karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

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

Archive for the month “July, 2017”

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

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