Finding Freedom “from great expectations”

In Christ we have worth and value which is never based on how we look to others. As we are set free, we will see Paul’s challenge fulfilled in our lives: “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11, ESV). LH

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I CRINGED AND THOUGHT,
“OH, NO,” WHEN I SAW MY
FRIENDS WERE USING AN
ONLINE SOURCE TO SIGN UP
FOR THE LATEST MEAL TRAIN.
I knew God didn’t want me to participate because
of my care-giving responsibilities. Still I worried,
“What will they think if they don’t see my name on
the list?” I felt the conflict of wanting to obey God
but risking being misunderstood if I didn’t sign up.
It’s a tendency of mine, to put myself under
pressure to do what other people might think
I should do. But is that what should guide my
decisions? Of course not!
The world, especially the American culture,
screams its messages: be productive, look
good, keep it together. Yet God’s way is different,
beckoning me to rest in Him and find my
contentment and value in Him.
One area in which we Christian women often
strive to “look good” is hospitality. Sadly, we drive
ourselves crazy — which doesn’t glorify God —
when we think our show of being all together with
the gourmet meal or perfect centerpiece exalts
God. But in reality, who are we really glorifying?
I’m learning to ask myself questions like:

•Am I joining this committee because I’ve seen
how disorganized the leader is and they need me
to straighten it out?
•Do I feel compelled to “like” this post on Facebook
or pass along the next online chain letter because
otherwise my friend won’t think I’m supporting her?
•Am I working hard on the church event so
everyone will see how creative I am, rather than
looking to God for his approval and applause?
In each decision, I ask the Holy Spirit to evaluate
my heart. He exposes my muddy motives so I am
able to discern when it is truly God that is leading.
Regardless of what anyone else thinks, whether I
sign up for the meal or not, if He has not impressed
on me to do a thing, I can know I’m obeying Him.
I ask the Holy Spirit to evaluate my
heart. He exposes my muddy motives
so I am able to discern when it is truly
God that is leading.
That’s the freedom God offers us all. His eyes of
love see us in Christ. We wear His righteousness
and no longer need to worry about performance
(Philippians 3:9).
In Christ we have worth and value which is never
based on how we look to others. As we are set
free, we will see Paul’s challenge fulfilled in our
lives: “filled with the fruit of righteousness that
comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and
praise of God” (Philippians 1:11, ESV). LH

 

VIAKathy Collard Miller
SOURCEKathy Collard Miller
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Kathy Collard Miller has given birth over 50 times! Lest you think she’s crazy, Kathy has given birth to two human children and over 50 books. Plus, Kathy has spoken in 8 foreign countries and over 30 states. Along with her husband, Larry, she is a lay counselor. Kathy and Larry live in Southern California and are the parents of two children and two grandchildren. You could not be more surprised than she is that God began her ministry from a very painful time in her life. Over 40 years ago, God delivered her from being an abusive mother. Even though she had been a Christian for ten years at the time, she couldn’t grasp God’s strength to control herself. She hated her life and wondered if she’d ever experience God’s love and joy again—even to the point of considering suicide. Her marriage to Larry seemed destined to fail and she blamed her anger on him. But God is faithful. He replaced her anger with patience, rebuilt her love for her children, and restored the joy between Kathy and Larry. God has used Kathy’s inspiring sharing to encourage and bless many lives through both her speaking and writing. Today, Kathy enjoys a close relationship with her daughter whom she abused. Larry and Kathy have been married since 1970 and are more in love than when they were high school sweethearts. Larry is a retired police lieutenant and they minister together often as co-authors and counselors. They speak individually and together. God has opened many doors of opportunity for Kathy and she is an award-winning and best-selling author of the God’s Vitamin “C” for the Spirit series (co-compiled with her husband, Larry), Kathy’s books are non-fiction including Christian living topics, Bible commentaries, women’s Bible studies and compiled books. At the Heart of Friendship Pure-Hearted: The Blessings of Living Out God’s Glory Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today Partly Cloudy with Scattered Worries: Finding Peace in all Kinds of Weather Why Do I Put So Much Pressure On Myself and Others? Women of the Bible: Smart Guide to the Bible series When Counting to Ten Isn’t Enough: Strategies for Positive Parenting Her very popular women’s Bible study series, Daughters of the King Bible Study Series (Elk Lake Publishers), includes write-in questions and commentary. There are twelve books in the series and currently available are: Choices of the Heart contrasts two women of the Bible in each of the ten lessons on different topics. Whispers of My Heart encourages women to value prayer and put aside obstacles to intimacy with God. At the Heart of Friendship helps the Bible student discover God’s principles for friendships and mentoring, plus having a friendship with God. Heart Wisdom; The Proverbs (soon to be published) Kathy has appeared on many TV programs including the 700 Club, Joy, 100 Huntley Street, and numerous radio programs. Kathy is an alumni of CLASS (Christian Leaders, Authors, Speakers Seminar) and is a founding member of AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association). She also holds memberships in CAN (Christian Authors Network) and NEWIM (Network of Evangelical Women in Ministry). Kathy and Larry are lay counselors and give “soul care” counseling to individuals and couples. Their goal is to help Christians deal with the underlying causes of their ungodly reactions. Their book, Never Ever Be the Same, shares the principles they work with in the hearts of those who come. Kathy’s ministry has touched audiences nationally and internationally. She’ll impact your audience as well with God’s healing power and practical ideas for changing hearts and lives.