Friday, November 1, 2013

Where Do Belly Buttons Comes From? - A children's book

I'm pleased and excited to share an interview today with Dr. Jeff Scott. Dr. Scott is a wonderful pastor, and a dear friend who is one of the best encouragers I have met. He recently authored a new children's book called, Where Do Belly Buttons Come From?"

 How would you describe your new children's book to a parent shopping for their child?

“Where Do Belly Buttons Come From” is a family-friendly story of children who love to visit their grandparents and soak up the love and guidance that grandparents can offer. They love to ask questions to stump their story-telling grandfather. This time, they ask where belly buttons come from and the grandfather tells a wonderful tale that you will never forget. In a nutshell, he says that belly buttons are the fingerprint of God to remind each of us that we are special and we are loved.

 Where did you get the idea for your book?

The story in the “Where Do Belly Buttons Come From?” was originally a children’s sermon I made up in my first pastorate in Texas while working on my doctorate in religion in the late 1980s. I have told it many times since to children of all ages. When I was an adjunct religious studies professor at Radford University and Roanoke College, I even told the story to college students as an example of myth— taking a common everyday object and using it to convey a profound spiritual truth.

In the highly competitive book publishing industry, did you have moments of self-doubt, such as "Why would a publisher pick my book?"

The book is published by CrossBooks, an affiliate of LifeWay. People have always enjoyed hearing this particular children’s sermon. In fact, at Northside Baptist in Mechanicsville, where I am the senior pastor, they actually applauded the first time they heard it. There is great power in story and that is one of the reasons Jesus taught with stories. They draw us in and are the quickest way for us to absorb truth. If I just said God made you and loves you, it would go in one ear and out the other. But if we wrap that wonderful truth in story, we'll welcome it, enjoy it, take it in, and even repeat it. Humor helps as well. When we laugh together, we let down our guard just enough to allow the gospel can spill over into our lives.

My sense was that this story belongs to God and that now was the time to put it in writing to preserve His story for this and future generations of children to enjoy.

I selected CrossBooks because it was the quickest, most effective path to publishing. They offered me access to some wonderful illustrators that could bring the story to life. The nice thing with CrossBooks is that each of their books goes through a theological check to be sure it is sound. So for me, it was an easy decision.

You are a Ph.D., a pastor, a ventriloquist, and now a children's book author! What is next for the extremely talented and gifted Dr. Jeff Scott?

What next? I’ll keep my eyes, ears, mind, and heart open to story ideas that will help me share the gospel in a creative way. When a story is able to communicate the love of God in a way that captures the imagination and wonder of a child, I’ll know I am on the right track. If we can add humor and the themes of faith and family, it will be a winner.

By the way, I am sure you have a belly button. It is there to remind you that He made you special and loves YOU! "You are His workmanship,” says the Scripture. What most folks don’t know is that that phrase can also be translated as “You are His masterpiece.” My wish for you and all my readers is that we grasp the reality of being loved just because we a masterpiece from the hands of the Master! Remember, you are special and you are loved!

Dear Readers, here is a preview video of Dr Jeff's book. (If you receive this as an email, you'll have to visit my blog to see the video by clicking here.) 


 
Dr. Jeff Scott's book may be purchased through CrossBooks, Amazon or Barnes and Noble. What a great Christmas gift it would make!


Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com


Chatty Kelly

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

When You Need Help


I don't accept help well. And I wouldn't dream of asking for it. I'm like a stubborn 2 year old, trying desperately to put on her shoes, screaming and crying, yet responding to her parent's offer to help, "I do it myself!" 

But I've come to realize my prideful refusals don't benefit me, and aren't biblical. I love this story in Exodus. Our hero, Moses, is holding up his arms to God, so that his army will win. But his arms get tired, heavy and he can't hold them up anymore. So what does he do? He sits down, and allows his friends to hold him up.

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Exodus 17:8-13

Moses doesn't hesitate to accept the help his friends offer. And as a result, they win the battle. 

Even Jesus, perfect Jesus, counted on his friends to help in times of trouble. He didn't go to the garden to pray alone when his heart was heavy. He invited his friends to go and pray with him. Yes, they did fall asleep and let him down, but he forgives them. Even after Peter denies Jesus, Jesus still asks Peter, his friend, for help. "Peter, feed my sheep."

When life sends trouble your way, follow the examples of Moses. Sit down. Accept help. Focus on God. It's okay to let you friends hold you up so that you can win life's battles

Then follow the example of Jesus. Pray. And ask your friends to pray with and for you. And even when you pray "Father, take this cup away from me," follow Jesus' example and conclude with, "not my will but yours be done." The road that follows may be hard and painful. But it's the road that leads to eternal life.

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Choosing Peace

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have
overcome this world." - Jesus
John 16:33

As I studied John 16:33 the other day, I realized something. First, the thing I think we all notice when we read this verse. It says you will have trouble. Not you might. Not your could. But you will. You will have trouble in this world.

But notice the verse before. Jesus is sharing the truth so that in him, we may have peace. Did you notice he didn't say we will have peace.  But we may.  It is a choice. How often we wish the trouble were a choice! No, we will have trouble, but we may have peace, if we take heart in Jesus.  Are you choosing peace?

It's hard to do! When trouble comes our way, we have a choice. We can choose fear, despair, disappointment...or we can choose peace.  What are some ways we can choose peace?

1. Dispute negative thoughts with scripture.
There are so many scriptures that tell us truth! Instead of letting our thoughts run to the negative, claim truthful and uplifting scripture.

2. Pray
God is in control. He may not change our troubles, but we can believe his word that if we come to him, he will give us peace. Furthermore, we can believe that all things work together for the good of those who love him.

3. Take time to rest, recover and recharge.
Some troubles are big. Instead of being in denial, or trying to go on with the status quo, sometimes we have to stop. We need to rest. We need to recover from our troubles. Then, we can recharge and start again when we are ready.

In this life, we will have trouble. There is no getting around that fact. But with the help of God, we can choose Jesus; and with Jesus we can choose His peace.

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Book Review: Tangerine Morning

Book Synopsis: Tangerine Morning, Jezzica’s Story. Book Two of the Serenity Cove Series. Jezzica Leigh, a young widow, struggles in her relationship with Christ and with starting over. She moves to Serenity Cove and purchases the Sea Glass Bookshop on Main Street, in hopes of letting go of the past and moving forward with her life. Detective Zack Johnston, the first man her heart reacts to since her husband’s death, also represents a world that failed to bring her husband’s murderers to justice. The same criminals that now seek to harm Jezzica. Can Dr. Ellie Clarimonde help Jezzica find her way back to Christ and the freedom to love again?

Review:  I was immediately drawn into the mystery of this book. As a huge mystery fan, I love a "who dun it" and "why did they do it" book. The characters were well developed, and the mystery was exciting. I was disappointed, however, when a little more than half way through the book the mystery was solved. It took a lot of air out of the book for me.

Then I realized, Tangerine Morning is primarily a romance novel with a little mystery. Not a mystery novel with a little romance.  Armed with that knowledge, I would recommend Tangerine Morning to those who enjoy romance novels; or romance novels with a little mystery. It is a sweet romance, and an enjoyable read.

The author, Rita Garcia, is a talented writer, and created a compelling mystery within her romance, and left me wanted more...mystery! But overall, her talents overcame and I really enjoyed the book. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Does Jesus Have a Tattoo? - Interpreting the Bible



"And Jesus is going to come back riding a white horse, and with a tattoo on his thigh!"....

Jesus...with a tattoo? Chapel at my daughter's school started out simply enough. I love the Chaplin there, who is a wonderful teacher and the kids hang on her every word. But Jesus with a tattoo?  I'd never heard such a thing. I leaned in to the mom next to me, "Did you ever hear that Jesus had a tattoo before?" She hadn't.

Upon coming home I began my research, when I found the verse the Chaplin was interpreting: Revelations 19:16:

On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:  king of kings and lord of lords.


When Jesus returns he will have "king of kings and lord of lords" written on his thigh. How will it be written? It could be a tattoo. If could be a mark similar to a birthmark. For all I know, it could be written in Sharpie. The fact is, it's Jesus. There are lots of ways it could be "written", but the Chaplin shared her interpretation, that the writing would be a tattoo.  And I'm not disputing that fact.

But likewise on the same verse, I could say that Jesus is going to return wearing a monogrammed robe. Because really, if your name or mine were written on our robe, it would be monogrammed, right? So I could interpret that Jesus is going to wear a monogrammed robe. But that isn't what the scripture says. It says his name will be written on it.

There are lots of ways that we can "re-word" scripture to make it more understandable to us.  But we must exhibit care not to over reach. 

Whether Jesus has a tattoo or not, I don't know. Isaiah 49:16 has been translated several ways; having our name engraved, inscribed, written and graven in God's palm. Yet, I have heard some folks interpret it to mean God has our names tattooed in his hand.

Some people are strongly against "The Message" Bible, because it is paraphrased, not a word by word or thought by thought translation. Still others will only read from the King James.

I don't know the answers. Does it matter whether Jesus or God have a tattoo? Does it matter if we read a paraphrase? Does it matter how we interpret, as long as we believe Jesus IS the king of kings, and lord or lords?  I don't know. I just pray that God leads me the way he wants me to go. And that when I get the details wrong, not from lack of trying, that he will forgive me and help me find the answers on the things that matter.

What do you think?

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Monday, July 22, 2013

Long Suffering


The first time I heard about long suffering as a fruit of the spirit was in a Bible study. Of course I was used to my NIV Bible translation: "Now the fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23)

Patience is hard. Like waiting in line at the grocery store when they're calling for snow. Or worse, waiting at the DMV. Or dealing with a strong willed child. And never, ever pray for patience, cause God will make you wait for something, right? Patience is a virtue.

But then someone with the King James Bible read the verse, and instead of patience, she read the word longsuffering. Longsuffing? I actually said something to the effect of, "Who would want the fruit of longsuffering? That is a terrible fruit!"

Several years later, in 2001, my best friend wrote me a letter where she shared the ways I exhibited the fruits of the Spirit. On patience, she said:

The 4th fruit is Patience - another translation is longsuffering. The definition is a person who has the power to exercise revenge but instead exercises restraint. I have seen you in situations where this definition could have said, 'here is Kelly.' I have been amazed at your ability to 'let things go' when others hurt you. This is truly God's patience manifested in you.

From her letter I was able to look back at my relationship with my mom. A childhood and early adulthood filled with longsuffering. (Also defined as patiently enduring wrongs or difficulties; patient endurance.) While I was in that phase, I didn't realize it was longsuffering. It just seemed like life. But in hindsight, I see it for what it was. Now I am able to see other times of the fruit of longsuffering in my life, and there are several.

What I've noticed is that longsuffering without Jesus produces bitterness in people. But longsuffering with Jesus makes us hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)


I may have felt broken at times, but I am stronger because of my longsuffering. 


I can't imagine ever praying for the fruit of longsuffering in my life. But I am thankful to have come through it with Jesus. While I am hopeful that my fruit of longsuffering has matured, and I don't need to go through more, I am confident that with Jesus I will not lose heart.


When you experience times of longsuffering in your life, I hope you know that Jesus is walking through it with you, and that together you are achieving eternal glory.


Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Review: A Thin Film of Lies


A Thin Film of Lies is a Christian crime novel. 

If you like suspense and crime novels, this book is a great Christian option to that genre. Still packed with the crime and action, we see a police woman who follows God, and listens to his nudge.  No, He doesn't help her solve cases, but His presence is presented true to life in His still small voice to follow Him.

Full of intrigue this is not only a  "who-done-it," it is a "why did they do it" that keeps you wondering how it will end. A fun summer read for the beach, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Summary:
The story tells of a homicide detective, Fran Anders. 
Fran is a dedicated, no-frills cop who takes her job seriously but with a wry sense of humor. A middle-aged, divorced, single parent with two teens, Fran hopes someday to find a great man and remarry, but she’s not holding her breath. Right now, she just wants to be a good cop and mother, and use her faith to help those she encounters in her line of work learn there’s someone “up there” who truly cares for them.

Her next case throws her into the lives of Mike and Alisa Jepson, a couple whose marriage is disintegrating fast. As leads come into the precinct for a recent murder case point at Mike Jepson, Fran watches the damage wrought on this couple, yet is unable to ignore the incriminating evidence. 

Although Fran reaches out to Alisa during her crisis of faith, she is unable to stop events from barreling toward a crash. Yet, despite the tragedies to follow, Fran sees how God has used the Jepsons’ trials and pain to bring Alisa back into His arms, with hope that Mike might follow suit.

Note: This novel is a suspense, crime fiction novel, faith-based but an intense exploration of human failings. It is spiritually uplifting but does have some gritty characters. This book would be best suited for readers who like to read mystery/suspense and like relational drama.

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Tape

I was late. And tardiness is one of my biggest pet peeves!

The day started out well enough. I was speaking for a women's luncheon, so I was busy prepping and praying. As I began to get dressed I remembered I needed my Bible. The day before my 9 year old asked if she could read my Bible - and when your kid asks to read your Bible YOU SAY YES! But now, the next day, she didn't know where it was. So I sent her on a seek and find mission.

Soon, I enlisted the help of her sister, and finally after I was ready I joined in, but the Bible was gone. Finally, I had to leave, so I grabbed another Bible and headed out the door. However, if you are in YOUR Bible often, you know that "another Bible" is a foreign place.  You can't "feel" you way to verses, you actually have to look them up. But - I had a Bible and it was time to go.

I jumped on the interstate and started practicing my talk. About 15 minutes later I noticed an exit sign. A distressing exit sign - because it was an exit in the opposite direction of the way I was supposed to be going. In my stress over the Bible situation, and speaking in general, I had gotten on the interstate in the WRONG direction. Now, I was 15 minutes away, in the wrong direction, and I was going to be late!

Immediately the tape started. You know the one? The negative self talk tape. Maybe you have one too, it's always on standby ready to play. It starts with a true fact, "You're going to be late." But from there it turns into all fiction, "How could you be late, how stupid! You are an idiot. What kind of person gets on the interstate the wrong direction. They'll never respect you if you're late. And what makes you think they want to hear anything you have to say anyway?" and on, and on.

But this time, I hit the "stop" button. And I started to pray. I thanked God for loving me just as I am, and for sending Jesus for filling the gaps by my failures.

One of my favorite contemporary Christian praise songs is Redeemed, Savior, Friend. I love the lyric that states, "You're familiar with my weakness, devoted to the end." Jesus knows full well all my weaknesses, but he loves my anyway. He doesn't expect me to be perfect, he died because I can't be. He knows my weakness, but he is devoted to me anyway.

Next time you "mess up big" like I did, stop the tape! Don't let the recording in your mind remind you of all your faults. Instead, remember your Redeemer. He knows your weakness, and he loves you anyway.

And as for being late...I was indeed 15 minutes later than the time I wanted to be there. But still 15 minutes before the event began. Because I hate being late. :-)

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Devil Made Me Do It

Vacation Bible School has ruined my diet.  This week, my church hosted their annual Vacation Bible School (VBS). In addition to kids, my church also holds adult VBS. The adults have a time of praise, a lesson, a drama, and of course food, lots and lots of food. Meatballs, barbecue, ham biscuits, casseroles of every kind, dips, cheeses, crackers...and that's just the meal table! Next comes the dessert table, filled with cookies, cakes and pies of every type. Yes, VBS has ruined my diet. Or did it?

Truthfully, I am the only one who controls my diet. I have the free will to choose to eat a light dinner at home before VBS, or to go through the buffet line like it's my last meal. I made the decision to "sample" 3 different desserts. VBS didn't ruin my diet. I did.

Why do we always try to blame something or someone else for our poor decisions? Whether it be a simple misdirection, mistake or full blown sin, we point the finger anywhere but to ourselves. "She gave me bad advice." "Everyone else was doing it." "He started it." Or even, "The devil made me do it!"  

No one, not even the devil can control our behavior. God gave us the free will to make our own decisions. And thankfully, he gave us Jesus to pay the price for our bad decisions. But we have to confess them, not make excuses, or point our finger the other direction. We have to repent (change our behavior). And we have to accept the forgiveness God offers through Jesus' sacrifice.

Yes, I ruined my diet this week. But next week I will make better decisions. Because, I can do all things through Christ...when I chose to. And when I don't, I only have myself to blame.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Monday, June 17, 2013

Counting the Costs

Last September I joined Weight Watchers. I counted points with great dedication, and by November I'd lost 15 lbs. In January, by keeping the weight off I achieved "Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers."  And by staying within 2 pounds of my target weight, I've maintained that goal.

Fast forward ahead to May. I became complacent in my weight management system. I stopped counted points, and estimated in my head. Suddenly it was the last day of May and I had to weigh in. And there it was. 

.04 lbs over my 2 lb weight gain limit. But then the weight counselor said, "I'm not going to charge you. Just get it back down by next month's weigh in."  I couldn't believe it! She gave me grace, even though I'd stopped counting points.

But now it is up to me to get back to counting, and back to my goal, for this month there will be no more grace.

Most people don't set out to sin. No, initially as Christians we are vigilant in our plan to follow Jesus. But at some point we become complacent, and we stop counting the costs. We slip into sin, accidentally.  Suddenly we find ourselves weighed down. Thankfully, Jesus too offers grace! He forgives our missteps and slips into sin. When sin increases, grace increases all the more. But does that mean we should keep on sinning?

As the Apostle Paul states, "By no means!" We are dead to sin, and need to live a life of righteousness.

So I'm back to counting points, trying hard to stay on track so that when I weigh in this month I reach my goal. And in the same way, I'll keep counting myself dead to sin but alive in Jesus. Because following Jesus is what counts, most of all!

 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Romans 6:11,12

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Promotional Video


I'm so excited to debut my new promotional video for my speaking and writing ministry! 



(If you are reading this via email, you may have to visit my blog to watch the video, so come on over!)

As a member of the Christian Women Affiliate, and their "Review Crew," I got this video in exchange for an honest review, and I can tell you I honestly cannot be happier!

The CWA Video Service, and the fabulous Evonne Mandella, work with you to make the perfect video for your needs.  (Evonne has a Master’s Degree from Bethany Bible College and Seminary. She currently enjoys working with Christian Television Network to provide uplifting high quality videos year round. She has made Cinema Quality Videos for leaders in the Christian fitness, Magazine, and Christian television industry.)

All you have to do is send her whatever photos or graphics you need, as well as a video or audio clip, and she puts together something fabulous (as you can see).

I sent her a few things, and she took the initiative to visit my website, and get a feel for "who I am" and used some additional text from there. She worked with me to make the edits I wanted (you all know I am picky). And she worked tireless with me to find just the right music. (Let's just say I was particular here too).

And each time Evonne came back immediately with something to put a smile on my face. She was so wonderful to work with, I can't recommend the CWA Video service enough.

So if you need a promotional video for your ministry, book, etc., etc, check it out. Here are some details:

For Only $50 you will get:
  • A custom made, high resolution video, specifically created with your taste and customer base in mind.
  • The highest quality of music in the industry to find just the right song to match your product.
  • High resolution video clips to further enhance to your product.
  • Your own download-able mp4 version of the video to share, email, post to youtube, vimeo, whatever you like- it is yours.
  • You will receive an embed code and link to your own personal video page. 


I hope you will check out the CWA Video Service. I think they’ll make you as happy as they have made me. 
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Seal of Approval

The Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval has been reassuring consumers about their product-purchasing decisions for over 100 years and is one of the most recognized consumer emblems in the market today. The Seal is an emblem of the magazine's Consumer Policy, which promises a refund or replacement for defective products within two years of purchase. As consumers, we know we can trust things with the seal of approval.

Did you Jesus has a Seal of Approval? Not by Good Housekeeping (GH) magazine. But by God himself!  John 6:27 states, "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval." (Emphasis mine).

God's seal of approval tells us many things. It tells us that Jesus was tested and found to be the best. Just as the a GH sealed product has been tested against other products to prove it is the best and earned the seal, we know that Jesus too was tested. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness being tested by the devil. Each time the devil tempted Jesus, Jesus was able to refer to scripture and reject the temptation. No other person on earth has ever been able to live a sin-free life. So we know that Jesus earned the seal by being tested.

The seal tells us that we can trust Jesus. Products with the GH seal are guaranteed. If they fail, GH stands behind them to replace them. As sinners, we fail every day, and because of the failure, we are separated from God. But Jesus is that guarantee, stating that when we fail, he replaces our sin with his perfection (by his death and resurrection) so that can spend eternity with God in heaven. Jesus is a guarantee of eternal life.

Finally, the GH seal produces peace of mind for it's consumers. Jesus too offers peace of mind. We know that when we believe in and follow him, that we will have the peace that passes human understanding! We find hope in Jesus, when there is no hope. 

Jesus has God's seal of approval! And we too have been marked with a seal. Because of Jesus, we have been marked with God's seal of ownership - providing us the ultimate lifetime guarantee.

He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 1:22

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Friday, May 31, 2013

Mediocre Mothering


I read a popular "mommy blog" the other day.  She had great writing, a funny topic, and was completely relatable. But that smart, savvy, writer mom dropped the *f-word* three times in her blog post. Three! And it made me very sad. Not because I know her or even know anything about her, but because I didn't understand why.

Don't get me wrong. It's not like I've never heard the word before. I may have even said it before, so I'm not judging.  I just think motherhood deserves more. We should be in awe every single day of the gift we have in our kids, and show motherhood a little more respect.

Another popular Christian blogger recently blogged about her failings as a mom, and how she "used to care." She's tired. And I SO get that, because I am exhausted and she has more kids then I do. But I can't stop feeling that motherhood is sacred.

Then we post funny graphics like the one in this post, and we all laugh. Because "keeping the kids alive" is the new standard. When did we embrace mediocrity in motherhood?  It likely all started innocently enough. Someone pulled down the veil behind us trying to achieve perfection -and failing every single time - and shared that they were messing up. And we all breathed a sigh of relief, because we could relate!

But somehow the sharing of our failures stopped being about encouraging each other to keep striving for the good, and became an acceptance of mediocre mothering. And I think it's time to stop. Because our kids deserve better. (Click to tweet this.)

I mess it up sometimes. I forget to send in items to school. I forget to check the homework folder. I yell at my kids. I mess up and I feel bad about it...because I never forget how important I am to my kids. And how important they are to me. 

Motherhood can be hard...almost every single day! But there are so many women with empty arms and hearts who would readily dive right into my situation and take it over. I can't forget that. They'd love to have one "hard" day with kids, then all the hard days without them.

And so I mess up, and I get up, and I keep striving to do better.  I'll never be perfect, but I refuse to accept mediocrity. Because I am a mom. I'll never forget what a precious gift that truly is.

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Monday, May 20, 2013

Legalism or Training


As a recovering perfectionist, I try to avoid legalism. Legalism is defined as an excessive adherence to the law, or dependence on the law rather than faith. Growing up trying to "earn" love, "earn" forgiveness and "earn" acceptance, has forced me to really work (no pun intended) to realize that MY work isn't what saves me. The work Jesus did on the cross is all it takes.

Recently I was in a Bible study, and the week's "homework" was to set several alarms on your phone, and pray when the alarm went off. This smacked of legalism to me - praying at a certain time, versus as the spirit leads. When I shared my thoughts in class, the leader gave a different perspective.

"Are there any TV shows you watch regularly?" - the leader asked.  Of course there are. She asked if I found it "legalistic" that I set aside a certain time each week to watch that particular show. Of course I hadn't. Somehow saying "Every Thursday at 9 I'm going to watch Person of Interest" was okay. But saying, "Every day at 11 I'm going to pray" was legalistic.

Now I realize that there is a difference between training and legalism. Setting aside a regular time to have Bible study or prayer isn't legalistic. I set aside time to make dinner, watch TV, play with my kids - all the things that I want or need to do.  Even if I don't "feel" like it - I still make dinner.  The same principals can be applied to being faithful in Bible study and prayer!

I still need to watch myself that I don't just "check off" my prayer and study time as things on the to-do list. I need to apply them through out my day. I need to live out my studies and prayers.

I understand that these things don't "save" me. It's not my works, but the sacrifice made by Jesus. But I can still train myself to spend time in the word and prayer - without being legalistic. After all, if I make time for a TV show, I can certainly make time for Jesus.  Can't you?

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Monday, May 13, 2013

Accepting Grace

One of my job duties is to prep the newsletter for my boss every Friday, for Sunday distribution.  The past Friday I dropped the ball. A family emergency came up,  preoccupying my thoughts, and distracting my focus.  I never even considered the newsletter until Sunday morning, when I saw the completed newsletter come into my inbox - prepared -but not by me.

I immediately emailed my boss, apologizing for the error and explaining what had happened. He immediately responded, "No worries, at all."  And I have no doubt he meant it. After 7 months of working together, and me not missing a newsletter yet, he knows my work ethic. Yet, as I sat there (in church no less), I couldn't accept the grace he so freely gave me. Instead I sat there berating myself for my mistake.

The irony of the situation isn't lost on me.  Jesus died to pay the price for my sins. In full. Yet, how often do I, instead of accepting His grace - and the peace that comes with it - instead continue to berate myself over my failures? As if Jesus wasn't enough.

This is a constant battle for me. Is it for you too? We try to do our best. We want to be known by our actions, not our "intentions." Yet, we aren't perfect, try as we might be.

Jesus paid the price for our failures, not that we shouldn't try to do our best, but that we accept His forgiveness (not to mention the forgiveness of others). There is freedom in His forgiveness and grace. There is peace.

I will continue to do my best for my boss. But, undoubtedly I will mess something up again in the future. I'm human. I'm thankful that I have a Savior who paid the price for my failures. (Not to mention a boss who doesn't expect me to be perfect.) Now, I need to accept that grace, and keep moving forward.

And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. Romans 11:6
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's Better With the Father

I love eating at my dad's house. Even the simplest things just taste better there. I can make the same recipes that he does, yet his still taste better. I finally figured out why! We may make the same dip, but I use low fat sour cream, and he uses the "real" stuff. Of  course, his ends up being richer, creamier and more delicious! That sandwich? While I use 100% whole wheat, he uses a thick white Italian bread. Yes, the whole wheat may be "better" for me, but his definitely tastes better.

There is also the joy of "being taken care of" by my father. As the person who takes care of everyone else in my daily life, it's nice to have someone take care of me for a change. (But don't worry - I do a lot of things to take care of him too!)

My Christian walk can mirror that example. I can look to other things to fill me instead of my time with Jesus. And even when they are "good" things, like volunteering, exercising, or even writing a blog post, nothing really fulfils as much as Jesus. He is the "real stuff" that is definitely better.

Not only there, there is joy in being taken care of by my Father - my heavenly Father.  He knows too well the time I spend caring for everyone and yet I am always in His sight and His is always there for me.

It's better with the Father! The biggest problems are smaller when you have the hope of Jesus, and the best days are better when you know Him. Spend some time creating the real relationship with your heavenly Father. It will be noticeable different than just knowing about Him.

If you don't have a relationship with your earthly dad, God can fill the role of loving Father for you. But if your earthly dad and you have a good relationship, why not give him a call, just to tell him you love him. And remember, God is always on call to hear that you love Him too.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, 
that we should be called children of God!
 And that is what we are! 
1 John 3:1


Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Monday, May 6, 2013

The One Thing That Makes My Marriage Last

On Saturday, my husband and I celebrated 17 years of marriage.  There are a lot of reasons why our marriage should not last. Here are just a few:
  1. We both come from dysfunctional childhoods, bringing a lot of emotional baggage into the marriage.
  2. We are both previously divorced. The divorce rate for 1st marriages is 50%, but rises to 67% for 2nd marriages. Statistically, our chances of staying together are low.
  3. We have over a 20 year difference in our ages.
  4. We are both strong leaders. Individually this is a great thing, but joined together it can create some dynamic power struggles. 
But there is one reason that we are able to stay together that is bigger than all the reasons we shouldn't be able to. That reason is:
  1. Jesus.
That's it. Jesus. You see with God on our side, He makes a huge difference.

Jesus fills the empty spaces left by dysfunctional childhoods, allowing us to be filled by Him, instead of creating the unrealistic expectation of our spouse to complete us.

Jesus shows us grace and mercy for our tremendous short comings. By His example, we are able to forgive one another.

Jesus modeled servant leadership. That allows us both to not only lead lovingly, but to also die to self for one another. He also modeled marriage. Just as He is head of the church, He ordained that my husband is head of the family. I am learning to not only allow that as God leads, but also to accept the freedom that comes with it.

My husband and I may have started our relationship on "shaky ground." But now that we're standing firmly on the Rock, we can experience the abundant life Jesus offers us.  Our marriage is not perfect. We still struggle in some areas. We are still sinners.  But with Jesus on our side, we are more than victorious.

Ask Jesus into your marriage today. When you join with Him, despite what the world predicts, your marriage will not be easily broken.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Thursday, May 2, 2013

God's Protection


My home is protected by an alarm system. The first thing the alarm company did after installing the alarm is to put up a yard sign, so that everyone would know my home is protected.  My home is now protected in two ways. 

The first is just the knowledge that my home is armed with an alarm will deter many would-be thieves not to try to break into my home. They might decide to try another home without an alarm system.

The second way my home is protected is with the alarm itself. If someone would to break into my home, the alarm would immediately call the police department and have the police at my home in minutes.

Did you know you are marked with a sign?  Believers in Christ have his seal of ownership on us.  "He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (2 Corinthians 1:22) Like my alarm system, that seal protects us in two ways.

The first is that it may deter some dark forces, whether earthly or spiritual, from coming against us. There is an awareness that we belong to Christ, and that we will be a hard sell on sin.

However, we know that Christians are not exempt from spiritual attack. And that is where the second protection comes in. We are armed, like an alarm system, with the word of God. With his seal, comes the spiritual armor of God, that we can put on daily to protect us. We literally have angels to protect us where ever we go (Psalm 91:11). 

I sleep better at night knowing I am protected by my alarm system. But true peace comes by being protected by God. May God raise a hedge of protection around you, as you fully believe him.

Psalm 91:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Monday, April 29, 2013

"It's Just a Season"

I can remember those really really hard days of mothering a preschooler. Some days I thought God must have been crazy to give me a child - because clearly I had no idea what I was doing! During those crazy, chaotic moments, someone would always come beside me and say, "Don't worry, this is just a season." And low and behold, right before I lost my mind, something would give and it would get better. And I'd think, "Whew, they were right! It was just a season and now everything is all better."

But then a funny thing would happen. Right when I was getting comfortable in my new reality of perfect parenting, something would slip and a new problem would arise. What the heck? And I'd be right back to crazy and chaotic days (albeit with different craziness this time). 

And then I came to realize something.  It's ALL a season. Not just the bad stuff, but the good stuff too. And it's not just about parenting.  When your job is going perfect - watch out - because that's just a season, and things are going to get tough.  But that's okay, because the tough stuff is just a season too.

And your marriage - look out friends, the bad season is coming. But if you can just cling to Jesus, know that a good season is around the corner.  But good or bad, it's not forever.  It ebbs and flows.

Life has it's good and bad days, it's good and bad seasons. And one thing I've learned is that the seasons always change. And that's okay! We learn, and grow, and become stronger in the rough seasons. And we rejoice, and relax, and renew during the good seasons.

I think sometimes we wait for the time to come when everything will be alright, and we don't have to experience any more bad seasons. Friends, that isn't going to happen on earth. But if you know and love Jesus, when the seasons of life end, you'll go be with Him, and the seasons will end and our perfect eternity will begin. But until then, on earth, one thing I know is "This too shall pass."  It's just a season.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-3

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What God Gave


John 3:16 is the most widely quoted verse in the Bible, and has been called the most famous Bible verse.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son," it begins. God gave his son. 

That verse sounds so innocent. Like I gave my kids dinner last night. You gave a friend a gift. We gave a concert performance at church. Gave. God gave his son...to die for us. I don't know, I feel like that verse should say more. God gave his son's life. God gave away his heavenly relationship with his precious son. Jesus gave away paradise to walk the earth, full of sinners, and to be falsely accused and murdered! "Gave" just seems like such a weak word for all that happened.

The rest of the verse says, "that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life." Whoever. You. Me. Them. Whoever. God gave the greatest gift to us of all times. He gave us his son, to pay the price for our sins, so that we would have eternal life.  And he did it for everyone.  And that word, "believes," isn't just talking about head knowledge, but heart knowledge.

Sometimes when we are very familiar with something, we just spout it out without thought, and I think John 3:16 qualifies in that category. So the next time you are tempted to quickly recite John 3:16, remember what was truly given, what that belief entails, and what you have received as a result.

 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. John 3:16, Amplified Bible
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mental illness and the Church


Recently mega church pastor Rick Warren lost his son to suicide, after years of his son fighting depression. I understand all too well what it is like to have a family member with depression. My mom battled mental illness my entire life. 

My mom has tried to kill herself more times than I can count. It feels like it must be hundreds of times, but likely it's only in the 20s. Her method of choice was drug overdose, but on several occasions she slit her wrists as well, never caring who may find her...whether it be her child or not.

Aside from the suicide attempts are the numerous times she threatened, but did not attempt suicide. The calls to me, as an adult at work, stating, "I think I'm going to kill myself."  But of course meaning, if you do not stop me, I am going to kill myself - somehow the weight of her life or death weighing on me.

I can't imagine a depression that oppressive. And for that I am thankful. Because I don't battle depression. 

But I do battle well meaning Christians who say things like, "You just need to pray for your mom." Or "If you'd just have faith, God would heal her." Again, the weight of her illness weighing on me. 

I didn't cause it. I can't cure it. I can't control it.  Those are the three C's of al-anon, and they have taken the burden that my mom, and so many other well meaning people tried to put on my shoulders. I wish I could cure my mom. I wish I could control the alcoholism and suicide attempts. I wish I could control the mental illness.But I can't.

I feel sorrow for Rick Warren having to deal so publicly with the loss of his son. No doubt, there are people asking him what he did, as if he could control his son's situation - which he of course could not. To Rick, I would say, remember those 3 C's.

And to all the well meaning people wondering why "we" - the family and friends of the mentally ill - don't do more to fix the situation, I invite you to look to God. He gives us all free will. That includes the free will to make bad decisions.

If God does not control human behavior, what makes you think we could?

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Knowledge versus Knowing


If I asked you to tell me what you know about George Washington, you could likely share many facts about him. He was our first president, married to Martha, and lived at Mount Vernon. He was a General in the army and founding father.  You could probably share some folklore with me as well; perhaps the story of him cutting down a cherry tree, or throwing a silver dollar across the Potomac river.  If you are a history buff, you likely know even more.  But here is the thing...You don't know George Washington.

You know about George Washington. You have knowledge of George Washington. But you don't know George Washington.  My fear is that many of us are the same way with Jesus.  We can tell facts about Jesus. We spread folklore about Jesus.  But do we know Jesus?

Knowing Jesus takes you beyond the religion and into the relationship.  It involves not just talking to him in prayer, but listening...a much harder objective.  It involves study of the Bible, certainly, but not just as a historical text book, but as the foundation to help you build the relationship with your Savior.

In my early years as a Christian, I knew a lot about Jesus. But only in the past 10 years have I gotten to know Jesus. I have learned to listen more, and understand he's more about the eternal than the temporary. The more I get to know Jesus, the more I realize how little I know about Jesus. Because we can't define him in a Bible story. He is a living God. His desire is to grow and teach us. He loves us.

It's important to know about Jesus. That is how we get to know his personality, his will and his character traits. It is imperative to study the Bible and to learn about God's law, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But don't confuse knowledge with knowing. Because once you know and love Jesus you move from religion to relationship. From history buff to humble believer.  From enlightened into the Light.

And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments.
1 John 2:3 (NLT)


Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Monday, March 11, 2013

Temperature Matters


I love an ice cold diet coke. But lukewarm? Yuck! I'll have a cup of piping hot coffee anytime you offer it. (And I also enjoy iced coffee!) But lukewarm coffee?  No way! Because temperature matters.

That was also the message to the church of Laodicea in the Book of Revelation. Jesus said, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth."

What's your spiritual temperature? Are you hot - on fire for Jesus?  Are you cold - just chilling with the peace that passes human understanding? Or are you lukewarm? The picture here is a scary one, as spit refers to vomit - Jesus is saying "You make me sick!"

The people of Laocidea appear to be complacent in their faith.They are rich and "need nothing."  They were indifferent to their faith. Sadly, this describes many of us today. We don't consider ourselves rich, to be sure. But certainly most all our needs are met. We "need nothing." And we aren't filled with a hot or cold faith. We are lukewarm.

But Jesus didn't end his talk with vomiting the people out of his mouth. No, he offers them great hope. He says, "Therefore whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent."

Even after their lukewarm faith, Jesus still shows them love, as he shows us. Now is the time for us to repent and become zealous for Christ.  I don't want to be lukewarm. I want to be on fire for Jesus. I want to be the flame that burns for him.

Don't become lukewarm. Be zealous and repent.  Because temperature matters.

I correct and discipline everyone I love. 
So be diligent and turn from your indifference. 
Revelation 3:19 (NLT)
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Life without Facebook

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"  You've likely heard that philosophical thought. But in the past few weeks I've had another one.

"If an event occurs without being posted on Facebook, did it really happen?"  I've been on a 40 day Facebook fast. In those days I've been to the museum, attended 4 field trips, watched my 8 year old in her first talent show, and rushed to the ER to be with my dad, as he experienced chest pains.  I've celebrated my daughter's birthday, sat 8 hours in a hospital waiting room while my dad had surgery, taken on a 2nd client at work, and had lunch with friends. I stayed home 4 days with a sick child,  planned a trip to Disney, experienced the only major snow event of the season, and will celebrate my own birthday (Mar 9), all while on a Facebook fast. Did those events occur without my posting and receiving commentary from my friends?

Yes, they did. The only thing different was the drama level. Yes, I did miss the collaboration on my bad days, but I'm sure my friends weren't sorry to miss my drama. And honestly, I didn't miss theirs.  Because the people I would have shared those events with offline - I did. And the people who needed me, found me.

Facebook is a great place to find relationship when you need it. But often times that pseudo-relationship of Facebook keeps us from deepening our real relationships. And the wasted time interferes with our relationship with God.  I once heard someone ask, "Do you run to the phone before you run to the Throne?" And I think now, we often run to Facebook with our dramas, before we come to God.  How often do we ask for prayer on FB, before we've actually prayed ourselves?

Facebook can fill a lot of time, and even some "empty places."  But Facebook doesn't fulfill. That same time spent with God fills those empty places with God-glue, versus Facebook fluff. God is a permanent filling, that keeps you coming back not because you need another fix, but because the relationship is so rewarding.

If you spend a lot of time on Facebook, I encourage you to try a fast. Some indicators that you need a fast are thinking in status updates or posting a photo of an event while you are still at the event (versus enjoying the event and posting the photo later).  Live your life in real time, and worry about Facebook later.  The drama you avoid may be your own.  And the time you save may be spent with Jesus.


So let your words be few. Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool.... Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. 
Fear God instead.  Ecclesiastes 5:2b, 3, 7 (NLT)

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Monday, March 4, 2013

When Google Doesn't Have the Answer


I"m never forget the time I found my 8 year old daughter Googling something. We'd been at the pool that day with her best friend. As we were leaving a little boy called out to her friend, by name. "How did he know her name?" they asked.  I told them he'd probably heard them talking. But they didn't believe it. They were in awe and wonder that he knew her name.

Still, it was hysterical to find them both sitting at my computer after we got home, googling, "How does a boy at the pool know your name?" Google is good to answer a lot of questions: The address of that new restaurant you want to try. How many pints in a quart? The definition of a word. Even Bible verses! The uses of Google are endless. Yet, like "How does a boy at the pool know your name," some things you just can't Google.

Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God allow suffering? Are there more ways to get to heaven than believing in Jesus? You can Google those questions. But you may not get an accurate answer.  

Google is a great "authority" for finding the answers to some of life's questions. But the Bible is THE authority for finding life's answers. The Bible is where you will find life. You will find love. You will find faith. You will find joy. You will find peace. 

Yes, Google can offer a lot of answers. But if you want to know the Way, the Truth, and the Life, look to the Bible. And there you will find Jesus. And HE really is the answer.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. 
No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Recently my church offered a 6 part series called Jesus: The Guy Who Revolutionized Life for Women

It is a great series, and I had the honor of guest posting for the 6th installment. To read it, or all of the guest posts, you may find the series here: Jesus: The Guy Who Revolutionized Life for Women Series.
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Best Parenting Advice

What is your best parenting advice? That was the question asked by Parenting Magazine, at Parenting.com. And it's seems a lot of people had answers.  First Lady Michelle Obama. Actress Tori Spelling. And lots of other folks, including...me. 

You can read the article in it's entirety here: Best Parenting Advice Article.

What is your best parenting advice? I'd love to hear it in the comments section of my blog.

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly

Monday, February 25, 2013

7 Un-Scary Ways to Share Your Faith


As Christians, we are supposed to share our faith. Jesus told us that in the "Great Commission." Still, the truth is, it's hard to go up to someone and say, "Hey, do you know Jesus?" It's scary. We don't want to be rejected.  

So here are 7 Un-Scary Ways to Share Your Faith.

1. At Church. Really? Doesn't everyone there already know Jesus? While most people at your church know of Jesus, they don't all know Jesus. Not only that, sometimes those of us who know Jesus are the very ones who could use some inspiration and encouragement. So share your faith at church, without fear.

2. With Your Attitude. I was in a stressful place - the hospital waiting room - yet the desk clerk told me, "You are the happiest person I have ever seen here." I responded, "Life is too short to be miserable," then after a moment I added, "especially when you have the joy of the Lord." She grabbed my hand, squeezed it, and responded, "I knew it!"  To paraphrase comedian Ken Davis, if you have the joy of the Lord...tell your face.

3. In Writing. Want to share your faith story, but too scared to do it verbally? Write it! Share it in your local paper's faith section, your church newsletter, or even start your own blog. (That's how I got started). It's less scary to share your story in a venue where you're unlikely to experience face-to-face rejection. 

4. In Response. A friend shares with you a hard time they're going through. Now is the perfect time not only to tell them how sorry you are, but to offer to pray for them. Very few people in crisis are going to turn down your offer of prayer. Then do it. Right there. Out loud. The power of prayer can be quite moving and make a big difference in some one's life.

5. With a Pin. Once a client asked me, "Where do you go to church?" I was shocked by his question initially, as it was so outside the cultural norm. Then I realized he saw my fish pin (the symbol of Christianity), and it opened the door to share my church and my faith. I recently saw someone wearing an "I Pray" pin. I was able to point to it and say, "Me too!"

6. By Your Music. I listen to contemporary Christian music in the car, at home, and even when I worked outside the home. It is a great non-threatening way to share your faith when someone asks you about what artist, song or station you're listening.

7. By Your Influence. After I became a stay-home mom, a previous co-worker contacted me. His son was facing a dangerous operation and he emailed me saying he knew I was someone "who believed in the power of prayer." I was shocked. We'd never really had a faith conversation in the 5 years we worked together. Yet, 12 years later, he remembered me as someone to come to for prayer. Never underestimate the power of your influence.

There is a big emphasis put on Jesus words, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." 

But sharing your faith doesn't have to be scary. You don't have to shout it from the rooftops. God is often found in the gentle whisper.
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com

Chatty Kelly