karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

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

Archive for the month “November, 2016”

Thanks Giving Living

Happy Thanksgiving to anyone and everyone I know and don’t know out there in the world wide webiverse.  I’ll make this post short and sweet, with just one thing to ponder or not as you choose, dear reader, but it has shaped my life significantly.

What could have such a radical effect on a random redhead? you murmur.  I’m glad you asked.  The word Thanksgiving.  Many say it but few live it.  Me included.  Until the day I learned the root word.

Most things in life I seem to learn the hard way, but this one came easy.  A total stranger asked me if I knew the root word of Thanksgiving.  To my shame I had to admit I did not.  Which was why I used the word just as flippantly as most do in this journey some call life.  After being issued such a challenge, this inquiring mind wanted to know.

The root work of Thanks-giving is actually Thanks-Living.  Which brings a whole new meaning to Psalm 118.24.  And Psalm 150.6.  And many others.  It rocked my world then, and still does today.

Whenever I start to feel depressed or irritated or just plain awnery I remind myself to think about all the things I have to be thankful for.  Before I know it I’ll be so full of gratitude for all my Father has done for me and given me, it will go from ‘faith it till you make it’ to sincere praise.  And you’d be surprised how a few thank-full days in a row can turn into thanks-Living.  Seriously. It’ll sneak up on you if you’re not careful. You can be living with the Grouch whole Stole Christmas and Tigger and Eyore all in the same house and you’ll still have a song in your heart.  Try it – I promise you’ll like it!

Happy ThanksLiving!

Kari, the Thanks-Liver

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All Kidding Aside…

I found this posted on Facebook and thought it worth sharing.  It has to do with the recent upheaval in this nation, and how it affects the average American youth.

“The President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University gave a lecture to students they’ll never forget. Recently a student complained about a sermon that made him feel guilty and blamed the school for making students feel uncomfortable. This is not uncommon. Many universities now are so afraid of offending even one student, that political correctness has run amuck. However, this University is based on religion and so one would expect that discipline, good character and personal accountability would be a big part of the curriculum.

Everett Piper, who is the President of the school, wrote a letter to the students admonishing them that playing the victim, blaming others and not admitting mistakes is not a way to live a productive and meaningful life. Here is the letter titled “This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!”

This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!

This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love. In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.

I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic. Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims. Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”

I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience. An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad. It is supposed to make you feel guilty. The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization.

So here’s my advice:

If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.

If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.

At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.

Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up.

This is not a day care. This is a university.”

Just a thought to consider in the coming days.

Kari, a small but none-the-less-a-part of “we the people”.

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“This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!” : College President Writes Scathing Letter About Students Wanting To Play The Victim And Blame Others


Change of Address

Lately life’s been a little on the hard side here in beautiful if chilly NC.  A book I’m reading really helps.  I hardly ever recommend things but this I will.  Squeezing Good out of Bad, by James Watkins, is a very encouraging read.  He’s been thru a thing or two, it’s obvious from page 3, and now has a solution for life’s lemons.  The theory’s a little complicated but one point I remember distinctly: when the lemon truck shows up at your door check the delivery slip.  Kind of a duh! moment for me personally.  His point? Who really owns the problem?

Recently I’ve been offered multiple opportunities to take on other people’s issues under the guise that I am actually the problem.  After a long hard look I realised I’m not.  I can’t help if someone insists in being bored and miserable.  That’s their prerogative.  I’m making a different choice.

The inimitable Mr. Watkins said something else that made me smile – writers don’t have problems; they have anecdotes that sooner or later will turn up in a book.  I’m stealing that, btw.  My pastor, James Al Brice junior, says, “the first time I’ll say, ‘as so-and-so said…’; the second time I’ll say ‘someone once said…’; but the third time, I’ll say ‘as I’ve always said…’ “.  I’m stealing that too.

Today I noticed I’ve been putting out fires left and right, and the help is just plain tired.  James 1 verse 3 tells us “knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”  I’m afraid I have to agree with Joyce Meyer, that “it brought a whole lot out of me before we ever got around to patience!”  Ouch hallelujah.  I’d been in the ‘trying’ mode (as in trials and testing) so long I needed a change of scenery, so, despite the chilly air and many charms of where I’m at, I changed addresses.  My new one, in case you’re interested, is Romans 8.6.  What does that say? you whisper.  I’m glad you asked.  “To be Spiritually minded is life and peace.”  Not quite as dramatic, but far more rewarding.  I desperately need peace right now, when my whole world seems so fragile, and a good dose of life wouldn’t be bad either.

Joyce also says if you’re feeling depressed, think about what you’ve been thinking about! Simple, yet profound. God’s version in Proverbs 23.7 says “as a man thinks in his heart, so IS he.”  (emphasis mine.). I made a decision.  I refuse to be negative.  I’m also way too short to be boring.  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

After all, I’m collecting some amazing anecdotes…

Kari, the perpetually positive

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To Vote or Not to Vote

… that is very much the question right now, it seems.  Almost every day for months I’ve come across what I can only refer to as ,”some sweet saintlet” (to quote Joyce Meyer) who can’t seem to decide between what they deem the lesser of two evils, so they’re abdicating the role entirely.

Reverand Charles Finney, however, held the opposite view.  He was of the mind that “The Church must take right ground in regard to politics…” to the point where “Christians must do their duty to their country as a part of their duty to God” (emphasis mine).  Which puts that “I can’t vote” idea in a whole new perspective, doncha think?

Edmund Burke, a British statesman during WWII, believed that evil prospered when good men did nothing, and I happen to agree.  I think God would agree too.  In fact, Ezekiel 22 verse 30 tells us God had to look for a man to stand in the gap for his nation, but sadly, He couldn’t find a single one.  How that must have broken His heart.  Perhaps He feels the same today, seeing the hearts of those in this country, hoping to find some who care enough to want real, lasting, healthy change, which, in my humble opinion, starts with righteousness exalting America to be, once again, all she was called to be.

John F. Kennedy thought, “We in this country, in this generation, are – by destiny rather than choice – the watchman on the walls of world freedom.”  My question today is simply this; what will you do with that freedom?

Kari, the violently-voting-and-thankful-for-the-right-to-do-so

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