Kelly Elders

Crippled At The Table

 

Have you ever felt so inadequate? You have all these dreams and goals yet there is this inadequacy that you struggle to develop? You’ve read, listened and tried your best to develop this area yet it’s still a struggle. What if you weren’t meant to be great at everything but at one thing? Would you need God if you were great in everything? Would you need others if you could do it all?

Maybe it’s your heart that seems so crippled with fear, worry, stress or depression? Does your heart struggle to forgive, move forward or love those who wrong you? You find yourself trying yet struggling with insecurities and every time you are inspired you can only see all of your flaws.

God invites all of us to the table, the weary, the hurting, the gifted, the inadequate, the fearful, the depressed, wherever you find yourself today. He invites us to sit and to be covered at his table. When we sit at His table He covers all of our faults, fears and yes even sin. We come imperfect before a perfect God because Jesus is our covering.

2 Samuel 9:7-10

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”

Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family.10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.”

HE WAS INVITED WITH NO COVER CHARGE

Just as Mephibosheth never earned his place at the table. He only humbly bowed before David. He shouldn’t even have been left alive according to tradition but he remained. Most wouldn’t have considered him a threat, courageous or even worthy yet David the king invited him to eat with him every day. No matter your area of struggle you are invited by the King to take part in all He has to offer. It’s not a matter of accepting sin or weaknesses but to know that we are no longer defined by them. Where we are weak He is strong.

The table is a place of freedom, provision and acceptance. We need to make time to sit with Him and there He will give us all we need. He has prepared a place for each of us to sit but it is our responsibility to come to His table.

The Parable of the Banquet Luke 14:21

21The servant returned and reported all this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’

WHERE YOU LACK GOD LINKS

Where do you feel crippled? What area in your life makes you feel inadequate? Maybe you are really creative and have an idea to sell your items but have no business skills and you never move forward with the possibilities. Ask God to link you to the right people. We are connected for a reason and purpose. Some of the best pastors and leaders lead well not because they can do everything but are connected with people who can. The leader doesn’t have to be the most gifted or even the most talented as long as they connect themselves with those who are gifted in the areas they lack. It was God himself that said it was not good for man to be alone. We are better together than any one of us alone.

Mephibosheth didn’t have the ability to work the field or even the capacity but David connected him to those who did. He enjoyed the benefits while someone else had the ability. I believe we are being connected to the right people which will bring us into our purpose and rightful position.

Your name is on the invite but will you take time to sit with Him today? Ask God to link you to those you need and those who need you!

 

I’m Included!

GOD IS INCLUSIVE!

 

photo-1455215540020-876b3233799f One of the many reasons I love God is that He is inclusive. He is always including us into His story. We sometimes believe that God needs us to carry out His plan and purpose. The truth is God is God all by Himself. If He wanted, He could call forth an army of angels and clothe them with skin and they could save, deliver and heal as they spread the Word of God all over earth, yet He included us. He doesn’t even have to subject Himself to our economy, He is a creative God and could just make things appear, but He included us.

God is not limited to us but His desire is to move through us!

He includes us in His vision and invites us to take part. His hope is we will grab ahold of every opportunity set before us and run.

It’s time to partner with Him and carry out His purpose. We need to Change our way of giving to get and instead start giving to further His vision. He wants to share heaven, power, provision, favor and so much with us and all we need to do is link up with His plan. We bring our obedience and God brings everything else! For our own lives, we need to link up with Him and step out into whatever He has for us. I no longer have to be focused on the outcome just focused on my obedience. The outcome is up to God. He says one plants, one waters but He brings the increase or growth (1 Corinthians 3:7). We just obey by being available, willing and doing all that He says. Sometimes God isn’t so concerned with the outcome as much as He wants to see if you will do what He asks, when He asks. Don’t get me wrong God is all about increase but wants us to obey and trust in Him no matter the outcome.

I have decided to change my focus from the outcome to obedience. I don’t need to look at the outcome to decide if I have succeeded. I succeed when I am obedient to Him. How freeing is that? Don’t measure your success by your outcome but by your obedience. We tend to measure victory by how many people showed up, by how many people responded, by how much money did it produce but what if it was just about you being obedient?

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In Ezekiel 3:11 God instructed Ezekiel to go and say no matter the outcome.

“And go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or not, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.”

Ezekiel’s obedience wasn’t based on the outcome but on his obedience to God. God wants us to be included through our obedience. He wants to fulfill His purpose on this earth and He has invited us to take part!

Choose today, to be determined to just obey and let God be responsible for the outcome!

3 Things About Marriage

Recently, we celebrated 29 years of marriage and it’s been eventful! We have had the opportunity to grow through some hard times whether it was financial hardship or staying committed we came through stronger and much wiser. I thought I would share some things I tell my daughter about marriage and things I wish someoe would have told me when I got married.

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Never Marry Someone’s Potential

So many times I may hear a person talk about how much potential someone has and though I believe everyone has potential I wouldn’t recommend you marry their potential. The problem is that not everyone will fulfill their potential. When you choose to spend forever with someone you have to accept them for who they are in that moment. It’s funny how men will marry a woman and never want her to change and a woman will marry a man hoping they will change. Ask yourself, if they never changed for the better would that be okay? Do you love them without trying to fix or repair them? You cannot always be the hero of their story. I married at the young age of 18 (which I don’t recommend) and thank God we were able to grow up together and accept the changes and the unchanged. Neither of us had any idea what our changes would look like or what areas would stay unchanged but one thing both of us had was commitment even though it was shaky at times. Our commitment first to God helped us never give up and here we are  29 years later and I am grateful for the good and even the worst of times. It’s made us stronger and much more appreciative and it helped me to learn to be a protector of our marriage. You will protect what you value.

Love & Forgiveness

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I had this understanding that marriage was all about staying in love and if you had love you would always be together. Every romance movie gave the impression it just works out in the end with no morning breath and a beautiful sunset into happy ever after. No one mentioned the many opportunities to forgive and the perseverance marriage takes. There is no greater relationship to learn to forgive than marriage. It’s not only because of the love you are able to forgive but the choice to forgive. If you can’t forgive the one you should trust the most in this world then you need more understanding of the fullness of God’s love. Things will be said that you can never take back, you will be disappointed at times and even wonder if it’s worth it but if both people can keep a servant’s heart, I guarantee it will be worth it. I wish I would have been free to love and be loved without holding back. Always testing the boundaries, not believing I could be loved forever and believing something bad was just around the corner seemed to hurt our relationship. It took many years to believe he would never leave or that he really could love me with all my flaws. So many of us go into relationship with abandonment and rejection issues that we begin to sabotage our relationships and then when they don’t work out we use it as proof that we are not worthy of love. You are worth being loved so much so that God even told husbands how they treat you is important.  

“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7 NLT

God loves you so much that He cares how you are treated! Can you believe He says this? He won’t even answer some prayers if you are not treated well by your spouse. I believe this goes both ways. In this time and culture women were not revered by men so He highlights it for the men but I am sure God would also tell the women that our prayers can be hindered if we mistreat our husbands. So be vulnerable to love knowing God cares about how you are loved.

Same Love, Same Team

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“Let love make you serve one another” Galatians 5:13 (TEV)

Sometimes we can forget that we are on the same team. There’s no winner unless both win. If you are so set on always winning then you truly love yourself more than anyone else in the relationship. Marriage is all about serving one another and meeting each other’s needs. You can be the best volunteer in church and serve every Sunday but if you don’t serve your spouse you might not understand servanthood. Serving starts in the home. If both husband and wife lived meeting the other’s needs you will have found the secret to a happy marriage. It has to start with someone so why not you? Remember, you are fighting for the same thing, a healthy marriage. Somehow we need to get rid of the feeling that we are going to get misused or it’s never going to work in our favor. That would be manipulation if you are only loving for something in return. The scripture says, “Perfect love casts out fear” 1 John 4:18. If you still carry some fear to freely love your spouse then you need to grow in God’s love. No one is keeping count on who loves who more and shows it more often. Sometimes we just need to realize we love each other differently and accept love differently. The best way we learned to understand our love languages was when we read the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. I was loving the way I wanted to be loved instead of loving the way my husband needed to be loved. He was showing me love the way he desired to be shown love. When we have a heart to serve we will go to great lengths to learn to love in their language.

Whether you are single, married or starting over it’s never too late to improve your relationships or future relationships. Be Loved & Love Freely!

SEEDS

kitchen-garden-960542_1280I have never had a green thumb and have rarely kept anything alive and still God entrusted me with children. I bought some plants the other day and within two weeks both plants were dead. I’m so thankful that it’s much easier to plant seeds that God is responsible to grow.

PLANTS THAT NEVER DIE

I look back over my life and remember those seasons of planting and sowing into other young lives. When I was old enough to be in Sunday school I was teaching Sunday school, when I was old enough to attend youth group I was teaching Jr. High, and I was 18 years old when I first became a youth pastor. I knew I was planting seeds in children’s lives who didn’t belong to me and I believed that God would honor my future children with people who would love, support, teach and value them as I did for so many. Now both my children are adult age and never once have I been called by the police,  bail them out of jail, been to court  or saw them struggle in their belief of God or their love for God. I know it wasn’t because I was a perfect parent but I do credit God for being faithful to me for all the young lives I loved, nurtured and pointed to Christ. Maybe you have a son or daughter, young or an adult who is living the wrong life and breaking your heart, invest in someone else’s child and sow love, support or prayer and watch God move in your own children. Volunteer in children’s ministry or sponsor a child or youth to camp as a seed for your own children. As you continue to plant seeds you will begin to experience a harvest in your own life!

Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. Galatians 6:7 Message Bible

THE RETURN

Some of you have planted years of your time, love, service and prayers and you need to expect a great return! Serving God is the best investment of your life because it shows up in your eternal life. You have the opportunity to speak into a person’s life that will have an eternal effect on their life and your own. God is a God who loves to lavish his love and blessings on His children.

I remember when we had a food bank at our local church and we always were needing a truck driver who would pick up the food downtown. It started when our first driver was out of a job and decided to volunteer his time driving and not too long he would receive a job opportunity. Then every time someone needed a job they would volunteer and not too long they would receive a job offer! They didn’t sit idle or worry but used their time to sow. Don’t sit in the chair of complaint, get up and start sowing in the area that you are needing the breakthrough and watch God show up and show off!

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As a 95 year old woman was asleep in her home an 18 wheeler crashed into her yard. The driver had suffered a heart attack and swerved off the freeway towards her home and only a few feet from her bedroom where she was sleeping. The only thing that kept the multi ton truck from hitting the small home she lived in was a tree that she had planted 50 years ago.

Can you imagine? She had no idea how planting that one seed would harvest in her life but it did. She planted the tree for shade from the hot sun but God had even a bigger outcome planned for her. We may plant out of love and obedience to Him but His return always outshines our seed. Every seed you have planted or ever will plant will show up in your life so start expecting a harvest! More importantly, take time to recognize the harvest and that you serve a faithful God who is the one responsible for the increase.

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