karigraceplace – where hope springs eternal

How do you change your world? One word at a time, one heart at a time

Mr. Adam

If it wasn’t for Mr. Adam and Mrs. Adam we’d all be living in a garden, I know, but I’m tired of blaming others. If I truly want change, it might just have to start with me. A good friend of mine last night introduced me to a concept I’d never really thought about before. She, like me, apparently learns a lot of God principles from many things other than His Word, although that is always the plumbline for my life and if something I learn doesn’t line up with that I throw it out. Her simple but profound statement was this: a good call girl doesn’t sell her body; she sells the promise of it. How like satan. He always sells the dream, the illusion, the hope that this – whatever your ‘this’ is – will bring you comfort, satisfaction, pleasure, enjoyment. How fleeting and empty his promises truly are. He, like a good call girl, promises what he knows you want but hopes you won’t discover will never truly fill that empty place in your heart.
You see it everywhere you look. Empty promises that never truly deliver. The beer commercials promising fun but never showing you the hangover next morning. Stunning car commercials that forget to mention the payments will put you into debt. Sexy men and hot women supposedly having a grand old time but never showing you the results of sex outside of marriage. The longer I live the more clearly I see his deception and I’m so very thankful. That same friend taught me another concept, too. 1st Peter 5 verse 9 says we have to “stand firm against him (the devil), and be strong in your faith. Remember your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering.” It’s good to know we’re not alone, isn’t it? How about 1st Peter 4 verse 12? The “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing has happened to you” verse. Oh, joy. Actually, it is. The next part goes on to say not only should we not think it strange, we should actually rejoice. Don’t know about you, but that’s easier said than done for me. The kicker? James 1 verse 2. Which tells us we’re supposed to “count it all joy” when we get into these situations. The Message bible, a personal fave of mine, digs a little deeper, and tells us to “consider it a sheer gift when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.” Just in case ya didn’t get the NIV or NLT, that’ll make it abundantly clear. Verse 3 goes on to tell us “don’t try to get out of anything prematurely”. As Joyce Meyer would say, “Ouch! Hallelujah!”
He has a great point. As my pastor often says, there’s no such thing as unjoy. Happiness actually comes from the root Anglo Saxon word hap, which means happenstance. In other words, if everything in your life is “happening” the way you would like, you’re happy. Forgive me but that seems like a shallow way to live. I’d rather dive in deep, even if it gets messy from time to time. Heidi Baker says, never stop stopping for the one. God knows I’ve been the one, many times, and those who stopped to notice rate highly in my book.
So it’s a new day and I have a new question for you. Will you live an authentic, no-holes-barred, honest-to-goodness real life in front of those you encounter? Some will love you for it, others won’t, but the ones who relate will appreciate the lack of hypocrisy. Are you willing to come with me on the new journey of being authentically real? Joyce says it’s time to start a Love Revolution, and that it starts with her. I’m right behind her. The buck stops here, and it stops with me. What do you say? Together we can take a healing Christ to a hurting world. And it will make all the difference.
Kari, the on-fire, Holy-Ghost-filled, seeking, satisfied, sanctified child of the Most High God
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

The Story of a Rug

I saw the phrase Rag Rugging recently, and it stuck with me. I once heard the story of how a rug was made. This isn’t it, but it’s the closest I can find. When I heard it, my mind immediately started to learn spiritual things.
The link below shows the story of a rug, if you’re interested, but almost everything in life has a deeper meaning. For me it was this:
The Grand Weaver decided may years ago to make a rug that would astound an amaze. It involved a death, and new life. The rug design in and of itself was very carefully designed. In fact, He decided to make many, many rugs. He has “knit” us “together in our mother’s womb”, Psalm 139 verse 13, intricately and expertly. Even on your worst days, remember there are two sides to every rug, and God loves your messy side!
If more women knew they had worth and value regardless of their past, they’d quit allowing the culture to define them and start defining their culture! I’m so over the outside. I prefer the inside. Character, integrity, honesty, faithfulness. How about you?
Kari, the happy rug
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1gcOupNCi8


The High Price of Nice

I’m tempted to tell you I’m no saint, but God says in many places that I am. So I’ve decided not to fight it any more. I may have a flesh-back (B.C – Before Christ) moment every once in a while, but I’m still a saint. Like Joyce Meyer says, I’m OK and I’m on my way! It’s dysfunctional to always be nice, especially if you’re in a destructive relationship. Leslie Vernick says that the opposite of love isn’t hate – it’s indifference. Many would disagree, but the more I pondered this the more I realized how much I believe it to be true. So many people are in relationships that live this out, day in day out.
In a movie I saw recently, a man said something I found very profound. They were being held in captivity against their will, and one young woman had already committed suicide. When the newcomer asked why, the older, considerably wiser man said, “She grew tired of her terms of servitude”. It spoke volumes to me. How long will it take for us to grow tired of our terms of servitude? To whom am I a slave? you may ask. To the enemy of our souls, the great deceiver, the first angel to fall in a perfect environment called heaven. I’ve decided to stand up and take what belongs to me, just like Matthew 11.12 says. If I’m wrong and God convicts me, I’ll be quick to come and ask your forgiveness. But I don’t intimidation and control any more. No, sorry, wrong number – not happening. I choose love. Tough love or hard love, it’s your choice. And I choose mercy. In their book, Burn, by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee, one of their characters said this and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it: more amazing to me than justice is mercy. In that same book, an old gypsy woman said something else that I’ve thought on many times: the heart has two chambers; one for John, and one for Judas. I’ve come to realize that it’s a daily, sometimes minute-by-minute, choice. We have the choice to love Jesus, or betray Him. With every thought, word and deed in our life we do one or the other. How I pray I make the right choice. Sion Alford once said that souls are attached to your gift. I never want someone to crash and burn because I had a flesh-back. I’m ready for that batch of new mercies, now, Lord…
Kari, the sometimes nice but perfectly human saint
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

I Hear You Knocking…

… but you can’t come in. Dave Edmunds made it famous, but how many Christians live their lives there? God is always speaking, but I’m not always listening. One of the things I so treasure about Joyce Meyer is that she’s really hard to misunderstand. Take, for instance, this one passage from her book, How to Hear from God:

“We are to seek the Lord wholeheartedly. Many want God to take care of them, but they don’t really want to sacrifice the time and devotion it takes to grow in the knowledge of Him and His Word – and they don’t want to commit time to pray. God told Abraham, “I will make a covenant with you. I will make your name famous. I will make you rich. I will do things for you that nobody else could do… but here’s your part; you must walk wholeheartedly before Me”, (see Genesis 12-15). Abraham fell on his face before God. He knew he was in the presence of an awesome God who meant business… God’s glory is a wonderful exchange for our wholehearted devotion.”

If we’ll focus on Him, and deliberately set aside all the distractions of our lives, it will keep our spirit free to hear and receive all the good things He’s trying to give us. God wants to prosper us to the extent that everyone on earth who sees our lives will know there He exists, and He’s faithful to His promises. It’s not our rep that’s on the line, it’s His. Numbers 14.14 says that the inhabitants of the land had heard that He was with the Israelites. Isaiah 62 says that nations will see their righteousness, and the kings will see their glory.

Kerry Shook talked recently about what he called, “The Art of Being All There.” He said that our heavenly Father asks the same of you that anyone close to you wants – to be loved. With all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Whatever you value, your heart will follow, according to Luke 12.34. When you give something your undivided attention it stands out, because it’s uncommon. Most people don’t bother. As well as undivided attention, he also talked about giving constant appreciation, suggesting that we actually ask those closest to us what you can do to make them to feel loved. How many times I forget to ask. Many are stuck in dysfunction, afraid of change, because the familiar is non-threatening. I believe the comfort zone is the dead zone, where feelings are almost non-existent. I’ll take passion any time, even if it’s a little misguided. A passionate person I can work with. The reward for trust is always greater than the risk. I long to be what Kerry calls a, “Soul-saving station”. Many of my friends are dying to know Jesus, whether they know it or not. Gloria Copeland talked many years ago about how God’s will for our lives is simple – to hear, and do. To pray, and obey. Will I show and tell? Yes, I will. Will you?

Kari, the listening soul-saving station original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

I’ve Got the Power!

I hate to tell you this but it didn’t originate with Jim Cary.  It started way back 2,000 years ago.  Luke 10.19 tells the story.  Behold, I give you power… he goes on to talk about snakes, and scorpions, and how nothing will harm you, but my point is, it’s free.  It’s for us.  Could ya use a little power today?  I sure could.

If you can imagine it, God can do above it!  Cref once said that there ain’t no high like the Most High.  I couldn’t agree more.  And He’s not the Most High by mistake. 

This culture is certainly doing its best to remove Him from everything.  Some say it started in 1962 when the Supreme Court took prayer out of schools; I stay it started long before then, with apathy.  The silence of the lambs has had ramifications decades later.

I try not to judge, believe me.  There’s One Judge and I’m surely not Him.  I must admit that even my own daughter found it hard not to judge a gal by her tractor.  Clothes.  Attitude.  She found this out when she first went to college; definitely a wakeup call. 

I’m tired of being judged when all I’m doing is inspecting the fruit.  I’m tired of watching power stripped from me and doing nothing about it.  So now I’m choosing exert my first amendment right, lift up my voice, and testify to what God has done – because if I take control of my atmosphere the devil loses the right to it. 

We overcome by the Blood and our words, according to Revelation 12.11.  That’s how we win, y’all!  Phil Driscoll once said that the greatest power in the universe resides on the inside of you.  How easily I forget.  I also lose sight of what makes God smile: things done when noone else sees.  This country may be in a heap of mess right now but I don’t believe God is done with it.  Or me.  I’m using my mouth to change things.  Who’s with me?

Kari, the so-called ‘right’ severely wronged and sick of it original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

Itsy Bitsy

Today I’d like to venture into the land-mine of another sensitive subject, if I may – modesty.
Invented by the French engineer Louis Rayard in 1946, the bikini was it for site of the atomic bomb testing currently underway in his day; he anticipated an outcry of outrage, as he exposed the belly button for the first time ever, a cultural “atom bomb” if you will. Which indeed he got. He apparently didn’t consider it a true bikini unless it could be pulled through, of all things, a wedding ring; it was so scandalous for its day that no model would wear it. He ended up having to hire a stripper for its debut. Does that tell you something? It does me.
Rumour has it that it took a while for this garment to catch on in the US, since it was considered a “licensuous garment favoured by Mediterranean types”. In 1957 Modern Girl Magazine said that no girl with “tact or decency” would ever wear it. However, once the 1960’s sexual revolution kicked it became square not to wear one. Modern day gurus have even dubbed it “the millennial equivalent of the power suit.” A slight difference of opinion, don’t you agree?
Five years ago Princeton University male students volunteered for a research study on how the male brain reacts to clothing. Or lack of it. Guess what bikini-clad beauties do to a healthy male brain? They light up the “tool” part, of all places. The medial prefrontal cortex however is often unaffected (the part of your brain registering thought of another’s thoughts, feelings, and intentions). Researchers were shocked; they almost never see that part of the brain shut down. Translation: it shows the objectifying of objects, rather than seeing people. Something to be used, not connected with. Who wants that kind of power? Is less really more? Perhaps not.
Jessica Rey has a vid out where she talks of the value of modesty, and how we have almost completely lost it in our present culture. However, and there’s always a however, as we all know, critics of this school of thought have had their day and I want to give equal representation so with this in mind, here are a few snippets from one her blog.
“I grew up in a community where modesty was over-emphasized” (emphasis mine) – you’ve got to know I have an issue right off the bat, btw. “I don’t want to contribute to the grossly incorrect notion that the Bible only addresses fashion in the context of modesty.” It didn’t, last time I checked. “It’s one thing to know what’s right and not always act in accordance with that…” Precisely my point. Right behaviour verses wrong. Not leading others into places they’ll regret later. “It’s another to be less than 100% certain about what’s right in the first place.” I’m not. I’m 100% proof positive certain of where I stand on this issue. Then she has the kindness to ask readers to “adjust your grace-o-meter accordingly.” Wow. Never heard that one before. I’ll bear that in mind for my future blogging excursions.
This blogger argues that bikini-wearing should not be associated with sexual looseness. No one said it was. But there’s a better way. (And an FYI for the blogger, there’s bikinis and then there’s bikinis.) She goes on to say that modesty is “a product of culture.” I happen to disagree, as evidenced by our current one. PG13 slash X rated movies are consistently the highest revenue generating profit makers, according to the stats. “It’s all subjective anyway.” Again I happen to disagree. I know cultures vary in their views of modest but it’s fickle and it can change on a dime. As the blogger herself quite rightly points out, even though Jessica is very modestly dressed according to our present-day society in bygone days women showed neither wrist nor ankle. That doesn’t mean it’s subjective, it simply means culture has changed. I remind her of her own words, “it’s one thing to know what’s right” and not always do it…
The blogger goes on to say that if we are to throw out the bikini, why not the bathwater too? Reintroduce “bath machines”. I found this a strange argument, but still, it’s worth some thought.
Nobody is advocating that we return to the days of women being “baby-making machines meant for serving their husbands in the kitchen.” I fail to see the connection; I’m not quite sure how she got on that subject, when the focus of Rey’s talk was modesty. Her comment, “Bikinis may or may not stimulate particular attitudes towards women; they certainly cannot force them” I also found interesting, since our culture proves many men objectify women. It just doesn’t claim the bikini is the whole reason for this. Neither do I.
I’m happy to say I agree with Jessica Rey – why does it have to be Itsy Bitsy? It’s not about fashion, or even popularity, it’s about dignity. Her last question still haunts me: How will you use your beauty?
The blogger then goes on to take issue with Rey’s chosen example of modesty, Audrey Hepburn, implying it irrelevant since Ms. Hepburn had no figure to speak of, claiming any woman more well-endowed would not be considered modest in Ms. Hepburn’s; she also points out that Rey’s swimsuit designs would not cover such a woman’s cleavage, saying the line does not include plus sizes for said women, yet “despite the numerous flaws I see in Rey’s reasoning…” she still respects her. Wow. Call me dense if you will but all I see is a pot calling a kettle black.
Someone famous once said that those who are doing nothing will always criticize those who are doing something. I’d give ‘em credit if I could remember who they were, I truly would. What I see is a young woman passionately trying to introduce the concept of less being more when it comes to unveiling one’s body, and I believe this is sorely needed in our generation. Am I wrong? Seriously. I want to know. What am I missing?
Kari, the stubbornly modest and proud of it
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved



Generation Why

I honestly don’t believe there’s been a generation ever that is asking this question quite so much. As much as kids in the 60’s questioned their status quo, I think they ain’t got nothing on the youth of today. Truly I am learning that anything goes. Or not, as the case may be.
My Wednesday night bible study teacher often says that in a name is a nature. I started thinking about Abram an Sarai, Daniel and Jabez. Can you just imagine being called Pain? Hey, Pain, can ya get me a soda? Pain, where’s your homework? Pain, do you need me to take you to soccer practice? What a thing to speak over a life! Seriously, dude, what was she thinking? I believe her life was so full of grief it spilled over into her thinking, and thus into her thoughts. It seems people rarely give much thought to names, but to me they are powerful. My guy Gary recently told me about a chick with the last name Bear. Guess what she called her two children? Come on, guess. Panda, and Teddy. For real. Why would you do that to a child?!!!
In his amazing book, I Am Remnant, Pat Schazline says, and I quote, “the Truth will hold up the trousers of life.” He also says that Truth today is under attack. I couldn’t agree more. He also claims that only 6% of today’s youth believe in absolute moral truth, that facts don’t change even when feelings and culture no longer agree. I found that shocking. I agree with him when he says that truth is only lost when the strongest voices no longer speak or care to speak (emphasis mine). The world makes sin seem normal and righteous extremely eccentric. The theory of Cognitive Dissonance has now given people to rationalize away the tension between their behavior and what they know is right.
Years of propaganda have erased fundamental biblical values held by the founding fathers of this country. When you remove absolute moral truth, there ARE no more standards of right or wrong. Situational Ethics and Cultural Relevance come into the picture. Personally I don’t give a fig for either. James says in his 4th chapter 7th verse that when you know what’s right but choose to ignore it, it’s sin. Plain and simple. The Book of Acts church lived in a culture way more hedonistic than we do, yet they “turned their world upside down”, according to Chapter 16 verse 6.
I’m so ready for other people to help a sista out and start ripples everywhere they go, stirring up a generation to think about what they truly value. God put the wrong on His Son who did no wrong so that I, who did no right, could be put right. Just because He can. Everyone breathing has one of two identities: God’s, or the worlds. Forgive me but I tried the latter, and found it wanting. I’m for the former.
I want to reach out to a nameless faceless generation and show them they have destiny, identity and value simply because they exist. God wants pursuit, not perfection, and I’m happy to comply. The rise in atheism and agnosticism I firmly believe can be laid in large part at our door. We’ve let culture define us instead of the other way around. Well, I say no more silence of the lambs. Who’s with me?
Kari, the no-longer-silent voice of dissent
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

The Dark Side

They’re very handy, but as a concerned member of the human race who wants to empower and inform other homo sapiens, I have a few good reasons to reevaluate my microwave. I’m hoping you’ll do the same.
Did you know that it was originally created in Russia? And that the Russian government won’t let their own people use it? Just sayin. Food for thought, perhaps.
My research on this subject supports the following facts:
1) Science shows that eating processed foods heated in a microwave causes long term permanent brain damage. It does this by overloading the brain’s electrical impulses, causing depolarizing/demagnetizing of the brain tissue
2) The human body is ill-equipped to metabolize all the by-products microwave cooking produces, and the effects are residual – they stay in the body. Period
3) It’s been proven that human hormone production is shut down and/or altered by eating microwaved food
4) Research confirms that microwaving food severely reduces and alters the minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, therefore the body gets little benefit, if any, from the food, because it cannot absorb or utilize altered compounds
5) Those same minerals, especially in veggies, become cancerous free radicals once cooked this way, and prolonged eating of microwaved food produces and increases cancerous cells in the blood
7) This form of cooking is also known to cause stomach and intestinal cancerous tumors; it is a possible reason for colon cancer
9) Continual consumption of microwaved food is also shown to cause immune system deficiencies, since it affects the lymph glands and alters blood serum
10). Last but not least, it has also been proven to cause memory loss, decrease in intelligence, concentration issues, and emotional instability
That being said, I don’t believe microwaves will ever go away, and I’m not asking you to throw it out, all I’m suggesting to you is that you limit your use of it.
I pray you prosper abundantly, in spirit soul and body,
Kari, the health-conscious microwave-conscious temple
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

Yours, Mine, and Ours

I forget his name but there was this Greek philosopher guy who came up with the theory that mankind (and, by definition, womankind) has four basic temperaments; melancholy, sanguine, choleric, and phlegmatic. [I’m like 98% sanguine and it’s sooo not funny.] He believed we all have bits of all four temperaments but one main one. Well, if that’s true I’m pretty sure melancholy took a hiatus, choleric is on vaca some place in the south of France, and phlegmatic decided to go to curl up in front of a fire and take a long nap. Trust me, I’m a sanguine.
Melancholys are the “deep thinkers”, and they’re usually drawn to the arts. They’re often artsy themselves. Theatre, drama, painting, music, that kind of thing. I admit I have a music side – been playing the flute since the age of 8 – but that part of my life I don’t get to delve into often. Cholerics are the Type-A, goal-oriented among us, but how do you reconcile that with the sanguine? Joyce Meyer says true sanguines never have a plan, and even if they did they wouldn’t remember it for 5 minutes! I strongly resemble that remark! No… wait… resent that remark! Phlegmatics are probably the coolest of the bunch; they can be like whatever personality type they’re around at the time. Their gift is flexibility – if they’re with melancholys they can be that, or cholerics, sanguine or even other phlegmatics. Last but not least, sanguines. Sangines are real people-people; they’ve never met a stranger, and will talk the hind leg off a donkey as my grandmother used to say. Yep, that would be me. But in my defense I will say I’m rarely boring.
Hope something I’ve shared here sparks your interest, perhaps even makes you smile.
Don’t be a stranger,
Kari, the proud-to-be-sanguine slightly dappy redhead
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

New Day, New Me!

I know it’s not exactly new year but it’s a new day, and any day is a good day to reinvent yourself. Welcome to the new me!
Hi. Kari Grace here. Sharing her heart out there in the blogosphere, believing God people in need will find her ramblings. It taken guts, so if you’re offended by my random thoughts, or even disagree with my opinions, feel free to do that. Just please don’t post hate comments or send me hatemails. You have the right to your opinions, and I respect that. The first amendment gives you that – I would never violate it. But please do the same for me. You share yours on your page, and I’ll share mine on mine. I never was any good at politically correctness. Are we still friends?
That being said, there is so much more to me than a beautiful pen. I love life, and have a plethora of interests and hobbies. I enjoy trying new things and seem to learn something new every day. A mind is a terrible thing to waste; I actually enjoy expanding my cranium. It’s really the only place a gal wants wrinkles.
Lived in North Carolina for the last twenty plus years but I originally hail from the other side of the pond, which goes a long way to explaining why I talk funny, and often spell funny too.
First thing you may need to know is that I’m passionate about my God and my faith. I love all people of all religions but, like Mother Teresa, I’m partial to my own. My convictions run deep; the Lover of my soul gave me worth when I had none, and I owe Him my everything. My faith defines me. I’m also five foot three, fifty-something and feisty. Just so you know.
Topping those plethora of interests and hobbies are: writing, health, (I’m almost obsessive…)and quotes that really make you think. Here are a few of myabsolute faves, in case you’re interested:
Frank Peretti: He is ordering my life, and doing all things well
Tony Dungy: there are two kinds of men in the world – those who are humble, and those who are about to be
Victor Frankle: we can endure any what, as long as we have a why (he should know; he’s a holocaust survivor and lived thru unspeakable horrors)
Only the devil can remember your sins Joseph Prince
We do have a zeal for laughter in most situations, give or take a dentist ~Joseph Heller

I like my blue eyes, and I’m finally ok with my crazy curly red hair. I care more about the inside than the outside. Dorothy Parker said once that beauty is skin deep but ugly goes clear to the bone. Couldn’t agree more.
I love life, and horses, as well as music, from bach to jazz; I’ve even been known to play the flute on occasion. My fave singers are Vicci Beeching – she’s English too, btw – and Anthony Evans. He wrote a song called I choose Now. Mmmm. Words to live by. And i really, really love to read. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is one I highly recommend. Small, but insightful. And you HAVE to read what happened to him after his wedding…
I’d love to make some new friends here so please feel free leave your contact info. Today I pray God would bless you richly in all you put your hand to.
Kari, the new creature in Christ Jesus
original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

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