Crack the Cover

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Don’t Be Who You Aren’t

girl with camera

Almost five years ago, I stepped out into independent ministry. I left the comfort and safety of working for a trusted organization to start writing and speaking as God directed. It wasn’t scary as much as unknown. I didn’t know anything about branding and websites and marketing. I simply did what I knew God was telling me to do,  and tried to figure it out as I went along.

I made some mistakes (okay, a lot of mistakes!) but God used those to grow me in ways I sure didn’t see coming. I’m grateful for every misstep along the way that eventually led to God’s best and, in the process, made me more like Jesus.

Probably the biggest mistake I made was in letting people who didn’t know me, try to brand and market me. All I wanted was to communicate God and His Word. That’s what I love to my core and know in my bones! It’s my heartbeat. My ultimate passion.

But I was told that that really wasn’t enough for branding and marketing so, not knowing any better, I tried several suggestions from professional people over the last few years, none of which were really me. I got some great opportunities to speak and write, but internally, I knew I hadn’t found my sweet spot – my God spot.

Last year I finally figured it out. It was there all along, but it had been derailed. I went back to who I actually am. A Bible lover and communicator. That’s it. And God assured me, it’s enough.

With the recent release of WORD, I’m in my God spot.

I now know I’m the Bible Activist. I will preach and write and stump all day long for God and His Word.

If you want to talk about sports, recipes, clothes, vacations, marketing trends, or even church trends, you won’t find that here. I can direct you to some great people but those things aren’t here.

Here, you will find God. You’ll be delighted by Him, surprised by Him, and challenged by Him. His Word here will inspire, confront, and change you. You’ll also be introduced to other people who passionately love the Word of God like I do.

You’ll be part of a community that loves God and loves His Word.

This is a place for God lovers and Bible lovers, as well as God seekers and Bible seekers.

There’s a trendy, hipster-type little phrase that’s making the rounds right now …

Do you.

I like that. Do you. Don’t do someone else. Don’t do only what’s expected. Don’t do part of you.

Do you!

The God you. The real you. Because it’s enough.

 

It’s a WORD Party and You’re Invited!

WORD graphic 11

You are officially invited to join the fun with a Facebook party tonight that will be full of prizes and encouragement, as we celebrate the launch of my new Bible study and video series on Psalm 119 – WORD!

GO HERE to pre-register and get an exclusive freebie.

WORD by Kelli

I’ll be online during the party, answering questions and sharing about the inspiration behind WORD.

The videos that go along with the workbook are now available at the tab above that says WORD – VIDEOS or by clicking here.

One person who has gone through the study and watched the videos wrote this:

Right off the bat in this study, I was convicted of areas in my life that need more Jesus and less me! I was reminded of the constant dialogue that is supposed to be a part of my daily walk with the Lord; the one that is all too often set aside in the busyness of life.

I was also reminded that God doesn’t need me to stop everything (although, that is also important) to talk to Him. Scheduled time with the Lord, quiet time, matters, but too often – I skip the daily dialogue because I feel guilty that I haven’t slowed down and given Him the time He deserves from me. He doesn’t NEED me … I NEED Him. He just wants me to spend time with Him. Amazing how much love and forgiveness is there if we only accept it.

WORD Kelli 2

Another WORD participant sent me this note:

Such a great study! I am going through it slowly on my own. And I am really loving how it helps me to become more grounded in His Word.

Don’t miss out on what these two and others are discovering. WORD is a catalyst to knowing God!

Join the Facebook party tonight for a chance to win a free copy of WORD as well as other fun prizes.

CLICK HERE to get to the party at 9:00 EST tonight. If you pre-register you get a freebie!

I hope you’ll join me. I would love to “see” tonight.

WORD is Out!

It’s here!

WORD is out. It’s available to you, your church, your small group, your family, your school … whoever wants to know God better.

WORD is the study of Psalm 119.

It’s a catalyst for knowing God.

It’s an experience in His Word like no other.

It’s designed as a six-week study, with video downloads that you can play on your smart phone or on a huge screen.

Or, simply go through the book as a personal devotional or over a cup of coffee with a friend.

Watch the short video above to catch a glimpse of what you’ll encounter in WORD.

No matter where you are in life: your age, your past, your concerns, your questions, your circumstances, or your years of Bible study, I invite you to walk with me through Psalm 119. If you honestly seek God, I guarantee that not only will He be found but He will astound you! (WORD)

Click here to get your copy and start the Psalm 119 experience!

 

 

Don’t Stop at the Obvious in 2015

New Year 2015

At the end of every year I ask God what He wants me to do differently, beginning January 1.

Several years ago He impressed on me to become more intentional and more sacrificial in my relationship with Him first and then in life in general.

The first thing He showed me to do was become more serious about fasting, not for health but for spiritual discernment. So every January now, I go on a long fast. So far they’ve lasted 21 days but I’m thinking about stretching it this January (2015) to maybe 25 or 30. Still praying over that one. I won’t go into detail at this point but I will say that I have seen amazing things happen as a result.

So what is God asking of me in 2015? I sensed He wanted me to do something sacrificial that would impact me in a BIG way. It didn’t take long once I began praying over it for me to see what it was. Ouch! This one is going to hurt. Since I’ve seen such benefits from the long fast, I look forward to it. But this new challenge … gulp.

I don’t feel free to share the specifics yet but here’s why I mention it at all …

God always wants more for us. He always wants to take us deeper and higher.

You may be setting new goals such as working out more, eating healthier, organizing your office or home, and keeping your car clean. All good things, so go for it. However, everyone needs to do that. Those things don’t stretch us any differently than they stretch the person next door. I’m not saying they aren’t important, or hard, or issues of obedience. But they are basic life disciplines that every person needs.

Don’t stop there! Ask God what HE wants to do in, through, and for you. Tell Him you’re serious about this. You’re serious about wanting what He wants. You don’t want the status quo – you want BIG and you’re willing to do what it takes.

If you want a relationship with God that explodes your life, tell Him that and see what He says about your 2015.

 

Nothing New for Christmas?

Is there anything fresh to say about Christmas?

I’ve been thinking and praying for the last few days over what new inspiring thing I could share about Christmas. I’m a creative, so usually my thoughts flow like water.

But as I pondered Christmas this year, God kept bringing me back to the manger. He seemed to be saying, “Just keep looking in there. There doesn’t need to be anything else.”

God wrapped in skin is enough!

The only Person who chose to be born so He could die, is enough.

In fact, it’s really too much. Too much to comprehend. Too much to pay back. Too much love to absorb.

So we simply gaze in awe.

Who needs something new to ponder when what we already have is more than enough to last a lifetime?

merry christmas green 2

 

 

What to Do with Fear

Deut 316

Have you been dealing with feelings of fear lately?

There surely have been other times in the history of the world when people were gripped with fear, but I’m going out on a limb and guessing that this is one of the worst times of fear. It’s no doubt fueled by social media and the media in general, but there’s no denying that unsettling global events are unfolding.

The top two disturbing recent stories are ebola and the advancement of evil terrorists in the Middle East. It’s almost impossible to avoid news stories about them – each one worse than the one before. There’s a collective awareness that we could get sick or be killed at any moment. That’s always true but it feels more “real” now.

God tells us not to fear. Period. Around 365 times He says that.

Do not be afraid. Don’t be troubled or afraid. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Don’t worry or be afraid of threats. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Do not fear bad news. Be not afraid of them.

Two main reasons not to fear:

1) It’s unbelief. God promises us He’s in control and will do what is right for us.

2)  It renders us ineffective. Fear means our focus is on the wrong things, meaning it’s not on God, so He can’t get our attention to use us as His representatives. We lose our witness and we lose opportunities.

But ebola and terrorists are alarming so how are we to feel? What do we do with our fear?

1) Admit it to God and ask for His help in rejecting fear.

2) Intentionally fill our minds with the truth about God.

3) Choose to believe what He says is true.

4) Choose to believe God is ultimately in control of how everything plays out.

5) Replace fear with praise. Sing praise songs or read Psalms about praise.

6) Focus on His presence in and with us. Nothing can come against us that He hasn’t allowed.

7) Believe that His grace will be enough for whatever we face.

One last word of comfort … the number of our days has already been determined. Nothing is going to change what God has already declared. If He said you’re going to live 82 years, then you’re going to live 82 years. No random event is going to alter that number.

Surrender your fear to God and live in His powerful blend of confidence and peace.

 

An Easy Way to Bless Someone

gift from MA

Sharing the love of Jesus is as easy as a bag and a marker.

On my first day teaching WORD – Psalm 119 in 22 meditations this week, a friend brought me a thoughtful gift in this bag. Of course I love the gift, but the bag was just as great!

So simple but so meaningful.

Not only did it say something personal to me about my situation but it included Scripture to nourish my soul.

Next time you want to do something nice for someone or God prompts you to share Him, don’t agonize over how. Just remember …

a bag and a marker.

” … your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (GNT)

Where Prophets and the Merciful Meet … or Not

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I’ve watched with fascination the recent social media firestorm around Victoria Osteen’s video that went viral. Some people blasted her mercilessly while others took the full-on merciful approach of “don’t judge, only love.” Without getting into the details of it — too much has already been said on that account — two things keep coming to mind that  occur to me every time something like this happens:

1) Dangerous false teaching by its nature puts people at risk. Information that will ultimately take people further from God, creating all kinds of spiritual confusion, should be addressed. We wouldn’t let an adult tell our child that a bottle of bleach is liquid, just like orange juice is liquid, so it’s safe to drink. Not only would we disagree but we would stop the action from taking place so that no one gets hurt.

Potential harm is a Biblical motivation for addressing false teaching.

Jesus addressed false teaching. Paul did it. We are told to do it for others’ sake and for the exaltation of our God.

If we are participating in a small group discussion and someone asks whether Jesus’ comment about “pearls before swine” refers to pot-bellied pigs or Chester Whites, the answer doesn’t make any difference to our spiritual condition. We can let the discussion go with no obligation to resolve it. But, if someone asks if Jesus is the only way to God, the answer to that can make a huge difference. We have to make sure that by the end of the discussion, it has been clearly stated that Jesus IS the only way to God. We can’t leave that one ambiguous.

The approach is everything, though. Being mean or mocking is never honoring to God but lovingly pointing out error, or at least opening up a dialogue, is.  

2) Our spiritual gifting causes us to respond to things differently. Paul tells us we are equally needed in the body, so we are to be equally encouraged and supported in exercising our spiritual gifts.

When there are firestorms like the one that just took place, the prophets/teachers/discerners point out the error while the merciful ones protect the one being corrected.

You precious, merciful people, whom we desperately need in this harsh world … please let us do our job. Don’t make us feel guilty for pointing out error when that’s what we are wired and called to do. You don’t have to do it, but we do. Your calling is to comfort and have compassion. Our calling is to expose, challenge and apply Truth.

John the Baptist and Elijah probably didn’t have a lot of friends because telling the truth isn’t the thing that gets you invited to parties. So imagine the breath of fresh air it is when someone actually affirms our words rather than shakes their finger at us while telling us to give grace.

We need all the gifts functioning in the Body.

Don’t we want those with the gift of giving to be generous?

Don’t we need those with the gift of faith to cast our corporate visions?

Don’t we want those with the gift of administration to take care of daily tasks?

So please let us prophets and teachers speak the Truth without trying to shame us into silence.

We love grace and mercy just as much as you do. We have benefited from it and embrace it as God’s greatest action toward us. And believe me, we pray earnestly for the ability to speak and act lovingly! We know it doesn’t come as easily to us as it does to you.

Let’s all give each other the grace to exercise our spiritual gifts. In surrender to the Holy Spirit’s leading, I’ll do what I do best and you do what you do best.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good … God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Ask Your Kids This Question

Mueller wedding 3 of us #2

What’s the one-word question that undermines parenting faster than anything else?

“Okay?”

Ugh! Why do we do that? Why do we give our children an instruction and then make obedience an option?

“You need to clean your room. Okay?”

“Please take out the garbage. Okay?”

“Be nice to your sister. Okay?”

What if our kids said, “No, it’s not okay. But thanks for the suggestion.”

What then? If we give them the option, we have to respect their choice of “no.”

Why make a suggestion when we really intend to give an instruction? It reveals insecurity and poor leadership. It’s our way of softening what we perceive to be something unpleasant. We don’t want to create a conflict, make them unhappy, or have them not like us … all of which are harmful qualities in a parent.

If we approach our kids with confidence and optimism, we can stop a lot of their resistance before it starts.

“Hey dude, it’s time to clean your room. Having your things neat and tidy makes it more fun to play in here.”

“It’s Friday, so please empty all the garbage cans. I appreciate all the work you do to make our home nice.”   

“You need to speak kindly to your brother. Respecting each other is one of our family priorities.”

You get the idea. If you aren’t really asking them if they want to, then don’t make it a question. Simply state what you expect. Don’t make it sound like a negotiation or like you feel bad asking them to do it. You don’t need to apologize for teaching your kids responsibility or for training their characters. That’s your God-given job! Own it with confidence.