CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU REC YOURSELF!

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“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Luke 12:34 New Living translation

What is it that steals your heart? What gets you jazzed, as my husband likes to say? Are you a golfer? Loving the hot shot of a ball flying straight up the fairway? Do you like camping and the smell of smoke from crackling fires? Bicycling? Running? Photography? Everyone has special activities that provide enjoyment in its fullest form. For us it’s traveling. We love exploring new places. Having leisure past times are healthy for the soul and spirit. We all need times to have fun and enjoy the world God created for us. These things are healthy for a balanced soul.

Did you ever think about why you like your particular favorite past time? If it is watching a sport, does it fill a need for competition? Or do you actively participate in a sport like bowling or baseball and enjoy the physical aspect of it?
Do you like camping for the roughing it in the great outdoors challenge? Or fishing to be in quiet streams alone with nature? I like traveling because I enjoy meeting people from faraway places and catching glimpses into their mysterious worlds. This is part of FLURISHING for me. God shows me His unique creations in every new face I meet and every new place I see.

BUt there is a caution here with our individual interests. We must ensure that whatever we are involved in continues to promote FLURISHING with our LORD. It is easy to get caught up in things we love and leave our Lord in the dust. All of a sudden we are no longer FLURISHING with Him but FIXATED on something or someone else. Like the person who spends all their time, money and energy working out at the gym. They are muscle bound and in shape but also compelled to get back to the gym over and over. And what about those who spend excessive amounts in the tanning beds? Why? They are out of balance because they’ve allowed the enjoyment of keeping fit and/or tan to be their main drive. Or someone who neglects their family because they are busy spending all their spare time in a garage restoring old cars, spending exorbitant amounts of money on parts and weekends showing their cars. When their children leave home and never come to visit the reality hits that their precious children took a backseat to the car in the garage. Or the wife and mother who spends all her time with her children. Training them, teaching them and playing  with them, but forgets her husband needs her too. One day he walks out and she never saw it coming.

“Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord; all the weights in the bag are of His making.” Proverbs 16:11 New International version

God knows if your life is honestly balanced with Him as the focal point. Have you checked your scales lately to see if any adjustments need to be made? Are you joyfully FLURISHING or dangerously FIXATING?

Your life is too precious to waste time fixating on anything when you can be FLURISHING in everything!
“Seek the Kingdom of GOD above all else, and live righteously, and HE will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 New Living translation
SHINE ON!
karan k

CAREFREE Closets

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CAREFREE Closets
What does your closet look like? Mine is usually overcrowded with hanging clothes. Overflowing with accessories, purses, hats and lots of shoes of course! Plus unsightly piles of sentimental stuff line every nook and cranny floor to ceiling. I thought I had really arrived when I acquired a walk-in closet but it is so full most of the time that I can’t even close the door! The closet has definitely lost some of it’s appeal.
My dear husband has a closet (smaller than mine, naturally) that is top to bottom organized like the shelves of jeans at the Gap store. Everything neatly folded and in its proper place. Drives me crazy with envy. And my closet drives him insane! So every now and then I clean out and organize my closet (which is usually an all day affair). For about a week the closet space is uncluttered and pleasant to enter. But something strange happens after that first week. An overturned shoe, a blouse dangling on a hanger, rumpled scarves suddenly askew on the floor beneath their assigned hook all add unwanted annoyance to my day. Why can’t my closet remain like my husbands?!?
This question rolls around in my mind like a marble on a roulette wheel. Every time the wheel stops, the marble lands on the black space labeled CROWDED. I see it, feel a twinge of regret and promptly clean out the closet… until the next time.
My mind can be just like my closet, busy and crowded. A myriad of thoughts are constantly zig zagging and intertwining within my brain. I don’t like my mind being on full tilt, it isn’t comfortable. I realize it’s partly just being female, wired for hyper multi-tasking capabilities. But I wonder if I add to my own brain overload by overcrowding my life, my mind AND my closet with too many things!?! The result being anxiety and frustration. Who enjoys an anxious, frustrated person?
The Bible says we should cast all our cares on Jesus in I Peter 5:7. “Cast all your anxiety on HIM because HE cares for you.” New International version. In the Message Bible it reads, ‘Live carefree before GOD; HE is most careful with you.”
Consider the word CAREFREE. It sounds wonderful, peaceful and playful even. How many of us feel like that. . . EVER!?! Surely not enough and surely not all the time but that is exactly how our loving GOD intends for us to live. HE wants us to just roll our troubles over to Him. He will take care of them. Almost all of them are out of our control so why not hand them over to Someone who has the power to do something about them? He cares and He can handle it all! “I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27 New Living translation
Boils down to trusting His words again. I’m tired of the roulette wheel, how about you? I am handing over my concerns and my closet to Him. He’ll help me figure things out a bit at a time so I don’t become overwhelmed.
Carefree, here I come! Join me and FLURISH carefree style no matter what your closet looks like!5457095975_e0ed71d7c5_o!
SHINE ON!
karan k

Working for the Weekend

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It’s a Saturday afternoon and I have the day off. I’m relaxing on my deck breathing in the local evidence of life around me. This is a rare treat. Most Saturdays I’m at my job. Weekend shifts come with the territory of my line of work. It can be pure drudgery to crawl out of my cozy bed on a Saturday morning. It just seems to be the hardest day to go to work. Anyone employed at a service or agency that is open 24-7 encounters similar weekend work woes.
Perhaps you experience this same dread on certain days? Mondays for instance? Maybe every day? Could it be that we need to change our perspective about work and what it means in our lives?
My father worked outside the home since he was eleven years old. He lived through the depression era and he had to work to help the family survive. His belief about work included a lot of manual labor and sweat. Anything less in his mind was not real work and looked like laziness to him. My father has been gone since 1987 but his ideas about work continue to haunt me. By God’s amazing grace I have learned that work is so much more than what I grew up believing and fearing.
God gave us the first great example of work when HE Himself labored to create our world. In six glorious days HE created all we see and experience in it’s purest and most beautiful form. HE looked at all HE had done and declared it was very good. (See Genesis 1:31)
In Genesis 1:27a it says, “So GOD created human beings in HIS own image. . . ” New Living translation. This means we are a snapshot, a picture of God. We reflect HIS aptitudes such as creativity, spirituality, communication, intellect, relationality, morality and purpose.
For FLURISHING in our work let’s consider this first aptitude of creativity. Our GOD is the ultimate Creator and if we are a reflection of HIM then we are creators too. Think about it. Each of us has some form of creative bent; Writers write, Musicians play, Chefs make delicious food, Painters create works of art, Crafters create homespun creations. We all have creativity to use for work, what we were gifted for by our Creator. Consider the men God gifted in Exodus 31:1-6.
Some of us discover these gifts early on and enjoy financial benefit from doing what we love. Others of us are late bloomers and have to use our creativity in a more vocational or hobby type way. For this second group of which I am a part, I can empathize being in a work situation that may not be suited to your gifts but suited more to your budget. If this is the situation you find yourself in I have a few suggestions for you:

DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOUR CREATIVITY!
It is one of your gifts from God and you will never be able to FLURISH until you find an outlet to express it. Even if it is a weekend past time, keep at it. You never know what door HE will open for you when the time is right and you seek His blessing on your special creative efforts.

FIGHT ANY NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ABOUT YOUR JOB!
Follow the Apostle Paul’s counsel in his letter to the people in the church at Philippi.
“. . . Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely and admirable. . .” Philippians 4:8b New Living translation.
Make a list about good or right things about your job. Do you have favorable hours? Good pay? Clean working conditions? Nice commute? Pleasant co-workers? Decent benefits? Everyone has something positive to focus on regarding your job if you look hard enough. I was thankful for a private bathroom on my job. May seem silly to some but I was grateful. Find something positive about your job to focus your attention, even a bathroom situation. “Giving thanks always and for EVERYTHING to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20 English Standard version

It’s possible your job is painful because it is a wrong fit for your gifts for this specific time in your life. Pray and seek God’s leading. Maybe it’s time for you to seek work elsewhere and/or develop your creativity further. Partner with God in this endeavor. Talk to Him daily until you find His path for you.
The job you currently have may not be your dream job but God is using it to help you thrive in a world that runs on money. Be grateful that He has provided the strength and health to earn the money you need to live. It is a privilege to work and be in charge of your own decisions rather than be controlled by someone who cares nothing for you.

LASTLY, DO YOUR WORK, WHATEVER IT IS, TO THE GLORY OF GOD!
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:23 New Living translation

Ultimately, we are working for our Lord. Doing a good job with the right attitude brings Him pleasure and glory. In the end we feel better about ourselves for doing our best. Ask Him for grace for the right attitude. It doesn’t come naturally to us humans. He is with us to help us, remember? But we must ask for His help each time we need it. Keeps us humble and that’s a very good thing.

So work, create and FLURISH while working!
Shine On!
karan k

STREAMIN

Forever flowing
Forever flowing

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FLURISH: Streamin
my mind meanders thru a maze of make believe memos must’ve misplaced my medicine murky malaise messes with my mental messages misunderstandings melt my miniscule mouth mostly melodious memories minuet mentally across my mind
Wha wha. . . what? The letter M in streams of consciousness. Does that ring a bell for you? Maybe not.
When I was in high school a couple of close friends and I would spend our lunch study hall in the typing room. Just for kicks we’d pick a letter from the alphabet and type whatever words started with that letter for twenty minutes. Then we’d read our crazy streams back to each other. I thoroughly enjoyed this little creative activity and it sure made study hall a lot more fun.

Stream of Consciousness, which according to Literary Criticism is also called ‘Interior Monologue”, and is a technique that depicts the multitudinous thoughts and feelings that pass through the mind. (Definition sure sounds like its own stream!) James Joyce’s “Ulysses” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart” are early examples of this literary device at work capturing the thoughts flowing through the protagonist’s mind.

You will notice a void of punctuation or capitalization in the first paragraph. It’s an example of streaming consciousness and as such, it does not appear to itself as chopped up in small pieces. It is nothing joined, rather it flows or streams without stopping. Like a river, creek or babbling brook. Techies might relate it to live streaming over the internet. A constant flow of information, large or small.

What does all this literary garble about streams of consciousness have to do with FLURISHING? So glad you asked because I would have told you regardless!:)

To Flurish daily we need a constant flow of communication with our Heavenly Father. It is impossible to do it formally and physically all day, like being on your knees hours at a time as some religions demand. Our Father understands we need to work, attend school and take care of family duties etc. HE applauds our efforts in these areas and wants us to take care of our responsibilities. However, because He is omniscient or all knowing as we learned in an earlier post, HE constantly reads our thoughts. Isaiah 40:28c “…HE knows everything inside and out…” The Message Bible, “… the Lord— knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.” Psalm 94:11 English Standard version. This gives us 24-7 access to Him! He loves constant rapport with us!
We can stream with Him about everything we experience everyday. We just keep turning our thoughts back to Him and get His take on what we are facing moment by moment. This draws us ever closer to Him. It’s how we fulfill the counsel of the Apostle Paul to “Never stop praying” in I Thessalonians 5:17 New Living translation. If you set your mind to stream with HIM, HE will draw close to you (James 4:8). Try it and let it become your lifestyle, a lifestyle of FLURISHING!

For you tech mongers, think of God the Father as the Supreme data base constantly sending live streams for you to hear, experience and reciprocate. And HIS Digital Subscriber Line is the fastest you’ll find with the absolute broadest band ever!!!
Happy Streamin!!!
Shine on….
karan k

Thrones

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Ever think about the process of how you make your decisions? What factors are involved? Values? Time? Benefits? Cost? All of these are excellent resources to reflect on and pull from your heart to make a solid decision.
However, to FLURISH in your decision making each and every time, you need to consider the throne in your heart. Each of us has one, you know? All of our decisions and motivations flow from this throne. Now the question is, simply put:
WHO IS SITTING ON YOUR THRONE???
PART 1
Do you remember the day you got saved, the day you invited Jesus into your heart? Think about it. Remember that momentous moment. Where were you? What were you doing leading up to the exact second you believed God loved you and wanted to save your soul for all eternity?
LET ME ASK YOU THIS:
Do you ever question your salvation? Probably all of us do at some point. It just seems too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Ephesians 6:17a says “Put on salvation as your helmet. . .” New Living translation.
A helmet covers the head, which houses the mind. All of our battles with doubt come from the mind. So you put on your helmet of salvation to protect your mind from destructive doubts by;

1. Remembering your salvation experience, even the date if you can.
2. Believing the truth of Romans 10:9 that you followed; “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you WILL be saved.” New Living translation
3. Armed with this information, resist the enemy’s temptation to doubt. (James 4:7 and Ephesians 6:11)

PART 2
Ok, doubts are gone, now what? Repeat the above as often as you need to so the enemy knows you mean business. You have the authority of your Lord Jesus who defeated satan at the cross when HE rose from the dead. Tell satan to take his lying doubts and scram!
SO, you received Jesus as your Savior but are you living with Him as your Lord?
I ask this because I invited Jesus into my heart or got saved when I was seven. 13 years passed before I understood that salvation was just the beginning. Jesus Christ is the Supreme Lord (See Colossians 1:15-23 DO NOT skip these verses they are important) . I invited HIM in at age 7 but I didn’t understand how HE wanted to relate to me and my life as LORD until I was 20. HE wanted to sit on the throne of my heart. HE wanted to help me with all my decisions, to talk with me about my joys, my concerns, my mess ups, my interests, everything. He wanted me to know Him and love Him more deeply than when I first met Him at seven. The Bible says the way to love Him is to obey Him. “Jesus replied, all who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and We will come and make Our home with them.” John 14:23 New Living translation
When I realized this truth, I also realized I had been sitting on the throne of my heart and I needed to relinquish that right to the one true LORD. I wasn’t such a good ruler of my life up to that point either, I might add. So I slid off the throne and asked Him to take over, welcoming Him to His rightful place in my heart. To keep myself aware of my deeper commitment I signed my name at the bottom of a blank sheet of paper and asked Him to fill in the details of my life with His purpose and His plans. What a wild ride of increased FLURISHING it has been ever since!
If you haven’t handed over your throne to your Lord yet, what are you waiting for? Think long and hard about it. Nothing I know compares to FLURISHING with your LORD! Truly!!!
Shine on!
karan k

Beautiful

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FLURISH: Beautiful
Look in the mirror. What do you see? Do you see beautiful? Today I can say YES, I see beautiful when I see my reflection, but it wasn’t always this way.
I used to see ugly. I used to see pale white skin, straggly hair and a less than perfect body. My thighs were too fat, my butt was too flat, my chest was too small and always that pale skin that peers seemed to delight in mocking. “Why don’t you get a tan?” I’d hear constantly in the summertime when I truly already had a tan… they had no idea just how pale my skin was under my swim suit. Thank GOD!!!
I have a whole catalog of names I was called for varying reasons which we don’t have time to get into here but to give you an idea, here are a few;
Bozo, El Denso, Dog, Lard _ss, Rough neck, Idiot, Fatso and my personal favorite RUN AWAY BARGE. Some were from classmates, some acquaintances, and some from teachers, believe it or not. But the ones that hurt the most were from my parents. I was considered fat, ugly and a problem in their eyes. These old wounds have bled into my adulthood. I spent many years feeling ugly until I began learning what my God said about me. He had a completely different view, but it took awhile for me to understand it. I trusted Him and eventually I believed what HE says. HIS truth has made all the difference in how I see myself!
Perhaps you can relate? Maybe a little, maybe a lot. We all have areas where we feel subpar or perhaps the more accurate description is worthless. This is something our loving heavenly Father hates. . .  When HIS beautiful children believe the lie that they are worthless and ugly! The enemy of John 10:10a (refer to Welcome page) wants to steal the reality of the beauty our God gave us. Trust the Good Shepherd, our God who loves us. Learn His view and believe Him, resist believing the lies of the enemy. (Look up James 4:7 in several versions).
Here are a few examples of what our God says about us: “You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.” Song of Solomon 4:7 The Message Bible. Now read it again out loud but insert your name before the “you’re”. Repeat this often until it sinks deep in your heart and changes your mind. This is the truth! This is how God sees you. This is HIS world so HE should know! Trust Him!
The book of Song of Solomon is about a King and the Bride He adored. It also parallels and symbolizes Christ’s deep love for us. We are His Bride.
In the 139th Psalm He says this: “You saw me before I was born. Everyday of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are Your thoughts about me, oh God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them, they outnumber the grains of sand! [AND MY FAVORITE PART] And when I wake up, You are still with me!” verses 16-18 New Living Translation
You may not feel beautiful right now but keep reading passages about His love and one day you will look in the mirror and be blown away by the beauty HE has seen all along! You are on your way to FLURISHING!
Shine on, beautiful!
karan k:)

Hard Stuff

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FLURISH: HARD STUFF
How are you feeling today? Are you weighed down with a mass of junk? Are there things going on in your life that are difficult, even devastating? Are you just plain tired of dealing with problems?
Or perhaps it’s someone you love who experiences illness after illness or tragedy after tragedy? Seems never-ending and no light at the end of their tunnel of suffering. And you just don’t understand why?
I find myself in this situation even as I write. Several people I love are enduring ongoing hardships for years that seem to worsen every time I hear from them. I found myself numb before my GOD. Why Lord? YOU know these precious souls love You? Why all this pain?
How do you handle that kind of stuff? Some people get angry with God. Some fall into despair and later bitternes. Others slowly slide into the murky quagmire of depression. Are any of these things positive? Will they help improve the situation?
Remember the theme of FLURISH from John 10:10, “… the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy…” . Nothing positive there. The thief specializes in anger, hopelessness, bitterness and his favorite weapon, depression. Recognize these things as spiritual emotionally charged bombs ready to destroy your heart and eventually your body and life if you don’t take action.
Hard stuff is all around us. We live in a world of uncertainty, never knowing when the next calamity, the next “bomb” will present itself. If we want to FLURISH, we must filter each event that happens, everything we hear about, through the sovereign grid of our great GOD. Trust HIS words in John 10:10b, “… I am come to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

Since HE reigns with absolute power and loves us unconditionally, HE already knows about each event that enters our lives and the lives of those we love. Our fallen world set in motion hardships for all of us figuratively and physically;
[“… For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” Matthew 5:45b New Living Translation.
BUT as children of God, Christ followers if you will, we have HIS promise to bring good even out of the HARD STUFF! HIS ultimate plan is to transform us to be like HIS perfect Son JESUS.  To be one in closeness with us like they are is the height of FLURISHING. This pinnacle can only be realized when we reach the golden shores of Heaven. For now we are in process, preparing, learning, and growing.  HE graciously turns our HARD STUFF into GOOD STUFF in the now as well as eternity!!
(See Romans 8:26-39).
SO in conclusion, what do we do when we are faced with HARD STUFF? Here are a few things I find helpful.
1. Pray for courage, it may be a rough ride. We’re not promised an easy road but we never travel alone. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God WILL be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 New International version
2. As always, ask for grace to withstand whatever you are facing.
Now believe He has given you that courage and grace to ask one more question of our all knowing God: “What can I learn through this experience?” What lessons are cloaked inside this pain? Remember, God can use even the HARD STUFF to bring ultimate good into our lives as we read in Romans. BELIEVE Him rather than what you feel. This is part of faith.
3. Now thank HIM for how HE plans to help you through the suffering and bring something awesome out of it!
4. Journal your journey and track His faithfulness to encourage yourself for whenever the next HARD STUFF hits. In time, when you learn to trust Him with your HARD STUFF the challenges won’t seem as horrible. Trust HIM and try it HIS way. See for yourself HIS words are true.
Shine on….
karan k 🙂

NOTHING

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NOTHING
Self-reliant. Does that term come to mind when you think about yourself? You’re dependable to get things done in your own power and perhaps even with your own resources? Do you unconsciously or secretly pride yourself because of your self-reliance? Do you think less of those who do not possess this attribute? Ponder.
Now consider this:
“I am the Vine; you are the branches (that’s us). Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from the vital union with Me] you can do NOTHING.” John 15:5 Amplified version for clarity.
Let that sink in. Jesus is speaking in this verse explaining our relationship with Him and how we produce fruit by His power. We must remain connected to Him just as a branch stays connected to a vine to grow and bear fruit. If we lose our connection, we start to die. We have to maintain our connection closely.
But what I want to focus on is this last word, NOTHING. Jesus says without Him, you and I can do nothing. It doesn’t mean we can do some things, or small things, it literally means NOTHING. (check other versions of this verse) The idea can be revolutionary to our thinking when it dawns on us that we can’t even breathe without His empowerment. Without the oxygen He supplies we are doomed. Completely blows self-reliance off the map, doesn’t it? This will hurt and be hardest to accept for those of us who have a self reliant bent. But push through that bent to accept this truth that you are utterly dependent on your Creator to make any kind of difference in this world. Think about it. He not only supplies air (much more efficiently than the old 80s group, I might add), but the strength and ability to move and get up every morning, let alone work and function in any other daily capacities. HE provides it all and without Him we not only can produce Nothing but we can become prideful and deceived into mutating the truth. Who do you think is behind that little faux pas? [Check back on the FLURISH Welcome page that pops up when you connect]. It is none other than satan, the father of lies (John 8:44) who specializes in subtle but quite effective deceptions. He is also the father of pride. As lucifer he was thrown out of heaven because he got too big for his britches. (Isaiah 14:12-15)
All of this to do about NOTHING is to transform our thought patterns and consciously be aware of how much we need Him moment by precious moment. It can increase our gratitude quotient as well. Sure doesn’t hurt our awareness of HIS constant presence either! Think it over…. until next time….
Shine on. . .
karan k;)

ACCEPTANCE

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ACCEPTANCE
What is your favorite memory from childhood? A special outing with family? Picnics, camping? School projects? Beach trips? Holidays? One that comes to mind for me is going to the local park and playing ‘Kick the Can’ with the older kids. I absolutely loved that! Playing under cover of night was so exciting even though I most always got picked last for the team. Just being allowed to play in the group and being ACCEPTED was huge for me!!
As we grow older the need for acceptance doesn’t diminish. Some of us hide it well, pretending we don’t need others because we’re grown and mature. Some of us look longingly into every new face and every new place hoping to find it. And others have given up, resigning themselves to an inner life of loneliness. But one thing is certain, no matter our age OR maturity level (because maturity does not automatically come with age, it comes with responsibility), deep down we all desire to be ACCEPTED.
So now let me ask you another question;

How do we FLURISH in acceptance while our world is so crazy-busy we barely take time to talk to each other in person? High tech modern communication is quite expedient but does zero to produce genuine closeness. Closeness leads to acceptance and feeling comfortable enough with others to genuinely enjoy them and ALLOW them to enjoy us. In 2016 that’s a tough order but there is hope for those of us needing more acceptance than we’re currently receiving.
Do you realize or remind yourself that if you’re a Christ follower you not only have been accepted but also CHOSEN and ADOPTED by the Most High God? To FLURISH we can regularly read this passage in Ephesians 1:4&5 NLT (New Living Translation)
“Even before HE made the world, GOD loved us and CHOSE us in Christ to be holy and without fault in HIS eyes. GOD decided in advance to ADOPT us into HIS own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what HE wanted to do and it gave HIM great pleasure.”
Not just CHOSEN for a team . . . but ADOPTED into a family! Chosen denotes ‘first pick’ and adoption equals taking care of someone and their needs for life. The glorious GOD of the universe handpicked us and then went on to assume responsibility and care for us during the rest of our lives!! AWESOME SAUCE!! And the cherry on the sauce is eternity in paradise follows life here!!! (This reality brought about the song ‘Amazing Grace’ and more recently, ‘Amazing Love’ — just sayin)
Mull over these incredible realities and recognize you are part of the greatest family ever and loved immeasurably by GOD without parallel!!! Allow these truths to  take permanent root in your mind and heart. Remind yourself often by sitting in your special ‘place’ (see post titled Honesty & Love) and reading chapter one of Ephesians WITH GOD. Remember He is with you and listening.  He will infuse you with HIS Love to overflowing so you can begin to reach out and accept others who may be struggling;

  1. Greet people with a smile. Smiles break the ice.
  2. Talk to people when you see them. Don’t avert your eyes, you are a child of GOD so spread the Love!
  3. Carve out time to get together and have fun with old friends or family you haven’t seen in forever. Be proactive. Make a plan to get together then TRUST HIM to help you. HE is with you! Just relax and be yourself.
  4. Whatever happens good or bad is just spillover because HE still has your back! If you make a positive connection, fabulous! Continue connecting with that person or others. If you reach out and it doesn’t go well, don’t be discouraged. The other person may not have the confidence of being GOD’s child and doesn’t yet know how to receive kindness. Pray for them.
  5. Let His angels minister strength to your heart and recharge. (Matthew 4:11 and Luke 22:43)
  6. Now live confidently and FLURISH knowing HE is with you and expect another opportunity to connect and accept soon!
    Catch ya next time!
    “Accept one another,  just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to GOD.”
    Romans 15:7 NIV

Shine on . . .
karan k

HONESTY and LOVE

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HONESTY. . . Deep down dirty honesty with GOD, with yourself and with others. Can you look inside and face the ugliness of your own human heart? GOD says “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9 NLT
I’ll tell you who. GOD Himself because HE is omniscient. (check out Psalm 139) Omniscience means all knowing. HE is the only one who can see inside our hearts and read our thoughts all the time. HE knows what lurks in the recesses of our souls better than we do. AND, HE continues to love us! That’s powerful!
LOVE. . . Unconditional Love, Unconditional acceptance. . . but NOT unconditional closeness. This is where we decide how deep our end of this relationship will grow [whether we are longtime Christ followers or newbies]. Do we want to FLURISH? GOD adores us but HE will not force us to love HIM in return. The only way we can truly flurish is to make up our minds right now that we want to love GOD with all our heart. GOD told ancient Israel “If you look for ME wholeheartedly, you will find ME.” Jeremiah 29:13 NLT . The same is absolutely true for us. We flurish only by staying close to our Creator GOD. “Come close to GOD, and GOD will come close to you.” James 4:8a NLT
So what does ‘coming close’ look like? How do we love a God we cannot see or touch and who seems faraway? Again, BELIEF is all important (Hebrews 11:6). Believing is part of of the action of faith. Adjusting your life in tangible ways, which basically includes your time and resources in HONESTY and LOVE toward GOD. So. . .
1. Set aside some time, even if it’s only 5 minutes to start.
2. Find a place that’s quiet and private for your time. (Have you seen the movie WAR ROOM?)
3. Go to your special place for the time you have and BELIEVE that GOD is with you. (HE travels in your heart via the Holy Spirit Ephesians 3:17) Take a few deep inhales, hold them and breathe out slowly, repeat several times. No, this isn’t weird stuff just a natural physical action to calm yourself to focus and reduce any stress.
4. Now start talking about whatever is in your heart. The good, the bad, the ugly and the sad. The big one for me is the anxious stuff. Chew on this; what GOD told Israel applies to us as well. . . “I have loved you with an everlasting love. With an unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself.” Jeremiah 31:3 NLT You are here RIGHT now because HE is drawing you to Himself! So totally kool I can’t even tell you!!!
5. Be real with GOD. Talk to HIM openly and honestly. When you are HIS child (at any age) HE cares about every detail of our lives! Don’t believe it? Check out Luke 12:7 in JESUS’ own words! HE knows the number of hairs on each of our heads. How many of us lose some everyday? We all do and yet HE has a running , up to the moment by moment tally ALL THE TIME! Trust HIM to care about your details. You may want to have note paper handy because at some point, if you listen and BELIEVE, you will hear from GOD. . . and you won’t wanna forget what HE says specifically to you.
Guess what? You are loving GOD and building your relationship with HIM at this point. When you seriously love someone the first thing you do is spend time with them. If you can make time to love GOD every day that is great. You can always increase your time if you are able. If you can find a couple of times each week that is wonderful too, just start. HE wants you to enjoy HIM not feel obligated. Trust me, HE is longing to spend time with you.
In conclusion for today; IF you want to FLURISH, love on GOD with your time and keep things real with HIM.
Of course any comments or questions are always welcome! Catch ya in a few days!
Shine on. . .
karan k:)