Category Archives: BALANCE

Labor of Love: Part I

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15 New International Version

I recently spoke to a woman who’s struggling in her current employment. She asked for prayer. She enjoyed her former job immensely. Said she felt coworkers were more like a family than staff. But the company folded without warning and now she found herself in this new employment position simply so she could survive financially.

Job loss, bills keep pouring in…

 

I also have a precious family member who’s been down this same traumatizing road of surprise job loss multiple times over the course of the last 15 years. The struggle is real and intense for many.

Perhaps you can relate or you know someone who can?

American workers normally spend 40 plus hours a week working at the same job. In the United Kingdom workers are considered full time after as little as 30 hours in some cases. German workers have 6 hour work days! The UK also has a ‘working time directive’ law limiting how many hours one can work in a certain time frame. Not a bad idea.

Africans can work up to 45 hours a week by law but not more. Australians typically have a 38 hour work week. In China, the hours for businessmen and women parallel the US and the UK, but the Chinese factory workers are less fortunate. It’s not unusual for them to work 16 or 17 hours each day 6 days a week!

In 2014 U.S. News reported German workers worked the least and Mexican workers labored the most during that calendar year. The U.S. fell somewhere in the middle. But as of this writing most countries are falling in line with the 40 hour work week standard with any hours beyond that considered overtime.

Work and the time spent traveling to and from make up the largest percentage of our waking hours for the longest chunk of our lives. It’s estimated that over 90,000 hours comprise the average workers time spent on the job during a lifetime. Add in travel time and roughly a third of our lives is devoted to work.

Let that sink in. Work is one third of our life!

Do we see the need to enjoy our work? God gave us the privilege of work because idleness is unhealthy for us. We need purpose to FLURISH and work is a part of that. We cannot FLURISH if we never enjoy our work.

Happy businessman sitting on chair in green field

Note Genesis 2:15, here God gives the care taking work of the garden to Adam. It is PRIOR to the Fall of Man. Work was NOT part of the curse. Work was designed to help fulfill us and enrich us. Work is actually a gift God gave us.

Does your work strike you as a gift?

Are you between jobs?

Or are you like the woman in the introduction who is now struggling to survive in a job she hates?

We will explore these questions and more next time. Until then ponder what your work means to you.

Shine on. . .
karan k

Ain’t No Fairy Tale: Part V

One of our first photos together 2006

And now to hear another side of the Step-Family saga. From the child’s point of view; our daughter, Cortney:

 

“Being a child with divorced parents, having to go back forth every other weekend wasn’t easy. Reflecting back to that time I never understood until now (at 24 years old) how much it affected me. On one hand I had my dad’s house where there was structure, responsibility, and a Godly influence. Then I’d go to my mom’s house which mostly was a free for all. I could do whatever I wanted basically whenever I wanted. Having to make that mental switch every other weekend can really make it confusing for a child.

2015

Then you throw a step-parent into the mix and it inevitably becomes more complicated! I’ve ALWAYS been a “Daddy’s Girl’ and when my dad met Karan, my step-mom, it turned my world upside down! I had to not only learn how to deal with my dad having another woman in his life but also where she’d fit into mine.

There’s the ‘Tude!
2009

Those first couple of years were difficult. I had begun to build up a wall with dad and Karan because to be honest, I was angry inside! I felt like my thoughts and feelings didn’t matter. Still trying to deal with the fact that my parents were no longer together and the going back and forth, I now had to learn to deal with having a step-parent!!!

At that age I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling so what do most kids do. . .  they act out. Now, I wouldn’t kick, scream, and throw a temper tantrum. My way of “acting out” was I would cop such  a disgusted, leave me alone, do I really have to be here attitude! Ha. It’s funny looking back now at some old pictures I can see that attitude written all over my face. But when you’re a kid a lot of times you don’t know how to express your feelings.

If you’re a step-kid it may seem as though things will never be OK or normal but surprisingly one day you may realize that you can’t imagine your life without your step-parent,  in my case my step-mom. I couldn’t have gotten through those awkward teenage years without her. I couldn’t have ever gone to half of the places I’ve been to without her nudging me to push through my fear and discomfort, and most of all I would have never had the most beautiful wedding a girl could dream of without her!

She’s filled those holes in my life my own mom just couldn’t/still can’t fill. She’s been like a mother and a best friend all rolled into one. When I need advice she’s there! When I just need to have a good venting session she’s there to listen! Yeah, it was tough in the beginning as you can tell from everything I wrote previously but my step-mom has been a HUGE blessing in my life. Honestly, I hate the term “step-mom”—  BONUS mom is a better way to say it.”

Shine on. . .

karan k

Commercial Break

 

Just a teeny commercial break in our current series “Ain’t No Fairy Tale”. I decided to promote FLURISH after reading the devotional below. It was written by Sarah Young who is a missionary as well as a writer. Some think her writings are controversial, some love her writings. All I can tell you is I have found the following passage to be absolutely true! It is the heart of FLURISH, just expressed in a different, concise way.

Check it out.

“Live first and foremost in My Presence. Gradually you will become more aware of Me than of people and places around you. This awareness will not detract from your relationships with others. Instead, it will increase your ability to give love and encouragement to them. My Peace will permeate your words and demeanor. You will be active in the world, yet one step removed from it. You will not be easily shaken because My enveloping Presence buffers the blow of problems.
This is the path I have set before you. As you follow it wholeheartedly, you experience abundant Life and Peace.”
Sarah Young—- JESUS CALLING

Psalm 89:15-16; Psalm 16:8; II Peter 1:2

So what are your thoughts? Share in the COMMENT section.

Shine on. . .

karan k

Cell Slave

Marine Eagle, Globe, Anchor Medallion
seven Superbowl IV KC Chiefs

What would you consider to be your most treasured possession?
I took a poll recently to discover how some of you would answer that question. The following is a brief list of answers:

1990 Hydro Sport Vector CC Boat

Paper Cash
Dan Wesson Pointman 9 Pistol
Kansas City Chiefs Autographs from 1971
Marine Medallion
Stuffed Black Lamb
Cards and Creations from Daughters
Guitar
Hydrosport Boat
Baseball Cards
College Diploma
Photograph Collection
Rare Trade Dollar Coin

1878 Dolaar Trade Coin

All of these cherished items are fine in their proper place in our lives and minds.

The last three people gave the same answer—- Cell Phone.  Consider with me that out of fifteen people three said their phone was the possession they prized the most. That’s a fifth of those questioned. Assuming for a moment this same poll was done on a much larger scale, do you think the results would differ? I’d venture to guess they would remain the same or increase in percentage for cell phones as the highest ranking answer.

Recently I lost my own cell phone somewhere in our house. My husband and I searched for it, calling it from his phone but we heard nothing. I used the Find My Phone app but it was too late, my phone battery was already dead and could not respond.

Where oh where is my cell phone?

After a few days of searching, I concluded that God may have a lesson and possibly a blog post (tada!) in mind for this lost cell situation so I stopped searching.

I trusted HE knew exactly where my phone lay in hiding. I asked HIM to help me find it. I searched  but to no avail.  I concluded it was not yet time for the phone to be found.

Could you live for a month without your phone? A fifth of you may say “No Way.”

Cell phones like computers have become a staple in most of our lives. They perform innumerable functions so their value is great. They’re a portable tool for modern humanity that connects us globally beyond what our forefathers ever could have imagined. And yet we sometimes allow them to control us rather than using them responsibly.

“Do not put your trust in idols or make metal images of gods for yourselves. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:4

New Living Translation

Crisp Cash

 

How many times have you heard someone complain about how much time they wasted on Face Book, Instagram or some other Internet forum? It can be intoxicating and without our notice,  addicting. We can become obsessive about having the phone with us at all times.

I found my phone at a very unlikely place 27 days after it went MIA. It was a forced technology fast but it was rather refreshing.

Have you ever considered a technology fast? I know people who do this regularly. If you find it easy for your phone to consume your time and energy in a negative way fasting a few days from phone/computer use can give you a right perspective on things. It can prevent your phone from becoming a coveted possession.

God wants our undivided attention and HE doesn’t want to share it with any type of idol  even metallic technology. So be aware and take care not to be a cell slave.

Blacky, one of the only treasures  this person has from childhood

 

“Before you knew God, you were slaves of gods that are not real. But now you know God, or better still, God knows you. How can you turn back and become the slaves of those weak and pitiful powers?” Galatians 4:8 + 9 Contemporary English Version

Shine on. . .

karan k

The Red Flag of Conscience

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21 English Standard Version

Someone commented on my “Sin Still Happens” post about how nice it would be if we had a natural red flag warning system in our heads/hearts. I thought to myself we do each have a built-in red flag system called “Conscience”.

“The Lord gave us a mind and conscience; we cannot hide from ourselves.” Proverbs 20:27 Good News Translation

 

Do you think our conscience can be trusted?

I believe God cleverly engineered it into our very being. But do we bear any responsibility where conscience is concerned? Read on.

Merriam-Webster defines conscience as, “the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good.”

A Google definition says conscience is “An inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior.”

Which definition do you think is correct—Webster’s or Google? Can you explain your answer?

I’d venture to say in my opinion, they are both correct. According to www.gotquestions.com, “The conscience is the servant of our own individual value system.”

So our value systems of belief start forming from what we are exposed to as children. We’re influenced by family, church or religious training, school, community, culture and friends. Each of us decides over time to choose from these experiences and exposures what we believe to be true. This makes up our individual value system which our conscience follows. So we must choose our truths wisely. Or. . . results could be disastrous.

uh oh. . . bad input led to bad output

 

Some people are actively engaged in this process of forming values and some are passive, believing whatever comes across their mind’s path. We know the mind is an incredible organ more intricate than any computer man can create. So shouldn’t we be concerned about the values we choose as input for our personal filter systems?

I think so. If we want to use our natural flag system, we need to be intentional. We need to examine the input in our value systems from our past and determine what stays and what must be deleted to line up with scripture.

As Christ followers we choose the moral code set out for us first in the Ten Commandments and then the rest of the written Word to be input for our value system. But we must know what the Word of God says before that data can be entered into the grid system of our conscience.

As children we are taught on a child’s level. As we grow we need to actively read and learn what the Word says to update the information in the memory banks of our conscience. Using the gift God gave us of a healthy mind we continue to process the scripture throughout our lives, always updating and adding information as well as experience.

If something learned from the past is wrong, we need to update it or delete it altogether. A constant check on our value system input.

Again from www.gotanswers.com, “An immature or weak value system produces a weak conscience, while a fully informed value system produces a strong sense of right or wrong. In the Christian life, one’s conscience can be driven by an inadequate understanding of scriptural truths and can produce feelings of guilt and shame disproportionate to the issues at hand. Maturing in the faith strengthens the conscience.”

So if we diligently maintain the data of our value system included in our conscience it will be strong and we can use it as a yellow flag of caution or direction. However, since it can only respond to what we choose to value, can we trust it wholeheartedly?

I would say, “No.” Because the reliability factor lies in how well we program and care for our conscience. Unlike God’s revealed Word, our conscience is changeable and fallible.

Some people simply neglect their conscience, believing it works automatically which certainly doesn’t lead to a healthy, reliable conscience. Each of us is responsible for programming, updating and cleaning our own conscience.

If we do the work to maintain our conscience (proper programming, updating and cleaning) then we can use it as a guide but even then it must pass the test of lining up with the ultimate flag system of God’s Holy Spirit and  Word which will never contradict each other. So ongoing maintenance and subordination to God’s Word are the keys to a trustworthy conscience.

You cannot FLURISH without a purified conscience.

“How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” Hebrews 9:14 English Standard Version

Shine on. . .

karan k

 

Blown Away

 

“So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus Himself and then delivered to us by those who heard Him speak?” Hebrews 2:3 New Living Translation

Yesterday I decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. The wind was brutal but the sun was shining. It felt good to feel the warmth of the sun and be pushed about by the strength of the wind. As I walked around the block, I noticed everyone’s bagged newspapers were blown out of their driveways. Ours was completely MIA. Some people feel these free newspapers are a nuisance and create more trash. They don’t even bother to pick them up to dispose of them properly. I like receiving mine every week and was disappointed that it had flown the coop.

I continued walking around the block three times, four times, five times etc., until about the ninth time I noticed a patch of common ground between the homes that had four newspapers strewn across it. I continued walking and the tenth time I noticed a fifth paper laying in the street near the four others in the common ground. I decided to pick it up since it could have been ours and didn’t belong in the street.

As I carried my treasure back to our house I thought to myself, these papers must have been stuck in this common ground area during my entire walk. Why had it taken me nine passes before I even noticed them?

Likewise, ever find yourself driving somewhere and after you arrive you have no recollection of the drive? You’re lost in thought, distracted, preoccupied with something seemingly more important than your surroundings. In this condition we miss things that are right in front of us. It’s a common occurrence but a dangerous one.

It’s also dangerous in the spiritual realm. Like those local freebie newspapers, the Good News of the Gospel is free to everyone but many in our society are not interested in the “free news”. They think our culture is already cluttered with too much Jesus news. They want to discard it as worthless just like the newspapers blown around my neighborhood.

It can be easy to slip into that same mindset swirling all around us. Pulled into thinking that suggests the Free Good News is too restrictive, false or no longer needed in this world geared toward humanistic belief systems and lifestyles. We may think we’d never ever consider discarding the precious Word, but do we neglect it and let it lay on the sidewalks of our mind behind all the pressing business of our day?

We must guard the living message of the Gospel of Christ to be effective for the Kingdom. It is the true power behind all that we do as believers. We must keep it close, pure and fresh in our hearts so we may encourage each other as times grow rough. So we may hand the Good News out freely whenever opportunity arises and hope is needed.

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You.” Psalm 51:12 New Living Translation

Don’t let the winds of life blow away your time in the Word but rather be blown away by the Good News of the Word.

 

“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1 New American Standard Bible

Shine on. . .
karan k

Read Hebrews chapter 4, just 16 verses of insight

 

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!
THANK U DEAR FRIEND

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

 

 

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

 

Red Light Isolation

 

STOP!

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back to back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 New Living Translation

Do you like movies? If so, what are some of your favorites?

Spencer Tracy in Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde 1941

I love movies, all types. Most genres except Horror and Westerns. But even some of those I enjoy. For example, some of the old Horror films that have become cult classics like 1931’s version of Frankenstein, or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with Spencer Tracy in the dual role. The Mummy from 1959, and for Westerns I like McClintock and The Magnificent Seven with an all-star cast (Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Eli Wallach, James Coburn and Horst Buchholz) from 1960.

 

The Magnificent Seven 1960

Some of those older movies have such great scripts and since I aspire to one day write a successful screenplay, I take notice of the dialogue used. For example, I like this line from an old Cops and Robbers movie in 1949 called Red Light:

“You know Johnny, when you play Solitaire, you only beat yourself.”

Solitary pain

 

The line made me think of how many of us play Solitaire with our lives. We don’t let anyone close enough to know who we really are. We don’t allow anyone to help us when struggles and hardships enter our game. We insist on suffering in silence. But where does that get us?

Our loving Father designed us for relationships and community not for isolation and living as a one person team. Instead of Solitaire we need to play life INTERDEPENDENT on others not independent of others. Consider a team mindset like in  team-handball, soccer, football or baseball. A small close knit group that plays as a team to win. Each depends on the other to help the team move forward to victory.

Team Handball

So as the New year approaches ask yourself, am I playing Solitaire or a team sport? Do I need to stop isolation? Give it the red light and become a team player? None of us knows what we will face good or bad in the coming year but we truly need each other to FLURISH!

Let’s help each other

“This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” I Corinthians 12:25 & 26 New Living Translation

Group hug

Shine on. . .
karan

Spicy Life

“It’s so much easier to pray for a Bore than to go and see one.”
C.S. Lewis “Letters to Malcolm”

Got any interesting routines in your life? Most of us have at least morning routines to help us get our day started. Alarm. A cup of coffee or tea. A Shower. Brush teeth. Get dressed. etc. I usually throw in a few stretches to start pumping the blood before I don my work uniform.

Routines can be extremely helpful when attempting to maintain a time schedule. But routines can also be a detriment. The problem with routines are they can become. . . routine. Yeah, they become so automatic that we may not even consider them routine but a part of who we are. That ‘part’ can becoming boring.

Do you think of yourself as boring? Do you feel bored?  Do others shy away from you at social gatherings? If so, you may have stumbled into the rut of the routine, operating mechanically, without passion or conscious thought. The longer you keep your routines, the more enslaved by them you become. You can morph into a boor. Is this what you want?

Consider God and His consistent love affair with variety. He spills unending assortments into our world through color, shapes, sounds, seasons, creatures, food, topography, emotions, plants, and so on constituting an entire universe exploding with diversity.

Flower fields of color—San Diego, CA

“Variety is the very spice of life” a familiar phrase written by English poet William Cowper in his work entitled “The Task’. Fifteenth century dramatist Aphra Behn stated the same thought this way, “Variety is the soul of pleasure.”

Maybe its time to change things up a bit? Explore a new interest or hobby? Visit someone you haven’t seen for a long time? Try new foods? Take the scenic route from time to time. Whatever you have to do to break the monotonous spell of the routine. Unless of course, you enjoy being bored and possibly boring?

If you sense you could be boring or a boor and you wish you were different, here are a few tips that may help:

Try photography
  1. Read more— magazines of various types, books, newspapers etc. The more interesting and diverse issues you can converse about the more interesting you will be perceived. You will no longer fear discussions when you have new information to share.
  2. Develop multiple hobbies. Start trying new things you may never have considered in the past. You might be surprised to find enjoyment from an unlikely source.
  3. Explore new places even if it starts close to home. Just follow your nose to unfamiliar areas and then widen your circumference of exploration as time and finances allow.
  4. Challenge yourself to do one spontaneous thing each week, even if it seems silly. Example; Buy an outfit that is totally unlike anything else you own whether in style or color. Or sign up for lessons of some sort like dance or cooking or ask a friend to teach you a skill they have.
Dance classes?

I hope you choose to FLURISH in variety rather than relegate yourself to routine!

Shine on. . .
karan k

Love the Alps! Have you seen them?

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 New International Version

Practical Columbo [people pleaser finale’]

“If you live for people’s acceptance you will die from their rejection.” Lecrae

Let that sink in.

 

Columbo always made me think

Now are there any Columbo fans out there? For those unfamiliar, “Columbo ” was a successful TV crime drama that ran from 1960 to 2003. Lt. Columbo, played mostly by actor Peter Falk was noted for the phrase “Just one more thing”. So I’m sharing one more time some thoughts from my own ongoing journey to overcome people pleasing:

Listen up People Pleasers: Learn your own limitations. Each of us have different energy levels. Too much people pleasing can deplete our energy affecting our health and close relationships leading to serious breakdowns in either or both. Remember the opening quote.

“If you live for people’s acceptance you’ll die from their rejection.”

How many nonessential activities can you handle each week and remain fresh and lively? If you feel sluggish or grumpy, perhaps you need to cut back? It’s not wrong to put yourself first now and then when the motivation is to rejuvenate and stave off resentment!

 

What do your life commitments look like to those who care about you? Ask them for their honest opinion. Listen with a mind willing to make adjustments.

Another Columbo catch phrase; “There’s something that bothers me” and that is, people pleasers need practical tips to reform. So here goes:

 

Realize you always have a choice: It may not be apparent to you right away, but look for options. Don’t let fear pressure you to take the road more comfortable. That choice could lead to deeper pain later down that same road.

Columbo’s Wheels

Set your priorities ahead of time: Know what you believe and why about yourself, your capabilities and your faith. This is an area to revisit often throughout your life as you grow and change.

 

Stall for time to pray about the request: This is key. Telling the person/persons making a request of you that you need time to pray and consider their request will help you make the best decision. It gives you time alone with God and away from the pressure of answering in a weak moment.

 

“For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.”
I Thessalonians 2:4 New Living Translation

“What did you pay for those shoes?” Another famous Columbo question. My answer? Doesn’t matter because I like them and they were worth the price.” Said with confidence and a wink.

Shine on. . .
karan k

“Oh, just one more thing:” Be advised that saying “No” to some people could cause unfavorable backlash. This is to be expected and all part of the process for becoming a reformed people pleaser.

 

 

People Pleaser Burnout Remedy

 

Ever have a day all to yourself to do exactly what you want? To do what makes you jazzed, relaxed, happy? What did you do? Or what would you do if you haven’t taken one of these extraordinary days?

As a people pleaser it is beyond difficult to steal an entire day away from others, but believe it or not, it’s not impossible and it’s a command from God.

 

The fourth commandment says in the Amplified Bible;
“[Earnestly] remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (withdrawn from common employment and dedicated to God). Exodus 2:8

Suffering burnout from People Pleasing? You can prevent it.

I recently heard a message by Jeff Henderson from a DVD series called Life Apps* that focussed on the subject of REST in a believers life. Most of us were taught the Ten Commandments from a young age. I thought the fourth one about the Sabbath was a day we should set aside for worshipping God, which is entirely correct. What I didn’t understand is the various forms of worship.

Worship doesn’t always have to take place in a church. Worship doesn’t always have to be reserved for Sundays. Worship can be more than reading the Bible, praying and singing to God. Are any of these thoughts foreign to you?

 

What I happily gleaned from Jeff Henderson’s message is that setting time apart to be with God can and should be not only restful but fun. One of the ideas of the Sabbath is to relax and find renewed energy and passion for the things of God. So sometimes we have to do something else to recharge. Something we enjoy. Something like reading a good book, playing golf, taking photographs, whatever it is that you find fun, relaxing and renewing.

“So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of GOD. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart form Him?” Ecclesiastes 2:24 & 25 New Living Translation

 

Our God wants us to enjoy the life He gave us. He instilled personality and interests in each of us that we need time to develop to become His whole and satisfied people. As individuals we can shine and FLURISH for God wherever we are but we must take time for His Sabbath rest regularly. And that comes down to trust.

 

Trusting Him to help us get all our other responsibilities finished in six days. After all, since He created the entire universe in 6 days and took a rest on the seventh, we should take at least that much.

Will you trust Him? Put people pleasing aside or any other hindrance.  Take a 24 hour sabbath getaway once a week. This is God’s time management for you. Is He Lord of your time? I’m trying this twist on it and so far it’s freeing and fabulous!

When we obey and do things His way we can can come back to our regular duties after resting and they may no longer seem like duties. His Spirit will have adjusted our attitudes and our priorities. We will be more energized, passionate and replenished to do His work.

Ponder Mark 2:25-28 Share your thoughts.

Shine on. . .
karan k

*(DVD series Life Apps by North Point Resources—- highly recommended if you are in search of a study for a small group).

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

 

How do YOU Pray?

“When you call Me and come and pray to Me, I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12 Common English Bible

Just some thoughts about prayer. . .

Each of us deepens and develops our relationship with the great God of the universe by prayer. How do we view prayer? According to dictionary.com prayer is “a devout petition to God or an object of worship; a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration or confession.”

Do we come before Him in an attitude of worship? Do we speak to Him in reverence and love? I admit that I forget at times just who it is I’m addressing. The depth of who He is is fathomless to my finite mind.

I am a huge believer in being very real with God and talking to Him about everything. He knows all about me anyway so no use holding back.  I believe He delights in my active inclusion of Him in the details of my day.

However, I do not want to forget His holy, righteous and awesome nature. There is a fine line to balance between casual communication and worshipful wonder. It’s a balance I believe we must hold tight to guard ourselves from presuming upon His divine personage.

I know some do not agree with praying about things seen as trivial. (see last post HEAT FLASH)  Out of reverence for God they may be more conservative with what matters they bring before Him.

What do you pray about? What type of things do you feel are worthy of time in prayer?

How do you address God? Dear heavenly Father? Dear Lord Jesus? Abba Father { Daddy Father}?  Or something else? Jesus said, “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy.” Matthew 6:9 New Living translation

When do you pray? How often do you pray? Got any prayer tips to share so all of us can benefit?

If I wake up earlier than my alarm with a bit of coherence I tend to pray for people who have ongoing issues. Or perhaps pray about concerns specific for that day. Later, when I get up for devotions, I pray over the things listed in my prayer journal. Yes, I do keep a journal so I can see answers to prayer. I highlight each prayer when it’s answered and then I  pray thanksgiving and praise for the answer.

Without the journal I find that I forget to either keep praying in ongoing situations or forget to thank God for His answers. A journal is a wonderful way to build faith when looking back over answers from the past. They prove God’s faithfulness when the temptation to doubt arises.

During my work day, I have short conversations with God. I make lots of requests for grace to deal with difficult situations or customers as the case may be. Sometimes I go on prayer walks during my break time and pray about more urgent needs of the day and for global leaders. I find walking while I pray diffuses the physical proneness to fall asleep during prayer. But then again, what better way to go to sleep than in the arms of Jesus?

 

Please share your ideas and practices concerning prayer.

 

Shine on. . .
karan k

“And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do . So you must live in reverent fear of Him during your time as ‘foreigners in the land’.” I Peter 1:17 New Living translation

Margin of Rest

 

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6+7 The Message Bible

 

Ever notice when you’re stressed every little thing irritates the heck out of you? Somebody says something wrong or even looks at you weird and bam, you’re angry, frustrated, stressed. Sometimes you explode. Stress can do that.

 

But stress can also be a great motivator for getting things done. lt doesn’t have to be a negative thing but it does need to be kept in balance.  Stress must be kept in  direct balance with the level of margin or cushion in your life. If you have  little or no margin/downtime, stress will be high. Likewise, more downtime will lessen your stress levels. We all know this simple principle but do we apply it to our own lives?

 

It’s an area I’m partnering with God to improve. I have to constantly keep it in check, like watching a pot on the stove come to a boil. If I don’t watch it, there’s gonna be a boil over and inevitably a mess.

 

I notice stress over deadlines can make me extra snappy with people at work, friends but especially my husband. I HATE when I do that!!! He hates it too and then he gets snappy and we go round and round. Not exactly the way I want to experience “Marital Bliss”.

Full schedules  can lead to stress, anxiety and unfortunately, angry outbursts. So I am attempting to simplify and build margins of time into my days.

 

What does that look like? For me, it’s staying home after work and the gym a couple nights each week, working on those things that have deadlines. Giving myself a free day a couple times a month where I expect nothing from myself. I think God had this same idea by giving us Sabbath rests once a week. (smile)

For my husband it looks a bit different. During the work week he needs more time at home to rest and recharge, so he prefers no activity after work on weeknights. On weekends he prefers doing one activity each day, not multiple ones. He’s often said he likes to go do things every other day. One day of activity requires one day of rest.

Each of us has a different limit of overload. Some personalities can take on a lot of activity and thrive all the while. Other personalities become frustrated and stressed over few activities and/or responsibilities. Each of us should discover our own limit of overload and then aim to remain under the limit. Otherwise we will make ourselves and those around us rather miserable.

 

What is your personal limit of overload? What stresses you? Think about it and identify your stresses. Put limits on those particular things and adjust your schedule in at least one area. This can benefit your own peace of mind helping you to be the best you for yourself and for those in your personal sphere of influence. Your co-workers, family and spouse deserve your best.

Life goes better with the right amount of margin

 

“. . . My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 New International version

Take His rest today!

Shine on. . .
karan k