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UNDAUNTED
For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Pondering Intimacy with God

This morning I am pondering intimacy with God. In the OT the priests went into the Holy of Holies at a certain time. It was like a seriously intense date with God. They planned for it and prepared for it.
 
In the NT, those who were intimate with Christ made the effort to be with Him, to know Him. Granted, there were those who were healed who didn't come near Him, such as the centurian's servant. But the ones who knew Him, spent time with Him. They talked with Him, listened, asked questions, prepared for time with Him.
 
Even the woman at the well who "chanced upon Him" responded to Him and talked with Him, laid her hearts questions before Him, listened, and dared to believe the impossible, not because someone told her about Him but because of her epxerience with Him.
 
Today I am pondering intimacy with Him. The listening, heart sharing, believing the wonder of Him, and preparing for Him, not in a religious way, but in a personal way.
 
You know, Zaccheus did not prepare lunch in a grand formal dining room, but he had intimate time over a meal he had not even planned. Kind of like hotdogs on white bread with a line of mustard and the leftover chips from the open bag. And Jesus totally felt honored and welcome.
 
One thing each of the intimate encounters with Jesus has in common is that the person actually made the effort to spend time in Jesus' presence, to connect, to hear, to be honest.
 
Pondering....
 
Jerri
www.jerrieklley.com

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Husbands, Can You Help Us Out a Little Bit?

Yesterday my way groovy friend Heather Brizzi and I had an iron sharpening iron session over the phone. Specifically we were talking about husbands and marriage, spiritual warfare, and prayer. Really, it all went together. It has stuck in my head, and this morning the Lord and I talked more about wives praying for their husbands.
 
If we are harcore real, the truth is most of us pray for others based on what we want out of it. We pray for people to be blessed or become or respond or act in a way that makes us feel good or makes things easy for us. Wives do that with their husbands. I know. I've been a wife. My female friends were wives. We've prayed together.
 
But this morning, the Lord is really impressing on me--
"If you did not look at your husband in relation to yourself and your prayers had nohting to do with you, what would you pray for your husband?"
 
That has me thinking, but we'll talk about that tomorrow or Monday becaus then the next question came to mind:
 
what would your husband want you to pray for him?
 
Huh.
 
So, men, I am asking you to be hardcore real and help us ladies out. What do you want your wife to pray for when she lifts you up to the Lord?
 
If you don't feel comfortable with a public answer, please PM me. I really want to know, and I know other ladies who want to know as well because some of us really have hearts to be great wives, so would you please help us out?
 
Thanks,
Jerri
www.jerrikelley.com

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Genesis and Everything Else Begins the Same Way...with God

Two weeks ago I posted about the 2010 and 2011 and how our life changed. I said a foundational piece for me was that God created a whole universe out of nothing. Everything that had never been...from nothing.

But there is something more fundamental than even that. You know, the story didn't start with creation. It started with God.

In the beginning, God.

Everything starts with God.

I've been thinking about this because people want shortcuts, and there are no shortcuts, but people try them. They try the book studies and the conferences and the whatever classes because those are supposed to be life-changing events.

As someone who attended book studies and classes and retreats, I can tell you none of them changed my life. Because none of them changed me.

What changed me is far simpler than that.
1 I read my Bible every day.
2. I prayed a lot.
3. And I started agreeing with the Bible, not with what I wanted to hear or how I wanted life to be.
4. I admitted when I sinned by not acting in accordance with God's ways.
5. I did the hard things that obedience requires instead of taking the comfortable road with its explanations and excuses.

Simply put. I chose God.

I stopped looking for books that helped me feel better about myself and looked to the God who wanted me to have the best version of myself.
I stopped looking to retreats to have some amazing encounter and focused on creating time in my every day for intimacy.
I stopped looking for spiritual highs and decided I would take whatever truth did, even when it hurt, as long as it meant I got Him.

And He has been faithful to respond.

In Jeremiah 29, God says, "You will find me when you seek me with your whole heart."

I wanted everything He is so I made Him my discipline.

If I had to choose between sleep or prayer, I tried to always get up and pray.
If I had to choose between TV or reading my Bible, I read my Bible.
If I had to choose between my ego and becoming like Him, I choked down more humble pie.

Everything starts with God.
Everything I want to be.
Everything I want for my life.
Everything I want for my kids.
Everything starts with God.

Want to change your life?
Start at the beginning.

In the beginning...God.

Jerri L. Kelley
www.jerrikelley.com

Monday, January 15, 2018

Prayer for Those of You in the Hard Places

Father God,
I lift up the folks who read (and don't read) my posts on FB and my blog, and I ask you to speak to them today. If not through these words, somehow. Show them the answers to the issues they face, and, Lord, nag them if you have to, especially if they are the problem that is preventing the answer. Give them wisdom and grant them forbearance to way up under the weight of the issue until you bring it to solution. I pray that in the waiting, you would show them your character, not as a hateful God who is waiting to squish them like a bug if they step or breathe wrong, but as a God who has invested His very breath into them, because that is what you really have done. Given us your breath and given us your life so we could breathe again when we were dead in our own mess and waste. Help them to see the God I know, the God who loves deeply and desires honest relationship with mutual love and respect, with hearts to serve each other. Show them the path, not just to their answer, but the path to you because that is not something shown to us very often, and when it is, it is usually wrapped in ritual and checkmarks, not radical passion and committed love. Thank you, Lord, for every person you have brought within my writing world and personal one. Thank you that you have a plan for every single one of them, and sometimes that plan is hard to walk or impossible to understand because this world is not for sissies, but, Lord, I pray that in the hard and impossible to understand, they would understand this--you are with them.
I love you, Father. Help me love you more.
Help my lack of faith, Lord.
Amen
Jerri
www.jerrikelley.com

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Grief Others Don't See, God Sees and Steps Right Into

This morning as I was praying I prayed for folks on FB, and I had this urge to get on FB and tell a woman it's okay to grieve your baby, even if no one else understands. God understands your heart grief that no one can relate to or even knows about. I didn't, though, because, frankly, it kind of sounded weird...and really personal, and how would I word that anyway?
 
I checked my email, and there was an email from a very dear friend who has no children and is not married, but her elderly dog she has had since a puppy is very sick and may not make it through the day. Her heart is breaking, and she metnioned our conversation this week and said, "Thank you for reminding me God loves me even when my heart is breaking."
 
How much does He love her? How much is He concerned about her pain? So much so that He spoke comfort to me to offer her. He WANTS her to know He feels her heart. He WANTS her to know her grief is His concern. He WANTS her to know even when some people see "only a dog", He sees her life companion. THAT is the fulness of His love for her.
 
God is so many things, but the greatest thing He is...is definitely love.
 
Ephesians 3:16-19
 
Jerri
www.jerrikelley.com

Thursday, January 4, 2018

When People Hurt More than You have the Power to Help...You Pray

In my other post about my trip through government bureacracy the last week and especially today, I talked about the wounded souls I saw, and the question was posed, "What does God want you to do with it?" Well, put it in perspective for one.
 
I also took my truck in for some major repair work. It was supposed to go in yesterday, but it didn't because one of the owners of Christian Brothers passed into the hands of Jesus Monday, and yesterday was Annette's memorial. It was hard walking into CB's today knowing I would hear her laughter or see her smile or feel her hugs. Right now, I'm tearing up again. And it is hard knowing what her husband is facing and just how...empty a kitchen chair can be or the other side of the couch or the other seat in the car. And my heart would do anything to make that better.
 
While I was rolling through the emotions and frustrations of the day, I was also getting messages from folks neededing prayer, and I am always honored and privileged when people pour out their hearts for me to take before the Lord, and maybe today I am really tender because of Annette, but so many people are facing granite hard things, and I can do nothing pratical to fix it. Nothing.
 
All I can do is carry these hearts and lives and needs into the throne room and lay them before the Lord and ask for answers to the specific needs and ask for help for them, not just material help but emotional help so they can find peace and mental calm so they make decisions well.
 
You know, when you are left making decisions that it is shocking to make in the first place and add mental and emotional exhaustion to the mix, one of three things will happen.
1. They'll do something human to fix it, which is bad.
2. God will step in and meet them where they are, and they will know how to lean into Him.
3. They will crater. Maybe not suicide but in ways that destroy marriages, relationships, and hope.
 
I pray not just for the tangible answers but for the intangible soul stuff that needs to be able to reach out to God and hold onto God and receive answers from God. Prayer isn't just about the physical world. It is mostly about the internal world because that is where the war is won.
 
Anyway...I"m praying.
Jerri Kelley
www.jerrikelley.com