Welcome to the June blog! I appreciate your comments, and be sure to check in on every 1st day of each month for a new blog!
Within every human soul, there is an intimate longing to belong. To belong somewhere where we don't have to pretend, and yet we are still accepted as we are. This search for belonging leads us to some places far from that mark. Often in our search for a place to belong we find a place where the false self we create out of a longing to belong belongs, but our true self remains lost and alone, seemingly distant from the world itself. When searching for belonging, we are vulnerable to picking up bad habits, sometimes addictions, and often changing the course of our lives to fulfill our craving to fit in. In our search to belong somewhere, it is often not the place around us that molds to us, but rather we mold ourselves to our surroundings in order to create the illusion in our own eyes that we belong. In this process we lose our true selves. Our true selves get shoved so deep down within our being that we no longer see that person when we look in the mirror. Instead we see a mortal body, a shell that we no longer belong in. The only source that can bring that true self to fruition once again and provide a state of belonging is the love of Christ. Belonging is not a matter of where we GO, but rather of who we allow to dictate our lives. When we allow God to be that source, rather than our "friends", colleagues, or material items of the world, we find authentic belonging. In His presence is where you find belonging, and a new identity as one loved and accepted as you are. This is a belonging found nowhere else because Christ is the only source that wants to give and never requires anything in return. Created as a citizen of Heaven, we can go nowhere but to the Creator of the Heavens and the earth for belonging. Nowhere else. Where do you find yourself searching for belonging? Stop searching. It's only found in one place, and that place is not of this world.
Blindsided. Whew, I guess that's life isn't it? A blindside hit is one of the worst things that can ever happen to a human being. To have life going a certain direction, and then the least expected thing happens, the least expected person gives you the least expected news. It's 3AM on the first of May. Yes, I waited this long to write this blog because I didn't know what to say. Initially, I was going to write about how Job was blindsided and how we should react how he did by believing that God gives and takes away, but once I wrote the first word, I knew that this blog had to go in a different direction.
A blindside hit only brings one main thing: pain. The worst of pain. Pain that can seem to pierce your heart in a way that nothing else can, causing a longing, anxious hurt. People asking what is wrong and due dates flashing by. Your life goes on but you can't seem to move with it at all. You are too struck by the pain that at the pit of your honestly you wonder if you will ever be able to walk through life again. And in the midst of that pain, it's very difficult to have any sort of hope in a brighter future. The Bible tells us that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28). But you're allowed to be honest when reading this. Isn't that verse from Romans hard to believe? I think it is. Especially when experiencing the aftermath of a blindside hit.
So where do we turn? What do we do? When life doesn't make sense? When the unpredictable, the unbelievable happens...
If I'm being totally honest with you, there's no perfect answer to that question. "Wait. What? You don't know? Then what are you writing this blog for? Why am I reading this?" There's only one way back from a blindside hit: Christian community. Hello Church. Hello honesty. To be honest with someone within a Christian community, a close friend, family member, teacher, mentor, counselor, etc. is the only way to recovery. To understand that everyone has a story, and that other people have been there before. That's the only way to cope with it. When you turn to yourself, you are left to nothing but empty answers and wondering thought, but where two gather in the name of the Lord, He is there also (Matt. 18:20). I'm here to tell you today that if you are an adult (young or old), a teenager, a young kid, who gets/got blindsided, you are not alone. There is a healer in Christ, and only in Christ. And I know you cannot seem to hear Him over your tears, but He is present, and when you are in the presence of another, you will find that He can speak directly into your heart.
There is no way back to where you were, only a path to somewhere new. Take baby steps...with others by your side... And over time you will find yourself on a new path, as God works for your good.
Welcome to my blog! If you are new to the hunterkallay.com blog, I would like to inform you that I am blogging here on the first of each month in 2016. Feel free to share this/these blog(s) with your friends and loved ones. I hope this blog brings you much encouragement, and I would very much appreciate if you would comment your feedback below and join the conversation!
Egg hunts, chocolate, and family. All things I love, but Easter must be deeper. Jesus’ resurrection. It opens the gates of heaven for me after death, but what does it mean for me today? Is Easter an investment in my future, or does it have a real effects now?
Easter revolves around the concept of hope, but what really is Easter? Easter is a time of remembrance. The word “Easter” itself means a remembrance of spring. Before Jesus spoke, he often said, "Remember…" Remembrance is the most overlooked command in the Bible, but it could be the most important. Easter is about remembering the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, but the full meaning of the resurrection is often missed.
Jesus, nailed to the cross, shouted in agony, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46, ESV) Don’t you ever feel like this? Forsaken by God, as if He has better things to do than care for you. Our circumstances tend to fall apart, and God seems so distant. But God is not as interested in changing your circumstances as He is in changing your heart. Christ's circumstances didn't look very bright as He was buried in the grave, but three days later the whole world experienced a great light—the light of the world.
The resurrection remembered on Easter is not just a day’s occurrence, but an everyday reality. Paul wrote in Romans 8:11, "The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you." (NLT) This means within every one of us is resurrection power. The message of the resurrection is not only that the gates of Heaven are opened to us, but that despite our circumstances, we have a resurrection coming in our future. In the words of Max Lucado, "Your conversion to Jesus Christ is more than a removal of sin. It is, in fact, a deposit of power." You might be struggling with the same thing that you did 5 years ago. You might have lost your job. You might have lost a loved one. Life has a way of breaking us down, of throwing unexpected curve balls in our path that we didn't plan. But when our plans fail, we are left to trust God's promise. And His promise is a resurrection. A resurrection of joy. A resurrection of freedom. A resurrection of love. A resurrection of service. A resurrection of strength. A resurrection of healing. You may feel the pain now, but the very power that raised Christ from the dead lives in you! Despite your current circumstances, God is doing a work in you, and a resurrection of is coming. This is the hope of Easter not just on a day in the spring, but as an everyday reality.
Recently, I have taken a bit of a break from reading a book per week and have just been writing more and studying textbooks. I will have more reviews coming after Easter on a few books that have been recommended to me.
Also, I'm very excited about the April blog (coming out on the 1st). April's topic is something that I believe everyone needs to learn and remember! I am looking forward to seeing many people on the website that day and hopefully getting feedback!
I hope you all are having a good week with Easter right around the corner!
Max Lucado is a best-selling Christian author and pastor at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.
In this book, Lucado shows us what the other side of the veil looks like. Lucado lives and breathes grace, and his writing is a form of grace in itself. I picked up this book and could not stop reading. Planning to read it in a week, I finished it in two days. The grace of God is the best gift we could ever ask for, so go unwrap your gift in this book. Tying my best review yet ("Live Love Lead", by Brian Houston), I give Max Lucado's "Grace" 92/100! Read it now!
“Listen to God.”
“Do what He says.”
“Follow what God tells you what to do.”
These are common things we hear people say to us when we face trouble at every side, but so often our response is the same: “I can’t hear Him!” Speak up God! Because we can’t hear you. We are lost and aren’t sure what to do or where to go. Is God even speaking to us? Is God not being loud enough? Or are we making too much noise ourselves that we cannot hear Him?
The voices and commotion of this hectic world often drown out the gentle whisper of God. We are too busy, always “Go! Go! Go!” We are always running amuck, trying to get things done but finding that we are on this treadmill of life that takes us nowhere. We work harder, yet fall further behind. Life is a constant game of catch up, and we don’t know what God wants us to do—we don’t hear His voice. Why? The problem is we are always moving, always talking, always relying on ourselves and others, stressing over what to do next. But rarely do we “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10, ESV)
Elijah had this same problem. He was looking for God’s voice. He found it, but not by asking God more or by God speaking up, but rather in a whisper:
“A great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
1 Kings 9:11-13 (NIV)
The voice of God is found in a gentle whisper. Even in prayer and in church, we tend to do all the talking. But what if you sat in the silence, in the presence of the Father, away from the commotion of life, and let Him whisper? What if your prayers consisted more of listening to the whisper, basking in His presence, just as much as they do of you speaking to God? You cannot hear a gentle whisper in the midst of your loud lifestyle. God is not found in the loud wind, shattered rocks, earthquake, or fire. Stop running. Stop talking. Stop stressing. Ask God to lead you, put the endless race on pause, and be still, and hear the gentle whisper.
Warren Wiersbe is the author and editor of many books, and he has pastored three churches including the Moody Church in Chicago.
David Wiersbe is the author of a couple books, including four that he co-authored with his father. He has been a pastor for over 30 years and is currently serving his fourth church.
In this book, the Wiersbe's break down ten principles for Christian ministry. This book provides stories of pastors they know and different struggles they have endured. Although this book is written for ministers, it has a lot to say about what it means to serve others as a Christian and breaks down the healthy way to build up a ministry of any kind. 76/100.
Describing Bob Goff is one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do. Bob Goff is a man who puts love into action.
In his book, "Love Does," Bob Goff tells many stories from his life. Now, you might be thinking this sounds boring, but while reading this book, each story he told took a dramatic twist. Once I started reading, I literally could not put this book down! I usually read a book each week, but this one I finished in four days because I was so intrigued by the way Bob Goff simply puts love into action. He doesn't make plans, he simply says yes and does it. Bob Goff is a wonderful story teller and disciple of Christ. If you read this book, I promise that you will not be disappointed. 90/100.
Brennan Manning was a Korean War veteran and former Franciscan priest who became the best-selling author of more than twenty books. He died in 2013.
Brennan Manning's book, "Abba's Child", is a special book. It is similar to "The Ragamuffin Gospel" but provides a different approach to God's grace. "Abba's Child" identifies the uniqueness we all have in our identity as children of God. Being a child of God is an identity that frees you to be anyone else. In his book, Manning reveals what it really means to be a beloved child of Abba. If you would like a very well-written book by a great author, then go pick up a copy today! 80/100.
"Keep God first in your life" is something that many people like to say to encourage others and to embrace as their own motto, but what does that mean? Keeping God first, although a good thought, is nowhere in the Bible. When most people use this saying, I believe it is generally meant to encourage others to keep God as their first priority. One of my favorite authors, Kyle Idleman, once wrote, "God doesn't want to just be your top priority, but your only priority." This couldn't be more of a true statement. God never called us to keep Him first, but to keep Him in everything. Not in a pantheistic way, but in how we glorify Him. In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Paul says, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (ESV) We are not called to dedicate certain things to God and not dedicate others. We cannot separate our life from time with God; as Christians, time with God should consume our life, not just in prayer, but according to Paul in our mundane routines! Glorifying God with our thoughts, actions, and most of all our love. (I challenge you to tell someone you appreciate them and love them today!) We are created in the image of God, so everything we do should reflect His glory. Not just in the church, during our prayer time, or while we read the Bible, but in all that we do. Keeping God first shouldn't mean praying in the morning and then moving on to your second and third priorities. No! God should not just lead your priority list because He is your priority list! Don't keep God first; let Him be your all. Don't let God be the best part of your life; let Him consume every part of your life. As Brennan Manning once wrote, "Spirituality is not one compartment or sphere of life. Rather, it is a lifestyle: the process of life lived with the vision of faith."
Hunter Kallay, author of "Plug in Your Life." He is a Christian leader and speaker.