Selah~Day 303 “Don’t Blame the Resistance”…an excerpt from Steven Furtick’s blog

Friday, March 21

Steven Furtick, Lead Pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC and one of my favorite communicators, wrote an awesome article on the power of resistance. It really spoke to me and I wanted to share it here.

Although we’ve got to be aware of Satan’s schemes (2 Cor. 2:11), some Christians are obsessed with them to the point where it’s counterproductive. They blame everything on the devil and give him far too much credit and power. Don’t ever become so focused on the enemy that’s against you that you forget about the God who’s for you.

Still, our enemy is smart. And there’s one strategy I’ve seen him use in the lives of countless Christians to hold them back from God’s purposes for them and dislocate their potential:

Not only does he offer resistance, he convinces you that the resistance itself is a sign that you’re not in God’s will.

Your job is tough and demanding. It’s a challenge for your faith. So it must mean you’re not supposed to be there. It must be time to quit.

Marriage has to be easier than this. You must have married the wrong person. So divorce is now acceptable.
You planted a church and it’s not growing like you thought it would. You must have misheard God. Time to go to plan B.

I think we need to alter our framework. Resistance isn’t a sign that you’re out of God’s will. It might actually be a sign that you’ve never been more in it. That the devil is fighting you so hard because you’re so close to what God wants.

Don’t use The Resistance as an excuse to quit. Use it as motivation to push through.

It’s not: “I’m facing a lot of resistance. I guess it isn’t meant to be. I quit.”
But: “I’m facing a lot of resistance. I guess this is really meant to be. I can’t quit”

Now I’m not saying that just because something is hard that it means it’s the will of God. Sometimes it’s absolutely wise to abandon something because it’s just not worth the effort.

Nevertheless, I think we wrongly assume that if God is in something, it has to be easy. That God’s will and plan for you is marked by the path of least resistance. Tell that to Joseph, Moses, David, Nehemiah, Paul, and Jesus.

If you’re encountering resistance right now, don’t back down or sell out. And don’t blame the Resistance for resisting you. Acknowledge it for what it is. Take it as a sign that you’re heading in the right direction because the devil is running at you and not in the same direction as you.

And then push through to what God has for you.

My 27 Thanks:

1. Unfortunately, Judah woke up not feeling well and we had to cancel our Zoo plans. But, we ended up having a wonderful time relaxing at home.

2. We spent the entire day at home.

3. We got to enjoy tons of couch time and snuggling.

4. My home is a relaxing, comfortable place.

5. My brother, Kyle,  bought a cow. We got to go in on some of the meat. It is an organic, grain fed cow. I cooked some of the meat and it was super lean and very tasty. I am so thankful that we got to be a part of this blessing. I love eating clean.

6. My other brother, Jake, drove to the City today to pick up his meat. We enjoyed a nice visit. I miss my family, so every opportunity to see them is a blessing.

7. Jake is a great dad and husband. I am so proud of him.

8. Even though my family is scattered in Oklahoma, we all live in the same state and can drive within a few hours to see one another.

9. I got to spend some time outside working in my flower beds.

10. My yard is landscaped. It is one of my favorite things to do.

11. Both Gary and I have a “green thumb.” We love to work in the yard. I find it to be very relaxing.

12. I was blessed with my grandma’s garage refrigerator. I am so glad I have it because my freezer is so tiny and I wouldn’t have been able to get the beef in it.

13. Once Judah started feeling better, we got to play with bubbles and balls outside.

14. My neighborhood is so quiet.

15. I have great neighbors. We all help each other with different small tasks. Every Friday, we have an unspoken competition to see who can out up each other’s trash cans first. I lost today.

16. I love living on a cul-de-sac. Judah and I love the extra concrete space.

17. Judah and I watched Frozen together. The songs are so catchy, even Judah was singing them.

18. Love can melt the coldest heart.

19. Love wins. Love always wins. Love, Love, Love.

20. Resistance is a motivator. It is not a sign that you should quit.

21. When things, events, circumstances, resistance, comes against you, it doesn’t mean that you are out of the will of God. Instead, it could mean that you are in the very center of His will and the devil is working overtime to make you quit.

22. Persistance.

23. The devil may be against me, BUT my God is for me.

24. If God is for me, than it doesn’t really matter who is against me.

25. I enjoyed a very relaxing day after a MOST BUSY week.

26. I got to share the vision of Crossroads Jr. Academy with more families today. They were really excited about the school. One by one, we are signing up kids to be the beginning class of an awesome preschool!

27. My heart is hopeful.

Selah~Day 302

Thursday, March 20

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah and Gary had a grand morning laughing and playing together.
2. Judah’s laughter.
3. Gary and I shared some quiet devotional time before Judah woke up.
4. Dreams.
5. Everything great begins as a dream.
6. Life lessons from Thomas Edison. Every time I hear about Edison’s journey to invent the light bulb, I am inspired.
7. Edison failed thousands of times, but he learned from every failure and DID NOT quit. Because of his passionate pursuit, he basks in the glory of one of my favorite inventions!
8. Gary helped me run errands for our day at the mission.
9. Pastor Ted gave me a trophy in honor of my 7 years as a Crossroads staff member.
10. We had an awesome day with our kids at City Rescue Mission.
11. They loved the story of Esther!
12. Ice Cream and Bubbles were an excellent favorite for the kids too.
13. My Kidmin team had a blast too.
14. The kids asked us when we would be coming back to see them. We all had a great time together.
15. A Director at the mission told us we were the best group she had ever seen work with the kids.
16. I got to work with a really great videographer.
17. The weather was beautiful and we got to play outside with the kids.
18. Tag, chase, and bubbles are games that never grow old.
19. Disney is awesome, but it will never hold a candle to relationships and quality time and investment into the lives of others.
20. Partnerships.
21. Hope is on the rise in OKC.
22. Life change.
23.Gary’s friend and fellow firefighter, Edmund, came over for a visit.
24. I don’t get easily offended.
25. I chose to be a peacemaker.

26. Sweet dreams.

27. Abraham and Sarah, from the Bible, are great examples of holding fast to your dreams. Through big challenges, family problems, rough circumstances, Abraham and Sarah could have used many excuses to wave the white flag of surrender and give in to defeat and discouragement. But, they didn’t! They held fast to the dream that God has placed in their hearts!

Selah~Day 300

Tuesday, March 18

My 27 Thanks:

1. The Peace of God surpasses our understanding.

2. It’s windy, but it’s warm.

3. We are reading the book of Acts as a team. I am really enjoying reading these chapters and discussing them.

4. Terry Williams taught in staff chapel today.

5. Terry was nervous, but he did it and he did well.

6. The Spirit of Determination–Do it Afraid!

7. Courage.

8. I had an amazing team of kidmin leaders join me for our City Rescue Mission outreach.

9. We had time to spare after we unloaded and setup. Everything worked out perfectly.

10. My husband is a phenomenal help…always.

11. Judah was happy to stay in staff childcare. We were going to take him with us, but I am glad we didn’t. It made our roles much easier and more effective at the mission.

12. The OKC Thunder remodeled the City Rescue Mission gym and it is beautiful. I am so glad they have such a nice place.

13. The Mission of the City Rescue Mission is beautiful and effective. They are doing great things for OKC. Hope is on the rise in our great City.

14. The kids loved Gary. He had a group of about 10 follow him around the entire time we were there.

15. It was nice to have some time away from my desk doing ministry.

16. Janelle handled Jr. Academy enrollment for me while I was away.

17. For Day One of the mission, we taught about the super ower of Confidence and that we can Always Count on God! We can! We can always count on Him.

18. The story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den is a powerful and effective story for kids. Daniel showed so much confidence when thrown into that pit. I bet he didn’t wonder for a second if God would show up on his behalf. Wow, I want to be that confident too.

19. The kids loved acting out the story of Daniel and putting together the super hero masks.

20. I had a really nauseous stomach when I went to work, but I was determined to get through the day. When I arrived at the mission, my tummy ache was gone!

21. Pastor Marc is an awesome team player. He is always looking for ways to help take some of the load off of a fellow teammate.

22. Gary grilled food for dinner and we enjoyed a very relaxing evening at home.

23. My son has both a mom and a dad in the same home together.

24. We are happy together too. And, we really enjoy being together.

25. I have a home.

26. I have never wondered where my next meal would come from or where I would lay my head to sleep at night.

27. Today marks day 300 of my journey!

Selah~Day 250 “They saw me as a 10”

Currently, I am reading John Maxwell’s book, The 360 Leader. It is an enjoyable read. The main thesis of the book encourages readers to lead regardless of their current position. Whether you are in the highest position of your field or the lowest, you can lead from right where you are at. All the chapters have provided great learning material for leadership, but I have specifically enjoyed the chapters listing the principles of “Leading Down.” I just finished reading the chapter on “See Everyone as a 10.” After reading that chapter, I thought about all the leaders in my life who saw me as a 10 even when I wasn’t functioning at that level.

Thankfully, I have learned from some of the best leaders…TEACHERS. Throughout my years of education, I had the honor of learning from great men and women in their field of study. It wasn’t just their great knowledge of the subject material or their outstanding teaching technique that set them a part from others, but rather, a belief in me.

I had teachers who saw me as a 10 and inspired me to learn and to grow. Because they believed that I was a 10, (even though I may not have functioned at that level at that time) they got my best effort, they were approachable, they wanted the best for me, and I learned the most from them.

Selah~Day 250 is a tribute of thanks to them!

The 27 Teachers who deserve Thanks (They are in no order of importance):

1. Mrs. Trapp. She was my first grade teacher. My family had just relocated to Hugo, Ok  from Tulsa that year. I entered Eugene Elementary school in the middle of the year and remember the fear when all those 6-year-old eyes stared back at me. But, Mrs. Trapp made me feel welcomed and a special part of that 1st grade class.

2. Mrs. Dark. She was my 3rd grade teacher and the first person in my life whom I remember debating. It was the year of a presidential election. Michael Dukakis vs. George Bush. Mrs. Dark put me in the Dukakis group. Well, this budding Republican was NOT going to make a campaign poster for the Democratic candidate, Dukakis. Confidently, I went home and told my mom. My mom and I lost the debate. Mrs. Dark felt that it would be good for me to work on a campaign poster for a candidate that I didn’t support. I still don’t get her reasoning, but she definitely created a desire in me for political debate. Thankfully, that 3rd grade spirit still resides on the inside of me.

3. Mrs. Holleman. She was my 5th grade teacher. The 5th grade was the most difficult year of my educational career. Due to some mean kids, I was terrified to go to school on a daily basis. I often called my parents, faking a tummy ache, so they would have to come and check me out of school. Mrs. Holleman saw through all of that though. She spent many hours talking to me and encouraging me. She made me feel very safe and secure. Because of her, I made it through the 5th grade and even won an award. Mrs. Holleman gave awards to kids in her class each year. That year, she gave me an outstanding student award. She has no idea what that award did for me and my self-esteem.

4. Coach Tommy Parker. He was my middle school tennis coach and my 8th grade Civics teacher. He was a great teacher and truly fueled my love for History and government. In that class, I learned all the counties in Oklahoma (Don’t know them now) and the Bill of Rights Rap! He nicknamed me Cairo too. I have no idea why that name…but, it was special to me and I am so thankful for the role of leadership he played in my life.

5. Mrs. Mary Taylor. She taught my 8th grade math class. It was the only math class that I ever remember liking. She had the sweetest smile and the warmest heart. I am so glad that I had the chance to experience math through her eyes and her passion. She passed away too soon a few years back. To this day, when I think of her, I see her smile.

6. Jeanie Bray. She was my 9th grade Biology teacher. Like math, Biology was not my favorite subject. But, Mrs. Bray was a tiny fireball of energy and detail. My 9th grade year was a transition year too. We relocated from Hugo, Ok to Broken Bow, Ok. I started BBHS in the 2nd 9 weeks and knew NO ONE. Mrs. Bray’s 4th hour Biology class would be the class that allowed me the time to foster new friendships and enjoy a subject that I would usually dislike. I dissected my first animal in Mrs. Bray’s class too.

7. Susan Storey. She taught English and Journalism and had a smile that was contagious. Her love for literature and journalism was clear in her excitement for teaching. I took both of her classes. She taught me how to communicate events in an exciting way. I learned to capture film, edit clips, and broadcast news. I loved her classes. They were full of energy and hands-on learning.

8. Mrs. Jane Harding. She walked the aisles of our desks with such poise and elegance. Mrs. Harding was a tough English teacher. She challenged every piece of my work and made me a better writer. She brought out the best in me. Mrs. Harding always seemed to be a private person and not allow her students to get super close. However, on one particular day, I got to experience a different side of Mrs. Harding… a softer side. Meaning no ill intent, Mrs. Harding called me out in class and made a comment that some would think embarrassing. I am sure I blushed and within seconds, Mrs. Harding called me out into the hallway. She apologized repeatedly and assured me that she meant no harm and was so sorry for calling me out in that way. Even though I thought little of the entire situation, I appreciated her care for my feelings and her willingness to ask for forgiveness. It was in that moment that I realized she cared as much for me as she did for the words I wrote in her class.

9. Mr. Bruce King. Sitting at his desk for most of the class, Mr. King’s knowledge of literary works filled the room. I read Hamlet for the first time in Mr. King’s class. He appreciated my work and encouraged me in my writing.

10. Mrs. Wanda Wood. She loved History and Government as much as I did. I sat front and center in Mrs. Wood’s class. She gave us opportunities to debate, share opinions, and make Government come alive in our class. She also believed in me and encouraged me to make a difference in our US Government. After that class, I went forward and work for a few campaigns, chaired the College Republicans, and spent a summer interning for Congress in D.C. Those experiences changed my life…and, I chose to pursue something different from politics. 🙂

11. Coach Ron Murphree. He was a college basketball coach who taught Civil War History. He made the Civil War time period come alive in our class. I was amazed at his knowledge of the Civil War. Coaches usually get a bad wrap for their teaching abilities. But, Coach Murphree redeemed them all. He was awesome and I loved hearing him teach.

12. Sharbee Bruton. Sharbee was my high school friend and college roommate. Sharbee and I were both bridesmaids in each others weddings. Sharbee’s very presence can make anyone smile. She is also a grammar genius. I love English, but mostly because I love literature. The grammar portion was never my favorite. But, Sharbee was amazing. With every big paper I wrote, I sat down with Sharbee and went through the paper sentence by sentence, learning from her about sentence structure, introductory phrases, etc…She was so patient with me and taught me so much!

13. Mrs. Carol Jackson. She taught high school chemistry and was pregnant for a majority of the year I had her class. I made Mrs. Jackson a book filled with great name ideas for her baby boy. She didn’t choose any of my suggestions. But, she kept the book as a keepsake. She was a fun teacher and actually made Chemistry enjoyable.

14. Mrs. Ruth Ann Smith. She was my High school librarian. I served as Mrs. Smith’s library assistant my Senior year. She was a fiery red-head and I loved working with her. She gave me a great appreciation for organization and research. Even after high school, Mrs. Smith loved to stay involved with the happenings of my life. She passed away a few years back. Every time I hear the word “librarian,” I think of her.

15. Paula Reif. She is a beautiful woman. She always wore the brightest red lipstick and looked so together. Not only did I take some literature courses from her, but I also took improv and had  a blast. She believed in me as a theater student and even cast me in a leading role in the piece, A King’s Stag, as a Freshman college student. To this day, I don’t get the point of that play, but it was a fun memory!

16. My students. They taught me that I don’t have it “all knowed up.” I have learned from them that everyone has the potential to learn and it is up to me as their teacher to find the key that opens up their mind to a world of possibilities when educated.

17. Mr. Danny Wann. He actually made Zoology an enjoyable class. I don’t really find the anatomy or study of animals interesting or fun, but I do remember laughing all the time in Mr. Wann’s class. Mr. Wann also tried to play match maker in my life. He thought I would be a perfect match for a guy he knew at another college. Even though the match DID NOT work out, I enjoyed Mr. Wann’s class.

18. Mr. Knox. He loved my passion for politics and loved even more my willingness to debate with him. He was a die-hard Democrat and I was a stubborn Republican. We had great debates and respected each others opinions and had fun sharing our viewpoints. Mr. Knox was very sick while I was in his class. But, he was present everyday and gave teaching his all. He received a heart transplant a couple of years after I had his class. Unfortunately, he passed away soon after.

19. Bill Day. He had a quick wit and a dry sense of humor. He made me laugh. Both Mr. Day and Mrs. Dinsmore took a chance on me and cast me in the roll of Meg Brockie in Brigadoon. I know that they were concerned with my ability to carry the two solo songs, but they took a chance and believed in me. Even though he is “retired,” he still spends his days investing in the lives of young people.

20. Dana Dinsmore. She is sweeter than honey and has an energetic, magnetic personality. She extended an invitation to me to be a part of the Horizon Show Choir at CASC. She knew that I couldn’t sing at all. But, she said that I could bring great theatrics to the team. She believed in me and gave me an awesome opportunity to continue to use my energies on the stage!

21. Claudia Swisher. She is a brilliant High School English teacher at Norman North High School. She welcomed me into her classroom as a student teacher. She gave me a hands on learning experience and invested volumes of information and time into my life during those months. She not only cared about kids while they were in her class, but outside as well. While working with her, I went to many funerals of past student’s family members, I stayed after school while she counseled with students, and spent most plan periods and lunch breaks with her while she met with groups of students. Her room was a safe haven for all and a most popular place.

22. Professor Diana Holt-Reynolds. She was born with just one arm, but never let her handicap slow her down. One day, I met Professor Holt-Reynolds in the parking lot on OU’s campus. We were both heading to class and I decided to walk with her. She walked very slow and eventually told me to go ahead. She said, “Kara, don’t feel the need to wait on me. You go ahead. I will be there soon.” Professor Reynolds didn’t survive the semester. We later discovered that she had advance stage cancer in her spine. Wow…she taught every day in severe pain and never complained or let her students know about her situation. She literally taught up until that last couple of weeks of her life.

23. Professor Fritz. I only took one class with Professor Fritz while at OSU. He taught weird literature too. Well, it was weird to me. But, he had a great passion for Asian works and taught them well. The class I took with Professor Fritz was rather large, but he seemed to have a special concern for each one of us. Towards the end of the Spring semester, I was involved in a car accident that blackened my eye. My eye was still swollen and black when I returned to school after the weekend accident. Professor Fritz asked me to meet with him after class. He was so concerned about me. He told me that I could confide in him if I was in any trouble and that he would get me help. I explained to him what had happened. There is something really special about a person expressing their care and concern for you.

24. Professor Edward Jones. He loved Shakespeare. He was a challenge. He rarely gave A’s in his class and he let everyone know it. I loved his teaching style and his ability to challenge you to think outside the box and expand the interpretations possible in literary works. I worked so hard in his class and still earned a B!!!! Can you believe it? I loved it though.

25. Professor Linda Leavell. She was a brilliant mind. Within 5 minutes of my first class with her, I knew that she would be one of my favorites. I tried to take as many literature classes that she taught. She also wrote one of my 3 recommendation letters for law school. Her excitement to write the letter for me was an encouragement.

26. Shirley Harrod Yandell. She is a creative mind with passion  and Zeal for life! I enjoyed my time with her. I couldn’t wait to sit in her class and learn from her bright mind. I had a blast with Ms. Harrod outside of the classroom too. I will never forget our times preparing for our State winning One Act play. Who would have thought to put actors inside trash cans…Her wild, curly hair, contagious laugh, and spunky attitude left a wonderful impression on me. She makes you want to be a better student and a better person.

27. Stephen Smallwood. To this day, he is my favorite Democrat. He inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone on a daily basis and never settle for less than my absolute best. Mr. Smallwood could take an ordinary kid and turn them into an extraordinary, larger than life winner! He saw potential in every student that passed through his classroom door. Mr. Smallwood makes one believe that dreams really do come true!

Selah~Day 299

Monday, March 17th

My 27 Thanks:

1. I don’t have to live this life alone.

2. I am surrounded by family, friends, and people who are cheering me on!

3. Even though it kept me up almost ALL night long, I am really thankful for anticipation. I am glad that I still anticipate the days ahead of me.

4. I am overwhelmed with excitement for the future.

5. I am completely trusting God with some new adventures and I am actually okay with that.

6. I love to work with people.

7. I strive to have a cooperative, teachable spirit.

8. Appreciation.

9. I wrote 6 different “Thank You” cards this morning to 6 of my kidmin staff and I could have written dozens more. I have the best kidmin team ever.

10. My team shines a light on a weekly basis.

11. Open enrollment for Crossroads Jr. Academy opened today.

12. I had 8 new families, not connected to the church, enroll their child in our school today!

13. Possibilities.

14. Expansion.

15. I got to meet some new faces in our community today. I even got to hug a stranger as she cried about the unfortunate death of her young daughter. She is now helping to raise her granddaughter (Her daughters little girl). This family will be a part of the Jr. Academy!

16. The Event Center provided a peaceful, beautiful atmosphere to handle enrollment.

17. Abby has worked so hard to put together our City Rescue Mission Spring Break Superheroes Camp. She has done well and it is ready to go!

18. When I came home from work, I took a brisk walk around the neighborhood. It was breezy, but relaxing.

19. Opportunities to clear my head.

20. The Book of Acts.

21. The power of the Holy Spirit is alive in me.

22. Signs, Wonders, and Miracles still happen today.

23. Gary cooked dinner tonight. We had spaghetti. It is such a fun food to eat with a preschooler! The noodles are perfect tools for making letters, shapes, and snakes and worms!

24. I am so glad that teachers are enjoying a week off! They are everyday heroes and I am glad they have time off like Spring Break.

25. The Oklahoma Sky.

26. I saw a lot of GREEN today. Green is my favorite color and it was so fun to see everyone participate in St. Patrick’s Day. It’s okay to have fun.

27. Rest. Tonight, I am determined to sleep!

Selah~Day 298

Sunday, March 16th

My 27 Thanks:
1. My mom and sister came to church today and the message really ministered to them.
2. My pastor had a weekend “off” from preaching. I know how important this is in my life and I am glad he had some time to work ahead on some messages.
3. Evangelist Pat Schatzline was our guest speaker. Last year, he spoke a message entitled Selah and it changed my life.
4. It was a super cold and rainy day, but people still came to church!
5. After much preparation and hard work, we were finally ready to launch our new KidMotion design. It went well and we discovered some kinks to work out.
6. Kinks can make you better.
7. Failure is a tool that can grow you and make you learn even more.
8. My team is flexible and willing to try anything!
9. I got to have lunch with my preschool team.
10. They were excited about the new curriculum.
11. I ordered the perfect amount of food.
12. Gary and Judah got to have lunch with family while I was at my training lunch.
13. My mom and sister made it home safe to their destinations.
14. I had a nice, short break in between church services and was able to rest some.
15. The Parable of the Prodigal Son.
16. Abby did a great job teaching.
17. Lorry Gail was hilarious in the GeekForce sketch. She went all out and gave it 100%.
18. No matter what the sin, God is willing to run after us if we return to Him.
19. We have a free will.
20. My will is to serve Him.
21. The Anointing.
22. The anointing breaks the yoke that tries to bind us.
23. We were created to be set apart.
24. Even though he was ill, Pat Schatzline preached a great message.
25. We got to see old friends and catch up with one another.
26. We had an awesome response to the altar in the PM service. And, I had an opportunity to pray for people at the altar.
27. Ministry.

Selah~Day 297

Saturday, March 15

My 27 Thanks:

1. The Peace of God, when you allow it to operate in your life, will protect and defend you from the hassles and assaults of the devil.
2. Your feet can be shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.
3. God’s peace will hold you in place when the devil tries to push you around.
4. When you have conquering peace firmly tied to your mind and emotions, you will be empowered to keep marching ahead, impervious to the devil’s attempts to take you down!
5. Peace is a weapon!
6. Gary made it home safe from the fire station.
7. Early morning chats with my mom and Gary.
8. My mom and Hailey decided to stay another day.
9. Hailey painted my toes and I braided her hair. I love girly time with my sister.
10. Gary drove us around and we all had fun shopping.
11. We ran into family at the outlet mall and had a good, short visit.
12. Men’s mission had an awesome wild game cook off.
13. The weather didn’t keep the men away.
14. There are hard-working men at Crossroads church who are committed to reaching men.
15. My church.
16. I am so thankful that it rained. We needed it badly.
17. We all enjoyed a relaxing evening at home.
18. Honest conversations.
19. Apologies.
20. Lazy Saturdays.
21. Lorry Gail is excited about the GeekForce skit in KidMotion. She always works hard to do her very best!
22. Gary supports my job 100%.
23. I have financial peace in my life.
24. God’s peace covers and safeguards.
25. God’s peace is available to us all.
26. I am loved.
27. I am not forgotten.