Kelly Balarie

Do you Need God's Saving Power?

#faith #hope #love #fear

My biggest fear came true, the exact one I couldn't stop mulling over as I lay on my shaking, rattling bed. My 6-year-old was on the top bunk of an Amtrak train bed.

Would it hold him? Would he roll over?

At home, my son was protected. He knew his surroundings. He had comfort. His fall wasn't 6 feet down. But here, in this new situation? In a bed half his size? One really couldn't tell what might happen...

I got word in the morning. Husband told me he fell off the bed. My heart stopped. My eyes stared. I looked the kid up and down for train wounds. Nothing.

Husband explained, the safety straps next the the bed (the ones I completely took for granted), caught him. They wrapped him as he fell, like a cocoon, keeping him in a deep well of safety. So dear son was just chilling there, swinging and safe. Unaware of how protected he was...how he'd just been saved. He wasn't even aware it happened. Dad pulled him back onto his bed without waking him.

How often does our Dad "save" us without us realizing? Pull us onto our bed of safety without us noticing? Wrap us in a cocoon of protection so harm can't touch us?

Many of us, myself included, never give thought to the family wars, the bitter arguments, the looming bills, the accidents, the woops moments, the injuries he saves us from.

We see the things that hit us, and blame God, but we never consider how he saves us, and thank God.

He's probably protected you a bazillion times, because God is mighty to save.

"He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber." (Ps. 121:3)

"The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves." (Zeph. 3:17)

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Is. 41:10)

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deut. 31:8)

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7 Tips for Powerful Fellowship Time with God

#faith #hope #love #time

My confession to you is this: I've gone lax on spending time with God. Things are busy. Family needs are high. People need stuff. Kids have just a little time left before they go back to school. We are looking for a new home. We are having issues with our current new home. We are in a new place with new stuff to figure out. There's too much to do. (Insert my thousand other excuses here).

Life needs tackling, so I've done just that: tackled life alone....

...blazing ahead according to my thoughts, telling others what they need to do, fretting details, wondering why God hasn't given me better answers, waiting poorly, pushing around like a bull in a China shop...

...until this morning, when I finally settled and heard God's voice. It essentially said, "Kelly, the quiet place is your victory place. Here, you learn what you desperately need to know. Here, protection and covering push out sin and shame. Clarity trumps confusion, hope beats impatience and love rules over isolation. I put things in your heart in this place."

Yes, God!!! I want that!

I couldn't help but think God was right.

My victory is always found in the quiet. It is found in searching out God, in reading his Word, in praying, in seeking, in noticing, in abiding, in trusting, in faith, in praise, in thanksgiving, in expectant hoping, in longing, in asking.

God is right. This is my victory. And it is not one God casually calls me to. It is one that is critically important for me to respond to.

God gives us all a standing invitation to come into fellowship and communion with him, everyday, every moment. Do we respond? Or, like me, do we turn to other pressing issues, people, problems and life happenings?

Today, hear this word like an alarm: Responding to God is serious business.

Failed fellowship means we could:

- miss a word that could change our whole outlook on our horrible and frustrating ever-present situation.

- be unable to find God's compassionate heart for that person we are so angry at.

- forego insight into that outstanding question we just can't figure out.

- divert God's love and walk in anxiety, worry and anger day after day.

- see no life change when God has huge transformation waiting for us.

- walk in the flesh, rather than the renewal Jesus prepared for us.

- miss the leadings of the Holy Spirit that will help us love, care and minister to our family in powerful ways.

- stay in a rut

Our "I'm busy, I'll meet with God later" and "He can wait" moments don't steal from God. They steal from us the very best God wants to give. We miss his gems. The transformation He's prepared for us to dig up.

Obedience is quiet patience, securing us in God's providence. Why would we ever want to miss that?

7 Tips to Powerful Fellowship Time with God:

  1. Pray the Psalms over yourself.
  2. Replace your fretting time with fellowship time.
  3. Create open space, free of future demands, to be, hear and unite with him.
  4. Wait on the goodness of God's word. Don't move fast.
  5. Seek God, and expectantly trust that he will answer.
  6. Take time to notice the beauty of God around you.
  7. Let him be the first one in your thoughts in the morning.

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Do you speak under your breath?

#faith #hope #love #fear

Yesterday, I went to the local cafe to write. I sit in the back where all the employees congregate, gossip and chit-chat. I usually try to keep my head down, but this time my eyes got the better of me. I couldn't help but watch and listen.

A man marched through the front door. Chest up, he huffed and puffed all the way to to the back full of disdain at what he saw laying around him. Immediately grabbing a napkin and wiping a chair, he proceeded to attack the mess. He also decided to speak out from under his breath, saying, "This place is a mess." He wanted his co-workers to hear. They did. Loud and clear.

Each belabored move to tackle crumbs, tables and spills, was all a message telling them, "You aren't on it, but I am."

A minute later, he pointed out two chairs and said, "Are those chairs supposed to be like that?"

He knew full well they weren't. Then, he strutted over and fixed them. The two women employees next to me raised their eyebrows and gave each other the look, which I took to mean, "He's up to it again..."

With their look, something pierced and shifted in me. Something called me to look within myself. Why? Because I knew his ludicrous behavior was also my ludicrous behavior. I am often, "up to it again."

I speak a word under my breath, "Ugh...this place is such a mess."

I send a silent message to my child, "Can't anyone throw out these used paper towels on the counters?"

I leave a complaining spirit around my house, "He didn't put his shoes away. Now, I have to do it."

I am "up to it again" often.

I never knew how this practice appears. How it comes off. The arrogance of it. The looks it produces in people. The retaliation it produces. The spectacle of it all.

It makes me consider how I could approach things differently.

You know, the man could have come in and:

  1. Chosen to connect with hearts by first caring for those around him.
  2. Been straightforward with his request for help in cleaning up, saying, "Hey, would you all mind helping me clean up?"
  3. Connected with others during the process.
  4. Given thanks to them for helping him out.

I can do this too.

It was interesting as I watched this situation transpire. The women retaliated and called the man out on his "junk." They said, "Hey Jim, are these your bags of chips out here on the counter?"

They were. Embarrassed, Jim walked back to pick them up.

None of us are perfect. Usually, what we huff and puff about are things we are equally guilty of.

Why not give everyone a break? Ourselves included.
Why not be honest? In need? Straightforward?

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Eph. 4:24

 

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