Hello and thanks for stopping by my blog. If you’re looking for specific resources, be sure to check out the topics in the column to the right. Otherwise, feel free to look around! ~ Kerry

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I’ve always been intrigued by the way Scripture describes King David—a man after God’s own heart. Many times as I read the Psalms or passages about David, I try to understand more about what it means to be a person after God’s heart.

The first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles contain Israel’s history from creation to the Babylonian exile. Chapter ten shares the death of King Saul and leads us to the reign of David. The writer of Chronicles doesn’t spend much time telling us about the life of Saul, he simply tells us why he died:

“Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse” (1 Chronicles 10:13-14, NIV).

This verse clearly describes things Saul did wrong—he was unfaithful to the Lord and he did not keep the word of the Lord. Yet we also see something Saul failed to do—inquire of the Lord. If we were asked to describe what it means to be a person after God’s heart, we might say to be faithful to God and to keep His word. But would we immediately think—someone who inquires of the Lord?

This is an interesting word: inquire. Webster defines it this way: 1. to seek information; ask a question or questions 2. to carry out an examination or investigation—to seek information about.

As we read chapters 14-15 in 1 Chronicles, we see David consistently inquiring of the Lord, and learning costly lessons when he didn’t.

David’s life reveals many insights into being a person after God’s heart—a willingness to wait on God’s timing, a hunger for God’s word, a humble attitude, a desire to praise, a willingness to be broken and repentant, and so much more.

But today I’m challenged to inquire of the Lord.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Are We Fighting the Right Battles?

Recently while reading the Bible, a section of stood out to me like it was written in neon letters:

“‘Do not be afraid or discouraged….For the battle is not yours, but God’s….You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you….Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged….the LORD will be with you’” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17, NIV).

Immediately I felt the Lord speak to my heart about a few of the “battles” I am trying to fight. They are His—not mine!

What are the wrong battles to fight?

It’s easy to engage in the wrong battles and neglect the ones we are intended to fight. Here are a few of the battles that may distract us:
  • battling what someone else thinks about us
  • battling to fix or control someone else’s personal struggle
  • battling for successful results (when it is God who brings the increase)
  • battling to make things work out the way we think they should

What happens when we fight the wrong battles?
We learn an incredible lesson from the prophet, Haggai. He writes to the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem in 538 B.C. after a 48-year exile in Babylon. The Jews had allowed opposition from surrounding enemies to distract them from their purpose of rebuilding the temple that lay destroyed. Haggai told them:

“Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it….You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?’ declares the LORD Almighty. ‘Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house’” (Haggai 1:5-6,9, NIV).

For fifteen years, they allowed the battles with their enemies to bring discouragement and apathy.
  • Fighting the wrong battles caused them to lose the right focus, and they became self-focused.
  • Fighting the wrong battles caused them to be nonproductive. The harder they worked for themselves, the more futile their efforts were.
  • Fighting the wrong battles caused them to neglect the right battle.

What battles should we fight?

1. Fight the good fight of faith
The Apostle Paul told Timothy to “fight the good fight of the faith.” And He told him how to fight it: “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:11,12, NIV).

We actively fight the good fight of faith by pursuing those things listed in this verse. When this is the priority in our lives, we find the fulfillment a close relationship with God brings.

2. Fight unhealthy thoughts
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does….We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NIV).

Our enemy is at work planting doubts and temptations; these unhealthy thoughts lead to unhealthy behaviors. But the good news is that we don’t have to allow negative thoughts to remain and affect our behavior. As we pursue God, He gives us discernment and the power to bring every thought under obedience of Christ.

3. Fight apathy and laziness
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9, NIV).

We can’t give up! We must keep our eyes on Christ and follow His lead in doing good. He will bring deliverance for every battle in His time!

4. Fight in prayer for others
“[Epaphras] is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured” (Colossians 4:12, NIV).

Many battles are spiritual (Ephesians 6:12). When we wrestle in prayer for others, we are much less likely to wrestle with them in our words, attitudes, or actions. While verbal or emotional wrestling produces wounded relationships, prayer gives God the opportunity fight the battle and bring the best solution.

When we experience emotional and spiritual fatigue, we should take a look at the battles we are fighting. The good fight of faith strengthens us and never leaves us battle-weary. Let’s take our positions, stand firm, and see what the Lord can do!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Grace So Amazing

“We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth come through Jesus Christ” (John 1:14, 16-18, NIV).

Grace…The Lord is taking me on a journey to understand this simple, yet incredibly complicated word. He is challenging me to think grace-filled thoughts, to speak gracious words, to have graceful attitudes, and to encounter people with the grace I have so freely received. Let me share with you a portion of my journey.

The more I study, the more I’m convinced that grace isn’t simply something we receive, it is something we must give. There are many verses that don’t actually use the word grace that challenge us toward grace-filled living:

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2, NIV).

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for the building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger…be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4: 29, 31-32, NIV).

Galatians 6 encourages us to encounter others with grace, even those who are caught in sin. We are to restore them gently and humbly. I have asked my self, do I tend to think of others critically and judgmentally, or with a desire for them to experience the redemptive work of grace?

My thoughts, words, and actions toward others must reflect God’s redemptive thoughts, words, and actions toward me. Freely I have received, freely I must give. I desire to allow the amazing grace Christ has lavished on me to pour through me to every person I encounter, especially to the person closest to me—my husband.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Embracing vs. Embittering

Have you ever found yourself grumbling over difficult circumstances? I know I have…

To be completely honest, a few months into this new challenge I began to feel extremely overwhelmed. And that is when the grumbling began…“How am I supposed to give 100% to the national office and 100% to our local congregation? I don’t like being away from my husband, family, and church family one week a month.” Grumble, grumble, grumble…went the self-focused melody of my heart.

The writer of Hebrews even warns us in Hebrews 12:15 against a bitter root that can grow to cause trouble and defile many. It is so easy to grumble and complain as we walk through difficult situations. We may even feel justified in our bad attitudes; but despising our circumstances leads to bitterness, rebellion, and hardness of heart. That bitter root will impact our lives and the lives of those around us.

Embracing hardship leads to maturity and a wonderful harvest of righteousness. But how do we embrace hardship as God’s discipline?
1. Recognize that He is Master and I am servant.
2. Believe God will work all things for my good.
3. Believe that where He leads, He will provide (strength, peace, wisdom,…).
4. Live for His eternal purposes, not my temporal ones.
5. Trust His love!
6. Depend completely on Him!

It is amazing what happens when we simply change our focus from self-centered pity to humble submission. There is joy and peace! I’ve discovered that many times it is not our circumstances that need to change—it is us.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).