Boldness: A Look at Genesis to Revelations

Back in September of last year I started a new Bible study on what it looks like to be bold. Fearing I am never good enough because I am always anxious about whether I am doing anything right prompted me to learn how to be bold. What I learned has amazed me. So many assumptions I had, have been wrong. I am so grateful for the opportunity for God to lead me on this journey, and I can’t wait to see how it manifests in me.

In the beginning I learned every decision we make is bold. Being a jerk, is bold. Being nice, is bold. Even not making a decision is bold because there are still consequences with not making a decision. Standing by and letting someone be a jerk to someone, is bold. Everything comes with risks. Everything comes with consequences.

Originally, I thought boldness had to do with a lack of fear. However, I learned pretty quickly the boldness that comes from Christ, really has nothing to do with fear. It is possible to act boldly but still be fearful.

And in fact, the boldness that doesn’t come from Christ, probably has everything to do with fear. I’m afraid someone is going to take advantage of me if I don’t show him who is boss. I’m afraid if I don’t jump at this opportunity I may not be successful in life. I’m afraid if I don’t take control everything will fall to pieces.

The fear is about me. Not about Christ. I can feel fear. It’s not the sin. The sin is letting it control me. When I allow my fear to control me, I am taking back my life from Christ. I am no longer letting him be my Lord.

Once I hit the New testament I realized the boldness I wanted to inherit comes from God. Without Jesus or without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to please him. Again this boldness has nothing to do with fear. Boldness, like courage, is feeling fear and doing it anyway. It looks foolish to the world. It looks like weakness. It looks like defeat.

I found faith as a better way to describe boldness. Boldness allows you to do something, because it’s the right thing to do, not because you weren’t afraid. Your faith in God, makes you bold. Without faith, it is impossible to be bold for Christ.

I’m not sure if boldness is the same as faith, but I definitely believe it is a result of it. Boldness is your demonstration of your faith. Faith is a verb, and it looks like boldness. The stronger your faith, the bolder you become.

I want to live a life that displays more than my salvation. I want to spend my days living a life worthy of my Father. One that points to who my Father is. One that honors him. I don’t just want Christ to save my life. I want him to use my life. I could not do this without inheriting the boldness his Spirit gives.

With his boldness, I am able to live in this world without being a part of it. I am able to look forward to eternal and heavenly consequences, rather than earthly consequence that may be immediate but will one day disappear.

Once His Spirit enters me, my will to live is gone and the desire to do His will is birthed. I am transformed. I am no longer the same person. I am a new creation. I have access to a boldness I never had before. It starts small, but with practice and devotion, it grows. The less there is of me, the more of him there is.

The Bible is full of instruction on how to mature your boldness. The Holy Spirit enables you to be bold, but it won’t magically make you bold. It will require your commitment, your dedication, your faith.

Like the Israelites who spent 40 years in the desert being sanctified, learning how to be God’s Holy people; I have my time on earth to do the same thing. With the boldness the Lord gives me, I am learning what it means to stop being a product of this world and start being a product of a heavenly one. I’m grateful he has given me more than 40 years, but now I feel the urgency to make up for lost time. Cuz honestly, I’ve only recently started this whole sanctification process.

I live for the Day of Judgment when my salvation has been made evident, and I am rewarded for my boldness. And reward enough for me is to hear my Father’s words, “Good and faithful.”

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This is All I Know

If even Peter was weak and let Jesus down, how can I possibly not??? He lived with him, spoke to him. Saw his miracles. Heard him teaching. Walked on freakin’ water with him! And yet, he still denied him. THREE TIMES! IN THE SAME NIGHT!!! I am so screwed. We are all, so so screwed.

Maybe I need to accept that I fail at following Jesus, miserably. Even when I do good, I’m still screwing it all up. My ways are not his ways, and my thoughts are not his thoughts. I have trouble understanding people here on earth. So no, I don’t know exactly what God expects from me. But I know in my heart I want to spend the rest of my life figuring it out. Even if I’m doing it all wrong. I still want to pursue him, because he gives me hope.

He tells me I am loved even when I’m unlovable. He gives me peace knowing he is watching over me, guiding me, giving me a way out of the traps I keep setting for myself. He makes me new. He erases all the false messages I’ve heard about myself from others and gives me truth. Truth that I am a screw-up and he loves me anyway. He made me this way, and I am honoring him, by accepting who I am. A child of God.

I know my place; I know I’m not worthy. And only because Jesus says I am, I am. I am saved by his grace. Not by my works.

If I know anything, this is what I know…

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

My Favorite Day!

I have a message for all my friends!

All my friends who are struggling right now…

To my friends who don’t know how they are going to pay rent in a couple of days,

To my friends who have a loved one in the hospital,

To my friends who have lost a child,

To my friends who have lost their freedom,

To my friends who are stuck in an abusive relationship,

To my friends who struggle with their mental or physical health,

To my friends who can’t find a job,

To my friends who are moving from sofa to sofa,

To my friends who live in fear of the unknown…

TODAY IS GOOD FRIDAY!

It is my most favorite day!!

Today, the most important man who ever lived, died over 2000 years ago for me (and for you)!

No one else has ever done this for me. No one has ever sacrificed their life for me. No one has ever loved me THIS much. Even before I knew I was a sinner. Even before I knew I needed a savior…

I lived without hope. I found myself in a life I never expected or wanted. Not only did I feel trapped, I felt undeserving of anything else. I felt dirty. I felt the weight of the world. I felt responsible for every wrong doing. I had no worth. I was lost.

And before I even felt all this…a man took this all from me! He saved me! He gave me hope!

He LOVED me!!!

He loves you too, and I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet!

HE’S COMING BACK! I swear to you, I know this to be true.

And because he comes back, everything he said was true. He is the son of God (Matthew 3:17). He is the way, the truth, and the light. No one can come to the Father except through him (John 14:6).

So, although I don’t know how any of you are going to get through the day, I do know that you are loved (John 3:16). And that God sees you (Proverbs 15:3). He made you for his glory (Isaiah 43:7). He cherishes you (Psalm 139:13-16). He has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11). He will never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He is for you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

You will get through this! And not only will you survive this, you will become better, wiser and stronger. You are becoming your best you!

Today, Jesus died, and in three days he will be back. If he’s not, then call me crazy. But if he does, then fall to your knees and praise him. (I think I stole that from someone. Whoever it is, he’s much smarter than me. You should listen, cause he’s not wrong.)

God is good.

All the time.

I love you.

Better yet, JESUS LOVES YOU!

My Sole Purpose

My son came to me, recently. “Hey Mom, remember when…?”

He proceeded to tell me story after story of the things he has done and I had no knowledge of. Some scared me. Some scared the hell out of me. My son is 15.

He’s not old enough to have a secret life.

My heart broke. The life I thought we had all lived, was still living, was a lie.

It has been almost two years now of being properly treated for the Pyrrole Disorder.

I don’t know if he was feeling guilty. I don’t know why he felt this was the time to reveal to me a hidden life I knew nothing about.

Maybe he wanted to share with me who he really is, or maybe who he really was. Maybe he finally felt free from his disorder that held him captive. Maybe he was shedding his skin to be transformed into the man he was designed to be. Maybe…I just don’t know.

Whatever his reason, I hope it served him well.

But I’ll tell you what his revelation did for me.

At one time, I was a single mom of four children, who never planned on having any children.

When his older brother was born, I had only practiced changing diapers on a friend’s child. I did not know how to care for a baby. I didn’t know their needs or wants. But I did the best I could.

Everyday, I did the best I could.

And I prayed.

God help me with this baby.

By the time I was pregnant with my third, I was doing this motherhood thing on my own. Thinking I had a clue about babies, but now I was doing it all on my own, and they’re getting older. I don’t know anything about raising kids. 

I was the oldest of two. I tried to keep my nose clean. My parents never had to spank me. A look would pierce my heart. Having to face any authority made me cry. I felt guilty for everything and often said sorry for things I didn’t do.

Never had I ever felt confident with kids, but by the time my fourth child came, and again I was alone, I knew I could do it. That I would be fine.

If I took my kids to church, I taught them right from wrong, if I tried to play defense to the bad influences out in the world… and I prayed; then I would be blessed with good kids. I would raise these kids how God has led me to raise these kids, and they will become the men and woman, he intends them to be. He will equip me. He will qualify me. He will lead me.

And as I sat and listened to story after story of what my son was telling, of the life I never knew of, of the boy I thought I knew, but even before the age of 15, was wearing a mask to hide who he really was, I felt smaller and smaller.

Hear me on this, everything I previously thought was true.

If I took my kids to church, I taught them right from wrong, if I tried to play defense to the bad influences out in the world… and I prayed; then I would be blessed with good kids. I would raise these kids how God has led me to raise these kids, and they will become the men and woman, he intends them to be. He will equip me. He will qualify me. He will lead me. But it’s not because of me, but because of HIM.

My heart cried out to Jesus, “Thank you, Jesus, for protecting my son.” At that moment a new reality hit me and my soul hit the floor.

All the books I had read about parenting, all the friends I sought advice from, all the workshops I had attended…they had all given me this false belief that I was in some sort of control. That, in the end, who my children eventually turn out to be, had in part, had something to do with my influence on them.

But let me be clear. My son should or could be dead or at the very least, impaired. But he’s not, and it’s not because of me.

In that moment of revelation, I learned the single, most effective and beneficial thing I had ever done for him, or any of my children, was that I prayed.

Dear Heavenly Father, protect my kids. Watch over my kids. Guide my kids. Help my kids. And various other requests I had made for my kids.

It was in that moment I realized I have absolutely no control of the world or the people in it. Including the children I have poured so much into.

That at the end of the day, when everything is said and done, regardless of what I have taught him, shown him, modeled to him; when my child is faced with a life altering, life threatening event, it is Jesus who has his back. It is Jesus who has his eye on him.

It is Jesus who knows him.

My heart breaks at learning I didn’t know my son. But it heals again, when I realize that the one who is everywhere and knows everything, answers my prayers; even when I don’t know it, and even when I don’t understand what I’m praying for.

I don’t know anymore if my sole purpose to raise these kids in a way, so that they will become the men and woman, God intends them to be.

I think now, my sole purpose was and is, just to pray for them.

God, you know the evil of this world. You know a darker side than I do. How silly of me to think I, someone who never has smoked pot, did any drugs, never cheated on a test, nor snuck out of my home, didn’t lift something from a store, or ever received an F in a class, could possibly understand or know how to raise one child, much less six of them in this place you never intended us to live in.

Lord, even though I am just now coming to understand the magnitude of your authority, I thank you for never changing, always being there; even if I don’t know it, understand it, or believe it.

I lay my children at your feet and ask that you watch over them. And if my only job here on earth is to pray for them without ceasing, then Lord, please continue to give me the strength to keep raising them up to you, not for you.

My prayer is no longer a hope that you will find favor in them, but the knowledge of truth that you already do.

The Little Girl Inside

For years I ignored the spirit of the little girl who was sexually abused as a child. She lives inside of me.

I gave her no voice.

I didn’t know how to give her a voice. I didn’t even know there was a little girl there who needed a voice.

And as I grew and became a woman, that little girl who had something to say, but was forced to stay quiet, stayed within me.

She was not able to grow as the rest of me had. I finished school. I got a job. I had a family. I secured a career. I could act like an adult.

But there would be moments that I would freeze in fear. I wouldn’t take risks.

I became five when I was dealing with my five year old son who was acting like a five year old.

I would have my own tantrums. I would cross my arms and stomp my foot, “It isn’t fair!”

She held me back.

In most cases I could handle my business. I got to work on time. I did my job. I disciplined my children and taught them right from wrong, and kept them safe. I paid my bills. I could keep on top of the kids school work. I was a completely capable adult.

But she was always there. She would always show up at the least opportune time. I’d find myself crying, or yelling, or both.

At the time, I didn’t even understand that she was there. I ignored her, always.

But she was always there to remind me of what had happened.

As hard as I tried to forget her, she would never leave.

“I don’t need you! Go away!”

But she never would. She taunted me. Made me feel dirty. Made me feel stupid. Made me feel foolish. Made me feel hopeless, helpless and worthless.

Why? Why wouldn’t she leave?

But a day finally came.

It was a day when I sat down with that little girl to see what was her problem?

It was the first time I listened.

Do you know what she said?

“I’m hurting.”

I sat with her, and we cried as she reminded me again, everything that had happened, but in her words now. In her little girl’s word.

“Why did this happen?”

I don’t know. I was little too.
But I’m not anymore. I promise you I will protect you. I will give you a voice.

I won’t let anything like that happen again. I will speak up.

And I will listen to you when you are scared.

And I will comfort you when you cry. And I will hold you until you want down.

Then I placed her in the hands of Jesus.

It was Jesus who showed her she was never alone. And somehow, that made everything alright. She felt restored. She felt safe.

Today, that little girl is still there.

But now she hosts parties, chases down homeless and plays with my daughter.

She looks for those who are hurting. She comforts them and whispers, “Me too.”

She offers them hope. She lends them an ear. She tells them a story of how Jesus is the salve for her hurting parts.

She’s not afraid anymore. She’s confident. She’s fun!

I’ve grown to be quite fond of her. After all, she’s a riot.

She’s what causes me to fall going upstairs. She’s the one who hides my glasses on top of my head. She laughs with me when neither of us gets a joke. She’s a horrible cook, but she tries really hard. She’s passionate and she’s fun.

Where she once held me back, she now pushes me forward. I finally understand why she was always there.

“Come on Kim! Let’s go! Let’s do! Let’s love!”

 

 

Who I Am, is Much Bigger Than Me

Someone recently asked me, how I did it? How can I be so involved? How can I have a job and a family and still do more?

Well…

I was once told serving Christ; being a Christian was a full time job. Well, it’s actually more than that.

I have a full time job. I’m an interpreter, and it’s the best job ever!

I meet new and familiar people, everyday.

I get the honor of being apart of someone’s health care team.

For most of what I interpret for, it’s to share information that will improve the quality of someone’s life.

THAT’S PRETTY AWESOME!

But it’s only a small part, a very small part, of who I am.

I’m a wife and mom.

This is a bit bigger than a full time job.

Even sometimes when I’m doing my full time job, I am called away to be a wife or mom.

I’m always on duty. During the day, and in the middle of the night.

And it’s great!

I get to serve my husband so he doesn’t have to worry if his house is in order, or if his children are safe.

And I get to raise my children in a way that they may one day become the men and woman that God intends for them to be, to do the things he intends them to do.

SUCH HONORS!

Being a wife and a mom is much bigger than my full time job, but it’s still just a part.

Being a Christian; being a follower of Christ, THAT’S SO MUCH MORE!

Take my full time job away.
Take my husband.
Take my children….and what am I?

I’m still a Christian.

I’m still a follower of Christ.

Would the remainder of my life still look like it?

My identity is in Christ.
Not in being an interpreter.
Not in being a wife.
Not in being a mom.

Being a Christian is EVEN BIGGER than my much bigger than full time job, of being a wife and a mom.

It’s who I am. All of me. First and foremost!

So does my life reflect that?

I hope so.

To Change the World

I want to change the world.

For me, my world is not the people on the streets, or the children living in poverty on another continent, oceans away from me.

That world is much too big for little o’ me.

No, my world starts with those people who are the closest to me.

My family, my friends, my coworkers, my former schoolmates, my neighbors, my acquaintances…

People I interact with and do life with everyday.

I want to be surrounded by so much love; by so many people who live life for others.

I want my children to be brought up in a community that is for each other, and not against.

I dream of a day, where we all move as one body, doing the works of Jesus. Bringing heaven to earth, to reach out to the people on the street, and the children living in poverty on another continent, oceans away from me.

I don’t care what church they go to. Or don’t go to.

I don’t care, what city, state or country they live in.

I don’t care who they voted for. Or if they did.

I want to see my community move, not because the church tells them, but because Jesus moves them.

I want to see a community where the Spirit dwells within them, richly.

I want to change the world by encouraging, supporting and showing.

It’s so simple, but it’s not so easy.

Many people are full of good intentions or excuses, but good intentions and excuses do not fulfill transformation!

The Spirit of the Lord is not silent, still, or too busy.

I dream of a day where my community not only reaches up, but also reaches out. A community that not only listens, but obeys. A community that stops acting like sheep and starts shepherding.

Every. Day. All day.

Serving the Lord is a full time job. It requires overtime. Sacrifice. It’s sometimes grueling, but most the time rewarding.

It’s a lifestyle.

It’s a lifetime.

And one day the opportunity will be gone.

Make this day, and everyday, count. They are numbered and are running out.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:10

Is the thief stealing, killing and destroying your time? Or are you living your life to the fullest? Are you living out all the opportunities Jesus has made for you?

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. – James 2:17

My life is not my own. I was not put here for my own gratification. I am not here to see how successful I can become, how many riches I can aquire, or how much freedom I can possess.

May the Lord use me as he sees fit. May he take all that I have for his glory. May I be emptied so that He may fill me. May there be less of me and more of him.

I live only so that one day I may hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

So are you with me? Can you help me?

If someone reaches out to you, will you pick up the phone? Will you help them move? Or watch their kids? Will you ask those who are hurting, how you can help? Will you LOOK for who has a need, and fill it? Will you welcome those who are pushed aside, or shunned from society? Will you give second chances and offer forgiveness? Will you cry with your neighbor? Will you do more than just pray for them?

Will you stop being offended and serve them instead? Will you stop sitting in a pew and start representing our King? Will you stop saying, I’m too busy?

Because, we can all can ask, and we can all listen, and this IS following Jesus.

We are on assignment!

Will you be the church with me Every. Day. All. Day?

I want to change the world. And my world starts with you!