Today’s Truth

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

(James 1:22-25, NIV).

We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends. From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry. We call them our “Friday Friends.” So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our “Friday Friend,” Kathi Lipp.

Friend to Friend

Everyone had gone home. It was just me, my husband and my mom cleaning up after the celebration.

The celebration of my dad’s life.

We’d held the memorial service at my church, and then invited everyone back to our tiny house for Italian food and my mom’s homemade cookies (my dad’s favorites.) After the people had left, the three of us spent some time opening the cards that had arrived and looking at the flowers that had been sent.

Tangible reminders. That in our deepest grief, we were loved.

That was six months ago. And I still look at the cards, and remember the people who loved on us in tangible ways.

Yes – there were hundreds of Facebook messages and email. But those cards? The flowers? The people who showed up to serve at my dad’s memorial? Those are the ones that stick with me.

Right after the memorial, I thought about all those people who loved us in tangible ways. How often had I been the person to send the Facebook message? My intentions were good – but that’s all they were. Intentions.

After my dad’s death, I wanted to be the kind of person who didn’t just think about doing the loving thing. I wanted to be the person who moved from intention to action. I wanted to be the person that others saw Jesus in because of my actions. (“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35)

If you are in that space – where your intentions are good, but you don’t write the thank you note, you don’t make the phone call, or bring over the casserole, I get it. I was there too. But the good stuff from Christian community comes when we go beyond ourselves and move from intention to living out the servant love that Jesus taught. Both with his words and actions.

Since my dad’s death, I’ve worked to be sensitive to those people in my life that need that fleshed out encouragement. It is never done perfectly, (I’m sure that each of my notes contains at least one spelling error…) but they are sent. And they are sent with love.

Moving from Intention to action requires a plan. Here is what I did to stop thinking about loving others and got busy doing it.

Pray Pray that God would show you who needs encouragement today. I often find these are friends on Facebook, someone at work, or a neighbor that I may have passed by in the past.
Set Up Systems I have challenged myself to write three notes a day to people in my life. This requires a lot of stamps, some cute stationary, and updated addresses. Prep yourself for the things you need to encourage others – some casseroles in the freezer? A stack of $5 Starbucks cards. Set yourself up.

God has put people in your path. Who needs your encouragement today?

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I want to reflect Your love for a hurting world. Give me eyes to see and hand that take action.

Always in Your name, Jesus.


Now It’s Your Turn

What is the one way you would love to encourage someone in your life today? Tell us specifically so that others can be inspired to their own good works!

More from the Girlfriends

Are you tired of trying harder and not getting anywhere? God wants you to live brave, not perfect. Read The Cure for the Perfect Life – 12 Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver

To order the book, go to Amazon, your favorite Christian bookstore, or for a signed copy, order from Kathi’s store.

13 Responses to “From Intention to Action”

  1. Ruthie C says:

    We definitely should DO. I recently went thru the celebration of my Dad’s life too. A year has passed. I found that those facebook notes and small contacts had much more meaning than in the past. I reminded myself that someone took time out of their day – and their intentions were good. So, even if you don’t get that casserole made, etc (yes, those do stand out even more) – still DO make that short note or contact. And, as the recipient of that contact – remember the thought behind it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing God’s word!

  2. Rachel says:

    I have a colleague who has a low self esteem at work and it affects his general performance. I have told him before to put his work life before the Lord in prayer, but I don’t think he took it seriously. I will encourage him not to give up on prayer especially when his performance is bad and I am always ready to help him especially when in doubt of himself. I also keep reminding him that I also make mistakes, but I try not to let them hold me back as every day is a learning experience and there is no limit to learning in life.

  3. Claudia M says:

    This is such an encouragement to me as this is my heart’s passion to touch the lives of those I come in contact with. However there are times that the enemy had tried to discourage by making me believe that my actions were not appreciated, but in my heart I know different. The other day I met a young lady for the first time and we were chatting and as we talked she said “I am so glad that you are a woman of faith” she shared with me about some recent tragedy her Mom had just gone through and who was now living with her. I told her I would be praying for her Mom. We exchsnged phone numbers and addresses however I did not know her Mom’s name so I sent her a text message and asked for her Mom’s name so I could call her name when I prayed. However during my devotion time one day this week the Lord impressed upon me to send a card to this lady whom I have never met and only know her first name. I wrote a note of encouragement and told her about meeting her daughter and wanted to let her know I was praying for her and looked forward to being able to meet her one day. I knew that this was in obedience to the Lord and was so blessed to be able to share the love of Christ in this way to a total stranger. We are called to be His reflection of love in a dark world.

  4. Mandy says:

    Thank you so much for this devotion! You touched a nerve! Intention to Action!! What a way to say it! My heart is in the right place, but my follow through does need work to follow the cloth of Jesus! Thanks so much! Blessings!

  5. Jehrica says:

    By sending cards full of Scriptures!
    (Jeremiah 33:3) ” “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”” Amen!

  6. Christina says:

    Wow… I Love how God uses you ladies and your devotional!! God totally wanted me to send flowers to a friend who lost a baby at 14 weeks gestation- she is grieving and her heart is heavy. I too have miscarried and understand that loss.
    And a cousin of mine- who is battling drug addiction just lost his grandfather. God put on my heart to reach out to him and offer God’s word to him.
    These small acts of DOING are so powerful as we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus!!
    Your devo was exactly the inspiration I needed today. Not to just send a facebook message BUT to DO something!!
    Thank you so much for letting God use you to inspire and guide so many!!!

  7. melody says:

    Smile. At everyone. . Even people you pass at wal mart. . Make it genuine and see that people really appreciate it! Sometimes it’s the only one they may see all day! Let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line. . That says to them: i see you.. and, if only for this moment, they are more important than what you are doing. Love God, love people. . That’s the center of the mark!

  8. Alicia says:

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMEN Sister! I needed to hear this today and be reminded. I’m often the one who does send cards, notes, flowers, but I’ve been slacking lately. Time to get back on it!

    Blessings to you today!

  9. Jessica says:

    I just went through a miscarriage, and I am having a difficult time with it. I know God has great plans for my family and me. I have my faith in Him. He will show us the good that can come out of this. In the mean time he has put so many great friends and family in our paths to help us out. You are right. The flowers, cards, and casserole do stick out. The phone calls, even though I did not answer, stick out too. This devotion has reminded me to go go out of my way to show my Christian love in their times of need, times of praise, and in between for just the because times. God has has my friends and family do the same. Dear Heavenly Father we praise You and lift You up. Thank you for Your undeserved blessings. Thank You Dear Lord for Your underserved Love, Patience, Grace, and Forgiveness for my sinful, stubborn, and controlling ways. You are in Control, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. In Your name we pray, Amen.

  10. Heather C says:

    I will admit, I have been one that has had the intentions of living out my faith through words and actions but haven’t always followed through. I truly believe as you said, we have all been there. God has truly given me a love and a burden for people that I just cannot explain. My life’s passion is to be able to be “that person” that you described in your blog today. Thank you for hating the words and personal story that God wanted to you to share with us. For its people like you, who are helping to birth new godly dreams in people like me. For years, I have wanted my own coffee shop — to inspire and encourage others. I wanted them start off their day with a dose of God and good coffee. A Christian coffee shop in a lost and dying city — your words have inspired me to go deeper with that. I feel God has used friends to ask me to do this several times and I blew them off. Thank you. I needed this today!!! God Bless you GID <3

  11. Melanie W says:

    Our 21 year old son committed suicide 3 weeks ago. We are still in the midst of this storm, but God has provided an overwhelming amount of peace and comfort. These are the things people have done that have impacted and humbled me: Longer than usual hugs, tears, smiles, hand squeeze, cards, cards with personal notes, letters, proving mailing stamps, flowers, plants, food, pictures of Daniel, gift cards, fixing our window, mowing our grass, bringing a gallon of milk, fruit, sending memorials, praying for us, emails, Facebook posts and messages, sharing scripture, and driving hours to come to his memorial. Not one of these things passed without notice. I am grateful for them all. Each was a blessing and a reassurance that our savior uses us to be hands and feet to each other. Thinking about someone- tell them and pray for them, and if there’s opportunity for something else, do that too!

  12. Kima says:


    I am a survivor of suicide. I lost my husband in 1994 to suicide. I pray the loving arms of Jesus for you and for your family, that His love and comfort envelope you like a warm blanket. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Melanie, and your family.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8