Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “In the Shadow of the Mountain”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.






Yesterday we continued our series on Elijah entitled, “Whirlwind.” In week 5, we looked at the next part of Elijah’s story as we see him finding himself fighting massive discouragement. It’s something we are all susceptible to.

The we cannot help what comes our way, we can make sure that we are not positioning ourselves for discouragement. Elijah made himself vulnerable by

  1. Fatigue.
    • Between traveling from Mount Carmel to running from Jezebel, Elijah was spent physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
  2. Forsaking community.
    • Scripture notes that he “left his servant behind.” Isolation makes you vulnerable.
  3. Fixating on the negative.
    • Negative thoughts will put your future on hold.
  4. Forgetting God. 
    • He completely disconnected what God had been doing by getting so tunnel-visioned on the present.

How does God respond? By…

  1. God gives the gift of sabbath.
    • Sabbath was meant to develop trust and margin (rest, relationship, and recreation) in our lives.
  2. God replaces lies with His truth.
    • He helps confront the lies we believe with His truth.
  3. God speaks in the still, small voice.
    • If we’ll quiet ourselves, we’ll realize He is always speaking.
  4. God gives us something to do.
    • Go back and do what God called you to do, and watch as He brings life back out of you.

This week, not only monitor the things that make you vulnerable to discouragement, but look at those around you. Perhaps, not only can you find a time of “refreshing,” but perhaps God will use you to bring it to someone else.

Here’s the words from my journal reading yesterday with the link at the end for the song we did:

It’s the prayer of everyone who’s been hurt by disappointment
When life hits and gave us way more than expected
It’s the cry of the overwhelmed heart; the scream of a tired soul
The aching of desperation; fallen deeper into a bottomless hole
But you understand our darkness, you get the struggle of our inside
So we lift up our eyes asking you to hear our cry
You hover over our chaos ready to create with just one word
Speak Holy Spirit; I need hope in my hurt
It’s the prayer of everyone who feels forgotten
When the devil has convinced them that they’re no longer wanted
When he’s blinded their eyes from seeing the hope of light
When their strength is drained and unable to get in the fight
We‘ve had victory on the mountain, but the valley is nothing but distress.
Lord it’s you we need. We need some hope in our darkness
I call out the only One who can reach into an unreachable place
I know I can find peace if I could just find your face
To every person who thought that nobody cares
To every tired soul, bearing weights to heavy to bear
To those longing to knock but cannot find the door
To those who seek a way out and cannot take any more
Lift up your face, look beyond the valley
The sun may have set behind you but it’s not your finale
There’s a God who creates out of the depths of your chaos
Lift up your head, the Son rises to call us

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Unleash Encouragement” #TheTwo

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and long workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together. 

We are in series at Kfirst called”The Two.” It’s our study of Numbers 13-14. In the face of a culture that shifted from moving toward a land of Promise to a an atmosphere of negativity and hopelessness, two men stood strong in what the Lord had called the nation into. Caleb and Joshua would stick with the promises of God and not the opinion of man.  Our goal yesterday was to help people understand, “Encouragement moves the boundaries of human limitations to faith-filled potential.” (Click here for yesterday’s notes.)


There are so many people who live in boundaries of what negativity has kept them in. For Israel, the mentality they lived with in Egypt, kept them from seeing what God had in store for them. What they experienced internally, fed discouragement that we all are susceptible to.

  • Anxiety due to a loss of security (13:28).
  • Frustration due to a lack of ability (13:33).
  • Hopelessness due to a loss of vision (14:2-3).
  • Disappointment due to a loss of confidence (14:4).

So our challenge this is to have that “different spirit” that Caleb had. Do do that we need to do three things.

  1. Get rid of negative space.
    • Deal with your heart. Find the places of negativity and evict them.
  2. Change your negative face.
    • Feelings follow actions. Position yourself as an encourager and watch the feels follow purposeful actions.
  3. Step into a dark place.
    • The only way a light works is to be placed where it’s needed. Find someone dealing with discouragement and unleash encouragement.

This week, see yourself as a catalyst of encouragement by bringing hope into someone’s life. Our messages are for Monday and we need to put action to what the Lord is speaking. Ask the Lord to lead you to encourage in a simple, tangible way.

Also, if you need a scripture reading plan to go along with our message, check out this one.

Love you all.  See you this Sunday as we continue our series!

BTW, here’s a song this week for your devotions playlist:

Unsubscribe: 6 things you should unsubscribe from your life.

I’m in a mode right now.  I have been cleaning up my email life by “unsubscribing” from all kinds of stuff.  Restaurants, retailers, and random businesses are the latest victims to my shedding off of my email weight.  It’s not that I am boycotting them.  I’m just done.

This is going to sound petty, I’m tired of hearing notifications throughout the day that distract me for no good reason. I wasn’t even reading them anymore.  I was just tolerating them, discarding their info, and yet doing absolutely nothing about it.   

I’m taking back my email (even though most people don’t use it…most of my interaction takes place over social media). I’m done with superfluous crap that takes up time, attention, and screen space. 

So many of us are tolerant of ridiculous situations in our life that have claimed to much time, attention, and well, space in your life.  Like my ridiculous metaphor, I’m not asking you to boycott people per se.  I’m not asking you to unfriend/unfollow them (even though that’s necessary sometimes),  but it’s time to develop healthy boundaries in your life.  Proper boundaries aid you in keeping out unhealthy influences. They are about taking responsibility for our own lives.  Your marriage needs healthy boundaries.  Your kids need them.  Your personal life needs them.  Boundaries are necessary for a self-controlled, God-honoring life. And sometimes those boundaries are the necessary means to cut off the intimate connection to things/people who have no desire to help you but tear you down. 

James 2:1 (MSG)My dear friends, don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith.

I want you to cut the umbilical cord that these things/people have been using to feed off of your joy. Scripture says “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” The goal of these things/people is to control you!  It’s time to keep your joy and say goodbye to the stuff you don’t need.

Today is your day to unsubscribe to these 6 types of people:

1. The Critical.  Aggressive and deadly.   These things/people have something to say about everything and cannot be happy for anyone else.  Unless the idea and/or solution came from them, it’s not worth entertaining.  These type of people have something crass to say about everything…even if it’s a little jab.  They cannot help but be critical.

2. The Discouragement. From people, to news outlets, discouragement is everywhere.  Sometimes it’s not as aggressive as the critical. Discouragement’s M.O. tends to be a slow death to your joy.  It constantly whittles away at your joy.  Think of having a full pool.  The more you entertain discouragement in your life, the more it is emptying the pool out till you have nothing left but a hole in the ground.  An empty pool is purposeless.  And that’s what a lifestyle of entertaining discouragement feels like…purposeless.

3. The Drama.  People with drama issues love company.  Why?  Without the company of others, it’s just a one-person show.  And, usually, that’s a tough thing to pull off.  Drama sucks you in to not just a story-line, but desires you to take on a role.  To entertain drama in your life is like attending a casting call and your are the director’s favorite choice for the part.  Back away. Let the curtains close.  This part is not for you.

4. The Campaigner. Call them gossips and/or slanderers.  This is a close cousin to “drama.” The difference is, these are people who don’t necessarily want to pull you into the drama.  It’s just they can’t keep their mouth shut about information they’ve come across.  Like having poison ivy, they’re trying to itch what they have whilst spreading it around.   It feels good to get info.  In fact, you feel powerful.  But in the end, you wind up realizing what you possess not only poisons your mind, it poisons your relationships.

5. The Instigator.  They know what button to press.  They know when to press it.  Like Buddy the Elf in the elevator of the Empire State Building, The Instigator wants to press as many buttons in your life and then step away while you sit in your hurt, anger, frustration, and/or embarrassment.  These people want to start a fire without the responsibility of dealing with the fire.  They are relational arsonists.   Smokey the Bear says “only you can prevent forest fires.” I’d say, “Only you can prevent the spread of relational fires.”

6. The One-Upper. The “One-Upper” will never let you be in a place of joy because what you have doesn’t compare to what they possess.  You can’t share celebration points, success stories, and/or the blessings God has given to this person.  Why?  Because they’re prepared to squash it.  He/she cannot handle letting someone have something he/she doesn’t possess.  The catastrophic results to your life is the more your joy is stifled, the more apt that your joy will be completely blown out. 

I’m not asking you to stop influencing people like these 6.  Like you and me, they are candidates of the redemptive power of Christ.  Like you and me they’re imperfect and need to see the continual work of the Holy Spirit to help them ever single day.  But it’s time to unsubscribe to their influence. It’s time to stop giving them the time, attention, and space in your life.  As I said before, I want you to cut the umbilical cord that these things/people have been using to feed off of your joy.  Why? Because what influences affects “how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith.

It’s time to unsubscribe.  It’s time to take back your life.  

Thanks for letting me ramble…