Why I Wrote This Book

And Who I Wrote It For

I never in a million years would have thought God would call me to write. As I’ve mentioned in my About Page and other posts, I didn’t even like to read, much less write—until my world fell apart and I desperately started seeking God’s direction and healing.

I asked Jesus to come live in my heart at a Baptist revival in the fall of 1974 (I was almost ten). But I remained a baby Christian until I was thirty-three. By then, I was so hungry to know Jesus better, I began devouring the Bible and other Christian books.

Even though my mind was getting renewed with marvelous Scriptural truths, my addiction to performance-based acceptance soon bled over into my relationship with Christ. I found myself thinking, There has to be more to the Christian life than following a bunch of rules and principles and being good.

That’s when God began revealing my flawless identity in His Son, Jesus Christ, and His no-strings-attached affection for me. That’s when I began to fall in love with the One who loved me first and loves me most.

When I began experiencing wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding my pure, righteous, and holy identity in Him, my heart naturally began to ache for other believers who are going through religious motions in their relationship with Christ.

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love is specifically written for Christians (both men and women) who, deep down, know there’s got to be more to the Christian life than what they are currently experiencing.

The following is a more detailed description of my book that will should be in bookstores by the end of this summer:

Christian, do you know that you are the pure, righteous, and holy bride of Christ, and your Spiritual Bridegroom only has eyes for you?

Your brain may be going tilt-tilt after reading that statement, but it’s completely true! Jesus Christ longs for you to personally experience His cherishing love and exuberant life in your Monday-through-Sunday living. He knows that as you enjoy His lavishing, unconditional love, you won’t be able to help but express it in this world. The secret to loving is living loved in Christ, your Spiritual Bridegroom.

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love is the first of three intimate and interactive six-week studies of the Song of Solomon, an allegory describing the divine romance between Christ and His bride, the church. Spanning chapters 1 and 2, this premiere installment will help you renew your mind with the following refreshing and liberating truths:

• As the bride of Christ, you are completely forgiven for the sins of your lifetime.

• Through Christ’s finished work on the cross and your identification with Him in His crucifixion and resurrection, you have been made brand-new, and Christ is now your very life.

• The new covenant made in Christ’s blood has forever sealed you in Him. Your Spiritual Bridegroom will never leave you nor forsake you, regardless of what you do or don’t do.

• Because of His grace, you are free from law-based living to be completely enamored with Christ alone.

• You have a real, invisible enemy who is trying everything within his limited power to hoodwink you into accepting his lies about who you are. Once you learn his most effective strategy, you will be armed and dangerous to the kingdom of darkness.

If you long to know Jesus as the love of your life, this study is for you!

Read what others are saying about His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love:

I see this as a tender, thought-provoking book in which statements are continually backed up by Scripture. Because of this book, I feel compelled as the bride of Christ to deepen my spiritual union with Him in bearing the fruit of His Spirit. I am challenged to love Him, others, and myself more, the latter being the hardest to do. I am moved by the book’s poignant reminders, like how Christ uses my pain as persuasion that I might turn to Him for soothing, or that He jumps for joy over me because I am His! I started to say, “Imagine! Someone like me belongs to someone like Him,” but the book candidly stresses that if I keep seeing myself as who I once was, it prevents me from living like who I am now in Him. Finally, my understanding of difficult spiritual concepts is facilitated by the book’s vivid analogies. My heart is stronger because of this read!”—Sandy Haney, Christian non-fiction author of And the Award Goes to … She Who Shed Hypocrisy and Sand Crab Sentiments: A Tide Pool of Poetry

In today’s post, I shared why I wrote His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love—so other Christians might begin experiencing wondrous delight in their relationship with Christ through understanding their pure, righteous, and holy identity in Him.

I’m wondering, do you believe there has to be more to the Christian life than what you are currently experiencing? If so, my book may be just what you need to launch you into delightful intimacy with the One who loved you first and most.

Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Resources     Speaking     Contact

Don’t Throw in the Towel!

MercyMe Lifer Message - Track 7 - "We Win"

Have you ever felt like a featherweight in this boxing match called life?

Are you being pounded by a daunting heavyweight opponent—also known as the pain and problems that come from living in this fallen world?

If so, you don’t want to miss today’s post on the message in “We Win,” the seventh track on MercyMe’s 2017 album, Lifer

We Win” is written to believers in Christ who feel like the circumstances of their lives have knocked them down one too many times.

And they aren’t quite sure if they will be able to get back up.

It’s written to Christians who are ready to throw in the towel—to admit sure defeat—to give up on a dream, a relationship, or a tough situation they’ve been in for far too long.

Even if you can’t relate—if you feel like you are winning the round you’re currently in—this post is still for you.

If you stay in this match called life long enough, you will likely get ambushed by right hooks and left jabs that will cause you to lose your footing.

Or worse, you may even get knocked out cold.

Let’s listen to the band’s lead vocalist, Bart Millard, tell the story behind “We Win” to encourage ourselves in the difficult round we may currently find ourselves in:

I think this song is a great encouragement and morale booster for the body of Christ. A lot of times, we go through things where we feel like we’ve hit rock bottom and feel like we’re getting knocked around and nothing goes the way we hoped it would go, Millard says.

But we just have to be reminded that we’ve been given this amazing opportunity to live like we’ve read the last page of the Book and know exactly how this turns out. Because in the end, regardless of how tough and difficult things get, if you know Christ, you can say, ‘We win!’

Believers in Christ have been given an amazing opportunity to live like we’ve read the last page of the Book and know exactly how this turns out.

We win!

Now, let’s enjoy the full track:

Both the song (and the Book) says that those of us who are in Christ are more than conquerors (one translation says we are super conquerors) :

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Rom. 8:35–37 NKJV)

Christian, you are not a super conqueror because of anything you earned or feel like you deserve.

You are a super conqueror because you believed yourself into Christ, the Conquering King of Kings!

Because you are in Christ, and He has already defeated sin and death, His eternal victory is automatically yours!

Today’s post on the message in “We Win” is the latest in my post series on the messages in every song on Lifer:

  1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
  2. Are You a Lifer in Christ?” – a review of track 1, “Lifer
  3. Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are!” – a review of track 2, “You Found Me
  4. Has Grace Got You?” – a review of track 3, “Grace Got You
  5. Have You Heard the Best News Ever?” – a review of track 4, “Best News Ever
  6. Because Life Ain’t Always Pretty” – a review of track 5, “Even If
  7. Bye-Bye Lies!” – a review of track 6, “Hello Beautiful
  8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
  9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
  10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
  11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

Dearly beloved,

Are you ready to throw in the towel—to give up—in the midst of the circumstances you are currently facing?

If so, I want to encourage you to listen to and sing this song out loud over and over until you believe the lyrics.

The One who lives inside you for all eternity has already won this match called life on planet earth for you!

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you love the pure gospel of grace in Jesus Christ, then you will savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding their one-and-only, flawless identity in Him.

Learn more by checking out my book page.

P.S. S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

How I Got Raving Endorsements for My Book

Another Update on My Publishing Journey

Every time someone likes or shares your posts on social media, they have effectively endorsed it. You might not have thought about it that way. I didn’t. There are a lot of things I never thought about—until I began the process of self-publishing my book.

Part of the process of publishing a book is to secure raving endorsements for it. I shared two in last Friday’s post. Someone recently asked me what this process involves. So, just in case you are wondering, I will tell you what I did:

  1. I compiled a list of Christian authors whom I knew and other like-minded believers with ministries focused on helping believers in Christ experience wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding their flawless identity in Him.
  2. The first week in May, I sent twenty-one e-mails that included the contents of my book’s back cover (what it is about) and asked if they would like to read my manuscript and consider offering an endorsement for it.
  3. Then, I waited and prayed.
  4. Within the week, I received thirteen ardent yeses. Thank You, Jesus!
  5. I replied (gratefully) to the yeses with copies of my manuscript.
  6. And then, I waited and prayed.
  7. By June 12 (my deadline), I had nine endorsements and a foreword. Thank You, Jesus!
  8. On June 12, I submitted my manuscript to the WestBow Press design team for final review and proofing.
  9. On June 16, I signed off on my book’s completed cover.
  10. And now, I’m wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ and plannin’ and dreamin’ of the impact my book might have on Christians who desperately need to know who they are in Christ so that they can experience wondrous delight in intimacy with Him.

To close out today’s post, I would like to share two more raving endorsements for my book:

Learning how to receive and experience God’s relentless pursuing love is the greatest life-transforming truth we can embrace. His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love is the most thorough teaching I have ever read on the Song of Solomon from a New Covenant perspective. Kim Francis has written a masterpiece that invites us all to receive, believe, and be transformed by God’s pursuing love.”—Donald Campbell, Operation 220 Executive Director

His Banner Over Me is Pursuing Love by Kim Francis is a very different approach to the Song of Solomon. The author digs deeper than most scholars in that the words are not only between the lovers named in the book, but between the King of Kings and those who love Him and seek after Him. I appreciate the research of Jewish tradition and other sources that bring the Scriptures to our modern-day minds. When you read/study this book, prepare to dig deep and perhaps learn some things about yourself as well as Jesus.”—Elaine Littau, author, speaker, humorist (Christian fiction, devotionals, and situational humor)

 

 Dear reader, thank you for your interest in my publishing journey. I’m wondering, have you dreamed of someday publishing a book? If publishing a book is not your dream, what is?
Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Resources     Speaking     Contact

Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance

MercyMe Lifer Message - Track 8 - "Happy Dance"

I double dog dare you to try to sit still while listening to “Happy Dance,” the most fun-loving song on MercyMe’s 2017 album, Lifer.

If this ditty doesn’t get you dancing, then you just might be wearing concrete shoes.

Let’s listen to the band’s lead singer, Bart Millard, share the cute story (involving his wife) behind the making of one of the most kid-requested tunes on this album:

Hey you!

Why don’t you get up, put on your dancin’ shoes, raise your hands (if He done changed ya), and get down to this deliriously playful song?

Go ahead! Who cares if someone sees you!

And who knows? They just might join you and get happy, too!

I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing the messages in the songs on this feel-good-because-God-has-already-been-so-good-to-us compilation:

  1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
  2. Are You a Lifer in Christ?” – a review of track 1, “Lifer
  3. Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are!” – a review of track 2, “You Found Me
  4. Has Grace Got You?” – a review of track 3, “Grace Got You
  5. Have You Heard the Best News Ever?” – a review of track 4, “Best News Ever
  6. Because Life Ain’t Always Pretty” – a review of track 5, “Even If
  7. Bye-Bye Lies!” – a review of track 6, “Hello Beautiful
  8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
  9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
  10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
  11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

Every one of Lifer‘s songs exude the best news ever—the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ!

We don’t have to wait until our circumstances get better to celebrate Christ’s finished work on the cross.

We can celebrate right this very minute because the best news ever is that the good Lord done saved us and changed us on the inside!

We were made brand-spankin’-new when we believed into Jesus and were joined to His life forever (John 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:17).

And, right now, we have the fullness of His joy downloaded in our new hearts (because He lives there twenty-four/seven) ready to be uploaded through our believing lives on planet earth (John 15:11; 16:20; 17:13; Acts 2:28; 13:52; Rom. 5:11; 14:17; 15:13; Gal. 5:22; 1 Thess. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:8-9).

So, what do you say?

Are you really going to let your not-so-happy circumstances and the bad news in this world prevent you from doing the Happy Dance?

Or are you going to celebrate Christ’s finished work and act like He’s telling the truth about who you already are in Him?

(Click here for a wonderful article by Bob George, “Christ’s Finished Work on the Cross.”)

Life’s way too short for us Christians to walk around looking like we just sucked all the juice out of a case full of lemons.

It’s time we notify our faces of what is already true about our flawless fusion with Christ’s Spirit!

Don’t you think that if we actually believed what God said in His Word was already (there’s that wonderful word again!) true about us Christians, nonbelievers would be knocking down our doors to find out where they could get some of what we’ve got?

And isn’t that what witnessing is really all about?

The only better advertisement of the gospel than a satisfied Christian is a satisfied Christian doing the Happy Dance!

Dearly beloved,

What in your life is keeping you from doing the Happy Dance with Jesus, and how can I pray for you?

Until next time,

Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you love the pure gospel of grace in Jesus Christ, then you will savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding their one-and-only, flawless identity in Him.

Learn more by checking out my book page.

P.S. S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

It’s Almost Time!

An Update on My Publishing Journey

Writing and publishing a book is a lot like having a baby.  Much preparation, anticipation, and jubilation (and some worry) fill each moment—from the positive pregnancy test—to our ever-expanding waistline—until our unseen miracle finally decides to come out of hiding.

I had an extremely easy pregnancy with my son. I wish I could say the same about the actual birthing process. My due date, December 6, 1984, came and went without so much as a cramp. Wesley just wasn’t ready to make his appearance, even though he was plenty big. (Well, his  five-foot, two-inch mother was anyway.)

My doctor was in Pampa, Texas, thirty-two miles from Mobeetie. So, there was a little bit of apprehension, given that I had never give birth before. My mom told me that she was in labor with my oldest brother, Mark, for more than twenty-four hours. I was sure hoping mine didn’t last that long. But then again, I didn’t have any idea what to expect.

There was another glitch. The Texas Panhandle was expecting a major ice storm, so my doctor decided to induce my labor the morning of December 10 (and he was leaving on a snow-skiing vacation that evening!). After twenty-six hours of labor, my doctor’s partner in practice broke my water, I went into hard labor, and the delivery room nurses began making bets about the sex of my baby (we didn’t have routine sonograms back then).

On December 11, at 4:30 in the afternoon, Wesley Ryan Hathaway, a bright-eyed and healthy eight-pound, five-ounce baby boy, entered this world. I was overjoyed and thankful that he was finally here! And today, I couldn’t be more proud of the Jesus-loving man he has become.

I didn’t know then that Wesley would be my only child. I had a hysterectomy when I was thirty years old, so when Steven and I got married in July 1997, we both knew that there wouldn’t be any children in our future—unless we adopted. We prayed about it, but never felt like that was something God wanted for us.

Now, after almost twenty years of marriage, we know that God had something entirely different in mind for us. And, in a sense, Steven and I are having a baby—my first book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. While Steven didn’t cowrite this book with me, he has read and reread it at different stages, offering valuable insights.

Steven has believed in this God-given dream since the moment it was conceived in my heart and spoken out of my mouth. And he has done nothing but support and encourage me throughout this entire almost nine-year process. Steven believed in me even when I didn’t. Even when I thought I was going to have a miscarriage (at several different stages), he pushed and cheered me on. Nine years is a long time to see the birth—the realization—of a dream. But now, I’m so happy to say, “It’s almost time!

I have learned a lot (probably just as much about what not to do as to do) through this huge undertaking. In 2012, at the advice of a published author whom I respect, I purchased a publishing package through WestBow Press, the Christian self-publishing division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. That’s when the commitment became real. It wasn’t cheap.

And now, over five years later, the only part of the process that’s left is for me to do the final review of the proofs of the manuscript I submitted this past Monday. If everything goes according to plan, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love should be in print by next month, July 2017—exactly nine years from when the dream of writing this book was first implanted in my heart and I began punching away at the keys on my laptop.

In 2003, I remember hearing a Bible teacher talk about coauthoring a book, saying, “We decided to write a book together … and ten years later, it’s finally in print.” I remember thinking, Why did it take so long? Now, I know how it’s possible. There are some things you just don’t understand, until you experience them.

Part of the process of publishing a book is asking people you know and respect to read your book and offer an endorsement for it—if they like it. So, I would like to close today’s post by sharing a couple of the endorsements I’ve received:

This book called me to deeper, more passionate love for our Bridegroom. With intensive research, thoughtful insights and personal experience, Kim Francis makes the Song of Songs come alive. Using contemporary examples ranging from ‘do not disturb’ signs and overdrawn checking accounts, she makes application to this timeless, and often overlooked, portion of Scripture. The book also provides diagrams, study questions, and book and song resources.”—Latayne C. Scott, award-winning author

A beautifully crafted, in-depth study of the Song of Solomon. A gifted mentor and writer, Kim Francis weaves relatable examples with biblical truths to bring deeper insights into this ultimate love story. I highly recommend this study for those who long for and are ready to seek deeper intimacy with Christ.”—Carla Stewart, award-winning author of Chasing Lilacs and Stardust


Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s post. I’m wondering …

  1. Has God given you a dream?
  2. If yes, what is it and are you currently taking steps to see it come to pass?
  3. If no, ask Him if there is something that He would like to birth through the gift of your life on planet earth. 
 photo credit: rosenblume75 Babybauch 1 via photopin (license)

 

 Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Resources     Speaking     Contact

Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!

MercyMe Lifer Message - Track 9 - "Heaven's Here"

Christian, what if I told you that you are already in Heaven—that you don’t have to wait until you pass from this life to go there?

I understand if your brain is going tilt-tilt right now.

Mine did too when I first heard this sounds-too-good-to-be-true news.

But then again, the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ is hands down the best news any of us could ever hear, acknowledge, and say yes to.

Until the early 2000s, my beyond-this-life perspective was: Heaven is a place I go to when I pass from this life through physical death or when Jesus meets me in air at the rapture and takes me there.

What changed my mind?

God’s Word.

In his letter to the church (the saints) at Ephesus, the apostle Paul wrote:

It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live.

You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience.

We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat.

It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us.

Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us.

He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ.

He did all this on his own, with no help from us!

Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah (Eph. 2:1-6 MSG).

When we believed in (into) Jesus, Father God took us (our spirit) out of the realm of darkness and placed us into the eternal life of His Son (John 3:16; Col. 1:13).

And once we’re in Christ, we are in Him forever (John 10:28; 2 Tim. 2:13; Heb. 13:5).

Bart Millard, the lead singer of the contemporary Christian band MercyMe, has written a hope-exuding, celebratory song that speaks of the believer in Christ’s permanent change in spiritual location.

Let’s listen to him tell the story behind “Heaven’s Here,” the ninth track on MercyMe’s 2017 grace-saturated album, Lifer:

I love Millard’s transparency and excitement about the gospel of grace!

The idea behind the song was, ‘If our promise of Heaven is no more separation from Christ, if Christ is in us, then, in a way, Heaven has already begun for us as believers … We don’t have to wait till this life is through … No separation, He has raised us up … We don’t have to wait, Heaven’s here with us … So, in some weird, stranger-things-kind-of-way, we’re already there, yet still on our way … Eternity’s begun for us … There’s no more separation in Christ.’

Now let’s enjoy “Heaven’s Here.”

I’ve said it before in this series and I’ll say it again:

I don’t believe there is any other Christian band out there that is unashamedly declaring the truth about who we are in Christ and who He is in us like MercyMe! 

Let’s look at more Scriptures that amplify the truth that—in a way—Heaven’s already here for the believer in Christ:

  • “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Col. 3:1-4 NASB).
  • “Our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20 NASB).
  • We are “aliens and strangers” in this world (1 Pet. 2:11 NASB).
  • “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21 NKJV).
  • “God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves” (Col. 1:13 GW).

If you love the song “Heaven’s Here” and want the truth of your forever fusion with Christ to go deeper, I would like to recommend Heaven Is Now, a wonderful devotional written by Lubbock, Texas pastor and best-selling author Andrew Farley.

Millard and Farley connected through social media while Millard was reading Farley’s debut best-seller, The Naked Gospel: The Truth You May Never Hear in Church.

(I wrote about their connection in the first post in this series.)

The two ended up writing a grace-filled book together by the same name as the MercyMe album The Hurt and the Healer.

(You can read the brief interview here to learn more about Millard’s grace-awakening.)

I will never forget the day I first heard about Farley and Millard’s connection.

I had been reading Farley’s books and knew that he was passionate about sharing the Jesus-plus-nothing gospel.

Just thinking about how their connection might impact Christendom made my heart leap for joy!

And now I’m looking forward to seeing more fruit from this divine connection in the future. (Smile.)

I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing the messages in the songs on this feel-good-because-God-has-already-been-so-good-to-us compilation:

  1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
  2. Are You a Lifer in Christ?” – a review of track 1, “Lifer
  3. Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are!” – a review of track 2, “You Found Me
  4. Has Grace Got You?” – a review of track 3, “Grace Got You
  5. Have You Heard the Best News Ever?” – a review of track 4, “Best News Ever
  6. Because Life Ain’t Always Pretty” – a review of track 5, “Even If
  7. Bye-Bye Lies!” – a review of track 6, “Hello Beautiful
  8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
  9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
  10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
  11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

My next post on the message in “Ghost,” the tenth track on Lifer, will close out this series.

Dearly beloved,

Did you realize before reading this post that you are already in Heaven and Heaven is already in you?

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you love the pure gospel of grace in Jesus Christ, then you will savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding their one-and-only, flawless identity in Him.

Learn more by checking out my book page.

P.S. S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

Whose Path Are You Following?

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love - Excerpt 15

Today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-published book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, is a discussion of the great Shepherd’s (Christ’s) response to the Shulammite maiden’s (His bride’s) request for direction in finding true nourishment and rest (see Song 1:7).

“If you yourself do not know,
Most beautiful among women,
Go forth on the trail of the flock
And pasture your young goats
By the tents of the shepherds.”
                                     —Song 1:8

Go forth on the trail of the flock
After reminding the maiden who she is (most beautiful among women), the great Shepherd is now giving her direction, telling her to go forth on the trail of the flock. He is basically telling her to follow the path trod by the faithful men and women of God who have gone before her. These are members of the Lord’s flock who consistently walked in truth and joy, following a path illuminated by His Word (Ps. 119:105). Notice that Solomon’s father, King David, described this path as the path of life in Psalm 16:11:

“You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

In addition to King David—one who experienced great joy on the path of life that led him into the presence of the Lord—we can find many great men and women of the Bible who blazed a trail of faith for us.

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is often referred to as the Faith Hall of Fame because it lists several Old Testament saints who had one thing in common—they trusted and believed God. We find the definition of faith in the opening verse of the chapter: “Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it” (Heb. 11:1 NCV).

Let’s zoom in on the last part of that definition—knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. Even though we have never laid eyes on the resurrected Jesus, we know that He is real, that His Spirit lives in us, and that He can be completely relied on. I love the definition for faith found in 2 Timothy 1:5 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition:

the leaning of your entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness.

By directing the maiden to go forth on the trail of the flock, the great Shepherd is saying, “Take the same path of faith as those who have gone before you. Lean entirely upon Me in absolute trust and confidence in My power, My wisdom, and My goodness.” What a great path to follow.

Joseph is one of my personal favorites of God’s flock from the Old Testament because he persevered under trial and had a forgiving heart. He was unjustly treated by his brothers, sold into Egyptian slavery, and imprisoned for thirteen years before Pharaoh made him second-in-command over all of Egypt (Genesis, chapters 37–50).

Joseph’s understanding of God’s sovereignty gave him peace in the midst of harsh circumstances. When famine drove his brothers to Egypt, uniting them once again, Joseph told them that God worked his imprisonment out for the good of many people (Gen. 50:20). Rather than nursing his wounds and becoming bitter, Joseph forgave his brothers and focused on the good that God brought out of his adversity. What a great path to follow.

My favorites of God’s flock from the New Testament are the apostles John and Paul. John knew in the core of his being that Jesus loved him. He even refers to himself four times in his gospel as the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20). He truly believed he was Jesus’ favorite disciple. Sound arrogant? I don’t think so. John experienced a deep sense of security in knowing how much he was loved by Jesus through his personal relationship with Him. What a great path to follow.

Because of the revelation given to the apostle Paul concerning our identity in Christ, I clearly see that I am not who I was when I was born into this world. I became a brand-new creation when I believed in (into) Jesus. Paul wasn’t taught by men; the resurrected Christ personally downloaded him with the precious truths concerning the believer’s identity (Gal. 1:11–12). In most of Paul’s letters to the churches, he begins by reminding them who they are in order to evoke positive behavioral changes. What a great path to follow.

There are many great men and women of faith (trailblazers) who are not mentioned in the Bible. I recently attended the funeral of a friend’s mother-in-law. Rather than giving a traditional message, the pastor spent the service reading tributes from several members of her family. In almost every one of the testimonials, the family members describe themselves as her favorite son, grandchild, daughter-in-law, and so on. This woman of faith left a wonderful legacy of making each one of her loved ones believe that he or she was her favorite. No, she wasn’t misleading them or pretending. When she spent one-on-one time with them, they each were her favorite. What a great path to follow.

At just the right time in my life, my home church hosted a Freedom in Christ conference where Jamie Lash, Bible teacher and director of student development at Dallas Baptist University, passionately and powerfully communicated the truths of the believer’s new identity in Christ. Through his message, titled “The New Creature,” I began to understand that, at salvation, Christ didn’t just come into my life, but He literally became my life.

I felt like Dorothy being swept away from the dull, black-and-white landscape of Kansas to the bright, panoramic spectrum of Oz. And I’m still in Oz over fifteen years later. Through Jamie’s faithfulness in blazing a trail to Perryton, Texas, my course of religious rule-keeping was changed forever, and I was set on a joy-filled, grace-illuminated path. What a great path to follow.

During his conference, Jamie shared quotes from trailblazers who had inspired him. Hungry for these truths to go deep, I began devouring every book I could find by these authors, which eventually led me to Bill and Anabel Gillham’s books. Bill and Anabel have left an incredible legacy of communicating the truths of our new life in Christ in simple and practical ways. Although both are now present with the Lord, the ministry they founded—Lifetime Ministries—continues to reach others with the liberating truths of our new life in Christ. What a great path to follow.

Finally, the most recent trailblazer who has impacted my life is best-selling author and west Texas pastor, Andrew Farley. His simple, straightforward teaching style is helping people better understand the grace of God and enjoy the freedom that Christ died to give them. Farley wears many other grace-directed hats—all of which point people to the simplicity of the gospel. What a great path to follow.

In today’s excerpt (there will only be a few more before my book comes out this summer), I share my personal journey of finding true rest and nourishment by following the path trod by faithful men and women of God who have gone before me.

Now, I’m wondering, dear reader,

Which Bible characters, pastors, teachers, authors, mentors, family members, and friends have blazed a trail of faith for you, influencing your life in positive ways?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

photo credit: gusdiaz If we were via photopin (license)

 Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Resources     Speaking     Contact

This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!

MercyMe Lifer Message - Track 10 - "Ghost"

Do you remember when there were only three TV networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS) and Saturday mornings were reserved for watching cartoons while eating a bowl of your favorite breakfast cereal?

One of my favorite cartoons was ABC’s Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Casper wasn’t like the other members of his family and his friends.

He didn’t like scaring people at all.

In fact, his favorite book was Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. (Smile.)

Today’s post is about a ghost.

A ghost who is way friendlier than Casper.

And this Ghost, also known as the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ, lives perpetually inside every believer in Christ.

In this final post in my series on the messages in MercyMe’s 2017 album, Lifer, I will be sharing the message in its tenth and final track,“Ghost.”

I have taken great pleasure in sharing the messages in the ten songs on this feel-good-because-God-has-already-been-so-good-to-us compilation:

  1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
  2. Are You a Lifer in Christ?” – a review of track 1, “Lifer
  3. Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are!” – a review of track 2, “You Found Me
  4. Has Grace Got You?” – a review of track 3, “Grace Got You
  5. Have You Heard the Best News Ever?” – a review of track 4, “Best News Ever
  6. Because Life Ain’t Always Pretty” – a review of track 5, “Even If
  7. Bye-Bye Lies!” – a review of track 6, “Hello Beautiful
  8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
  9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
  10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
  11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

Let’s begin by listening to Bart Millard, the band’s lead singer and songwriter, share the backstory behind this calming and comforting song:

I really like what Bart said:

A lot of people are wrapped up in being Spirit-filled and getting Spirit-filled. My take is that if you’re a believer, you are filled with the Holy Ghost the day you call His name and there is no separation. It’s more about being Spirit-led. When you think about it, we (Christians) have a Ghost inside of us. If you’re not a believer, that’s a creepy thing to say. The weird irony is that the only thing that keeps me from being afraid—the only thing that calms my fears—is the Ghost that lives inside of me. The anthem for the album—the way to end the album—is “Holy Ghost, lead me through everything. Whatever You do, just lead me.

I might step on some toes here, but I completely agree with Bart.

If you are a believer, you are filled with the Holy Ghost the day you call His name and there is no separation.

I remember a season in my walk with the Lord where it was all about me trying to get more of Jesus, getting filled (and re-filled) with the Spirit.

It was all about continual introspection.

Am I sinning? Am I not sinning? were the questions of the day.

Honestly, I’m getting worn out just remembering it.

Thank God I don’t live there anymore!

If that’s where you are currently living and you are completely exhausted and overwhelmed, then keep scrolling.

If you are a believer in Christ, then all of you (you are a spirit) is already united with all of the Spirit of Christ (the Ghost)!

This just might be the best news you’ll ever hear!

If you don’t believe me, let Scripture prove it to you:

The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17).

The believer in Christ is eternally fused together with Christ’s Spirit, never again to be separated from Him (John 10:28; 2 Tim. 2:13; Heb. 13:5).

His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence (2 Pet. 1:3).

Believers in Christ have already been given everything they need because of their eternal spiritual union with Him.

You are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30).

In means “in”!

It doesn’t mean a part of us is in Christ.

Our entire spirit (who we are) is completely immersed into His Spirit. No separation. Ever.

Now, let’s watch the official lyric video for “Ghost”:

Christian, the Ghost who lives inside of you 24/7/365 is your comforting Counselor, your forever Friend, your sustaining Strength, your relaxing Rest, your heavenly Hope, and your perfect Peace (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7).

He is everything you need, your All-Sufficiency.

What I love most about “Ghost” and every other song on Lifer is that they all accentuate the truth of our eternal spiritual union with the Spirit of Christ.

And it all started the moment we called on the Name of Jesus, believing into Eternal Life Himself.

In honor of this God-glorifying, grace-saturated, new covenant-focused album, I would like to close with this little saying that I put together that includes the name of every song on the album:

If you are one of many redeemed saints who can thankfully and enthusiastically shout to Jesus, “You Found Me!” then “Grace Got You,” and you are now a “Lifer” in Him. And it all started when you first heard and responded to the “Best News Ever”—the gospel of grace in Christ Jesus. That’s when you waved goodbye to your old life and shouted, “Hello Beautiful!” to your new life in Him. “Even If” you go through hard times on this earth, you can still do the “Happy Dance” because “Heaven’s (already) Here.” Yes, that’s right. The Holy “Ghost” lives inside you 24/7/365 and there ain’t no storm that can change how this ends: “We Win!”

(Click the the link in each name and it will take you to the post on that particular song.)

Dearly beloved, if you’re like me, you may already be looking forward to see what new covenant, grace-saturated songs MercyMe will write and produce next.

I thank God for MercyMe and their commitment to sharing the liberating truths of the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ!

Now that you’ve had a chance to savor every song on Lifer and its message, which one is your favorite and why?

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you love the pure gospel of grace in Jesus Christ, then you will savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him through understanding their one-and-only, flawless identity in Him.

Learn more by checking out my book page.

P.S. S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

Christian, Who Do You Think You Are?

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love - Excerpt 14

Beloved bride of Christ, understanding your identity in Christ will help you experience the divine romance of His cherishing love for you. If you are having a difficult time believing you are Christ’s pure, holy, and righteous bride, take heart. After years of viewing yourself through a natural earthly perspective, seeing yourself through an eternal spiritual perspective takes time.

Your feelings and behavior will begin to line up with the truth of your new identity as you continually renew your mind. In the following verse of the Song of Solomon, it appears that the Shulammite maiden is also having a difficult time seeing the fullness of who she truly is.

I am black but lovely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
Like the tents of Kedar,
Like the curtains of Solomon.
                                       —Song 1:5


I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem
An unknown amount of time has passed between the Shulammite and the other maidens’ rejoicing in and extolling the love of their King in verses 2–4 and this verse. In verse 5, her focus has turned onto herself, and she is now addressing a new group that has emerged onto the scene—the daughters of Jerusalem.

We want to be careful not to confuse this group of believers with the maidens—those who are faithfully pursuing their King in response to their longing for greater experiential intimacy with Him. Let’s revisit the character profile for the daughters of Jerusalem from the overview found at the beginning of this study to get better acquainted with them.

Daughters of Jerusalem represent the group of believers who are “infants in Christ who cannot digest the solid food of the Word of God” (1 Cor. 3:1–2; Heb. 5:12–13). Their perception is limited to understanding that their eternal destiny is in heaven with Jesus. They have little or no knowledge of the truths of their new identity in Christ. These believers’ lives bear little or no fruit because their minds have not been renewed (Rom. 12:1–2). These “baby” believers in Christ are often mistaken for unbelievers because their outward lives closely resemble theirs.

Paul addresses believers like these in his letter to the Corinthians:

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. (1 Cor. 3:2–3)

The author of Hebrews also describes this type of believer:

For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. (Heb. 5:13)

Believers who are “unaccustomed to the word of righteousness” are ignorant (lacking knowledge) of their pure, holy, and righteous identity in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). Although they have believed in (into) Jesus and understood that their eternal destination is heaven, the renewal of their minds concerning who they are either hit a stalemate or never really began, for whatever reason.

The maiden too was a daughter of Jerusalem when she first believed. But something happened within her that has not yet happened in them. That something was desire. A longing rose up within her to know Him more deeply. In her pursuit of greater intimacy with Him and knowledge of the truth, she has come to understand that His Spirit actually lives in her. She now has a “Christ-in-me” consciousness. Before going to the cross, Jesus promised His disciples that one day His Spirit would live in them:

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (John 14:16–17)

Jesus wanted to assure His disciples that even though His physical presence would no longer abide (live) with them, His coming Spirit would forever indwell them. He promised them that they would not be unaware of this, but they would know He indwelt them. “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:20). Did you notice in this verse that He also told them they would know that they were also in Him? Not just He in them but they in Him. You in Christ, and Christ in you.

We can infer from the maiden’s first statement in Song 1:5—I am black but lovely—that she has an imperfect understanding of who she is. She does not primarily see herself as a lovely spiritual being indwelling an imperfect physical body. Instead, she sees herself as a sinful (black) physical being who happens to have a lovely spirit (because Christ lives there). She does not understand that her new spiritual heart is who she is and that Christ’s Spirit has completely permeated her.

The Shulammite’s description of herself as “black but lovely” is the first statement of how she sees herself—her self-image. At this point in the Song, she has likely fallen into some type of habitual sin because of her primary focus on her blackness. Her feelings and behavior have taken center stage in her vision, rather than God’s truth. She has yet to realize that though her feelings can be great followers of realized truths, they are lousy leaders.

In general, believers will see themselves in one of three ways after salvation:

  •        Self-image 1: “I am a sinner saved by grace. I have been forgiven and am going to heaven when I die, but I am still the same person I was before salvation (John 3:16). At the core of my being is a sin-nature. God’s desires and my desires are polar opposites most of the time.”
  •        Self-image 2: Second Peter 1:4 says I received a new nature in salvation, but my feelings and behavior indicate that my old nature is still very much alive. Therefore, it is apparent that I now have two natures—the good, new me and the bad, old me.”
  •        Self-image 3: “I am a saint who sometimes acts like a sinner. Not only did I receive forgiveness and a new nature at salvation, but the bad, old me—my sin nature—was crucified with Christ on the cross (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20). I am a new creation because I am in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). The desire of my new heart is not to sin, even though sometimes I still do.”

Please notice that each self-image is directly proportional to the extent the believer’s mind has been renewed with the truths of his or her new identity in Christ. The maiden is most likely holding self-image 2 at this point in her journey. She believes she has two natures, basing her evaluation on her feelings and behavior. She feels like a “house divided.”

On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln gave a famous acceptance speech upon his nomination for the Illinois Republican Party’s US Senate seat. He called it “The House Divided Speech.” It became one of the best-known speeches of his career because it created a lasting image of the dangers of the disunion of his country due to human slavery issues. Perhaps the most remembered part of this speech was, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free.” Lincoln actually borrowed the words of Jesus to make his point that a country divided over the issue of slavery could not survive:

If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. (Mark 3:25)

This was Jesus’ response to those who were accusing Him of being possessed by Satan. In saying that a house divided against itself wouldn’t be able to stand, He meant that a man could not be of Satan’s kingdom and cast out demons at the same time because of the obvious conflict of interest.

After reading Jesus’ statement, do you think that He would purposely set you up to fail by creating you half good and half bad—a house divided? I hope your answer resounds in loud agreement with mine: No way! How could anyone who “lives and moves and exists” in Christ be anything other than good? (Acts 17:28).

The maiden’s problem is the same problem that multitudes of believers have experienced throughout the ages and still experience today: her lack of knowledge of her new identity in Christ.

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-published Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. I would love to interact with you concerning its content by asking you,

“Which self-image is closest to the one you currently hold of yourself?” 

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Resources     Speaking     Contact