Posts in Personal Growth
Death of Cake
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My goals for 2019 were:

Eat better
Drink more water
Get more exercise

I’m a pretty good goal getter, but this has been hard.

I started out the year doing a 21 day fast of no sugar and felt awesome!

So awesome, I kept going another 60 days. Then my son had his 11th birthday and you know how that goes! I allowed myself a small piece of cake. Even though I had been saying for weeks , “I just know if I allow myself to eat that stuff again, it will eat me alive,” …and I was right!

Last Monday was 43 days since I ate that first tiny slice of cake. And on Monday I ate 3 whole pieces of cake while watching a series on Netflix. ( I can’t believe I’m actually confessing this!). My bad!

So, what do you do when your goals go to pot and you have to start all over?

Let me give you three quick thoughts:

  • Admit you have a problem and ask for help

Monday night I went to bed and I said, “Lord, I’m usually really good at this goal stuff. I can’t do this without your power and strength. I need you Lord to take control of my will and bend it toward yours.”

Some of you may be thinking “who cares!
If you want to eat three pieces then eat three pieces!”

That’s the problem, I didn’t want to eat them.

I was compelled to do it. It was a fierce, fervor of overt desire to eat it. Listen, my word for the year is DELIGHT. Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. So, I understand that this desire of my heart, that is cake, did not come from a delighting in the Lord. It was coming from delighting in Netflix. My snack life surrounds the act of binge watching TV.

  • Listen for the help you asked for

Tuesday, I woke up and had the thought to make a protein shake for breakfast and take some yogurt with bananas and strawberries with me to work.

When the Lord gives you tips, you have to act on them. According to Mel Robbins, “we have 5 seconds to act on a thought, instinct, intuition, or prompting before it is lost. The 5 second rule is a tool for hyper-intentionality, action, and identifying moments in your life where there is tremendous opportunity and joy.”

I had the opportunity to drive my day a certain way and end the day feeling the joy of accomplishing what I set out to do.

  • Thank God for every step of victory

Today is Wednesday! Yesterday I drank the recommended amount of water, I ate food that at the end of the day I didn’t go to bed feeling awful, and I even got a walk in. Today I am so thankful.

Why did I ever think that I could do this without God?

Obviously, I’m crazy and think something awesome about myself, but to be totally honest, all three of these areas I have failed in for 20 years. I’m done failing.

I praise God for His power and strength. I thank Him for the Holy Spirit who speaks, leads, directs, corrects and convicts. I need it!

 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it”.

I don’t know how to overcome unless I lean on the victory Jesus has already provided for me. This is my declaration: I lean on the Lord to help me overcome and rise above any desire that my body craves that is not rooted and grounded in Christ.

Today I declare the death of cake in my life! You shall not overtake me! I trust you’ll do the same!

Living On Purpose

Starla Smith
PS: You can read more of Starla’s blogs at


Starla Smith is the NextGen Pastor of Springs of Life Church, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is a wife, and mother of two. She loves writing, worship, coffee dates with friends, and she is passionate about learning and sharing life’s everyday lessons. 

Every Season Has a Purpose. What's Yours?

Guest Post by Nicole Roberts

Every Season Has Its Purpose 

Each season we walk through has a purpose and plan. Whether it is a job change, a move, death of a loved one, or other challenges and changes, seasons are a reality of life. Each season brings different emotions, offers opportunities to grow, and teaches us a new life lesson.

Here are three life lessons I’ve learned about embracing every season of life.

First, no season in life ever need to be wasted.

Every season we encounter plays a part in helping us grow, develops our character, and pushing us further into the dreams and destiny. I’ve specifically found this to be true in my own life through various jobs I’ve had. Each position has grown me: my abilities and my confidence.They have also moved me closer to my career. I have never walked through a season that didn’t change me for the better or adequately equip me for the next season of my life.

Secondly, every season, even when it may be difficult, has it blessings.

Finding the blessings in each season can help us remain focused and cultivate a positive attitude. This is particularly important when walking through a challenging season. Every morning, even before getting out of bed, I often begin speaking words of gratitude. Being grateful for my family, friends, a job, health, a roof over my head, food in the fridge, opportunities and so many, many more - help me cultivate an attitude of gratitude. I have found this to especially be helpful and important for me to do when I’ve been in a difficult or challenging season. Rehearsing the blessings in our lives allows us to put situations and circumstances of life into proper perspective.

Lastly, remember that God is in control of the seasons of our life.

God knows the seasons, good or bad, even before we do. And He promises to never leave us or forsake us. He promises to be faithful and complete what He has started. I’ve found that when we allow God into our seasons He brings peace and clarity.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

In whatever season you are in, I trust you will embrace it, learn from it, and apply whatever lesson God may be teaching you in it.

Living On Purpose,

Nicole Roberts

Guest Blogger Nicole Roberts is currently getting her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy through Liberty University. She has over a decade of experience working with young women struggling with life controlling issues. In her free time she enjoys blogging, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

When Will You Die?
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It was a Wednesday.  

I had just finished an impromptu meeting with some of my staff when my children’s pastor, Steve, casually said, “Hey guys I need to head home for a few minutes. I’ve called my wife a few times and she hasn’t answered. See you later.” 

A few minutes later I was still talking with our youth pastor in his office my cell phone rang.

It was Steve. He was hysterical.

Through his sobbing I somehow summarized what he was saying. I heard it, yet couldn’t believe it.

“Pastor Ken, Pastor Ken please come and help…Please.  I think my wife’s dead. I found her in the bathtub lying face down under the water. I’ve pulled her out…she’s on the floor. But I think she’s dead. I don’t know what to do…Oh…Please come …Please come and help.”

I rushed to Steve’s house, arriving first on the scene. Ran upstairs, and there on the bathroom floor Steve was kneeling over his wife.

I started CPR. No response.

I continued. No response. The medics arrived and started trying to revive her. I stood in the doorway; watching, praying, hoping, wishing. The medic leaning over Mel’s body caught my eye, and with a shake of his head, signaled she was dead. 

Mel had suffered from epilepsy. Over the years this mean and twisted disease had worsened, arriving more frequently and acting more violently. This last visit, would be its last.  

Melanie Sue Ekholm left behind her husband Steve, her three year old son, Isaiah, her parents and two older sisters, and many, many dear friends.

She was only thirty-seven.  

In my message at Melanie’s memorial service, I made this statement about death;

We might be surprised how death happens, or we might be surprised when death happens, but we all know death is going to happen.”

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m not suggesting we should be fixated on death. Life is a gift to be savored. However, “Readiness to die is the first step in learning to live.”

So are you living today like you’re going to die…because one day you will.

If I can help you live with greater purpose, I’d be honored to do so.

Living On Purpose:


The above is an excerpt from my new book Focus: A Practical Guide To A Fruitful Life. It will be released April, 2019.

What I've Decided To Do With The Rest of My Life
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Life is made up of seasons. One season followed by another, followed by another...As you string them all together they make up a life. 

As I write this post we are heading into a new season. Vacations are over, kids are back in school, summer is winding down, and fall is just around the corner. 

I’m heading into a new season of life as well. It’s a season that represents what I’ve decided to do with the rest of my life to.   

My new website reflects exactly what I plan on doing with the rest of my life and exactly how I plan on doing it.    

So if you would, give it a quick review here -

Love to hear from you.

Ken L Roberts
Speaker//Author//Coach//Online Trainer


Something You Probably Don't Know About Ruth Graham, But Probably Should
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When evangelist Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in 2007, she chose to have engraved on her gravestone words that had nothing to do with her remarkable achievements.

She tells the story that she had been driving one day along a highway through a construction site, and there were miles of detours and cautionary signs and machinery and equipment. She finally came to this last one, and this final sign read, “End of construction. Thank you for your patience.” *

And that’s what Ruth Bell Graham chose to have written on her gravestone:

End of Construction. Thank you for your patience.”

Leonard Ravenhill, a well-known revivalist of the last century, had these words written on his gravestone:

“Are the things you are living for,
Worth the things Christ died for?”

John Maxwell wants these words written on his gravestone:

“Here lies a man who lived with purpose and intentionality.”

Jehoram (a king in the Old Testament)  had these words left by others on his gravestone:

“He passed away to no one’s regret.”

The words on my late wife’s gravestone are:

“In Christ, With Christ.”

The words I want on my gravestone are:

“He died leaning forward.”

How about you?  What will yours be?


C.S. Lewis put it this way:

“The Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought the most of the next…It is in since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.”

So when you come to the end of your life, what do you want people to say about you? What words do you want written on your gravestone?

It’s an honest, probing, important question.

Sincerely submitted,
Ken L Roberts

Please leave a comment: If you have an idea of what you want written on your gravestone—I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment in the section below. Thanks!

And if you haven't yet, please consider joinin our Grow Community - It's FREE. (put in link)

*Material from John Ortberg’s book, Soul Keeping, p 151

Photo of Ruth Bell Graham used under fair use.
“Gravestone of Ruth Bell Graham” by Billy Hathorn licensed under CC BY 3.0.


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