karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

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

Archive for the month “December, 2016”

Barn and Noble

Growing up in England introduces you to a whole lot of idioms.  One of my special faves, something I was asked frequently as a young child, is – “Were you born in a barn?!!!”  Had I known then what I know now I would have responded, “No, but Jesus was.”

How ironic, even oxymoronic, that the King of kings would be born in a barn.  Nobility laid aside and humility embraced.  Luke makes this quite clear, though some theologians disagree; I believe it doesn’t really matter whether  it was a ‘stable’ or a cave, what matters to me is that history has proven He was born, He died, and I happen to be convinced He lives and guess what?  Some day I’ll be joining Him!

In time she of turmoil and civil unrest its good to have a rock-solid truth you can hold on to.  Try ‘He will never leave you nor forsake you’ on for size.  Or ‘for God so loved…”. It’s the ‘so’ that gets me every time.  I’m constantly told I take things too literally but I don’t believe God talks in metaphors.  Parables, yes, but not metaphors.

If you’re feeling down He’ll lift your head.  If you’re lonely He’s the friend that sticks closer than a bro.  (If you knew mine you’d understand the significance there.)  If you feel your life is insignificant, He has a future in mind for you, and it’s amazing.

Today and every day, I pray you will prosper and be healthy and live every day you have left in light of the fact that He loves you unconditionally.  It’s a great feeling.

stay blessed and sane,

Kari, the daughter of a Saviour-born-in-a-barn girl

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

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A Love Story Worth Telling

Who doesn’t, deep down, love a good story?  I’ll be first to say yes, but that might be the writer in me taking over, as it is prone to do.

Today I have a wonderful, some would say even pround, one to share with you.  If you’ve never read it before I hope it blesses you like it continues to me tho it’s been years since I first read it.  I urge you to read it in the light of Christ and all He has done for a people He loves.  After all, He is the ultimate hero.

“Here is Soren Kierkegaard’s version of the story:

Suppose there was a king who loved a humble maiden. The king was like no other king. No one dared breathe a word against him, for he had the strength to crush all opponents. And yet this mighty king was melted by love for a humble maiden. How could he declare his love for her? In an odd sort of way, his kingliness tied his hands. If he brought her to the palace and crowned her head with jewels and clothed her body in royal robes, she would surely not resist—no one dared resist him. But would she love him?

She would say she loved him, of course, but would she truly? Or would she live with him in fear, nursing a private grief for the life she had left behind? Would she be happy at his side? How could he know? If he rode to her forest cottage in his royal carriage, with an armed escort waving bright banners, that too would overwhelm her. He did not want a cringing subject. He wanted a lover, an equal. He wanted her to forget that he was a king and she a humble maiden and to let shared love cross the gulf between them. For it is only in love that the unequal can be made equal.

The king clothes himself as a beggar and renounces his throne in order to win her hand. The Incarnation, the life and the death of Jesus, answers once and for all the question, “What is God’s heart toward me?” This is why Paul says in Romans 5, “Look here, at the Cross. Here is the demonstration of God’s heart. At the point of our deepest betrayal, when we had run our farthest from him and gotten so lost in the woods we could never find our way home, God came and died to rescue us.”

Kari, the living-in-the-story girl

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

http://www.ransomedheart.com/daily-reading/king-who-loved-humble-maiden

Sheep and Shepherds

Today I was listening to one of my heroes, Joyce Meyer, which I’m prone to do early in the morning, and felt encouraged to research something I admit I’ve never actually done before.  Sheep.  Which, at some point in life, I’ll get around to.  But in the meantime, I learned a few take-aways to share if you’re interested.

Joyce was teaching on Psalm 23, a passage that just so happens to be a personal fave of mine.  There’s a lot behind that, many reasons why it’s deep in my heart, starting with an upbringing involving the local elementary school in England which, strangely enough, was very Christ-oriented.  Extremely low-key, but the influence was felt.  This gave me  a strong foundation in my early years.  I’m convinced it played a major factor in my return to Him at the tender age of 30.  In “assembly”, which began every school day, we prayed, listened to the bible, and sung old hymns most millenials don’t even know exist.  Enter Psalm 23 for the first time in my life.

Another happy memory was when it was read at my youngest cousin’s wedding, again in England, in a small out-of-the-way country church.  As much as I enjoyed hearing it, the greater pleasure for me came when my oldest daughter, Alison, aged 6 at the time, leaned over and said to my mother in a rather loud stage whisper, “I know this one…”

A proud momma couldn’t help but smile.  It’s a legacy I pray I’ve left in both my children, Alison and Sara, that will continue after my death.  An enduring one.

However…

Joyce pointed out a few things this morning I either hadn’t known or considered in a long time.  Such as:

Shepherds actually purchase their sheep.  Didn’t know that.  But it makes sense, and did make me think.  If you own something, you usually value the investment and take good care of it.  Conversely, I’ve also heard some are stewards of the sheep, (the reasoning behind this being John 10 verse 11), where Jesus explains the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  So I’m starting to think some buy and some steward.  Your thoughts?

Sheep are fearful.  Been there, done that.  They’re stupid.   Done that too.  Stubborn. I plead the fifth.  Prone to disease.  Which could be an allegory for sin.  There are a lot of things God is working on and taking out of me.  I still choose to trust that He is good and He is working all things for my good.

Sheep can get sad and mad all they want to, but that just makes them easy prey. And they have a lot of enemies.  Perhaps that’s how King David got the revelation of “walking through the shadow death.”  He might have had to, a time or two.  The lions and the bears would have solidified the lesson, I’m sure.  We all face hard times and difficulties; it’s what we do with them that counts.

I wouldn’t have chosen many of the experiences I’ve gone through in life, but I wouldn’t change them either.  I’ve gained from every one.  And I’m still sweet.  Kind of.

Joyce says we can be bitter or better but you can’t be both – I choose better.  We can’t give what we don’t have so if you’re not free you can’t help others get free.  I am.  In many areas.  Which is another reason I love my Heavenly Father.

I’m also an expensive sheep.  He gave His most valuable gift to me.  His blood.  He considered me to die for.  That’s the reason I’m radical about Him.  Just a thought.

Kari, the sweet sheep girl

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

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