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Posts by Kelly Balarie

Today’s Truth

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17 NIV).

Friend to Friend


“You are not included.”


Well, this isn’t exactly what the woman said to me, but it sure sounded that way. Worst of all, this wasn’t the first time she excluded me and, as I’d learn later that day, it wouldn’t be the last, either.


Grr. When I got home, I thought, “I hate that lady.”


Certainly, my mind wanted to carry on with horrible thoughts about her…and why she acts rude…and how she must be an unhappy person…and that she is thoughtless and careless, but…God.


God stopped me. He stopped me from condemning this woman in my mind.


“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John, 3:17 NIV).


This verse

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Today’s Truth

“The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts” (Matthew 13:19, NLT).

Friend to Friend


My new house has a blueberry bush. Through our living room window, I see ripening berries. When they get a perfect blue hue, then I’ll know it is time to pluck them off. Yet, there’s one problem with my hypothetical dream…


Birds. Pesky little birds keep stealing my fruit. When I see a berry all blue and ready-to-eat, a bird comes along, sits on a branch – and pluck! My luscious berry is gone. In a split-second, my ripe fruit is stolen right off the vine.


This situation happens in our spiritual life too. Many of us have ripening fruit in our lives, yet there is an enemy who wants to steal it. The Bible tells us that ”the thief

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Today’s Truth

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13, NIV).

Friend to Friend
I was doing something nice, but I had to pay for it.


It all started when I glanced out my house window. I saw a group of kids walking home from the pool, including my friend’s daughter. Their house is far. Trying to be loving, I ran outside and offered to drive them home.


The only issue was, after dropping them off at their house I noticed, someone soaked a library book in the car. When I returned it to the library, they said I would have to pay for it.


This was frustrating. I would have to pay for it. Now, I owed money for this mistake, even though it wasn’t my mistake. Of course, I know, in the grand

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Today’s Truth

“They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” (Ephesians 4:18, NIV).

Friend to Friend
As women, we know what needs to get done. In the morning, the dishwasher needs to be unloaded. Mid-morning on Monday’s, we make a trip to the grocery store. Later, we plan to call a girlfriend. We will go by the bank.


Do you ever, like me, live your days on auto-pilot?


It is easy to do what needs to be done, to go through the motions. It is easy to get lulled by a world that centers around shopping and eating. It is easy to get numb to our own heart and needs. It is easy to meet with God half-heartedly, because so much else needs to get done.


Lately, I feel God calling me to wake up! If I

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Today’s Truth

"And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV).

Friend to Friend


Throwing caution to the wind, our family decided to go to an amusement park this past weekend. As we headed in, they did a temperature check. All good.


The lines were long on some of the rides. As I waited in one line to go on a bus that would lift me up and down with other kids, I observed a family ahead of us.


The boy’s hair was perfectly done. The girl’s braids were tightly tied together with bows. Their clothes were ironed and perfect. The moms face looked immaculate. There was no flaw with this crew…


“They must always dress like the perfect family,” I thought. “Everywhere they go, they look amazing. They only wear clothes that are brand new

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Today’s Truth

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9, NIV).

Friend to Friend


Have you ever felt left out?


I remember, as a kid, sitting on the curb at recess while the other girls in my class jumped rope. I sat alone. I stared at them. Inside, I knew where I stood with these girls. I wasn’t welcome. I had tried to join their club before; it didn’t work out so well.


Recently, I felt like that little girl on the curb again. It happened when a group of women laughed. They simply shared an inside-joke that I didn’t understand and, yet again, I felt left-out. I got triggered. I called the women “clique-ish” in my head and I hated their actions.


Yet, when I got home, I believe God prompted a thought. It

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Today’s Truth

He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” (Acts 28:31, NIV)

Friend to Friend
“Mom, I feel God wants me to go up and knock on the door of that house right there and tell the people inside that God loves them,” my 6-year-old son said.


“You…what?!” I blurted out while we positioned our bikes on the road for a much-needed water break.


This wasn’t a friend’s house. This wasn’t a next-door neighbor’s house. This wasn’t remotely close to where we lived, nor was it a normal thing to do. Yet, my son had his eyes locked on…that house.


“I want to do it, mom.”


How could I stop him? How could I tell him that he should hold back the truth about God’s love, because of my fear, my sense of embarrassment and my discomfort because

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Today’s Truth

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV).

Friend to Friend


A turtle showed up on my doorstep. And, can I tell you all? He was the cutest turtle.


At first, he was covered in muck, but my 2-children got a wet paper towel and cleaned him all up. He looked spiffy. His gold stripes shined, and he seemed happy to have a new home in my kid’s plastic outdoor box. Every 15-minutes or so, we’d run to the window to see what our new pet was doing.


But, before long, I knew what would have to happen… He couldn’t stay with us forever. It was getting cold outside, plus large predatory birds and animals often get dinner at night. My heart couldn’t take the idea of losing him. I informed the

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Today’s Truth

“A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.” (Proverbs 17:27-28, NLT.)

Friend to Friend


Staring at my phone, while it was ringing, I contemplated answering it. Frankly, I only had about 5 minutes until I needed to leave the house to pick up my kids from school. At the same time, I knew this friend probably needed help, in a big way.


What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t help her? If I wasn’t there for her?


I picked up the phone. My friend started in with her story, which kept going…and going…and going… I glanced at my watch. I had one-minute left until I needed to leave. So, I barked out a quick “I understand,” and then shoveled out some advice to “fix” her predicament.


I had strategies. I had wisdom.

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Today’s Truth

“And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.”

(Luke 12:11-12, NLT)

Friend to Friend


This morning my husband laughed when he looked in his coffee cup. I had no idea why…


A little before the laughing, I had asked him, “Do you want cream?”


He said, “Yes.” So, while he was looking away, I poured in the cream. Then, I handed him the coffee, basically saying—here you go. But, when he looked down, he didn’t see anything, so he started laughing.


“Where’s my cream?” he asked. We stood there looking at the coffee.


And after a few seconds, the cream rose up to the top. Only then could my husband see what he couldn’t see before—the cream that was already there. He just had to wait for it.


Some of us are nearly there. We just have

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Today’s Truth

It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35, NLT).

Friend to Friend


“Let’s go there with an intent to serve,” said my husband.


I agreed. As I got ready for this conference dinner, I decided to have a heart to give, rather than a heart to gain. Instead of going to the dinner looking at what I could gain from others, I wanted to be ready to pour out Jesus’ love.


I remembered the words of Jesus…Indeed, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35, NLT).


Considering this thought, I wondered, how God would show-up? Would we pray, then see someone cry because God moved mightily? Would our words change a life? A sense of anticipation rose up in me…


Before leaving, my husband and I prayed that we’d be seated at the

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Today’s Truth

For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. (Matthew 13:15, NIV)

Friend to Friend


“You don’t listen,” my son informed me.


I had one of two choices – I could either cut him off, then bite his head off for being disrespectful, or I could listen and understand his heart.


I chose the latter. Yet, to make matters worse, while I was standing there in the kitchen trying to listen — my husband vocally agreed with my son. I felt unprotected with only a paper towel in-hand. Everyone seemed to be coming against me. I was being exposed.


My mind drifted back to the morning discussion I had with my husband when he was sharing from his heart. He talked at length about things. I had to admit my mind did drift elsewhere. And it is true;

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Today’s Truth

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

(2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)

Friend to Friend
I am such a mess. I hate how I am. I can’t ever get a handle on this issue.


Thoughts of self-hatred coursed through my mind as I sat on the hard-tile floor and took it all in. . . Within the cabinets I’d just spent twenty minutes rearranging, there still was no semblance of organization. Papers shot out of books. Bags heaped left and right in no particular order. Shoes and knick-knacks filled the right side of the cabinet. And, worst of all, electrical cords stood like tumbleweed in the center of it all.


Regarding cleaning and organizing, my best efforts fell – way short. And this is the problem. You see, no matter what I do, everything

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Today’s Truth

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

(Ephesians 4:2, NIV)

Friend to Friend


We honked. Actually, we didn’t honk, but I really wanted us to. The woman ahead of us was — the slowest – drive through orderer – ever!!!


Add this to the fact that we had hungry kids in the back of the car, and a close call with a police officer who was still behind us, and people in gloves and masks all around…and all this made me nervous. C’mon lady. Move it.


Is she ever going to go? What is wrong with this person?!


My eyes toggled between the rearview mirror and the car ahead, as I tried to identify the issue. I leaned forward looking for an escape. Tension rose in my chest.


When we finally reached the Chick-Fil-A attendant, she immediately

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Today’s Truth

In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

(Matthew 23:28, NIV)

Friend to Friend


The women were getting under my skin. Certainly, when I decided to hang-out with them, I didn’t expect their conversations to become so — “immature and juvenile”. Or, that they would loudly talk on top of one another. I expected more than surface talk.


The more I spent time with these women, the more I couldn’t help but size up which ones were “the worst offenders.” I noted how I was “spiritually better.”


I’m more mature. I’m more focused on God. I’m more of the teacher and they should learn from me.


Because of this mindset, I wanted to get away from them. I wanted to be free of their annoying ways. But, at the same time, I knew a lot was

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Today’s Truth

Hope deferred makes the heart sick...

(Proverbs 13:12, NIV)

Friend to Friend


For months, there’s been a deep longing in me. On some days, I quietly call-out to God. On others, I nearly yell-out my desire to Him. I hope my dream will happen. I want it to happen. Yet, despite all my prayers – time-after-time — doors keep getting shut on me. All I hear is, “No! No! No!”


I pray again. No. I pray later. No.


Nothing gives-way. Nope. Dead air.


Ever been there?


I’m quite certain, some of you have been praying for years for: one thing. Some of you have shed tears and sweat over a person. Some of you have tried to push forward, anyway, and hit a wall. Some you now live in defeat, doubt, or despair. As if you

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Today’s Truth

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

(1 Peter 4:9, NIV)

Friend to Friend


I noticed a scratch on the kitchen floor.


“Where did that come from?” I asked, as I pointed it out to my husband.


“I don’t know.” He replied.


The next day, I looked down on the ground and there were probably about 5 more. What in the world?! I had just put felt bottoms on those chairs, for this exact reason. It makes no sense at all that the chairs would be ruining the floors like this. But they were!


I got down on my hands and knees and flipped the chair over, only to find a rock about the size of two specks of pepper.


This little rock could do that much damage? I said to myself while holding it in my hand.


It certainly can.


What little rock

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Today’s Truth

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 4:18, NIV)

Friend to Friend


The dinner party was fantastic; the only problem was me.


Rather than relaxing into the night as the conversation danced around the tea-lighted dinner table, I checked-out. What should I say next? What do they think of me? What will they say about me when they get home?


At one point, the conversation at the table circled to me. Because it was my turn to talk, I perked up. I tried to think of the most eloquent words and aimed to tell my story with style.


I hope they like what I said. I hope I came off right. 


Now that I am home, I feel embarrassed about my internal thought process at this dinner. Now I wonder, “What was I trying to prove?”


If

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Today’s Truth

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.

(Matthew 14:15, NIV)

Friend to Friend


It’s breakfast time. Not only do I need to get food on the table, but I also need to get lunchboxes packed, socks out of the dryer, water bottles filled and cups of water on the table. We’re already a bit late and I’m behind on my game.


It’s a lot to handle. With this, I move at a pace three times quicker than normal, almost in full panic mode. I tune out every family member who’s trying to talk to me.


“I’m working on it, everyone,” I say, trying to let them know that I’m doing the very best I can. I try to focus on one thing at a time, but everyone wants something from me.


Before long, my anxiety level

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Today’s Truth

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

(Hebrews 12:15, NIV)

Friend to Friend
It wasn’t a major thing she did to upset me. It was many minor things over many days. For instance, I shared a joy I was thrilled about, but she changed the subject. I sent her texts of love from the bottom of my heart, and she was either slow to respond, or didn’t respond at all. I showed love, but she didn’t invite me to things other friends were invited to.


Inside, I was ready to write her off.


I’ve invested so much, but I am done with her.


Consciously and decisively, I created distance when we were together: talking to her less, giving her short answers, avoiding eye contact, and paying attention to others more.


But at home,

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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