karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

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

Words without Borders

There are no words to express my pain at what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, and my prayers are with all the families touched by this tragedy.   Every American has the right to freedom of speech, regardless of race or gender, and to gather in public without some madman deciding to drive down a street full of people, maiming and killing.  I believe in my heart of hearts his actions had nothing to do with racism, or even letting his voice be heard.  I am firmly convinced he was set on violence and destruction, and when the opportunity presented itself he simply executed the plan he had in mind all along.  Mayhem and murder.  If it hadn’t been last weekend I have a feeling he would have found a way to destroy life, at some other opportune time, at other public gathering.

Proverbs 23.7 tells us as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.  It also tells us in Matthew 7.18 that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit.  The “fruit” Jesus is talking about here is our actions, and how they correlate to what’s going on in our heart and thought-life.  If we accept this as truth, tell me – what was the driver of the car thinking when he derive over living breathing human beings?

John 1.13 says that by Him (Jesus) were all things made, and without Him nothing was made.  We live in a society that not only denies the presence of the One Who made them but claims they made themselves and need no one but themselves.  ‘Self-made’ men and women abound today, and they’re proud of it.  How deceived can our be be to honestly believe that?  The poet John Donne penned the words, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…”

As a cleric in the Chirch of England during the Black Plague I’m sure he was faced daily with his own mortality.  He knew we are all part of what the Lion King called, ‘the circle of life.’  Which would imply that we need each other, because without help none of us would survive.  You can never succeed in any venture without bringing others along on the journey with you.  What hurts you hurts me.  None of us are isolated.  We may think we are, but the ripple effect touches everyone.

White supremists stand for hate, and that is diametrically opposed to all our forefathers stood for.  You can rename history, in the name of being “political correct”.  You can even remove history, so as not to offend militant groups, while ignoring the average patriotic American.  But you will never change history.  Perhaps we learned nothing from Hitler.

The words of George Santayana ring in my ears: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Charlottesville is a prime example of that.  Maybe we haven’t so much forgotten as erased the lessons learned.

My pastor’s been saying for years that Christianity is the new hate speech.  He may well be right.  But I’m not backing down and I’m not shutting up.  This world is in a mess and needs Jesus bad.  Few are telling it.  Perhaps I’m just the guy for the job.  Will ya help a sista out?

Kari, the Truth-teller

all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

https://web.cs.dal.ca/~johnston/poetry/island.html

The Other Side of Angels

Lester Summrall, in his fascinating book, The Reality of Angels, says that “never before in history has there been so much interest in supernatural phenomena.” He talks of the occult, astrology, spiritualism, exorcism, UFOs and extrasensory perception, which, as he quite rightly points out, are indeed “sure to be Box-office hits.” He goes on to say that “much misinformation and blatant falsehood” is presented on these topics and I have to agree. That was in 1982.

Enter An American Werewolf in London. Harry Potter. Twighlight. Hemlock Grove. Zombies and vampires abound in today’s society and few think anything of it. I sometimes wonder if Christians have accepted the status quo.

Take a for-instance. I mentioned misinformation and blatant falsehood earlier. I’ve always believed if you want to learn the truth about a thing, go to the source. I Skype my mother nearly every Monday morning first thing, and she almost always introduces me to something I never knew. Two Mondays ago it was The Girl in the Red Coat, a book written by Kate Hamer that my mother and her reading group just finished. After all, as Andy Stanley quite rightly says, the world you cannot enter is the world you cannot reach. So if I want to reach current society I have to know a little about what’s going on in it.

Researching this led to discovering a similar book, The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold. I made it my mission to find out out details on a ‘fiction novel’ told by a teenager you eventually realize has been raped and murdered. It wasn’t the subject matter that caught this random redhead’s attention though. It was the movie of the same name, produced by Peter Jackson.

First off, I discovered he found his ‘inspiration for heaven through a teenager’ eyes’ in The Partridge Family, of all things. Nothing against the show – used to watch it myself as a teen. But like I said, if you really want the truth about something, why didn’t Mr. Jackson choose to go to the source? As in, The Bible? My guess is, he might not necessarily have wanted Truth. Perhaps, as a movie producer, he felt Wes Farrell had a more viewer-friendly approach to the subject, one worthy of emulating. He’s probably right. God forbid we should actually expose horror-movie-goers to the gospel: they just might get convicted! It was an interesting concept to me.

The second thing to catch my attention actually made me want to throw up, but it’s a chilling inditement on today’s society. When it hit the movie circuit there was public outcry. Why? It wasn’t gory enough.

Apparently when writing, Ms. Sebold must have felt the story was the focus, not the murder scene. Viewers thought differently. So much so that Mr. Jackson decided to reshoot the scene with much more blood. At first I was horrified. Why would the public demand such a thing? And why wouldn’t Christians stand against it?

Then I realized a simple fact – neither side knew. Children of God probably didn’t see the film so they didn’t know to protest, and gore-lovers probably didn’t know obsession with violence is not healthy because they may not know God’s view on the matter. Because Mr. Jackson didn’t introduce them to Truth. Not that he should. I don’t know where he stands with his Creator. It’s just a shame one given a high level of influence chose to wield it the way he did.

I’m left grieving for a society that idolizes celebrities and speaks against leaders. That scoffs at a holy God and looks to the world for its view on the spiritual world. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Sumrall. We have his decade beat by a mile. And it’s going in the wrong direction.  I’m praying passionately for revival like never before, and I also pray that, like John Wesley, wherever I go I set others on fire with the fire burning in me.

Kari, the fired-up-and-sharing-it

all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

Armor All

I guess you’d have to be a redhead to fully appreciate the way we process stuff, but I often get “ah-ha” moments in the unlikeliest of places. The other week mddm (my dearest darling man) decided to clean our vehicles, and pulled out his trusty Armor All. He did a great job, btw, but I was lost in thought at that point, and this current blog began to emerge.

If you’re in a war you need armor ideally over as much of your body as possible, at minimum enough to cover vital organs. Armor is powerful and a very necessary thing during warfare but sometimes it can be a hindrance. We’re told in Ephesians 6 to ‘put on the whole armor of God’, which tells me God has a specific fit designed for me that’s different than for you.

Saul’s armor don’t fit nobody but Saul! I try to believe others mean well, but it’s a fact of life. 1 Samuel 17 verse 38 says that, “Saul dressed David in his own tunic”, then added armor and a bronze helmet; submitted to his leader, David didn’t question Saul’s decision – however, when David tried to be David in Saul’s armor he couldn’t even walk, let alone fight.

You have two choices. You can accept the status quo and die in stagnation or you can do like Jabez, and pray that God will increase your territory. If you want to possess a thing, logic dictates you’ve got to DISpossess the current owner/occupant of that thing, which usually means warfare. I’ve learned a lot of things in life by doing it the wrong way, and don’t often repeat the lesson.

I know folks mean well, but if a thing’s working for you who cares if it ain’t done the way they’re are doing it? if it ain’t broke it don’t need fixin! God made us all unique and likes us that way.

Can we agree to let me do me and you do you? I’ll love you and support you any way I can, but I give you the freedom to be different and unique and do things the way that works for you.  And I ask the same of you. Agreed?

Kari, the armoured-up-girl

all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

Rabble-Rouser

In his wonderful little book, A Hobbit Devotional, which is fast becoming one of my absolute faves, Ed Strauss makes many fine points but one of the best comes in chapter 2.  Once Gandalf tells Bilbo who he is, all Bilbo remembers is the fun and parties stories the wizard told.  But then, “he stopped and asked warily if this was by chance the same Gandalf who, in years past, had talked impressionable young hobbits into ‘going off into the Blue for mad adventures’.”  To which the obvious answer would be simply yes.

I know another rabble-rouser.  You may too.  Jesus.  A brush with Him had a similar effect on almost everyone He met, and pretty soon He had developed a reputation for getting quiet respectable folk to do very strange things, often completely out of character.  Take Zacheus, for example.  He had a rep of his own, though not a good one.  In his day, tax collectors could demand whatever percentage they chose to exact from the good citizens of the town, and Caesar turned a blind eye as long as he got his cut.  That’s why tax collectors were so despised in Jesus’ day – they were crooks, kind of an ancient day mafia.  One encounter with the Saviour changed his heart to the point he willingly offered to give money back to those he’d swindled.  Don’t tell me that wasn’t a heart change!  A con-artist giving back what he’d stolen? Doesn’t happen.  At least, I for one have never seen such a radical conversion, but for the rabble-rousing rabbi it happened everywhere He went.

I heard a pastor say this week that if you want good relationships look to the One who made relationships.  Simple, yet often forgotten.  So how come 70% of second marriages end in divorce?  Perhaps because we forgot to look to the One who started the whole thing.  We live in a broken world, and the current culture isn’t likely to change any time soon unless we, as Christ followers, which is what the word “Christian” actually means, start doing it.  Talking like, acting like, the One we say saved our lives.  Just a thought.

Kari, the rabble-rouser-and-happy-to-be-one

all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

What If?

Life kind of attacked me recently from several directions at once, but now I’m back, doing what I believe I was put on this earth to do.  Write.

I made a decision some 24 years ago that I wanted to preach the Word, in season and out of season, through the foolishness of fiction.  A wise man by the name of Kenneth Copeland says the Word works, but only when it’s put to work.  So simple, yet profound.

This hit home during a teaching recently about sowing and reaping.  It’s a subject many tend to tune out on, because almost everybody on the planet has heard the story, but me being me, I learned decades ago that if I’m in a moment there’s a reason for it, so I’m looking for the reason.  Even if it’s just being reminded of simple core elementary truths, I obviously needed to revisit them or God wouldn’t have had me in that moment.  I was reminded of several things that day, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to share a few.

One, we are all given what I call The Three T’s – time, talent, and treasure.  Some more, some less, but just like the lazy guy who buried his in the ground, we all have them and only we can decide the measure in which we use them.  Which brings me back to sowing and reaping.

Many complain their spouse doesn’t love them/respect them/serve them/bless them/spend time with them “like they used to.”  My question is this: are you?  Am I what? you ask.  Good question.  Sowing.  Are you loving/respecting/serving/blessing/investing time in them?  The world agrees that what goes around comes around, so if you don’t send it out how can you get it back?

A farmer will tell you that it’s a mystery, this sowing and reaping thing, but it works.  You reap exactly what you sow, you reap on the increase, and it shows up gradually.  But rest assured, the harvest is on its way.  For good and for bad.  Soil quality also determines harvest quality, yet even the best soil can’t transform bad seed.   What you send out will come back to bite you.  Matthew 7 verse 16 says your fruit shows, whether you know it or not.  If you are truly a follow of Jesus Christ, folks should see a difference.  The world taught me WIIFM (what’s in it for me, for the uninitiated), and I had another epiphany in that moment: wise investors don’t check Wall Street every day.  If they did, they’d be buying and selling at the whim of the market.  No, they’re focused on the long-term profit.

When you say yes to something, by default you say no to something else.  The growth process isn’t easy: you have to prepare the ground, water and fertilize the soil, kill the pests, feed and support and nurture new plant growth – if you’re focused on the now you’ll quit since it’ll be just too much work.  If you’re focused on the strawberries/corn/tomatoes/zucchinis you plan to eat next spring, you might press through because the prize is worth winning.

How about WIIFJ?  What profit margin do you think we’d experience if we gave our all to Jesus?  Not just in word, but in deed?  What if we touched one solitary life because we as believers chose to focus on eternity, and the worth of a soul?  The future doesn’t look so bleak when you seek FIRST the kingdom of God, and let all other concerns fade away.  How can anyone’s future be anything other than exciting when you know you’re where you are, when you are, with whom you are, for a reason He will make clear if you trust Him to?  That brings this ho-hum existence many experience into a whole new realm.  You start looking for opportunities to share the life-changing, sin-destroying, soul-comforting Truth many are searching for but never find.

I’d like to share part of a story with you, dear reader, if you’re open , but I don’t want to overwhelm you and since my momma tells me on a regular basis I’m ‘verbose’, I’ll leave that for the next blog post.  Let me know in the comment section if you’re at all interested in what this Random Redhead is currently writing, and if you do choose to read it, I’d love your input.

Until next time…

Kari, the open-to-what-ifs gal

all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

The Sanctified and the Scoffer

The older I get, the more I value wisdom.. A chick who goes by the name of Gloria Copeland says that He’s an if-then God. People demand on a daily basis, where is your God? Folk said it in David’s day, and they’re still saying it. I’d say we’ve left out the if-then.

I realize Truth is the new hate speech, but after the horrific attack in Manchester, England that left 22 young people dead, 22 souls who will never get another chance to make a different choice for their eternal destination, I’m ready to make my voice be heard. We really need to wake up and smell the smoke. Innocents are dying and they will continue to die until we accept there’s a problem and stop being so darned ‘politically correct’.

Not all Muslims are into radical Islam, I realize this; many are kind gentle folk who are really good people. But just like any race and culture, they have their radicals. Radical Islam never has been and never will be anyone’s friend. It passionately believes any nation or people different from them are infidels, and as such, deserving of death. In as glorious (ie. violent) a way as possible. Period. You can sugar coat the facts all you want to, but it won’t change them.

Truth, however, is not subject to change. It’s certainly not what culture says it is. What is Truth? you ask. I’m glad you did. In John 17 verse 17 my Bible say’s God’s Word is Truth. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m going with that. Second Chronicles 7 verse 14, states:

If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Take this piece by piece and you’ll see why I’m fired up.

If My people –

The wonderful world of Wikipedia claims that for almost 1,500 years the United Kingdom was supposedly ruled by what it calls “various forms of Christianity” (emphasis mine). Now, apparently, “the UK as a whole lacks any official religion” (emphasis mine), though “only a Protestant may inherit the British throne.” So what we’re saying is we don’t believe in a God but the Queen of England must? Get real.

Who are called by My name –

In a 2011 census, 59.5% claimed Christianity. It was rather interesting to me that in the same survey, 82.3% of Ireland, notorious in history for extreme violence, claimed the same faith. In 2009, over 50% decided to self-classify themselves as not religious at all. And we wonder why we’ve got problems. In 2014, 77% of the British public had decided they weren’t very religious, according to uk site vexen. Monica Furlong even had a name for it – “cultural attachment to Christianity”. Excuse me? Grace Davis wrote an article about Believing without Belonging. Which brings up a good point. How can you belong to something if you don’t believe in it? Monica says, and I quote, “Children who do not come from churchgoing homes – as I did not – now grow up largely ignorant of Christian ideas in a way unimaginable half a century ago…” Ya think? In 2003, only 55% of the population could name one of the four gospels, while 60% could name the Muslim’s most holy book, the Qur’an. You’ve gotta be kidding me!

Will humble themselves and pray –

Jeremy Paxman asked The Very Reverend David Edwards, who has authored more than thirty books on the subject of modern Christianity, for his take on England’s spiritual pulse, and this is the response: “he just told me bleakly that ‘The English have lost any sense of what religion is’.” Hello! That might explain why, in 2013, only 25% of teenagers thru age 24 believe He exists. No wonder He’s not moving mountains. We ain’t prayin’!

Paul Avis, in Public Faith? The State of Religious Belief and Practice in Britain, claimed, “Views are uninformed, not deeply held, seldom acted upon, and relatively volatile”. I’d say Manchester proved this true. And 22 souls paid the ultimate price for that “not deeply held, seldom acted upon…” faith few claim and even fewer practice.

And seek My face –

Here’s what scared me. “As elsewhere in the western world, religious demographics have become part of the discourse on multiculturalism, with Britain variously described as a post-Christian society, as “multi-faith”, or as secularised.” Do what? Last time I checked, Christianity was a counter-culture, not a multi-faith, come-as-you-are, all-religions-lead-to-God gospel. Of course, I may be wrong, so call me on it. I also have a slight issue with discourse on multiculturalism, too, since we’ve been discoursing for quite a while and all we’ve got for it is steadily increasing violence. Which, incidentally, God addresses in Matthew 11 verse 12, where He says that the kingdom of God will suffer violence, but we’re supposed to counteract that and take ground ourselves. Are we doing a good job of it? The facts speak for themselves.

And turn from their wicked ways –

The BBC can claim all they want that, “”The overall decrease in the number of self-identifying Christians is consistent with recent social attitude and social value surveys” (emphasis mine) , and that “only 29,267 people specifically describe themselves as atheist”, denying there’s a problem, but that only proves to me we’ve forgotten history, and according to George Santayana, if we forget it we’re doomed to repeat it. They’ve forgotten the immortal words of Edmund Burke, British statesman during Churchill’s, time, who wisely told his peers that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. How’s that workin’ fer ya? It’s not. The Queen of England, a supposed Protestant, attended Elton John’s wedding.

Then I will hear from heaven –

When the former Prime Minister is attacked for claiming, God forbid, that England is a ‘Christian country’, how can Britain say “the number of Christians on the planet is continuing to grow faster than the birthrate” (emphasis mine)? It either accepts or rejects Christianity, and if it’s growing it should be influencing, so why was he attacked for his belief? I seem to remember a former President claiming the US was not a Christian country. I happen to respectfully disagree, because I live here. You can speak for you, but you will never have the right, no matter what public office you hold, to speak for me.

Even The Spectator got in on the act, with an article written by Damian Thompson in 2015 proclaiming, “2067: the end of British Christianity – Projections aren’t predictions”. This article stated that 2067 will be the year when “the Christians who have inherited the faith of their British ancestors will become statistically invisible. Parish churches everywhere will have been adapted for secular use, demolished or abandoned.” The writer also believes, “Christianity is dying out among the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic inhabitants Christianity is dying out among the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic inhabitants”. Wow. That kind of says it all, doncha think? He also made that point that, “I’ve compared Britain with America because our countries are supposed to have radically different attitudes towards Christianity. Yet the direction of travel is now the same. And this is true despite the fact that the United States doesn’t have a fast-growing Muslim population.” And they wonder why suicide bombers succeed in their plans to destroy all infidels.

Forgive their sin –

His last words were very profound: “As a Catholic, I believe that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church founded by Peter. There will always be someone to take the place of ‘the last Christian’. But not necessarily in Britain, where the death rattle has begun.”

And heal their land –

Things are going from bad to worse, apparently. Harriet Sherwood, author of a The Guardian newspaper article, says in 2014 those claiming no religion, or “nones”, finally outnumbered those who claimed the Christian label, 48.5% verses 43.8%. Tell me there’s nothing wrong with that picture. Even what Britain calls “cradle Catholics”, those raised up in the church and taught the core values, are part of the “nones”. If you have no Christ you have no true moral foundation for life. Which would explain a lot.

In the meantime, I’m of the opinion that “greater awareness and toleration of different creeds and ideas, encouraging religious pluralism and eviscerating commitment to a particular faith, all form components of the case for secularization” is the very worst way to run a country ever.

What are we giving God to work with? I solemnly encourage you to read 2 peter 3, verses 1 to 13.

England can claim that “Christianity is dying and only Islam is growing” in any study they want, but I’m going with Truth, which gave us a mandate, what’s known as The Great Commission, in Matthew 28 verse 19: Go and make disciples. Like my pastor says, two thirds of God’s name is GO. The question is, are we?

I’m wondering if this state of affairs is in part due to our perception of “Christianity” and “church”. This picture says it all.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_Kingdom
http://www.vexen.co.uk/UK/religion.html
https://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/06/2067-the-end-of-british-christianity/
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-20675307
https://www.quora.com/Does-the-attack-on-Camerons-claim-that-Britain-is-a-Christian-country-mark-the-beginning-of-the-end-of-Christianity
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/23/no-religion-outnumber-christians-england-wales-study
https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/religion-and-belief-some-surveys-and-statistics/
http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/01/18/poll-in-the-already-irreligious-uk-faith-falls-further/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11306599/Sir-Elton-John-steps-into-Christmas-with-a-winter-wedding-In-pictures.html
https://bible.org/seriespage/9-scoffers-second-coming-and-scripture-2-peter-31-13

 

Kari, the finally-fed-up-of-silence gal

all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

A Little Dash’ll Do Ya

You may not know this, but the navy has a solution for almost everything. Including emergencies. The Morse Code may be antiquated but it’s very efficient way to communicate; the most famous of all transmissions is the SOS. As in: dot, dash, dot.  Save Our Souls.  Many a soul on many a ship owes their life to those three simple sounds.  . . . – – – . . .  That’s all it takes to save a soul at sea.

I’m sure almost anyone on the planet would applaud someone saving a life, yet we take them every day.  At both ends of the aging scale.  In Holland, not only is it legal, it’s encouraged, to do away with older citizens; they’re a drain on society and no longer contributing nation.  And babies?  Well, they definitely don’t deserve rights, do they?  God forbid we would ever make anyone responsible for the consequences of their choices.  Is it just me, or is there a disconnect here?  We’ll save the whales, even campaign to stop deforestation of the Amazon rainforests, yet we watch humanity quietly disposed of, sacrificed on the altar of convenience.

But what about my Saviour?  The Lover of my soul, the Saver of my life?  Did a little dash do Him?  No,  He gave His all for me.  His blood was shed so anyone who chose would be assured an eternity in heaven.  I can relate so much to this, since I’ve never done anything half-heartedly, good or bad.  I’m an all-or-nothing gal at heart and occasionally living dangerously has its appeal. Calculated risks aren’t really risks, they’re opportunities.  We never truly know what we really believe until it’s tested.  A British statesman once said that evil prospers when good men do nothing.  I pray if we ever get the chance to stand up for right, we do.  He did.

Kari, the all-in gal

all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

A Tomb with a View

I love word plays, and will use them any chance I get because it makes a person think more deeply on the idea presented.  Hence the title of today’s humble blog.  Actually, I was given permission to use anything this certain preacher says, any time, something that doesn’t come by very often in life, and I intend to take full advantage of their generosity.  Which led to the borrowed title.  For talking about a borrowed tomb.  One that didn’t stay occupied long.  Seems kind of a waste of a good tomb, but then again, what do I know?

They must agree with Carol Kacmarcik, a dear friend and sista in Christ, who says  – “here’s my copyright rule – copy it and share it.”  So I’m sharing the love.  Since it’s Easter, or Resurrection Sunday as some prefer to call it, I will tell you several things in my life collided lately to create what I can only describe as ‘the perfect storm.’

Being a very devoted lover of the One Who put the stars in place with His fingers and chose to put breath in my body when I was literally born dead, I pretty much celebrate Easter year round.  It drove my kids nuts, poor babies, but I believe wholeheartedly in resurrection of dead things.  Perhaps it takes one to know one.

Ok.  The perfect storm.  It started with one more boss one more time offering a variation of, “thanks but no thanks,” as in goodbye.  Which was kind of a blow because I was giving all I had to give and there was a huge learning curve.  I had one more opportunity to make a choice, to be hurt or trust God that He had something else in store  That’s become my default over the years – do I trust Him, or not?  Circumstances in my life may change but for some reason the choices don’t seem to.

This led to a lot more time on my hands.  Which led to a lot more writing, and a lot more reading.  Even a lot more praying.  Especially for this nation.  I realised when the angel broke the seal on our Saviour’s tomb, he did so much more than roll a stone away.   Now I have a question for you this Easter season, the same one posed to me last week.  Ready?  Here it is: How do you view the tomb?  As horrific death?  Or glorious life?  My honest answer to them was ‘both’.  But being the glass-half-full kind of gal that I am, I’d rather think on the good side than the bad.  I realised there are many folk out there in church all their lives who never get to know the real Jesus,  He’s into relationship, not religion.

That’s what the whole ‘Abba’ thing is about.  Loosely translated it means Daddy.  Not some austere Englishman saying, “Faaahhhhther,, if Thou wilt,” using perfect King James language, dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s.  God is a God of hearts and that blesses me so much.  When I’m misunderstood, when I’m let go for no apparent reason, when friends wig out on me, He sees my heart.  When I’m confused or doubting or even joyful to  be alive, He sees.

Like another friend said today when I asked what I could pray for her, “I’m in transition.”  I might well be too.  But I know it’s good.  ‘Cos God is good.  So anything He allows has to eventually work itself out for my good, because He promised it in Romans 8.28 and He never lies.

I encourage you today to give yourself completely to the only true God this universe has ever seen, and see what He’ll do with you.  It might not be easy, or even smooth sailing, but it’ll be good.  I promise.

Kari, the choice-maker

all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

And Then Came Jesus

Today I started thinking of all those who have influenced my life in a profound way.

In honour of my good friend Kenny Raynor, I would like to give you my take on something he gave me permission to copy many years back.  He was one of the people that was most what I like to call, “Jesus with skin on”.  Kind, patient, always willing to help.

Here’s the Karified version of his creation:

The Ten Commitments

Thou shalt have goals

Thou shalt never give up

Thou shalt not procrastinate

Thou shalt not be negative

Thou shalt have an action plan

Thou shalt be teachable

Thou shalt be available

Thou shalt know thy stuff

Thou shalt improve thyself daily

Thou shalt never belittle

What are yours?  What core values rule your life?  Really.  I want to know.

Kari, the absolutely-committed

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Deluded and Deceived

We’ve probably all heard the argument that a thinking rational person doesn’t need a “crutch” to help them handle life, as in Jesus.  That individual possibly went on to make what they considered a valid case for such belief.  But here’s the thing: a deluded soul never knows they’re deluded.  They think they’re sane.  Which is why satan is so very successful at it.  (No, that’s not a typo.  On principle I refuse to capitalize his name.)

In his article, ‘We can save atheism from the New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris’, Jeff Sparrow states, and I quote, “You don’t have to be a believer to see that religion genuinely offers something to its adherents (often when nothing else is available)  [excuse me?  We have a smorgasbord old current options to choose from in today’s  ‘enlightened’ society! KG]  and that what it provides is neither inconsequential nor silly.  By contrast, the New Atheists engage with religion purely as a set of ideas, a kind of cosmic rulebook… But what happens then? You’re left with no explanation for their devotion other than a susceptibility to fraud. To borrow Dawkins’ title, if God is nothing but an intellectual delusion then the billions of believers are, well, deluded; a collection of feeble saps in need of enlightenment from their intellectual superiors… If belief in God stems from intellectual inadequacy, then all believers are feebleminded – and the most devout are the most feebleminded of all. All religions are bad but some religions – especially those in the Middle East, by sheer coincidence! – are worse than others.”

I disagree with him on multiple fronts. One thing in particular I don’t get about his argument is that in order to be a “freethinker” you must be atheist.  To me this is circular reasoning totally unsupported by fact.  I know many God-fearing devout believers who are the farthest thing from feeble-minded.  I’ve met weirdos and fanatics on both sides of the fence.  What I want to know is, do you know Jesus?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/30/we-can-save-atheism-from-the-new-atheists

Kari, the undeluded-undeceived totally-in-love-with-Jesus girl

all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

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