karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

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

The Overtaker and The Undertaker

I don’t do drama well and for that reason I try hard to stay away Facebook but recently it’s become abundantly clear to me just how diverse the eclectic band of folk I choose to call friend has become.

We’re different politically, ethnically, socially, culturally, spiritually, morally, even ethically, but there’s one common theme in most of my friends – a passion for writing. Different stories, different messages, different viewpoints, different disposable income, different levels of what many would define as “success”, but we all have a goal to share what’s burning deep down on the inside of us with anyone who’ll listen long enough.

Getting back to the drama thing, I’ve not seen this nation so divided in all the years I’ve spent here (which is almost 3 decades!) I’ve decided I’m not fighting anyone anymore on anything they feel the need to share. I only ask the same in return. I’m just going to state my case and then bow out gracefully as I look to see what they do with what I say. I’m half-done with my years and I’ve reached a time in my life when I’m more excited about the overtaker than the undertaker. (If you don’t understand, read Deuteronomy 28, verse 2 – trust me, you’ll understand.)

God told us again and again in His Word not to get caught up in petty disputes but to keep our eyes on eternal things. I really don’t care if the president ate one scoop of ice-cream or two: what I care deeply about is that hell is growing bigger and that precious souls are going there daily. Souls made in the image of the Father of all creation. His heart is breaking and I want to be a part of the solution, not the problem. Words are so powerful, and mankind uses them so indiscriminately. I’d rather heal than wound, every time. That’s why I write. To touch a soul. And perhaps change a heart. Maybe even make my Daddy smile, and plant eternal seeds in a hungry heart. That’s a goal worth pursuing, doncha think?

ps. This is a song that seems to pop into my brain at the most inopportune times…

He’s an on time God, yes He is! 🎶

My favorite part? (note of sarcasm there) “May not come when ya want Him…” Ain’t that the truth!

Kari, the excited-about-the-overtaker-girl

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

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Tribble Trouble

I don’t normally do this but I have to give a shout-out to a brand new friend.

I’m reading – well, re-reading – a rather compelling book by a guy who’s touching a very unreached segment of society (namely comi-con geeks). That struck me as so out of the box thinking, I couldn’t help but admire his approach. He has wisdom to share from the most unusual places, or, to quote his bud Vincent Stephens from the books’ foreword, “… I believe Hector’s true gift is seeing the gospel in everything.” And he does mean everything. From Daleks to Wonder Woman, Star Trek to Star Wars, Thor to Popeye, I experienced the nuggets Hector has found and freely shares on every page.

Wise beyond his years, I met Hector Miray at the local authors showcase and his passion for Jesus immediately caught my attention. Reading Faith & Fandom Five has deepened that respect. I even learned a thing or two along the way. For instance:

1 Corinthians 9.22 says that Paul had decided to be “all things to all men” in order to win them to Jesus. That’s just what Hector does. Here’s what I’ve learned:

When Superman had a meltdown Wonder Woman simply asked, “tell me who you are.” When we forget who and Whose we are, we’re liable to have a meltdown too.

Tribbles may be cute and furry, but when they ate indiscriminately it cost them their life. We have the same problem. It’s called sin, and when we consume it, it’s lethal.

We all, Like Luke Skywalker, have the choice every day to hide in the darkness or lead others to the light.

Just like Dr. Who, we as humans are liable to run when things get tough. The question becomes are we running from, or to?

Batman told Flash, “every battle defines you.” Now that’ll preach. We may cause more harm than actual help. When we fight the wrong battle or use the wrong weapon, as Hector quite rightly points out, we become the enemy. In his own haunting words, “Choose your battles well. Fight your battles well.” That’s how we shine our light in dark places. By choosing well and fighting well we honor God and show the world integrity and authenticity.

Those are just a few of the takeaways I gleaned. How simple can the gospel be? I encourage you to read and find out.

Kari, the so-not-a-tribble-girl

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

Be One!

For some reason the powers that be at a certain national magazine have decided to send me a subscription, unpaid and unrequested. The editor of said magazine wrote an article about creating mentors rather than manipulating folk into an unwanted role in their already busy schedule.
Here are a few take-always I was reminded of that may be useful to others on the Jesus walk with me:
  • Rather than clamoring for and boldly demanding one, cultivate relationships.
  • Have casual but mutual times of investment in each other’s success, such as 6 monthly coffee dates/Q&A sessions. It may lead to one or it may turn into many, depending on the areas of life you seek wisdom in.
  • Most of all, it’s often unofficial and the giver doesn’t even know they’re doing it. No pressure – just friendship.
I know the value of this approach. I watch from afar but my pastor’s wife has taught me more about human relationships in the last 25 years than she realizes, not to mention being an example of humble but passionate pursuit of Christ. She’s my hero and I’ve told her many times. I’m 50-something but when I grow up I want to be a lot like her.
So now it’s a new day and I have a new priority. To stop in the moment and share any wisdom or knowledge I may possess with any who ask. Who knows? It may sow a seed that can totally revolutionize a life, both now and for eternity.

Kari, the coffee-drinking, relationship-sharing gal

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

What’s Good for the Goose…

Do you know the rest? Is good for the gander. I heard this so much as a young child and had no clue what it meant. As an adult, what it now means is that you can’t exercise one freedom while denying another the same.

Case in point: the whole Red Hen debacle with Sarah Sanders. Yes, the restaurant owner had every right to refuse the family service, but why did they do it after the food had arrived? Just a thought. (They were removed from the restaurant because their “political” conflicted with the owner’s.)

The reason for my confusion? Another case in the news of a Christian printer, owner of Hands On Originals, who felt led to tell a potential customer he could not accept their order because it violated his conscience.

Same reason for refusal – conflict of conscience; different result: folks applauded the restaurant owner, while the printer was sued by the offended potential customer. This same printer was then dragged through the court system but the judge ruled that the print shop business owner had the right to refuse any potential business he wished, on moral grounds.

Before you tell me the printer was a homophobic you need to know that he employs gay people and he often prints t-shirts for other gay customers. He just felt that he could not accept this one project.

1 Timothy 1.5 talks of love, a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith. Tell me, of these two stories, who had the love? The pure heart? The clear conscience?

Just a thought.

Kari, the radical rebel for Jesus

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

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/may/12/christian-printer-wont-have-make-pro-gay-shirts/

Fools Gold

If it wasn’t for Margaret Dickson and her article in last week’s Up and Coming Weekly I’d never have known about the Barr’s and the Bee’s. Namely, Roseanne and Samantha. More on that in a moment.

My pastor has been saying for years that Truth (God’s Word) is the new hate speech. A good friend of mine experiences this on a regular basis with her FB page. I myself was lambasted there twice recently for an innocent remark. Folks like to exert their freedom of speech amendment right but belittle you when you do likewise because you happen to disagree with their views.

Back to the Barr Bee debate. Margaret Dickson pointed out that when Roseanne attacked the previous administration with mouth her show was immediately pulled by her network: however, within hours Samantha did the same to the current one on a different network with a completely different result – no consequences whatsoever. I agree with Margaret; this tells me far more about the slanderer than the slanderee. It also tells me the core values of said tv networks.

As a Brit and a true lover of the English language I’ve never really understood why educated people resort to vulgarity, and apparently Margaret feels the same way. Or, in her words, ‘does not know or is too lazy to search for a precise and insightful word or phrase…’ to get their point across. I got so fired up I found these to make my case:-

Military Challenge Edition –

Proverbs 11.9a with his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor,

Proverbs 11.12a whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,

and

From the CEV version – Proverbs 14.14 you harvest what you plant, good or bad.

I don’t want to get into the whole “who is my neighbor” thing, (and I considered throwing in Proverbs 11.22 for good measure but didn’t want to be accused of defamation of character), I just wanted to show once again the high priority God puts on the words we choose to speak. We will be held accountable for them some day soon, and I try really hard not to have to eat mine…

Your thoughts?

Kari, the careful-word-planner

mostly original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, most rights reserved

upandcomingweekly.com

Begin Again

I have to admit, every single time I go to church I always get more than I bargain for.  True to form, recently James Al Brice  jr. did not disappoint. One more one-liner found its way into this redhead’s head: Compromising leads to captivity. To you that might not mean much but to me it’s powerful. Every day is a new chance to change a life, and I’m starting to take them. The chances. Well, the days too, but mostly the mercies. Today was another opportunity to begin again, with a fresh new slate. Another chance to realign priorities, and show loved ones just how much they mean to me instead of putting them on the back burner. That’s one area of compromise I’m definitely open to changing.

Lamentations isn’t a book I visit regularly, but chapter3 verses 22 and 23 say it’s because of God’s mercies we are not “consumed”, and that we get new ones every morning. They must be new every morning ‘cos I need ’em! It gives me hope to know that every night I go to sleep, I’ll wake up to a whole new batch the next day, cooked up specially for me. Folk who think their day has to go the way they want it for them to be happy just amaze me. I can’t remember the last time my day went exactly how I had planned.

Take today, for instance; it was a very trying day… with a lot of unexpected things, and I had many opportunities to get upset. In fact almost nothing worked out how I thought it was going to, including a trip to get my man’s truck inspected, which culminated in me accidentally locking myself out of the house. But God is good and God is faithful, and He has His people in the right place at the right time for the right reason. I’m living proof. I got in the house. I was so thankful I did a happy dance!

If you’re in a rough spot right now I offer you the same advice a gal in one of my all-time fave movies did; when you’re in a hole… stop digging… and look up! Our Father is always there, ready to help, if we’ll just ask. Holy Spirit is a gentleman – He will never force Himself upon anyone – His help is there for the taking, if were humble enough to do so. I highly encourage you to forget yesterday, even today if necessary; begin again tomorrow with a whole new outlook and a fresh batch of mercy at your side, just in case you might happen to need it… which I very likely will, do if you don’t use yours may I borrow some?

Kari, the professional-beginner-again

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

Refugee or Rainmaker

Elijah didn’t have an easy life and at one point he even had an extremely ticked off queen after him intent on ending his life. He also raised a guy from the dead and called fire down from heaven. He was often lonely and depressed but he was fed by what Steven Furtick calls “dirty birds”, or ravens in our vernacular. I’m coming to the conclusion that if you want to move in the supernatural and obey God’s voice it’s gonna upset a whole lot of people’s apple carts.

Daniel 11:32 says it’s those that know their God who are the ones doing “mighty exploits”. Not quite sure what that is, but I want in on it. That verse tells me we all have the same opportunity but many don’t take it. Why is it others feel threatened when a brave soul takes God at His word and does amazing things? If we believe in the same God, and we supposedly worship the same God, why would we get resist when people move in the supernatural?

Just like Elijah, I’ve often felt like a refugee in a land with no rain. Now I’m ready for a season where I’m making the rain. Ready ready for signs and wonders to follow me, even if it does make a few mad. They can do it too. They just don’t want to. I’ve never cared much for peer pressure and I’m used to rejection, even when I’m doing nothing wrong. I figure if I’m doomed if I do and I’m doomed if I don’t, I’d rather be in His will. He’s the One I’ll answer to at the end of my days.

The unfamiliar is scary, yes, but it’s usually where God wants us to be. He stretches us to make us stronger. Like Steven Furtick says, it takes a storm to reveal the foundation. A friend of mine, Carol, says He’s always moving the campfire down the trail of life. We either follow, or we don’t. I choose to follow, even if it means a few don’t like it. I’m running hard after Him. Wanna come with?

Kari, the rainmaker

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

Black and White and Gray

(The Brits spell it ‘grey’ btw.)

I’ve been called a great many things in my short lifetime, and “you’re so black and white!” happens to be one of my faves. I’m kinda like my Father in that respect. My grandpa used to say, “just call a spade a spade.” I agree. If a thing’s wrong it’s wrong, regardless of circumstance. I don’t think God’s a believer in ‘situational ethics’ either. He does, however, plainly tell us in Colossians 1 verse 17 that all things were created through Him and for Him, which tells me He thinks He is in everything and I happen to agree. He seems to turn up all over the place. I’m the kind of gal who takes someone at their word, but in case I’m not making sense, here’s a case in point:-

I’m minding my own business, standing in front of the local Redbox ‘cos I’m in the movie mood, when I look up and see the digital poster of the offering they’re currently pushing. Which practically gave me a holy conniption fit. It shouldn’t, I know, but it did. We’re in this world but not of it – again, I know – but still, I sometimes forget.

Have ya guessed the movie? ’50Shades of Free’. I had a major moment, right there in front of the little red box. Then it hit like lightening. You’ve gotta be kidding me. Free?!! Definitely a spade. The writer of those books feeds on rejection, voyeurism, twisted erotica, and addiction. Seriously. What’s so “free” about that? Everyone on the planet, whether they admit it or not, knows deep inside that we’re all free to sin. Or not. As we choose. But do we have the right to impose those decisions on others? It breaks my heart to know the writer could use her influence for good.

The sad part is that all this random redhead wanted was to find Paddington 2 or Peter Rabbit but no… in their omniscient wisdom the movie suppliers decided to also throw in some gore and violence and kinky sex for my viewing pleasure. So not. It tells me I need to step my prayer life though, because the enemy, accuser of man, doesn’t have my permission to take another deceived soul to hell.

Your thoughts?

Kari, the oh-so-free-and-loving-it

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

Fluff or Substance?

I’m some kind of fired up, as usual, and I’m starting to consider it holy indignation.

I find it interesting and irritating what mankind chooses to use their words for. I hear many, many of those calling themselves Christians speaking against the President, when God clearly says in 2 Peter 2 verse 10 not to “speak ill of dignitaries”, and to “pray for those in authority” in 1 Timothy 2 verse 2. What are we to do with those commands? I suspect lay down our own agenda and take up His might be a good idea.

We’re the only species on the planet given the right at creation to choose our words and choose our actions, yet we act like brute beasts and claim, “the devil made me do it!” Not! You allow what you choose to control you, and since there are only two forces in this life and the afterlife, I strongly suggest you choose wisely. We will all alike, those who know Him and those who don’t want to, will find ourselves without excuse when we face our Maker at the end of our days: all He asks of us while we’re here? Obedience. Is that really so hard? Guess so. The first man ever made blew it big time. Will we?

Words are more powerful than people realize and, unless our Father chooses to do an Elijah thing and show us the spirit realm, some never get the message. They mold and shape a heart and life. Me, I can’t stand complaining, and I especially despise shallow. I think I agree with the second lead character in a terrifying short story of revenge:

“… impatient of that small talk which is the conventional refuge of those who have no thoughts to express…” – The New Catacomb, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

(https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/pdf/passage/74/tales-of-terror-and-mystery-003-the-new-catacomb.pdf)

This is a classic case of being hung by the tongue. I call the tale terrifying due to the final end of one and the callous heart of both. I’m not saying Mr. Doyle was God-inspired when writing it but there is definitely a lesson or two there about the destructiveness of revenge and how it eats away at the heart and soul. It literally takes away the life of its possessor. I happen to believe God is in everything, since John 1 verse 3 says that without Him nothing was made that was ever made. If that’s true, and I’m convinced it is, then all man does, saved and unsaved contains a little piece of God. Your thoughts?

Kari, the non-fluff-gal

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

Skip the Guilt Trip

A friend of mine was recently talking about a situation that happened and I saw afresh just how destructive condemnation can be. It will eventually destroy everything it touches. No wonder God tells us outright in Romans 8 verse 1 there is NO condemnation for those who choose to love God and believe we are called for HIS purposes, not our own.

In this world every day there are many chances for many choices, and I sometimes forget the temporal is so much easier to see, and therefore choose, than the eternal. But it won’t last. It’s nothing but shifting shadows and sand; anything built on it will eventually crumble and fade away to nothing. How sad to spend a lifetime building on a faulty foundation. May God open my eyes continually so I won’t be like the traveller in the 3rd Raiders of the lost Ark of whom the etheral knight said simply, “He chose poorly.”

It’s been many decades since I saw that scene but the words stuck with me (probably showing my age here…) and somewhat guided the reckless life of a teenager who had chosen to turn her back on a loving, giving, holy God. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, as they say here. I do now. I’m older and hopefully a little wiser, so I now I’m gonna tell those coming behind me this – for goodness sake skip the guilt trip! Beleive and accept His unfailing, everlasting, mind-blowing, unconditional forgiveness and love. Do it today. Make this a turning point in your life, and make a difference that will be here long after you’re gone, living on in the hearts of others. Nothing is more important than impacting precious souls for eternity. Let’s not let folks go to hell in a handbasket, let’s help them choose wisely.

Kari, who will skip the guilt trip, thank you

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

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