Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is Joy A Choice?

Yesterday was a bummer. Someone made an error that costs me time, money and stretched my patience. When I encountered them and saw how devastated they were over their error, my heart melted. Mercy came over me . What could have been an awful moment became a powerful love thing. God is amazing how He shows up to turn things around.

Thriving in my circumstances is a stretch when so many surprises pop up....negative surprises. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I'm reading a book by Tim Hansel, The Hidden Adventure. He lives in constant pain after an accident.

"Every single day since my accident, I am forced to consider how I might choose joy as a daily attitude. It's a constant choice. Some days the pain is so overwhelming that joyous is not what I want to be. Sometimes it's a demonic battle for me to choose joy for the next minute, much less the next day. And as I've said, choosing joy doesn't alleviate the pain, the ambiguity and the doubt. it just gives a way to live with it."

"I have lived with this truth for decades: Joy is a choice. I don't have to wrestle with physical pain often, but other pains and disappointments knock on my door often."

Hansel recalls a conversation with Dr. James Dobson,

"Tim, why, after all this, why do you choose joy?"

"Because I have to," answered Tim, "Sometimes I think I'd literally go to pieces if I didn't. I know that if didn't choose joy my life would atrophy. The confidence that God is in control keeps me choosing it."

I agree with Tim. Knowing that God is with us and in control of all, we can choose joy. This week I've misplaced some important papers and several things are not going "my way." I am deciding to choose joy. I encourage you to choose matter what. If God does this for Tim, He'll do it for us.

"The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Showcase Wednesday: Never Run on Empty

"Running on Empty" is a key concern for all of us in 2008. The gas prices have all of us rethinking how much driving we can afford. We all work on staying healthy and fit for fear of "running on empty" in our energy and emotional resources.

A life truth you can bank on is: generosity keeps our "tanks" full. Generosity with a clean heart will ensure you'll never run on empty in life. People who are quick to give their resources to help others thrive.

Thrive Christians Blog is declaring Showcase Wednesdays begin today.

My first Generosity Champion is Yvon Prehn.

This brillant writer, editor and consultant generously gives her wisdom away on her website:

She offers relevant, cutting edge advice for writers, church leaders and media ministers on her blog:

I am creating a newsletter for a prison ministry in my church. My research for this project drove me to find Yvon's sites. I wrote a comment on her blog thanking her for the solutions she has beautifully provided on her websites.

To my surprise she responded in an email with more help. Her warm response took my breath away. She wrote me just after the earthquake hit yesterday. Now, friends, I'm not sure what I would be doing immediately after an earthquake, but writing a stranger in SC who is concerned over creating a newsletter is not what comes to mind.

She did request prayer for the electrical power to stay on so that she could load many more documents that she felt would help me and others. Wow!

Read a portion of this generous Christian professional's mission statement:
"The way I summarize the Great Commission and apply it to church communications is to define effective church communications as communication that accomplishes two purposes:

To help people come to know Jesus as Savior.
To help people become mature disciples of Jesus.

Another way to say it, is that our communication is effective if:

It is enabling people to get closer to Jesus.
It is enabling people to become like Jesus.

The essential requirement for me and upon which I base my ministry is the desire to fully fulfill the Great Commission. To be the very best at doing that, excellence in communication strategy and communication creation are important, but not primary."

For years I have been concerned with many Christians' flippant attitude about church and ministry publications, web presence and communications. I am a serious Bible student and I see, like Yvon, that we are called to COMMUNICATE the gospel to the world. Shouldn't we invest much of our resources to be the best communicators in the world?

Go Yvon!!!

Here is a brief overview of Yvon's ministry:
Currently Yvon writes blogs and books and creates training materials on church communications. She also teaches about church communication ministry, skills, and strategy at seminars, conferences, and national conventions all over North America. She is the founder of Effective Church Communications, a ministry whose purpose is to enable churches to create communications that will help them fully fulfill the Great Commission.

Yvon has worked in communication ministry as a writer and teacher for over 25 years. She was a newspaper reporter and religion writer for the Colorado Springs SUN for nine years. When desktop publishing was first invented Yvon was a top-rated, national trainer in desktop publishing for Padgett/Thompson, the nation’s largest one-day seminar company. She worked as a communications consultant in Colorado Springs and was senior editor at both Compassion International and Young life International.

Yvon is the author of twelve nationally published books; she has written for many of the major Christian magazines including Christianity Today, Discipleship Journal, Today’s Christian Woman, Youthworker Journal, Ministries Today, Computing Today, Clergy Journal, Church Office Computing, Pulpit Helps, and Your Church. She has been the communication columnist for Christian Computing Magazine for 15 years.

Her most recent books include The Heart of Church Communication, What Church Leaders Need to Know about Church Communications, and Ministry Marketing Made Easy! In addition to these books, she has a number of shorter booklets, how-tos, training CDs and other material available on her storefront at

Yvon has a master’s degree in Church History and has done additional extensive graduate work in theology and communications. She has taught high school English and was an adjunct professor in church history at Regis University.

In addition to her formal experience in these areas, Yvon gets the opportunity to practice church communications in very practical ways. She and her husband Paul have worked in many different areas of ministry in the church, especially in single adult ministry, adult education and small group ministry wherein Yvon has taught and created many church communications and marketing materials. She and Paul live in Ventura, California.

Yvon’s seminars and written material have helped thousands of people in ministry maximize their church communications and enabled them to use them to help fully fulfill the Great Commission.

Acts 20:35.......

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Great Pretender

Hear the music? The "Great Pretender" by the Platters is playing on the radio. I could claim this as my theme song when I overuse my gift of optimism and hope.

Notice these selected lyrics:

Oh, yes I'm the great pretender
Pretending I'm doing well
My need is such I pretend too much
I'm lonely but no one can tell
Too real is this feeling of make believe
Too real when I feel like what my heart can't conceal
Ooh Ooh yes I'm the great pretender
Just laughing and gay like a clown
I seem to be what I'm not

This week I have a long list of "have to's" that I don't like doing. I'm smiling and saying "all is well," but there is a part of me growling, "Oh, yeah? How so?"

I am digging into Bible study focusing on living "in Christ." I desire to know more intensely who I am "in Christ," and I am finding new understanding through Neil Anderson's book, Who I Am In Christ. The introduction lines up with today's mind battle,” You may actually struggle in your thought life with opposing arguments about what God has to say about who you are."

My quandary today is I honestly know life is more than my little 'wants'
and 'needs.' Rick Warren was correct, "It's not about me." But I don't feel like that today.

Miss Optimism is taking her smiley face mask off. This tough to do list looks like it is all about me.

I know that being gracious and pleasant is important. Yet I am committed to being transparent and real.

Yes, God I know You are here and on my side. As I praise You I embrace that "we" will get this work done; dare to make these new contacts, and finalize these tough assignments.

The battle rages in my mind..."Are You really in this with me?" The mind game of "is He/or isn't He battling with me" doesn't last long these days. I recall struggling night and day with this interior conversation in my younger years.No, today, I know God is here. I also know my shrinking from the tough stuff just magnifies the pain.

But today I felt I needed to share with you readers that I still struggle. My mentor is fifteen years my senior, and she often tells me the temptations will always pop up. God is not surprised, nor should I feel guilty for the temptation. He created me with human vulnerabilities.

He's here and the battle between my spirit and my flesh is real. To praise God and to glorify Him brings me to "myself." When I praise Him and sense His presence everything changes. God is most glorified in me when I know He is enough. I am most blessed when I know He and His Kingdom are more important than anything else.

Let's get real and lay down our masks. Some things can bring us to hurt or become frustrated or angry. Jesus Christ died and rose again to forgive the treason of our souls, which have turned from seeking God to looking out for ourselves.

We actually do begin to think it is about us....the universe begins with us in the center...right? In the cross of Christ, God rescues us from this self consuming knot.

Prayer: "Lord, the mask is off. The day still looms as a tough one to challenge me to the edge of my abilities. I trust You are with me, and "we" will conclude this day in full victory. I lift You above all else, especially my wants and my concerns. You are worthy and I am awed by Your power, love, mercy and goodness. Bless every reader with life. Refresh their thirst with living water. In Jesus name. Amen."

You are Accepted
"Accept one another then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praises to God." Romans 15:7

Blog Red Carpet Award Day

Angela at gave me this award called the Art Y Pico award. This award is given to those who inspire others with their creative energy and talents in writing, artwork, design or contributions to the blogging community. I am still finding my way into the blogging world. I do consider it my honor that anyone takes their valuable time to drop by this site.

Angela, you have expanded my horizons in faith in our God, so your website is my first choice as the recipient of excellence in blogging.

Next I proclaim honor to: Rachel Olson at her blog:
Rachel is a great writer and you will be richer for taking the time to read her well crafted words.

Drum she is: Micca at
This beautiful, smart and funny Christian woman will rock your world. Stop by today.

And now may I present Glynnis Whitwer:
I come away richer from Glynnis' posts...every time. She keeps it real and relevant and God-filled.

Drew keeps his blog alive and fresh with his passion for the totally commited exchanged life In Christ. Check out this pastor, musician and student.

Once in a long while a true one-of-a kind crosses my path. Truly Lysa is a rare jewel. God blesses us all with this great writer and speaker and leader. Way to go Lysa....her blog today shows her doing a've got to see it to believe it!!!

Dr. John Hollandsworth takes time to craft a great blog about his faith at . My late husband, John, is my inspiration to regularly read this terrific blog.

Today we will end up things rather quickly. I want to give you time to surf the web to check out the award winners above. I learned to showcase others years ago in a Uniquely You Spiritual Gift/Personality Training session. Mels Carbonel founded this great company and his influence is still generating change in my life to transform me spiritually and emotionally.

He lovingly told my bold bravado self:

"Kay, you have the personality and spiritual gift make up of a Moody or great evangelist."

That was the good here comes the punch. "God has given you much light. Now, when you locate your dimmer switch, you can be the bright or soft light the situation calls for. Most of all when you learn how to be a spotlight. you can showcase others to further the Kingdom. " said the wise leader, Pastor Mels.

I've been praying for God to direct me with those two pieces of advise since that day.

Soooooooooooo get out of here!!! I'm shining my brightest light on the blogs listed above. I'm turning the dimmer switch down low on me..... and its getting dark here at Thrive Christian....get otta here!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blog Connections

This weekend some of my new blogging friends encouraged me to play tag. I barely know how to operate this blog and now I'm going participate in this exercise. I have messed up parts of it but I must admit that this has connected me with some women that have already impacted my faith.

The beautiful young lady that began this process for me can be found at

You'll love her beautiful flowers and insightful content.

I also recommend you visit this blog that also "tagged me"

I pass on this info to any of you that want to "play."

My rules. Post something utterly daffy that you did as a child

Example: My cousin Carole and I loved playing together as children when we visited with one another. She had a horse on one visit that we loved riding together. Now I knew nothing about horses but what I'd seen in the movies. We decided to let me take the front position and Annie Oakley I became. Yipeee!! Suddenly Carole began yelling whoa, stop, oh no!!!! I didn't know what was wrong with her. She could see we were headed straight for the clothesline. I didn't have a clue anything was in front of us. She yanked the reins in time to bring the horse to a stop before the clothesline grabbed my throat.

3. Write 6 random things about yourself that others might not know about you.

Example of Kay

a. I love people....I find almost everyone has something to teach me I could never have known without being with them.

b. I adore crafts...getting messy and making a mess is irrelevant.

c. I have to work on being diligent with my daily routines. I prefer new challenges, but I love life when I am disciplined in doing the routines on time.

d. I love mystery stories & in my sixties I would still love to catch the crooks at their deeds and protect the innocent.

e. I hope one day I can write...right.

f. I still feel like I'm really only 11 years old in the child part of me; but I have lived 64 years. Take me to the playground!!!

If you don't blog, the next thing might not apply to you...hey, I'm still not sure how to play. Bless their hearts. they've sent me emails with instructions and I still don't get all the ends and outs. Let's have fun with what we can do, right?

4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

Example This is a lovely insightful blog. Dorothy is beautiful and so are her life changing posts. Nicki will light up your life and bless you with truth. Angela refreshes everyone who drops by her wonderful blog. Her joy is contagious. Tracy will bring you truth of Scripture, beautiful pictures and hope. You'll find lovely pictures and life filled words on this blog in Australia. Starr has become a friend since She Speaks. We bumped into one another on our way to a workshop and I found her as delightful as her blog.

Can't wait to read these posts and discover some things about the readers of this blog.

This is beginning to be fun. 64 and still playing tag!!! I love it .... sounds like thriving to me.

No More Stops & Starts

Life is to be lived with expectancy and enthusiasm. I remember years of being high in the clouds or groveling in the valley of worry. My life didn't mirror what I read in the Bible and the witness I saw in some Christians. I refused to settle for less than the promises of the Bible for abundant thriving life.

At that time I was going through some struggles in my family. I'm going to be honest with you. I won't spell out the messes in my life in detail. I don't think you need all that. All of us have issues and messes. The good news is that God has always made beautiful transformations out of chaos.

My faith was so weak back then that I could not have joy when anything was missing in my life. When concerns filled my mind I saw the whole world through my gray lenses.

Momentarily I would have a lift from a book or a message. I would have a burst of joy and I could delight in the Lord again. But my spiritual journey was not blessed with a continual awareness of God in my life. No, a better description would have been "Stop and Start."

Biographies of Christian men and women inspired my faith. While I was wrestling with the need of God's presence continually in my life I heard Elizabeth Elliot speak at a meeting in North Carolina . This amazing saint shared with us when her missionary husband, Jim, was executed by people he introduced the gospel to.

She lit up with joy as she told of taking her infant daughter into the jungle to live primitively with the natives who killed her husband. She was radiant as she told us of spending eight years translating the gospel into their language. Her eyes danced with delight as she told us that the chief of the tribe became the preacher of the newly established church in that jungle.

"Oh, God, You are not one to choose favorites. Fill me with Your Presence and Your Spirit. I want to live fully every day of my life in You. I desire to be vibrantly alive in the middle of life's messes like Elizabeth, " was my plea in those Carolina mountains years ago.

Shortly after that conference in NC I took a day to pray for help with my problems. I took a hike in the Georgia foothills. On the trail I walked along a bubbling brook with a constant sound of the water crashing into the rocks. I was praying for a sign that God was with me. I kept feeling a need to study this brook. I became frustrated that all I could concentrate on was this brook. I finally prayed, "God, are You telling me something in this brook?"

Then it hit me. Elizabeth and the saints in the Bible had a fresh flowing "brook" of living water of God's presence, Holy Spirit with them consciously every moment. This was what I had been seeking. I hoped that this was my day to begin living with the continual presence of God in my life that I could "know" He was in me at all times.

Now some 20 years later I can tell you there is no more "stop and start" with my knowing God is with me. I live In Christ and everything is done with the sense of "us" not just "me." As I realized those many years ago, God does not have favorites. He desires an intimate knowing relationship with all His sons and daughters.

Relationships with others are critical to our good abundant life. My hope is that you will take all your life and relationships and dare to trust God to be Lord of your life.

My pain back then had to do with broken promises. Oh, promises....they get broken, overlooked, or even ignored. It hurts to our core when people don't come through.

In John 16:33 Jesus Christ offers you and me a twofold promise:"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

This journey of life is exciting and some of that excitement isn't always pleasant. So how is it that I can take heart despite my troubles? Because Jesus Christ has overcome it all.

My part is to stay "clean" with my sin and living for selfish interests. King David had the answer:

Psalms 51:10 -12 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me [with thy] free spirit.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blog Power

Recently a post titled "Why Blog?" brought the most responses of any blog post to date. Today I hope to answer why I blog. I have a renewed passion to craft my thoughts into written words.

Writing became important to me near the end of my senior year in high school. Two of my friends had struggles in writing. The graduation requirement of satisfactorily completing an essay had thrown them into a panic. I worked with both of them on their essays. I ended up with only one night to write and complete my essay. I rushed through the night and completed what I concluded would be acceptable to the teacher.

My friends lit up with relief and joy when they each got B's on their essays. My mouth dropped in shock when my essay was graded "incomplete." I tearfully stayed late for class to talk with the teacher, Mrs. Smith.

Defensively I asked Mrs. Smith what was incomplete on my essay? I told her I had read my friends' essays and felt mine was equal to theirs. Mrs. Smith looked long and hard at me.

She then paused for an uncomfortably long time before she said, "Sue and Beth have never written anything up to the level of their essays. Somehow I believe you had something to do with this sudden talent emerging in both of them. Your incomplete grade is because I believe you have more inside you than you wrote in your essay. I believe you are a writer with a gift. They don't have that gift. Take the weekend and mine deep within you and write. Surprise me. This time you won't be distracted with the needs of your friends."

I never left my room for two days except to eat and necessities. Mrs.Smith was pleasantly surprised with the essay, but not as much as I was. I discovered the joy of writing. That began a pursuit of digging deep and finding "gold." I never write with confidence, but I never quit digging. Mining doesn't guarantee gold with every dig, but the hope of a nugget makes the work worth the effort.

Blogging is wonderful because I don't have to worry about publishing .... I just write. As a Christian I devote myself to whatever I know God is calling me to do. Life has been traumatic with caring for many ill family members over the last fifteen years. I have written in my journal continuously. That crude unedited writing would not be suitable for readers. Now, there is time to dare to write with the hope of a reader.

Blogging has pushed me to edit, process and dig deeply. My only hope is that Holy Spirit flows like the ink, in me, the fountain pen. Should I ever mix that up, no life will come from my writing.

So here we are full circle back to the question that opened this post: Why Blog? Because I desire to write. I pray to hear God and be His fountain pen. May Holy Spirit flow the ink that gives life to the reader. May they thrive more in their Christian journey because of life-giving grace on this blog.

King Solomon gave us these words: Proverbs 18:4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

Today we might offer that same thought with these words,

A person's words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom can be as refreshing as a bubbling brook.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fun Friday Mercy At Home on The Farm

Fourteen year olds can do the darndest things....

My mom and I moved from inner city Miami to my granddaddy's Northeast Georgia working farm. Adjusting from city life to pulling my load on this working farm was tough. I chose milking over other chores. I'd sit on the stool and the rhythmic repetitive motion of milking sent my imaginative mind off to "faraway exotic adventures with the handsome boy of my dreams." Oh, yeah give me milking over the other chores where you have to think.

One late winter afternoon I milked my cow and noticed my deaf grandfather had left his stall door unlocked. I glanced in and saw his cow eating. "Umm....imagine that! I'm usually the one forgetting to lock the stall door," I said out loud while I locked it tight. I hurried up to the house because it had become totally dark and I was frightened out there alone.

I cleaned up and the family asked where Granddaddy was. I shrugged my shoulders with no clue. Finally my uncle went down to the barn to discover Granddaddy was yelling and beating on the door from the inside of the stall. My uncle could be very cruel and abusive in berrating me and my cousin when we messed up. He was yelling at the top of his voice as he neared the house with Granddaddy.

I was overcome with guilt for my stupidity, and I was terrified on what I deserved for punishment. "Oh, I locked my deaf Grandfather in a stall with a cow in the pitch black dark of night." I was sobbing when the door opened. My aunt, my mom and my cousin were pointing their fingers at me and screaming about how stupid I had been. My precious deaf Granddaddy surmised the situation. "Everybody listen to me. This is my house. Kay made a mistake. If she ever does this again I'll handle the punishment. But today she learned she needs to check the stalls before locking them. No one will say or do a thing about this first offense. Now clean up and let's eat supper," Granddaddy saved my neck and showed himself to be the head of his household.

I have been hurt and neglected from male authorities from dad onto many others. When the remembrance of that could hurt me later on, I would recall Granddaddy on that cold dark night having outrageous mercy and protecting me when I deserved anything but that kindness. And I have never locked any door without first checking to be sure no one is in there.
Some of you have teens with their heads in the clouds messing up your day. Hold onto my daydream fog remembrance, and realize you might have an opportunity to impact that teen's life that never fades decades later.

Kay....that was sorta' funny, but I expect a belly roll on this blog on Fridays. Hold on.....I am now showing you some very funny pictures. Drum roll........................Here they are!

I worked in literacy ministries for years. We had brochures that read like this. I recall asking, if they can't read, how will they write us for more info? Duh...
ouch....water & electricity

Now, Titanic is a catchy little name for a business... sweet

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Inertia Buster: Stop the Belly Aching

Inertia got me this weekend and I confess to becoming Queen Couch Potato. I'm up and moving, maybe slower than I like, but I'm moving forward. The momentum is coming.

Little reminder of the definition of inertia: a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force

The Bible has all my answers. So, today I go to Joshua 17:14-18 to look at God's people who got stuck and caught up in inertia. Seems the tribe of Joseph had some complaints about their inheritance of land.

These descendants of Joseph drug their weary selves to have a word with Joshua. Stalling and whining they laid out all their "good" reservations against moving out and taking charge of their land. Hear them grumble,

"We don't want to...

  • Fight off the giants
  • Clear the forests
  • Navigate the hill country
  • Deal with the terrain

The last straw was the new innovation of the Canaanites' iron chariots. We can't possibly war against new innovation.

Folks, I sound like Joseph's boys when I'm overwhelmed. Sorry to say, I sit and sit and ponder how much I don't like where I am with what I know I need to

They came to Joshua to make a deal for a different piece of real estate in the Promised Land.

Joshua would hear not one word of this negative whining lament. Listen to the man of God,

"Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to E'phraim and Manas'seh, "You are a numerous people, and have great power; you shall not have one lot only, but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong."

Unfortunately these tribes responded with self-centered and whiny moans that were somewhat like this, " We don't want to do it. It's too hard, we can't. We don't even think we should have to do it. Do you know who our daddy is? We're Joseph's boys."

I love this response, in verses 17-18 Joshua tells his tribesmen that if they're such special people, now is a great opportunity to prove it. Let them do what Caleb did, go up and claim the mountains, and defeat the giants.

Joshua told them to prove their strength by taking this land and anyone who would dare try to interfere.. Get up and Do it!!!

I am writing this blog titled Thrive Christians; and I have inertia! Something is wrong with this picture.

No, inertia is over. I am up and moving. Since Jesus Christ is my Savior and my Lord,

I am the recipient of limitless ability to change
  • I have incredible strength to do battle personally with destructive habits

  • Paul writes, "I can do all things through Him [Christ] who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
  • Paul writes again, this time the Lord Jesus speaking to him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."

  • Paul responds immediately, "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

  • Finally, the apostle Peter says, talking about Jesus, "...He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). Here is my antidote to inertia in Christian living.
I know I'm not the only one who's stuck for a moment. I want to encourage anyone else stalling on your next chore. You and I can overcome this condition. In Christ God will show us the way to vibrant life.

  • I am commited to faithfully using the resources God has given me.
  • I will bloom where I am planted. I'm giving up complaining about my situation.
  • I will not waste energy rationalizing and complaining.
  • I will do something constructive, NOW, by faith in God.
God is changing my INERTIA to INITIATIVE.

In Psalm 138 David writes God's answer to his cry from fearful inertia:

"When I called, you answered me;and you made me bold and stout-hearted."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Inertia Buster: Move it! Move it! Movet it!

"Move it! Move it! Move it! I can't Heeeaaar you!"
Sgt. Carter on Gomer Pyle made this line famous on the TV comic sitcom series years ago.

Reading your comments for solutions to my inertia gave me a flashback of Sgt. Carter screaming in Gomer Pyle's face. Yes, Marine drill sergeants are tough. But it turns out that "move it" is actually great advice. So when I'm about to recline and rest for too long I smile and hear "Move it! Move it! Move it!" I don't salute, but I get moving.

Action is significant in thriving Christian living. I've realized for some time I love proclamation, but I delay in demonstration of my faith. The Bible is full of warning of hearing from God, but delay in obedience.

James always gets my number. Look at this verse in the first chapter of the book of James.“Or if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like.” (James 1, 23-24)

When I reflect on my weekend inertia I realize I like action, but I like dramatic action with bravado. When I was younger I could work all night and accomplish huge things in quick order. So I would put things off and then with olympic effort get caught up and feel like a champ. A note to my younger readers: that crazy all night working catch-up is not possible in later years.

To become successful I must be willing to start with small consistent actions. Some of these may appear trivial and insignificant, but in reality they are extremely important.

Move it! Move it! Move it! is to be taken quite literally. Some of your comments line up with all the experts' advice. When I get stuck I need to move physically. When we dance, walk, or any physical exercise the effect is realized mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Sleep and rest are vital to thriving health. But imbalance or over use of anything ends up being detrimental to our health. Every day needs a healthy balance of rest and action. I've overdone the I hear you Sarge. I'm up .... I'm moving ....Action!!!

Oswald Chambers, author of My Utmost for His Highest, always sobers me up to the highest calling for best practices in my Christian life. Here he goes again:

"The revelations of God are sealed until we open them up by our obedience.
They will never be opened up by your philosophing and thinking.”

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Inertia: Get unstuck

My life is full and I have goals set for me by my work, probate needs with my husband's death, and my dreams and aspirations. But this weekend I was stuck on the sofa with the computer and the television. Now, getting unstuck is a major project.

Inertia seems to sum up my state. The dictionary defines inertia as: a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force.

I must admit that describes me to a tee. The good news is I'm not limited to my own resources. I am praying for God to give me the momentum to be up and moving in the direction Holy Spirit leads. My thriving depends on me moving enthusiastically toward my goals on mission with God.

For the next few days I will write on getting up and moving. I know some of my readers are professionals, stay at home working moms, retirees, and students. We all work. So today we will see how we can work better with more momentum.

A few weeks ago I found these wise words on John Tesh's website:

Tips to Improve Your Work Week

Five tips to ratchet up your workplace performance.

1. Clear the decks. In other words, pick three to four critical projects to tackle early in the day. Save nonessential meetings and projects for later. Why? Because a Harvard study found that juggling too many tasks makes it hard to focus and experts say we become progressively less alert after lunch. So do the important stuff before lunch.

2. Seek the truth via email. That's the best way to find why your colleague skipped Monday's staff meeting. A study at Cornell University found that people are twice as likely to tell the truth in an email,as opposed to face-to-face or over the phone.

3. Say "we" instead of "you." Being all-inclusive makes people feel like they're part of a team. It'll also soften a complaint, so the other person is less likely to get defensive, and more likely to compromise. So, instead of saying "You need to get your facts together for the presentation..." Try, "Grab your notes, and we'll go over the figures for our presentation."

4. Play a symphony. Stanford researchers say that listening to music that's not familiar ... or has a lot of transitions... helps you focus and keeps your brain from wandering. Their pick? Beethoven's Sixth.

5. The fifth tip is good for Friday: Quit procrastinating. It'll improve your Monday before you even start your weekend. Simply knuckle down, and spend 30 minutes working on a task you've been dreading for days. You may surprise yourself and finish it off in 15 minutes.

I need help. Since you've read this far, will you help me out? What moves you when you get stuck? What have you done with inertia?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thrive as Love Flows Through You

1 Peter 4:7,8 "But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."

This week I had some challenges that I felt I needed some advice from a wise sage. During the conversation my advisor praised me on my "awareness." I was uncertain what she meant. She explained that she had observed this in me in other tough times in my life. She saw this as God's gifting in me.. I didn't realize that I possessed this gift in a way that set me apart from others.

I felt a twinge of guilt in ways I had assumed others could be aware of their circumstances sooner than may have been possible for them. I expect mercy from folks with gifts I lack. I ask them to help me where I am weak and they are strong. Likewise I realize I may have been insistent that others sober up and smell the coffee before they can.

Now, I'm praying for the understanding of this gift. I pray to be patient and compassionate with others if they refrain from fully facing their circumstances.

The counselor went on to point out that in all difficulties and problems 50% of the solution involves awareness. "Kay, you begin your problems with half of the solution in hand, because of your keen awareness ," she said. For many years I have focused on celebrating living in the present moment. Now is the most important moment of my life....each now. God's name: I AM calls me to live fully in the moment.

The opening scripture in I Peter calls us to be sober...aware. Apostle Peter also encourages us to love ... love others fervently. I hold onto these last words ...."for charity (love) shall cover a multitude of sins."

May God bless us with awareness, sobriety, and pour His love in us that we overflow love where-ever we go.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Why Blog?

I dedicate a small part of every day to give my best to this little blog.
I will never take your reading time for granted.

I've been surprised at the paybacks of this daily writing investment. I have corresponded with terrific people all over the world.

I spend an hour a day reading blogs that fuel me with lifegiving wisdom and delight.

I invest in blogging because the payback is far greater than the cost.

I embrace life passionately and wide open. The blogging experts emphasize staying on focus. I believe this post is on center of focus for thriving Christians.

As a blog reader I am blessed with many faithful cogent writers.

Writing this blog is pushing the sides of my "box" flat. Led by Holy Spirit, I'm dancing with my words on my flattened box.

Blogging is new or unknown to many Chrisitians. I hope to stir up the writing gift in some of you. Could God be calling you to shine His light into a dark, hurting world? Your voice is unique and no one else can express His Love like you can.

Now, I turn the question of "Why Blog?" to a business marketing networking expert, Scott Ginsberg, Through my work I discovered this terrific young man. His successful business as writer, speaker, blogger and consultant began with a small business college assignment. I recommmend his website: .


Why Blog?

1. Do you WANT to change the world?

2. Do you WANT to grow your business?

3. Do you WANT to attract new clients?

4. Do you WANT to become better known?

5. Do you WANT to lower your customer acquisition costs?

6. Do you WANT to reduce your average sales cycle?

7. Do you WANT to sell more products?

8. Do you WANT to
build a following?

9. Do you WANT to deliver constant value to your fans?

10. Do you WANT to boost your Google Juice?

11. Do you WANT to be interviewed by the media?

12. Do you WANT to share your philosophy with the world?

13. Do you WANT to have a platform on which you can define, refine and broadcast your voice?

14. Do you WANT to increase the depth and breadth of your expertise?

15. Do you WANT to attract new opportunities that just come to you out of the blue?

I hope you see my point. See, if you answered “yes” to any of those questions, THAT’S why you should blog.

And, after HEARING all those questions, if you’re STILL not convinced that you should blog, then you probably shouldn’t blog.


Jesus calls us to avoid isolation... John 17: 15-18 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. … [18] As you sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

Trust me, the blog world has everything: good and bad. Jesus shows us in this Scripture that we are to remain “unpolluted by the world” but the place we belong is “in the world,” right in the middle of it.
I have been blessed by some non-Christian readers who have encouraged me to keep blogging. They have pointed out what was meaningful to them. Blogging is one means to stay involved everyday with people who need to see the light of Jesus in us.

Ready to Blog?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fun Friday Courtroom Reality

The following questions were actually posed by real-life lawyers and are taken from official court records. Have a hearty laugh!!! Remember this is fun Friday!

Now, in all fairness to the poor lawyers immortalized below as complete idiots, readers should be aware that recorders operate at all times in courts of law, so that the slightest inadvertence is on record for posterity.

1. Was that the same nose you broke as a child?

2. Now, doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, in most cases he just passes quietly away and doesn't know anything about it until the next morning?

3. What happened then? He told me, he says, "I have to kill you because you can identify me."Did he kill you?

4. Was it you or your brother that was killed in the war?

5. The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?

6. Were you alone or by yourself?

7. Can you describe the individual?He was about medium height and had a beard.Was this a male or female?

8. How long have you been a French Canadian?

9. How far apart were the vehicles at the time of collision?

10. Mr. Clark, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn't you? I went to Europe, sir. And did you take your new wife?

11. Do you have any children or anything of that kind?

12. Were you present in court this morning when you were sworn in?

13. Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated? By death.And by whose death was it terminated?

14. Mrs. Jones, do you believe you are emotionally stable?I used to be. How many times have you committed suicide?

15. So you were gone until you returned?

16. She had three children, right? Yes.How many were boys?None.Were there girls?

17. You don't know what it was, and you didn't know what it looked like, but can you describe it?

*Thanks to the American
'Lectric Law Library, from whom some of the following are reproduced. He also wishes to thank lawyer Alan D. Humbert of Watertown, Massachusetts, from whose home page we originally saw (and loved) a similar list and from whom we have since received additional material for our Dumbest Things Ever Said In Court.

Danger: Moved By Blame or Praise

"If the praise of others elates me, or if the blame of others depresses me, then I know nothing of Calvary's love." Amy Carmichael

In 22 words Amy has summed up my toughest struggles as a Christian. I love people. Rarely do I find someone that I do not find fascinating. That is a good thing, but being such a people-loving person, I can strive to win the favor of folks. I fall into the danger Amy is pointing to in this statement..."If the praise of others elates me...". I make poor choices that are expensive, trying to win others' praise.

When God calls me to do the "right" thing, I hesitate trying to avoid the blame of others. I say "yes," when I know I should decline opportunities. Even when I do the hard, right thing; I sometimes fall into depression with others' blames.

After many falls forward, I am more alert and aware to be led by Holy Spirit in my decisions and living. Oh, I pray for words to encourage all of us to be In Christ so fully that we will not be moved from God's prompting and calling.

I've taken praise and had far too high an opinion of myself. Scripture repeatedly warns me of a sure fall when I exalt myself. I can testify to the pain of the fall from perching on my self-made pedestals.

Regretably "Somesay" has pressured me to disobey the call of God. In fear of what some might say, I have totally and partially failed the unctions of Holy Spirit.

I work with many Christian business people that struggle with their faith in the secular marketplace, that is moved primarily by profit, at all costs. I pray for Christian friends struggling with all of these scenarios:

  • Nurses and doctors who have difficulty finding work where they do not contribute to abortions

  • School superintendents and officials with strong Biblical convictions on homosexuality, who are being pressured to sponsor gay clubs in their schools

  • Married people who vowed to covenant in marriage unto death with unfaithful spouses

  • Parents of prodigal children who must stand in tough love to not enable destructive addiction lifestyles

  • Pastors and church leaders pressured to dilute the messages of their sermons

  • Business people pushed to lie/slant the truth and engage in ruthless measures to over-run competitors

  • Workers pressured to work long hours with little time for their families or churches

Here are a few Scriptures that I have prayed over these commited warriors:

"God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

"People who know their God will display their strength." Dan 11:32

"The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

Praise or Blame to not move us...we are moved by Almighty God!!!

We are moved by Calvary's Love

To Him, only, we give glory.

Holy, Holy, Holy

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No Self Pity Today

Yesterday's post centered on Elaine Dembe's (81) 10 secrets to passionate longevity. The first one: While you've got brain and muscle and the possibility of activity, never feel sorry for yourself, became very important to me today.

One of my young friends and business associates has been battling a chronic illness that has necessitated two intense surgeries within 2 months. She's accustomed to being a strong and able take-charge executive woman.

She called in tears because she is spent. She is limited in her physical activity and she tires very quickly. She wanted to take some of the load off of her family, so she overdid it and became dangerously exhausted. Little activities overwhelm her. I listened to her lament and felt her frustration and defeat. She's facing about 2 years of treatment and recovery. She sees this physical incapacity as almost endless.

When I hung up the phone I thanked God for this great day of life He has given me. The joy and delight of doing the "little" things that are pushing me to work at a fast pace are really a blessing. I am strong and healthy. Before that phone call I was complaining about my long to do list. I was feeling a bit sad that I had so much to do. I had been complaining about having no one to do it with me. Oh no, I am blessed that I have these chores to do; and I can easily do them.

My prayers are with my friend. God has not forsaken her in this time of struggle. When she recovers emotionally and gets her breath physically I know God has sweet surprises for her. He will show her what is hers, in this place ... that she could never have known or seen in any other way or time.

I don't know what your day has been, but as 81 year old Elaine has wisely proclaimed: if we have our minds, bodies and the possibilty of activity... we should rejoice.

Embrace and enjoy the day!!

This is the day the Lord hath made.

Psalm 118

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

10 Secrets of 81 year old Thriver

The book, Passionate Longevity written by Elaine Dembe has encouraged me in my pursuit to thrive each day of my life. I was blessed by this list by a thriving 81 year old woman.
The Ten Secrets of Eleanor Mills at age 81

  1. While you've got brain and muscle and the possibility of activity, never feel sorry for yourself.

  2. Be resourceful. If you can't get things right one way, find another way.

  3. Be kind. Be nice to people.

  4. Be patient. Let problems simmer in your mind; very often they sort themselves out.

  5. Never give up. Whatever condition you've got or not got, never give up.

  6. Take responsibility for your health.

  7. Do things because you love people, not because you want to be a success.

  8. See obstacles as challenges.

  9. Stay physicallly active. There's nothing to be gained from sitting.

  10. Freeting about the future is a waste of time.

What's working for you to thrive and live the best life possible?

Here's a mindset that works for me. I assume the best in others. I never want to err on the side of a negative assumption of others. I have found this one commitment has improved the health of all my relationships.

As you write in your "secrets" for good living I will save them for a later post this summer.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Misunderstood Again

The good life for Christians can be determined by the health of their personal relationship with God. When I am living in Christ and see all of life through Him, I have peace and joy. The mysteries of life that I cannot understand drive me to trust and believe that God will be my strength when I'm at my end.

My peace and joy were interrupted this week. Offense, betrayal, and hurt filled my emotions to disturb my relationship with God. During a leadership planning session several of us leaders had to choose key people for a project. In discussion we did not have consensus on one person to fill a slot. To clarify the reasons for not choosing her I gave instances of inconsistency in her performances in the past. One person was a personal friend of hers and kept insisting on her as a choice. The committee agreed to choose another candidate instead. I assumed everyone realized any comments were spoken in confidence.

Shortly after the meeting word comes back to me that a committee member (friend of rejected candidate) shared (with embellishment) my words against this person's performances. What do you do when people betray your confidence? I dont' know about you, but I am still sensitive enough to hurt badly.

The Bible gives us evidence that this will occur over and over. My own experience has confirmed that these scenarios will play more often than I want to admit. But, oh, how I hurt.

What to do with this pain? First I have to examine the playback with honesty to see where I erred. Oh, Did I exaggerate negative factors in this particular person? Did I clarify that comments in this meeting were not to be shared with anyone else? What could have been a better way to show this person unqualified without the words coming at them second-hand that have generated so much pain? How do I work in leadership meetings seeking excellence and getting the best candidates for ministry without causing unnecessary hurt to those not selected?

Of course I took this to Father God in prayer. For an entire day I ached with this hurt. When I could not seem to get my peace of mind back I prayed again. The thoughts that came to me were: "Why did I pick the problem up after prayer? Why didn't I determine to think on other things and trust the whole thing to God?

These are some of the senseless thoughts that I would recycle over and over in my mind:

Why would this person want to tell someone something so hurtful?

What possible good did he see coming out of stirring up these hurt feelings?

Does he want to hurt me? Why? What possible good does he see by showing me in this light and at the same time hurting this person with these negative observations?

Oh, the list could fill pages. God has grown me up enough that I don't crawl up in the fetal position for weeks on these hurts and misunderstandings. But I desire to be so close to God that when someone praises me I don't get that excited and when I'm doing my best and they don't like me or what I'm doing I trust God to handle it. No, I'm still getting in a stew. I want to be so In Christ that I can stay in peace and love with all men at all times.

I'm getting better at shortening the time of these hand wringing sessions. The Scriptures show me I am to live with peace and joy. When misunderstandings occur I have clear instruction:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Repay no evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

This wisdom is from the book of Romans in the 12th chapter, verses 14,16, 18.

Hurt, misunderstanding, and trouble are promised to all. The question is my trust in God; while I deal honestly with whatever is my responsibility. I am called to trust Him matter what.

I am called to let go of my hurts and feelings of being betrayed. How can I do that? Oh, when I think of all He bore in betrayal, hurt, misunderstanding and pain ....oh, yes Lord, I surrender all. I trust You and I pray Your mercy and love on all of us. I pray for Your goodness to anyone I perceive as not caring for my interests. I pray that You bring them and me closer to You. In You is all that is good, honorable and worthy of my attention and time and heart.

Mystery ....not understanding everything, but trusting in the Strong Gentleness and Love of Almighty God is magnificient. Thrive and live based on His goodness.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Growth Shows Up in Drought

Here in the Southeast we are experiencing the worst drought in years. Our beautiful Lake Hartwell is drying up in the creek beds. Today I rode by a section of the lake to see growth of beautiful plants where I am accustomed to seeing water, boats, ducks and fishermen.

Instead of waves of water I saw waves of green. Everyone moans as they drive over the bridge and see what was a lake reduced to a muddy creek bed. I know we need rain, but I saw this landscape with new eyes today.
Seeds have been flowing down the hills for years with every rainfall. Once the lake bottom dried out, the ground could sprout the seeds. The sun encouraged rapid growth and development. Where there was water, now it looks like a rain forest of plants. The drought was the setup to show the seeds that have been hidden under water all these years.

The Bible shows us some great men of faith that endured severe "droughts." Moses comes to mind after he "saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So he looked this way and that way and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian." Exodus 2:11-12. The Hebrews turned on him for murder and Pharoah was chasing him down. He ran to the desert. He ended up on the backside of nowhere shepherding sheep, until God manifest Himself to him in a burning bush. His drought was a quiet, dry time that suddently changed with the presence of God. Then Moses was revealed to be the man who would bring God's chosen people out of captivity.

Joseph had a drought of being in an alien land away from nourishment of family or other Israelites. He ended up removed from everyone but fellow prisoners and guards. But this drought seemed to be the pressure that pressed his seeds of greatness to come forth to save His people and His family.

The last few years have felt like a "drought" to me. Lord, what has washed down in me through the years? What is Your desire to grow in me with the pressure and atmosphere change of this drought?

Felt dry lately?
Felt removed from nourishment?
Maybe it's a drought that will press you to grow in ways you could never have known except in a drought.

Saturday Rambling

Let's just chat today on this lazy hot summer day. Kicking back and taking a day or two off are important to thriving. Next week I've got a new bold series I want to share with you, but today let's take a moment and just celebrate being alive.

I'm needing to ease into our next big round of pursuing adventurous living . Getting by, surviving seems to be the attitude I detect in many people. I'm so into living fully I want to pull the whiners to the side and stir them up to the reality of the gift of Life! Now, that wouldn't be so kind or reasonable. Most folks haven't traveled a path amid suffering and dying cancer patients like I have recently. Not to bring you down...I truly am aimng at bringing you to joy...but hear me; being alive is Huge!!!

I've got a great weekend planned for me. In minutes I will join a class of newbie online auctioneers. A certified Ebay instructor will spend 4 hours getting us setup to sell on ebay. All my friends laughed at $30 and a Saturday morning in class to do what they consider simple. I'm a stickler for doing things right or don't even begin. I love learning and I love folks. I think it will be a blast.

Next on the agenda is lying back and digging into a new book I picked up in thrift store for 25 cents...The Hidden Adventure by Tim Hansel. What's the big deal? Oh, in a dark place in my life his book You Gotta Keep Dancin woke me up and I was able to use that very pain to prosper my life. I came out of that pit singing. On this book jacket I see another one of his I must find, What Kids Need Most in a Dad. On Father's day I posted my heart for Daddy.

I'll close with bits from the book jacket:

Hansel invites you to join in the great adventure of Christian growth and exploration. Stretch your personal and spiritual horizons to become the best version of yourself you can be. Learn the joyful secret of giving it all away for God!

Becoming the person we are meant to be calls for tons of "holy sweat." It is holy because it reminds us of our high calling to be more like Christ, and sweat because it takes hard work and constant change to get there.

10 powerful keys:
  1. Ability... to stop wishing and start doing
  2. Vision... it takes to dream big
  3. Thirst for excellence
  4. Willingness to risk failure in order to succeed
  5. Joy... the ingredient that makes all effort worthwhile
  6. Courage to get up off the floor and try again and again
  7. Passion for excellence
  8. Teamwork
  9. Clear, precise, written goals
  10. Quiet time set apart to hear God

In Big Bold Letters...........................

God calls each of us to be, not the Best, but the best we can be...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Friday Fun Day Joy

Thriving Christians laugh often and their joy is evident.

The Bible tells us in Psalm 16
"I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is filled with joy, and my mouth shouts his praises! My body rests in safety."

Therefore Blog owner/author Kay declares as of July 12, 2008 that Fridays will be planned to bring laughter and joy on this website. Today I bring you one talented funny Christian, Jeff Larson. I am an avid fan of his website: The Back Pew. Make sure you check out all his "rich" art at

With all my wrinkles I'm tempted to call up the local plastic surgeon and get something done to look better, but when I look at this scenario I'm not inclined to have any unnecessary procedures done.

Enjoy this day of life. This is the day the Lord hath made.

This cartoonist is wonderful. Take a joy filled glance at his web.

Strong Gentleness IV

Today we will conclude the series on Strong Gentleness and the need of gracious etiquette in the Christian's thriving life. Thank you for your input and help. Obviously we are all feeling the "incivility" of our land.

Dining out with a friend last evening two young men held the doors for us to enter the restaurant. I thanked them and huge smiles spread over their faces. When I had been shopping in the grocery store I was helped by kind employees who went far beyond my expectations. Suddenly I realilzed I was being showered with politeness. When I'm working on a writing or speaking assignment I usually have fresh encounters with the related issues to my topic. Trust me, when I am working on patience, life gets tough. So, I write to you with the joy of being treated with unusual kindness and politeness. I like it!

Hopefully all of us can grow more aware of the opportunities we have to show kindness to others. Many people push through life fussin' and cussin' because they know no other way. We know better.

Reading your comments and thinking of my own concerns for the lack of incivility in our culture I am convinced most people fail at kindness because they are unaware of others. I believe we will all find positive changes as we ourselves become aware of the ways we can help others.

When we embrace the wide open adventure of living in Christ we will pray for God to alert us wherever He has a need for us to help someone. Then every venture becomes an adventure.

In Romans 15 Paul shows us that our faith will lead us to be oriented around the needs of others...verse 1 "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please Himself."

Richard Foster wrote, "Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition. It will devise subtle, religiously acceptable means to call attention to the service rendered. If we stoutly refuse to give in to this lust of the flesh, we crucify it. Every time we crucify the flesh, we crucify pride and arrogance."

In Beyond Personality, C.S. Lewis writes, “The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you’ll find your real self. Lose your life and you’ll save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep nothing back. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”

I remember when I had a sweet face for everyone, but much of my thinking was centered on me and mine. That was a tight suffocating place to live. God has expanded my focus and turned my eyes away from my own little world. I lose myself in whatever I see and hear God calling me to do for His glory. Thriving, truly comes, in paying life forward compassionately to others.

Kindness and smooth flowing life works best within excellent protocol. What is protocol? It is a system of orderly rules that guide the development of social character and culture. It establishes behavioral habits by which we treat others.

Our main struggle is that the current trend of social norms run counter to Biblical standards. We must pray for discernment and diligence to stand against the flow counter to being Christ-like.
Christian protocol calls us to behave graciously towards one another and protocol provides a simple way to that end.

Through our rules of conduct (Biblically based) we can demonstrate respect, kindness and brotherly love. Everyday details of protocol in interaction with others, eating, sitting, walking and all the details of everyday life might seem mundane. Know that their impact, consistently practiced, will impact a community and a society. Protocol matters!

God invites us to experience a new freedom and a new joy that is found when we ignore our first selfish impulses and allow God’s Spirit to give us a heart for others. He wants to expand our focus and turn our eyes away from our own small world, and to find ourselves by losing ourselves in service to His concerns and people.
© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.