karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

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

Archive for the month “February, 2020”

Shaken, Not Stirred

Being born a Brit I admit I’ve always had a soft spot for James Bond. I know he has issues – we all do – but most of the time he’s on the side of justice. Kind of. No super-powers, just really really cool gadgets. Not to mention he’s a chick magnet. Possibly a borderline drunk. One of his favorite things is a dry martini, but it absolutely must be, “shaken, not stirred.”

In Acts 20 verse 24 Paul boldly proclaims, “… none of these things move me…” He says this while he’s in the midst of what he openly admits are ‘afflictions and trials’, knowing the Holy Spirit has shown him that ‘imprisonment and suffering’ await him everywhere he goes. If anyone had a reason to be less than positive it was Paul.

He did a lot of crazy things that got a whole lot of people upset. Some even killed him. But you can’t keep a good man down, and he was on a mission: to share the risen Christ with anyone who would listen.

I’ve really been struggling with what I want to be known for, in this short time I have on planet earth. In prayer recently I felt like God dropped the word ‘catalyst’ into my spirit. The more I mulled it over the more I liked it. You can’t encounter a catalyst and leave unchanged. You’re either attracted or repelled, but you will have a reaction.

So I’ve decided that the one thing I can be in this life is a catalyst. Drawing people who are open closer to my Papa, and repelling those who are against Him without their even knowing why they dislike me.

Have you found out what you want to be known for? I highly encourage you to give it some thought. What you hear might just surprise you as much as it did me. But it totally fits. Yours will too, if God gives it to you.

Kari, the fire-starting fire-lighting child of the Living God
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The Replacement

2020 has been full of amazing things for me already, and my 57th year is truly shaping up to be one like no other. If you’re interested, please feel free to read on.

I heard Sion Alford say once that souls are attached to your gift.

Wayne Gretzky claims you miss every shot you don’t take.

Joyce Meyer asserts you have to step out and find out.

Those thoughts weighed heavy on my heart as this new year began, along with an idea from the late Myles Monroe; the richest place on earth is a graveyard, because people leave her with unused gifts inside them.

So I’ve started taking some amazingly strange shots lately. And experienced fulfillment on a deeper level than I’ve ever known in my entire Christian walk. Take late last Friday, for instance. But first, a little backstory.

The last church I attended for over 25 years. I rededicated my life to Christ there. I got baptized in both water and the Spirit there. Pretty much anything of significance that had happened in my Christian walk since 1993 had happened there. I loved it, and was totally committed to what God was doing there. I was fed consistently and was growing like a weed. At first there was just one problem; they would ask for help with all kinds of ministries, and whenever I offered they would turn me down. Every time. I kind of gave up on being a functioning part of that Body. 

Then I started to see a pattern. In the last few years a very subtle shift in focus had occurred. It got to the point where I was very uncomfortable with certain things and felt led to leave. It was hard, since it was all I’d ever known since my return to Christ, but I knew it was necessary. For over a year I was church-less, which was even harder.

I’ve been attending a new church for over three months now. This one is completely different. They sincerely desire for every member to play an active part. Which brings me to four days ago. The pastor called to ask me if I would, “bring the Word” on Sunday.

You have to understand something. I will talk to anyone breathing who will stay still long enough. Especially about Jesus. And writing. My two favourite subjects. I’m a total sanguine. But “preach”? Not so much… I’ve already told you I was so used to being turned down that I kind of accepted it. Now I was being offered the chance to share something of value with the whole congregation – about 8 members and their families, I’m guessing.

John Bevere said once you never know a life-defining moment when you’re in it. I’ve been praying to have greater influence and now I’m given the chance to take a shot – so I had a choice to make.

I took it.

Many things were in my heart but it boiled down to one. Using the gifts we are given. Strangely enough God didn’t lead me to the parable of the talents, as one would think. Instead, Matthew 19 verses 21 & 22 and Luke 18, versus 18 to 23 were the ones I could not escape. You know them. It’s the story of the guy who came to Jesus and asked what he needed to do to get into Heaven. Jesus told him to go and sell all he had, and follow Him.

I’m no bible scholar and I could be wrong but these two stories are so similar I suspect they might be the same guy. He always saddened me. He was offered the opportunity to join Team Jesus and he walked away. As I pondered this I realized something.

The guy was obviously good with money, but he valued stuff more than the chance to change a destiny. As I read the Bible the writer in me tends to find myself in the shoes of those I read about. I have to wonder if he was not perhaps supposed to be the replacement. For Judas. Who, any day now, would make a life-defining choice he would live to regret.

These were the sobering thoughts that lay heavy on my heart as I shared yesterday, and I hope it encourages you, dear reader, to never leave your gifts unused. I pray I use all I’ve been given every day I’m given to win souls and influence eternity in all those I come across in life. Wanna come with?

Kari, the imperfect but willing and obedient

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

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