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Life Together

An ongoing series of informational entries

HE Will Bring You Through

by: Martine Kelsey

"The Righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;

he delivers them from all their troubles.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Psalm 34:17

As I laid my head down on my pillow last night, I found myself Youtube-ing "sounds of the ocean" on my iPhone. That is when I realized that I was in desperate need of serenity if I was at the point of having to watch a video of waves crashing in order to calm myself down before falling asleep!!!

You see, loosing people close to me has never been easy, probably not easy for anyone I imagine. I think of the passing of my bass player, friend and brother, AJ. The passing of one of my good friends in ministry, and the sudden passing of a mentor Pastor, Paul Donelle. All of these events and storms caused me to re-visit the old memory, attached to a POWERFUL word of the Lord.

Let me explain:

After my mom had passed away (2002), I was angry, bitter and very confused, to say the least. About 3 weeks after her passing, I found myself sitting in the church pew on a Sunday morning, with my arms folded, and I was just bathing in my anger and bitterness, when the Holy Spirit spoke to me on a pretty firm tone (I guess He speaks to us just like we speak and express ourselves...LoL) and said:

" Look daughter- you can either spend the rest of your life questioning me on what happened, and why it happened, and choose to live your life in anger, confusion and strife, or you can choose to TRUST ME. Some things are mysteries that will not be revealed to you until you get to the other side. (Deut.29:29)"

It was so clear to me. The Holy Spirit snapped me right back into reality. I had been serving Him my entire life- since I was four years old- and He had NEVER forsaken me, nor failed me in all those years. I wasn't about to quit Him now, just because I was going through the biggest storm of my life. It was time to "hang on" to the very One who "hung on" the cross for me, so that I can live a victorious life! Living a victorious life does not mean to live a perfect life. It means that no matter what is being thrown at you, you have the assurance that HE will bring you through to the other side, and that you are guided and led by the spirit, not your emotions.

His Word is True, and it will remain true and unwavering forever and ever. His promises are yes and amen. He is still the alpha and omega. So when the storms of life hit, and the waves came crashing in on the door of my heart, I turn to HIM the very more. He is my one constant in my life.

Let me encourage you this day, that no matter the circumstances surrounding you, despite the storms of life you are facing, the adversity that is pressing against you;







Rolling Up Our Sleeves!!

by: Martine Kelsey

My parents have always told me: "Martine, if you are going to do something, do it right!"

This past week, as I was examining myself, and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me and bring me correction. I found myself being led to "raise the bar" in certain areas of my life - as a mother, as a wife and as a pastor.

Today, I want to encourage you and cause you to examine your own life and see if there are areas where you could "raise the bar". I thank God that He is so loving and so gracious, but yet, like a good Father, He also disciplines us.

There is one area of my life that is of the utmost importance where I strive to give and surrender ALL that I am; my relationship with Almighty God. Everything that I do for Him, I want it to be done to the best of my ability. Without Him, I am nothing - and I am continually amazed by His guidance. As my relationship with God grows deeper, the expectations increase and change.

Let me explain: when I first met my husband, I was just getting to know him. Our relationship was still in the "infant stage"; therefore, our expectations towards each other were minimal. As long as I said: "I love you" before we hung up the phone, and didn't have a little argument, things were good! But once we decided to get married, and he placed an engagement ring on my finger, the expectations increased!!! Look out!

My "then" boyfriend had now made it known to me that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I can tell you that IMMEDIATELY, my mind went racing!! My list of expectations was growing longer and longer by the second!! If I was going to spend the rest of my life with this man, I had to make sure that he would meet ALL of my expectations!!

Now that we have been married for over 13 years and have a son, our expectations of one another have changed, and continue to change for the better, as we walk through our life journey together. I want to be the best wife I can be for my husband, because I love and respect him. I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with this man, so why would I give him the crumbs off the table? He is the closest person to me!

Our relationship with God is no different. When we enter into a relationship with God, we should give Him our best. Therefore, in whatever area we are serving Him in, we should do everything with excellence. Why is it that when it comes the church, HIS BRIDE, we have low standards ? Would you present yourself at your job not properly dressed? Or would you sit at your desk all slouched in your chair, and leave your desk an absolute disaster? I can assure you that it would not be long before your boss reprimands you and require you to make some changes. When you are hired on for a new job, you receive training. Once you have received your training, you are expected to fulfill the duties required. Your company will not train you over and over and over again!!!! They train you once, then they place expectations on you!

Now if we take that analogy and direct it towards our "duties" in the Kingdom, why do we treat it any different? God deserves nothing but our finest!!!

If you are serving in any ministry within the church, let me encourage you to put your best foot forward. You are not volunteering for the sake of your pastors, nor your leaders. You are serving the King of kings. Being plugged in your local church is your life line. Why not give Him YOUR best? And remember, you are not fooling Him! He knows what YOU ARE CAPABLE OF! There is nothing that He will require of you that He has not already equipped you for!

So lets roll up our sleeves, dig our heels in, and raise the bar!!!! Enough is enough!! No more complacency!

Arise child of God!!! Let's give Him our best!

Flowers, Patterns & Guardrails

by: Martine Kelsey

One of my hobbies is to crochet. A few weeks ago, I finished crocheting a headband and I wanted to add a flower to it, but needed a new pattern. So I watched a Youtube video that instructed me on how to do it, and did it.

A week or so later, I completed another headband, so I needed another flower. I didn't return to the video for instructions. I tried to remember the pattern and managed to crochet the flower, simply by memory.

This week, as I was crocheting yet another flower, I noticed that my last flower and the one I was currently crocheting looked slightly different than the first one I had made, when I followed the instruction video. Why was that? I had slowly drifted away from the original pattern. I had made a few errors that had altered the look of the flower.

What I'm getting to is that in life, we were given an instruction manual on how to live; the Bible. But if we accept the Lord in our hearts, make Him our Savior, read the bible a few times and then leave it on the shelf for the year, we will slowly start to drift in a different direction. Just like my flower was starting to look different because I had made a few minor errors, it changed the look of the entire flower.

The Bible acts as a guardrail for us. We must constantly go back to it and refer to it for every aspect of our lives. See what God says instead of what we "think" should be.

It's easy to start creating or forming our own "god" in our head, to fit the mold of what is comfortable. But make no mistake - God does not change. He never did and He never will. So just because we want to change certain rules or guidelines in our minds, don't be fooled. It doesn't change anything with Him. He is constant. He remains the same. So it's important that the God we say we worship and we serve is the God of the Bible, and not a "god" that we, with time, have made up for ourselves to fit our lifestyle and our desires.