How God Interrupted My “Quiet” Time with a Noisy Cricket

Monday morning I woke up with a plan. I was going to spend time journaling (that’s how I process best), talking to the Lord, and listening for His response. More than anything else, I needed to hear His voice.

I was feeling vulnerable and anxious about a past failure (regret) because I spent most of Sunday allowing the “accuser of the brethren” rip me to shreds (Rev. 12:9-10; Job 1:9; 2:4-5; Zech. 3:1-2).

Instead of letting Christ’s Spirit remind me of the truth about that gut-wrenching circumstance and lead me by His “unforced rhythms of grace,” I allowed my feelings (influenced by my passive acceptance of the enemy’s accusations) to drive me around most of the day (Matt. 11:28-30 MSG).

And needless to say, I didn’t end up in a good place—mentally or emotionally.

So, Monday morning, I was determined to hear from God.

Journal out, pen in hand, I start writing. And writing led me to open one of my study Bibles to research passages on hearing from God.

I was just getting immersed into the second chapter of Habakkuk when a noisy cricket started interfering with my plan. How was I suppose to hear the still, small voice of God with that irritating distraction? (1 Kings 19:11-13 KJV)

It was so loud, I was convinced that it was inside my library. So, I got up out of my chair, moved books & papers around, opened shutters, and leaned in, listening intently to see if I could pinpoint jabbering Jiminy’s location.

After a fruitless (cricket-less) search, I was determined to put an end to that quiet-robbing insect’s already short lifespan (they only live about three months). I grabbed a flashlight, went outside in the dark (it was around 5:30 a.m.) and searched.

I couldn’t find him (only male crickets chirp).

Steven asked what I was doing and—after expressing my frustration to him—said with a grin, “Maybe God’s trying to tell you something.” (I had kind of suspected the same thing at that point.)

So, what do you do when you don’t know what else to do?

You pick up your phone and check your e-mail, right? (Well, that’s what I sometimes do.)

The subject line that grabbed my attention was “ANNOUNCEMENT: Michele’s Story on LifeToday TV!” (I subscribe to Michele Cushatt’s blog, “Making Peace with an Imperfect Life.”) She has an incredible testimony as a 3-time cancer survivor.)

There was a link to head on over to her blog, so I clicked it. (You can, too. The post is really short.)

Right in the middle of this post promoting her guest spot on Life Today with James and Betty Robison was this title and description:

Monday, August 28: Michele Cushatt: The Nearness of God

A woman who has faced unimaginable physical pain talks about the presence of God during those difficult times.

While the emotional pain I was experiencing couldn’t hold a candle to the severity of Michele’s physical and emotional pain, I sensed God’s desire to speak to me through her interview.

So, I went into the living room to find out when the program was airing and to set my DVR to record it.

Guess what? It just so happened to be airing at that moment, and what she said brought tears to my eyes.

Here’s a two-minute snippet from her interview:

The difficulty is we often equate the presence of pain with the absence of God. How many of us think the moment that we feel pain, that must mean that God left? And for many of us, that’s where our faith is either built stronger or is completely destroyed—in those kind of places.

I had to wrestle with that quite often. Where was He? Thousands of people were praying for my healing. And cancer just didn’t come back once; I had it three times.

Michele makes many profound, thought-provoking statements throughout this interview. If you are going through a difficult time (or even if you’re not), I highly recommend you watching the entire interview: “God In the Pain”

I’m not going to share a lot about the interview (because I want you to watch it), but here are the main takeaways I got from Michele:

  • I found great comfort in Good Friday and Saturday. Picturing Jesus’ suffering in the garden helped me.
  • I needed to hear God’s words of affection and love for me in that place.
  • We were never meant to build an identity; we were meant to receive it (my favorite).
  • There is no surgeon’s scalpel that can cut our value away from us; we simply need to receive the value He has already spoken over us.
  • I have to make a choice to be captive to fear or to trust the One who has numbered my days.
  • God has given me a glimpse of eternity that I couldn’t have manufactured or found any other way.
  • I’m so thankful.

If you watch the show before Friday, you can get in on Michele’s promotion and be eligible to win two free copies of her book I Am: A 60-Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is, two I Am Scripture cards & easels, and a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.

Not only did Michele’s interview speak volumes to me, but several key statements from her book site also ministered to me. The one that spoke the loudest (given my recent experience) was:

Stop agonizing over past regrets and failures and make peace with God’s sovereign plan for your life.

Don’t you agree that God can use anything He wants to in order to get our attention? Even a noisy cricket?

I’ve already ordered I Am and looking forward to hearing God speak to me through its pages.

And I’m sure you will hear about it right here on my blog.

(If you don’t want to miss any of my posts, go here, scroll to the bottom of the page, and SUBSCRIBE.)

Question: How is God speaking to you through today’s post?

 

Until next time,

Live Christ—Live Happy!

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

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Today’s Guest Post by Award-Winning Author Latayne C. Scott – Priska’s Betrothal

My initial contact with the award-winning author of my first guest post, Latayne C. Scott, was in January 2014 when I e-mailed her to ask her permission to use a quote from The Shout of the Bridegroom: Understanding Christ’s Intimate Love for the Church, a book she co-wrote with the late Dr. Glenn Greenwood.

Even though she didn’t know me personally, she asked me to let her know when my book was released and offered to help me with some publicity. That blessed my heart!

Over three years later, I e-mailed her again, this time asking her if she would read and consider writing an endorsement for my soon-to-be-released book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

She blessed my heart again by saying yes and giving my book a glowing endorsement.

She also asked if I would consider reading and endorsing her book, A Conspiracy of Breath, due to release September 1—one week from today.

I was honored that she asked me and gladly said yes. Below is my endorsement of her captivating work:

“Until I savored Latayne C. Scott’s A Conspiracy of Breath, I believed the apostle Paul to be the most likely candidate for authorship of the epistle to the Hebrews. Not anymore. Scott provides a convincing argument through her use of vivid, page-turning imagery that Priscilla, wife of Aquila, could have very well been this enigmatic New Testament book’s inspired recipient. In the future, I will be reading Hebrews through exquisite new lenses!”—Kim K. Francis

And now, without further ado, let’s enjoy award-winning author Latayne C. Scott’s guest post, “Priska’s Betrothal”:

One of the wonderful things about social media is how we can discover deep connections with people we discover there. This was definitely the case when I met Kim! Her book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, struck so many chords with me, since I also wrote a book on that theme.

The symbolism and implications of the way the Bible shows Christ’s passionate love for His bride, the Church, are ideas that people today crave. They feed their souls.

In my newest book, A Conspiracy of Breath, I tried to flesh out, in a fictional way, some of those ancient customs. In one scene, my heroine Priscilla, who is a Roman by birth, enters into her betrothal with Aquila and waits, as all biblical brides did, for him to come by night and abduct her. (How romantic is that?)

Here is the scene where she is waiting along with some Jewish and Roman friends and singing love songs:

The three of them began to sing in the pendulous rhythm of Jewish song, one girl stopping to giggle or the other putting her hand over her mouth as she sang.

Not knowing Hebrew, we Roman women had absolutely no idea what they were singing. We sat politely for a long time, until Tirzah began to pantomime as she sang.

A table for eating …

Something hanging above …

Raisin cakes (which Shiprah produced from yet another basket and ate with gusto) …

Apples …

“I know!” I shouted. “It’s the Song of Solomon.”

The women nodded, smiling now, but did not stop singing. I began to recite in Greek to Akantha and Cordelia:

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest,

so is my dearest compared to other men.

I love to sit in its shadow,

and its fruit is sweet to my taste.

He brought me to his banquet hall

and raised the banner of love over me.

Restore my strength with raisins

and refresh me with apples!

I am weak from passion.

His left hand is under my head,

and his right hand caresses me.

Promise me, women of Jerusalem;

swear by the swift deer and the gazelles

that you will not interrupt our love.

They came every night but the Sabbath, and sang the same songs, until our necks jerked us awake again and again and the Jewish women, yawning and stretching, gathered up their baskets and went home in the darkness, carrying their tiny oil lamps out in front of them, in their outstretched palms.

I dreamt each night of gazelles on mountaintops, of turtledoves seeking their mates, of lilies and honey and milk; of furious north winds and spice breezes;

Of ornaments of silver set with studs of gold, of cedar and fir rafters high above my head;

Of eyes at a window, looking through a lattice;

Of green grapes and their perfumes;

Do not stir up nor awaken love, the women sang to me in my dreams, until it pleases…. They murmured of secret places of the cliff, of sealed fountains and enclosed gardens scented with calamus and cinnamon, of little foxes running.

I dreamed melodious dreams of hair black and iridescent as raven wings, of eyes like doves by rivers of water and cheek-banks of scented herbs; of hands like rods of gold set with beryl and legs as marble pillars;

Of the excellence of cedars;

Of the handles of a lock on a door, dripping with myrrh,

His mouth most sweet,

Altogether lovely

My beloved

My friend

(from A Conspiracy of Breath by Latayne C. Scott, TSU Press, 2017.)

Of course, this isn’t just a first-century love story, because we are all waiting for the Lover of our souls to come and get us. May this help us understand to be spotless as we wait!

Bio:
Dr.  Latayne C. Scott (Distinguished Christian Service Award, Pepperdine University) writes controversial books. Her newest one, the critically acclaimed A Conspiracy of Breath, is based on the scholarly theory that a woman wrote part of the Bible. Her first book, The Mormon Mirage—also controversial—has stayed in print almost continuously for almost 40 years. She has nearly two dozen other published books. One notable recent book is about the discovery of the ancient Biblical city of Sodom (Discovering the City of Sodom). Her first novel is a murder mystery revolving around a code developed by the early Mormon church. Both are … controversial.

She’s also won a national award for humor. Her kids say she’s not so funny, but she just holds up the prize check.

Latayne blogs at Latayne.com.

This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!

2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series

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 shows 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 today’s post, I will be bringing this MercyMe Summer Song Series on their newest album, Lifer, to a close by sharing the message in its last track—“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, and constant introspection (Am I sinning? Am I not sinning?).

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

Thank God I don’t live there anymore!

If that’s where you’re 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)! That just might be the best news you’ll ever hear as a burned-out Christian!

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 listen the entire song:

Christian, the Ghost that lives inside of us 24/7/365 is our comforting Counselor, our forever Friend, our sustaining Strength, our relaxing Rest, our heavenly Hope, and our perfect Peace (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7). He is everything we need, our 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!”

If you click on the the link in each name, it will take you to the post on that particular song.

Dear reader, 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!

I’m wondering, now that this series has come to an end, which song from Lifer do you like the best and why? 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 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, Which Spiritual Season Are You In?

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love - Excerpt 17

I am so grateful to live in a part of the world that experiences the four distinct seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

Autumn is my favorite because of the cooler temperatures and the gorgeous foliage.

Just as we experience the changing natural seasons, we are also subject to changing experiential seasons in our life with Christ.

It makes perfect sense to talk about the different seasons in a believer’s life because, throughout Scripture, God’s people are metaphorically described as His garden (Song 4:12, 15, 16; 5:1; 6:2; Isa. 58:11; Jer. 31:12), vineyard (Song 1:6; 8:11–12; Isa. 5:1–10; Matt. 20:1–8; 21:28–41)), or field (1 Cor. 3:6–9).

We can find great encouragement in identifying which season we are currently experiencing. There is just something about knowing that we are not the only ones who are going (or have gone) through especially difficult times.

We also experience seasons of great joy and celebration. One thing we can know for sure—no matter which season we are in, it will change. Life is not static.

Whether we are struggling through a cold and lifeless winter season or a hot and hectic summer season, we can find great hope in knowing that a warm, flourishing spring or a cool, abundant autumn harvest is just around the corner.

The changing seasons of our lives are not haphazard but ordained by our Beloved to accomplish His purposes in our lives: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl. 3:10 NKJV).

Regardless of what season we are in, our Beloved wants us to embrace Him, trusting that He will manifest the greatest possible harvest of His fruit in our lives in His perfect timing.

Before we look at the identifying characteristics of each season, I believe it is important to clarify what I mean by “growth.” Growth is not a change in our spiritual state. Our new heart is our new spirit united with Christ’s Spirit and is complete and unchangeable (Col. 2:10).

True growth in believers is measured by the degree to which their minds are renewed with what is already true of their new hearts and then manifested through their outward lives (Rom. 12:2). The apostle Peter exhorts believers to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18).

Knowing which season we are in will not only encourage us to persevere through the difficulties of winter and summer but will enable us to not take for granted the joys of spring and fall.

Although we generally prefer one season to another, there are pros and cons within each that bring a nice overall balance to our lives:

  • Winter: The winter season is cold, has fewer daylight hours, and is a time when many plants and trees are dormant. Although they may appear lifeless, their dormancy is actually a part of their growth cycle. On the downside, the experiential season of winter is characterized by very little sense of our Beloved’s love, presence, and activity in our lives (His left hand). Sometimes during this season, it seems as if He has taken a permanent vacation. The upside to this bleak and barren season is that it creates a hunger to experience our Beloved’s presence and will cause us to seek Him to meet our needs.

  • Spring: The spring season is warmer, has more daylight hours, and is the time for planting new seeds because the ground temperature gets warm enough for germination. Everywhere we turn, we see the emergence of new life in the blooming flowers and the different shades of green in the tree branches, growing grass, leaves, and bushes. The experiential season of spring is characterized by a greater sense of our Beloved’s activity in our lives (His right hand). New seeds of truth are planted in our minds and watered and cultivated through intimacy with Him. This season holds within it great hope—hope that the planted seeds will eventually manifest an abundant harvest.

  • Summer: The temperatures of summer can range from very warm to unbearably hot. Much attention is given to the growing plants through watering, pulling weeds, and keeping bugs and animals from destroying them. On the upside, the experiential season of summer symbolizes rapid growth, where we are so energized by what our Beloved has planted in our hearts and minds that we want to share it with everyone. On the downside, we can become overzealous and get too many irons in the fire. It is important to realize that just because we see a need, that doesn’t mean our Beloved is calling us to meet it. Awareness does not necessarily constitute action on our part. Take time to seek Him. He is an expert at weeding out unnecessary distractions that might keep us from expressing the fullness of His fruit in our lives.

  • Autumn: In the part of the world where I live, the cooler temperatures of autumn bring refreshing relief from the dog days of summer. Up until the sixteenth century, harvest was the term used to refer to this season. Now, it is commonly referred to as fall because of the falling leaves of the deciduous trees. (I find it fascinating that their gorgeous hues signify their maturity.) The experiential season of autumn represents the abundant manifestation of the fruit of our Beloved’s Spirit being expressed through our lives. This is a joyous season because this fruit is not the result of our works—our trying hard to be more loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. It is the delectable, authentic fruit of shared intimacy with our Beloved.

I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-released debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, about the four different spiritual seasons a believer in Christ will likely experience throughout his or her life.

Now, dear reader, I’m wondering,

Which experiential season are you in right now?
What do you believe your Beloved is doing in your life through this strategic season?

If you prefer to interact with me through 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

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Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!

2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series

Christian, what if I were to tell 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 newest, 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 listen to “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 “Heaven’s Here” and want the truth of your forever fusion with Christ to go deeper, I would like to recommend a wonderful devotional, Heaven Is Now, 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 summer song 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.)

Next Wednesday, I will be closing out this summer song series by sharing the message in “Ghost,” the tenth track on MercyMe’s newest album, Lifer. It’s hard to believe this series and summer is quickly coming to an end.

I’m not sad about it, though. Fall is my favorite season of the year! For whatever reason, I get strangely giddy about its arrival. Maybe it’s the smell of pumpkin spice, the gorgeous foliage, and the refreshing, cooler temperatures.

And speaking of changing seasons, in my next post I will be sharing how the characteristics of the four different natural seasons—winter, spring, summer, and fall—correlate to the ever-changing spiritual seasons in the life of a believer in Christ.

Dear reader, if this summer song series has blessed you in any way, I would love to hear about it!

photo credit: Brad_McKay Cloud Art via photopin (license)

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 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

 

Our Mountain Celebration

Twenty Years and Counting!

Last month, my man and I celebrated twenty years of marriage. I posted a tribute to him on that day, sharing our match-made-in-Heaven love story. And that post, hands down, got almost three times more traffic than my most popular post to date!

Those stats reminded me of something important. Most readers enjoy it when writers draw back the curtain of their personal lives and let them in.

I believe it’s just human nature to lean in and listen to other people’s stories. There is something built inside each heart that continually seeks out connections with others. Kind of like our wireless devices. They are always searching for Wi-Fi networks.

In today’s post, I’m going to take off my teaching hat and pretend you are sitting across the table from me, enjoying a cup of coffee (or an ice-cold glass of tea) and tell you about our anniversary celebration in the mountains.

Steven’s sister, Angie, and her husband, John, have shared their gorgeous mountain home in Angel Fire with us pretty much every time we’ve asked to come for a visit. We usually cook a few meals ahead of time to take with us. This time, Steven smoked baby back ribs and sweet corn (he is a grilling and smoking king!) and I made a vinegar-based coleslaw and breakfast casserole.

After Steven got off work on Friday, July 21, we loaded everything up in our silver Dodge Dakota, and waved a happy goodbye to the scorching Texas Panhandle heat and looked forward to the refreshing, cool mountain air.

The trip through Texas and the first part of New Mexico wasn’t anything to write home about. Unless you like to look at wide open spaces.

We stopped in Clayton, New Mexico and had a really healthy supper at the Dairy Queen. I enjoyed a Salted Caramel Truffle Blizzard (my all-time favorite!) and Steven had a Salted Blondie Blizzard.

After  going through Cimarron, New Mexico, the landscape became more scenic. I didn’t want to miss drinking in the beautiful mountain and river views, so I put my cell phone away during this more enjoyable part of the trip. We also rolled down the windows to feel the change in the air temperature.

Then, we tuned in to KRTN Enchanted Air Radio and began listening to songs from the ’70s an ’80s. While our pickup climbed the Sangre de Cristo (Spanish for “Blood of Christ”) Mountains, we took a trip down memory lane, played Name That Tune, and reminisced.

After we got to John and Angie’s that evening, we enjoyed fresh, buttered banana bread and hot chocolate.

Saturday, we hung around Angel Fire, bought some T-shirts at local shops, and watched the Andy Griffith Show on Netflix that evening.

Sunday, all four of us—John, Angie, Steven, and I—went whitewater rafting on the Rio Grande River in Taos, New Mexico. We had a sweet guide, Crosbie, who did her job well.

Monday, Steven and I left early to go to Antonito, Colorado to ride the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad to Chama, New Mexico. I highly recommend this coal-fired steam engine train ride. (If you go, wear jeans or dark clothes. It’s impossible to keep from getting lightly peppered with tiny black pieces of coal.)

We stopped at Osier Station for a 1-hour lunch. We had a choice of an All You Can Eat turkey and dressing dinner or a meatloaf dinner with salad and dessert. I’m not sure if it was the mountain air or what, but that lunch was scrumptious! I especially remember the mouth-watering, buttery mashed potatoes and the deliciously moist chocolate cake.

Tuesday morning, all four of us hiked the (almost) three-mile Lady Slipper trail in Angel Fire.

Later that afternoon, Steven and I drove to Red River and enjoyed a Green Chile Cheeseburger and Tator Tots at the Dairy Bar on Main Street. Completely stuffed, we walked down Main Street and ended up at Kenneth Wyatt’s Red River Gallery.

We both relish Wyatt’s artwork. One painting that especially caught my attention this visit was “God’s Candles,” a stunning depiction of golden aspens in the fall. Wyatt’s name fits perfectly. Staring at it made me long for my favorite season of the year to hurry up and get here.

The next morning, we got up and drove back home to the suffocating heat of the Texas Panhandle.

Thank God for mountain vacations and thank you for letting me share ours with you!

I’m wondering, did you take a vacation this summer? If so, I would love to hear about yours!

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  If you 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

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Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance

2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series

I double dog dare you to try to sit still while listening to “Happy Dance,” the most fun-loving (and silliest) song on MercyMe’s newest album, Lifer. If this ditty doesn’t get you dancing, 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 the album:

Hey, 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. 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) just waiting 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 Jesus from doing the Happy Dance in and through your life?

Or are you going to celebrate His 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!

If you have enjoyed this 2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series, I would love to hear about it.

photo credit: Tom Simpson Here we go!! via photopin (license)

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 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

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Are You the Ideal Candidate for My Launch Team?

If you love Jesus, you might be!

No man (or woman) is an island. My efforts alone will not get my book into the hands of every believer in Christ who longs to enjoy a richer love relationship with Him.

Are you one of those believers? If so, you might be the ideal candidate for my debut book launch team.

I’ve got an extensive marketing and promotion plan to launch His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, my six-week intimate and interactive study of the first two chapters of the Song of Solomon, dynamically designed to help Christians enjoy profound intimacy with Christ through a crystal clear understanding of their pure, righteous, and holy identity in Him.

This plan has included inviting Jesus-loving people I know to help me launch my book. I am so thankful and super excited that, as of today, almost 70 have said yes!

My goal is to have at least 100 people on my team who are committed to helping out during launch week (approximately four weeks from now) and at regular intervals throughout the year following its release.

So, I decided to open up a brief window of opportunity (until midnight, Wednesday, August 9, 2017) for those who follow my blog, Facebook author page, and for Facebook friends and Twitter followers  to apply for my launch team.

What Is the Role of a Launch Team Member?

  • Praying that God will cause my book to get the attention of Christian men and women who long to enjoy a richer love relationship with Him.
  • Reading a digital copy of my book before its release and posting a review at Amazon and Barnes & Noble the day of its release. You could also copy and paste the same review on other e-tailer sites where my book will be available, including the WestBow Press Bookstore and Christian Book Distributors.
  • Promoting my book through word of mouth, social media, e-mail, and your blog (if you have one). With the help of my social media publicist, I will be creating shareable Facebook posts, tweets, and e-mails, so all you would need to do is share on your existing accounts. (I won’t ask you to create a Twitter account.)
  • Joining my private Facebook group, “Pursuing Love Launch Team.” This will be an online hub where I will interact with my team (and they with each other) by posting prayer requests and shareable promotional posts. I will also do Facebook Live updates on my book’s progress. This group will be in existence for one year.

Are You Interested in Joining My Team? If so, fill out this FORM to apply. (Please let me know if you have trouble submitting the form here.)

Please give me until midnight, Wednesday, August 9, 2017 to collect applications and pick the team.

If you get picked, you will receive an e-mail with a digital copy of my book so you can begin reading it right away and more information about the private Facebook group I will be adding you to.

I’m looking forward to receiving your application!

photo credit: Flying Jenny Liftoff via photopin (license)

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  If you 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 2017 Summer Song Series

Have you ever felt like a featherweight in this boxing match called life, 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 newest 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 surprised 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!’

Wow! That’s good stuff!

Believers in Christ have been given an amazing opportunity to live like who God’s Word says we already are—winners!

Now, let’s listen to 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)

Dear reader, if you are ready to throw in the towel—to give up—in the midst of the circumstances you are currently facing, 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 for you!

If you have been encouraged through this 2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series, I would love to hear your story!

  1. “Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever”
  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”
Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 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