How to Master the Art of Enjoying Jesus

With head bowed and eyes closed, the prayer group member’s heart sank as they listened to their leader communicate the idea that “experiencing Jesus” and “enjoyment” are two mutually exclusive events.

They thought, Ugh! It’s prayers like these that take the wind out of the sails of believers who are passionate about their relationship with Christ.

Believers who just might find something more enjoyable to do on a Friday night. (Did someone say Netflix?)

Believers who might never experience a taste of the ultimate enjoyment that is already theirs for the receiving in Christ.

Even though the prayer group leader was sincere and well-meaning, it did not change the fact that they were sincerely wrong.

Sadly, their entire prayer reeked of legalism.

The epidemic of legalism among Christians has been spreading like wildfire throughout the ages.

Living in this world, it’s so easy to make our relationship with Christ about what we are doing for Him, rather than enjoying what He has already done for us and in us through the cross and resurrection.

I know. I was a card-carrying legalist for years.

Then I began to understand the incredible riches of His grace. The gift of His Holy Spirit eternally fused with my new spirit (Ezek. 36:26; 1 Cor. 3:17; 6:17).

The gift I’m sure I will continue to unwrap in awe and wonder until the moment I see Him face to face. (Tears.)

One of the reasons I wrote my debut devotional study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, is to help combat the lie that if you become a Christian, it’s the end of all earthly pleasure as you know it.

In a sense, it’s true. Because there is nothing on earth that compares with the joy a believer in Christ can experience in Him: “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17 NASB).

Joy is an automatic result for the Christian who realizes that—through faith in Christ alone—they are the righteousness of God in Him and have peace with Father God (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:1).

If a Christian understands that Christ already

  • wiped out their lifetime sin debt forever,
  • killed off their old, sin-filled self,
  • gave them a brand-spankin’-new, flawless identity in Him, and
  • joined His life with theirs,

then life on planet earth in union with His Spirit couldn’t be more enjoyable.

I wrote about mastering the art of enjoying Jesus in His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love:

Jesus wants us to enjoy life. His Word tells us that He “richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17 NASB).

What’s more, He wants us to realize that He is our life and the source of our greatest enjoyment.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism states that man’s chief purpose in life is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”*

We enjoy and glorify our Beloved when we experience and express His cherishing love and exuberant life.

As the bride of Christ, we need to learn how to master the art of taking great delight in Him.

Just as Julia Child mastered the art of French cooking, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could master the art of enjoying Jesus?

I want to experience and enjoy Him as much as possible this side of eternity. I want joy to be the marrow that courses through my veins.

I want to come to the end of my life on this earth (if Jesus tarries) and be able to say that I truly lived—because I intimately knew life Himself.

I want my first gaze into my Beloved’s eyes to be familiar, not foreign.

In my attempt to communicate to the bride of Christ how knowing her identity will enable her to experience and express His cherishing love and exuberant life, I’m reminded of a quote by theologian Dr. Howard Hendricks: “A mist in the pulpit is a fog in the pews.**

If we don’t understand and practice what we preach, how can we effectively teach others? No one wants to read a book on how to bake the perfect cherry pie unless we know the author makes delicious cherry pies!

Likewise, no one wants to read a book or listen to a message about how to enjoy Jesus unless the author or speaker consistently shows forth the fruit of delighting in Him.

For over ten years now, I have been on a journey of learning to rest in the shade of my Beloved’s grace and delighting in Him as I allow myself to experience His unconditional love.

While I cannot claim that I have mastered the art of enjoying Him, I will say that I am in hot pursuit.

The most important thing I’ve learned is something I’ve said before (in different ways) and will keep saying: the key to delighting in Jesus is to personally experience His delight in you.

He delights in and celebrates you at all times—simply because you are His.

Our Beloved is a Master at separating our who from our do. He is filled with compassion for us in our struggles. He’s not holding a hammer, ready to nail us if we don’t get our act together.

We can rest entirely in Him—in His love, power, goodness, and wisdom.

*“The Westminster Shorter Catechism,” The Westminster Presbyterian, accessed April 7, 2017, http://www.westminsterconfession.org/confessional-standards/the-westminster-shorter-catechism.php.

**Chris Adsit, “The Measure of a Ministry,” posted January 1, 2011, Discipleship Revolution, January–February 2011 issue, Mission Frontiers, accessed April 7, 2017, http://www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/article/the-measure-of-a-ministry.

I hope you enjoyed my excerpt. Even as I write this post, I sense Him reminding me once again that He adored me before I ever did one thing for Him and continually rejoices over me with singing, dancing, and shouts of joy (1 John 4:19; Zeph. 3:17).

And when I see (in my mind’s eye) Him doing this, I can’t help but enjoy Him!

Dear reader, do you believe that your Beloved wants you to enjoy your life in Him to the fullest? If you aren’t currently experiencing enjoyment in your relationship with Him, what do you think is hindering you?

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 post, please visit my About Page.

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.”

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

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My Debut Book Launch Party

This past Sunday, I experienced the incredible blessing of celebrating an important milestone in my life—the launch of my debut book, His Banner over Me Is Pursuing Love! 

For those who wanted to attend but weren’t able to, this blog post is for you. And for me. To preserve the memories of this wonderful celebration.

Thank you, Angela Manross, (Pictures for a Purpose), for capturing many precious moments at my party!

There is no way that I could have pulled off an event like this by myself. It takes an army of servant hearts.

I want to say a special thank-you to …

  • Angie Graves, for the vision and provision of most of the decor and emceeing the event,
  • Betty Smith, who made the melt-in-your-mouth cupcakes and punch and sweetly served my guests,
  • Doris Kear, who welcomed my guests with a radiant smile,
  • Carol McGarraugh, who graciously oversaw the guest registry table,
  • Angela Buschman and Rita Tregellas, who took great care with my book sales, and
  • Everyone who helped transform the foyer in record time (after church and before 2 pm) and those who helped clean up.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who came out to celebrate with me and those who bought my book! Your presence meant so much to me. 

Congratulations to Ludi Martin for winning the hard copy of my book and to Kaylee Johnson and Robin Farney for winning a copy of my eBook!

The following is my book launch speech—the inspiration behind my book—that I shared with my guests:

I want to thank my eternal Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, and my wonderful husband, Steven. As I wrote in my book’s dedication: Without both unions, this study would not have been birthed.

Writing a book can be a lot like having a baby. But instead of nine months, it took me nine years to complete!

When I quit my job teaching high school math in 2006, I didn’t have a clue that the ministry God was calling me to would include writing a book.

Growing up, I didn’t even like to read, much less write. But when my search for lasting love and happiness kept eluding me and my world fell apart, I desperately started seeking God for answers.

I asked Jesus to come live in my heart when I was almost ten years old. 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 Bible-based books. (You can read more about my journey here.)

But even though my mind was getting renewed with truth, my addiction to performance-based acceptance bled over into my relationship with Christ. That’s when I found myself thinking, There has to be more to the Christian life than following a bunch of rules and being good.

That’s when God began to reveal my flawless identity in His Son, Jesus Christ, and His no-strings-attached affection for me (Song 2:4, 14 NASB).

That’s when I began to fall in love with the One who loved and pursued me first (1 John 4:19 NASB). The One who loves me most.

When I began to experience overwhelming joy in intimacy with Him through understanding my flawless identity, my heart naturally began to ache for other believers who are going through religious motions in their relationship with Christ.

In a way, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love is my personal manifesto declaring to the church her one and only flawless identity in Christ revealed through the first two chapters of the Song of Solomon. It also exposes the epidemic of legalism found among Christians.

My heart’s cry is to see both the men and women of the bride of Christ freely enjoying their no-strings-attached relationship with Him in the here and now—not just something that will happen in glory by and by.

I also announced that Steven and I will be leading a CO-ED group through His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love on Tuesday evenings beginning January 30th. For those of you who live in the Perryton area, you can SIGN UP TODAY!

If you have any questions about this study and/or would like to purchase my book directly from me, please feel free to email me.

Hey, could I ask a favor? If you read my book, would you please post an honest review of it at Amazon?

In closing, if you didn’t get to attend my launch (or if you did), I hope you enjoyed my album and reading about this day that was made extra-special by congratulations and encouragement from friends and loved ones.

In next Friday’s post, I plan to share one of my favorite excerpts from my book and elaborate on it.

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 post, please visit my About Page.

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.”

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

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Unwrap Your Best Gift Ever in 2018

Christmas 2017 has come and gone, new holiday memories have been made, gifts have been unwrapped and (hopefully) enjoyed, homemade goodies savored (Grandpa Pipkin’s Sugar Cookies and German Chocolate Cake … have mercy!), and a brand-new calendar year is upon us.

Where in the world did 2017 go? 

Today you may be looking back on the past year and experiencing a sense of accomplishment over kept resolutions (goals achieved).

Or you might be looking back with a mixture of angst and regret concerning flopped intentions (unmet goals).

I suspect most visionaries (goal setters) are likely experiencing a combination of all of the above. After all, no one can plan their year and achieve their goals perfectly.

We live in a fallen world where we don’t have the full picture of what lies ahead. A world where life beyond our control happens to us while we are busy making other plans.

As I look back on 2017, a lot of what I believed God wanted to accomplish through my life happened (launching this blog and publishing my first book). And that felt great!

But some of it didn’t. And that’s okay. “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Prov. 16:9 NASB).

Even the apostle Paul, who was taught by Christ Himself, didn’t have all the details of his life and ministry laid out perfectly for him (Gal. 1:12). Some of his plans worked out and some of them didn’t (Acts 16:6-7; Rom. 1:13).

For the most part my goals for 2017 revolved around three simple things: unwrapping, enjoying, and sharing the best Gift I have ever received. The gift of Jesus Himself. (Check out my last post, “Jesus – Best Gift Ever!”)

And now, as I look forward to His plans for my life in the New Year, they too will revolve around unwrapping, enjoying, and sharing the Best Gift Ever.

In today’s post, I’m going to share with you how you can begin to unwrap your Best Gift Ever (if you have received Him) in the New Year.

The sole purpose of unwrapping a gift is to find out what is hidden underneath all of the ribbons, bows, and paper. Until you unwrap it, you don’t know what you have.

I received the Best Gift Ever after hearing the best news ever right before my tenth birthday in 1974.

But I didn’t even begin to unwrap, enjoy, and share Him with others until 1997.

Can you imagine what it would be like to receive the one Gift that held the key to your true fulfillment—your ultimate happiness—and never even know what you have?

Tragic.

For twenty-three years, all I understood about asking Jesus into my heart was that He was my get-out-of-Hell-free card.

But even then, I didn’t have full assurance that I would end up in Heaven. Because I tied my salvation to my behavior (which, by the way, was far less than stellar).

Because my Best Gift Ever remained hidden for over two decades, I looked to everything else in this world—marriage, children, personal and career accomplishments, the latest diets, makeup, and fashions, accolades from others, and so on to experience true fulfillment and happiness.

And guess what? None of the above delivered.

All those wasted years of not unwrapping, enjoying, and sharing my Best Gift Ever is a large part of what fuels my passion for teaching others about the intimacy they can enjoy with Christ through understanding their one-and-only flawless identity in Him.

I’m so thankful that God doesn’t waste anything! Even the lost years.

Are you ready to unwrap your Best Gift Ever? Are you ready to see what’s inside?

Better yet, do you realize your Best Gift Ever—the Spirit of Christ Jesus—lives inside you 24/7/365, without interruption?

What’s more, you now live inside Him 24/7/365, without interruption.

At the same time that Jesus filled your heart with new life, you were sealed inside His heart—His Holy Spirit—forever (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:14; 4:30).

And He promises never to leave you nor forsake you (John 10:28; Heb. 13:5). For Him to leave you, He would have to disown Himself (2 Tim. 2:13). Not.Going.To.Happen.

Your spirit and His Spirit became one spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). Him in you and you in Him (John 14:20). It’s a done deal.

The revelation of “me in Christ” changed everything for me. Let me explain.

I (kind of) understood that Jesus (His Spirit) lived in my heart. And I viewed Him as being the only “good thing” in me. The rest needed a lot of work! (Exhausting.)

But then I began to understand that who I am eternally is a spirit who lives inside my body and soul—where I do my Monday-through-Sunday living (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12).

And when I believed into Jesus, my spirit (who I am eternally) was totally immersed into His Spirit.

When that happened, a flawless fusion took place. And who I am in Christ right now is who I will forever be in Him.

In other words, I cannot mess this up!

That’s when I really began to experience rest. Real rest in Christ Jesus.

Have you ever received a multi-purpose gift? A gift that has so many features to it, you could spend the rest of your life finding out all that it can do and then still only accessing and enjoying a fraction of its benefits?

The gift of Christ’s life in you and you in Him is the most multi-faceted Gift you will ever receive!

One of my favorite, power-packed Scriptures about what Christians have as a result of being in Christ is First Corinthians 1:30. In fact, it is so important to understand, it is my blog’s signature verse:

By His [Father God’s] doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.

Let’s unwrap what we have in Christ Jesus through this single verse.

Christ Jesus is my wisdom: As I look to His Spirit within me and His written Word, I depend on Him to make His wisdom and guidance—His direction for my life—known to me (Ps. 147:5; Rom. 11:33; 16:27). He does this by uploading His wisdom and direction into my mind and confirming them by His Spirit.

Christ Jesus is my righteousness: I can never be more righteous than I am right now. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 1:17; 2 Cor. 5:21). I don’t have to work at being right with God because I am already as righteous as I’ll ever be through faith in His Son. When I believe and realize that Jesus is my righteousness, righteousness is expressed through my daily living.

Christ Jesus is my sanctification: Sanctification means “made holy.” I (my eternal spirit) have already been made holy through being immersed into Christ’s Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16-17). And that holiness is expressed through my daily living as I acknowledge and meditate on the truth that I am already sanctified (made holy) in Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11; Heb. 10:10, 14).

Christ Jesus is my redemption: Imagine that you could access Jesus’ redemption online (we do almost everything else online!). So you head on over to JesusMyRedemption.com. There is only one item in the online store—ETERNAL LIFE. And its price: “You can’t afford this, no matter how much money you have or how good you are.” There is also a message on the same screen that says: “If you want to receive ETERNAL LIFE, you will have to use the redemption code: BLOODOFJESUS.” So you put your ETERNAL LIFE in the cart, type in the code, and press APPLY CODE. You get an instant confirmation that says, “Congratulations! ETERNAL LIFE has been downloaded into your hard drive (your spirit) with a LIFETIME GUARANTEE. You will never have shop for ETERNAL LIFE again. The blood of Jesus paid it all. Oh, and that’s not all! With your redemption, you get these added bonuses: Forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), righteousness (Romans 5:17), freedom from the law’s curse (Galatians 3:13), adoption into God’s family (Galatians 4:5), deliverance from sin’s bondage (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:14-18), peace with God (Colossians 1:18-20), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Dear reader, if you are a believer in Christ Jesus, then He is your wisdom, your righteousness, your sanctification, and redemption. He is everything you need for life and godliness! (2 Pet. 1:3 NASB).

That is the Best News Ever about the Best Gift Ever!

In today’s post, I shared with you how you can begin to unwrap your Best Gift Ever in the New Year.

There’s no way you can even begin to enjoy a gift without first unwrapping it.

In a sense, you could spend the rest of your days on planet earth unwrapping your Best Gift Ever (finding out who you are and what you have in Christ Jesus).

But the Best Gift Ever is also meant to be enjoyed and shared with others.

In six weeks, I will continue this “Best Gift Ever” series of posts where I will share with you ways that you can savor—take great pleasure in—your Best Gift Ever and ways that you can share your Best Gift Ever in the New Year.

Over the next five weeks, however, my posts will be devoted to the launch of my debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

I will be sharing:

  1. The inspiration behind my book,
  2. The insight my book’s approach takes on the Song of Solomon,
  3. An excerpt from my book, explaining it in detail,
  4. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received and how I’ve implemented it in my life, and
  5. How I conducted this premier study over the first two chapters of the Song and what I might do differently for the next two: His Banner Over Me Is Sustaining Love (chapters 3-5) and His Banner Over Me Is Transforming Love (chapters 6-8).

I hope you’ll be able to join me as I celebrate this exciting milestone in my life!

Question: How could unwrapping your Best Gift Ever in the New Year change your life?

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 post, please visit 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

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Jesus – Best Gift Ever! Have You Received Him?

A couple of weeks ago, after my workout at Perryton CrossFit, I was walking to my car when the words on a shirt on a mannequin in the window of one of our downtown shops caught my attention. Jesus … Best Gift Ever! 

I smiled and thought, That is so true! He IS the best gift ever! (What a blessing to live in a town where business owners can display their faith in store windows without repercussions.)

And ever since then, He keeps reminding me of those four Gospel-exuding, truth-telling words.

Jesus.Best.Gift.Ever!

In today’s post, I want to zoom in on each word to highlight the eternal preciousness of this power-packed statement of truth.

JESUS – Father God’s answer to reunite mankind to Himself. When Adam and Eve chose independence from God in the garden of Eden, it was a tragic divorce. A spiritual separation from the life of God. A spiritual death. But God had a contingency plan. He loved the world so much, He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, into this world to pay the penalty for our separation from Him. And now, everyone who believes in (into) Jesus—whose spirit is united with His Spirit—is reunited to Father God through His life. Everyone who believes into Jesus has eternal life. Jesus is Eternal Life. (Gen. 3; John 3:16; Eph. 2:1-101 Cor. 6:171 John 5:11-13).

BEST – Let’s not pass over this super adjective so quickly that we fail to savor its meaning: perfect, most excellent, finest, matchless, second to none, beyond compare, unsurpassed, supreme, unequaled, greatest, unparalleled, highest, ultimate. All of these descriptive words magnify the truth that there is no gift greater than the gift of Jesus’ life—Eternal Life Himself—dwelling within the human heart 24/7/365.

GIFT – We Christians often have a knack for forgetting the meaning of the word gift through erroneously thinking we can somehow try to pay God back for the life of His Son within us. Dictionary.com defines gift:  “Something given voluntarily without the expectation of payment in return; something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned.” God, in His omniscience, knew that mankind could never be good or righteous enough to merit being joined to Himself. The life of His Son is the Perfect Gift—the most pure and exorbitant Gift—given to everyone who believes into Him.

Let’s look at some Scriptures which speak of this indescribable gift.

  • “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water'” (John 4:10 NASB).
  • “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'” (Acts 2:38 NASB).
  • “Peter said to him, ‘May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!'” (Acts 8:20 NASB).
  • “Therefore if God gave to them same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” (Acts 11:17 NASB).
  • “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23 NASB).
  • “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15 NASB).
  • “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8 NASB).

If you are a Christian (Christ lives in you), I pray you are convinced that His life within you is a Gift—something that you could never earn or pay for—the life-giving Gift that keeps on giving—the Gift that is unreturnable. You are sealed in Him and He is sealed in you forever!  (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30).

EVER – In order to highlight this adverb, let’s use the synonyms for ever in our focal sentence:

  • Jesus – the best gift at all times.
  • Jesus – the best gift always.
  • Jesus – the best gift at any time.
  • Jesus – the best gift on every occasion.
  • Jesus – the best gift without exception.
  • Jesus – the best gift every time.
  • Jesus – the best gift forever!

Dear reader, I hope you have enjoyed today’s post highlighting the best gift ever—the eternal life of Christ dwelling within the human heart.

If you have never personally received this Gift and would like to, there’s no time like the present! (Pun intended.) Pray this simple prayer:

God, I realize that I am a walking dead person, separated from the eternal life of Your Son. This won’t do! I see You offering me the Gift of His Life right now and I reach out receive Him into my heart forever. Thank You, Father God, for this indescribable Gift! In Christ’s Name, I pray, Amen! 

 

If you received the Gift of Christ’s eternal life through praying this prayer, I would love to celebrate with you! Please let me know by commenting below or e-mailing me.

Now, I can’t help but wonder: Do you have loved ones who have never received the best Gift ever? Do you have Facebook friends and family who are walking dead people?

If you answered yes to either or both questions, what’s keeping you from sharing the best Gift ever with them during the greatest, gift-giving season of the year?

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 post, please visit 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

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Assurance in the Christmas Season

Today's guest post by Alex Lomangino, missionary to Vancouver, British Columbia

I hope you enjoy today’s guest post by my nephew Alex Lomangino, where he shares his heart for the lost in Vancouver, British Columbia, his honest struggles about the Christmas season, and how God ministers to him in those struggles.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

My life changed radically ten years ago when I made Jesus the king of my life. As I grew in my relationship with Jesus, every bit of long-term trajectory I had planned for myself flew out the window.

Honestly, I became less concerned with any dream of personal success or wealth and more concerned with what it means for me to serve Jesus. Instead of doing a traditional degree track in University, I elected to enter a five-year B.A./M.Div. program at Midwestern Seminary in Kansas City, MO.

During my time at Midwestern I learned of the massive amount of Gospel need our neighbors to the North have. Particularly, in the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Vancouver metro area is home to nearly 3.5 million people. Close to fifty percent of these people claim no religious affiliation whatsoever. Forty-seven percent hold to philosophies, perspectives, or faiths from around the world. Sadly, only three percent would call themselves a Christian and have a life-giving relationship with Jesus.

God used the stats and two vision trips to break my heart for this city I now call home. I moved to Vancouver in May of 2017 to work with the North American Mission Board as a missionary and church planter in training.

Currently, I work with the Transformation City Church Network. Our vision is to make disciples of Jesus, and see churches planted in every neighborhood in the Vancouver Metro area.

 

ASSURANCE IN THE CHRISTMAS SEASON

Skepticism has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Anyone who knows me well has surely heard the unnecessary amount of questioning from me.

My skepticism is often exasperated by circumstances and stressors.

Unfortunately, the holiday season can be one of those stressors for me. To be frank, the holiday season wears me out.

Here in the West, we repent of our day of Thanksgiving (please note my sarcasm) with a day of materialism and excessive spending. After that, we start a month long sprint through the Christmas season.

Growing up, I was often told by various people that the Christmas season is supposed to be marked by thankfulness and celebration of God’s provision for sinful man in Jesus’ incarnation.

Instead, I saw what seemed to be a season in which people do the contrast: being stressed, selfish, or downcast in attempts to please others, make themselves happy, etc.

Naturally, this led me to question everything I heard people telling me about the Christmas season and its meaning. More often than not, there seemed to be more conflict than synergy with these explanations.

Honestly, in the past, this led me to doubt the validity of Jesus’s coming.

The place God leads me to gain assurance in times of doubt is Luke 1:1-4:

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught” (English Standard Version).

This is Luke’s short introduction to his full Gospel account. We can see that he’s writing to a person named Theophilus, and his purpose is to help give Theophilus “certainty of the things {he had} been taught.”

From there Luke begins the extended narrative about the birth of Jesus (Luke 1-2:22). Praise God that I can have the same certainty Luke intended for Theophilus to have.

In the midst of my doubt, I can have full assurance of the things I have been taught concerning Jesus. By reading the Scriptures, God gives me assurance of the reality that Jesus took the initiative to come to earth, as a baby, in the mystery of the incarnation we celebrate at Christmas.

I can have full assurance of Jesus’ purpose for coming, which was to reconcile wayward and sinful people to Himself.

I can have full assurance of His resurrection and His desire for people to be in a relationship with Him. I can have the assurance that the Gospel message is indeed true.

Christian, if you find yourself struggling with doubt or stress this Christmas season, please take heart. It does not matter if you’re experiencing stress while preparing to visit family, or if you find yourself in bouts of questioning motivation or truth, as I do.

We can have certainty and assurance that the Christmas story is true. We can rest in the truth of Jesus taking the initiative to come to earth with the goal of reconciling sinful and wayward people to Himself.

We gain this certainty as we study and meditate on the truth of the Bible. It does not return void and by His Spirit, you will find certainty in His truth.

I pray that this season you find hope and peace in the unfailing Word of God.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV).

 

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How to Make Your Stumble Part of the Dance

Not too long ago, I sent an e-mail to a large group of people. I wrote it rather quickly and then pressed the SEND button. Then, when I got a copy of it delivered to my inbox, I realized I had a typo in the subject: “Please SHARE My Announcement for My BOOTH BOOTH this Weekend.”

Well, it should have read “BOOK BOOTH.”

While it was close to what I had originally intended, close only really counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

It’s so funny how things hit us. As soon as I read it, I had to giggle.

The phrase Gus-Gus popped into my head and I thought of Cinderella’s cute, little rotund rodent friend who helped rescue her from her evil stepmother and sisters.

Fairytale musings aside, the point is: Even though I would have liked to have had the opportunity to fix that mistake, it was unfixable the moment it was launched into cyberspace.

A done deal. No going back.

You might be thinking, Everyone makes mistakes, and misspelling BOOK in a subject line of an e-mail is an extremely minor one.

That is true. Not a big deal. At all. And hey, maybe someone else will get a smile or a chuckle out of it. (That is, if they even notice it.)

The e-mail I sent was about my first event to get the word out about my debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, at the Perryton Satellite Center Arts & Crafts Festival.

The day before the festival started, my husband, Steven, and I got my booth set up and then walked around looking at everyone else’s unique displays.

Not far from mine was one that showcased western art and I was drawn to it.

There were large, gorgeous pieces depicting cattle and cowboys hanging, but the one that caught my attention wasn’t even a painting.

It was a small, framed nine-word sentence, resting on a corner bench: When you stumble, make it part of the dance.

What stood out to me was that it read when, not if.

My mind immediately darted back to a super-sized ministry stumble I would give almost anything to go back in time and change.

A glaring misstep in judgment that, when realized, almost caused me to turn in my ministry dance card and join all the other wallflowers. (Allow me to clarify that every Christian’s life is ministry because the ultimate Minister, or need Meeter, lives in him or her.)

I am so happy and thankful that my eternal dance Partner refused to disqualify me and offered me grace instead!

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.

The only perfect, never-stumbling Person who lived on planet earth was the God-Man, Jesus Christ.

And the reason He never stumbled? He trusted perfectly in—depended completely on—His Father’s guidance and power living within Him:

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

We can learn so much by seeing how Jesus danced through life in the short time He graced planet earth with His sweet Presence:

  • “Jesus answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner’” (John 5:19).
  • “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 5:30).
  • “Jesus answered them and said, ‘My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me’” (John 7:16).
  • “I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me” (John 8:28).
  • “I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me” (John 8:42).
  • “I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak” (John 12:49).
  • “While being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Pet. 2:23).

Jesus trusted perfectly in His Father’s guidance and power within Him to carry out His will on planet earth.

And He did this by keeping the eyes and ears of His heart fixed on His Father.

He didn’t have to have everything figured out.

All Jesus had to do was trust in and depend on His Father to perform His desire through Him.

Honestly, I have stumbled a lot in this dance called “Christian ministry.”

And almost every time I stumble, it is because I have taken my eyes off my dance Partner and put them on troubling circumstances surrounding me.

Kind of like when Peter took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink in the storm-tossed sea (see Matthew 14:22-33).

Another way I stumble is by taking my eyes of my dance Partner and putting them on my feet—on how well I’m doing in this dance.

And every time I do that, I end up stepping on my dance Partner’s toes.

I Googled “step on someone’s toes,” and was surprised to learn what it means: Offend someone by encroaching on their area of responsibility. Ouch!

When we try to do Christian ministry on our own, apart from dependence on and trust in our eternal dance Partner, we are encroaching on Jesus’ responsibility.

His responsibility to do all the leading and living through us as we trust Him.

No matter how much we would love not to stumble in this dance, it’s inevitable. We’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to have missteps.

I am gradually learning that—while stumbling in this dance is inevitable—it’s what we do in response to our stumbling that is most important.

This quote by Wilson Kanadi is a great reminder of this concept: You don’t need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfection.

When we stumble, we have an important choice to make.

We can quit dancing altogether because we can’t score perfect marks and miss out on all the exciting twists and turns in this dance has to offer.

Or we can learn from our stumbling.

We can tell our dance Partner we’re sorry for taking our eyes off of Him and stepping on His toes and start all over again.

In other words, When we stumble, make it part of the dance.

Our only part in this dance is to keep our eyes fixed on the Master choreographer, trusting Him to lead and empower each step.

  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
    In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6).
  • “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You” (Isa. 26:3).
  • “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1-2).
  • “I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me” (Rom. 15:18).

Questions: Have you joined other wallflowers in this dance called Christian ministry because of one or more missteps? Can you hear your eternal dance Partner calling you back out on the dance floor to start all over, trusting in Him to lead you?

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 post, please visit my About Page.

Also, if you would like to subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am In Christ IS Who I am!” please click here:

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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Get your copy of my debut book this weekend at the Perryton Arts & Crafts Festival!

For those of you who live in Perryton and the surrounding area, I’m excited to let you know that I will have a book booth featuring my debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, this coming weekend at the Perryton Satellite Center’s Annual Arts & Crafts Festival at the Expo Center.

My booth will be open at the following times:

  • Saturday, November 18, from 9 AM – 6 PM
  • Sunday, November 19, from 11 AM – 4 PM

Your name will be entered in a drawing for a FREE eBook when you join my e-mail list at the festival. There will be a drawing at the end of both days, so there are two chances to win!

Would you do me a huge favor, please?

Will you help me get the word out by sharing this announcement (with the buttons below) on your Facebook and Twitter feeds?

Thanks in advance!

It’s Gonna Be So Good!

I will never forget the afternoon I took my grandson, Logan, to 3 Sisters, our local self-serve frozen yogurt bar. You could almost feel the electricity of excitement exuding from his four-year-old body.

Right as we walked in the door—and with the biggest grin I’d ever seen on his lit-up face—he exclaimed, “This is gonna be sooooooo gooooood!!!”

Seeing this little guy filled with anticipation over the party his taste buds were about to throw thrilled his Honey to no end, as you may well imagine.

As we walked past the bar of tantalizing toppings toward the yogurt dispensers, his eyes and excitement grew. And he said it again: This is gonna be sooooooo gooooood! 

After I filled our tubs with a creamy confection, Logan made a beeline to the toppings. He picked out a few sugary sprinkles, but then he spotted the ultimate, the crème de la crème of all “little boy” toppings—a blue and white gummy snake, at least six inches long, a half-inch thick, and a red tongue.

I could hardly believe how big it was myself.

Can I have a gummy snake, Honey? 

That’s what I get for picking out a term of endearment for my grandparent name. A name I never get tired of hearing (well, mostly). A name that when I hear it, has a tendency to blur my good judgment.

I started to say, “No, it’s way too big. If you eat all of it, you will get a tummy-ache.” But he was so excited, I just couldn’t say no.

So instead I said, “It’s really big Logan. You can have one, but you can’t eat it all today.” (How could I resist that face?)

We ended up taking well over half the snake home, putting it in the freezer, and eating the rest of it later (I even helped). And thank goodness, there was no tummy ache.

Looking back, I can’t help but wonder. It seemed as though his anticipation of the enjoyment of the yogurt and its crowning candy reptile was more enjoyable than the actual eating of it.

Just this morning as I was hanging up laundry, I could smell the sweet potatoes baking in our oven and could hardly wait for them to be done. I love loading them up with cinnamon and pecan pieces and then savoring every delectable bite.

And there’s just something about that indescribably wonderful aroma filling your home on a cold November morning. It brought back sweet holiday memories.

As soon as they came out of the oven, I carefully peeled them, inhaled their fragrance as the steam rose off of them, and mashed them with a fork.

I should have worn a bib. I was drooling profusely.

And I wasn’t disappointed. My loaded sweet potato, hamburger patty, and cucumber lunch was scrumptious!

But just like Logan’s gummy snake treat, as delicious as my lunch was, I believe the anticipation of its enjoyment might have been even sweeter than the actual consuming of it. It certainly lasted longer!

Sometimes, the most enjoyable part of something we are looking forward to is the anticipation of it.

I’m not the only one who thinks that. Just ask one of the world’s leading thought experts, none other than Winnie-the-Pooh:

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”—A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

 

The moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were . . . Ahhh! Sweet anticipation.

Brain science has proven that the anticipation of a desirable event actually boosts a person’s happiness by lighting up the pleasure centers in our brain through the release of dopamine.

Anticipation is a gift from God that He has hard-wired into our brains to cause us to experience pleasure. Positive anticipation, that is. I will save the topic of negative anticipation and its effects for a later post.

In our day and age, with so much suffering going on in this world and in our own neck of the woods, we need to regularly experience the gift of positive anticipation.

The hope of brighter days to come.

There are people I know who are wondering how they are going to scrape enough change together to buy even one Christmas gift.

Friends who are preparing to undergo chemo treatments, wondering how their body is going to respond.

Others who are about to spend their first Thanksgiving and Christmas without their nine-year-old daughter who recently lost her battle with osteosarcoma.

Friends who still don’t know what happened to their teenage son—who went missing last year on Thanksgiving Eve (see Faith in the Midst of a Cloud of Unknowing).

My heart breaks for those who are suffering and my prayers are with them as they enter into the 2017 holiday season.

This will likely sound cliché, but I don’t know how anyone can survive the sufferings of this present time without the hope of brighter days to come. 

The mind-blowing hope that can only be found in the eternal embrace of Jesus Christ.

In Romans 8:13, the apostle Paul writes, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (NKJV).

For those of you who are going through incredibly difficult times, this Scripture might be difficult for you to wrap your minds around.

But I want to encourage you to hang on. Hang on to every Word that He gives you about your glorious future in Him.

Here are five of my favorite Scriptures which speak about what believers in Christ have to look forward to:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.  And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:1-5 NASB).

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28 NASB).

“Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9 NASB).

“We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18 NASB).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:3-4).

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4 NASB).

 

Even though I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around the pure ecstasy that awaits every believer in Christ in Heaven, I do know one thing for sure: It’s gonna be sooooooo goooooood!

Oh, and another thing: I’m convinced that there is no way our anticipation of Heaven could be more enjoyable than the actual experience of it!

Question: What is your favorite Scripture that empowers you to keep hanging on in the midst of incredible suffering?

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 post, please visit my About Page.

Also, if you would like to subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am In Christ IS Who I am!” please click here:

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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Faith in the Midst of a Cloud of Unknowing

How God is sustaining a Canadian, Texas mom while the search for her son continues

While many (including myself) in the Texas Panhandle are beginning to look forward to the 2017 holiday season, a cloud of unknowing continues to hover over Canadian, a picturesque community nestled in the rolling hills of the High Plains.

This coming November 23rd will mark the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Thomas Brown, 18 year-old-son (at that time) of Penny and Chris Meek of Canadian and Kelly Brown of Perryton, Texas.

Today’s post is not primarily about the details of Thomas’s disappearance. There are online articles you can read and videos you can watch if you want to learn more.

Today’s post is about a mother’s heart for her dearly beloved, deeply missed son and a longing for the truth about what happened last Thanksgiving Eve and the following early morning hours to come to light.

I am blessed to know Thomas’s parents personally. I taught with Penny for several years at Perryton High School and Kelly attends the same church we attend here in Perryton.

My heart goes out to both of them—along with Thomas’s older brother, Tucker, his stepfather, Chris, and the rest of their family and friends—as they continue to pray for answers.

To be honest, this is the kind of story you might watch on Dateline and 48 Hours, not something that happens in rural America, population around 2,500.

And especially not something that has happened to people you know and love.

My son, his wife, and two children live in Canadian. I’ve always said, “If there was any other place I’d want to live in the Texas Panhandle besides Perryton, it would be Canadian.” It’s so quaint and beautiful.

Quaint and beautiful, but not immune to heartache and tragedy—no matter how much we might like to believe we live in a protected bubble.

We live in a fallen world—a world where hurting people hurt people—a world that has been in existence since Adam and Eve first declared their independence from God (see Genesis, chapter 3).

As an outsider observing how the family is walking through this ongoing cloud of unknowing, I continue to be amazed at the faith and strength I see and hear in both Penny and Kelly.

A faith in their Heavenly Father, who sees all things—who is omniscient—who knows every detail about Thomas’s disappearance.

And a sustaining strength that can only come from Him.

When I asked Penny if there was anything that she would like to share through this post, this was her response:

We always ask for prayers for the family and Thomas. Thomas is very much loved and missed. 

My mom often referred to Thomas as Ferdinand the Bull. Thomas beat to his own drum. He never bothered anyone. He is the most tenderhearted young man that I know.

We pray for those who know and/or have information about Thomas’s disappearance.

I’m not judging, but making an observation about those involved that they do not have a relationship with Christ. If Christ truly lived in them, they would not have committed this act. We pray for their salvation. We pray that any hindrances that stand in the way would be removed.

We are very thankful for the communities of Canadian and the whole Texas Panhandle and beyond. This situation has been far-reaching. We are thankful for everything everyone has done. We are mostly thankful for prayers.

This season of my life has been life changing. I have a much deeper relationship with Christ.

 

I have a much much deeper relationship with Christ. Only God can bring this kind of redemption in the midst of a mother’s worst nightmare (see Genesis 50:20).

In my recent conversations with Penny, I have come to learn that she is no stranger to tragedy. Her dad committed suicide June 17, 1998 and her mom was killed in a car accident October 10, 2011.

Yet, through it all, Penny’s faith in Christ remains unshakable. What an amazing testimony of God’s sustaining love through such heartrending circumstances!

If this story has touched you and you would like to help the family, please pray for Thomas, the family, and that those who are involved and/or have information about his disappearance would come forward.

Another way you can help the family is to support the upcoming Thanksgiving Day fundraiser at Smokehouse Restaurant in Perryton, Texas, November 23rd, from 11:00 a.m. till 2:30 p.m.

They will be serving a free, traditional Thanksgiving dinner and accepting donations that will go to the Thomas Brown family.

If you have any information that could help solve this investigation, please contact one of the following:

  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC): 800-843-5678
  • Texas Missing Persons Clearinghouse at Texas DPS: 800-346-3243
  • Texas Rangers: 800-665-7168
  • Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office: 806-323-5234
  • Klein Investigations: 409-729-8798

For updates on the investigation, you can Like/Follow Help Find Tom Brown and Moms4Tom on Facebook.

What My Debut Book Has in Common with Fifty Shades

After reading the title of my post, “What My Debut Book Has in Common with Fifty Shades,” you just might need to pick your chin up off the floor.

No, I haven’t read any of the books in the Fifty Shades trilogy or seen either of the first two book-based movies. Nor do I have any desire or intention to.

For research purposes, though, I have checked out several online articles.

If you breathe air and don’t live in a cave, then you’ve likely heard about this twisted, sexually explicit series.

In a nutshell, Fifty Shades of Grey is about how an inexperienced twenty-something girl’s natural longing to be pursued and romanced drives her into the arms of a wealthy sociopath who convinces her to consent to sadistic sex.

True confession. There was a decade in my life (my early twenties to early thirties) when I might have been easily drawn into this erotic series—hook, line, and sinker.

During that time, I was on a personal quest—in hot pursuit of my Mr. Perfect—the one man who would ride into my life on a white stallion, sweep me off my feet, and whisk me away into the sunset of Happily Ever After.

Yeah, I really believed that life was supposed to happen like it did in the movies, the Harlequin and Danielle Steel romances, and soap operas. Nobody ever told me any different!

You might be tempted to label me as naive and gullible, but my craving for passion and romance was a very real, driving force in the destruction of my first marriage and the termination of my short and not-so-sweet second marriage.

In November 1996, I found myself a twice-divorced, disillusioned mess, living with the consequences of the choices I made. Choices that not only caused a lot of personal, emotional damage, but also resulted in tons of collateral damage.

And frankly, there is no doubt in my mind that my voracious appetite to be romanced would have also led to the ultimate demise of marriage #3 (now twenty years strong by God’s grace)—had it not been for God’s passionate intervention.

One early morning, five years into my marriage to Steven, I found myself whining to Jesus about the lack of romance I was getting from him. That’s when He immersed me into another grace reel:

Jesus and I were in a canoe on a very still river surrounded by beautiful mountains and landscape. He was rowing, and I sat facing Him, just resting. I noticed that the blue in His eyes matched the color of the sky and the river. Then He said, “I want to be your romance, Kim! Let Me romance your heart, and you will never be disappointed!”  

This grace-saturated motion picture launched me into a divine romance with the Perfect Lover of my heart and I have never been the same.

The one book of the Bible that Christ kept drawing me to during that time was the Song of Solomon, nestled right smack-dab in the middle of His holy Word. I believe God strategically placed it there because its message is central to His heart.

This highly symbolic and poetic book has more than one interpretation. Its literal interpretation celebrates love in an earthly marriage and has only existed within the last one hundred years. Many marriages have been strengthened through studies based on the Song’s literal interpretation.

Its allegorical (symbolic) interpretation, however, is its most ancient interpretation.

Orthodox Jews view the Song as a love story between Jehovah and His people, Israel, and is read every Sabbath and every year at Passover. But, because of its graphically sensual literal interpretation—it was at one time forbidden reading until the age of thirty. This was an attempt to lessen the chances of the Song’s poetic prose being read through carnal, rather than spiritual, eyes.

Another allegorical view of the Song—the one I strongly adhere to—is that it vividly illustrates the epic love story between Christ, the eternal Spiritual Bridegroom, and His bride, the church.

Its intent is to launch Christ’s bride into the depths of His fiery love for her as she meditates on it.

This symbolic view has nothing to do with physical gender, but everything to do with holy, spiritual union with the Perfect Lover of our heart (1 Cor. 3:17; 6:17).

In my debut book (released September 5, 2017), His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love: An intimate, interactive study of the Song of Solomon, chapters 1 & 2, I share my journey in coming to know Christ as my Spiritual Bridegroom and His greatest longing for His bride, the church: to experience wondrous delight in intimacy with Him.

Now, you might be wondering, What in the world does your book have in common with Fifty Shades?

I’ll tell you how in closing:

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love spotlights Christ’s Bridegroom love as the ultimate, eternal fulfillment of humanity’s longing to be passionately pursued by perfect, no-strings-attached love.

The Fifty Shades Trilogy, on the other hand, is a temporary, destructive counterfeit of that ultimate fulfillment. (I also see some other fascinating parallels that I will share in a later post.)

Dear reader, do you realize that your longing to be passionately pursued by perfect, no-strings-attached love was put there by God so that you would allow His love and His life to be your ultimate fulfillment?

You can find my book at Amazon, WestBow Press, Barnes and Noble, and several other online retailers.

If you would like to read more about my book and why others loved it, check out my book page.

Could I ask a favor? If you get, read, and interact with my book, would you honor me with an honest review of it at Amazon?

And finally, if you subscribe to my e-mail list, I will send you a FREE PDF of Who I Am In Christ IS Who I Am, a compilation of over 200 illuminating passages on the believer’s pure, holy, and righteous identity in Christ.

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 post, 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     Pursuing Love     Speaking     Contact