Monday, March 30, 2009
As I'm processing these changes with my new job I am thinking of how many people are having major changes thrust upon them in this new economy. God has made us with flexiblity and innovation within us. I am working on finding a positive mindset with my new changes.
I wonder how much I have added onto my life by resisting changes that would were meant to be for my good. In the past I fear my first reaction to change was to stiffen myself in resistance: Pain Avoidance!
What do you say about the shake up of life's changes?
Since we can be assured life will always throw us some changes, how does a thriving strong Christian handle change?
Saturday, March 28, 2009
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield .
In verse 11 " Let all those rejoice who put their trust in You" It's not their words, but trusting in the Lord that brings hope and joy no matter what. They rejoice, they shout for joy, and they are joyful in the Lord. I've known the greatest joy in my life in the darkest tunnels. God has shown up with unexplainable joy to strengthen me (check out Unexplainable Joy ).
This Psalm calls us to joy. "God promises joy and gladness to believers. Light is sown for them: the Lord will turn their night into day." Spurgeon
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I believe in the past I have proclaimed this verse and called my natural joy the Lord's joy coming to me. But this experience this week burst through my natural feelings and was a beautiful surprise.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
"Obedience is an attitude, a state of the spirit. We are either obedient or not obedient. It's not so much what we do as it is who we are. Yes, we all have little areas of disobedience...of doing what we know is not God's best for us. But if we have an attitude of obedience...a spirit-deep commitment to being the person God wants us to be...we can conquer those little pockets of disobedience." p.35
Smith has a great line...."Obedience isn't always easy, but it's always beneficial." p.33
Time, talent, treasure are my test of obedience. What about you? Do you live with an attitude of God's way? or your way? Could you sing a duet of "My Way" with Sinatra with your whole heart? Or is "I Surrender All" your heart song?
Sunday, March 22, 2009
If you've been dropping by here very long you must know I "seize the day" with gusto. I love life, people and find the tiniest things most fascinating. This makes for great living, but focus and staying on the main thing at the right time is my calling.
Time, Talent, And Treasure...!!! All that I have is gift. God, Himself, is a generous Creator, who has graced me with life today. He calls me to Thrive. No government entitlement holds my life. I never want to casually look at this great gift of life and misuse it.
God has given you and me assets of Time, Talent, and Treasure to use for the advancement of His Kingdom: to spread His love in places where it seems not to exist...
H has chosen us to participate in His great work of LIFE, and looks to us to become dependable stewards of the Bank of Heaven from which all treasures flow...!!!
So I throw these 3 T'words out today: God has filled the Bible with words of wisdom on how He calls us to spend our time. He spends equal words warning us of the consequences we may face if we ignore His calling. I welcome this challenge. I have been in similar positions, but I was younger. That would greatly concern me, but this time I'm not juggling the role of wife and mother of young children. I'm ready for this work with only me and my companion dog to care for.
Open up Your people in a time that life seems to clutter our minds and our lives. I pray to hear You on what pleases You in my use of time, talent and treasure. I have life itself eternally because You graced me with the gifts of gifts. I pray for Your revelation for excellence in stewardship of time, talent and treasure in 2009. Touch Your people where they need to hear You on best use of all You have given them. I thank You, that You chose to have me live in such a time as this. I know many will seek You; keep me close so that You will shine through me and they will See YOU!!!
For a few weeks I will be referring to my favorite book of time use for Christians: It's About Time by Ken Smith ISBN 13: 9780842317320
It doesn't have to be that way. Christian Stewardship Ministries can help!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Hi there!I am here to increase the visits to your blog, I guess...new to blogging, I didn't realize that there are "dips" that could cause concern.May I suggest visiting other blogs and leaving comments to increase visits? It just intrigues me to find nice blogs like yours which make comment leaving so easy.blessings to you,Marcy
I wrote this reply to Marcy:
Thanks, Marcy, Yes, dips shouldn't concern a balanced contented Christian that Thrives. I started this particular blog out of a call of God to "write," and this seemed to be the way I could manage financially and easily. Thriving as a Christian also comes as a call from God. In my greatest life crisis I looked up to God and asked for a word to guide me. The word that came to my mind was "thrive." I actually laughed because in the middle of the mess that was the most unlikely word. Again I prayed and "thrive" came to my mind. I did thrive with nothing in the exterior looking like it was a time for me to thrive. I now live with that word in my mind and believe Jesus Christ redeemed me and secured abundant life for me because I am His. As I surrender all to Him; He releases His all to me. Inside I thrive; even though outside can hold crisis or lack. Thanks for this comment....I just decided this note to you is today's post. Be blessed and know you have greatly blessed me today. Kay of SC
So.......am I the only striver...contender....excellence at all times person that prays for balance and flowing in Christ no matter what?
What has life taught you about "thriving" when life turns upside down?
Talk to me....I'm hungry to hear from you (hey, it'll make my personal analytic blog indicator go up if you comment here....it is all about me, isn't it?..........that was my lame try at humor.) Be blessed and thrive and rejoice in our mighty Lord of Lords this beautiful Palm Sunday weekend.
Friday, March 20, 2009
My worst story revolved around inspecting a lot where a house had burned down. I drove into an overgrown dirt driveway and felt a tug under my car. Several black tubes were hanging under my Buick Park avenue. I secured them with a seat belt and let them hang just under the car. I finished my assignment of approximately 10 miles of travel. I drove to my mechanic's shop. They put the car into the main garage building and suddenly his wife, the secretary, asked me what was wrong with my car. "You've done something big, Kay. Look, they're rolling the car outside and all of them are moving back but Jim."
It seems I had run over a limb that had pulled my entire gas line loose from the car. One spark would have fried me and the car to toast. Jim came in and told me he'd have to replace it and the cost would be $125.00.
All of the mechanics were staring into the office to see my reaction. I literally went into praise to God for all those angels keeping me alive in spite of my ignorance and poor judgment. I was euphoric!!!
Jim said, "You seem mighty happy. Did you hear me, the parts alone will be $125.00?" I replied, "Compared to the alternatives I see I am one blessed woman. Honestly, I never knew God would go to such lengths to keep me alive in spite of my foolishness." He nodded..."Yep, this time I have to agree with you. This has to be a miracle."
Here is one of my favorite stories of a bad day at work. I must admit I've never had this tough a day.
I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block #3 of the accident reporting form. I put "Poor Planning" as the cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust the following details will be sufficient.
I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-storey building. When I completed my work, I found I had some bricks left over which when weighed later were found to weigh 240 lbs.
Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.
Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 240 lbs of bricks. You will note on the accident reporting form that my weight is 135 lbs.
Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.
In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel which was now proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed. This explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collarbone, as listed in Section 3, accident reporting form.
Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley which I mentioned in Paragraph 2 of this correspondence. Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of the excruciating pain I was now beginning to experience.
At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground-and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel weighed approximately 50 lbs.
I refer you again to my weight. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building.
In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and severe lacerations of my legs and lower body.
Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.
I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move and watching the empty barrel six stories above me, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The Bible tells us God means for us to redeem the time. What does that mean to you globally, eternally and personally?
My understanding of redeeming time is to put every available moment to best use. As a totally committed Christian I'm aware of doing what is most spiritually profitable with my time.
I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work. John 9:4
I must seize each moment without allowing any to to slip out of my hands.
Are you challenged with this Bible command: redeem the time?
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
A woman had just returned to her home from an evening of church services , when she was startled by an intruder. She caught the man in the act of robbing her home of its valuables and yelled:
'Stop! Acts 2:38!'
(Repent and be Baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ , so that your sins may be forgiven.)
The burglar stopped in his tracks. The woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done.
As the officer cuffed the man to take him in, he asked the burglar:
'Why did you just stand there? All the old lady did was yell a scripture to you.'
'Scripture?' replied the burglar.
'She said she had an Ax and Two 38s!'
Remember: Knowing scripture can save your life - in more ways than one!
Competitiveness is not necessarily a bad thing; but I have to keep it in perspective. Lately my blog stats are dropping. The glorious saint would probably not pay that any attention; and I try to be mature and say it doesn't matter. Truth: I look at those dropping numbers and start asking myself questions like:
"Did I offend someone?"
"Should I jazz my blog up with some bells and whistles?"
"Do I need to reach out and join some blog carnivals and promote my blog to win new readers or gain back the old ones?
The only question that lines up with my calling is the first one. I looked back over the last few weeks of blogs and I can't say I missed what I heard God calling me to write. So, if you're offended...I never intended to offend you; and with the blogosphere you cannot take it personally. I pray and look to the Bible with each post.
I'm here for one reason. God called me to write last year in the middle of my heart wrenching grief of the sudden loss of my husband of 43 years. In fact, in the wee hours of Palm Sunday last year he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Blogging was a funky term I knew little about. I learned a bit about it at a women's writing/speaking conference that I escaped to while life was so hard with people missing my husband and wanting to help me. Running off to be with people who knew nothing about our tragedy gave me a weekend to breathe.
Thrive Christians was launched after that weekend. Old competitive Kay showed up shortly after I began blogging. I would stew and study how to expand the readership of my blog. I attached analytic measuring devices to monitor activity.
But in prayer I felt God calling me to relax. I was missing the purpose of my blog: Thrive Christians. This writing is an obedient response to God's calling on my life: write from my heart and spirit as He directs. I am thinking of you readers; but your traffic here does not drive my writing. Jesus Christ is the focus.
He is my source of all good life. He has given me a thriving life from birth in places where living wasn't sure; much less thriving. Widowhood has been another "desert" where all the surroundings look like death, not thriving life. But, in Him, I am thriving.
Stats are down....how far down? 27% Do I plan to change anything? No. I know why I'm here and I know Who appointed and anointed me. He and I are fine.
Why am I sharing this with you? I know from your comments that I'm not the only one with some residual over-competitiveness working on my sense of value. As my mentor groans when I dare to share some of these thoughts with her,"Oh, honey, I thought that flesh was dead in you. Well, just go to killing it. You can't tame it. Life'll be so good when it's dead and you're totally alive in Christ."
St. Paul agrees with her....“I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).
So kill it! Anything in flesh that takes away from the life giving indwelling of Christ within us!!
Status Report of Goals Achieved at Thrive Christian blog:
all goals met.
Writing: humanly imperfect.
Heart condition: totally sold out for God...mission achieved.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Getting along with one another in the family of God is missing so often wherever I go. I spend much time listening to hurts and needs of folks requesting prayer. I expect selfish lying manipulating folks in the world. But the selfishness I see in Christians and blatant harsh words about and against one another is opposite to anything in our Bibles.
These two words hold volumes of information for us to know how God plans for us to operate. Solo superstars are not the ideal; and I know this because Jesus did not begin this prayer with: My Father...no, He specifically used the word: Our.
Then He calls on God as Father, but actually the greek word is Abba which is an endearing term such as Papa or as we would probably call our father Daddy. We're brothers and sisters in this family of God. I'm an only child and so was my husband. I prayed before our son was even conceived for our two children to be close and supportive to one another. I was aware with John and me having no siblings that there would be no uncles, aunts or first cousins for our children. They are nine years apart but I've never seen such healthy close adult siblings. It is beautiful and amazing.
As I watch them interact and observe other sibling relationships I see that it's a close tie, but rivalry seems to be a tension that has to be addressed...always. When I look at the Christian church family I see that who's best is a tension we have to pray about continually.
To maintain our alignment we must get along. "Who's best?" is a sibling relationship killer. Jesus tells us to begin our praying with, "Our Father who art in heaven." These first words remind me that I am not alone...the plural tells me this is a spiritual journey linked with others; as close as family. Maintaining alignment with Heaven must mean getting along.
Apostle Paul summed up our best policy with our "siblings" to maintain alignment with Heaven:
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
May the windows of Heaven open up and flow to you and yours.
Monday, March 9, 2009
I believe everything we will ever need, 2009, and any other time, is already on a waiting dock with our names on it.
There is one catch: The "GO" shoot doesn't open up until we here on earth are in alignment with Heaven.
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray were they not seeking this alignment? With that in mind may we read His model prayer:
Jesus tells us to begin our praying with, "Our Father who art in heaven." These first words remind me that I am not alone...the plural tells me this is a spiritual journey linked with others; as close as family. Getting in alignment must mean getting along.
Let's go over this prayer ...Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
When alignment is pleasing to Father God: His Kingdom comes...here. "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Alignment for me will not look exactly like your alignment. But God has alignment for each of us that will always line up with the Bible and suit our bent. When I trust Him utterly and obey Him immediately: Heaven's Windows Open and Flow to fulfill this prayer and scripture.
I'm busy aligning ... for me cleaning out this pantry and doing some other unpleasant "musts" are part of what I'm hearing God tell me is serious spiritual business.
Do you think we get out of alignment by becoming so "sparitual... and religious" that we ain't aligned for much here on earth on in Heaven? Maybe that's just my condition.
I pray alignment with Heaven for each of you. I pray that you are in place to fulfill your purpose and destiny. I pray you spend time and passion with God to the point that you are moved by the Spirit of God in all you do.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
On Friday I ministered to some people who were in great pain. Hope was fading away from them. With each one I felt I had to ask them what was the one thing God asks of us: Only believe. Each one broke down in their concerns and admitted they didn't feel it ... we agreed our faith of belief goes beyond our emotions of feelings.
Yesterday I traveled to Atlanta to meet with a writing group. A new member read a poem she had been commissioned to write titled: "Only Believe." In her beautiful rhythm she crafted words that transcended feelings or doom and the conclusion was "Only Believe."
I love IKEA, so I made sure I had enough time to have my fun time in that fabulous store before heading back on the two hour trip home. I'm digging through the "As Is" section when I notice a man praying for a woman in a wheel chair. I silently prayed without bringing any attention to myself. We ended up in line together at the checkout. I mentioned seeing him praying and we celebrated our Christianity. He spent those minutes glowing on how God is showing him that all is well if we "only believe."
So today........to all of you, I have two words:
Saturday, March 7, 2009
What consumed me to the point I changed the blog schedule? This week I have spent time with folks strained to their last penny, a woman whose husband is in an adulterous affair and she senses God calling her to stand, a family with serious disabling disease in one spouse and they don't know how they'll live with the cost of their meds and the money they receive, and that's just a few of the people in my life calling on me to join them in prayer.
What hit me was how differently each one was processing their dire circumstances. The ones who are disciplined to stay in God's Word and pray without ceasing had hope, but that was not the case of the "sometime" saints. I feel I've lived in all these camps at one time or another. But when I was slapped down and didn't know if I could get up many years ago, God scooped me up and from that time on I've never believed He wasn't bigger than anything coming at me. He is my life and my way: so reading His Word and praying daily are not options but the way I live. But in America I sense that the worship, praise and Bible study are many times motivated by feelings.
I sense that in America we are more prone to this need of a feeling than Christians in other cultures. Our ancestors were not "see ya' when I have that feeling, God" people. Your comments are wonderful. Readers, you need to go back to yesterday's post and open up the comments. I was blessed by all of them.
After I reflected on some folks throwing in the towel I imagined satan celebrating how easy it is for him to operate in America. If saints read only the Bible passages that have to do with a study class they teach or attend and pray only when the crisis hits they are easy picking for the enemy. St. Paul was clear over and over that we war against powers and principalities. If it's war, shouldn't we have the mindset of warriors?
In light of this I wrote a poem...poetry is new for me; so be kind. Picture an overly dressed gaudy dude in black and white spat shoes with a shiny suit and a watch with a chain. He's in a bar laughing it up. He's arrogant and bragging about the ease of his job in the USA with believers who are undisciplined in personal Bible study, worship and prayer. I can see him licking his chops and twirling his watch chain with a victory shuffle.
To hear a "now" Word from God.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Talkng with some different folks this week I am sensing a careless attitude to the discipline of Bible study and private prayer. As I've heard them I can relate to the depressed one who doesn't have the energy to pick up any books. I know what it is to have a schedule packed with so much you don't feel you have any spare moments.
But I also heard how life is coming apart for these same folks. Is there legal ground for satan to torment a believer who makes no time for communing with God? I have my opinion, but I honestly want to hear from some of you.
What does a thriving Christian life look like privately and publicly?
Does it matter what we choose to do since Jesus came with mercy and grace to all of us who believe in Him?
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Mark Roberts of Laity Lodge has written a rich piece here to shake us and wake us up to what it means to live out our faith in every group we encounter. (Website address is at the end of this blog.)
Recommended Scripture Reading: Romans 10:1-13
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. The High Calling Daily Reflection Daily Reflectionby Mark D. RobertsLaity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-ResidenceJesus Is Lord [Romans 10:9]
I want to linger for one more day on Romans 10:9 because it speaks incisively to one of the major challenges we face as Christians today, especially as we seek to live out our faith in daily life. In our culture, confessing Jesus as Lord can get us in a bit of trouble. It’s politically incorrect to be so "arrogant" and "narrow-minded" as to suggest that Jesus is the Lord of heaven and earth. We might get away with acknowledging Jesus as our personal Lord, as long as he didn’t require us to break our cultural norms. But to suggest that Jesus is the Lord of all is unacceptable.
Yet this is nothing new.
In fact, the Roman Christians (to whom Paul was writing the letter we’ve been studying) literally put their lives on the line when confessing Jesus to be Lord. By the second half of the first century A.D., the Roman emperors claimed the title of Lord for themselves. Thus to say "Jesus is Lord" was to deny the claim "Caesar is Lord." For this, Christians could be put to death, and many were in the first centuries of the Christian era.
The most powerful way for us to testify to the Lordship of Jesus is by living each day according to his will and for his glory. When we are people of truth, compassion, forgiveness, humility, and love, those around us will be drawn to the Lord who makes such living possible. Only when we live with Jesus as our Lord will our world be ready to hear our confession of Jesus as Lord.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
- Have you ever found it awkward to speak of Jesus as Lord? When?
- In what ways does your daily life demonstrate the Lordship of Jesus?
PRAYER:Gracious, living, reigning Lord, in many ways, this world is not ready to accept your Lordship, even though it so desperately needs it. You have called me to be one voice among many bearing witness that you are Lord. Yet in a world so resistant to your Lordship, my testimony will fall on deaf ears unless my life illustrates the blessings of confessing you as Lord. So help me, I pray, to live each day under your Lordship. May my life be a reflection of your grace, mercy, truth, and love.
As I pray for myself, I also pray for your church. So often we are seen in our hypocrisy, judgmentalism, and self-absorption. No wonder the world is resistant to your Lordship! Help your church, dear Lord, to live faithfully under your sovereignty. May our way of being in the world draw people to you and proclaim in deed as well as word: "Jesus is Lord." Amen.
Mission of TheHighCalling.org: They seek to connect people with the faith that undergirds and sustains all that we do. That’s why it is the high calling of our daily work. Daily work embraces all aspects and activities of daily life—including home, community, leisure, as well as occupation
In times like this God can show up when nothing else can. If we shine His light in this despairing darkness, they will seek to know about our faith. Sadly I hear more groaning and moaning among the saints than some of the world. Recently I heard Theresa Johnson speak on what we say to the lost world and what we say to one another has become flipped upside down today.
She meant that a message of grace and mercy in Jesus is the word lost souls are desperate to hear. But many times we, the Church, point our finger at the unredeemed in judgment and speak words that discourage and overwhelm them. But Jesus walked in love and kindness and hope to the worst of sinners saying, "Come, you;re welcome." But in the Temple He called them to holiness, but many times in our churches it's a cheerleeading each other fest. Rarely, will we approach one another as iron against iron in private honorable settings to call one another up to God's highest.
The world's watching and listening to you:
Do they see a thriving saint in 2009 that knows their source is God; no matter what?
Do they hear hope?
Do they see a posture of contentment?
Do they want to know what makes you tick?
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Loquacious Kay was short on words. That's a miracle in itself. But I was hushed by a move of God in my church that I still have no words to express. For over two decades the power in the name of Jesus has been making my life make sense. He saved me; and He keeps working salvation and deliverance in me. I have intentionally studied and pursued the meaning of His name. Specifically I have longed to understand what it means when I pray in His name.
Sunday my pastor humbly bowed and confessed to our huge church that he wanted to apologize if he had been consumed with the enormous administration needs of our ministry that he had not kept Jesus lifted up above all. If ever, he had not proclaimed the name of Jesus as God led him, he repented. There was no sermon, but oh his honest broken heart over Jesus and His name was beautiful and the worship lasted for hours. We all came back to our first love for the Lord....Jesus Christ.
I refrain from mentioning my denomination and church because Christians divide in tribes and I've found I'm a rare one. If Jesus Christ is lifted up as Lord of all I have no issues. But trust me, I am convinced we will be one in Heaven!!! So trust me, my church is experiencing a powerful and life changing move of God: revival!!!
Take heart if worship in your church is anemic. God has no favorites. The fact that He is powerfully moving in my pastor and all of us; He's moving all over this land.
Who is Jesus to you? What is the significance of His name to you?
Yesterday these comments came in:David Rupert said...
the name of Jesus has caused nations to divide, for men to tremble and for people to come together for good. That's Jesus. its not just a name! It's power!
Chatty Kelly said...
One day every knee will bow at the name of Jesus. Until then, we wait, praying for more and more to come to know him. I'm so glad I do.
Dorothy Champagne said...
There is strength in the name of the Lord. There is power in the name of the Lord. There is hope in the name of the Lord. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! - song by Sandi Patti.
St. Peter said,
'There is no other name ... by which we must be saved.' Acts 4:12
Jesus....what do you say?
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Yesterday I finally dared to enter THE GARAGE. There was enough junk in that cave I risked life and limb to open the door.
Clean humor and laughter
Thrive In Christ
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.