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Defeating Doubt

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“I can’t”:  The words every parent has heard come out of their speaking-age and older child. My six year old son, Jude says it to me on a consistent basis and has since a young age. As his momma, I want to quickly tell him not to utter those words again and fall into the negative “I can’t” mindset.

But if I looked into the mirror I would see the queen of “I can’t” reflecting back at me. Thoughts are constantly swimming through my head like: I am under qualified. I don’t have enough experience.  I’m not good enough. I don’t know how. I’m going to fail. And in talking to others, I find out I am far from alone.

The thing is, human nature tells us we can’t.  But God Almighty SHOWS us we can.

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Moses parted the Red Sea to free the people of Israel. Noah built an ark that housed two of every animal, David defeated the giant Goliath with a slingshot and a stone. There are dozens of wonderful stories in the Bible with real people doing amazing things. You can do amazing things too, with God’s help!

God has a purpose and a calling for each and every one of our lives but the biggest thing keeping us away from fulfilling God’s plan is ourselves. We have so much self-doubt and not a lot of faith. Literally almost EVERY single person I have ever talked to about this has had some sort of insecurity at one time.

So let me ask you this, which is something I have to ask myself daily: If God (the creator of the universe and all living things) asked you to do something, don’t you think that He already knows you are capable? If God has confidence in us to do His work, then we need to have confidence in ourselves. 

I don’t know what God has asked you to do. He has been asking me to do some CRAZY things lately, so I can only imagine what he’s put on your heart. But after I give myself a little pep talk and step out in faith, I realize that with God’s help I can do even more than what I imagined I could ever possibly do. So let me just remind you: If God has asked you to do it, He will see you through it. 

Together, let’s defeat doubt. Let’s listen to the voice of God and not the voice of the enemy or the world around us. Let’s follow His direction and receive His beautiful plan and calling for our life. Let’s step out in FAITH and have the courage to dream big! Because we have a BIG God. This is the kind of culture we can reflect in our daily lives and pass on to our children.

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What step is God asking you to take right now? Maybe it’s the biggest step of all – stepping out in faith and accepting His son, Jesus into your life. Maybe it’s giving up something that is preventing you from growing in that relationship with Him. Or maybe it’s taking that next step in that wonderful God-given destiny He has in store for you.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10.

Let me pray for you!

Father God, I am so thankful for the people you have put in my life who are reading this right now. I may not know exactly where they are at, Lord, but you do. Please pour down Your strength and courage and help us to defeat doubt. Help us have the strength to put our complete faith and trust in you and to take that next step you want us to in our life. Continue to define the gifts you have given us so we can fulfill your calling you have places on our lives. In Jesus’s name, Amen!

Living on Purpose, Blogging on Purpose

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Hi friends! Thank you so much for hanging in there with me during this long transition time.  As most of you know, we just made the move to Fargo, North Dakota to embark on the journey God has asked of my husband and I – to plant a church!  Now that we are all settled in, I wanted to take this time to reconnect with all of you and relaunch this blog.

During this time of preparation for the upcoming church plant, God has been revealing so many unbelievable things. It all has to do with living life on purpose.

We all have a unique God-designed purpose.

This may not come as a surprise to you: God created  you on purpose for a purpose.  You were born in this time and place for a reason.  The more I read and grow and get to know others and their stories, I can see God’s hand on EVERYTHING.  God has plans for you and your life.

Many of you reading this may already know what this purpose is. If so, that is wonderful! I am so excited for you.  God is going to use you for great things, I truly believe that.

Maybe you have no idea what you are here for.  You haven’t quite figured out what your purpose is yet or what you want to do with your life.  And you know what? That is okay! I was there myself just a short few years ago and  I know how frustrating it can be.  But let me offer you some encouragement in the form of one of my favorite Bible verses: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

Keep following God and stay close to Him. He will reveal the purpose He has for you.

Guess what? I have a unique God-designed purpose, too!

In the last couple of years, God has really revealed to me what His purpose is for me.  Over the last several months he has been constantly defining that for me and revealing it more and more as I keep stepping out in faith. I would love to share it with you:

  1. God has called me to connect with women.  If you would have told me several years ago that I was supposed to go into women’s ministry, I would have laughed in your face.  I thought many women were catty and mean and I didn’t want anything to do with them. Since then, God has completely changed my  heart.  He has not only introduced amazing women to me to change my views on them, but He has really helped me embrace what it means to be a woman myself.  Now all I want to do is be a friend to other women and journey with them while we all grow in Christ. Women’s ministry is my heart! ♥
  2. God has called me to write.  A year ago I started this blog as an answer to God’s call for me to write.  I had to step away for awhile because of life, but God never asked me to stop.  That is why I am going to be re-launcing my blog, but this time with a more specific focus: Equipping women with biblical tools to help find and fulfill their God-given purpose.  I have come to find that people are much more full of joy when they are fulfilling a purpose.  I hope to encourage other women through this blog to either start or continue on that path.  I can’t wait for us to go on this purpose-filled journey together.
  3. God has called me to help plant a church.  If any of you know Wade and I’s story, you know that God put us together.  I am so blessed to be his wife and I am extremely proud of him for fulfilling God’s call in his life – to plant a church in Fargo, North Dakota.  I am humbled to be walking along side him on this journey and will do whatever it takes to help him fulfill this calling. God put us together for a purpose and we know that it is to reach people in the Fargo area and help them find and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I look at that list and I think WOW!!! That is a lot. But I have heard over and over if your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough. My life has changed a lot in the last few years thanks to God’s AMAZING grace, and I am so thankful he continues to guide me and refine me.

My life verse says it all, “Live a life worthy of the calling that you have received.” Ephesians 4:1. I know I can never live up to this amazing call.  I am going to mess up, get frustrated, cry and probably try to quit.  But thankfully God gives us grace.

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The joy and excitement I have in finding and fulfilling my own purpose is why I have changed the focus of this blog. I am devoted to encouraging and building up other women so they can focus on their own gifts and talents and the amazing plans God has for each women in life.

I want to thank you all so much for supporting me in my journey thus far.  I hope you continue to walk with me on this next step and that I can offer you some encouragement in your own calling in your life.

God bless all of you.  I can’t wait to start my blog off on a new series in this next week. Stay tuned!

Love,
Chelsey

Where in the World Have I Been?

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Hello everyone! First of all, I am so sorry for abandoning you all. That was never my intention. I miss this blog so much. So I am here to answer the question: Where in the world have I been?

First of all, I would like to assure you that I am not on a permanent break from my blog or writing.  Writing this blog has been such a blessing in growing closer to God and in making some new wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. Writing is such a passion of mine and a definite call from God – so I will be back.

In preparation for my husband and I to move to Fargo, North Dakota to plant a church, we have temporarily rented out my mother in law’s lower level. The thing about it is – she lives on farmland right out side of the small town of Lennox, South Dakota.  I am so blessed that they are generously letting their adult children and grandchildren stay with them so we can prepare for our next big adventure!

But, the thing about rural America, they don’t really get access to internet. So, ya’ll, I have been living without my daily wi-fi and relying on my small amount of cell phone data to connect me to the world. Can we say first world problems? But it does put a damper on my writing.

So right now I am sitting in a coffee shop, sipping on my hazelnut latte and giving you excuses on why I’ve disappeared. Although, not having internet is kind of a necessity when it comes to blogging. But let me be real for a moment with you:

When we are doing God’s work, Satan sure likes to try to play hard ball. My husband and I, along with fellow church planters have been going through some real spiritual warfare lately. I have been having to check my attitude daily while in this transition period.

If you are stuck in a period of your life right now where you are struggling – let me encourage you with the scripture I’ve been clinging on to these past couple of months. Philippines chapter 4 has been my security blanket right now:

Paul says in verse 4 (NLT), Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  

He continues in verse 11b (NLT), I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” 

Thank you for your patience while I’m in this transition period.  I am working to be content and full of joy until we can move on to our next big journey of moving to Fargo to start our church!

As of right now, my blog is going to be on hold until we make the move – which we are hoping will happen the first of the year. I pray God is blessing you immensely and I would love to connect via Facebook in the interim until I can get back here again!

Chelsey

What’s Your Story?

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The woman had tears pouring down her face as she approached me. That weekend I was given the privilege of being able to serve in a capacity that prayed for people after they made a decision to accept Christ. I waited at the prayer table and I met her eyes with a kind smile. “Can I pray for you?” I asked. The tears kept coming as she shared with me her story. She told me about her broken past and the things she had been through and she asked me if God could truly forgive her for the things she had done.

I told that woman that there is nothing that she could do to separate her from God’s love because of what Jesus did for us, as long as she is willing to accept His gift. Then I prayed for her as she repented and accepted Christ into her heart.

I think back to that Sunday morning and the words I knew deep in my heart. I knew without a doubt that God would forgive that woman. I knew that no matter what she did, God’s mercy is greater.

She told me it was very hard for her to tell me her story. I understood. I have gone through a darkness in my past that I don’t want anyone to see – but I told her what she does next is what is important. By letting Christ in her life, she can change her ways and live as a testimony to others at what our God can do.

My past is messy. My past is dirty. I look back on all the things I’ve done and people I’ve hurt and it still hurts me to remember that girl I use to be. But our God, full of mercy, doesn’t point to my past – but my present and future in Him. That’s the love of Jesus Christ.

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I’ve shared bits of my testimony before on my blog – but I think now is the time to share it all. I know if I face my past, God can use anyone if they surrender to Him fully. The next few weeks I will spend telling you my story. I hope it helps you or someone you know and points them back to Jesus.

What’s your story? Whatever it is, it’s so important to God. He can use your story to minister to others. Share it.

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:3-7.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for your forgiveness and mercy. Please allow my past to be a testimony to others and give me the courage to share it. Amen.

Discussion: What’s your story? Have you ever shared your testimony with someone and it had an impact on their life?

When I Don’t Have the Words to Say

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I love words. I have been a reader since I was little and have always been captivated by books and stories. I dreamed of being a writer when I was little and thought my dream was bigger than someone wanting to be an astronaut.

Then I developed a relationship with God and He showed me how my love for words can help others. How I can write and speak and tell everyone about Jesus and God’s love and His good promises. I started ministering to others and started this blog. I started using words to be a blessing to others. I used my words to help me grow as well in faith and life.

But then there are days when I don’t have the words to say. When you are a person of words, that’s a hard place to be. There are times when my friends are going through such difficult circumstances that I don’t know what to tell them. There are circumstances when I am battling depression and I can barely speak. And there are days like yesterday when my doctor gives me news I don’t want to hear – and I just don’t have the words to say.

I have a love of words. God gave me that gift – so what happens when I don’t have the words to say? That is when I can go to God’s Word. I may not have the words to say but I don’t need to, because He does. 

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Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path,” Psalm 119:105.

So maybe you or a friend are going through something and you don’t have the words. It’s okay, grab your Bible and breathe in the beautiful Word that God has given us.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for giving us the wonderful gift of words. Thank for speaking for us through Your Word when we don’t know what to say or do. Your Word will always speak to us and guide us and help us through. Please help us continue to open up Your Word first when we don’t have the words to say.  In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

For the rest of the summer and possibly into fall, I will be focusing on a new topic of Stories and Testimonies. If you are interested in sharing your story or testimony on my blog – it may be a blessing to someone else! If you would like to be a part of this, please email me at chelcoffey@gmail.com.

Guest Post – Meredith Carr

Guest Post Meredith Carr

Today I am so excited to introduce you to a sweet friend of mine, Meredith Carr.  Mere and I “met” through our blogging training community, COMPEL training. I asked her to share with me her thoughts and feelings on what it means to live life to be a blessing to others. Thank you, Meredith, for blessing us with your words today.

The Power of Life & Death
Meredith Houston Carr

Recently, a friend of mine shared on Facebook her victorious parenting news: her daughter was finally learning to use the potty, and her newborn son slept a solid stretch of hours through the night. As a mom to little ones myself, I fully understood her joy and found myself clapping right alongside her.

However, in the midst of all the positive comments came that dreaded post from a “Debbie Downer.” In no uncertain terms, this person reminded my friend that her newborn’s restful night could very well be a fluke, so don’t get used to it. Oh, and one potty success doesn’t mean her daughter’s “got it,” as many times kids will have a success and then revert, etc. etc. etc.

You could almost smell the earthy scent of water hitting the pavement as this commenter rained on my friend’s parade. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one reading her comment and thinking, really? Was it really necessary to say that?

And while a comment on social media may seem innocuous, I think we all know just how much someone’s words can hurt. In the midst of dozens of positive comments, just one unkind, insensitive, or negative word can drag us down all day, rattling around in our brains like a pesky pebble in a shoe.

Rudyard Kipling famously said, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind,” and I think we’d all agree.

Indeed, throughout the Old and New Testaments, God’s Word speaks extensively of the power our words possess—power to both harm and bless.

In particular, the book of James also speaks at length about the tongue and its power:

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell … It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be (James 3:6, 8-10 NIV).

Ouch. Kind of puts a clear end to the childhood maxim of “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” And in our highly virtual and social media-obsessed world, we know this sing-song saying to be undeniably false.

But as dangerous and destructive as the tongue can be, it equally has the power to dole out blessings on the lives of others. Proverbs 18:21 tells us:

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (NIV).PowerOfLifeAndDeath

It’s easy to focus on the death part of this verse—but what an amazing truth that we can use our tongues to bring life to others!

So, just how can we wield our words for the good of others?

1. Best Recognize

First, we must recognize our powerlessness in reigning in our tongues and our great need for the power of the Holy Spirit. As James tells us, “no man can tame the tongue” (James 3:8 NIV).

On our own, we can have self-control to a point—but ultimately, if we’re to use our words as a means of blessing others, we must turn our tongues over to the One who created them—and the only One who is able to imbue us with the ability to speak life rather than death.

2. Choose Wisely

With the power of the Holy Spirit guiding and directing us, we are then equipped to choose life in every word we speak, type, or write. Sometimes, this requires “hard obedience,” as I call it—hard, because everything in you wants to scream out something you know isn’t life giving, and it takes every ounce of your will and God’s power to bite your tongue!

As in everything, we must let Jesus be our example—no matter what type of person or people group with which He interacted, Jesus always used His words to give life. Even when He had to speak difficult truth, He spoke it with love and respect.

We must go and do likewise.

3. Spread the Love Today

Lastly, I’ll end with a little challenge, since faith without action is dead (see James 2:17). Today, think of one person you can encourage and bless with your words. I’m sure all of us can think of a friend or family member or neighbor who could use an uplifting word. Today, take the time to send that text, e-mail, or e-card. Better yet, drop a handwritten note in the mail. Pick up the phone and tell someone how thankful you are for her. How much he means to you. Let God’s Spirit guide you as you pour out words of blessing on another’s life.

Let’s recognize the incredible power of our words and invite Jesus into them. In obedience, let’s choose life each time we open our mouths or type on our phones and computers. And let’s commit to using tools like social media for the good of others, every chance we get.

You never know how God will use your words to bless someone’s life and bring the love of Jesus down from Heaven to Earth.

Author Bio

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Meredith Carr is a Georgia Peach but now calls the hills of Northern California home, where she lives with her husband, energetic son and precocious daughter, and two crazy Chihuahuas. An attorney in her former life, she now enjoys the thrilling and slightly crazy stay-at-home mom life. You can find her writing (semi) regularly during naptime and in between loads of laundry at www.meredithhcarr.com.

To the Dad Who Chose

Happy Father's Day

First I want to say Happy Father’s Day to all of the dad’s out there! Thank you for being such a special part of your children’s’ lives. You have no idea how important what you are doing is – being a father.

Today is an extremely special day to me – so special I get tears in my eyes when I think of it. Today is the first year my son has had a dad on Father’s Day – and I am so incredibly grateful for the man who stepped into that place when he didn’t have to.

I got pregnant at Jude at a very dark time in my life. I didn’t know Jesus and was living a life I wasn’t proud of. Needless to say, I got pregnant and the man I was with evidently did not want to take part in that, so he vanished. Having Jude was one of the best things that ever happened to me because he was the reason I started going to church and found Jesus Christ.

When I met my now-husband, Wade, over 3 years ago – he was already a great dad to two wonderful kids. I saw how much his kids meant to him and how he would always point them to God. That is one of the many reasons I fell in love with him.

When Wade came to me and told me he wanted to marry me – one of the first things he told me was that he loved Jude as well and wanted to adopt him. That melted my heart. I always had a large amount of guilt for Jude not having a dad in his life – and God decided to redeem that.

The day Wade proposed to me, he proposed to Jude first – with a ring pop. He asked if it was okay if he could be his daddy. I felt so much joy that day and I could not believe how much God was blessing me and making my broken family whole.

Then came our wedding day last August – the day we got married we arranged that would be the same day Jude would be adopted. With the help of my dad, an amazing lawyer and the best judge in town – that dream came true. Right after signing our wedding papers, the judge came and we signed papers making our family complete.

Today is the first day my son Jude can officially celebrate Father’s Day. God loved us so much that he brought an amazing Christian man named Wade into our lives. Wade not only loves is own two wonderful sons, but CHOSE to love mine as his own as well. I couldn’t be more grateful.

So on this Father’s Day I am so thankful to all dads. But I am especially grateful for the dad’s who stepped up to be fathers to the kids without any. Thank you. You are amazing reflections of God’s love.

“The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.” Proverbs 20:7.

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Happy Father’s Day to my amazing husband! Thank you for being a great dad.