All posts by Karan Klassen

Shine On Sign Off

“. . .Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Philippians 2:15b New Living Translation



I’ve noticed more items with the phrase “Shine On” for purchase in shops lately. I received a sweatshirt for Christmas with “Shine On” printed on the front and for my birthday, a wall hanging with the same phrase. Perhaps it’s a new trend? I hope it does spread because it’s a beautiful timeless idea and I will use it whether it’s en vogue or not.

I wear a thumb ring on my left hand that I’ve had for about 8 years now. It was given to me by one of my sweet and closest friends when I first became a Life Coach. I named my coaching ministry StudioShine so my friend found this ring to highlight this new venture in my life.

The ring is imprinted with the words “Shine On!” across the outside and it has become such a part of me that I rarely remove it. It has withstood eight years of daily abuse and remains in good condition. I’m grateful for its durability because I fear I could not replace it if it was damaged or lost. I like it so much that I decided to use it for FLURISH. If you’re a regular FLURISH reader you may recognize “Shine On” as the sign off I include at the end of every post. It’s a symbol of my hearts desire so it’s very important to me.

A precious gift I hope to have forever!

The best part about the ring is hidden on the inside of the metal and I had forgotten about it until the other day. I decided to remove the ring to refresh my memory. On the inside rim these words are inscribed, “The World Needs Your Beautiful Light”. So the complete message of the ring is:

SHINE ON—- The World Needs Your Beautiful Light.

Isn’t that great? What a wonderful gift! This tiny ring has encouraged me so often when the temptation to give up prowls around in my mind. Someone somewhere needs the light only I can shine. It encourages me to keep going, keep trusting, keep FLURISHING and keep shining on!


The same is true for you if you’re a believer in Christ. We hold HIS eternal Light within us and we just need to let it shine out of us because someone in this cold world needs the warmth and hope only HIS Light offers through us. How do you let HIM shine through you?

“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:!6 New Living Translation

Shine on wherever you are. . .

karan k



What Women Want


If you are a woman reading this, what is it that you want most? Anything jump to the forefront of your mind?

For me I’d have to say I most want to be appreciated and understood and at the least acknowledged as a positive life form (thought well of) from those I consider close to me. I don’t expect these things from anyone else. How about you. What do you really want?

Remember one of Mel Gibson’s movies entitled “What Women Want”?


The movie came out in 2000 about an extreme ladies man who gains the ability to hear women’s thoughts after he has a freak accident. One particular woman he hears at his office is a file girl played by Judy Greer. She is well aware that she goes unnoticed day after day in her work place. Mel Gibson’s character now hears her thoughts. She believes her life matters to no one. She’s contemplating suicide.

The world the file girl lives in is fast paced and people are not paying attention to her, at least not until Mel Gibson’s character hears her dangerous thoughts. Most of us live in this same type of hurried situation day in and day out.

You’ll have to watch the movie or google it to see how things resolve but do you ever feel like the file girl? Like you don’t matter in this rat race life? That no one sees or cares about the details of your day to day existence? Perhaps you are facing something tragic or challenging? Don’t try to run, hide or worse.

In Genesis 16 Hagar was running away because her situation with Abram and Sarai was difficult and complicated. She was a servant used as a surrogate mother and now that she was pregnant she felt resentful. Used, unwanted and abused she probably felt a lot worse than the file girl in Gibson’s movie.

But as Hagar hid in the wilderness, God found her and spoke to her about her life and future, giving her hope. Genesis 16:6-12. Hagar responded by calling God El Roi which is a Hebrew term meaning “the God who sees me”.

I am extremely grateful that God is never too busy or preoccupied to notice us, His children. All we have to do is call out to Him and He hears us. He knows everything about us everyday, every minute, every second. Only an all-knowing, almighty God could keep up with so many people and love each of us as if we were HIS only child.

Today remember HE sees you! Focus on the truth of HIS abiding presence. HE is available if we want Him, He’s only a breath away, call Him. He sees you. He’s waiting.

If I am seen, known and loved by my Lord that really is all this woman wants. What about you?

Shine on. . .
karan k

Sweet Read

Praising God for the ability to read ūüôā

So I just finished another 12 hour shift that I honestly did not want to work but we’re short of help right now. I didn’t have a choice. When this happens I always ask ¬†God for grace. I need it for my body to hold up and so I don’t get cranky with my customers and/or make costly mistakes. I recognize I can’t get through this on my own in a positive way. (John 15:5) ¬†He answered my request and added a sweet something I didn’t expect.

The hours were going by saturated in grace as I refused to allow non-work as well as work related problems to agitate me. But oh how they tried.

One of them included a giant jackhammer that pounded through the concrete next to my booth all day. Reminded me of the scene in LOTR’s ” The Return of the King” where Frodo is battling the giant spider and SHE keeps trying to sting him but with added sound effects like a magnified dentist’s drill. Makes me shudder thinking about it.

Frodo battles Shelob

Anyway, later in the day ¬†while the jack hammering continued, I began reading a book between customers. It just drew me in and I could not stop reading. ¬†It wasn’t ¬†necessarily an adventure story, although it was someone’s adventure. It wasn’t a steamy romance, sci-fi fantasy or crime novel. It was a self help memoir of all things. ¬†Who ¬†knew? The book was given to my husband by a friend. While he was finishing a current book I snagged it and finished it in record time. For me it was quite enlightening and gave my whole day a huge lift. It was a sweet read.

The power of a good read no matter the genre should not be underestimated. Have you experienced any sweet reads lately?

Reading can enhance your ability to FLURISH. It did for me today even under adverse conditions. If you haven’t read any good books for awhile, put it on your ASAP TO DO LIST. You won’t be sorry.

Shine on. . .
karan k


Back in Action

“Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.” Psalm 55:2 New Living Translation

“Back in Action!” one of my coworkers announced. His computer crashed without warning. His lane had to be closed an hour for repair. He had to shut everything down until attention could be given to specific issues and adjustments could be made to restore proper functioning.

Ever experience something appearing out of nowhere that totally shuts you down? Could be a physical illness or accident, an emotional crisis or loss, hard financial news etc.? How do you react? Do you take it in stride? Do you get angry? Do you worry? Do you fall apart?

No one likes to lose their collectedness in public. It’s embarrassing, but these situations are no fun in private either. Sometimes the hurt and pain is so intense, so personal that it is hard to open up about it to another person. Someone else may not understand and then trivialize your feelings. That’s a total bummer.

The enemy of our souls wants nothing better than to take us out of action. His desire is to render us wounded and unable to carry on our Kingdom work. (John 10:10) But there is a repairman available 24/7.

Repairs Needed

One of my closest friends likes the hymn “There’s Not a Friend Like the Lowly Jesus”. I suspect she found the song comforting when life was painful time after time and there were no friends available. I’ve thought about the words many times since she brought it to my attention. It’s a solid reminder that I am never alone and neither are you. Here are just a few of the stanzas:

There’s Not a Friend Like the Lowly Jesus
Johnson Oatman

“There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus:
No, not one! No, not one!
None else could heal all our souls’ diseases:
No, not one! No, not one!

Jesus knows all about our struggles;
He will guide ’til the day is done:
There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus:
No, not one! No, not one!

There’s not an hour that He is not near us,
No! Not one! No! Not one!
No night so dark, but His love can cheer us,
No! Not one! No, Not one!

Jesus will always help us with whatever comes our way. ¬†He’s the ultimate Repairman! Call on Him and let Him help you so you can be “Back in Action” in as little time as possible.

Shine on. . .
karan k




March Madness?

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecllesiastes 3:1 New Living Translation

So I’m not an NCAA Men’s Basketball fan but I do get mad every March. It’s my least favorite month. In my neck of the world March equals strong winds and usually cold weather. That nasty ¬†wind can make March more dreaded and miserable than January or February in my book, especially since I work a job exposed to the elements.

So the Lion of March is here but I am enjoying his roar just a little bit more this year. Here are my reasons:

First thing I did was create a ¬†season of celebration. Twelve ¬†years ago ¬†when I knew I’d be getting married soon, I decided to transform March by getting married mid-month. This would ¬†prevent my focus from crash and burning through the 31 days of March every year. Now I have an anniversary to celebrate every March and so far it’s successfully chased the madness into oblivion.


A Carribbean wedding ¬†on the beach in St. Lucia totally made March rock in 2007. Yearly anniversary celebrations have included travel to warmer destinations such as California several times, Bahamas, Florida, Colorado, and Texas to name a few. But this¬†year there won’t be any warm escapes from the blasts of March since we explored four Hawaiian islands at the end of last year.

Without travel, I needed some new March perceptions. The first one dealt with my wily nemesis, wind directly;

According to Agrometeorology, the direction of wind and its speed have significant influence on our crop growth. Wind velocity increases the turbulence in the atmosphere which increases the supply of carbon dioxide to plants resulting in greater photosynthesis rates. We need photosynthesis for  oxygen and Whole  Green Foods!

Aha! Did not know that. So now my attitude adjusts a wee bit about March. Knowing there is a positive reason for the pesky wind helps soften my temper. This softened temper opened some long forgotten memories from storage boxes in my mind about windy days in March. Thus the second new March perception, more indirect in nature;

In the early seventies the local park held a kite flying contest every year on a Saturday morning in March. I wanted to participate but I didn’t have a kite. My father was by no means easy to talk to or physically affectionate. In fact, he rarely spoke to me. However, my father was a creative person and offered to make me a kite.

Being very resourceful and frugal, my father used surplus materials he had from other projects to make my kite. He built the 3 foot frame with wood scraps and covered it in an old sheet which he painted completely in a light green color leftover from painting the trim on our house. Disappointed because it was not a pretty green I’m sure I wore a sulky attitude on my face but I knew better than to complain out loud.

I didn’t realize that my father was not finished. I found out he went to the old hardware store in a neighboring town and bought some new supplies. This surprised me and when I saw the finished product, I felt sure it would win a prize. A large kelly green shamrock outlined in shiny gold sequins adorned the drab green canvas kite. It looked gorgeous! I could hardly wait ’til the day of the contest.

When the day arrived, my father and I flew the kite together and it soared with all the other kites. It wasn’t the highest flying kite but it did win a ribbon for best homemade kite. For the next two years he made me a new kite for the March contest always winning best homemade kite.

Looking back I believe his kites were his way of saying “I love you” and for that I wish every month had been March.

What are your memories of March?


Shine on. . .
karan k


First Crush: Platforms and Earth Shoes

DIBLASI’S sandwich shop. . . I’d been waiting for this night for months. My best friend and I ate cheesesteaks and french fries while planning our strategy for the evening. We walked back to her place after eating and changed into our outfits for the evening.

It was the night of our middle school dance. I chose snug fitting bell bottoms and platform shoes paired with an off white peasant top embroidered with multi colored threads around the edges of the neck and sleeves. I decided on an au naturalle look and let my long strawberry blonde hair flow freely across my shoulders and down my back. This was as good as I could possibly look. I felt confident. I did not want to be a wall flower. My mother told me “You got a mouth, learn how to use it.” So I determined to ask all the cute popular guys to dance in case no one asked me.

When we arrived at the school the outside portico buzzed with preteen energy. Making our way through the crowd and into the cafeteria, we found a good spot where we could see everything. Soon our group of friends rushed over and everyone talked about who they hoped would ask them to dance.

The first song began pulsating through the speaker system S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT! Saturday Night by the Bay City Rollers got the party started. I watched as mostly girls flung themselves across the dance floor. A group of jocks across the room laughed as they talked among themselves totally caught up in each other. Most of them were on my mental dance list.


Then I saw the kid from my homeroom hangin around the entrance. He  wore brown plastic glasses that were usually smudged and earth shoes. I tried to avoid his eyes. He talked to me a lot at lunchtime about tv shows we both liked and some of the bullies in our class. He was forever getting picked on by bigger guys. He always seemed to enjoy my sympathy.

First slow song began. “Mandy” by Barry Manilow, not a favorite but I decided not to waste any time. As I walked across the room toward the first guy on my list I could see the homeroom kid watching me. I ignored him and arrived at my destination. I asked the first guy to dance. He said ok and out we went. He hunched over me in that awkward way and I kept my eyes closed most of the time. When I opened them, I could see the homeroom kid continuing to watch.

The next song was “The Hustle”, you know, Do the Hustle! All my friends wanted to dance since we learned the steps in gym class earlier that year. So we went out as a group and all of sudden homeroom kid comes out to dance. He starts movin and groovin around the floor. He wasn’t John Travolta but he was pretty darn good. We were all looking at each other like “what the heck”? I was amazed. He just wove in and out between my friends and I. It was a blast.

Do the Hustle!

Every slow dance I successfully got a different jock to dance with me. All the fast dances I was out with my friends and the kid from homeroom joined us. KC and the Sunshine band, the BeeGees and Elton John tunes carried us through the night. And then the last dance was announced.

It was a slow dance and I had one guy left on my list, the most popular guy in our class, tall dark and handsome. On my way over to ask him, I was intercepted by the homeroom kid.

He saked me to dance and my heart sank. I didn’t want to dance the last dance with the homeroom kid. But the haunting voice of Eric Carmen singing “All By Myself”struck my heart a crucial blow and ¬†I gave up my plan and said yes. My friends all danced with partners they dreamed of all year and shook their heads at me. But just like his fast dancing, the homeroom guy knew how to slow dance in a way those jocks had no clue about. The jocks were stiff and awkward, but he was fluid and confident. I sensed a genuine caring within him even at age 12.

When the song came to an end he grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the exit before the mass of middle schoolers exploded into departure mode behind us. We ran across the portico and stood against one of the pillars in a corner. He took off his glasses and gave me the biggest longest kiss sending me headlong into my first crush. All I kept thinking about was what my mother said ’cause This guy “had a mouth and he sure knew how to use it!”

It was an unforgettable lesson in not judging a book by its cover.

February 27, 2018

With God’s help I faced my fear of public speaking and ¬†successfully told this story at this months Story Slam in Lancaster city earlier tonight. It was a hoot!

Shine on. . .

karan k



Common Cents In Plain Sight

Teeny Tale  from the Booth

“Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.” Psalm 4:4 + 5 English Standard Version

My cuddliest pet peeve on my job as a toll collector is when a customer pulls up and hands me their ticket and money together with hidden change on the bottom. It’s almost always a change chasing moment, with coins rolling under the car or down the lane. Since speed and efficiency are important to waiting customers, chasing dropped change is an unwelcome interruption to traffic flow. And sometimes the change dropping customers seem the most irritated by the delay.

Have you ever dropped change during a transaction at a toll booth or in a grocery store line? What are your thoughts and experiences? Did you become frustrated?

In these instances I have to breathe a prayer asking for extra grace.

Otherwise I get so frustrated wondering how they expect the collector to know what they are being handed. Common sense dictates placing the change in PLAIN SIGHT on top of the bills when handing it to someone if you want to avoid  chasing change. Right?

Proper way to hand change


But how often do we expect people to know things about us that just like the coins are also hidden? We think because we know something or feel something that everyone else does or should as well. We think it should be obvious to others like it is to us. And when we don’t get the reaction we expect, frustration can easily occur. At times we feel insulted thinking, if they really cared they would KNOW this or that. Ever experience that?

It can be especially painful when dealing with someone close to you. A family member, a close friend or especially a spouse. We MUST remember NO ONE can read our minds except GOD. Period! You must fight the urge to feel offended. Or the urge to entertain condescending thoughts (possibly accompanied by the dreaded eye roll—-I am so guilty of this).

Are you are tired of being disappointed? Tired of being frustrated? Then join me to bust up this hidden block to the FLURISHING life. Carefully consider the expectations you place on those who share a close relationship with you and during daily interactions with strangers.

Endeavor to put things in PLAIN SIGHT by;

  1. Consciously questioning the fairness of your expectations.
  2.  Considering others may have a totally different view from your own.
  3. Choosing to communicate clearly and thoroughly.
  4. Covering others offenses real or imaginary in love.

These practices if done consistently can help you FLURISH and avoid frustration.

Hand out love wherever you call home!

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8 New International Version
Shine on. . .
karan k


“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you¬†always even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 New Living Translation

Our daughter finished high school in 2012. For her graduation gift we sent her to Germany for six weeks to visit her foreign exchange family she met the year before in Bavaria. The plan was for us to follow after the first 3 weeks and stay nearby in a local pension or what we would call a bed and breakfast.

The first thing we noticed is that Bavaria is a place that truly looks like it was ripped from the pages of a fairytale. Quaint little villages with tiny houses and shops in varied bright colors nestled here and there along cobblestone streets. Baskets hanging from lamp posts lined the streets and window boxes on the cottages all brimming over with beautiful blooms of pink, white and purples. It felt surreal.

The bed and breakfast where we stayed oozed adorability. Everything smaller in size than what we were used to  but clean and tidy with fresh flowers daily. The doors and walls were heavy, old and wooden but kept in tiptop shape.

Heavy Bavarian breakfast

The food the inn keeper served delighted our eyes as well as our stomachs. Eggs with the deepest orange yolks I ever saw, fresh sausages, pancake crepe creations, fresh milk, various bacons and a score of pastries laid out neatly on our table every morning. (Across the street was the town bakery and the Bavarian people pick up fresh baked delicacies every morning.) Talk about Foodie Heaven, this was it! Everything naturally organic because they didn’t use preservatives in Germany.

Bavarian bread basket

We visited many of the famous sights as well as some out of the way places with the German family who were very gracious to show us around for three full weeks. So many wonderful memories and countless cross-cultural experiences. It far exceeded any expectations I had of what I perceived of Germany.

Only one thing dampened the joy of this Bavarian Odyssey. Everywhere we went the people seemed tragically indifferent toward God. The towering ornate cathedrals reeked of deadness. Each one we visited felt cold, just a lifeless shell of an architectural marvel. My heart ached for the German people at this point. The beauty of God’s creation surrounded them and yet they did not have eyes to see. The majesty of the Alps alone sent thrills throughout my entire being evoking praise and gratitude to my Creator God. Not so of the people I encountered. They did not give God much thought let alone credit.

While touring one cathedral our German guide pointed out the beautifully carved and painted ceiling. I noticed a dove sculpted into the eaves and asked about it. He explained the dove represented the Holy Spirit.

“You know that you are God’s sanctuary and that God’s Spirit lives in you, don’t you?” I Corinthians 3:16 International Standard Version

Happy to hear this I asked how the Holy Spirit interacts with him. He said the Holy Spirit is carved into the high ceiling to symbolize how far away He is and that man cannot reach Him. I explained I have a very different view about the Holy Spirit based on biblical passages and my own experience with Him. The guide listened intently but could not grasp the idea of the Holy Spirit living in a human heart as I told him I believe.

I wonder if this idea about the Holy Spirit being far away is a commonly held belief by Germans? Without  knowing what the scriptures teach and experiencing the presence of God through His Holy Spirit in the world and in my heart, I suppose I would be indifferent and apathetic about God too. But knowing the truth certainly does set one free to experience the glory and majesty of our Great God!

“And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father.'” Galatians 4:6 New Living translation

Please pray for revival to spread throughout Germany that they may have a desire to read the Bible for themselves and see what they are missing. That they may receive the truth and discover that they too can know God personally, that He is not faraway but desires to live in their hearts through His precious Holy Spirit!

Shine on. . .

karan k


Call the Midwife!

“Never trust anyone completely but God. Love people, but put your full trust in God.” —Lawrence Welk

I admit I know very little about Midwives. I did try to watch the popular tv drama “Call the Midwife” once but I was too squeamish to finish even one episode. But I do have a little story to share involving a Midwife.

Over 35 years ago I had a friend who was adamant about not wanting to have children. She never gave details as to why. She complained when women’s magazines printed articles on children and parenting. She felt they over focussed on childrearing and took personal offense. I listened but didn’t know what to say that would not offend her further. So I remained silent and let her vent whenever she felt the need.

This same friend also claimed to be an Agnostic. She believed there was not enough evidence for or against the existence of God. We had many discussions over the years about our differing belief systems.

In the late 80s she divorced her husband and later remarried. Imagine my surprise when she told me in early 1992 that she was pregnant! I couldn’t believe it! ¬†Was this the same woman who complained at length about children?

Nine months later as she gave birth in a local hospital she experienced a change of heart and mind. Seeing the birth of her daughter was proof  enough to her that God does indeed exist. She adored her baby and became a loving mother at age 34.

Shortly after her daughter turned one, she moved several hours away to a sparsely populated area in the North. We continued to keep in touch and I visited on occasion when time afforded a road trip. I encouraged her and her budding faith as often as I could.

In 1995 she told me she would be having another child the next spring. This time she wanted a more natural child birth experience at home with a Midwife. I admired her for her courage.

Months rolled by and one day I got a frantic call from my friend. Her delivery time was approaching and her husband was out of state on a business trip. She was scared because the only Midwife in her secluded mountain area had taken a full-time job and could only assist with delivering babies on certain days during certain hours. She asked me to pray that the baby would come when the Midwife was available.

So I took her urgent request to my ladies Bible study group and asked them to join me in praying. Now I must tell you these dear women loved the Lord. They were older mentors for me and each of them had gone through childbirth themselves, some several times. I was the only one in the group who never experienced pregnancy.

So when I made my request, they snickered. One of them even said, “A baby will come when it’s good and ready.” I could tell they thought my prayer request was foolish. But I was not deterred.

I knew that our great God cared about my friend. HE cared about the fears that were trying to dampen her faith. HE cared about her struggle. I knew HE alone was in sovereign control over the exact moment that baby was to be born. So I prayed for the baby to come when the Midwife was available, believing, inspite of what the other ladies thought. I trusted in HIS best for my friend.

What do you think happened?

When her labor came and proper dilation occurred she called the Midwife. By the grace of God the Midwife had just finished her shift and was able to attend to my friend immediately. My friend successfully delivered a healthy baby boy to join her toddler daughter. Her faith was strengthened by this specific answer to prayer and so was mine!

So never let anyone discourage your faith in God’s care for you! Trust HIM above all others, even those you respect and your faith will FLURISH!



“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” Psalm 118:8 New King James Bible

Shine on. . .

karan k


Supernatural Snow Day

“Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters.” Proverbs 25:13 English Standard version



If you happen to live in cooler climates, you might be well acquainted with the term “snow day”. Those of us who grew up in the Northeastern area of the US probably remember listening anxiously to the radio or tv as kids early in the morning waiting for the announcement of school cancellations due to weather conditions.

Now our own kids or grandkids look forward to “snow days” just as we did—A free day with no school. Of course in the scheme of things, a snow day was followed later by a “make up” day to replace the required school hours that were lost during the “snow day”. But kids don’t care about such future details.

The good news for us as adults is we don’t have to wait for a snowstorm to grant us a “free snow day”. We ¬†can schedule our own every now and then. We can take some time to just BREATHE. We can put all the responsibilities on hold for a day. It will recharge our minds, bodies and souls.

We also are not forced into a “make up” day. We just trust and expect our Heavenly Father to help us with anything that piled up during our day with Him. I have found Him to be faithful each and every time I do this to help me catch up on whatever work I have. It’s a supernatural thing!

Relaxing with JESUS

The trick is to actually TAKE a “free day”. To entrust your myriad of responsibilities to the Lord who loves you for one 24 hour period and not fret over them. HE actually expects us to do this once a week not once in a blue moon. HE gave us the Sabbath to refresh us to better serve and worship Him. HE knows we need it it whether we realize it or not. ¬†(Luke 4:16 for any desiring New Testament proof—Jesus is our ultimate example) We need to incorporate this into our weekly lives no matter what our work schedules dictate.

I have worked weekends for 29 years now and it has been a challenge to take my “snow days” or Sabbath days. Sometimes corporate worship with other believers cannot take place the same day as my “snow day” time with Him due to my work schedule, but that’s ok. ¬†He sees my heart and knows my desire is to be with Him so I proactively plan to do it as regularly as I can. This will be different for each of us.

Let HIM melt your heart of stone

For many years I didn’t carve out a 24 hour Sabbath for myself and burn out would overtake me.¬†When I was young it took longer to burn out but now I grow tired faster which is actually a blessing since it forces me to physically rest. ¬† Illness sometimes created forced “snow days”. But now I want to be proactive and obedient to HIS command. I don’t always do too well but I keep trying because I know HIS ways are higher than mine so I trust HIM rather than what I think or my schedule dictates.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 English Standard Version

Our world is so busy and everything seems important. The more complicated our world becomes the more we NEED weekly undivided time set apart with Jesus in addition to daily communication with Him.  We need to rest, to refresh and to refuel to FLURISH!

February 2018


Today I’m taking a “snow day” supernaturally as well as physically!! When was your last “snow day”?

Shine on. . .
karan k


Sent from my iPad


Prayer, Paper, Passion

“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Michelangelo

Without a dream, goals are rather useless. Completed tasks need a common target to make the most of each shot.

I am not one to make New Years resolutions but I do like to make goals for each new year. Time slips by so quickly and I want to accomplish things while my health and energy allow it. Carpe Diem if you will. SEIZE THE DAY!

I first heard that term in 1989 while watching a new movie with a new friend. Since that day I’ve watched that bittersweet movie many times. Dead Poet’s Society stars Robin Williams as a new English teacher at a stuffy boys prep school who attempts to teach using very unorthodox methods. One of the ideas he promotes is “Carpe Diem” a phrase from the Roman poet Horace, literally translated “Pluck the Day”. However, the term “Seize the day” has become the popular translation in our modern times.

Merriam-Webster defines carpe diem as a term of exclamation “used to urge someone to make the most of the present time and give little thought to the future.”

Now I like the idea of seizing the day but to attain goals you also have to reach into the future. You need to make some plans that become steps into the unknown toward achieving whatever goal you desire.

So what goals are on your horizon? What do you want to accomplish before 2018 closes? As we begin the second month of this fresh new year, ponder and pray about your passions. Then make a plan. Write it out on paper. ¬†With God’s leading guidance there are no limits.

My year is turning into one of developing and practicing speaking skills. I jumped into Toast Masters last month. One goal now achieved. {I had been putting it off for months due to fear}. But I promised Jesus I would Trust and Obey. . . It turned out to be a fantastic experience! I hope to join and attend regularly, speaking as often as I am allowed.

Just today I received an invitation to join a friend to try a story telling competition at the end of this month. And the ginormous goal for this year is a Ladies Conference in Texas. Guess who the keynote speaker will be for two days? I covet your prayers as I move toward that goal in faith. I want to do my best for my King and His Kingdom here on earth.

So again, I ask you; WHAT IS YOUR DREAM? WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS? HAVE YOU MADE SOME PLANS? HAVE YOU COMMITTED THEM TO PAPER? Share with us and may we encourage each other.

Don’t delay! Seize the Day!


“. . . Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times. Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.”
Ephesians 5:16 & 17 The Message Bible

Shine on . .

karan k





Amigo Experiment

“Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.”

I Corinthians 15:33 New International Version

My paraphrase is; “Choose your friends wisely. You become like those with whom you spend your time.”

As I approached the grand ole age of fifty, I decided to be proactive about my friendships. I have several precious long time friends but unfortunately some of them live out of state and time with them is limited. So I wanted to surround myself with good people who lived in my general vicinity. People who were solid in their faith. People I could rely on, seek counsel from, share burdens in prayer and spend quality time with on a regular basis. I talked it over with God.


With fifty years behind me I felt His lead to make my remaining time count. I wanted to be shaped by people I respected and had a solid hold on Jesus’ hand. I prayed and names began coming to mind. I discussed my ideas with my husband. With his approval we moved forward and came up with a plan.

Sojourners 2017
Dinner out— one sojourner missing from photo

We organized a dinner party for eight. I sent out invitations and was delighted when all three couples responded positively. I hired a chef and coerced our kids to be the wait staff, freeing up Dwight and I to focus on our prospective friends. I threw together a few games to get to know each other because some of the people never met before.

Silly times together alleviate stress

After our sumptuous meal, we retired to the living room and I explained my plan to form a close knit group of friends who I felt would encourage growth and Godliness in our lives. As that information sank in we played the games and later they shared how they felt about the ideas I laid out. No one objected to the ideas I put forth. Some said they were honored to be invited and some were quiet but all agreed to move forward. The Sojourners group was born five years ago.

Disney Fun

From the King James dictionary, a sojourner is: A temporary resident; a stranger or traveler who dwells in a place for a time. As in I Chronicles 29:15. So we are a group of travelers on earth passing through on our way toward home.

Coffee and prayer times

We regularly share prayer requests. We get together for meals out, or special themed dinners at home rotating at all four locations. Sometimes we see movies together. We uplift one another through difficult times such as illness, transitions and blessings. We share together, weep together and laugh together.

Fit and healthy fun

We’ve gotten to know each other on a deeper level. Sometimes common interests draw members off on their own. We have two writers, four campers, one photographer, four bicyclists, and an avid foodie. I’m sure we’ll learn more about each other and our great God as the next five years roll on.

Encouraging each other to use our gifts

We have each other’s back which is such a comfort and joy. ¬†Each couple is involved in ministry of their own so we make the best use of our time together which isn’t as often as we like but the Lord multiplies it to replenish us to continue serving wherever we are called.

supportive when illness strikes

I encourage you if you do not belong to a small group of Godly friends at this point in your life, make the effort to join one or form your own as I did. The blessings are immeasurable. We need each other more and more as the Day of the Lord approaches!

Enjoying a magic show


“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25 New Living Translation

Shine on. . .

karan k



North Shore Adventure Part II: The Time of My Life

After our lovely bike ride and photography session along the Banzai Pipeline I picked the next adventure. The shuttle skirted around the bay just a short mile and dropped us off in Waimea Valley. We walked into an amazingly lush 1,800 acre botanical sanctuary for rare birds and over 5,000 species of plants endemic to Hawaii.

I believe this was the most beautiful display of greenery I’ve seen in my life. Every angle was a fabulous photo op. So of course my photographer husband dove into photo taking frenzy mode. But unbeknownst to him, I had a goal which needed immediate attention to reach.


I wanted to hike to a waterfall at the edge of the garden. I dreamed of a romantic lunch in a scenic spot and swimming in a fresh pool with a waterfall. Now my dear husband knew I wanted to go to the waterfall but he had no idea that I had romanticized about it in my mind. So he meandered along the trail snapping photos of everything while I grew impatient and finally we broke into a spat. I told him I was headed to the waterfall and stomped away in a huff.

During my twenty minute hike at a fast clip, I muttered and complained to God out loud since no one else was around.

“Why doesn’t he understand how important this is to me? I went with him to his photo tours.”

In a still small voice I heard the Father speak in a gentle tone to my heart.

“Remember, Dwight has never been to Hawaii before. He’s overwhelmed by the beauty I created. Let him enjoy it his way. You come with Me. You were worried about having special alone time with Me, so this is your chance. This will be our adventure together at the waterfall.”

Peacock hiding in shrubbery

That was all I needed to hear. Immediately my heart shed the frustration toward Dwight and overflowed with excitement knowing I had heard from my heavenly Father and He wanted to go on this adventure with me. My pace quickened and I reached the waterfall in no time. My heart pumping with joy, the young attendant took notice and said;

“Nice to see someone so eager to get in the water. You know it’s really cold in there since this is our winter season.”

“I don’t care, I just hiked up here so I could swim in the waterfall pool. I’m hot and need to cool off,” I replied.


I crawled down over the slippery rocks  abandoning any fear and dove into the 30 foot deep pool. The exhilaration was indescribable. I could feel the presence of my Lord with me as I bobbed around in the fresh cold water.  I struggled to swim toward the waterfall even though I approached from the side rather than head on because of the tremendous pressure.


At one point my energy waned and discouragement made an attempt to overcome me. But the voice of my Lord spoke into my heart again saying, “Relax, I AM here and you have a life jacket on, just enjoy floating with Me awhile.” I followed His instruction and quit fighting the pull and allowed my body to glide across the invigorating waters. To say I had the time of my life is a gross understatement. When do you get to swim in a waterfall . . . with GOD??

In time He helped me get over to the side and find a ledge next to the waterfall where I got my photo taken by my sweet husband who made his way to the waterfall afterall. This remains the highlight for me of a very eventful trip.



How do you experience Jesus in every day life? How does He communicate with you? Each of us has the opportunity to be intimate and close to Him the more we focus on His reality and spend time in His word. He forms a deep bond in your soul if you let Him and each of us can have a totally individualized custom-made relationship with Him IF we choose it. Even on vacation!

Shine on. . .

karan k


North Shore Adventure: Part I

“There is precious treasure and oil in the house of the wise [who prepare for the future], but a short-sighted and foolish man swallows it up and wastes it.” Proverbs 21:20 Amplified Bible

While vacationing on Oahu, Hawaii my husband Dwight and I had a great desire to travel from Honolulu to the North shore of the island. It was approximately a 45 minute drive so we booked a shuttle excursion because it cost less than a rental car.

In addition to the shuttle passage through pineapple plantations, our excursion included two activities in the North shore area. We were able to choose from a long list of inviting adventures.

The first thing we decided to do was some bicycling. We rode along the Banzai Pipeline where the rich and famous have homes on the beach some valued over $5,000,000. We parked our bikes in a grove of palm trees where we were just a few steps from the beach.

Filled with glorious joy, Dwight strode out to the shoreline like a giddy school boy, camera clutched in his eager hands. The subject? Surfers practicing on the big waves for the next days competition.


Twenty-five to 30 foot waves came crashing toward him over and over as his camera clicked and captured the daring surfers unafraid to challenge the powerful tide. A photographers feast for film, Dwight delighted in every click of his shutter. I stood a good distance away in the shade of the palms observing my husband’s joy. There’s something so warming to the soul to watch first hand as someone you love experiences what I call “unbridled glee”. His smile ¬†bigger, his gait ¬†faster and he’s relishing every moment. My heart soared for him.

I had to praise Jesus for this utter blessing to see Dwight so happy. The Lord provided our jobs and some overtime and the grace to save money to afford this fabulous trip. It was worth every moment of self denial over the 12 months we saved to see Dwight thoroughly enjoy himself at the North Shore and many other Hawaiian adventures I have yet to record.


I hope these entries will inspire you to FLURISH through travel and see some of what our loving Father has created for us!


Shine on . . .

karan k

Leaning in to love


Sweet Trust

“Every word of God proves true. HE is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.” Proverbs 30:5 New Living translation

When I returned from my anniversary trip to Hawaii I went to visit my Mom at the nursing home as soon as I could. She never did well when I was away. So I was concerned and when I saw her she did not look good— slumped in her ¬†lift-recliner, pants down with depends showing and sweater struggling to cover her bulging belly.

Mom’s wedding in Hawaii 2001

I woke her up and when she saw me, she asked if I had gone to Hawaii yet? My heart dropped. I had been gone 3 and a half weeks without her cognizance. I fought back the tears. She hated it when she couldn’t remember. I knew her dementia had progressed.

Somehow the Spirit of the Lord showed me my time with her was short. We had three good visits together in the next two weeks. The last one being Christmas Day when she spent the afternoon at my house with family. She told me it would be the last time she leaves the nursing home because it was just too hard on her. But she said “It was a nice party” and was glad she could come one last time. That was Monday Christmas Day 2017. Little did I know what the next week held.

I saw her Thursday the 28th again because I was concerned about her. She seemed a bit better but two days later the nursing home called and requested I talk her into going to the hospital because something was terribly wrong. I hated to push her but it had to be done.

Mom’s speech was slurred when she came to the phone and she did not want to go to the hospital but by the grace of God I convinced her to go. Two hours later I met her in the emergency room at the local hospital. My husband Dwight stayed with us as two different paramedics tried to insert an IV at various locations to no avail. Mom screamed in pain because her veins were so tiny due to immense fluid retention. We requested lidocaine numbing spray and an IV specialist was called.

Mother Daughter Banquet

In the meantime the hospital ran some tests and a a chest catscan without contrast revealed something we never considered. Lung cancer. Massive tumors filled her lungs so every breath was a struggle for my precious mother. A year prior she developed breast cancer but was adamant about no mastectomies. So the surgeon did his best to remove the cancerous tissue. However, unbeknownst to all of us, cancer cells were missed and spread quickly throughout her lungs in a years time.

The doctor in the emergency room was kind and showed me photos of her lungs in 2016 as clear and less than a year later riddled with cancer. I went back to Mom and asked her if she wanted to know what the doctor said and she said she did. I told her it was lung cancer and she cried a little.

I held her hand and said, “This is what you’ve told me you wanted ever since I was six years old; to die and go to Jesus.” She looked at me with her little girl eyes and said, “Well, when you come right down to it, I’m not s sure.” She cried a little more. “So you are playin chicken with me my whole life,” I said trying to add some levity? “No, I wasn’t,” she said whimpering.

My 50th Birthday with Mom

I told her I would stay with her and we sang the hymn we sang together when my father died suddenly 30 years earlier.

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word:
Just to rest upon His promise;
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”


JESUS, JESUS, how I trust Him,
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er.
Oh for grace to trust bHim more.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious JESUS, Savior, Friend:
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

JESUS, JESUS, how I trust Him,
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er.
Oh for grace to trust Him more.


“Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
Louisa Stead and William Kirkpatrick
1882 inspired by Proverbs 30:5

That was the last day Mom was able to communicate completely even though every breath was difficult. They were precious hours spent together and I stayed the next two days with her in the hospital. Hospice was called in but due to it being a holiday weekend, they never got to help her. She passed from this life into the arms of Jesus late New Years Day night still holding my hand.

Together to the end

God’s amazing grace helped me as HE and I were all alone in that hospital room once she went home. Be encouraged for HE never left my side! Praise His glorious name! His words are true!

“. . .and be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b New Living translation

Shine on. . .
karan k