Category: thoughts by Kristi Huseby

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“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”  Luke 4.18-19

Jesus came to set the captives free!

But most of the people Jesus came in contact with never even recognized they were in spiritual bondage.  They were so focused on their Roman captivity, they neglected to understand who their real captor was!

In Romans, Paul spells it out clearly  . . .  our captor is SIN.  Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin.   Romans 6.19

Captivity to sin is all we’d ever known.  The cage of sin was where we resided and we had made a pretty comfortable home there.  Our shackles of sin held us hostage but we didn’t feel bound, in fact it was just the opposite – we felt free.

Sin was our shackles, our bondage, our captivity.  But Jesus died to set us free!  He removed the chains that bound us and hemmed us in.  His love is our jailbreak!

It wasn’t until Jesus set us free that we realized our incarceration.  We understood our sin and invited Christ into our lives to free us from this bondage.  And He did!

So why do we keep going back to the cage?  Why do we shackle ourselves with the guilt of our sin?  Why do we wrap the chains back around us and refuse to leave the jail?

We believe the lies that our sin is too ugly for God to forgive.  We refuse to believe God has forgiven us because we can’t forgive ourselves.  This jail cell is all we’ve ever known, it’s comfortable.  It’s “safe”.

If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good?  . . .  We left the old country of sin behind . . . We entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!  Romans 6.1-2 (MSG)

God set you free!  There is no need for penance – it has already been paid in full!  Your sin is covered, washed away by the blood of God’s own Son.  There is nothing left to do but embrace this new way of living, this freedom.  Leave the cage and all its shackles behind and walk into this new land of grace and hope!

Our jailbreak is NOW!

By Kristi Huseby
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Long ago, when I gave my heart to Christ, I jumped into the driver’s seat, thanked God for the car, asked Him for the keys and expected that He would ride shotgun.

I gratefully invited Him to sit beside me to be my copilot on my journey.  I wanted God in my life to help me do what I could not do on my own.  I expected that He would navigate around the difficulties and smooth out the road.

Isn’t that what a copilot’s supposed to do?

For much of my life, I have had this propensity to want to be in control.  It’s easier this way . . . at least that’s what I like to tell myself.   It’s just plain scary letting someone else drive my car . . . even if it is the God of the Universe, who knows me better than I know myself and loves me anyway.

For a long time, fear kept me from turning over the keys to my Savior.  Fear of what He might do . . . Fear of where He might take me . . . Fear of what He might ask me to achieve.  I was so focused on ME that I couldn’t embrace HIM.

Mathew 16.24-26 (MSG) says this,  . . .

Anyone who intends to come with me has to LET ME LEAD.  YOU’RE NOT IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT; I AM. . .   Don’t run from suffering; embrace it.  Follow me and I’ll show you how.  Self-help is no help at all.  Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.  What kind of deal is it to get everything but lose yourself?  What could you ever trade your soul for?”

Surrender is never easy.  Fear can be over powering and the way of suffering difficult. But God calls each one of us to pry our hands from the wheel, hand over the keys and leave the driving to Him.

When I finally relinquished control I was amazed at what I discovered!    There is Freedom in Following, Joy in Trusting, and Peace in Surrender.

Surrender. Embrace. Trust. Follow.

This is the WAY, His WAY . . .

Lord, teach me to TRUST You, to EMBRACE all that you have for me, SURRENDER to Your perfect Way and FOLLOW where you lead.  Amen.

by Kristi Huseby
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But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.Psalm 59:16-17

I was cleaning my house getting ready for company when the phone rang.

Ma’am your son has been arrested for shoplifting.”

My whole world came to a standstill. The pain was excruciating, the shame unbearable, the isolation overwhelming.

What do you do with a son who is 17 and arrested for shoplifting? What do you do when he comes home and wants to go to a friend’s house? What did I want to do? Ground him for the rest of his life!

I knew rationally that it wasn’t my fault he had made this choice, but my emotion-wracked heart screamed just the opposite. “You’re a FAILURE! As a mom, as a person, as a follower of Jesus. Why did you ever think you could raise a child?”

My husband and I were so empty. There’s no manual for things like this. No guide book. No answers. No place to hide.
We had nowhere else to turn but God. The emptiness drove us to our knees.

And we discovered He was there for us every step of that difficult journey. He didn’t remove the pain, but He did fill us with His peace. He didn’t take away the brokenness, but He used it to turn our hearts towards Him. He didn’t absolve the consequences of my son’s actions, but God did work everything out for good!

I’ve learned to choose Jesus no matter what. It’s the only way to truly live!

Holy Spirit, we need You. Come and fill us with Your power. Be our Comforter. You don’t promise us an easy carefree life with no troubles, no pain, no sorrow. But You do promise to be with us. Teach us to turn to You, to depend upon Your strength and power as we journey this difficult road of life. We choose You! Amen.

Thought: Maybe you can relate to feeling like you’ve failed. The Bible never says that God won’t give us more than we can handle. But He does promise us His Holy Spirit to empower us to do what we cannot. How are you trying to handle the difficult situation in your life? Write out a prayer of surrender. Give everything over to God and choose to trust Him in your trial.

By Kristi Huseby
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Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.” Psalm 73:21 (NLT)

Has your heart ever been bitter?  

It is so easy to allow bitterness to hold a death grip on our life; when our life doesn’t turn out like we think it should, when we see other people receiving accolades that we feel are due to us and not them, when we God seems distant in our greatest time of need, when friends let us down, when evil people are seemingly blessed and those whole heartedly following God are punished.

I confess I have struggled with bitterness at various times in my life.  I can recall one of those times very clearly . . .

We had a friendship but it wasn’t always easy.  She always seemed to hold something back.  We would be traveling along pretty smoothly in our relationship and then all of a sudden it was as if I ran smack into a wall – to high to climb to wide to go around.  It was disheartening and I found myself often questioning why we were friends.  Then time and differences took us a part . . .

A couple of years later God brought us back together and I wondered if the relationship would be the same.  For a while it seemed different, she was openly sharing some really difficult struggles.  These struggles were pretty huge and I began fasting and praying weekly for her.  Then slowly our relationship began to erode and we went our separate ways.

A few of years later the tables were turned and I now found myself in a series of difficult situations but she was nowhere to be seen.  I was hurt.  I had been there for her why wasn’t she there for me?  And if that weren’t enough I began to see God’s blessing poured out in her life and the hurt burrowed deep into my heart.

I drank the poison, allowing bitterness to do its insidious work in my life.  It colored everything; my circumstances, my relationship with God, my relationship with my family and other friends.  I could feel myself pulling inward in self-protection mode.  I knew it wasn’t healthy but had no power within me to stop.  I became judgmental and jaded.

But God never let go of me during this time.  He never gave up on me.

Look at what the writer of Psalm 73 says as he continues his conversation with God. . .

I was so foolish and ignorant – I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.  Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.  Whom have I in heaven but you?  I desire you more than anything on earth.  My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.  (Psalm 73:22-26 NLT)

Yet I still belong to You . . . even in the midst of my bitterness I still belonged to God.  He didn’t give up on me or let me go!  And He doesn’t give up on you or let you go either!  He is ours forever!

That difficult time allowed me to see God in a way I had never seen Him before and it showed me how easily I can lose my way and turn my heart away from the One who loves me the most.

That friendship has never been restored but God has taught me to pray for blessing in her life and through that He has set me free from the bitterness that so long ensnared me and kept me from truly growing in my walk with Him.  I whole heartedly echo the words of the Psalmist. . .

Whom have I in heaven but YOU?  I desire YOU more than anything on earth!  My spirit may grow weak but God remains the STRENGTH of my heart; He is mine FOREVER!  (Psalm 73:25-26 NLT)

Thank you Lord, for never letting go and never giving up on me!

by Kristi Huseby
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My soul quietly waits for the True God alone; my salvation comes from Him.”  Psalm 62.1

I confess, I am rarely quiet.  It is go, go, go.  Do, do, do.  And at the end of the day, it’s difficult to turn off my brain and rest.  I find it easy to take refuge in all I’ve accomplished and ignore the unsettled, restless feelings in my heart.  Focusing on the doing, rather than the being.

Someone once told me, we aren’t human-doings, we’re human-beings.

How true this is and yet how uncomfortable we find “being” to be.

When am I ever “soul quiet”?

We’re fixers . . .

We don’t need a Savior because we are our own savior.  We need money, we take out a loan.  We no longer feel in love with our spouse so we dump them for a newer model.  Our child is struggling with a teacher, we move them to a different class.  Our in-laws are driving us crazy, we cut them out of the picture.  We read self-help books, see counselor after counselor, and take matters into our own hands.

Waiting is for those who are lazy.  Waiting wastes time.  Waiting never solves anything.

We don’t need a Rescuer because we are our own rescuer.

It’s easy to rationalize away this call for soul quiet waiting.

Soul quiet is hard.  Soul quiet takes precious time.  Soul quiet takes perseverance and intentionality.

Soul quiet causes us to let go of the list and focus on the being.  Soul quiet forces us to be still.  Soul quiet brings us face to face with who we are deep down inside.

We will never pursue this life accidentally.  The voices of this world shout loud and long and unless we choose to remove our self from their continual barrage we will never learn to listen to the whispers of our Savior.

Years ago I learned a soul quiet practice called “Contemplative Prayer”, also known as Lectio Divina (Sacred Reading).  I have found it to be a wonderful way of helping me learn to quiet my soul and wait on God.

Here’s how it works:

*Read aloud the passage of Scripture (should be only 2-3 verses).  Listen to the words and be still for 1-2 minutes.
*Read aloud again and Reflect for another 1-2 minutes:  What in this passage touches my life today?
*Read aloud again and Respond for another 1-2 minutes:  What is God inviting me to do today?
*Read aloud again and Rest for another 1-2 minutes:  Ask nothing, simply rest in the presence
of the Lord.

*Write down what God has spoken to you through His Word.

I encourage you today to take Philippians 4.6-7 and begin your soul quiet practice.

God is calling all of us to the soul quiet way of living.  Resting in His presence.  Waiting on Him to rescue us.

Quieting our hearts before Him.

It’s the way of Peace even when our worlds are turned upside down.  It’s the way of Joy even when there is tremendous pain.  It is the path of Life for those who choose to walk its way.

By Kristi Huseby

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“May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.  Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15.5

In music harmony adds dimension and fullness to the melody.  The beauty of harmony is its different parts working together to enhance the song; adding flavor and depth.

The same is true of the family of God.  It is not all the individuals doing and saying the same thing but all of them working together, each using their unique gifts and abilities to bring depth and dimension to the ONE purpose.

And there’s the rub.

Working together brings friction, conflict and tension.

We all are familiar with this chafing but often we fail to see the beauty that comes from this abrasiveness.  It is in the friction where beauty is born. 

Working together with other people who are broken and imperfect like us, is God’s beautiful design.  We are like rocks in a stream; bouncing, rubbing and polishing off each other’s rough edges.

So we welcome the tension, open the door to conflict allowing it to refine and perfect us.

If you find yourself in conflict with another follower of Jesus, don’t be surprised.  Remember, we’re ALL still in the process of being perfected.  Peter tells us, And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple . . . “ 1 Peter 2.5 (NLT)

Know this; God wants to use this friction in your life to polish you into a beautiful living stone for all the world to see!

Heavenly Father, I know you designed family.  It’s part of your plan but I confess there are times when I don’t like the pain that comes with it!  I want to run and hide.  I want to escape the hurt, throw it to the winds and be done with it.  But teach me to STAY.  To embrace the pain and see the beauty.  Amen

By Kristi Huseby
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Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. . . Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?Matthew 16.24-26 (MSG)

Long ago, when I gave my heart to Christ, I jumped into the driver’s seat and expected that He would ride shotgun.

I gratefully invited God to sit beside me, to be my copilot on this journey called life. I wanted God in my life to help me do what I could not do myself, expecting that He would navigate around the difficulties and smooth out the road.

But Jesus said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let ME lead. . . “

For much of my life, I have had this propensity to want to be in control. It’s easier this way — at least that’s what I like to tell myself. It’s just plain scary letting someone else drive my car, even if it is the God of the Universe, who knows me better than I know myself.

For a long time, fear kept me from turning over the keys to my Savior. Fear of what He might do. Fear of where He might take me. Fear of what He might ask me to do. I was so focused on ME that I couldn’t embrace HIM.

God calls each one of us to pry our hands from the wheel, hand over the keys and leave the driving to Him. Surrender is never easy and the fear can seem overwhelming.

But relinquishing control, leads us to a place where there is freedom in following, joy in trusting, and peace in surrender. It is the road less traveled.

Heavenly Father, I know this journey of letting go, is the hard road to travel and will be a course that won’t be completed until I step into Your presence. Pry my hands from the wheel and teach me how to walk this pathway of Trust, this journey of Surrender, and this road of Submission. Amen.

Thought: Ask God to reveal the part of your life you’re hanging onto control of – maybe you already know what it is. Take a step of courage and hand it over to Him. (You can do it!)

By Kristi Huseby
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Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” Psalm 37:4

When my first child was placed in my arms he wrapped his little fingers around my heart and never let go.

As I watched this little man grow, I delighted in his sweet way of wrapping his chubby little arms around my neck, the way he looked at life, his sorrow over the “broken moon”.

God give us a promise in Psalm 37:4 but there’s also a condition to the promise. Do you see it? In order to get our heart’s desires, we must delight in our God.

Unreserved. Outrageous. Audacious. Delight.

Delight in the way He knows us best and loves us most, the way He cares for us in our brokenness, the way He reveals Himself to us, the way He satisfies our deepest longings.

And the more we delight in Him the more our desires become His desires. We want what He wants. We can’t get enough of Him. Our hearts are satisfied.

But when we neglect keeping company with God, all sorts of overwhelming desires clamor for our attention. Each calling out in their own way, claiming to feed our need for identity, worth, and importance. Each promising satisfaction but never seeming to satisfy.

Why do we choose the temporal over the eternal? Why do we delight more in a ballgame or burger than in our Creator?

Awake my soul, O Lord! Teach me to follow hard after You. Let me delight in Your presence more than anything else. May my desires become Your desires for You are the One who satisfies fully, loves completely, and never lets go. Amen.

By Kristi Huseby

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The First Step towards rooting out bitterness


You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” Matthew 5.43-44 (NLT, emphasis mine)

“Lord, is there any bitterness in my life?” I asked the question half-heatedly knowing that there wouldn’t be. I had just worked through a seven year stretch of bitterness and felt pretty sure that there couldn’t be any more.

How wrong I was! Bitterness had burrowed deep into my soul. With every wrong done to me I allowed it to tunnel deeper and deeper, until it became a part of me. I relished the bitterness. I was sure I must be in the right.

Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy.” (Proverbs 14.10 NLT)

God’s illuminating truth revealed the corruption of my heart. But how do I yank this out of my life? Where do I go?

Come to ME” (Matthew 11:28-29).

Pray for those who have wounded you, for those who have done you wrong. Prayer does the unexplainable, in the heart of the one who prays.

What about you? Have you asked God to show you the bitterness that lurks in your own heart? Are you praying for those who have hurt you and done you wrong?

Lord, I surrender my bitterness to You, all the those things I used to justify my bitterness because I was wronged. I NEVER want to add another brick to my wall of bitterness. Root out this darkness in me and teach me to come to You. Amen.

Action Step
If you need support read “Feelings, Forgiveness and Peace to find out how to heal.

by Kristi Huseby
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Do you have a substitute god in you life?


They say that there are two different kinds of people in the world – those who eat to live and those who live to eat.  I confess I am of the latter persuasion!

I love food.  I love to think about food, to cook food and to plan special occasions around food.  I don’t eat emotionally or to salve a deep dark problem in my life.  I eat, plain and simple; because it gives me great pleasure – at least for a little while and then it’s time to eat again.  What I’ve noticed is that the more I eat the less I’m satisfied and that in order to be satisfied I have to eat more and more.

I’ve known this to be a problem for most of my life.  And to be perfectly honest it’s an area that I have not wanted to relinquish.  I mean seriously, I have given over to God so many things in my life – submission to my husband, my children, my possessions, etc. that I have wanted to hang on to this one area in my life.  My rationalization went like this – this is a physical issue, not a spiritual one so I’ll just handle it on my own, I don’t need to bring God into this, He’s got so many more significant issues to deal with, I’m sure He doesn’t have time for this petty little problem.

So on my own, I have tried all kinds of methods to control this issue in my life.  I’ve tried dieting (from cabbage soup diet to Weight Watchers), reading books, prayer (I’ve even resorted to begging God to “heal” me).  But each one has fallen short.  Some of them worked for a while – I even lost 30 pounds with one of the diets but eventually all the weight came back and more and I was worse off than before.

Every time I would diet, there was a sense that I was not getting at the root of my issue.  It was such a battle to deny myself.  I felt hungry all the time and then eventually I would get worn down and give up in defeat.

Just recently I started doing a Bible study on Overeating and for the first time I’m allowing God to get at the heart of this issue and let me tell you it has been humbling and freeing!

I have come to acknowledge that I have a substitute god in my life.  (It pains me to say it but it’s true.)  God has created each one of us with this inner desire to be filled by Him but we often choose to allow other things to fill that hole in our life and that was exactly what I was doing.  I was allowing food to fill me rather than God and that’s why I have been so dissatisfied and have needed more and more to keep me happy.

You see substitute gods TAKE, TAKE, TAKE.   They take your time, your energy, your thoughts, your money, your focus, your purpose . . . If they give it’s only temporary and then it leaves you needing and wanting more and more and more.  That’s what this god was doing in my life.  I was bowing down to the god of pleasure, worshiping and accepting it as lord in my life.

Through the study of God’s Word, He has shown me that I need His sorrow for my sin and His repentance.  I now know that this area of my life is sin.  Before I called this problem in my life everything but sin and by not confessing and relinquishing this area in my life I have experienced frustration, anger and defeat.

Joel 2.12-13 says;  That is why the Lord says,

Turn to me now, while there is time.  Give me your hearts.  Come with fasting, weeping and mourning.  Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.

Return to the Lord your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.  He is eager to relent and not punish.

Repentance is good but hard!  And praise God that He loves us in spite of our failures, in spite of choosing a substitute god over Him!  And each day I’m experiencing His amazing grace as I continue to give this issue in my life back to Him and accept His forgiveness.

I cannot end this article without asking you . . . Do you have a substitute god in your life?  Are you bowing down to the god of Pride?  Pleasure?  Self-righteousness?  Is there an area in your life that you have been unwilling to relinquish and submit to God?

I’m here to tell you, it’s not worth it!  Sin only brings shame, sorrow, frustration and guilt but God is ready and waiting to release you from the bonds of your sin and to set you free!  There is so much joy and freedom and He is patiently waiting.

Romans 2.4 says, Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you?  Does this mean nothing to you?  Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from sin?

So trade in that substitute god for the REAL ONE – it’ll be the best decision you’ve ever made!

by Kristi Huseby
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Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.’” John 8:34-36 (NLT)

Did Jesus say, “I died so you could be miserable. I gave up everything for you to live in fear. I came as a vulnerable baby, lived in a broken world, died a cruel death, and rose from the grave so you would live without freedom”?

How ludicrous! But don’t we often live enchained in our fear, broken, defeated and enslaved?

Jesus died to set us free!

He rose from the grave to set us free!

He lives to set us free!

A friend of our family was a hoarder. She had lived that way so long, her house was bursting at the seams with all the stuff she had collected over the years. Knowing she was in trouble, she reached out to my mom for help. With the help of friends, her house was sorted, purged and cleaned.

When our friend returned home she flew into a rage and demanded that everything be put back right where it had been.

How similar this is to our journey with God. We call on Him to rescue us from our depravity and He does. Then we proceed to wrap ourselves back up in the chains of sin. Why?

Because it’s familiar, because it’s what we’ve always known, because we feel naked without it.

But the truth is we aren’t naked, we’ve been given new clothes! We are free!

So let’s live like it!

Lord, thank You for coming to save me from the chains of sin. Help me to focus on You and Your power daily. Amen.

Thought: What habits or sinful patterns have you allowed to enslave you? Do you need to do a purging?

by Kristi Huseby
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Have you ever been so tired that you felt you couldn’t take another step?  That life has wrung you out and hung you up to dry?  Have you ever wanted to just give up and throw in the towel?

Where is God?

Where is God when there is a thirst in our soul that cannot be quenched?  Where is God when the darkness invades our spirit, when we’re in a dry and barren land?   Where is God when there is a longing for wholeness where only brokenness is found?  Where is the hope? Where is our God?

I wonder if Elijah felt like this when he ran away . . .

After defeating the prophets of Baal and experiencing God’s mighty answer to prayer for rain after a three year drought, Elijah was given a death threat from the wicked queen of the land.  “Most Wanted” posters for Elijah went up in Israel over night and he fled for his life. . .

MOST WANTED:  Elijah

Just a few hours earlier, Elijah had witnessed the mighty power of God and watched as the people of Israel turned to God in repentance.  But discouragement invaded his soul like a mighty army and Elijah ran . . .

Elijah ran . . .

He ran far out into the wilderness, found a solitary tree to sit under and begged God to let him die.  He’d had enough and he wanted out!

What happens next is so surprising.  He falls asleep and God lets him.  When he awakes the angel of God feeds him and he falls back asleep.  There is no condemnation, no scolding.  There is just food and rest.

Once Elijah is rested and filled, God has him travel 40 days out into the vast wilderness.  While Elijah is holding out in a cave God reveals Himself to him.  Not once does God reprimand Elijah or scold him for being so self-focused, for desiring to dropout.  God asks Elijah a simple question:  What are you doing here?  And he listens to Elijah’s reply.   And then God gives him another job to do.

God’s unfailing love and care.

As I reflect on this beautiful story of God’s love and care for His faithful servant Elijah, I am reminded of God’s love and care for us.  In the midst of the brokenness God is there.  When we are tempted to dropout from what He has called us to do we are reminded that God sees all – He knows all.  He is a witness to our pain and frustration, our heartache and sorrow and every tear we cry. He promises to care for us in the same way He did for Elijah.  Our job is to trust Him and to keep our eyes fixed on Him and nothing else.

God promises in Isaiah 41:10 (NLV), “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

by Kristi Huseby
Used by Permission

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The person who expects nothing will never be disappointed.” (Alexander Pope)

This new journey of faith walking feels more like a narrow winding up and down, black diamond hike than a meandering smooth easy path.  One day I’m ecstatic over the answers to prayer I’m witnessing and the next I’m in the depths of despair, disappointed and discouraged.  It’s why I resonated so deeply with this quote when I saw it.  I’m expecting God to move in big and small ways to make this ministry happen.  But “His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts,” (Isaiah 55.8) and I might add, His timing is not my timing.  I expect great things from God and He doesn’t let me down, He just doesn’t do things in the way I think He should or in the time I think they should be done!

The other day I wrote in my journal, “I feel discouragement knocking at my door.  BUT I refuse to open it!  I REFUSE TO BE DISCOURAGED.  I REFUSE TO BACK DOWN.  I REFUSE TO QUIT.”

Jesus said in Matthew 7:13,

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate.  The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.  But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult and only a few ever find it.”

As I tread this difficult road I feel it making me stronger.  Deepening  my faith.  Teaching  me dependence.  Stripping away the peripheral.  Narrowing my focus.  Grounding me in truth. Forging a stalwart heart.

So today, once again, I choose the difficult road.  I choose to follow His way.  I choose to put my hand in the Hand of the one who laid down His life for me.  I choose to follow wherever this difficult road takes me.

I know I’m not the only one choosing the difficult road.  My road may look different from yours but our roads are difficult just the same.  Hang in there.  Never give up and don’t back down.  Refuse to open the door to discouragement.  Turn to your Savior, He gave His life so you might have LIFE, true and abundant life!

Remember, if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.  You won’t struggle with disappointment but you won’t accomplish anything of value either.

Spilling His Grace,

By Kristi Huseby
Used by Permission

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“Don’t grieve God. Don’t break His heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for Himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.”  Ephesians 4:30 (The Message)

Have you ever given a gift you poured your heart and soul into, only to discover it was never really used — or even appreciated?

If you have invited Christ into your life, you have received this amazing gift of the Holy Spirit! This present is like none other: God the Father poured His heart and soul into this gift for you!

But have you set this precious gift on a shelf to collect dust with all the other well-meaning gifts you’ve received over the years? Have you ever really used it?

Could it be you’re afraid God might ask you to do something you don’t want to do, or go someplace you don’t want to go?

It is not enough to just have the Holy Spirit in our lives. He wants to play an active role. He longs to give us comfort, to be our guide, and to empower us to live the life He has called us to.

So how do we embrace this gift? How do we use its full potential?

We open the door to the Holy Spirit’s incredible work in our lives when we surrender. When we get out of the driver’s seat and let Him drive.

Surrender is never easy, no matter who you are! But if we never surrender, we will never experience the adventures God has waiting for us. The Holy Spirit is God’s precious, astonishing, and astounding gift to you! Will you set this amazing gift on a shelf to collect dust, or will you step out in faith, fully surrender, and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime?

Lord, we confess our desire to control our own lives and do what feels best instead of letting go and allowing You to lead us. Today we relinquish control, we take our hands off the wheel and invite Your Holy Spirit to take the lead. Amen.

By Kristi Huseby
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http://www.brokenandredeemed-kristi.blogspot.com/

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The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. Psalm 33.13-15 (NLT)

I saw a car the other day that looked normal but as it turned the corner, I was caught by surprise – the whole passenger side was completely smashed in!

Have you ever considered that people are something like that car? We have a good side that we parade around for all to see and a dark side that we hide from view.

In the book of Matthew, a young man comes to Jesus wanting to know how he can have eternal life and Jesus tells him he must obey the commandments. The young man proclaims that he has obeyed all of them. He’s parading his good side for Jesus to see.

He then asked what else he needed to do.

Jesus told him, “. . . go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew. 19:20-22)

With laser-like precision Jesus goes after the dark side of his heart.

Showing off our good sides and concealing our dark sides is second nature, but we can’t hide our dark sides from God.

Jesus is in the business of changing EVERY PART of us – the good and the bad. This process of change can be terrifying, excruciating, seemingly unbearable at times but it’s in this struggle and pain that our true beauty can be brought forth.

Will you let God in to work on your dark side?

Lord, thank you for loving me even though you know everything about me. Thank you for never giving up on me. Show me how to surrender ALL of my heart to You. Amen.

Spend some time in prayer asking God to show you your own “dark side.” Then meditate on the saving grace Jesus offers you and lift those sinful tendencies up to Him. It might help you to journal about it so that you can watch the progress as He works on your heart.

by Kristi Huseby
Used by Permission

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