Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …


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Desti… What?

Destiny. Destination. Predestined.

These words always seemed a bit mystical and useless to me – Christians argued over them, and New Agers smoked over them. I wasn’t interested in either.

In August when I left my prior job and the ministry I’d been involved with for almost a decade, the most profound thing happened at my goodbye party. It both released me and freed me not just physically, but spiritually. My boss listed all of the different hats and roles that I had worn and served in over the years, and then released me back to be only “Katie the Pure”.  Not Katie the Costumer, Katie the Counselor, Katie the Administrator, Katie the Event Planner or Youth Leader. Just Katie the Pure. My name by definition means “pure, or pure one”.

Look at these definitions:

Destiny: the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events.

Destination: the place to which a person or thing travels or is sent.

Predestined: to destine in advance; foreordain; predetermine.

In life I frequently mix up my destiny with my destination. My destiny was predestined when I said “yes” to Jesus, and when He chose me at the cross. I became a child of God, a pure daughter of the King. My destiny is to be a daughter. My destinations have included the roles of working as an Administrator, or an Event Planner. But they aren’t my destiny, just destinations along the way as I walk out my destiny as a daughter.

Life will travel on, and I’m sure there are many more hats I will wear and roles I will gladly fill. Destinations will be traveled through or camped at for years, but the one thing that will always remain constant is my destiny.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—  to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace  that he lavished on us. Eph 1:3-8a (Seriously – go read the whole chapter!)

Over the years I’ve been pretty disappointed at relationships that didn’t end as I would have hoped, or destinations that tarried years beyond what I would have wanted – but I’m thankful. In that stripping, in the waiting, and in the frustration the Lord in His profound love purified the destinations that warred to steal the place in my heart that was for my destiny as His alone.

In Deep:

In DeepIn waiting for redemption it’s all too easy to miss out on knowing our Redeemer, and in pursuing our callings and destinations, its all too easy to mix up our destiny. Friend, destinations are incredible adventures! And redemption of broken dreams is a reality in the Kingdom of God! But don’t pursue them over knowing your Redeemer, or understanding your destiny as a son or daughter of God. Knowing your Redeemer and your destiny makes the destination so much sweeter.

What’s your current destination? Where are you traveling to or being sent? Is it to be thedestiny vs destination best Mom you can be? Student? Husband? Accountant? Musician? Are you sent to the coffee shop? Or to the church? Maybe you are putting in job applications. Wherever you go today, whatever relationship you answer too, whatever you do – know that what you do, is not who you are. You are first a Daughter, first a Son. Your Father is lavishing love on you. That is your destiny – carry it into your destination!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:3

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“Desti… What?” is Day #7 of “In Deep – a 31 Days Series”


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Changes

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The cuties packed into the back seat of my car. New books, ready to roll! 11 hours here we come!

Today my family went from being 130 miles away to 530. Popping home for quick weekend visit, or a younger siblings birthday or graduation party will no longer be an option. Tears well in my eyes as I drive out of state with three of my youngest siblings. We will reunite with the rest of the family, moving vans, and pets sometime tomorrow. Out of my twelve siblings, only two will live in the same state with me. Being the second Mom and very involved in everyone’s life, this move is heartbreaking and freeing at the same time.

I hate change ya’ll. Like a lot. Well, that is I used to hate change, now I just make a few faces at it and jump on the roller coaster. I may still squawk some, but you no longer have to forcibly drag me to the roller coaster of change and hold me down.

So what changed?

Flashback to August of 2013, a little over a year ago. Tears streamed down my face in the dark concert hall as I listen to Robin Mark sing about change. Why was I even crying? I knew the Lord was preparing me for something, but I didn’t know what. The Spirit sensed what my heart could not.

All my changes come from Him He who never changes, I’m held firm in the grasp of the Rock of all the ages, All is well with my soul, He is God in control, I know not all His plans, But I know I’m in His hands – Robin Mark, All Is Well

I  needed to know I was in His hands to get through this past year. A few short weeks later I had a major job change and that began the process of the Lord stripping me of almost anything that I could put my security or identity in.

I went from being a full time youth leader for 6 years in the front lines of ministry to behind a desk as an administrative assistant.

Faced major health issues that forced a move from an apt and area I loved.

Went to Africa and there the Lord showed me that in my pursuit of loving others, I’d missed the first commandment – to love Him first. (Who goes on a missions trip to have the Lord show them He doesn’t desire their service?!?)

For a season did not lead any small groups, teach any classes or disciple anyone – the Lord removed anything I could possibly “do” for Him as a source of my identity.

Watched the man I had prayed and waited for, marry another.

Had three of my best friends move out of state, and two more get married.

And last but not least, had major turn over at work, with three close friends moving on.

Several months ago I mused with the Lord, that I was surprised that nothing had changed in my family, as that was one area that seemed to remain untouched. Shortly thereafter they accepted an offer on the house I grew up in. Within the next two months, my family will have moved and we will have two weddings. (One of which is this week! – Expect awesome pictures!!)

Not much as changed outwardly in my life over the last year, but inwardly I can identify with the author of Hebrews, as He says “anything that can be shaken, will be shaken.”

I love deeply and passionately and the downfall of that is that I fight the temptation to derive my identity from those I love, and how I love. My identity rests only in that which can’t be taken from me – the love of my Father, the pursuit of Jesus, the lover warrior, and the comfort and intimacy of the Holy Spirit.

The excruciating process of these changes has left me with a lifeline of truth. The Lord does not change. We may learn about different sides of His face, but He is the constant in the chaos. On the other side of the change He is there.

I’m starting to not just see change as something I will loose, but something I will gain. For because of stripping, I’ve come to know Him as the Pearl of great price. Worth anything I can sell, or give.

He clothes us now then strips us, Yet with His Word equips us, Whatever is His way all is well, And though our seasons change, We still exalt His name, Whatever is His way all is well. Robin Mark. Listen to the song here.

I know not His plans, but I know I am in His hands, and through this last change of the move, I’m looking forward to the more He has for me in it. The hint of the Spirit’s whisper is bringing delight and hope to my soul. All is well.

Today’s entry was more of an open journal – a peek into the life of Katie, post.  Living fully alive, also means actively engaging with whatever season, circumstance, or situation you are in. Unsure of the vulnerability of this post or how to wrap up, I prayed for inspiration and wisdom. As I got online to upload this post and a friend had tagged me in a music video and said she wasn’t sure why, but she was thinking of me. The time stamp of the post was right around the time I was praying.

Friends, the Father knows and hears even our quiet whispered prayers. I am in awe of His love. Please listen to this song below (or watch here). It captures what I have only hinted at here. If you are facing unwanted or uncomfortable change dear one, know His love is big enough to sustain you.

Today's the Day: Being Single and Fully Alive When I taste His goodness, I shall not want. “Changes” is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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“Gram – I am Happy!”

Her beautiful wrinkled hands reached up and gently cupped the sides of my face “Katie, I just want you to be happy!” Bewildered, my brain scrambled trying to comprehend what it was I had to be sad about. I didn’t remember being upset at anything.

A slow smile spread across my face as I looked around the room and realized what my grandmother was referring to – I was alone. Alone in the sense that I had not brought someone home for the Family Thanksgiving dinner. My siblings were gathered in clumps around the room with their wives, boyfriends or “special friends”.  Grammy wasn’t the first one this year to reference the fact that I was “alone”.

Chuckling now, I hugged her back tightly and said with emphasis, “Gram, I AM happy.” It was now her turn to look as bewildered as I had moments earlier. As I looked into her dear surprised face, and those of other family members who had come to offer their condolences of my single state or wishes that I could be happy with someone, I realized they all believed the same lie that I had believed for a long time. The subconscious lie that our identity is derived from our relationship status.

“Married”, “single”, “dating”, are words that describe our relational status for taxes and doctors offices. That’s it. Singleness may describe me, but it NEVER defines me.  My happiness and security does not come from a man, but from my relationship with Jesus Christ, and the status of that relationship is the only one I need to worry about.

only one relationship

For years I subconsciously believed that a change in my relational status would make me happier. I thank God I was ‘alone’ for many more years than I deemed acceptable, so He could strip me of those lies, until my identity lay in nothing but Him.

The further I get into my mid, (and quickly approaching!) late twenties, I’m more and more surprised and blessed to be single in these years. But that wasn’t always the case. In my late teens, I was sure it was the biggest travesty to be an “older single”. This dread came largely from not knowing any older single women who did “singleness” well. They walked around with long faces bemoaning their state, doing little with their lives. To some extent I believed that singleness was a bit like a holding pattern in life akin to the punishment of purgatory. Laughable? Oh yes! In writing, lies are so easy to detect, unlike the actions and emotional thought patterns on a lonely or hormonal day.

To be honest I don’t really enjoy blogging on singleness for a myriad of reasons, but the Lord has been prompting me to write on it for sometime. I believe, it’s because through Jesus I have learned that living as a single in my older twenties is not purgatory in the least! In truth I can tell my grandma that I am happy because in His presence there is a fullness of Joy. I don’t want to wait till I’m married and then write on singleness and tell you all how easy it is. I want to write from the heart of it, and be a testimony to what the Lord can do with a little surrender.  So stay tuned and feel free to suggest aspects of “Singleness” you would like to hear about.


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From Victory For Victory {Part 3}

From Victory For Victory Part One 
From Victory For Victory Part Two 

Victory, for the Christian, comes down to worth, trust, and position. To start walking in victory we must believe that we are His sons and daughters. We must trust Him that we are what He says we are – not what we feel and think we are.

The most incredible thing about faith and belief is that they are gifts from the Spirit and we can ask for them (1 Cor. 12)! Even here the Lord does not ask or require that we do it on our own. He says, “You need faith to understand your position in Me so that you can fight from victory for more victory.”

He doesn’t ask anything of us that He doesn’t provide the answer for. <— Tweet this

Our greatest stumbling block to fighting from a position of victory is trying to fight on our own, or trying to take over what God is  doing. We often don’t trust Him to finish the work He has started in us. We mask it by saying “I don’t trust myself to not …” And while it is good to have a healthy respect for our weaknesses, what we are really saying is “God, the work you are doing in my worthyheart isn’t enough, I don’t trust that the work you are doing in me will stick.” That line of thinking will handicap us far greater than we can ever imagine!

While God wants to take us to new heights and depths with Him – gaining victory over new territories, we are stuck guarding a piece of ground long conquered and the presence of our distrust (aka –pride), opens that territory back up to sin because we are back to fighting for victory again, thinking we can do this by our own determination.

Twice in the books of Timothy, Paul urges him to guard the deposit that was put in him. We do have to guard the things the Lord does in us but Timothy is instructed to guard them by the power of the Holy Spirit – not by his own strength and or will. The Lord has impeccable judgment. He will not waste His time or cast His pearls before swine. If He is doing something in you – enabling you to fight from victory – than He has counted you worthy. 1 Tim 1:12 says that Timothy was judged faithful for ministry.

Oswald Chambers in his book Approved Unto God says:

“If we have the idea that we must face the difficulties with pluck, we have never recognized the truth that He has counted us faithful; it is His work in me He is counting worthy, not my work for Him.”

He counts His work in us worthy. Why shouldn’t we? <— Tweet this

Counting what the Lord has done for us as enough, worthy and true is what makes the difference of whether or not we will be able to fight and overcome sin in our lives. It is the difference between fighting for victory and fighting from victory.

What position are you fighting from right now?


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From Victory For Victory {Part 2}

From Victory For Victory  – Read Part One Here.

We will only win the war against sin when we understand who we are and what sin means to us now that we are His.

“We did not believe that [the sin] this man had done was evidence of his true identity. Paul said we once were darkness, and we now are light. Just because you have darkness in you doesn’t change your true identity.” (Danny Silk – Culture of Honor)

You see, sin is a bit like a nail.

“…as we were walking, I stepped on a board and a nail went through my foot. I lifted my foot and saw that there was a board attached to the bottom of my shoe. I could clearly see that a nail had entered my foot. But never once did I think. “I’m a nail!”  I was however very interested in getting the nail out of my foot. And when a child of the light discovers darkness in him or her, it does force the issue: What are you going to do?” (Danny Silk – Culture of Honor) <— Tweet this.

Our fight against sin comes down to our identity in Christ. Knowing and understanding who we are in Christ determines what battle position we start in. Do you start thinking “I’m a nail!” or do you start thinking, “I’m a child of God and He has the power to change me.”?

In our battle against sin these are the mindsets of the different positions:

Fighting for victory thinksFrom Victory For Victory

  • I’m a sinner
  • I’m not worth it
  • I’m broken
  • I’m getting /doing better!
  • I can do this!
  • I’m not good enough
  • I must…

Fighting from victory thinks:

  • I’m a saint
  • He died so I can change
  • I’m whole
  • He is changing me!
  • God save me!
  • He redeemed me
  • He did…

When we start fighting from victory, for more victory, we start by abiding in Christ and what He has done for us. Ecc 3:14-15 says:

I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.

Think about these verses in the context of victory–they depict a beautiful picture displaying part of God’s character. The victory that the Lord has endures forever – it’s complete! We can’t add anything to it or take anything away from it. <— Tweet this.

God bought the victory so we would fear Him and understand that He is God and we are not.

If we could bring about the change we wouldn’t need Him. Striving for victory on our own is trying to be God. It’s pride, and God resists the proud! No wonder we can’t change on our own no matter how hard we try. We will fail because the Lord is resisting us! (James 4). He, however, gives grace (the ability to change) to the humble. The ones who says, “God I can’t do this – I need you!”

A humble person is one who sees themselves as God sees them – both as weak and yet strong. In weakness we see His strength. The victory (our position in Christ) already is, has been, and will continue to be. And when sin drives the victory away – God seeks it for us. He renews us! The victory remains, when we walk out of it and drive it away, it still remains. He died to bring it back to us and now reminds us that the victory is already ours!

From Victory, For Victory concludes  with part 3 – read it here

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From Victory For Victory {Part 1}

Life is a battle, whether we realize it or not and we are only given two choices for the battle:

(1) Whose side we are on.

(2) What position we fight from.

The letters of 1, 2 and 3 John draw very clear battle lines – either you are for Him (the Lord Jesus) or you are against Him and with the Devil. There is no in-between in this life. In 1 Timothy (1:18) Paul encourages him to “fight the battle well” and Ephesians 6 calls us to “put on the armor of God.”

All throughout Scripture, life is defined as a battle. for or from

As a Christian and follower of Jesus Christ, there are only two positions we fight from. We either:

(1) Fight from victory.

(2) Fight for victory.

The choice is ours. Christ chose the victory for us – and now invites us to walk in it. He invites us to fight from a place of victory, rather then always fighting for victory.

While the Lord asks us to fight new areas of sin in our lives, what we most often forget is He already won the battle against that sin. His love is stronger then death (Song of Solomon 8), it broke the curse of sin that brought death. He died to FREE us so we could walk in victory.

We must fight with the knowledge that only the Lord changes us and the victory is already ours, or we will lose the battle.

When we fight against sin from a position of victory we have all the power in the world on our side. When we are simply fighting for victory, we have only the power of our own determination. For a time, our determination may be able to change our behavior; but it does not change our hearts or our emotions (the way we see and feel about things).

Only Christ can change those things.

In Psalm 51 when David prays “create in me a clean heart Oh God” the Hebrew word for create here is “bara”. It means to create without a physical starting point, with only God as the subject. Essentially what it means is we cannot, in and of ourselves, create a clean heart. When God comes in and creates a clean heart in us, He doesn’t use any of us in the creation of our heart – He uses only Himself. He gives us Himself.

That is why we can fight from victory – because He does the work. Our behavior will always follow our hearts. We must fight for victory in our lives, but in order to do that in Christ’s strength and not our own, we have to start fighting from victory – which is what Christ has done for us.

Too often, as Christians, we know the Lord wants us to change and to fight against sin, so we immediately jump to position 2 – fighting for victory. We don’t realize that by missing step 1 – fighting from victory, we are now fighting sin in our own strength – missing the point of what Jesus did for us on the cross.

We are told to fight against sin – I’m not saying that fighting from victory means that we don’t fight sin anymore – we dobut how we fight changes. In Hebrews 12:4 we are told to fight even to the point of bloodshed against sin. But we can’t effectively fight against sin for victory, until we fight from victory. Fighting from victory means we start fighting from our position in Christ – as sons and daughters of God (John 1:12)- which gives us the position and the power to fight for more victory.

If we fight for victory without fighting from victory, we won’t win the battle. It’s only from within our position in Christ that the battle against sin can be won. <—- Tweet this.

Read part 2 here.

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Into Me You See {Intimacy}

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. A.W. Tozer – Knowledge of the Holy

Who God is to us is one of the most important things about us, because it reveals the transformation that the Lord has done in our lives and our understanding of who He is. There is one major important step however that needs to come before we can clearly see who God is and subsequently what we think of Him.

 I read in a periodical the other day that the most fundamental thing is how we think of God. By God Himself, it is not!  How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important. Indeed, how we think of Him is of no importance except in so far as it relates to how He thinks of us. C.S. Lewis – Weight of Glory

While Tozer is right and I still agree with him, Lewis presents another very important side. We must first see ourselves as God sees us, before we can truly see God.  Continue reading