karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

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

Archive for the month “July, 2019”

Hiding in Plain Sight

If I may, I’d like to talk to you for a sec about Maybe Moments. Life is made by moment-to-moment decisions, and one of my heroes is Jonathan.

1st Samual 14 starts right in the middle of a pretty major, long drawn out war between Israel and one of their greatest enemies, the Midianites. This chapter in particular finds Jon’s dad, Saul, the king, camping out ‘under the pomegranate tree.’ Not that I have anything against fruit, per se, but I’d be hidin’ somewhere I couldn’t be seen… like a cave… perhaps it’s just me. I’m assuming pomegranates don’t grow inside caves. Of course, I could be wrong. And btw, God, why were they hiding?

In verse 4, thanks to another hero of mine (Steven Furtick) I learned two significant things; Bozez means slippery, and Seneh means thorny. God never promised us a comfortable, easy road. This gives me hope. I often find myself in places where there seems to be no upside, circumstances that look slippery on one side and thorny on the other. When times get tough I often ask God to remind me that faith comes by hearing, not seeing. That He loves me, watches over me, is “mindful” of me. Little me, a random redhead from Reading, England, who got married and moved to the States and got dumped and often feels overwhelmed, like she’s accomplished nothing in life, but then recalls that she’s a prayer warrior who can change the world with her words – as long as they’re His words.

Back to Jonathan, who got a bright dumb idea and was willing to put his feet behind it. Plus he had a bud with enough moxie to go with. Even though it involved climbing slippery thorny mountains. What gets to me about this whole chapter, though, is that the Israelites had the priest. (Who represented access to God.) If they had the priest, they had the ephod. But they never asked.

(If you’re unfamiliar with the significance of the ephod, in Saul’s day that’s pretty much how God spoke to His people. Through the ephod. They asked questions, and God answered. It goes a lot deeper, but that’s the general idea.)

Yet Jonathan and his armour-bearing bud chose to go it alone, believing God was still with them, with or without the ephod. Guess they knew you can’t always take the (physical) ark with you. [Which represented His presence, in case you didn’t know that either.] Two lone rangers still vanquished the enemy, with no back-up. All because of an idea. And a major amount of follow-thru. Not to mention a rock-solid faith in an unseen God.

I’m so glad we don’t need an ephod. He lives in me, and everywhere I go, He goes. You too, if you’re His child. We’ve got it way easier than Jon-boy.

The point? Back to the ephod.

When you get an idea,

1) Pray, and listen hard.

2) When it first comes by all means evaluate the pros and cons, but don’t stay in hiding. Especially not under a pomegranate tree.

3) Don’t keep the ephod with the doubters. Take it with you. Metaphorically speaking.

4) Be ready to move on a “Maybe”.

5) Find a bud for the journey. They’ll surely come in handy if they believe in the idea and are committed to you.

In your Maybe Moments that we all encounter in life I have one last piece of advice:

step out, and find out. Messy or Miracle, life is lived in the Maybe Moments. If you stay in hiding you’ll never know what God would have done with that one idea.

Kari, the thinker and doer

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

Grafted In

In my bible study today by Charles Hatten Spurgeon on Galatians something stuck with me. He was talking about self-reliance, how good deeds should be a by-product of salvation, not the cause. In his own words, “… if we put the fruit where the root should be, we greatly err.” Our own strength never has and never will produce God’s righteousness. Our choices play a part, yes, but, according to Revelation 21.11 it’s by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony that we overcome. The blood comes first in that verse, and all God does is strategic so I have to believe word order is important. If the work is not done by and through the Spirit, it’s not lasting.

My daily aspiration is to live and move and have my being in Him, for without Him I achieve nothing. Maybe it’s easier for me than most since I was born dead; when you live with the Rhema knowledge that even the breath you breathe doesn’t come by your own efforts you know on a very deep level that nothing else does.

Today dear friend if you’re resting in the finished work of Christ I commend you, and encourage you to share that revelation with those who don’t know yet. If you’re not, I urge you to examine the root you’re drawing your strength from. We will suffer in many ways in this life but He promised we can have peace that passes all understanding if we’re ‘rooted and grounded in love.’

As always, feel free to leave a comment below. And if you need prayer, reach out. I’ll be there.

Kari, the root-inspector

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

Healthy Hate

In Psalm 129 verse 113 David said he ‘hated’ double-mindedness. I feel the same way. One thing about me you may not know is that I’m usually 100% committed. When I was not God’s child I lived for pleasure and didn’t care how it affected others around me. When I became His I did a total 180. Folks who think they know me now often don’t believe it when I tell a BC (before Christ) story. There are many life choices I could be ashamed of but aren’t because they’ve made me what and who I am today. A God lover and a God chaser.

Have you decided what you hate in life? Or are you in a vicious cycle of sin you feel powerless to break? Doing the same thing over and over and despising yourself for your weakness? Been there, done that. The law of diminishing return states that the more you do a thing the less it satisfies. Almost anyone on the planet has experienced the joy of doing something for the very first time, then repeating the act later hoping for the same experience. Drug users can verify that is so not so. I know a few. They tell me you never top that initial high.

So what do you do when life gets hard? Grab the Doritos? Call up your ex-girlfriend knowing it will only lead to trouble? You may love what that does for you, but do you love what that does to you? Where do you run when attacks come? And they will. Sorry to bust your bubble but keep living and you’ll find out it’s true. Think about it for a minute. Have you already designated a safe place? Many seem so but aren’t. Sometimes what you get trapped in is worse than what you’re running from. You can hide in a cave where it’s dark and lonely but there’s usually only one way out. With God you can hide in plain sight, safe in His arms.

Many talk about what they ‘hope’ for, yet the more they talk the more passive their idea and concept of it seems. God says it can be an anchor in the waves if we want it to be. When hope becomes a verb rather than a noun, it goes from wishing to rock-solid conviction. Is your hope in a vague desire for present circumstances to change? Or in His promise? Find one and stand on it. That’s my advice to you dear friend.

In the words of Willam P. Young, “I’ll take a verb over a noun, any day.” You?

Kari, the so-not-double-minded

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

Happy Hearts

In the Everyday Life Bible, Joyce Meyer has many side notes. One of my faves happens to be about Proverbs 17.22, part of which declares that a happy heart is good medicine. Maybe it’s just me but I’m not meeting too many happy folk recently. So many see Christianity as bondage rather than freedom but Jesus said part of the reason He chose to die was so we could be free “indeed”. I often find myself wondering about that little word.

The all-popular google defines it as:

adverb
1: without any question : TRULY, UNDENIABLY  often used interjectionally to express irony or disbelief or surprise
2: in reality
3: all things considered : as a matter of fact

That’s so simple even a redhead can catch it. We are supposed to be living an abundant, overflowing joyful life, to the point that those around us want what we have. Yet all I seem to see in the church is back-biting and complaints about the president. I’m praying God would light a holy fire in me that just won’t quit, one that draws others to me, one they’ll want themselves. I’m not sure how many days I have left on earth but I want to use them wisely and I want to bring folk with me when I leave.

That’s where my heart is today. Please feel free to leave your comments.

Kari, the laughter-addict

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

The Butterfly Effect

I was on Twitter earlier and someone talked about the fact that if you rush things, they usually end up in damage. To you, and even to others. God says in Ecclesiastes 3 verse 11 that He makes all things beautiful in its time and although I’m often tempted to help Him out it never ends well. Or produces satisfying results. I would rather die to myself will and trust that in His time, in His way, He will produce the best result possible in any given situation I may face.

Where are you today? Are you rejoicing? Or are you in a dark place? Don’t ever forget that God is with you, for you, and absolutely adores you. Those are words you can stake your life on. Nothing is too hard for Him, so nothing is impossible for you if He is with you. It is so encouraging to me to know that my days are in His hands, and that He knew before the dawn of time the choices our precious nation would now be making. I love that nothing surprises our eternal Heavenly Father, including all the issues in our current headlines. Gun control, freedom of choice, identity confusion – these are all symptoms of a much deeper root. There is no fruit without a root.

When I see strife and lack of harmony I know there is no peace. Where there is no peace, there is no God. And I refuse to engage in vain disputes because I would rather be where God is. I believe we are seeing times when men will be called upon to choose whether they wish to be a maker and maintainer of peace, like Matthew 5 commands.

He also tells us what to do and how to live. It’s so simple you have to have help to miss it. Like in Malachi where He says we are to love justice but act with mercy, from a pure heart. How simple can Christianity be? It’s really not that complicated. It takes religion to confuse the simple Truth of the good news. That He exists, that He loves you, and that He will go to any lengths to be with you no matter the personal sacrifice. Including His own Son. How will ranting on HateBook help draw others to the One we say we serve? Just a thought.

Kari, the weak-yet-strong

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

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