The Thrill is Gone?

B.B. King and his guitar “Lucille”

 

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18 New Living Translation

 

Is your thrill gone? Rainy day doldrums or ‘the blues’ hit all of us at times. You’re casually movin through your days and one morning you wake up and something just isn’t right. You can’t quite put your finger on it to identify its origin but the blues are singing their song in your ear, right there as your head lays on the pillow.

Ever feel like singin the Blues? Ever think about why Blues music started?

The name “The Blues” most likely came into vogue during the 17th Century as a shortened version of a common English expression of that time. “The Blue Devils” described dramatic hallucinations that came from alcohol withdrawal. So “The Blues” referred to a state of depression and agitation.

Deeply rooted in American history, “Blues” music originated on Southern plantations in the 19th Century. African slaves sang spiritual songs to lift their souls as they toiled in the cotton fields.

Today Blues music remains popular because it’s so relatable. I enjoy Jonny Lang’s Blues recordings because like old spirituals he sings about the One who helps him overcome “the blues”.

Jonny Lang

Blue-sy negative emotions can hit us like a freight train carrying a load of bricks at times, can’t they? They overwhelm us in seconds. I dislike feeling blah or blue whatever you want to call it, but I know these FEELINGS most of the time are not true of my reality. The good news is, I don’t have to give in to them. And neither do you.

We do have the power to choose which emotions we will entertain and how we will respond to them. Even during rainy, cloudy days, PMS, menopause or any other hormonal switch flipper! Don’t believe the lies that you have to surrender to negative emotions.

If you’re a Christian and have a case of the non-clinical blues, I got some ideas for you:

Try a chat with your heavenly Father— He says, “Come let us reason together. . . though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow. . . ” Isaiah 1:18 English Standard Version
Sometimes we need to pour out our hearts to our loving Lord. In doing so we may find something lurking that needs confessing and could be the source or our sorrow?

Try praising our great God inspite of your feelings. Sing a little song about His goodness to chase away your blues. Do you know this little chorus? “God is SO good, He’s SO good to me.” (See Psalm 13:5+6)
“The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation.” Psalm 145:9 New Living Translation

Skip away the blues

Try skipping with Jesus, if you are nimble enough. How can you remain sad when you are physically skipping with the Lord of the universe? Allow yourself to laugh and enjoy HIs presence.

 

Emotions are a gift our Creator wanted us to have because HE has them. God loves to see us delighting in everyday life. He longs to restore our “thrill”. He knows because of the Fall we live in an imperfect world involving times of pain and sadness. He invites us to come to Him to receive healing and joy. Don’t let anything hold you back from Him!

Allow Him to help you FLURISH again.

Shine on. . .
karan k

 

 

 

 

Garments of Praise

 

Curious outfit, Curious person?

“And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.” Proverbs 7:10 English Standard Version

Lady pulls up in a polka dot shirt. It looked so cheery that a smile burst across my face. I love polka dots, especially when they are all different colors. Takes me back to lovely memories of childhood birthday parties in the 60s.

Stylish yet playful— I love it!

 

 

My customer was dressed much differently than the woman in the opening verse. Her attire spoke of innocent joy. The Proverbs 7 woman’s attire communicates lust and seduction.

During my work day any type of apparel may sport itself in front of me.. Pajamas passing themselves off as clothes suitable for public wear. Business suits and ensembles looking like they stepped out of a fashion magazine. I see scrubs and clothes in need of scrubbing, barely there bikinis and fur coats during the heat of summer. Each one speaking a message. It’s like a Walmart smorgasbord everyday. We really do see it all.

Never know what you will see at the Toll Booth or at Walmart

 

How we choose to dress says more about who we are than we may realize. Our clothing choices send messages to people. Ever think about what message you wish to send out to the public? Does it match the way you dress?

I aim to dress in well fitting bright colored outfits. I choose clothes that are fun rather than stuffy and unapproachable. I’m attempting to send out a message of stylish friendliness with hints of compassion to whoever I may meet.

Me and Cortney

“. . . The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

I Samuel 16:7b

Our clothing choices tend to mirror who we are. So the above verse from the Old Testament is comforting if our hearts are pure. Otherwise, not so much.

What about you? What are your clothes saying?

Shine on. . .

karan k

 

 

Friendship Lost

“If you meet me and forget me, you’ve lost nothing but if you meet Jesus and forget Him, you’ve lost everything.”

I first saw this phrase written in a ZIGGY greeting card in the 1980’s. Remember him? Simple cartoon drawing of a short stubby guy, no hair, no neck, big nose and often traveled with a cute dog? Why Ziggy creator Tom Wilson used this phrase in his cartoon, I’m not sure. But I have never forgotten it.

Are you familiar with the term dyadic relationship? Concerning human beings it occurs when two people share something similar. For instance they may share backgrounds as far as hometown  location, or stage of life such as both being young and married, or they could share a common interest. A dyadic relationship forms when two people share something in common at the same point in time. The circles of their lives bump and mesh together for a period of time.

Coworkers and friends?

Laboring together as coworkers is fertile ground to form dyadic relationships which can turn into lifelong friendships. But sometimes it’s only the commonality that holds the friendship together. When natural change turns the course of our lives friendships are always affected. Sometimes the change brings a strengthened commitment and sometimes the change results in drifting and dissolution. That can be painful.

Dyadic encounter

Dyadic relationships are an inevitable part of life. Normally, every 3-5 years our relationships alter with the natural changes in our priorities and responsibilities. We should expect changes in our friendships. Our lives flux in constant motion like a zillion spinning spirogragh wheels interconnecting spontaneously in brilliant designs and colors. The Master artist never ceases creating. Without advance warning He sets change in motion scattering all the wheels.

We are all intertwining in constant motion like the circles of a spirogragh

People in our lives come and go and it can be heart wrenching when we see them turn away from our friendship for whatever reason. Ultimately worse, like the phrase in the Ziggy card, happens when they walk away from God. They reject Him and His offer of salvation.

With great regret I say that I had a dear friend turn heels on both myself and Jesus. It hurt to lose my friend but my heart aches more for their choice to leave Jesus in the dust. It remains one of the most painful departures of my life. I pray and trust for their return, that they will realize the truth of friendship with Christ:

“For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ ” Hebrews 13:5b New Living Translation

“A person who has friends may be harmed by them, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 NET Bible

Jesus Christ is our constant,  non-dyadic friend. May you FLURISH in your relationship with Him!

Shine on. . .

karan k

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 New Living Translation (Malachi 3:6)

Highest Praise

 

Faith of a child

“O LORD, I give my life to You. I trust in You, my God!” Psalm 25:1 New Living Translation

What does your beginning look like? Or perhaps I should ask what brought you to Christ?

My mother taught me about Jesus from as far back as I can remember. She took me to the same church she attended as a child. I loved Sunday school and learned all the songs like Deep and Wide, Running Over, and I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy. But I only knew ABOUT Jesus, I didn’t really KNOW Him yet.

Everything surrounding Jesus was joyous and good. So I liked learning about Him. But one day The truth about His purpose on earth shattered my heart. I found out He came here to suffer and die in my place. It was hard to accept at age seven but I understood enough about the reality of Jesus to love Him and want Him in my life no matter what.

 

My father recognized the divine love of Christ that same year of 1970 and made a commitment to Him at a small prayer meeting. I decided if my father did it, I should too. And so I gave my heart to Jesus and began my adventure with Him. The highest praise we can give to God is to give our lives to Him!

Dad and I join church after accepting Christ!

So I ask again… what does your beginning look like? Someone may need to hear it.

Shine on. . .

Karan k

Attention Paid: A Tale from the Booth

Does this grab your attention? Just checking. . .
“But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” Acts 9:6 English Standard Version
From my booth I noticed a driver in a luxury station wagon traveling toward our Interchange entrance to access the Turnpike. He headed for the EZPass only lane but appeared distracted. I didn’t think much about it until a loud CRASH sent metal and plastic debris all over our entry lane! His car ran head on into the yellow cement bullnose! So much for his nice car, it was smasharooneys as those bull noses ain’t playin!
Fortunately no vehicles, especially trucks, were following him closely or he’d be history. Was he texting? No, but he admitted to the police he was looking for his EZPass and became distracted. In a moving vehicle, not a smart move. He should have paid better attention.
Ever see the movie Seven Pounds?  Released in 2008, it stars Will Smith and Rosario Dawson. It’s a very hard hitting story about how quickly ones life can change when we’re not paying attention.
How are you at following the rules or following directions? Do you pay attention the first time or do you have to be told more than once?
The first time I took my drivers test shortly after I turned 16, I quivered with fear as I sat behind the wheel next to the state trooper conducting the exam. I wanted to do everything right. But after the initial part of the test that evaluated your knowledge of your vehicle’s instruments, I forgot to turn off the headlights.
This realization distracted me during the toughest part of the test. The three point turn. I thought I would fail the test if I let the lights in the ON position. So while performing the three-point turn, I carefully reached down to push off the lights and then bump! My little green Pinto nudged the guardrail of the driving course.
Immediately the officer had me stop the car and the test.
“You know I have to fail you,” he said. “But you learned a valuable lesson that most people do not learn— just how quickly an accident can happen.”
Of course I didn’t appreciate the lesson at the time. Failing my driver’s test devastated me. However, I never forgot the words of the kind officer. What he said proved true not only on the road but in many other areas of life.
Distractions sometimes sneak, sometimes march into all our lives. And at times we notice, other times we’re oblivious. Focus cannot be maintained if we don’t pay attention. God has many fulfilling things for us to see, learn and experience if we’ll just keep looking to Him and pay attention. Otherwise, things will eventually go awry.
sit up and pay attention
So what in your life do you need to pay  some attention to at this point in time?
 Remember: Paying attention is always better than paying the price.
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23 New American Standard Version
Shine on. . .
karan k

Boomerangs

 

“Don’t be quick to fly off the handle. Anger boomerangs. You can spot a fool by the lumps on his head.” Ecclesiastes 7:9 The Message Bible

What’s your favorite amusement park ride? Ferris Wheel? Bumper cars? Tilt-A-Whirl?  By and large most people favor the speed and excitement of the roller coaster. Consider specifically boomerang coasters. There are currently 55 in operation around the globe. There are two boomerang roller coasters in Pennsylvania; one at Dorney park and one at Hershey park.

Dutch by design and manufacturing, the Boomerang roller coaster hit the scene for purchase in 1984. The coaster plunges forward into inverted thrills and then  returns backwards giving  it the Boomerang name.

Did you have a boomerang as a kid? My older brother got one as a birthday gift and my six year old mind watched in amazement as it returned to him each time he threw it. Seemed like magic.

According to the Boomerang Association of Australia, “If it doesn’t come back, it’s not a boomerang.”

The Bible also has a Boomerang or two of its own. The first Boomerang effect God says is about His Word, whether spoken or written, His message will return to Him.

“So will My message be that goes out of My mouth— it won’t return to Me empty. Instead it will accomplish what I desire, and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 International Standard version

The second biblical boomerang is a principle for us to learn about our own motives and actions returning to us.

 

Sowers must be good throwers

Like a boomerang, whatever we throw out in life will be returned to us. If we throw out kindness, kindness will come back. If we throw out rage, rage will return to us in some manner at some point. In life it’s not always an instant return but it’s a principle you can depend on experiencing. So be careful only to throw out good stuff because like a boomerang, it will come back to you.

As sowers, we must also be good throwers, because in the end it matters how you throw what you sow.

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return.” Galatians 6:7 Berean Study Bible

Shine on. . .

karan k

Gracefully

 

“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. ” I Peter 3:3 New Living translation

The famous older face of Lucille Ball—strikingly gorgeous!

“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”                                  —–Lucille Ball

Anyone ever tell you that you’re beautiful on the inside? It’s true that being attractive is more about what comes out from the inside than what you look like on the outside. True beauty has its origins on the inside, in the heart.

As Christ followers that is a deep compliment for our spirit. But our flesh or humanity doesn’t care for that sort of backhanded compliment, does it? We all want to feel good about how we look.

 

HOW DO I LOOK? Well put together? Stylish? Frumpy? Tired? Too fat? Too thin? Pale? Healthy?

It’s a question I often ask my husband. I want him to be honest with me but I realize at my current age there may be coming a time when he will seriously consider fudging his answer so as to spare my delicate feelings.

I’ve always wanted to grow old gracefully but I think it’s more a state of mind than actual physical appearance. Ever notice how someone can look all mean and sour one moment and then something makes them laugh or smile? When the smile hits their face suddenly they look totally different. The smile drags years off their face. It doesn’t matter if they’re old and wrinkled as long as their heart is light they remain attractive through their attitude.

smiling is youthful and attractive at any age

As we age we can eat healthy, exercise and cleanse our skin with nutrient rich products. All wonderful practices as long as we do not become obsessed with our physical appearance. Obsession will wear us out in the end. As always, balance is key.

Do your best to take care of yourself and then ask God for grace to accept and love the face you see in your mirror. Then you can gracefully FLURISH through the aging process.

“You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” I Peter 3:4 New Living translation

Shine on. . .
karan k