What God Wants Most This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is only a few days away and many are thinking of ways they can best express their affection for those they love.

Whether your beloved is a spouse, significant other, friend, or family member, there is probably a Hallmark card out there with their name on it, just waiting to be bought, signed, sealed, and delivered to them.

And (if they are really lucky) it might even accompany flowers, chocolate, jewelry, lingerie, an expensive candlelit dinner, or even a weekend getaway for two.

A recent USA Today survey revealed that 55% of Americans plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Frankly, this statistic surprises me. Valentine’s Day in the U.S. will come and go without 45% of the population acknowledging it.

I wonder, Why such a large percentage?

Maybe these people are just indifferent to the celebration of love.

Or maybe they just downright abhor it.

Maybe, somewhere along the way, “the idea of love” left a bad taste in their mouth through dashed expectations. (You know, if you don’t expect anything, then you won’t be disappointed.)

Maybe it’s because Valentine’s Day is an annual holiday that seems to segregate people into two distinct groups: “those who are loved” and “those who are not.”

Subconsciously, this mindset may go even deeper: “those who are worth loving” and “those who are not worth loving.”

In Father God’s economy, the second group doesn’t even exist. Everyone (no exceptions) is worth loving.

“God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 TLB).

No human being on the face of this earth is left out of Father God’s love. Our existence alone qualifies us to be the object of His extravagant affection.

Since the beginning of time, what Father God has wanted more than anything is for you to understand and believe that:

  1. You exist because He wanted you! He knit you together in your mother’s womb to be an eternal receptacle and enjoyer of His no-strings-attached love & life (Ps. 139:13-14).
  2. The only way you can receive and enjoy His no-strings-attached love & life is to believe in (into) His Son, Jesus. This means that you realize that you are born into this world separated from His life and you ask Him to give you new life in His Son (which is completely provided for through His finished work on the cross): “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (Eph. 2:8-9; 1 John 5:11-12).
  3. Once you are in Him, you are in Him for good! He is faithful forever. He will never leave you nor forsake you. No one will ever snatch you away from Him (John 10:28; 2 Tim. 2:13; Heb. 13:5).
  4. You are the love of His life, the object of His supreme affection! This means that He has hand-picked you to shower His love on you 24/7/365. But, if you don’t ever realize this and consciously receive and enjoy it, His love won’t do you (or anyone who knows you) any good.

If you are an unbeliever, what God wants most this Valentine’s Day is for you to believe in (into) His Son.

If you are a believer in His Son, what God wants most this Valentine’s Day (and every day of the rest of your life on this earth) is for you to acknowledge and enjoy His no-strings-attached love for you.

How can we authentically love others without first savoring God’s love for ourselves?

Do you know Christians who are burnt out—those who are so worn out from trying to work for God—all the while containing the eternal, refreshing wellspring of life within them (John 7:38; Matt. 11:28-30)?

Are you one of those Christians?

If you are, then I’ve got some supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (extraordinarily good; wonderful) news for you!

But it will only benefit you if you believe and act on it.

God didn’t create you and join you to the eternal life of His Son so that you could go to work for Him (Acts 17:25-28).

He created you for the sheer purpose of letting Him love you!

He knows better than anyone (He’s all-knowing) that faith works through love, that we can’t give what we haven’t first received, and that His love & life welling up within us will overflow onto everyone we come into contact with (1 John 3:18; 4:7-8, 19).

I think this is where most Christians get it wrong. We “try” to love others (because that is Christ’s royal law) unconditionally without first “letting” Him love us for free (Mark 12:28-31).

Yeah, we still operate under the faulty mindset that we can only receive and enjoy His love if we’ve earned or deserved it.

But if we are going to enjoy His no-strings-attached love for us and let it overflow our lives onto others, we are going to have to declare war on this deceptive way of thinking and living!

What do you think would happen if—starting this Valentine’s Day—most Christians marked off everything on their “Spiritual To-Do List” and added only one item: “I will let God love me every day until Valentine’s Day, 2019.”

Call me a dreamer, but I think an experiment like this has the potential to start a love revival that would spread like wildfire throughout the nations.

It sounds really simple, but it wouldn’t be easy.

It would mean deleting the words earn and deserve from your vocabulary in your love relationship with the King of Kings.

Your brain might even go through some serious cramping.

But it would be so worth it.

What do you say? Would you like to join me in this Great Love Experiment?

If at least twelve people sign up, I will create a secret (private) Facebook group called “Great Love Experiment.”

It’s purpose is to help make you intentional about “LETTING GOD LOVE YOU” unconditionally every day for one year (making you aware of all of the practical ways He reveals His personal love for you) and then posting them in the group.

Don’t worry if you don’t have something to post every day. Let His love inspire you.

When you begin to read all the ways God is showering His unconditional affection on the members in this group, it will build your faith and foster in you a greater receptiveness to His personal love for you.

For example, I drove to Pampa, Texas, this past Monday to have a faulty airbag replaced in our pickup. On my way home, I put in a worship CD and just began to let the words and music minister to me.

It turned out to be a holy highway experience! There were tears, praising, praying, and hand-raising. (I left one hand on the wheel!)

And right in the middle of all of that worshiping, I met an eighteen-wheeler with a big cross at the top of its cab.

That’s when I knew. God ordained that sacred moment in time for a personal love encounter with Him.

So, are you going to join me in this “Great Love Experiment”?

If you do, I believe you will be addicted for life.

SIGN UP HERE for the Facebook Group: Great Love Experiment

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post, I think you might enjoy my debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

P.S.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

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Pursuing Love     Speaking     Contact

Groundhog Day & Grace

Happy Groundhog Day! I’m not sure which will be more on the minds of most Americans today: the hilarious 1993 movie starring Bill Murray or whether or not Punxsutawney Phil, that famous 132-year-old furry forecaster, saw his shadow this morning.

Just in case you don’t know, Groundhog Day is not a national holiday. It became an official observance in 1887 at Gobbler’s Knob near Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

According to tradition, if Phil sees his shadow after he emerges from his underground home, it will scare him and he will retreat back into his burrow to hibernate through six more weeks of winter.

But if he doesn’t see his shadow, then we can expect an early spring.

Frankly, this has never made sense to me. If February 2 is a sunshiny day in Gobbler’s Knob, then it is bad news for people who don’t like wintry weather.

And if it is a cloudy day, then it’s good news. Weird.

You might be surprised to learn (as I was) about the origins of Groundhog Day:

Groundhog Day can be traced to early Christians in Europe and the custom of Candlemas Day, which marked the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

On Candlemas Day, the belief was that clear and sunny conditions signified a long, harsh winter and that cloudy conditions indicated that warm weather was approaching.

The Germans eventually adopted this custom, incorporating a hedgehog and the belief that if the animal cast a shadow during sunny skies on Candlemas Day, it indicated six more weeks of bitter cold.

When German settlers arrived in Pennsylvania in the 1700s, they brought the tradition with them. However, because hedgehogs were scarce in the region, they were replaced with the more abundant groundhog, which was also considered sacred among the local Native Americans.*

Now, for those of you who have not yet heard the news today (February 2, 2018) and would like to rely on this renowned rodent’s revelation, then … drumroll please … Brace yourself for six more weeks of winter!

This, of course, means that Phil saw his shadow this morning at Gobbler’s Knob.

So, how much stock should we actually put into Phil’s weather-forecasting prowess?

To date, Phil has made 132 predictions—a long winter 104 times and an early spring 18 times. There is nothing recorded on 10 occasions.

And guess what? He’s only been right about 40 percent of the time.

There seems to be an awful lot of hoopla surrounding this tradition that doesn’t have that great of a track record.

That’s my opinion. For what it’s worth.

All this talk about predicting the weather reminds me of something incredible that Christ speaks to His bride, the church (those who have believed into Him), in the Song of Songs:

“For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone” (2:11).

This verse has nothing to do with natural seasons and everything to do with the eternal spiritual realm believers in Christ now live in under the new covenant of grace.

I wrote about it in my recently published debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love:

In Song 2:8, the maiden’s Beloved revealed Himself to her in a new light—as a resurrected, conquering King in all His glory. Then she exclaims:

“Listen! My Beloved! Behold, He is coming, climbing on the mountains, leaping on the hills.”

Immediately after that, He invited her to join Him in expressing His love and life to the world, saying,

“Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along” (Song 2:10).

Then He gave her the reason that the time was now to join Him:

“For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone” (2:11).

The Beloved Shepherd is stating the reason that it is now time for the maiden to join Him—the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. He is saying that the winter rains of the law—the system of works-based righteousness—is over.

Now that the maiden has begun to experience the glorious freedom of the new covenant of grace, He wants her to join Him in sharing with others how they can experience the same freedom.

The good news of the gospel of grace is that no one has to earn the righteousness that God freely gives. Jesus paid it all. All they have to do is believe into Him (John 3:16; 19:30; 1 Cor. 6:17; 2 Cor. 5:21).

You may be wondering if I’m suggesting here that everyone go door to door with evangelistic tracts.

No. But I’m not discouraging it either. Those who have the gift of evangelism may do this and do this well (Eph. 4:11).

What I am suggesting is that every Christian’s life can be a witness of the new covenant of grace to others.

When our lives are an expression of our Beloved’s cherishing love and exuberant life, people will be knocking on our doors, asking where they can get some of what we’ve got.

And we will be able to tell them that what we’ve got is the resurrection life of Christ—also theirs for the receiving.

Dear reader, Jesus really did pay it all. All it costs us is our belief in and acceptance of His life as a free gift.

If you are a believer in Christ, then He has already made you the righteousness of God in His Son (2 Cor. 5:21).

Spiritually speaking, this means you are already living in the eternal spring season where new life abounds under the new covenant of grace!

Christian, if you are still living as if you are under the harsh winter rains of the law, then decide today that you are going to stop it!

Stop living as if Jesus’ work on the cross was unfinished (John 19:30).

And start living in the righteousness, peace, and joy He died to give you (Rom. 14:17).

Hey, you might even want to take a Sharpie and write “GRACE DAY” underneath “GROUNDHOG DAY” on your calendar to commemorate this decision you’ve made to live in the perpetual spring of grace.

No more winters for you in Christ!

If you liked today’s post, I believe you might enjoy my debut devotional study (released September 2017), His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

I wrote this book to help Christians enjoy greater intimacy with Christ through understanding their flawless identity in Him revealed through the first two chapters of the Song of Songs.

I invite you to check out its reviews on Amazon and consider getting a copy for yourself.

If you would rather order one directly from me, please email me.

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.

*Spencer Kent, “Groundhog Day 2018: Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow? What does the result mean?”, last modified February 2, 2018, NJ.com, accessed February 2, 2018, http://bit.ly/2FBRaSs.

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

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Pursuing Love     Speaking     Contact

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

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Pursuing Love     Speaking     Contact

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!

God Built this House for Us in 1923!

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two years since Steven and I signed the papers on our new old house. I still can’t believe we get to live in this 94-year-old home. I’ve said many times, “God built this house for us in 1923!”

Yeah, I know we were both born forty-one years after it was built, but God exists in the eternal now (outside of this time dimension) and knows everything. I believe Steven and I were on His heart while it was being built from the ground up.

I wish I could go back in time and watch it being built and meet the families who lived in it before us. The families who loved it so much, they didn’t paint the beautiful woodwork inside or change the ornate light fixtures and antique doorknobs .

We got married in 1997 with a mountain of combined debt, so buying a house was a seemingly elusive dream.  Up until we bought this, we lived in two different rent houses and a duplex for all of our married life.

All I can say is that God’s timing is perfect. He knew all along when this gorgeous, antique house would become ours. And the inside and outside face lift didn’t involve anything major. Mostly, it was just cleaning, painting, and replacing some light fixtures in the kitchen, guest bedroom, and bathroom.

If you would like to take a look at “Our New Old House,” please click here or on the above photo.

I just wanted to share a little bit of our personal lives in my post today. Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

What God Taught Me through Mrs. Stuart’s Cookies

Today's sweet and slightly spiritual lesson

I will never forget that day in Mrs. Brown’s third and fourth grade class (our school was so small, they combined classes). It was Dennis Stuart’s turn to bring class refreshments.

That’s the hallowed day when I was introduced to Mrs. Stuart’s No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.

All I could think as I was relishing every divine morsel and washing it down with ice-cold milk from my half-pint carton was Where have you been all my life? All ten long years of it.

To this day—if I even smell these mouth-watering goodies—I’m a goner. Any sense of self-control is just an illusion.

That’s when I try to rationalize my decision to indulge: Oatmeal is in one of the four major food groups, right? 

Can you relate?

I’ve spent lots of years trying to make No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies as delicious as Mrs. Stuart’s, but I think she will always be the “No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Queen” in my eyes.

Here’s one recipe I got out of my bright pink Perryton Full Gospel Church cookbook almost twenty years ago (Thanks, Edna Lee Grimmer for the wedding present and Alice Pingleton for the recipe!):

2 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1 stick oleo
1/2 c. milk
3 c. quick-cooking rolled oats, uncooked
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. nuts
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa, oleo and milk and bring to a boil. Mix in other ingredients, drop on foil and let cool.

I guess I have a lot of my mom in me when it comes to cooking and baking. I like to tweak recipes just to see if I can make them even tastier.

So, what follows is my tweaking:

Start with a medium-sized sauce pan on medium-high heat.

Just like the recipe says, add your 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of cocoa (any brand will do), and whatever you do, DO NOT substitute margarine for real butter! (Butter is always better.)

Then add 1/2 cup whole milk (the creamier the better!) and stir with a wooden spoon (not sure why wooden; that’s just what I’ve always used). Hey, that reminds of the story of the inquisitive daughter watching her mom bake a ham.

Anyway … bring all of those ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat, then add 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (don’t skimp with the imitation stuff here).

Now, here comes my biggest tweak in the recipe; one that took me a few batches to figure out.

Instead of 1/2 cup of peanut butter and 1/2 cup of nuts, add 1 heaping cup of crunchy peanut butter and stir until it’s all melted in the chocolate mixture.

Then add 3 cups of oats (I use Old-Fashioned Oats because they’re just oatier—sorry, English teachers!) and stir well. (You could also add 1 tsp of cinnamon if you like chocolate and cinnamon together.)

Finally, drop by large tablespoons full onto a sheet of aluminum foil.

I double-dog dare you to try to wait until they’re cool before you get a taste. (Insert big smiley-faced emoji here.)

Now, lest you think I’ve done a 360 and gone all Betty Crocker (instead of Bible-based blogger) on you, God taught me a major spiritual lesson when I was trying to get these cookies to turn out like Mrs. Stuart’s.

When I followed the original recipe, my cookies were too soft; they didn’t set.

So, I reasoned that adding more oatmeal should fix the problem. Makes sense, right?

It didn’t work, though. They had more oatmeal in them, but they were still gooey.

That’s when I thought about exchanging the 1/2 cup peanut butter and the 1/2 cup of nuts for 1 heaping cup of crunchy peanut butter.

Guess what? Making that exchange made all the difference! Mrs. Francis’ No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies ended up turning out pretty good. (Still not as good as Mrs. Stuart’s.)

Now, for the spiritual parallel:

When life stops working the way we want it to, what we usually do is add more “TRY” to the mix, thinking that should do the trick.

Instead, what we end up with is one big WEARY mess.

The thing is, God doesn’t want us to crank out our self-sufficient, natural strength and “try harder” when life gets especially hard. (He doesn’t even want us to live from our natural strength in the not-so-hard times.)

Rather, He wants us to acknowledge that the God of the universe lives in us 24/7/365 and exchange our “do it ourselves” attitudes with “God, I’m going to trust in Your supernatural strength within me to do it all through me!”

“God, instead of living my life for You, I choose to live from Your all-sufficient life that is inseparably fused to mine!”

What do you say? Are you up for the challenge?

Are you willing to exchange your 1/2 c. peanut butter + 1/2 c. nuts (your self-sufficiency) for 1 heaping cup of crunchy peanut butter (God’s All-Sufficiency)?

All it takes is a little mental tweaking and a lot of practice. When you learn this way of living, I think you will find a skip in your step and a smile on your face a lot more often.

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed my somewhat silly illustration today. I’m wondering, has God ever taught you spiritual lessons through your day-in and day-out activities?

Everything’s spiritual when we are depending on the Spirit of Christ to live His life through us!

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     Resources     Speaking     Contact

New Seasons & Next Steps

Even though September 1 does not mark the beginning of the astronomical fall season, it does mark the beginning of the meteorological fall season. I’ve always sided with the weather man’s definition of my favorite season.

It’s fall, y’all!

I get strangely giddy every year at this time. (Smile.)

Wondering if giddy was the right adjective to describe how this season makes me feel, I looked up the definition at Dictionary.com. And guess what I found out?

The word comes from the phrase “possessed by a divine being.” It’s true! I am possessed by a divine being—the Spirit of Christ.

I love it that God is continually reminding me that I belong to Him and He belongs to me. I am His and He is mine (Song 6:3).

Okay, now I’m getting even giddier.

Allow me to tell you why fall is my “savorite” season:

  • Gorgeous colors of the leaves on most trees
  • Pumpkin spice flavored goodies begin to appear and quickly disappear from grocery store shelves (You better grab your can of Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Mix while you can!)
  • Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin cake, carrot cake (Did I tell you I have a sweet tooth?)
  • Breathing in the scent of my “Leaves” Bath & Body candle
  • Breathing in the fragrance of my “Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin” Bath & Body hand soap
  • Decorating my house with fall colors
  • Morning coffee is more enjoyable in cooler temps
  • Going for walks any time of day in the brisk cooler temps
  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup season (Whole30, move over!)
  • Soup season
  • Makes me want to revert to my childhood and watch Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day
  • Makes me want to watch Dan In Real Life and every autumn-themed Hallmark movie ever made
  • Thanksgiving
  • September is my birthday month. I’ll turn 53 on the 29th. I’m so thankful to be forever alive in Christ on planet earth at this time in history!

I would love it if you would comment below by sharing your favorite things about fall.

Not only does September 1 mark the beginning of the meteorological season of fall, it also marks the beginning of a new phase in the publishing of my book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love!

Just this morning, I signed the final approval  for it to go to print. Whew!

It’s been quite a journey.

I started writing this book back in 2008, did a pilot study in 2010, purchased a self-publishing package from WestBow Press, the Christian self-publishing division of Thomas Nelson/Zondervan in 2012, submitted my first manuscript in 2014, resubmitted it in 2016, and now, after several revisions, it’s about to be released.

If all goes as planned (we’ll see), it will be in traditional and online bookstores by September 24.

This book is an intimate, interactive devotional study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs. It highlights God’s pursuing love for His bride, the church (Christian men, you’re the bride too), and the great lengths He goes to in order to reveal His personal passion for her—to her (it’s a spiritual role, not a physical gender).

I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for the 83 people on my Pursuing Love Launch Team. These team members will be sharing the news about my first book with people they know through e-mail and social media, which is a huge blessing to me.

If you regularly search the Internet, you already know there are tons of people self-publishing new books everyday. That said, it’s not an easy thing to get your work noticed in this noisy cyber-world.

To be completely honest with you, promoting my book is my least favorite part (my favorite part was the actual sensing of God writing its words through me) of this process.

When you publish a book, you put your work out there for the world to either ignore, criticize, or praise. And let’s be honest, no one likes being ignored or criticized (I’m not talking about constructive criticism).

I also don’t want anyone to think that I’m saying, “Hey, look at me! I’m somebody special because I wrote a book.”

The thing is, I was somebody special before I ever wrote a single word of His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

If you think I’m being arrogant, think again.

I am somebody special because Father God knit me together in my mother’s womb, re-created me in Christ when I believed in (into) Him, and loves me with the same intensity in which He loves His Son, Jesus Christ (Ps. 139:13; John 17:23, Eph. 2:10; 2 Cor. 5:17, 21).

My identity is found in Christ alone, not in the Amazon Best Sellers list.

Whether His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love flops or flourishes, my one desire is that God would draw every one who is ready to receive His extravagant love in tangible ways to relish this study.

If you are excited for what God might do through my book, would you pray for me and my launch?

Also, if you would like to be “in” on my publishing loop, you can:

  • Like my Facebook author Page, Kim K Francis, click on the “Following” button to adjust your notifications to “See First.”
  • Follow me on Twitter.
  • Subscribe to this blog by going to my Contact page and scrolling to the bottom of the page. Then fill in your name and e-mail address and you will get a FREE PDF copy of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!” 

Just so you know, I have already started writing the sequel, His Banner Over Me Is Sustaining Love. The overriding theme of this study of Song of Songs, chapters 3–5, is how God sustains us in the midst of heartbreaking, gut-wrenching circumstances.

God has been preparing me to write this second installment in the series through sustaining me during one of the most difficult nine-year seasons in my life. (I’m still on the tail-end of it.)

Nine years is a long time.

Well, maybe not to God—who sees the whole picture and holds our times in His hands (Ps. 31:14-16). I’m choosing to trust and rest in His superintending guidance of the time I have left on planet earth.

Speaking of rest (and in closing), I would like to wish everyone in the U.S. a safe, restful, and happy Labor Day weekend!

Fall-lovers: Don’t forget to share all of your favorite things about fall by commenting on this post!

photo credit: Dave Hilditch Photography Autumn Textures 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,

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

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Resources     Speaking     Contact

 

 

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

This Man of Mine

Twenty Years Together and Holding Strong

He’s my best friend on this earth, my truth-teller when I’m whiny, and my hard-working-so-I-can-stay-home-and-write cowboy. Today’s post is a tribute to my husband of twenty years (July 19, 1997), Steven Dean Francis.

Two decades of marriage may not seem like much to most people, but it is nothing short of miraculous for me. My marital track record up until this cowboy and I started sparkin’ (his word for our romance) wasn’t good.

It wasn’t good because of the mess of lies that lived in my head for most of my life:

  • “You’ll be happy when you marry the perfect man (I sometimes tend to be idealistic).”
  • “You’ll be happy when you have children.”
  • “You’ll be happy when you have a teaching career.”
  • “You’ll be happy when you get a nose job and lose that extra weight.”
  • “You’ll be happy when you make enough money to buy … what will make you happy.”

Can you relate?

I’m still amazed that Steven chose me. Our union is a perfect example of God’s love, sovereignty, grace, and faithfulness.

Ours isn’t a love-at-first-sight story.

In the fall of 1964, we were both delivered by the same pipe-smokin’, suspender-wearin’, kid-scarin’ doctor in Spearman, Texas. Steven grew up there, but my family moved around the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles a lot—due to my dad’s work in the oilfield.

Steven was in the same grade as my cousin and knew my extended family well. But I didn’t meet him until 1992. That was when I started waiting tables at my mom’s restaurant—the Palo Duro Cafe in Spearman, Texas. He was farming at that time.

We knew each other as acquaintances for four years.

I remember well the morning I got down on my knees and asked God to put the man of His choice in my life. That was the first time I ever did that, so I knew He was at work.

Two weeks later, He placed His heavenly spotlight on Steven. God had answered my prayer in a most unexpected way and at almost lightning speed.

We started dating on my thirty-second birthday and were married before both of our thirty-third birthdays. I’m almost two months older than him. You would think I was a lot older by the way he tells everyone he married an “older” woman. (Smile.)

One day at lunch (about eight months into our love story) over sandwiches and tropical punch flavored Kool Aid, he popped the question.

Well, sort of.

It sounded something like this: We’re together all the time anyway, so don’t you think we might as well get married? (Pretty romantic, huh?)

I could hardly believe it. He actually wanted to say “I do” to someone whom most eligible, never-been-married bachelors might have considered “damaged goods.” I had a twelve-year-old son. And (this is a big AND) I couldn’t have any more children.

I almost backed out … for his sake. In my mind, he deserved better. (Tears.)

But God was unrelenting. He would not allow it. And I’m so thankful!

Steven and I both knew God put us together. So, all we’ve wanted to do from that point forward is to live our lives as a thank offering to Him.

We moved to Perryton, Texas, on our first anniversary and have lived here ever since—still seeking God’s direction for our lives and loving (almost) every minute of it.

Our love story in a nutshell? We fell in love with each other. Then, we fell in love with Jesus.

I’m sure if Father God had His druthers, He would have liked for our romance to have happened the other way around. But it didn’t.

That’s amazing grace.

I’m going to take next week off from blogging to celebrate God’s miraculous match-making abilities with this man of mine.

I will be posting this Friday, though. I’ll share the message in MercyMe’s song, “Hello Beautiful,” from their newest album, Lifer (what would’ve been today’s post in my Wednesday Summer Song Series).

If you haven’t read all of my posts since launching on March 1, there are over forty in the archives. Next week would be an opportune time to catch up!

Also, if you would like my posts delivered every Wednesday and Friday at noon to your e-mail inbox, please subscribe in the upper right-hand corner (or bottom left) of my blog.

When you sign up, I will send you a free PDF of “Who I Am In Christ IS Who I Am!”. It contains over two hundred illuminating passages on the believer’s identity in Christ.

In closing, do you have a love story to tell? If so, I would love to hear it!

Until next month!

 

 

 

 

 

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

Have You Ever Been Kissed Awake?

Have you ever been kissed awake? This question might remind you of the sweet, memorable line by little Pattie-Cake Spencer in the 1963 film, Spencer’s Mountain (The Waltons was a spin-off from this movie). Her oldest brother, Clayboy, has come upstairs to wake her up, but she doesn’t want to get out of bed yet. So she says, “Kiss me awake, Clayboy!”

While I watched this endearing scene, I immediately thought about all the times I had been kissed awake. And I’m not talking about being kissed awake by an affectionate human being or pet.

I’m talking about being kissed awake by God.

It happened again just this morning. Right as I was waking up, the song that was playing in my head was “Silly Love Songs”—one of my favorites from the 70s by Paul McCartney & Wings.

The chorus, I…love…you…was playing over and over in my mind. Can you hear it?

I could’ve thought, Hmm, I wonder why that song is playing in my head. But I didn’t. I knew exactly where it was coming from.

It was Jesus wooing me—first thing in the morning. He was reminding me that I am the object of His supreme affection and that I am always on His heart and mind. Even while I’m sleeping.

Christian, do you realize that Jesus never dozes off and continually sings over you while you are sleeping?

If you need His Word and His Spirit to convince you, here’s the proof:

Isn’t it a wonderful thing to know that even when we are asleep, our Spiritual Bridegroom never sleeps and is continually serenading us?

I am so thankful that He lives in me twenty-four/seven and continually reminds that I am His and He is mine (Song of Songs 6:3).

I’m wondering, have you ever been kissed awake by God?

I would love to hear your story.

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