Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hope Can Change Everything

Need a good editor with a quick red pen.

Welcome to Thrive Christians blog. If you're new; I'm writing daily on ways to embrace life and thrive. I've yearned to write for decades, but I now have the time to try again at this passion.
Blogging is a comfortable place for me to work out the "rust" in my brain, and weave the words packed back in my heart.
I'm passionate about my faith and living each day wide awake knowing life itself is a wonderful gift from God.

Lately I've been getting a few writing assignments. A.I.M, Anderson Interfaith Ministries, has asked me to write a poem for a ministry that I believe in with all my heart. I am listing the website for you to see for yourself what is happening to reverse poverty here in SC:

Writing this blog is a stretch, but poetry just "sounds" out of my range. Well let's give it a go. The particular ministry I'm writing this poem for is Women and Children Succeeding (WACS). This program gives parents and disadvantaged children the opporunity to break the cycle of poverty and become independent, self-sufficient, and successful. The number one barrier for parents is the lack of childcare. The WACS program helps participants obtain quality childcare.

For decades I have worked hands-on with those burdened with poverty and illiteracy. Many times those caught up in these snares have taught me more about the meaning of life and the mercy of God than anyone else in my life. I owe them much. I learned early on if you have no resources, you have no hope. When you are hopeless; utterly hopeless, you are careless. "What's the use?" is the only thought you can hold. Programs like WACS at AIM are what I see to be some of the best means to thrive as Christians.

Help me out. This is my rough draft of the poem. In the comment section show me how you think these words could flow better or express the heart of this ministry from what I've shared with you. I will see all of you as my editorial board.

Hands of Hope

You gave me hope, and
I found my voice.
No longer silent and afraid,
To believe in tomorrow
For me and mine.

Hopeless, I was careless.

What did it matter?
No childcare, no way to work
Hopeless and isolated,
Did anyone care?

WACS gave me hope and promise,
Made a way for work and school.
Hands of hope gave me bootstraps,
I’m pulling myself up
For me and mine.

Working hard suits me fine.
No longer stuck in a rut.
Your hands of hope
Made a way where there was no way.

You cared,
You listened,
You showed me my worth;
I’ve learned to be a mother that matters.

Hear the sound of hope and love,
As my children laugh,
And hear their dreams of tomorrow.
We’re breaking the mold.

Poverty stops here.
Your hands of hope break
The chains of fear and despair.
Hope brings power and promise.

I’m no longer invisible.
You gave me my voice.
Hear me sing a song of hope.
Your hands opened a new world to me and mine.

ands of hope
Gave me and mine
Lives of dignity, value and success.
Now I pray my hands
Will be hands of hope for others.

Copyright 2008 Kay Martin

Surprises Spice Up Our Lives

Suprises Pop Up Everywhere

I'm getting better at handling surprises and interruptions, but in the past I wanted to make a plan and for the plan to "make it" through the day. Older and wiser I don't plan so much and I know surprises are coming.

This week I shocked a shopper in a thrift store. I like to purchase things there to save money, save the planet, and contribute to the homeless shelter.

I'm browsing through the aisles when I smell smoke. I notice a fellow trying to cover his cigarette with his hand as he puffs away.

Now, there's a genius: smoke is coming up, smells are radiating, but you've got the cigarette concealed by your hand.

Anyway I wanted to make sure he wasn't one of the men from the shelter. They cannot smoke on the premises or at the shelter. I would have reported one of them to the manager, but I realized this guy was a shopper.

Oh boy! I wasn't happy. The store is an old building filled with old spark and we'd all have a surprise! But what really ticked me off was thinking of the addicts working who had to be dying for a cigarette (I never smoked but I have a tough time changing any habits) and here is this dude puffing away. I finally got the nerve to stroll over near him. He has now put out the cigarette and it's stuck behind his ear.

"Sir, I don't mean to be intrusive but you may not know that the men from the shelter or those working community hours cannot smoke in here..." He interrupted me, "Oh, you want me to take my cigarette from behind my ear?" I nodded and he put it in his pocket.

I felt kinda' like the old woman everybody dreads bumping into. But working at the check out was a nice young man who sniffed in the air and said, "Can't these people read the signs: NO SMOKING?" I smiled and said I hope someone starts enforcing that rule.

He said with sweat on his brow, "I need not to smell cigarettes because I really want to be done with them forever."

I've never approached anyone about something like this before. I surprised myself, but after hearing that addict's plea for help, I may become a surprise again.

Enjoy the day. So what if your plans pan out a bit differently than anticipated. Go with the flow!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fun Friday: County Fair

County Fair is coming and memories flood my mind...
Fall's in the air and I'm thinking back when the county fair came to town each autumn. One fall morning I was assisting my physician husband with a physical examination of a "northern" newcomer to our southern small town.

My husband was the epitomy of a southern gentleman with a most pronounced southern drawl.

Being a compassionate doctor he did everything he could to help his patients relax during an examination.

He would try to distract their thinking by talking about community happenings. So he asked this patient if she was getting excited about the fair coming to town.

She abruptly straightened up and said, "What fire?"

He was taken back and said in Southernese, "I didn't say anything about a fiiiire; I was talking about the faiiiiiireee coming to town."

Well, folks I tried to look professional, but as they bantered back and forth with fire and fair:(faiiiiiireee) I lost it. I couldn't keep from laughing and I bit my tongue and pinched myself, but the giggles came.

Both of them were ticked off at me. Finally she said to me, "Why in the world would he say fire, when he means fair?"

My husband gave me a look, like every wife knows well..."you better not make me look bad." I told her we southerners just talk with a bit more melody in our voices than people from other parts of the country. She huffed and of course her blood pressure shot up and we never really got her calmed down.

She left muttering "fire when you mean to say fair...I don't get it."

So when the air is cooler and autumn is near I laugh a bit thinking of the time when the faiiiiiireee...I mean, the fair came to town. I smell the cotton candy; I hear the squeals on the ferris wheel; and I hear the animals in the stalls.
Garrison Keillor said this about county fairs: "The State Fair is not a way of life, it's a reward for making it through summer. Sort of like ice cream is a reward for eating your broccoli."
It's Labor Day weekend and like the Keillor says, this is your reward for all your hard work and labor. Enjoy it!!...thank Our Father in Heaven for those you love and please laugh together. Life is such a it and delight in it!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Seriously, Don't Take Yourself So Seirously

Thriving Christians Don't Take Themselves So Seriously!

Thanks readers for sending in such great insights. What's the big deal on adults getting balanced play in their lives? After a long period of research I 've had to laugh at my serious pursuit of why we need humor, fun and play in our lives to live abundantly. Oh, please Kay, take a breath and rest your eyes and hands.

O.K. therein lies the issue. Take my eyes off me and mine , and look up to the Lord. Pride and fear are the enemies that steal my joy and sense of childlike faith.

Not to waste all that research I'm going to take a few days to explore my obstacles to play and joy. By the way, the picture above is my, that is not my photo. Neither was the shot yesterday. Both of these women just give me a visual to strive toward. Oh, yeah!!!

Here we go with the facts on why I really need to take myself more lightly:

I'm a fan of PBS' Garrison Keillor and his long running radio program "Prairie Home Companion." I love visiting the mythical Minnesota community of Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

Dare to visit Lake Wobegon with me today and let's see what we may have 'bought' from well meaning parents and community that is impeding our need for play and humor.

The Norwegian and German immigrant farmers attend the Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church where Pastor Ingqvist holds forth, while the more recent Catholic immigrants attend Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility. Garrison Keillor's family attended neither for they were Sanctified Brethren. The Brethren were stricter than the Lutherans but they certainly weren't Catholics so on Memorial Day they had to march with the Lutheran parade because, as Keillor says, "We aren't Lutheran, but there [were] only two parades to choose from; if we Brethren put on our own, it would look like a few people going out to lunch."

Keillor "Of course, I never could dance at all, having grown up in a fundamentalist home, which you can tell by the way I move. The Plymouth Brethren believed that any rhythmic physical movement would awaken our carnal desires, just as sure as aspirin dissolves in a bottle of Coke, so we kids had to sit in study hall when they taught dancing in phys ed., couldn't go to dances, not even square ones, couldn't even join the marching band. I wanted to dance. Wanted girls to know that what I lacked in aptitude I made up for in sheer avid interest. Couldn't dance because it would awaken carnal desire, which in my case was not only awake, it was dressed and down on the corner waiting for the bus. The Brethren are good people but they do leave a mark on a boy."

Scandinavians in Minnesota are accustomed to harsh weather, modest life styles and lives focused on work not leisure. In telling the story of a middle-aged man who is wondering if he will ever inherit the family farm. Keillor shares on the show that the farmer was "raised to bear up under hardship and sadness and disappointment and disaster, but what if you're brought up to be stoic and your life turns out lucky - you're in love with your wife, you're lucky in your children, and life is lovely to you - what then? You're ready to endure trouble and pain, and instead God sends you love - what do you do? He'd been worried about inheriting the farm, meanwhile God had given him six beautiful children. What happens if you expect the worst and you get the best?"

Keillor may have hit on one of our roadblocks to abundant living. When things are going well do we create some drama or unhappiness so we can live in familiarity? I've shared a few times that I'm a BT...oh that's my original acronym for the dysfunctional family I was born into. Born in Trauma: BT. I recall Marion Bond West, author and friend, and a BT, burst my bubble with this remark one day. "Kay, you and I learned to deal with crisis so well we might be crowned Crisis Queens. Do you suppose we create a crisis because we just want to reign?" Ouch. Marion and I share the gift of tell it like it is!

Regret can sneak up and steal the joy of the moment. I've wasted what could have been a great day worrying with dread about what might happen...worrying about the unhappiness I'm fearing coming tomorrow, or the day after that, or sometime soon.

Keillor says that when Lake Wobegon Lutheran women go to heaven, they will think it is church and ask where the kitchen is. When the men arrive, they will look at the Heavenly Father's mansions and talk about roofing: asphalt shingles or cedar shakes?

God invites us to a party and we turn it into a geometry test. God gives us life to be enjoyed, not endured.

Laugher is throughout the Bible. In fact, I'm convinced Jesus smiled and laughed often. I concluded that when the children were pushing through the crowds trying to get near Him. Children are always drawn to pleasant smiling fun-loving people.

People with a sense of humor can watch themselves and laugh at their own trials and tribulations. The deadly serious people in the Drama Zone are the ones who almost never say, "I can laugh now . . ." They often have no hope and thus may not honor the glorious strength of humanity -- the human spirit. Humility, humor, and humanity. I'm finding God planned in my humanness and He isn't upset with my honest mistakes...why should I be?

Of course, balance is the biggee...again. I can get all into the exclusion of everything else. I can also get all into play; yep, to the exclusion of work that needs to be done. Today's blog is a good example. It's been fun, but I have a long list of have-to's. So, I gotta' go.

But I do want to encourage you to have hope, no matter what, to not take yourself so seriously that you don't have fun and joy in this day. Rejoice in the Lord! Rejoice in being alive.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Play! Enjoy Life

Maybe I'm trying too hard. I do have white hair, but don't think I can do this! But I do relate to this picture.

I'm having to learn to plan to play. Intentional Play is Healthy! This blog is dedicated to thriving life. "To the individual, good mental health is directly related to his capacity and willingness to play," William Menninger, M.D.1

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours with an artist friend learning jewelry making. I totally lost myself in the wonder of this new craft. I slept better last night and I awakened to knowing I must plan to have fun and play on a regular basis.

Dr. Menninger writes, "In this troubled world today, so filled with unhappiness, distress, anxiety, and restlessness, to whom can one look for help? It is my firm conviction that if we could encourage and teach and guide more people to more effective recreative activity, we could and would make a major contribution to our national and international peace of mind."

Here is a comment from Dietrich BonHoeffer from his prison cell as he writes about the horrors of WW II and about play in a letter to his friends Eberhard and Renate Bethge:
"I wonder whether it is possible (it almost seems so today) to regain the idea of the Church as providing an understanding of the area of freedom (art, education, friendship, play), so that Kierkegaard's "aesthetic existence" would not be banished from the Church's sphere, but would be reestablished within it? I really think
so. ... Who is there, for instance, in our times, who can devote himself with an easy mind to music, friendship, games, or happiness? Surely not the "ethical" man but only the Christian."2

One of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, helps me with these thoughts: "If we would but play, we might be surprised by the joy of God himself. True, there is no guarantee that joy will occur. But God has made us creatures with the capacity for communion with Him, not only in and through our work but also in and through our play. And in a time when work is proving increasingly sterile and defective, could it not be through our play that the serendipity of God's presence might most easily be experienced?"3

Work hard, look up for your help and take life lighter and play!!!

1 Menninger, William, MD Living In A Troubled World. 1967. Kansas City,MO: Hallmark Cards, Inc. p.38
2Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison, enl. ed., ed. Eberhard Bethge (New York: Macmillan, 1971), p. 198.shrub164
3 Walter Hooper, "On C. S. Lewis and the Narnian Chronicles," quoted in Eliane Tixier, "Imagination Baptized, or, `Holiness' in the Chronicles of Narnia," in The Longing for a Form: Essays on the Fiction of C. S. Lewis, ed. Peter Schakel (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1979), p. 143

Monday, August 25, 2008

News Flash Kay Finally Can't Think of a Thing To Say!!!

Mind words and here it is nearly 9 PM. Well, blogging friends this is a first. I'm speechless. If you knew me up close and personal you would applaud. There's rarely a day I don't have something to say.

But here we are. I knew this day would come so I'm prepared. I have a little joke in my files that fits the politcal coverage on the tube and all the chatter about taxes, etc.

Enjoy this moment of me being wordless; since it's rare.

A little boy wanted $100.00 very badly and prayed for weeks, but nothing happened. Then he decided to write God a letter requesting the $100.00.

When the postal authorities received the letter to God, USA, they decided to send it to the President. The president was so amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $5.00 bill. The president thought this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy.

The little boy was delighted with the $5.00 bill and sat down to write a thank-you note to God, which read:>>>
Dear God: Thank you very much for sending the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you sent it through Washington, DC, and those crooks deducted $95.00 in taxes.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where's My Queen Mother Hat & Outfit When I Need It?

Scones and Delicacies With Tea at Three....oh how absolutely wonderful!!!

Sunday was a delight for this new writer. Because I'm trying to write...whether I ever will write to a level you could call me "writer" is still up for grabs. Anyway my charm and "whatever" won me the good graces to be invited to a most heavenly event.
Pictured here is Rev. Fr. Johann W. Vanderbiji III and his wife, Louise of the Anglican Church of St. George the Matyr. They are both originally from Africa and they became citizens of the USA at a ceremony in Charleston in 2007.
Louise is a woman who knows about teas and delicacies and hosting an event that blows your socks off. I entered the reception hall of the church and could only say "Ah, " from the main table with gorgeous foods too beautiful to describe (all homemade and elegant) and tables with lovely linen, beautiful fresh flower arrangements on each, and a beautiful teapot on each table.

Father Vanderbijl's hopes and aspirations are summarized in his desire to see The Anglican Church of St. George the Martyr grow numerically and spiritually to become a beacon and bastion of Biblical truth for the Upstate.

This new artisans' group is a part of that vision. Today the large reception hall was filled with painters, scupltors, musicians, photographers, weavers and a writer who are passionate about expressing their art in adoration of Jesus, their Lord and Saviour.
Check out Fr. Vanderbijl's art:
Here are a couple of pictures of this amazing man's art:

You'll be hearing more about this new work of our Heavenly Father in the Carolinas. It was amazing to be with other passionate saints who love the Lord with all their hearts and want to produce art to express their faith.

I loved hearing photographers tell of their desire to show their work and explain how they see God in faces of their subjects,and the landscapes that speak of the great Creator and the longing went on and on.

The musicians were delighted to be with other artists who will be a sounding board for the new songs in their hearts. I was the only writer present, but we know more will come onboard and we can form a group to critique and pray for one another.

This church is dedicating an entire large room with lighting and hooks and everything needed to present a gallery for artists. There will be guidelines to make sure all is appropriate for a church, but our hope is that we will attract artists and those who will view the art who can come to know Jesus as we open up this new venue.

Can ya'll tell this southern gal is excited!!! Evangelism and art!!! Oh does it get better than this?

I still wish I could have had a Queen Mother outfit with matching hat, suit, and gloves and oh those jewels. But dressed as I was, I had a ball!

God has an adventure for all of us in new ways and with creativity wide open!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blisters, Sweat, Excellence At Work: Christian Witness To Impact Our Culture

Christians in Business

Yesterday I presented an educational message for a group of Christian Business people. I prayed, I called in prayer and I was most hopeful for us to connect on what our challenges are in maintaining our faith while being productive and profitable in a secular marketplace.

A few interesting incidents occured on my way to the podium in the days leading up to this event. A small home group that is key to my Christian life met on Thursday night. In our discussion we talked about witnessing in our lives at work. One woman spoke of a business that has a Christian message on their answering device. Others of us mentioned how we decide how much to say about our faith; and how much to show in action, with no words on the job.

One businessman with a large development, building, leasing company expressed concern for the person who is quick to speak of faith, but then disappoints in delivery of excellence, integrity etc. He is well known in our community as a Christian leader. He said he is cautious when interviewing someone if they are so vocal in expressing their Christianity. He has been burned by people who could talk a better game than they delivered in job execution.

I spoke yesterday on the business need for networking, but I concluded with a Biblical example of excellence in work by Bezalel who was the first man recorded in the Bible to be filled with the Spirit of God. Bezalel was a craftsman who well knew blisters and sweat in a day's work.

Read this scripture..."And God provided for Moses the skilled craftman, filled with "the spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge,and with all craftsmanship." Ex 35:31.

The work on the ark of the Covenant and the tabernacle was holy. Bezalel was obviously good at his trade, but oh imagine what joy he had working filled with the Holy Spirit on the great assignments of building the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant.

Robert Capon writes, "Culture change can come only from caring enough about things to want them to be themselves want:
  • the poem to scan perfectly

  • the song to be genuinely melodic

  • the basketball actually to drop through the middle of the hoop

  • the edge of the board to be utterly straight

  • the pastry to be really flaky

He goes on..."Few of us have many great things to care about, but we all have plenty of small ones." Robert Capon, Bed and Board, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1968. p. 109

Is your work showing?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Connected to Others Is God's Way to Thrive

Connecting To Others: Thrive Christians

This week I dug deep into research on the power of having significant caring people intimately involved in our lives. The scientific, sociological, and Biblical wisdom all agree: We are not meant to be alone.

Indivdiualism is greatly admired in American culture. Throughout the Bible God calls us to community and loving relationships.

Jesus spoke to the disciples that the distinquishing quality of Christians is "know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another" John 13:35.

Throughout the entire New Testament I see the workings of the Holy Spirit to create the Church, a community of people knitted together in strong trusting lasting faithful relationships.

Robert D.Putnam wrote a book, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, a few years ago. He wrote that we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors and community groups. He reports in the past decades:

  • Membership in clubs has declined 58%

  • Families eating together at dinner has declined by 33%

  • Having friends over has declined by 45%

We live in an increasingly isolated society. No wonder many report "feeling lonely" as one of their main problems. Unfortunately, we hear people working primarily to look out for "number one." In fact, some people think it unwise to entangle themselves in commitments, relationships and groups that could place too many demands on them.

George Barna identified a growing trend in Christians in his book, Revolution. Some folks have come to believe that the best way to live a Christian life is in isolation from any parish or church. They have assumed that they can pray, act and understand their own faith without the bother of others or an organized church."There is a new breed of Christ-follower in America today," Mr. Barna announces. "These are people who are more interested in being the Church than in going to church."

His research has "discovered and described a growing national population of more than 20 million adults who are committed to living their faith and making God the top priority in their life. Some are doing so through the ministries of a local church, but many are not. The emphasis is upon allowing God to transform them in every aspect of their life."

I have to confess some of my greatest relationship hurts have occured in church. The challenges are great with the many different people in church.

Yesterday a woman I admire mentioned that she keeps up boundaries to avoid pain. I chuckled and said, "How's that working for you?" I told her, "I laid all those down years ago. I got tired of the disappointment."

When we become involved with others, we will be hurt. Relationships mean pain, as well as joy. But as I have shared all week....the joy and the pain is the very fiber of real living. The abundant life God has promised and provided for us has pain and joy!!!

C. S. Lewis put it well:
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell.

Let's Connect

Knowing God Closely: If you've dropped by this blog I am believing that you know God.. A relationship with God is not simply an intellectual pursuit. I have opened my heart to an intimate knowledge of God founded on personal union with God Himself.

  • Surrendering to God has opened me up to others: Through God's work in my life He is transforming me. I can coming to know "If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" (1 John 4:20). Every day I desire to be on good terms with all those in my life. Whenever there is a tear in a relationship, God heals our hurts. He is showing me how to be faithful and true in the Church, His Body.

  • Serving God. The vibrant adventurous passion I have to connect with God's calls and to the people He desires for me to know and serve is amazing. I can see that God has wisely chosen to use the hard work of relationships to force me to confront my own spiritual poverty honestly and in a safe and loving community.
  • Putnam had some observations that I believe give us hope and understanding on how we got here and what we can do to better connect with others: " A variety of technological, economic, and social changes rendered obsolete ways of relating to each other," Putnam said. "In both cases, Americans felt materially better off than their parents had been, but they also felt disconnected."
    He recommends:

    • Reduce TV viewing and spend more time talking with others
    • Attend church more frequently.

    Find Christians you trust to discuss your fears and what you can do to resolve your fears.

    • Join a group: tennis club, book club, bowling league, a civic or community group, volunteer group for charities .

    We slowly slid to isolation with more women entering the workforce, family caregivers found they had less time on their hands, television brought easy entertainment into people's living rooms, and urban sprawl meant people spent more time driving in their cars and less walking on their neighborhood streets.

    With all of this research reaching leaders and influencers there is a change stirring in the air. On many levels people are beginning to form small caring groups in many areas. As a Christian I have concluded unless imprisoned away from others I must be connected in loving community with others.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008

    Fun Friday: Kids Do the Darndest Things

    Bored Children Can Shock You!

    During a leadership training workshop I decided to have everyone share a "dumb" thing they did as a child. I had so many choices ... but I shared one zinger when I was 5 years old. My mom and I lived with my beloved Aunt Bernice and her husband.

    This precious couple had spent an entire weekend upholstering a wing back chair. Inquisitive Kay couldn't remember what color the chair was before they stapled all the new fabric on it. I called out for someone to tell me. Impatiently I picked up a knife and slit the fabric just enough in the back part of the chair to see it had been blue; and now it was green. I was fine. Just then my sweet aunt walked in.

    Oh, she was a much better person than I think I would have been. She left the punishment to my mom when she got home from work. Tell me spankings are not necessary....oh, yeah I needed that one. And I can honestly say I never slit another piece of upholstery again.

    Different sophisticated business people shared their childhood goofs. But then a young innocent looking quiet mild mannered realtor told us about home on the farm. He was new to our group. Boldly he told about growing up on a hog and dairy farm in the midwest. One long summer day he, at age 9 and his older brother got bored. A sow had a new litter of pigs and they wanted to play with them but the mother pig wouldn't let them get near them.

    Their four year old baby sister came up and they figured out how to get to those baby pigs. Vividly he showed us how one of them would swing her over the pig sty to distract the sow; while the other one would pick up some of the baby pigs. But wouldn't you know it... on one big swing she slipped out of her brother's hands and landed in the muddy pig sty.

    We all gasped. Suddenly this mild mannered youth had a whole new look to all of us. Mother Kay had to ask him if the little sister got hurt. He said they both immediately jumped in and retrieved her. Of course she was covered in mud and scared terribly, but no other injuries. He said that after 18 years, she still calls in payback for that one day. Way to go Sis!!!

    Those of you who are parents; know that children will amaze you with what they come up with to do for fun. Relax, it all works out in the end; and they'll laugh about it forever.

    Our son was baffling because I had a rule that you didn't get a spanking for a first offense. He was so creative he never repeated himself. I don't think he had enough spankings to count on one hand. Some of his shockers were: pouring honey in the heat pump to watch the pretty swirls and climbing ontop of the kitchen cabinets.

    One day our large giant Schnauzer started walking down our 1/2 mile dirt drive way; and our son dressed only in a diaper, joined him. We were all doing yard work and didn't notice them walking off. We yelled and looked everywhere for him. I was so devastated that I fell in a plowed field and wept so much I made mud. My daughter located him on the drive way and he came up to me and saw the mud my tears made. He was so upset at my weeping, that he kept comforting and patting me so that I wouldn't cry anymore.

    From then on he always patted me with assurance while we were shopping. I mean he did this for 10 years. It ended up helping me keep up with him. He was so afraid I would fall down in the dirt and cry until my face was muddy!!!

    Laugh and do yourself some real good!!! Oh, by the way....comment on the dumb stuff you and yours have done as children.

    Loneliness Is a Killer

    Cry Unheard....You can eat right and have a healthy exercise program, but if you don't have honest heart-felt dialogue with others; your broken heart won't make it. In Dr. Lynch's third book, A Cry Unheard , he discussed why Jim Fixx, the original guru of running, died prematurely of a myocardial infarction.

    Unfortunately Jim Fixx was truely the lone runner. This man could have been the ideal physical specimen of cariovascular fitness excellence. His book, Complete Book of Running, started the 1970's jogging craze, and he died suddenly at the age of 52 while jogging alone on a remote Vermont road.

    His autopsy showed that one of his coronary arteries was 99% clogged, another was 80% obstructed, and a third was 70% blocked and that he had three other apparently silent heart attacks in the months or weeks prior to his death. This desparately lonely man had just gone through his second divorce. His acquaintances acknowledged he was a lonely person and a lonely long distance runner.

    The researchers have discovered many premature deaths that they believe could be the result of a breakdown in dialogue and communication due to these individuals' inability to express the language of their own heart. In their isolation they lost their community connections.

    Current research today agrees that loneliness can kill. Lonely people have blood pressure readings as much as 30 points higher than non-lonely people, said the study leaders Louise Hawkley and Christopher Masi. Blood pressure differences between lonely and non-lonely people were smallest at age 50 and greatest among the oldest people tested.

    What are we to do with the pain? I love people ... all kinds of people, but there have been times in the last few years that I avoided people and isolated myself. Many people have admitted to me they have hit points in their lives when this was true for them also.

    I am learning the power and wonder of solitude. There is a great difference in loneliness and solitude; although I am alone in both.

    Dr. Charles Stanley explains the difference well:

    Solitude surprises us with God’s fresh words for us.

    The most wonderful surprises from God will emerge from that special time you spend sitting at His feet.

    Sometimes He will give you essential knowledge that will protect you from the danger that lies ahead in your life.

    He will remind you of His promises and guide you to new milestones in life.

    How can we turn loneliness into solitude?
    No one wants loneliness, but all of us want solitude that is blessed by God in so many awesome ways.

    How can we exchange one for the other?

    Yesterday I didn't showcase anyone for unusual generosity as I customarily do on Wednesdays on this blog, but I decided not to interrupt this series on "loneliness." Keep the comments coming. I believe we are opening up some areas of dialogue to encourage thriving vibrant Christian living.

    Some of the situations that preceded my lonely times were sudden and I felt their force. In the Bible in the book of Mark Jesus is (suddenly) sent by Holy Spirit to the desert. Mark sums up that 40 day desert time with the comforting truth that angels ministered to Jesus during His time alone in the desert.

    I live In Christ... I hold onto this truth: as angels ministered to Jesus, they will minister to me. I pray that any loneliness can become solitude to God's own sons and daughters.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Thrive in Relationships: Speak From Your Heart

    "Dialogue is the "elixir of life" because it may be Divine in origin! " James Lynch, author.

    God created us for community; belonging to Him and one another. Never, never lose your voice...speak from your heart to others that know you matter and to God Himself. To live and thrive, this dialogue is vital.

    James L. Lynch, scientist and researcher, has written two books on the deadly effect of loneliness: The Broken heart: (the medical consequences of Loneliness Life Stress and Essential Hypertension) and Cry Unheard: New Insights into the Medical Consequences of Loneliness.

    According to Lynch there has been a veritable explosion in knowledge about the connections between social support and health, as well as an increased understanding of the links between human loneliness and the vulnerability to disease and premature death.

    Lynch has come to one inescapable conclusion: Dialogue is the exlixir of life and chronic loneliness its lethal poison.

    Our culture in America does not encourage physical closeness and face to face dialogue. Lynch is dogmatic in his concerns, "forces that disturb, disrupt, and destroy human dialogue must be viewed with the same concern and alarm as has been brought to bear on other plagues, infectious diseases, viruses, bacteria and cancers.

    For all of the recent health data suggest that if current trends persist, and its resultant loneliness, will equal communicable disease as a leading cause of premature death in all post-industrialized nations during the twenty-first century.

    A wide variety of statistics suggest that large numbers of people fail to recognize the dangers, that they are unable to fully appreciate the potent health benefits derived from various forms of social support, including that provided by family, friends, neighbors, and loved ones.

    Health experts inform us that "excess" mortality has more to do wih social isolation and loneliness than it does with economic stress.

    All of these situations share in the absence, the breakdown, or the failure of human dialogue, reflecting an increased struggle with a recently understood hidden type of "communicative disease" that exacerbates social isolation and loneliness. The resultant physiological stress can be unbearable, and even break the human heart.

    It is, to say the least, a sobering and humbling perspective; certainly one that gives language a far richer and more awesome potential .

    Can loneliness really kill you?

    For it is dialogue that offers the hope of uniting us, not only with one another, but with the rest of the living world. It is dialogue that unites, and dialogue that ends our separation and isolation.

    Dialogue unites — dialogue abolished the "I" of separateness. Dialogue is the vehicle that takes us back towards the paradise of union with others. It is dialogue, real dialogue, which fuels our journey through life.

    Loneliness is different from being alone. At times, everyone needs to be alone (like having time with God and away from the busyness of this world).

    · Is a feeling of isolation
    · Is a deep feeling of being disconnected from others
    · Causes a person to feel alienated
    · Happens when there’s no one to share joys and disappointments with
    · Can result in an overwhelming feeling of sadness and imprisonment
    · May bring about despondency when left unchecked

    We weren’t created for loneliness. God made us in His image. And that means relational. Obviously, this goes beyond marriage. God provides people to be friends and confidants, too! But remember, turn to God first. Friends will let you down. He won’t.

    The world’s greatest tragedy is unwantedness; the world’s greatest disease is loneliness.—MOTHER TERESA

    Human beings need both vertical intimacy (with God) and horizontal intimacy (with people) in order to be fulfilled. Without those relationships, they are vulnerable to the complex set of emotions described as "loneliness."—MIRIAM STARK PARENT

    Your loneliness can be healed.
    • Attend church (Hebrews 10:25)
    • Be a friend to someone else (Proverbs 18:24),
    • Listen to Christian music
    • Ask God to work in and through these things to take away the lonely feelings.

    Read Jeremiah’s prayer journal. Look into the life of an intensely lonely man. Pages of anger, resentment, and self-loathing jostle with praise and confidence. Jeremiah fought to communicate with God! He knew he wasn’t completely alone. The intensity of his feelings never overshadowed the deeper reality of God’s presence. As overwhelming as his gripes and challenges were, he found comfort in having Someone to listen to his complaints.

    As I have shared with you on this blog, I am a recent widow. Since I helped my mom and mother-in-law with their widow season; I have been aware of my danger of loneliness and isolation. "When alone facing the greatest challenges of life, the Spirit of God within you will shape and draw you out to live for Him. " I don't know the author, but I found this wisdom has been a comfort and a reality for me.

    But I am calling out to my friends and family. I push myself beyond my comfort zone to have meals with them and have dialogue and hugs. My formal college emphasis was in chemistry and biology. I worked in surgical research for a few years. My husband was a physician for over 40 years. So this week's posts are my scientific search to thrive physically, emotionally and spiritually in this new "widow land."

    I've been tempted to crawl into "isolation" and safe places before I landed in widow land. I believe it is a tempation of everyone at some point in their lives. For Christians, I believe it is a temptation to divide the church. With email and cell phone text messaging we can delude ourselves into believing we have meaningful diaglogue and we endanger our lives with no meaningful face to face, heart felt dialogue.

    I know this is a busy time of the year with businesses cranking back up after summer vacations. Children are back in school, but I hope some of you will write in about your thoughts on isolation and the need to get real in dialogue from your heart.

    Loneliness: God has the solution

    Loneliness: "Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for man to be alone...." Genesis 2:18

    In Exitu is a medieval Gregorian song that is a part of every human life. Lonely and haunting this song recalls the exile of the Jews wandering in the widerness of Sinai. It recalls the loneliness of a tribe in exile, the fears of not having any place to live and the restless quest for a home, a place promised of God to live in community.

    All of us long for this place. We all want some sense of place and a meaningful way to relate to others. Everyone has felt isolated, lonely. I am finding that to make friends with me (getting to know myself and enjoy being with "me") and Jesus is profoundly my answer to my quest. When I'm o.k. with me I can genuinely connect with others.

    I recently ran up on some medical research that confirms my findings. It seems Dr. Aaron Katcher, of University of Pennsylvania Medical School has been conducting research on cardiac patients. He is finding that isolation can kill you. We must find our home and rediscover our own body and make peace with ourselves to that we can connect in community with others in "promised land" of the human heart.

    It appears from this research that listening to others allows our blood pressure to stay at a good healthy low pressure. When we get our minds off of ourselves; our cardiac condition is improved. Wow!!! I can think of hundreds of Scriptures that point us to think of others before ourselves.

    But I am discovering I have to be at peace with me. For me that peace has come as I look more and more to Jesus as my all in all; He is enough for whatever comes up or will come up in my life.

    We need community and others so much that Dr. Katcher discovered that the extent of ventricular damage was the strongest predictor of subsequent sudden death. He found that the second strongest predictor of long-term survival was whether or not the patient had a pet. Those without pets had a fourfold increase in mortality rates compared to patients with pets!!!

    We must have heart felt dialogue or our hearts will die!!! Loneliness and isolation will be a theme for several days. I am discovering to thrive we must have God and one another.

    What do you have to say about loneliness? Ever been lonely in a crowded room?

    Monday, August 18, 2008

    Apology Power 2 Way Street

    Apology Power: Everybody Wins

    Yesterday I answered the phone to an unfamiliar phone number, "Ms. Kay, I want to apologize for some things I may have said to you earlier." A woman I know casually had dropped by to speak to me after church services. I've been attracted to this woman because she is a joyful expressive worshipper during our services. I'm always blessed by her smile and encouraging attitude.

    We are acquaintances, but we don't know one another well. I must have given her a business card in the past ... otherwise I don't know how she could have had my phone number. I answered her honestly, "I receive your apology because I've been through some things recently and I know about God's convictions and the need for confession. The good news is that whatever you're going through was not obvious to me." I am transparent and most people read me like a book. I wanted her to know that whatever she thought that was bothering her didn't show up to me.

    That opened up some hurts and for over an hour we talked and I felt this distraught woman relaxing and coming to peace. I still don't know what she felt was so wrong in our time together. But thanks to this blog writing I had apology power on my mind.

    During our time together I was blessed by her sincerity and pursuit of God's best in her life. Yes, getting "real" and opening up to one another in apology was powerful and the blessings flowed to both of us: the confessor and the receiver.

    Jesus Christ, as He walked His daily walk was Strong Gentleness. If I can hold onto seeing Him and pray for Holy Spirit to keep me in Him I can be blessed and be a blessing. I pray to be tender and real with everyone I meet. There is no way for me to know what might be going on their world. Holy Spirit knows right where they are; and if I lean into His guidance I can bless and be blessed.

    The Bible has much to say about walking in humble Strong Gentleness:

    Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves Romans 12:10

    Live in harmony with one another Romans 12:16

    Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.... 1 Thessalonians 5:11

    And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds Hebrews 10:24

    Saturday, August 16, 2008

    Nothing Can Stop A Glacier

    Revival breaks out as overcoming love in women's prison in SC.

    Check out the post on Monday, August 11, 2008 Suddenly The Sound ,"The Sound of God's Presence" to read of my wonderful day at the women's prison.

    I keep asking myself "Why now?" These hundreds of women have been incarcerated for years. Church services have been held throughout all that time. What is making such a lifechanging difference now? I have been a student of revivals for many years. As I've read through the Bible I've seen the cumulative evil and then suddenly: God breaks through with life changing power.

    Recently I stumbled onto some writings by Rick Bass, author and environmentalist. He writes of the significance of many small accummulations of ice and snow to form glaciers. Bass states that a glacier is the most powerful force the world has ever seen. Literally nothing can stop a glacier.

    Bass writes that scientists speculate that the origin of glaciers is that they are "the result of a wobble, a hitch, in the earth's rotation. . . . Glaciers get built or not built, simply, miraculously, because the earth is canting a single one-trillionth of a degree in this direction for a long period of time, rather than in that direction."

    And then he writes, "When I am alone in the woods, and the struggle seems insignificant or futile, or when I am in a public meeting and am being kicked all over the place, I tell myself that little things matter—and I believe that they do. I believe that even if your heart leans just a few degrees to the left or the right of center, that with enough resolve, which can substitute for mass, and enough time, a wobble will one day begin, and the ice will begin to form, where for a long time previous there might have been none. Keep it up for a lifetime or two or three, and then one day—it must—the ice will begin to slide."Source: Ron Bass, The Roadless Yak, Lyons Press.Image: Franz Joseph Glacier, NZ

    Could it be that the revival outbreak was like a glacier? The glacier slowly forms by the fallling of snow that collects over time. Then as the snow deepens, the weight compresses, ice forms, then more snow, then more ice. This occurs over years; and nothing significant happens.

    Bass notes that the glacier must acccumulate a mass of sixty-four feet or more before it begins to move. But when it begins to move; nothing can stop it.

    He said that with "the result of a wobble, a hitch, in the earth’s rotation. . . . Glaciers get built ..."

    Thinking back on Sunday; after all the weight of trouble these women inmates have had on them; one tiny lean in the direction of the hope of God ...of Saviour Jesus Christ; could have been all it took for things to move where nothing could stop the move of God.

    I personally believe that every action of love that God transmits through me, and other believers, is never wasted. I can imagine that all the different ministries that have been investing in the women's prison have had a cumulative effect. The "glacier" of God was the accumulation of all that ministry that reached a critical mass. Sunday we were blessed when God moved and nothing could stop Him. Those women came in the room one way and left totally transformed. They danced and sang with joy as they were returning to their cells.

    All week I've been singing "Can't get enough of You, Jesus...can't get enough of You..." and seeing those women dancing to their cells singing. I am saying "Holy, Holy, Holy," and remembering them singing that over and over with tears pouring down their faces.

    Being with them; I am being revived. Something is moving in my world and even when fear raises its head; God still moves!!!

    All actions motivated by Holy Spirit in love, small or large, matter in the Kingdom of God. We are not wise enough to know when the "critical mass" is reached where God moves and nothing can stop His Kingdom here on earth, but may we appreciate that what we do is significant and may make its greatest impact beyond our lifetime here on earth.

    Arise My Soul Even When Dark Clouds Hover

    Thank You, God, Your Light Always

    This has been an amazing week. Words don't give justice to what I experienced of God's presence on Sunday, but I gave my best description of the wonderful revival in the women's prison on Monday's post.
    Most of this week I had to tackle some of my hardest tasks in handling the financial affairs regarding my husband's death.

    The tough stuff: working with the financial planner and approximating my death. Deciding how to process how there can be an inheritance for my children and see to all the what-if's of my years left. Clouds....yet, this is the time I pray for my soul to arise. Life is made up of bright sunny days; and days with dark clouds. This picture speaks to me. Yes, I'm aware there is a cloud....but I see the Light. When I see the Light; I am o.k. In the meantime these song lyrics fit my heart song.

    Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;

    The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears:

    Before the throne my surety stands,
    Before the throne my surety stands,
    My name is written on His hands.

    Friday, August 15, 2008

    Fun Friday: Baby Doll Rebellion

    First jobs.

    Do you remember you first job?

    In the tiny town of Toccoa, GA I was hired to be an entry level sales associate at the one dime store in town when I was a skrawny skinny pimple-faced 14- year old idealist. I wanted to be the very best employee ever hired at such a young age. I dressed for success and I nervously showed up for my first day of paid employment.

    The manager was also young and new. Toccoa was so far down the line of significance in this store chain, that new managers got this remote store as their first assignment. A huge shipment of hard plastic dolls needed to be merchandised. The manager gave me a tall ladder and pointed out a shelf that he wanted me to stack dolls ontop of dolls to the ceiling.

    Oh, to have the video tape of that morning!!! I'll give you my best word painting. For hours I worked with those dolls. I worked their legs this way and that to try to keep them ontop of one another. But just when I would have 20 or more tiered ontop of one another; bam...all of them would come crashing down. I was not to be deterred. I had an assignment and by George I would complete it.

    I began at 8:30 AM. At 11:30 AM my mom, who worked at Belks down the street, came in to take me to lunch. She found me on the ladder and said, "Hello."

    I looked at her and started bawling, "These dang dolls won't cooperate. I've twisted, stacked, and restacked and they won't stay in place. Mom, I'm not sure I'll ever be any good at this job. I'm so sorry."

    The manager came on the scene and tried not to laugh. But my mom asked him how long I had been working on the dolls. "She's been at it from the moment she came in this morning. She may be the most faithful, committed employee I have ever hired," the manager said grinning and biting his lip to keep from laughing at the ocean of plastic baby dolls filling the aisle.

    I dried up my tears, got down off the ladder and landed onto hundreds of baby dolls. I asked him what he wanted me to do about the baby dolls. He said, "You go onto lunch and I'll work on some new merchandising plans to display the dolls. I didn't think this one through well enough."

    I never bought my own daughter a hard plastic baby doll. I had my fill of those little slippery non-compliant baby 'monsters.' The sad news is that I still try to make poor plans work out longer than they deserve.

    Make my day and leave a comment on your first job.

    Below are some true resume lines from Fortune Magazine. Folks; reality is far funnier than fiction:

    These were taken from real Resumes and Cover Letters, and were printed in "Fortune" Magazine:

    1. "I have lurnt Word Perfect 6.0 computor and spreadsheet pogroms."
    2. "Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details."
    3. "Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year."
    4. "Wholly responsible for two (2) failed financial institutions."
    5. "Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave."
    6. "Failed bar exam with relatively high grades."
    7. "It's best for employers that I not work with people."
    8. "Let's meet, so you can 'ooh' and 'aah' over my experience."
    9. "I was working for my mom until she decided to move."
    10. "Marital status: single. Unmarried. Unengaged. Uninvolved. No commitments."
    11. "I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse."
    12. "I am loyal to my employer at all costs... Please feel free to respond to my resume on my office voice mail."
    13. "My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I possess no training in Meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage."
    14. "I procrastinate, especially when the task is unpleasant."
    15. "Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far."
    16. "Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chainstore."
    17. "Note: Please don't misconstrue my 14 jobs as 'job-hopping'. I have never quit a job."
    18. "Marital status: often. Children: various."
    19. "The company made me a scapegoat, just like my three previous employers."
    20. "Finished eighth in class of ten."
    21. "References: none. I've left a path of destruction behind me."

    Plan to laugh and thrive by checking out more from:

    I'm fully convinced our Heavenly Father wants us to laugh and why not? He says we are free in Christ; free to live and free to laugh.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2008

    Blessings and Blisterings

    God Blesses us and if we get out of line, blisterings will come. Thanks to Marilyn of for her comment Monday. I struggle daily with the titles for the posts. Today's headline came from Marilyn's comment, and it is a keeper: Blessings and Blisterings. God blesses us by inviting us to join in His work and He will blister us, if we need it, to keep us tender and real.

    Seems some of you readers are getting into the power of apology. Yesterday I spoke to a group of business people on meeting and exceeding customer/client's expectations. The power of apology came up in that message also. "Stuff" is going to happen in all of life. Someone is going to be disappointed, hurt, angry, etc. What will you do as leader, business person, parent, spouse, friend or church member when you have wronged them or disappointed them?

    The Power of Apology is key to freedom in Christ. Free to live, thrive and fulfill our destinies.

    I discovered a great book on the five basic elements to an apology. Dr. Jennifer Thomas and Dr. Gary Chapman have organized their great wisdom along the lines of his Love Language series.

    They call them the five languages of apology. I found this interesting because I have found when I have tried to apologize to some people it becomes quite complicated to be understood in love. Thomas and Chapman have concluded that each person has a primary apology language, and one of the five speaks more deeply to them emotionally than the other four. If you don’t speak their language, they may consider your apology insincere.

    I've got to confess to you readers. I had difficulty "getting" the 5 Love Languages book by Dr. Chapman. Maybe it was because I went through it in my own private study time, instead of in a group. But I found this study on apology to be quite simple to understand.

    According to these authors we can be misunderstood regarding our sincerity if we do not speak the other person's apology language.

    Here are their examples.

    Someone says, “I’m sorry.” But what you wanted to hear was, “I was wrong.”

    They said, “Will you forgive me?”what you wanted to hear was, “What can I do to make this right?”

    Many of our apologies come across as insincere because we are not speaking the apology language of the offended person. If couples can learn each other's primary apology language and speak it when they offend each other, forgiveness will be much easier.

    5 Languages of Apology

    · Expressing Regret – “I’m sorry.” “I feel badly about what I did.”
    · Accepting Responsibility – “I was wrong.” “It was my fault.”
    · Making Restitution – “What can I do to make it right?”
    · Genuinely Repenting – “I’ll try not to do that again.”
    · Requesting Forgiveness – “Will you please forgive me?”

    When you apologize, you are trying to make things right. So you say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I know I hurt you and I feel badly about it. Will you forgive me?”

    But your spouse says, “How could you do that if you loved me? How can I forgive you when you never do anything to ‘make it right’?" You feel frustrated and don’t know what to do next. The problem is not your sincerity, the problem is that you are not speaking the right apology language.

    Which Do You Want to Hear?
    Which one of the five languages of apology do you want to hear? That is your primary apology language.

    Apologize effectively by learning your spouse's apology language and speaking it when you know you have offended each other. Ask your spouse, “When I apologize, what do you want to hear from me?”

    You may be surprised at their answer, but it will give you their primary apology language. Learning to speak each other's apology language will lead you to a growing marriage.

    This has been an excerpt taken from The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas. To find out more about Gary Chapman's resources, visit

    The marriage relationship was the example used, but this wisdom operates in all relationships.


    On Tuesday's post I shared with you that on Sunday afternoon I wanted to apologize to a fellow worker, Danielle, for being too "mouthy" and opinionated. I prayed Danielle would forgive me and all would be well. The end was far better than anything I could have imagined.

    But I hate to tell Dr's Chapman and Thomas that my main motivaton was that my Heavenly Father would be pleased. I live by leading of the Holy Spirit. I was sensing in my heart that God was calling me to confess my sin, and apologize. I wanted my peace of mind back. I cannot control what someone's response will be. I pray to obey the leadings of God with a clean heart.

    My desire was to walk in the love and humility He desires. Since He is Love; I'm convinced He can flow through us the purest, most unselfish love that exists. If our desire is to be one with Him; He will show us the love language, the apology language....the language of agape that will bless everyone in our lives.

    Let's walk in forgiving and being forgiven. The same God, who supplied me with love to forgive, will also furnish me with heavenly love to re-build a trusting relationship.

    Love “beareth all thing, believeth all things, hopeth all thing, endureth all things”
    (1 Corinthians 13:7).
    © 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.