally, and He is always there for me. I was never completely happy without Him. Now even when I am sad, I have unrelenting joy.

For those of you reading this who are still unsure about Jesus and have questions and want to know more, please leave a comment, and I can share more with you.

Please leave a comment about why you follow Jesus. I love to hear about you and your stories!

I pray that each of you would go out and share the good news with everyone. I pray that you would be bold. I also pray that you would love others in the same way that Jesus loves you!

Have a wonderful day!

Love, Kathleen 🙂

God’s Promises Are Yes and Amen

The Bible says God’s promises are always yes and amen.
There is no expiration date on the finished work of Jesus Christ. There is no expiration date on His hope. There is no expiration today of the work He did yesterday. It’s not a gallon of milk that in a few days will expire and curdle. It is always there. It’s always fresh, always available, and always quenching.
You can trust God and His Word. You can truly put your hope in it. There is nothing else worth putting your hope in. You can’t put your hope in doctors, medicine, your boss, your employer, or your ability to work hard. All that stuff will pass away. But God’s promises are good and will endure forever.

Temple Fitness #1

Don’t be so focused on the physical that your eyes are not on the eternal. There is tremendous worship and spirituality in taking care of your temple because it’s God’s house. But for so many people, it is all they talk about. 

All they think about is every meal and every detail. They are obsessed and consumed with: “I don’t eat this. I only eat that. I don’t do this. I do that. I flavor with this. I flavor with that.” I can see how people like me can be annoying to the rest of society because we do put a ton of focus on working out and eating a certain way.
We have to keep in mind that we are aliens in this world. This is not our home. We are not of this world. But if we don’t take care of our temple, we won’t be in this world, either. There is a good balance.

We constantly need to remember that it’s not what we put in our mouths that defines us; it is what comes out of our mouths. We need to be careful about how we talk. We need to be careful of our aggressiveness. I am so guilty of this—almost aggressively saying, “My way is the right and only way.” But it’s not loving or kind. If you are having to be aggressive and mean about something, then maybe your opinion is fueled by a lie or some wound or hurt you have been through that has made you mean and aggressive to anything mean or an opposition.
I want us to be eternally minded and make sure our focus is on God. If we eat something not on the plan, or if we have to eat something that isn’t hormone free, or if we need to eat a grain and we are on paleo, or if we have to eat a carb and we’re on a ketogenic diet, then we should recognize it is prayer over our food that cleanses it. It’s not the food itself. You cannot put your hope and faith in your food. It’s only emptiness. It’s going to come up empty every time.
So let us keep our minds on the eternal and not focus too much on the physical, because we are aliens in this world.

Heartbroken

To be totally honest, my heart is broken this morning. I don’t generally share thoughts like this, but I’m sure some of you are experiencing the same thing.

I don’t understand why people quit on relationships because of one disagreement, one hurdle, or a slew of them. The Bible says seven times seventy will you forgive. But what we say in our flesh is: “I’ll forgive you, but I will never forget. I will never trust you again.” That is not actual forgiveness. Jesus forgave, and His forgiveness is forgiving and forgetting. That means treating someone as if there were never a wrong.
I don’t understand why people quit on people. Jesus’ last words were a prayer for unity. Yet people do it all the time. They are like, “I had a disagreement with you. You offended me. You encroached on my territory. So I don’t want anything to do with you—or I will, but only at arm’s length. This is the distance at which I am going to keep you.” This attitude is not godly. You can think you have godly character and godly wisdom all day long, but unforgiveness is not godly.
I completely disagree with the boundaries taught in today’s self-help and relationship books. Whenever you are building your own boundaries, you are leaning on your own defenses and you are leaning on your own walls to protect yourself; you are not trusting in the Lord. Instead, you’re trusting in what you can do and what you can protect. The truth is that we need to be opened up, unwound, and fully and truly have our hearts opened so God can work with us constantly and keep unity and bring restoration. He can bring ultimate, deep healing.
The friendships in which we have worked through hard things are the deepest, longest-term friendships I have. They are awesome. They are forever friendships. They are the ones where you can get back together after a while and feel like no time has passed.
My concern is what are we teaching our children? We are teaching our children that people are expendable based on a feud or an offense. These people aren’t your spouse, we say, and you can break up with anybody except your spouse. How can your children truly understand this mindset? How can they find the line?

Someday we are going to be disappointed, but we need to teach our kids that people are God’s children. We shouldn’t be breaking up and practicing divorce every day with friends, family, and people who make us mad. Learn to suck it up and get over it. Learn to be forgivers and forgetters in Jesus’ name. This is the only way. We should do it by example to enable our children to love with reckless abandon.
You know what? The world is harsh. The world will hate us. People are going to put up their barriers, and new Christians are going to try to protect themselves. Eventually, in time, they are going to learn to trust the Protector. They are going to let their hearts be exposed and let their hearts be hurt. They are going to grow from it because they worked through some difficulties. If our kids can learn to remain, then they are going to be trustworthy.
I was asking myself this morning: Is there anyone trustworthy? Is there anyone you can count on to remain in your life? Do you constantly have to pretend to be someone you are not and tiptoe around people because they are so easily offended that with the first offense, they will simply walk out of your life? What a waste of time. Why am I going to pour into you if, at the first offense, you are going to walk away? Wow. I’ve invested all this time, and you just quit. You’re a quitter. You’re not a finisher. Be a finisher. Be a strong finisher.
God is long-suffering. You’d think one year, five years, or thirty years would be long-suffering. It’s not. It’s short. Be trustworthy in the short things and the small things so God can expand your territory and give you more.

People Pleaser

How to Please God
Ephesians 1:6
… He [God] made us accepted in the Beloved.
I longed for my mom’s approval. I just wanted her to say, “You are a good mom. I am proud of you. You are more than I ever dreamed you would be.” But for years, she just continued to correct me and give me unsolicited advice: “You wipe her face too hard. Here, let me help you” (meaning, “I can do it better”).

At the end of her life, I realized that I had been striving for what I already had. My mom was proud of me. She told everyone (but me) how pleased with me she was. All of her advice and correction was because of her great love for me, not because she wasn’t pleased.

My mom was pleased with me.

In the same way I longed for my mom’s approval, are you longing for the approval of God? Are you working hard to please God?

You can stop.

He is already pleased with you.

When you know that God is pleased with you—no matter what you do, but just because you have trusted in His Son—it will set you free.

You will begin to rest like never before in the finished work of Christ rather than in your unfinished efforts.

When you know that God is pleased with you, you will begin to serve Him more by accident than you ever did on purpose!

God is pleased with you! Rest in that!

Doubt vs. Belief

Are you in a battle for your health, your life, your encouragement, or your positivity today? Don’t sit around and wait until you have no doubts. You have to choose to believe God’s word. It’s a daily choice. You are never going to live this life without any doubts at all until you are in heaven.
We battle. We battle our minds. We battle our flesh. That is why the Lord tells us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Him. That’s why we are supposed to be a living sacrifice. Sacrifice that is living continually wants to walk, get up and move up to the altar and take up its own agenda.
We have a battle. There is a raging battle between the flesh and the spirit all the time. To assume you are not going to have any doubts is just deceiving yourself. It’s okay. Just choose to believe God’s word. Put the doubts down. Take the thought captive. Refuse to dwell on them and think about them and think more about God’s promises than you do on the doubts.
You are not being a hypocrite when you choose to believe God’s word when you are in a fight and you are in the middle of the struggle. You are actually deciding who you really are. “Am I really this person in the flesh who is in the middle of a battle between my doubts and my faith or am I who God says I am?” Do you think the real you is your natural mind, your carnal-mindedness? Or do you think your spirit-man is your real you? You have to decide who the real you is and begin to stand in it.

I know the flesh is powerful. It feels like the real you. The doubts are the real you. But the Bible says you become a new creation. You are born again. You’re now a child of God, an alien in this world. You have crossed over out of death and into life. Who is the real you? You have to decide: “This is the real me.”
The new you on the inside is perfect and has the mind of Christ says 1 Corinthians 2:16. Colossians 3:10 says we have been renewed in the knowledge and the image that created us. 1 John 2:1 says we know all things. It’s not talking about what is in our mind. It’s talking about what is in your spirit. We are just too carnal. We think we are limited by what we know and our knowledge, instead of tapping into the power and the unlimited knowledge of God. When we agree with our thoughts, our own understanding, we limit God from working in our lives and ability to agree with Him.
The new you on the inside is righteous and holy and pure. If you believe the real you has been truly born again, is a new creation, and you are who God says you are, then you are a hypocrite for agreeing with your fleshly doubts. If you consider being a hypocrite is one speaking the word of God and believing you are the righteousness of Christ, then you think the real you is the emotional, physical you and not the spiritual one that has been born again.

It’s time to find out who you are in Christ and change your identity—to have that identity of who you are in Him. Be more true than what you look like, what you feel like, what your emotions say, what has happened to you, and the circumstances around you, so you would truly know who God says you are and agree with that more than anything. It would be greater and larger than anything that comes against you. You would not be faithless in challenges if you would believe.

Greater Works

Have you ever made a list of the miracles Jesus did in the Bible? It is amazing. Jesus was for the people. He was caring and so willing to heal—when it was met with faith.

After all of these incredible miracles, Jesus made this bold statement:

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12 NIV)


“You will do even GREATER THINGS …”

At the time I saw this verse, I had hardly seen any miracles, much less greater things. My mom was sick, and I wanted her to be well. I prayed. I asked. I begged God to heal my mom.

Its really hard to have faith for God to heal cancer when you havent even begun to trust Him with a headache or a cold. There is all this fear that creeps in when you hear the word “cancer.” Fear and faith dont make great companions.

How do we see even greater things than the works Jesus did in the Bible?

Start with the little things:

  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Cramps
  • Earache

Stop trusting in medicine and home remedies and start putting your full trust in the name of Jesus. I am not telling you to get off your medicines. I am challenging you to ask yourself, “What tradition am I putting before God?”

Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition … (Mark 7:13 KJV)

One tradition can be running to medicine for a headache before you seek God.

In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians. (2 Chronicles 16:12)

God wants us to seek Him first, not when He is the last chance for survival.


The greater things begin with trusting God for the little things. As we trust God, not methods or traditions, we will begin to have faith for bigger and bigger things.


What are your methods or traditions that you run to before you go to God? Coffee to wake up in the morning? Food when you have a bad day? The phone to talk to a friend about something thats bothering you? Medicine when you have a headache?


Make a commitment to run to your Father God first in all things.

Being Obedient to God

This is a dangerous statement because our society today tells us, “Just be you. Be who you are. You know who you are. Do what your heart desires. Fulfill your desires.”

I’ve learned the hard way to be careful about sharing this because it only exists for those people who are searching the heart of God in all of their ways—not some of their ways, not only in church on Sunday morning, but in all of their ways. They acknowledge God in all of their ways.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV) 

That word ‘acknowledge’ there means to know God relationally. In everything you do, be in communion with God. That’s really what it means.


If you go out and do what you want to do, and that includes sleeping around and making immoral choices, then you are not acknowledging God in all of your ways. He is not a God of sin. This message is not designed for people who are trying to fulfill their fantasies or their sinful desires.

This is for people who are truly seeking God with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength. They are seeking to know Him. They read the Word. They are falling in love with God more every day. Those people can do this. God gives them the desires of their hearts.

When you’re not really seeking Him, when He is not your first priority and you are not pursuing Him with everything you have because He is good and you want to know Him, then the desires of your heart may not be purely His. They may be your desires for the old things your flesh used to want—you know, bigger house, nicer car, better body, somebody to love you, somebody to fill your void. 

Well, God is your void filler. He is your house. You are His house. You have everything you need in Him, and there is nothing that you lack. Lack is not your portion when you are in Him. I think it takes a while after we begin seeking God for the desires of our heart to transfer from our old, worldly desires to His desires.

But once you are seeking Him and you really know who you are as His child, He puts His desires in your heart. He puts in you the desire to take care of orphans and widows. He gives you the desire to help people. He gives you the desire not to honk the horn and be mad at somebody who road raged you or drove you off the road. He gives you the desire to offer freedom and forgiveness. He gives you the desires of your heart because He is placing His desires in your heart.

The more you seek Him, the more you find Him and the more He gives you His desires. When that happens, you’ll know. If the desire in your heart is to go out and smoke and drink, that’s not it, okay? You’ll know when it’s God’s desire. If you’re walking and you see someone and think, “I feel like I should give this person twenty bucks,” that’s probably God’s desire in your heart. He is going to provide the twenty bucks, and He is going to want you to give the twenty bucks away.

You can trust that when you are seeking God with all of your heart, you are hearing from Him and He is putting His desires in your heart. When you are first learning to distinguish between God’s desires and the desires of your flesh, what you want to do is check His Word. See whether the desire in your heart lines up with how God teaches us to live in Scripture. If it doesn’t and it’s sinful, then you don’t want to follow that desire.

You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more. (Psalm 10:17-18 NIV)

One of the things I do is let the peace of Christ rule in me. I wake up with God on my heart, and I want to be with Him all of the time. I am with Him all of the time, and He is with me. Before I do anything, I stop and wait for the peace of God to run over me. I ask, “Is this the peace of God?” There’s a difference between man’s direction and God’s, and God’s is always surrounded by tremendous peace.