karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

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

Archive for the month “August, 2019”

Shallow Roots

produce shallow fruit.

I am admittedly a Lewis fan. As in Charles Staples. He once said, ” One of the dangers of having a lot of money is that you may be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give, and so fail to realize your need for God. If everything seems to come simply by signing checks, you may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God.”

His step-son, Douglas Gresham, once wrote of him, ” No tramp or beggar would be turned away empty-handed…”

If we as a collective society deeply believed we were “at every moment totally dependent on God” things would be in America how they are right now. Tozer grieved for his generation and I find myself wondering how much worse we can get. So I pray. And pray. Until my dying breath I will believe God can and is moving in this nation.

I’m convinced accomplishments are the 21st Century proverbial fig leaves with which we cover ourselves to mask our frailty. Which is exactly why we need Jesus. That’s why writing is so powerful to me. We can create for the pure joy of it, not to declare our value. We already have all the validation we will ever need from the One Who created us in the first place.

Proverbs 16.2 says, ‘all the ways of a man are clean and innocent in his own eyes [and he may see nothing wrong with his actions…” God however views it differently. Motive is everything. The world says you should live to get, and hold on to it when you do. God says to hold all things loosely because He gave them and they are His to give away to those in need. The world tells us the meaning of life is found in fame and fortune. God tells us we are nothing without Him but with Him we have everything. The world says we need the latest —– [fill in the blank] and then we will be satisfied. God says eternal things are were true worth is found.

Make a name for yourself and show your worth to others who don’t know, and don’t care? I’d rather go with the idea that my Creator is with me wherever I am, in whatever I go through. He’s right there working it out for my good.

There is nothing quite so liberating as being convinced that the only opinion I care about is the One Who gave His life for me. The very least I can do is give my life for Him.

Kari, the completely convinced

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

Be Careful Big Feet Where you Go…

… for little feet are sure to follow.

kid reading bible.png

There is a story about a successful Chicago businessman whose business started to fail. He went to church but not too much church was getting into him. When his business tanked he started going to bars during the day, while his family thought he was at work. One day it snowed significantly, and as he was approaching the bar he got the urge to glance back. Behind him, stepping carefully in his footprints, was his very young son who had somehow escaped from the house and out of his mother’s watchful eye.

The businessman quickly scooped up his son and took him home. He went to his bedroom, feel on his knees and started weeping for a long time. He made a vow to change his ways, because he did not want his son to make the same choices.

Hence the reference to the children’s song.

Proverbs 4.20 says, My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. The next verse encourages us to put them in our heart and keep them there. The world says talk is cheap, but as Christians we know that death or life are in our mouth. It’s our choice. To bless, or to curse. But here’s the thing – it all starts with your thoughts. GIGO. Thoughts lead to words, and words lead to actions. Surprisingly fast, actions lead to habits and, though some deny it, habits lead to lifestyles. For good or for bad. Again, our choice.

I admonish you today, friend and fellow God-lover on a journey toward our eternal home, choose wisely not only where your eyes and ears go, but also your feet. Many choices are made with those and we all influence somebody. I pray today that our feet may be shod with the Gospel of peace and never venture into darkness.

Kari, the careful-treader

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

 

Forever Family

Folks tell me all the time the Bible is ‘no longer relevant’. They picked the wrong redhead to tell that to though. I happen to choose to respectfully disagree.

In Acts 28.3 we see Paul, who has been through things that make my own daily problems seem petty, and is finally, or so we would think, safe. He and his shipmates even receive ‘unusual kindness’ from total strangers in the form of a fire, ‘for it was cold’. But… then he met a snake. How’s that for relevant?

If there’s one thing I know about the authentic Christian life, it’s this: when you light a fire, the snakes come out. What I mean is that when you get passionate for God, people you’d never think would will bite you. With their words. Their actions. They may not realize but the intent behind it is to destroy. Physically. Spiritually. Relationally. (And we all know who loves to destroy. Or kill. Or steal.)

It’s not their fault. Well, not entirely. They don’t know what God has put in your heart. Because they never bothered to ask. So when you rock the boat of their preconceived notion of you, because God has put a dream in your heart and you’re ready to step out, it makes them uncomfortable. Church will stretch you.

Oh, btw, church ain’t a building, boo; it’s family. God calls it His Body. Capital B.

In the words of Rick Warren,

“God wanted a family so He decided to create the entire universe just so He could create earth just so He could create human beings just so we could have free will to choose Him or reject Him.”

It really is that simple. A Yes or No proposition. We choose. We are the church. And we can’t complete His perfect will for our lives or His Body disconnected from others. The natural body is interconnected and codependent. We don’t get to choose our natural family and we don’t get to choose our spiritual one either. It’s a Whosoever Will thing. All are welcome in the Father’ house. And mine, incidentally.

So now I come to a humbling realization: a decision lays before me. Every day. I can be a ‘sent one’ (apostle), or I can be a snake. I’m ashamed to admit I have had my share of snake days. Which never ends well. For them, or for me. I’d rather be a flawed but transparent sent one who is quick to repent when she misses it but has a heart as big as Texas for the hurting and broken.

Who’s with me? (Comments welcomed and encouraged).

Kari, the foreva-sista-in-Christ

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

The Fosbury Flop

I don’t mean to hurt your feelings but it’s true – the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. It’s not, “the thought that counts.” Anyone can come up with an idea. Or a hundred. A friend once told me the fortune’s in the follow-thru.

Have you ever heard someone say, ” I could do that!”? My response, (and I usually have to bite my tongue so I don’t say it), is simply, “well, ya didn’t.”

Case in point: the Fosbury Flop. Nope, it’s not a delightfully fluffy dessert. It’s a mindset.

Dick Fosbury, a 21 year old student, was an unknown in 1968 Olympics. He was also a totally out-of-the-box thinker. I love folk like that, the God-can’s, not the can-God’s, those who believe they can do things others say can’t be done. And are brave enough to try.

https://mayooshin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/High-jump-evolution.jpg

He wasn’t happy with the status quo and decided to challenge it. He even took off for the jump on the ‘wrong’ foot. He also took home the Gold. It’s rumored he commented once, “I knew if I could ever get my heart over the bar, my feet would follow.” Even if he didn’t, it’s a great rule to live by.

How many good ideas, even God ideas, have been aborted before they are fully conceived due to lack of action? Was their heart really there? Or just their mouth? I have to wonder.

What dream has God put in your heart? What are you doing about it? I encourage you to put your heart over the bar. Your feet (action) will follow. I promise.

Kari, the dauntless believer in good

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

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9SlVLyNixqU

https://mayooshin.com/dick-fosbury/

Do-Nothing

Joseph is such an inspiration to me. His brothers hated him because he ran his mouth and ticked them off, which, I admit was unwise. In Genesis 37 verse 19, right after they had ‘conspired to kill him’, they see him and declare, “here comes the dreamer.” Then in verse 20 they decide to throw him in a pit with the result that, ‘we shall see what will become of his dreams.’

(Personally, if the worst anyone ever says of me is that I’m a dreamer, I’m totally ok with that. There are much worse things they could say of one.)

It’s always amazed me how Jo could go through hell but the Bible constantly reminds us that ‘the Lord was with him and gave him favor’. Like God being with you ain’t enough

The world says, “I’ve got to see it before I’ll believe it.” God says it’s the other way around bo. What you see is what you get. It’s all in how you look.

Faith is visualizing the future. Believing before it ever happens. Just because God says so. To prove the point I have a story to share:

In the ’60’s the Russians sent a man into space and he came back with this report:

“I have search the heavens, and I looked for God, and I did not see him anywhere. Therefore, there is no God.” (Hence science accepts this as ‘fact’.)

Six months later the US sent a man to the same place, and this was John Glenn’s report:

“I saw God everywhere! I saw His glory in the galaxy. I saw His splendor in the universe. I saw His majesty in the stars.”

Who was right? Both. It’s all in how you look. Communist Atheists will never see the kingdom of God, according to John 33, and at that time Russia was. And didn’t.

Even the acknowledged father of the nuclear movement, Werner von Braun, once said that there had never been any great acknowledgement in history without faith. I agree. An artist sees it in their mind before they paint it. An architect draws it before it can be built. That’s all faith is. Seeing, before seeing. Everything designed by man has to be seen in the mind before it can be bicultural. That’s faith. No truly great idea, when followed through, produces nothing. It yields something of great value. Yet how many follow through?

This has been a convicting lesson for me, since I have many a story I have shelved, telling myself I’ll finish it at some better, future time. But I’ve been reminded that today is all I have. If I want to change my generation and touch a hurting heart, I need to act. Today. So I now encourage you to do the same. Act on your dreams. Don’t be a Do-Nothing! Be a Do-Something!

Kari, the Do-Something

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

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