karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

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

Archive for the month “August, 2014”

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.

I’m as ‘nice’ as the next gal… until it’s time not to be nice. Sometimes it’s dysfunctional to be nice, especially if you’re in a destructive relationship. Leslie Vernick believes the opposite of love isn’t hate – it’s indifference. I agree. Many are in co-dependent relationships, yet never addressing the root issues.
In a movie I saw recently a guy said something I found extremely profound. In this scene several characters were being held in captivity against their will. One young woman had already committed suicide in a desperate attempt to be free. 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 own 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’m finally ready to stand up and take what belongs to me, like Matthew 11.12 says. If I’m wrong and God convicts me I’ll be quick to come and ask forgiveness. But I will no longer allow intimidation to control my life any more. No, sorry, wrong number – not happening. I choose love. Tough love or hard love, it’s your choice. And btw, I also choose mercy.

In her book, Burn, by Erin Healy, one of the major characters said something I just could not stop thinking about:

“More amazing to me than justice is mercy.” In the same book, an old gypsy woman said something else I’ve pondered many times: “The heart has two chambers; one for John, and one for Judas.” It’s a daily, sometimes momentary, choice. We can decide to love Jesus, or betray Him. With every thought, word and deed we do one or the other. I pray with all my heart I make right choices. 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 Ya Knocking…

… but ya 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

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