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Posts by Kelly Balarie

Today’s Truth

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit” (John 1:47 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend 


 They dissed me. Rather than including me in future discussions about the project we were working on together, one of them essentially said, “Kelly, we will take this offline and get back to you.” 


I thought we were co-leaders on this project, but now I’d been demoted. The two of them were getting together to discuss everything—without me, and, once again, I was the girl on the playground with no friends. Left alone. Was I not good enough? Too much? Did I pour out too much of my heart? Too much passion?


Even though I knew I was left out, I was also sure about one other thing: I didn’t want to react impulsively; I wanted to respond wisely. So, I used a

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Today’s Truth

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Matthew 7:2 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend
Who pulls in a car like this? What are they thinking? What is wrong with them?


The people maneuvered their car an inch away from mine! Who does that? Not only did they pull close, but they pulled in horizontal to the front of my car, leaving me almost zero ease at inching out of the car line at my kid’s school.


I lifted my head and craned my neck. Who in the world would do such a thing?!


I began to formulate a mental script of who they were based on what they did. These are the sorts of people who do that.


Friends? As embarrassing as it is to say, that was me, yesterday morning. It’s horrible, I know.

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Today’s Truth

I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8 NIV)


 


Friend to Friend
I was headed up, up, up. My car climbed the towering, sky-high road up the bridge. On the ascent, I could see everything, boats below, a beach lining the shore and cargo ships out the left side of my window. But there was one thing I could not see. The other side of the bridge.


From my vantage point, it looked like the road just ended. It looked like I’d get to the top of the bridge and suddenly, fall over it, into deep waters. Ahhhh, I’m going to die!  That’s how it appeared as I drove…but at the same time, I knew that wouldn’t happen.


Why? Because, even though I couldn’t see, I knew there was another side. Even though

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Today’s Truth

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


I breezed by my pastor without so much as a hello, a head nod, or a second glance.


“Kelly!” He abruptly announced. “How are you?”


His voice caught my attention. A few steps past him, I looked back, towards the sound of his voice. Only now, could I see him. Only now, was his face discernible. Before, I couldn’t make him out. He was just a figure.


Why?


The sun had blinded my sight. In the light, I could only see light. In the light, my pastor was a figure, not a face with details.


This makes me consider the power of light…


Just as the full-force of the sun had the ability to overpower my sight, so too does the full-force of God’s

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Today’s Truth

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7 NIV).


 


Friend to Friend


I have the answer. I have the solution. I know what my husband should do.


Standing back and considering his problem, I want to fix my husband’s situation. I want to wipe my hands and be done with it. I want to solve the issue with quick words of advice. I don’t want to see him struggle. It takes everything in me not to blurt out a precise prescription to his pressing problem. Instead, like a steaming hot pot, I hold the pressure inside. Ahhhhh! This is so hard because I know! I know! I know!


But, I don’t let out a peep, not even a grunt or a sigh. Instead, I listen and I hold it inside because I

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Today’s Truth

Today’s Truth “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…” (Ephesians 1:18 NIV).

Friend to Friend
I looked out the window, my mind trailing off beyond the house cleaning I needed to do and far past the trail of kid items I would soon need to pick up.


My life should be more, I thought. My years should add up to more than where I am today. I am getting older. If only I had more money, then I could… If people didn’t treat me like this, then I would be in a better place. If I was smarter, more gifted, or if I had more faith, then I would…


Somehow, I am not where I thought I would be. How did this happen? How did I end up here?


Maybe, like me, you wonder how you

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Today’s Truth

Then Jesus told him, "Get up, pick up your mat, and walk” (John 5:8 NIV).

Friend to Friend
Have you ever thought to yourself, “God, if you love me, send someone – anyone – to care for me right now?”


I’ve thought that before… In fact, I just thought that, this very morning…when my whole world got tossed upside-down in the time frame of about an hour.


It all started at my kitchen table as my two kids ate breakfast. They chowed down on bagels while my daughter explained a difficult friend issue. The more she talked, the more Brillo pad-nervousness balled up in me. I didn’t like where my husband was taking this conversation. I didn’t agree with the solutions my family was coming up with on this topic. So, without any empathy, I offered my angle.


Suffice

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Today’s Truth

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you” (Matthew 26:27 NIV).

Friend to Friend
I hopped on social media to check out my friends’ feeds. One social media friend was changing the world through missions in Africa. Now she was being publicly acclaimed. Another social media friend was hanging out with the very group that excluded me a couple weeks ago. They looked so happy. My old friend from high school was now building a whole basketball sports complex in her backyard. Her family, of course, looks picture-perfect. The girl I remember from my kid’s preschool smiles in bliss with her husband in Bermuda, her body is picture-perfect.


Me?


I am sitting like a blob on the couch, hair in messy bun, dirty dishes stacked high in the sink, while filthy toilets are calling my

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Today’s Truth

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV).

Friend to Friend
Nearly all vacation long, I couldn’t stop worrying. I don’t know why I was worried; it was a small issue in the grand scheme of things, but, still, I kept thinking back to home…to the flowers I planted before I left. I knew the white variety that lined the front hedge of my house would be fine; the rain would hit them. But the purple ones, under my porch? Oh man, I hoped they would live. I really hoped they’d live. Those little purple flowers bring me such joy. Many a morning, I snuggled up with a hot coffee, my bible and a clear view to those cheer-me-up flowers.


But what would happen after a week with no water?

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Today’s Truth

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV).

Friend to Friend
Have you ever started a recipe only to find you’re missing that one ingredient?


Perhaps, you begin, convinced that you have everything you need. Then you follow the recipe, adding the proper ingredients. Half-way through the process, you open the refrigerator to get an egg, when you realize you are “eggless!” Not an egg to be had!


You’re missing an important ingredient, and you’re stuck. The cooking stops!


Some of us feel this same frustration in the recipe called “us.” We feel like we’re missing something–like God left something out of the recipe. Maybe He was all out of one particular ingredient or another on the day He fashioned us in our mother’s womb.


For a long time, I felt like I

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Today’s Truth

But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else” (Exodus 4:13 NIV).

Friend to Friend
Have you ever started a recipe only to realize you are missing that one ingredient?


It’s the worst. Not having all you need to make a dream dinner is a bummer. Do you run to the store, or do you pivot and change course? Half-way through, do you throw up your arms in annoyance or stay calm? One could go either way.


Some of us arrive at a similar place in our journey of faith…


We feel we keep coming up short. We don’t have giftings others have. We don’t pray like Mary Sue. We feel weak and unsure.  We don’t think we will amount to much for God. We don’t believe in ourselves that much. We can’t overcome that one sin. We

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Today’s Truth

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV).

Friend to Friend
The delivery truck was too close for comfort. Worst of all, I was alone in a desolate area by the woods. The slow-moving truck inched up next to me. My heart thumped. My mind raced. Was I going to be taken? Were the people inside looking at me?


Not knowing what to do, I panicked. Sure that I was about to get abducted, or drugged, or hooded by a sackcloth — I jumped from one side of the sidewalk to the other and, before I knew it, my feet were stuck deep, in mud. I could barely lift them.


Now I knew: I was in for it. And, as soon as I worried, the truck passed by. I stood there,

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Today’s Truth

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT).

Friend to Friend
Many of us want to move forward, but we feel stuck. We want to inch ahead, but we feel immovable. We want to change, but we can’t seem to. Why?


Outlook is everything. Just think… Say there is a princess… An enemy force captures her and relegates her to the dungeon in her own castle. This woman, forgetting who she is, eventually gets out of the dungeon. But, even though she feels relief at getting out, all she can do is slump against the near wall and wait for someone to come. She won’t go forward because she fears what is ahead. Her mind still insists she’s stuck, so she stays where she is.


If, on the other hand, this

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Today’s Truth

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28 NIV).

Friend to Friend
The dad wrote a note, folded it, and stuffed it in his front pocket, leaving a corner popping out of his collared, striped shirt. The glint in the dad’s eye, along with the edge of the note seemed to beckon his son to grab it.


A message waited for the boy, clear-as-day. Yet, the boy turned his head the other way, both denying dad and discounting his father’s heart to reach him. Why? Because the boy was angry, furious even, at his dad. The last thing he wanted to do was to receive.


So, the note that read, “I love you no matter what, son,” was left unread. It had no impact on the boy. It changed nothing. The son,

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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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"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