karigraceplace – A Lighthouse

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

Archive for the month “April, 2020”

Stool Pidgeon

You may not be familiar with this quaint Olde English phrase but I, being Brit born and bred, am.

You as an American are about to be made one, unless you act and act now!

This is a tad late in posting – my oversight – and I apologize profusely, but I want folks to be aware.

Kari, the thankful fruitful redhead
all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5383/text

The Slump of Stagnation

Even the best of us experience a slump or two every now and then. The important thing is not to stay there. Be it a desert or a swamp, the result is the same. Despair. Different terrain, same purpose. Purification.

I love Steven Furtick – he gives me so much material. I’m not an experienced weight-lifter but I do agree that God is the best spotter ever. When He sees the weight is too much for us He lightens it but doesn’t remove the load. How else will we ever build our spiritual muscles? Which we do by going through a slump or two.

John Bunyan, in his immortal work Pilgrim’s Progress, (a fictional account of a fellow making his way through a slump or ten), referred to it as ‘the Slough of Despond’. The book has many vignettes we would to well to take to heart. As Ecclesiastes quite rightly points out, there’s nothing new under the sun. Jesus was the consummate story-teller and I for one learn best through stories. We all go through them; it’s up to us how long it takes.

We may be stuck in a slump for good reason but God is all about forward-motion. Not excuses. When in mid-slump it’s easy to focus on the negative and lose hope for a bright tomorrow. Pre-jection is real. How many times have I thought, “no, I don’t think I’ll even bother to try…”, when I know God can do great things with whatever we give Him. He does wonders with loaves and fishes. He’s pretty good with a bit of oil too. He can stretch it further than a single mother, and that’s saying something.

Life is full of choices. My mother seems to think I’m a brave risk-taker but honestly, she has no clue. I just take a deep breath, a baby step or two, and wait to see what happens. I tell folks I’m too short to be boring. Or short-sighted. With enough baby steps anyone can make it out of any slump. Persistence pays off.

During this time of voluntary self-isolation I find I’m doing a lot of self-examination. Matthew 7.7 tells us to do three specific things: ask, seek, and knock. But what of motivation? I call it ‘the why behind the what.’ I get it wrong a lot, which is why forgiveness is my favourite gift Jesus offers. And the coolest thing about our Heavenly Father, in my humble opinion, is that He offers what I affectionately dubbed years ago The Ultimate Do-Over. Since His mercies are new every morning, every sunrise brings fresh-baked grace and another chance to do better. Not everyone gets that.

It’s what we do with what we’re given that counts. Take Mo, for instance. In Exodus 4.3 God changed Mo, not just his staff. Only God can make a snake from a stick. Mo ran. Smart man. I’d run too. In fact I have. So now may I pose a question for you, dear reader? How many times have you run from what you know He’s calling you us do? Are you facing a Red Sea today? Pick up a stick. Throw out a brick of mustard seed faith. And wait to see what happens.

God did it for Mo and He’ll do it for you; He has a stick (a staff) for every sticking point. Don’t get stuck in your story. And definitely don’t stop when you’re tempted to sit awhile in the Slump of Stagnation. My prayer for you today, dear reader, is that God would refresh, renew and restore you, shore you up in all your weak places, and then I’ll you in His Presence with fresh passion to do His will.

There’s always hope. You just have to choose it over the slump of depression. I’ve read the back of the book. We win. It ends well. I promise. If you let it.

Kari, the unstuck unslumped unstagnant child of God
all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

http://www.covenantofgrace.com/pilgrims_progress_slough_of_despond.htm

Can You Feel the Love Tonight?

Patsy Clairmont tweeted something recently that got this random redhead thinking.

We can all “get stuck in our story,” the one we write every day, for good or for bad. And it can go south fast when we least expect.

Take love, for instance.

In my humble opinion, Love is the foundation of any healthy life. And God is Love. Without Him as the centre you have no love.

I once heard tell of an Oregon pastor newly assigned to a state mental institution. His was told to ‘offer counsel’. To the crazy. His very first job was a padded cell full of deranged, almost-naked patients. The smell was terrible. He could not even talk to them, they were so incoherent. Their answers were nothing but moans and demonic laughter.

Then he felt the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit to sit in the middle of the filthy room. For a whole hour that day he sang, “Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong – they are weak but He is strong.”

I’m sure you know the rest.

The pastor saw no result that day, but did not lose heart. For several weeks he did this same thing, sitting singing in the middle of the dark smelly room, growing in his conviction every time he sung it, that, “Yes! Jesus loves me! Yes! Jesus loves me! Yes! Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so!”

Slowly, an amazing thing started to happen. One by one, as days went by, patients began to sing. At the end of the first month, 36 severely disturbed, mentally ill patients were moved from the high-dependency unit to self-care. Before a year was done, all but two had been discharged.

1 Corinthians 13 verse 13 says the greatest of these (the previous list) is love (emphasis mine). Truly, Love never fails. That story is proof.

We have no power to love anyone, including ourselves, until we have had a real authentic experience of Christ’s unconditional love. Are you convinced of His love, regardless of your behaviour? After all, it has nothing to do with us. He already made the choice. Is your soul full today? More importantly, is it full of Love?

For those of us in a hard place where someone close to us daily barrages us with hate and negativity and constantly demeans us, it’s inexpressibly good to know our identity is found in and dictated by a Man who never shames, never despises, never humiliates, and never ignores His beloved. He never leaves, either. Physically or emotionally. We are His treasured possession.

When we know the Source of all life we can rest in that Truth despite any chaos or drama surrounding us. And that’s a good place to stay. Permanently.

Will you sing it with me today?

Jesus loves me, this I know,

for the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to him belong

– they are weak, but He is strong.

Yes! Jesus loves me!

Yes! Jesus loves me!

Yes! Jesus loves me!

The Bible tells me so.

Kari, the loved-and-loving
all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

If I was the devil…

You may be feeling as frustrated today as I’m starting to with the current state of affairs in our nation, but I’d like to encourage you today: get your praise back.

It may seem like the enemy of our soul has legally succeeded in preventing us from gathering together in celebration of our Redeemer for quite some time now, but he cannot chain worship. He’s on a leash and can only go as far as our Father allows.

I’ve never been so thankful for technology as I am right now. Man uses the internet for a great many purposes, some good, some bad. I for one choose worship. Eternal, faithful, loving, merciful, kind, yet so much more, I’m discovering and rediscovering many of God’s attributes in a new, fresh way. His anointing is unstoppable, transcending time, space, and place! If you’re in a hard spot today I’m right there with you, believe me, but then I remember He inhabits our praise! And I get it back, not even realizing it was ever stolen. How deceptive the cares of this world can be.

God says in Joshua 23.10 that one frail fallible imperfect human being puts a thousand enemy to flight and two chase away ten thousand. “We Bow Low” and “Waymaker” are two memory-joggers that have been on multi-repeat-mode in our house recently. How many ‘two‘s are gathered here I have no idea but it’s a bunch. And I’m adding my worship to theirs whenever I please. What an awesome privilege. Yet how easily I forget. I want worship to be my default, the place my heart goes to naturally.

Let’s take the words of one lead singer to heart… “Sing the doubt out!” Be a Barnabus. Sing in the prison with Paul and watch the chains fall off, so we can help others do the same.

How are you choosing to worship during this transition time?

Seriously. I’m interested.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vsypFJ5mNw0&t=163s

Kari, the worshipper-together-or-alone-if-need-be
all original content, copyright © 2000, karigraceplace.com, all rights reserved

Smile!

You Never Stop

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