Sunday, July 26, 2009

Out of Work in 2009

Last Friday I encountered three young men who had much in common. They were under 40, bright, considerate, intelligent, educated, attractive and each of them would be positive members of any company or staff. BUT....big but....they were looking for meaningful job placement. In 2009 I am seeing the most unlikely people pushed out of jobs and careers.

I don't have any great insight concerning this situation in our topsy turvy
economy. But I do have personal experience of having my world erupt with no meaning. I can still recall that first night when life kicked me in the stomach and knocked the breath out of me. So, as an old woman concerned with these young men and others in that strange place when life falls off its tracks I offer what got me through that dark time.

1. If you don't know God personally, cry out to Him. If Bible reading is not your daily diet, begin by reading the Psalms out loud. Dare to read the book of John and Romans. Challenge God in your prayers to show you Who He is to you.

2. Once you know who you are in Christ everything takes on a totally new perspective. Even your crisis pales compared to life in Him.

3. Open up to God to show you what He will do in your present circumstance. I daily ask Him, "What will please You today, Lord? That is my supreme desire; to please You." That could sound as though I am a sacrificing martyr. No, I have discovered my most fulfilling, thriving, and fun filled life comes about when I get into that place of hearing God and obeying Him to the point that He is pleased.

4. Find joy and laughter wherever it shows up. Laugh out loud every moment that you can. The rx that healed so many of my ails lies in that one truth. I even rent movies that make me laugh when times get dark. I
have a specific group of
dvd's and books that can bring me to chuckles.

5. If you are out of work and have time on your hands find a way to spend yourself helping others. Time spent focusing on yourself will make you sick. God has an amazing way of networking His people when they are pouring out in service to others.

6. Trust me on this one....this crisis will pass. Nothing lasts forever. This won't either. I don't know what America and the world will look like when all the dust settles from this economic shift, but God is changeless. I know we who look to Him will have what really matters: peace, acceptance, hope, faith and most of all love.

7. Love is the most important part of living. The longer I live I know this to be true. I pray daily to receive the Lord's love....only out of His love filling me
will I have love to pour onto others. Paul spoke ultimate truth in I Corinthians 13....without love everything we say and do is like a clanging cymbal....redundant chatter and noise.

2009 has many out of work who did all the right things in their youth to prepare to never be laid off. It's not fair. You're right. The Bible doesn't promise us life will be fair. The Bible promises us abundant life and victory in what matters; now and eternally. There is no one who can fill your vacuum when life kicks the air out of you....But God. Seek Him. He never, never, never denie
s anyone who sincerely calls out to Him.

2009 is challenging, but for some hard heads like me (I didn't come gently to the Lord, I only came when nothing else would work) 2009 may be the year that is personally the most wonderful year of your life. 2009 may break down every
scaffolding that's been holding you up on your own. Leaning on the Lord and living life wide open in Him is the greatest life ever!!!

Jesus Christ is Lord

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What is She Speaks?

She Speaks Conference begins in Charlotte, NC next week. In my grief stupor I attended last year. I prayed for a way to get away from the black cloud of pain when my husband passed last spring. I hit the website of She Speaks
and managed to fill a slot vacated by someone who cancelled. I had no idea what I was dropping into.

500+ women gathered in the elegant Embassy Suites from all over the nation, and a few countries. Passion to fulfill the call of God on
their lives was our one common connection. Estrogen ruled and enthusiasm shook the foundation of that grand hotel. My faith in God stirring the hearts of the next generation was established that weekend. Sometimes I worry about apathy I encounter on my day to day life. But She Speaks pulled together purposeful speakers, writers, bloggers, women's ministry leaders and Christian women seeking where God wants them to work. If anyone was apathetic, I never saw or heard them.

This year I have a new friend from my county riding with me. I have several wonderful blogging friends I can't wait to hug and "see" in reality and connect them to the "virtual" knowledge I hold for each of them.

Get ready for "new" Kay. I'm going to She Speaks to receive whatever God has for me. Last year I was blessed, but I was escaping the pain of every
ne grieving with me over my husband's death. No one in Charlotte knew me or John. I didn't tell anyone how short a time I had lost him until the last day. This year: I have healed greatly and I am going as a sponge to soak up all the blessings and teachings I can absorb. Last year I was in the speakers'
track because I am more confident speaking than writing. But God has called me to write.

I plan to overhaul this blog. I hope to learn how to blog; I just ju
mped in last summer after She Speaks and I love it. That White haired talker in this picture is yours truly. Now, I want to know how to blog right!

Pray for all of us. Pray for the speakers and teachers (who pay for their own expenses, travel, hotel, etc.
and receive no money for their time).
This is not your typical speakers, writers conference. If I've triggered your curiosity check it out on the sidebar of this blog. They opened up registration in January and were sold out in a few weeks. It is my honor to know about this gathering and for God to bless me to be able
to participate.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Laughter & Tears Heal Broken Hearts

A "Time To Laugh" comedy group premiered last night to a small crowd of mentors, leaders and residents of transitional housing for exoffenders. Having had only a few rehearsals I was preparing myself for a "fall on your face" with grace moment. All week I knew if God didn't work a miracle through us we could be "trying" to be funny and just look stupid.

They laughed from the beginning to the end. They laughed at things that weren't funny....I mean not to us. On the set we caught ourselves wanting to, you laugh in a moment. There was a connection with these beautiful seekers beyond my writing skill to describe. Our title was HALT: don't get
  • too hungry
  • too angry
  • too lonely
  • too tired
It's an old addiction prompter to keep from triggering your cravings for a fix. We tied it into any behavior that is less than God's best for believers.

We actors are children born in trauma (my term for dysfunctional home). Ryan, Stacie and Laura are siblings and their dad was addicted to drugs and drinking as my dad was. Both men acted out in drunken raging violence on their wives. Our stories take different routes, but as survivors we've had similar struggles. God has mercifully delivered us from our pain and He has used the very pains to develop unusual strengths in each of us.

We concluded with Ryan giving his unbelievable capture when he was addicted to drugs. Mouths gaped open and the Lord moved on that crowd so beautifully. We concluded with a time to honor all fathers; to forgive and to receive forgiveness. All were blessed, but the mentors, pastors, and leaders were the ones weeping the most in the end. God had his way and weights were dropped off of His saints to free them to "run the race!"

Again......thank you for your prayers: they laughed!!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dare To Speak In Jesus Name

How dare I and my fellow members of "A Time To Laugh" stand up this coming Friday night and present our comedy "H.A.L.T." to a gathering of folks? My speaking appearances have been limited to business meetings in this last year since my husband died. But when I was speaking to Christian groups on a regular basis I never took it lightly.

I recalla time to laugh clock with title.jpg those early years when I would be so concerned about how I looked, sounded and was understood by the audience. Loving merciful God taught me my errors in that mindset quickly. No, it truly was not about me beyond knowing I was a vessel for His greatness. In order to fulfill my main objective: others seeing Jesus in me; I might have to flub, mess up, miss a step. He is the main thing.

Old woman that I am, I advised these fantastic young folks to push all that performance pursuit to a close second in priority. In these few days leading up to our premier we will spend time in prayer and meditation with God. We will cry out for Him to prepare the hearts of those coming. We will pray for Him to give us His love for each of them. Then...He's in control; and all is His doings! Naturally whatever happens will be to magnify and glorify Him. If in any way we get IN THE WAY with our stuff, it will be a waste of time.

I happened onto a book this week: A Voice of One: Nehemiah’s Prayer by John Dillard, How Lay Ministers Can Accomplish Great Things in God’s Name.

These sentences speak to me this week:

“Dare to Attempt Something so Great for the Kingdom of God that it is doomed to failure, lest Christ be in it!”

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

Imagine what would happen if all Believers lived their lives unafraid and willing to do God’s bidding when prompted. Freed from the chains that bound them, we would be free to do the bidding of Jesus Christ. Nehemiah’s story is about how one man, a layman, listened to God and did what all thought impossible. Nehemiah, sought the favor of a king, who provided the needed resources he needed to accomplish his task of rebuilding Jerusalem’s broken down walls in just 52 days,"

God have your way!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Done! I've Had It....

Lately I hear a recurring word: "Done! I can't go on this way any more," is a lament I hear from spouses with a strained marriage, folks in debt and miserable people of all ages and situations. Working on a comedy skit for an upcoming performance of "A Time To Laugh," comedy troupe which I'm a member of, we decided to incorporate this phrase: "Done!" in each segment of our skit.

I've realized on my spiritual journey that breakthrough's come when I'm "Done!" with my own self efforts to rid myself of poor habits or attitudes. It seems merciful, gracious Holy God gives me all the room I need to spin myself empty. Then when I finally reach the end of
my strength/rope I cry out desperately for His help.

Bam!! It's like He was waiting on that pure humble submissive cry. In younger years I would beat myself up for using my own strength before crying out to God. As an older woman...hopefully a bit wiser; I see my end is God's beginning point. I wonder if working things out with my best human efforts may be necessary to know this truth, "
John 15:5 Jesus said "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me,
and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

"Done!" on something significant in your life? God isn't surprised and He isn't disappointed in you or me for giving our best and coming up with zero. Throughout the Bible He shows men and women failing forward to come to know He is the only way to life that matters. When all we desire is to do all for His glory: all is well.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Annoying Blessing

"Ms. Kay, I was praying with my young son as I was putting him to bed. I thanked God for his anointing and that God would continue to bless him with anointing for him to reach his destiny in God."

"After amen, he asked me why I was thanking God for annoying," shared one of my "funny" guys in our comedy troupe, A Time To Laugh.

Don't you just love the spontaneity and delight of children? I keep imagining this very active "real" little boy peeking through his fingers to watch his Dad being thankful because he is annoying. He probably was coming up with a hundred ways to help God fulfill that request!!!

Have a laugh and be free as only a God saved saint can be!!!

This is the week to celebrate being free forever!

© 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.