karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

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

Archive for the month “August, 2017”

Words Without Borders

There are no words to express my pain at what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, and my prayers are with all the families touched by this tragedy.   Every American has the right to freedom of speech, regardless of race or gender, and to gather in public without some madman deciding to drive down a street full of people, maiming and killing.  I believe in my heart of hearts his actions had nothing to do with racism, or even letting his voice be heard.  I am firmly convinced he was set on violence and destruction, and when the opportunity presented itself he simply executed the plan he had in mind all along.  Mayhem and murder.  If it hadn’t been last weekend I have a feeling he would have found a way to destroy life, at some other opportune time, at other public gathering.

Proverbs 23.7 tells us as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.  It also tells us in Matthew 7.18 that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit.  The “fruit” Jesus is talking about here is our actions, and how they correlate to what’s going on in our heart and thought-life.  If we accept this as truth, tell me – what was the driver of the car thinking when he derive over living breathing human beings?

John 1.13 says that by Him (Jesus) were all things made, and without Him nothing was made.  We live in a society that not only denies the presence of the One Who made them but claims they made themselves and need no one but themselves.  ‘Self-made’ men and women abound today, and they’re proud of it.  How deceived can our be be to honestly believe that?  The poet John Donne penned the words, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…”

As a cleric in the Chirch of England during the Black Plague I’m sure he was faced daily with his own mortality.  He knew we are all part of what the Lion King called, ‘the circle of life.’  Which would imply that we need each other, because without help none of us would survive.  You can never succeed in any venture without bringing others along on the journey with you.  What hurts you hurts me.  None of us are isolated.  We may think we are, but the ripple effect touches everyone.

White supremists stand for hate, and that is diametrically opposed to all our forefathers stood for.  You can rename history, in the name of being “political correct”.  You can even remove history, so as not to offend militant groups, while ignoring the average patriotic American.  But you will never change history.  Perhaps we learned nothing from Hitler.

The words of George Santayana ring in my ears: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Charlottesville is a prime example of that.  Maybe we haven’t so much forgotten as erased the lessons learned.

My pastor’s been saying for years that Christianity is the new hate speech.  He may well be right.  But I’m not backing down and I’m not shutting up.  This world is in a mess and needs Jesus bad.  Few are telling it.  Perhaps I’m just the guy for the job.  Will ya help a sista out?

Kari, the honest-to-goodness-talker-gal

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The Other Side of Angels

Lester Summrall, in his fascinating book, The Reality of Angels, says that “never before in history has there been so much interest in supernatural phenomena.” He talks of the occult, astrology, spiritualism, exorcism, UFOs and extrasensory perception, which, as he quite rightly points out, are indeed “sure to be Box-office hits.” He goes on to say that “much misinformation and blatant falsehood” is presented on these topics and I have to agree. That was in 1982.

Enter An American Werewolf in London. Harry Potter. Twighlight. Hemlock Grove. Zombies and vampires abound in today’s society and few think anything of it. I sometimes wonder if Christians have accepted the status quo.

Take a for-instance. I mentioned misinformation and blatant falsehood earlier. I’ve always believed if you want to learn the truth about a thing, go to the source. I Skype my mother nearly every Monday morning first thing, and she almost always introduces me to something I never knew. Two Mondays ago it was The Girl in the Red Coat, a book written by Kate Hamer that my mother and her reading group just finished. After all, as Andy Stanley quite rightly says, the world you cannot enter is the world you cannot reach. So if I want to reach current society I have to know a little about what’s going on in it.

Researching this led to discovering a similar book, The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold. I made it my mission to find out out details on a ‘fiction novel’ told by a teenager you eventually realize has been raped and murdered. It wasn’t the subject matter that caught this random redhead’s attention though. It was the movie of the same name, produced by Peter Jackson.

First off, I discovered he found his ‘inspiration for heaven through a teenager’ eyes’ in The Partridge Family, of all things. Nothing against the show – used to watch it myself as a teen. But like I said, if you really want the truth about something, why didn’t Mr. Jackson choose to go to the source? As in, The Bible? My guess is, he might not necessarily have wanted Truth. Perhaps, as a movie producer, he felt Wes Farrell had a more viewer-friendly approach to the subject, one worthy of emulating. He’s probably right. God forbid we should actually expose horror-movie-goers to the gospel: they just might get convicted! It was an interesting concept to me.

The second thing to catch my attention actually made me want to throw up, but it’s a chilling inditement on today’s society. When it hit the movie circuit there was public outcry. Why? It wasn’t gory enough.

Apparently when writing, Ms. Sebold must have felt the story was the focus, not the murder scene. Viewers thought differently. So much so that Mr. Jackson decided to reshoot the scene with much more blood. At first I was horrified. Why would the public demand such a thing? And why wouldn’t Christians stand against it?

Then I realized a simple fact – neither side knew. Children of God probably didn’t see the film so they didn’t know to protest, and gore-lovers probably didn’t know obsession with violence is not healthy because they may not know God’s view on the matter. Because Mr. Jackson didn’t introduce them to Truth. Not that he should. I don’t know where he stands with his Creator. It’s just a shame one given a high level of influence chose to wield it the way he did.

I’m left grieving for a society that idolizes celebrities and speaks against leaders. That scoffs at a holy God and looks to the world for its view on the spiritual world. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Sumrall. We have his decade beat by a mile. And it’s going in the wrong direction.  I’m praying passionately for revival like never before, and I also pray that, like John Wesley, wherever I go I set others on fire with the fire burning in me.

Kari, the fired-up-and-sharing-it

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

Armour All

I guess you’d have to be a redhead to fully appreciate the way we process stuff, but I often get “ah-ha” moments in the unlikeliest of places. The other week mddm (my dearest darling man) decided to clean our vehicles, and pulled out his trusty Armor All. He did a great job, btw, but I was lost in thought at that point, and this current blog began to emerge.

If you’re in a war you need armor ideally over as much of your body as possible, at minimum enough to cover vital organs. Armor is powerful and a very necessary thing during warfare but sometimes it can be a hindrance. We’re told in Ephesians 6 to ‘put on the whole armor of God’, which tells me God has a specific fit designed for me that’s different than for you.

Saul’s armor don’t fit nobody but Saul! I try to believe others mean well, but it’s a fact of life. 1 Samuel 17 verse 38 says that, “Saul dressed David in his own tunic”, then added armor and a bronze helmet; submitted to his leader, David didn’t question Saul’s decision – however, when David tried to be David in Saul’s armor he couldn’t even walk, let alone fight.

You have two choices. You can accept the status quo and die in stagnation or you can do like Jabez, and pray that God will increase your territory. If you want to possess a thing, logic dictates you’ve got to DISpossess the current owner/occupant of that thing, which usually means warfare. I’ve learned a lot of things in life by doing it the wrong way, and don’t often repeat the lesson.

I know folks mean well, but if a thing’s working for you who cares if it ain’t done the way they’re are doing it? if it ain’t broke it don’t need fixin! God made us all unique and likes us that way.

Can we agree to let me do me and you do you? I’ll love you and support you any way I can, but I give you the freedom to be different and unique and do things the way that works for you.  And I ask the same of you. Agreed?

Kari, the armoured-up-girl

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

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