Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Promise of a Firm Step

by Danetta Kellar

If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23

Are you facing a decision today? I am. More than a hundred. 

Will I place others first and see how I can serve them or will I focus on my own need for more rest, my wish that the school year would just be over already? When someone says something I misunderstand, will I assume the worst, judging her? Or will I believe that she too is trying her best and listen again? Will I be a reactor or a responder? 

Each day is comprised of hundreds of little decision-steps. Each one builds on the others, making a pathway through my day. 

I can’t wait until the midst of the busy day to decide my way. I have to do that in time set apart, alone with God, still and listening. It doesn’t really have to take that long. It can be a quiet half hour I take in the evening instead of watching my favorite television show. 

I am so desperate to walk in a way that delights the Lord that I have been known to drop to my knees in prayer in the bathroom, the door locked behind me, in the only place in my house I can get privacy some days. It doesn’t matter what form it takes; what matters is that I pause to seek the Lord’s way for me.

When I have taken time out to do this, both my steps and my stumbling become less stressful. The almost-falls are so much better than the full-on-face-plants. When I have learned the Lord’s way for me, I have His promise of a firm step and His strong arm holding me when I stumble.

Maybe this sounds too esoteric, too vague. How can one know God’s way?

We have been given an instruction manual with all the basics we need to know the way that delights the Lord. 

That manual is the Bible and it shows us the path of life and fulfillment.

If we are not reading it, we won’t walk in it. 

When my steps get shaky and I fall on my face over and over, that’s my cue that I may not be walking in a way that delights the Lord.

I’m believing God’s promises this week. I’m taking time out to put His Word in my heart every day no matter how pressing the crush of busyness is. I am counting on firm steps and a strong hand to catch me when I stumble. (Because I surely will stumble.) How about you? Let’s do it together. 

If you want to join me in #100daysoftruth, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for daily picture posts from God’s Word. 


Thursday, May 18, 2017

How to Make It to the End of the Ride (When Life is Moving So Fast You Can Barely Hold On)

By Danetta Kellar

We climbed into the rollercoaster cars, all five of us. I strapped the belt on tight, giving it an extra pull to be sure. The attendant came by and lowered the bar and locked it. Now all I could do was look straight ahead and hold on. 

I was worried about my daughter seated behind me, who was riding a fast coaster for the first time. Her brothers screamed like monkeys, chanting, “Go! Go! Go!” They were ready for a thrill. My husband put his arm protectively around our little girl just as the machine lurched forward with a jolt. 

The next few minutes were a blur as we held on for dear life and hoped our lunch would stay put. The ride was over as quickly as it had begun. I have never been so happy to see the exit.

On our way out, pictures of our terrified faces flashed on a screen. We had survived to tell about it.

Life, especially at the end of a school year, during a big project at work, or a health crisis, can race forward at the speed of a breakneck rollercoaster. 

Everything can become a blur as we hold on for dear life. Concern for others on the ride with us becomes secondary as we try to keep our own selves from being thrown. It’s all we can do to make it to the exit.

Good for us that a hidden camera cannot snap a shot of our terrified faces and post it on a screen in the midst of the high-speed ride of life. (Although I guess anything is possible now.)

The way to hang on in life’s busy seasons is not much different from how we stay put on a rollercoaster ride. 

Secure your belt, and lock the bar. Before any action on any day, secure your heart and mind in the Truth found in God’s Word, the Bible. If you are wondering where to begin, practice reading one Psalm and one Proverb each day. The Psalms teach us how to relate to God. The Proverbs teach us how to relate to each other. 

Lock the bar by reminding yourself who holds your day in His hands. Then look straight ahead and remember to breathe. The exit is coming, and believe it or not, this ride is not as long as it feels.

Hang in there and tell your story when it’s over!


Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Mother Heart of God

by Danetta Kellar

Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord cares for me. Psalm 27:10, HSCB

For those from deeply dysfunctional backgrounds, associating God with father or mother can be repulsive, feel unsafe.

The mere thought of God as a parent can call up memories of abandonment, abuse, and pain. God as Father or Mother can actually be a trigger to those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

These hurting, confused ones often suffer quietly in our churches, or just don’t come at all.

We are trapped in a world of words, and limited by their concepts. 

God, however, is not trapped, confined, nor limited by any language of man nor any gender. He is the original father, mother, and brother. His love existed before the corruption of humanity and the broken path of love it has built over the centuries.

There is redemption for your concept of mother this Mother’s Day. 

It is found in the mother heart of God, the One who knew you before you were born (Psalm 139:16), who wove you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:15), who knows the plans designed for just you (Jeremiah 29:11), all the days of your life (Psalm 139:16). 

God is the One who knows how many hairs are on your head (Matthew 10:30), the One who sings over you while you sleep (Zephaniah 3:17). The Lord keeps vigil over you while you rest, watching and protecting (Psalm 121). God is a Comforter, a Counselor, and a Teacher (John 14:16, 26, Isaiah 9:6). The mothering love of God binds up your wounds and makes you a daisy chain crown of joy instead of sorrow (Isaiah 61:3). God adorns you with a new dress of white (Isaiah 61:10, Revelation 7:9), and calls you a jewel on a necklace (Malachi 3:17). 

This is the God who cares for the little birds but cares so much more for you (Matthew 10:29,31), the One who wants to hear your heart and never tires of listening (Psalm 22:14). 

Come to the Lord this Mother’s Day, and be comforted.

For all the broken mothers and broken children who have failed and are hurting, God waits. Let God our Mother heal all our broken places, mothers and children. And let the concept of Mother be redeemed by the One who mothers our souls.

This is the mother heart of God for you and for me this Mother’s Day.

Take time out to look up each of the verses cited above. Underline them in your Bible as a reminder of how God mothers our hearts. And may you experience the mother love of God on Mother’s Day.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Difficult (And Inevitable) Place of Disappointment in Marriage

by Danetta Kellar

Disappointment in one another is a difficult place to navigate in marriage.

The pressures of life encroach upon this sacred relationship, changing well-worn paths into treacherous passages. The familiar can become unpredictable, and doubt in each other crouches at the door.

I once hiked a mountain deep in Africa. Along its heights we reached a boggy path along the edge of a cliff, treacherous and slippery. 

The terrain which had at the base been solid and immoveable now transformed to secret pockets of sinking mud and insecure footing. Tufts of moss spotted the way providing the only possible passageway. 

Step by unstable step we climbed. No one spoke. Every eye was fixed upon the precarious footpath, hearts in our throats as we wondered if we would make it to solid ground once again.

Images of the stories I had heard of deaths on this cliffside rose up in my mind like specters of doom. I pushed them away, focusing on my own two feet. 

If I had not seen with my own eyes, climbed with my own feet the secure paths we walked on only yesterday, I would have despaired. 

Reality would have been distorted in my mind, and I would have been sure that no stable ground ever had existed, only mud and mire. 

Marriage can be like that. There are passageways that seem unrecognizable to us, so different they are from the start of the journey. We could swear that the mountain has melted beneath us, the steadiness and hope of earlier days a mirage, a wish.

Has the mountain changed? Does it no longer want to be a mountain? Will we make it? Is there a path anymore? 

If we peer closely, we will find there is a Rock beneath the mountain that never moves. 

It is unchangeable, and it is steadfast. It is the Lord Himself, and He promises to be our sure footing though the way is no longer visible to our eyes. 

We will find this sure footing when we step forward in faith, placing our foot upon the promise. God is the promise. He promises to be the Rock in our marriages and our lives.

When everything else looks, sounds, and feels unstable, we must strengthen our souls by remembering the promise of security upon the only immovable Rock. God, not our spouse, is our Rock and our Redeemer. 

The instant our foot is placed firmly in belief on the ground before us, we find the welcoming strength of the immovable rock holding us steady. Then we do it again. And again. And again. Step by faith-filled, courageous step, we reach the heights. From that vantage point we will gaze on the slippery slope behind us and marvel that we survived.

If your marriage is hurting today and the way seems lost, look for the Rock beneath the mountain. 

There is sure footing for you today, though the way may seem hidden. Step out in faith and stand upon the promise, one stride at a time.

Lord, be the Rock beneath my feet in my marriage today. Be the steadfastness of my feelings and thoughts, and keep me climbing higher. Amen.