Category Archives: BALANCE

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

Fan Out Your Figures

Money Money Money

If your household is like mine, everybody works. Our combined finances keep the home fires burning. We’re down to a family of two. Our daughter is married now and flurishes in a neighboring town but the empty nest transition continues to challenge us. Needs and wants are different at this stage.

Out of his gracious heart, my husband allows me to handle all the finances. I asked for the responsibility when we first got married. He decided to give me the reins. If it didn’t work after a year, we agreed to try another plan. I appreciate his willingness to give my financial system a chance. After 10+ years I remain in charge and he continues to fully entrust me with the finances. But every now and then budgetary issues can get a bit dicey.

Dreaming of the mountains
Fantasizing about Europe
Wishing to be at the Beach

The same amount of revenue comes in most months and we have a working budget that I put together. Every year we make a few vacation plans and set some goals for saving money. But once in awhile I fear I bite off more than our budget can chew, so to speak. It’s sort of like a budgetary binge; perhaps you’re  also attempting to do something tremendous for your spouse or your children? Or treat yourself to something over the top? The price tag is a bit higher than your budget’s comfort cushion but you go for it anyway?

And then we have to fight off the vicious serpents of second guessing. Their bite can be deceitful leading us aboard the carousel ride where  fear doubt and worry ponies spin out of control if we’re not careful. Can you relate?

How do we justify splurging on ourselves when there are so many dire needs around us?

 

There are people starving all over the world every minute of every day. Worthy causes and ministries too numerous to number surround us in an age where we have access to give, making financial contributions around the clock.

Are we to live as monks giving up all our earthly pleasures?  (Consider the story of Job who was the richest person in the area where he lived and God called him righteous. Job 1:1)

How do we navigate our budgets to be good stewards?

We could give to the poor daily and there would still be more need. Jesus’ own words in Mark 14:7 say: “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them whenever you want. But you will not always have Me.” Berean Study Bible

This is not an excuse from giving but to balance giving with His other desires for us such as; worshipping Him, caring for our bodies, maintaining relationships, interacting with creation and sharing the Gospel to name a few.

How do we balance our own wants with the needs of others? We are God’s stewards of the money HE allows us to earn. We will give an account one day of how we used all of His gifts, including money.

” ‘Well done!’ the King exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be  governor of ten cities as your reward.'” Luke 19:17 New Living translation

 

That being said, how do you handle these financial dilemmas? Share your ideas in the comment section. We can all learn from each other.

When facing such spiritual conundrums, I employ what I call “The Hezekiah Approach” from II Kings 19:14-20. It’s like FANNING OUT YOUR FIGURES BEFORE THE LORD. Read the passage and follow Hezekiah’s example.

Lay it all out and pray for His Spirit to guide you

This is where our relationship with THE HOLY SPIRIT comes into play. His guidance is the answer. Lay your financial life out before Him like individual ledgers. The bills, the budget, the needs, the wants, the giving opportunities. Talk to Him about your concerns, cares and even the things you really want. He cares about the details and He will guide you on how to make decisions specifically for your life. Of course this takes some time.

Time set aside to gather all the info.

Time physically to lay it out on a large surface.

Time set aside to pray over it and seek His direction.

We must be intentional saved followers and stewards of Christ. Definitely slows the decision making process on the front side, but if you’re making better decisions the end result will more than make up for the time spent.

His goals for us are clear but the steps leading  to completion of them are  usually fuzzy so that we never achieve them without His help. He wants to be involved every step of the way. Working with Him on projects draws you close if you cooperate.

This results in a FLURISHING relationship  with Him which is His bottom line. Start budgeting with Him asap!

Shine on. . .

karan k

 

Surfs Up?

“If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people.” Romans 12:18 Common English Bible

Akaw!!
Akaw!!

First of all, surfing did not find its way onto my bucket list and certainly not in the freezing waters of the Pacific in California. However, it did top my husband’s list. Endeavoring to be an “all in, fully attentive wife” I agreed to conquer the Surfing Bug by his side, much to his unbridled glee.

Aside from surfing, the people we met casually on this trip were pure delights and several have become friends. But one individual in particular proved especially challenging. He was our surfing instructor, Bill. A native Hawaiian he did not possess the typical hang loose attitude but employed a rather martinette teaching style. He and I butted heads from the gitgo.

The first part of our surf lesson entailed positions on the board and advancing through the steps to surf standing up. The instructor drilled us to repeat the moves and quizzed us on basic board knowledge. During this time Bill told the guy next to me that he failed to stand on his beached board because he needs to get into better shape. However, Bill’s phraseology was not quite as diplomatic as mine. OUCH! The guy kept apologizing for his protruding belly. I felt bad for him.

The guys followed Bill out to chest deep water for part two of the lesson while I frantically looked for drinking water—Dehydration anxiety set in due to 90 degree weather in a black wet suit. This did not please Bill, thus he abandoned me on the sand. A Good Samaritan came to my rescue with ice cold water, enough to refresh my body and get me out into the waves. She even bought more water for each of the other surfers. I am forever grateful.

Gathering my courage and MJT (Must Just Trust) attitude, I waded out toward my husband and Jansen (Mr. Lose weight or else). Both men struggled fiercely to follow their laid-back leader. Visibly frustrated, Bill barked out phrases such as, “you two are suckin! Listen to me! Do what I tell you!” On and on his encouraging mantras rang out over the waves. And then it was my turn.

“Get on your board, Karan!”

Ok. I’m in half decent shape for fast approaching senior hood but put me in chest high waves and ask me to mount my surf board for the first time was not an easy task. I gave it my best but my arms were weak and I was terrified to grab the “rails” for any reason since Bill had given profuse warnings against that earlier.

“Listen! Get! On! Your! Board!” I tried again and He finally hoisted me up and somehow I landed on the board and slid back quickly before he yelled at me about my “position”.:(  Normally I’d be embarrassed but my exasperation levels were mounting faster than I could fret over looking stupid. My angst even trumped my fear as I shouted over the  crashing waves…

“I’m more afraid of you than surfing!”

Bill half laughed but I think he knew I was just as frustrated with his meanness as he was with my inability to follow his orders.

Whipped and wiped out
Whipped and wiped out

 

Ever encounter people like Bill? Type A personalities who seem to have no people skills let alone compassion? Usually they excel in a given area and they expect you to know what they know. When you don’t, you’re treated with harsh impatience and possibly contempt.
I learned a heckuva lot from Bill that day but very little about surfing. Here are just a few lessons:

I learned my “unconditional love” skills needed honing.
I learned how understanding and patience are deep virtues needed to teach in any area of life in order for your students to learn in a positive way.
I learned how important it is to speak up for what is right even in angry tones, especially to protect the innocent. . . true righteous indignation.

So how did it all turn out? My husband Dwight mastered the board enough to stand and ride several waves all the way into the shoreline. Me, well I DID stand up on my board but my accomplishment was short lived as I tumbled into the waves each of my 9 attempts.:).

Bill invited us with his surf gang for lunch after the lesson and we had some quality one on one talks with him. We made an unspoken peace.
Jansen and his Good Samaritan girlfriend invited us to their boat and we now have two new friends on the West coast. Great people. Jansen continues surf lessons with Bill.

Hopefully Bill will realize his demeanor at times causes extra fear in his students which  hinders his goal to teach surfing with safe results. And degrading his hired help behind their backs is just plain mean and needs to cease. I continue to pray for Bill.:)
“Hotheads stir up conflict, but patient people calm down strife.” Proverbs 15:18 Common English Bible

Surfing Harmony
Surfing Harmony

Hang Ten if you dare and shine on. . .
karan k

Legally Bound?

Free to Fly
Free to Fly

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message Bible

Isn’t this a beautiful portrait of how He wants our life to be with Him? So often we get bound up in legalistic do’s and don’ts that were never a part of His plan. We feel like we’re living in a religious cage, rather than basking in our position in His family.  (See John 1:10-13) When we allow Him to take His role as heavenly Father in our lives,  He leads, guides, helps, works with, talks to and builds our relationship on grace. Our lives are meant to be joyful and thriving because of Him in our hearts. We can FLURISH without limitation if we stay close to Him and follow His lead.

How that looks in each of our lives will be beautifully different because each of us has a distinct relationship with Him. This is how He meant it to be and even though it’s difficult for our minds to fathom, He can easily have a UNIQUE relationship with each of His children throughout history because He is the Almighty God with no limits on His power! Think about the awesomeness of that.

“Legalism” simply is the wrong use of laws or rules. It’s not from Jesus.
“Yes,'” said Jesus, “What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden.” Luke 11:46 New Living translation

Break the chains
Break the chains

We must free and guard ourselves against the foul spirit of legalism. It can be so subtle that we often do not recognize it in ourselves. It sours our spirit and can sour others around us. Legalism is wrong because it emphasizes the external without encouraging the internal. God is all about the heart and its motivations. He offers love, forgiveness and grace in abundance for our lives. Some examples (certainly not an exhaustive list because it truly would be exhausting to write it) of modern day legalism that are all too alive and well are:

Type of Attire?
Devotions—When? How long?
Hairstyle?
Observing Sabbath? (see Leisure Update post)
Make-up?
Women working outside the home?
Smoking pipe, cigars, cigarettes?
Drinking? (Not to be confused with drunkenness)
Going to movies?
Upbeat worship music?
Using instruments in worship music?
Watching tv?
How often to attend corporate worship?
To spank children or not?
Dancing?
Bible versions?

Etcetera etcetera etcetera

Have you developed any convictions of your own? For instance, some people feel you should never write in your Bible. I personally write and highlight in my Bible to track my special times talking with and learning from Jesus. As a result, my Bible is full of marked up memories. I do handle my Bible as sacred in other ways by not setting things on top of it and using it regularly. These are personal convictions not commands, demands or “less thans” in God’s eyes.

If you face a biblical gray area, talk to God about it. Reason with Him over what is right for you and make that your standard but do not expect others to hold to your standard. Where gray areas are concerned, our loving Lord provides freedom and invites each of us to find our personal convictions with His Spirit’s direction.

time and effort equals cultivation
time and effort equals cultivation

“Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and belief are coherent. But if you’re not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—-then you know that you’re out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.” Romans 14:22-23 The Message Bible
FLURISH in His freedom and grace!

Shine on. . .
karan k

Pass the Buck

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“Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love each other.” Romans 13:8a Common English Bible

Call me crazy, but I love bill paying day. Yesterday I was gathering all my bills and paying each one ahead of time in preparation for an upcoming trip. Still VERY old school, I wrote out a check for each one. And then euphoria set in. I cannot tell you how freeing it is to know all the monthly financial obligations have been met and I am not in the red! It’s a bit of a thrill every time. I know, insane right?

You see, I’ve trained myself since I began working full-time to give back to God His tithe and then pay any and all debts I incur monthly. Whatever is left after that is mine to spend. Of course some months are more exciting than others depending what’s left! 🙂 The freedom I feel after the bills are paid is tremendous and so fulfilling that I have continued this practice from 1981 to the present. It simply works for me and I remain debt-free except for my mortgage. And now I am chipping away at that to pay it off early.

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Now don’t think for even a millisecond that all of this came easy or natural to me. It did not. I moved out on my own at eighteen so it was first born out of FEAR that I would not be able to provide for myself. After that, it was PRIDE that I would fail and have to move back home if I didn’t discipline my spending. So my motivation in the beginning was negative and sinful. But as I learned to trust God and give Him my finances, I began to develop His fruit of self control. HE is a kind, generous and easy Master (Matthew 11:29). Now my motivation for self control in my finances is positive and freeing.

Perhaps a different system works for you as far as HOW you pay your bills such as online banking, auto withdrawal, debit or credit cards etc.,? But the discipline of self control is the key to success. I told you way back in the beginning of our journey together that self discipline is a must for Christ followers. (See ‘God Gave Us What?’ post in Archives). The excellent news is HE will help us develop self discipline if we ask Him! Galatians 5:22— Self Control is one of the fruits of His Spirit.

If you feel you need help in the area of finances, check out Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps or Peace University at http://www.daveramsey.com or Crown Financial at http://www.crown.org;

Don't be in bondage to your spending habits...
Don’t be in bondage to your spending habits…

“The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.” Proverbs 21:20 New Living translation

Financial Freedom is just another area to conquer on our journey of FLURISHING together. Spend wisely, my friends.

Shine on. . .
karan k

Leisure Update

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What’s your take on the Sabbath? Only for worship and church? Or do you see it as a leisure day?  Or a combination of both?  Let’s look a bit more at this sometimes confusing subject.

“Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is Sabbath to God. Don’t do any work—not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days God made heaven, earth, and sea, and everything in them; He rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; He set it apart as a holy day.”  Exodus 20:8-11 The Message Bible

Hooray for small victories.  I have finished the book; “When I Relax I Feel Guilty”. Wonders never cease and goals with accountability prove to be motivational once again. So a BIG thank you to all who read STATIC INTERFERENCE where I publicly stated I would finish this book by August’s end. Now that I accomplished this summer goal as promised, I will share a few things with you from the latter part of Tim Hansel’s book, “When I Relax I Feel Guilty” :

MINI VACATIONS
“Most of us fail to realize we have built into our calendars fifty-two miniature vacations every year. . . The principle of one day out of seven for worship and rest has been true since creation, but I know very few people who take that commandment seriously. I still struggle with it.

Again and again William McNamara’s comments about learning how to ‘waste’ that time for God’s sake come back to haunt me. ‘There is only one way to truly celebrate the Sabbath —and that is to waste it prodigiously. Until I can waste time prodigiously I do not take God seriously. If Christ is real, he must be able to hold me and captivate me.’ It is my acknowledgment of his sovereignty.

There must be a reason why rest was included in Creation, in the Ten Commandments, and why Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man. There must be a reason why the Sabbath is fifty-two times more important than any other ‘holy-day.’ ” Tim Hansel

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So the overall message of the book for me is God wants me to relax because  He knows I need it.  He knows it will enhance my life in every aspect if I observe His Sabbath. I should not allow guilt to overcome me when I  attempt to relax. I say attempt because it takes effort for me to relax which sounds like a complete oxymoron but it is reality for me. Busyness seems more natural but busyness is really something circumstances taught me. I fell prey to the busyness equals Godliness deception. Now after years of fast paced productivity for Jesus, I am tired and unable to relax.

 

But I am commanded to relax. If I don’t regularly set aside relaxing time, I will implode. That is in no way glorifying to God. In fact, I need to learn to be idle or still at least once a week. For a whole day. I definitely need prayer to accomplish this.  Our societal demands make it next to impossible but we should not give up in despair. Our Father will show each of us how to honor Him and His Sabbath according to how He wired us. See the need and ask for His help.

How about you? Are you a whirling dervish of activity? Do you labor for the Lord and ignore the fourth commandment? I secretly wonder at times if illness is brought on by failing to slow down? When I am sick I am forced to slow down. Just a crumb for thought.

 

What about “wasting time prodigiously” ? Never heard that in Sunday School. I can barely bring myself to say I need to learn to WASTE TIME in a big way!!! That thought is completely foreign to me and seems so wrong. And yet Jesus did say the Sabbath was made for man. So I need my mind renewed in this area.

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of the people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.’ ” Mark 2:27 New Living translation

We all need to be set apart to rest. To balance productivity with purposeful rest  is a command from our heavenly Father, but how many of us honor that command?  Six days of productivity, one day of rest. Sounds doable. Why is it so hard? I am too far on the productivity side expecting much more from myself than God does. Sounds like I think I know better than God. Sounds like I need to cease and desist from that practice! Lord, renew my mind in this area so I may better serve You during the productive times. Show me how to observe Your Sabbath and set it apart to enjoy You and FLURISH more.  Rest, relaxation and time wasting, here I come!   Just prayed and napped for an hour. Gotta start somewhere.

May you find the value of rest and refocus in your life as well. Time spent resting in Him in whatever way He directs you in your relationship with Him is priceless! And probably much more precious to Him than years of frenzied productivity.

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Rest on. . .
karan k

Static Interference

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Lately I find myself listening to a frenzy of sound. Noises, voices chattering without and demanding from within. Nothing clear but sort of a simultaneous clamour. Summer days are supposed to be lazy and carefree, aren’t they? Our world has increased in complication to the point of soul enslavement. Do you struggle to find inner freedom, peace in your soul?

The mundane beckons daily no matter the season: banking balances barking, errands engaging, cleaning crying, forever crying for attention. Laundry laughing and cooking calling, via hungry bellies for meals and lunches. When will they be quiet? The twelfth of never. This I accept, although reluctantly I confess. How do we juggle the necessities of life without overloading our spirits?

In addition there’s online communication craving to be noticed. Text alerts tempting prompt attention. Email can be ignored only so long before you need to spend gobs of time deleting unwanted messages. Face Book fascination and/or curiosity can be entertaining but at times out of control. I used to say ringing phones are an invitation not a command. Somehow lately my guard has dropped. I feel the compelling need to answer all the incoming invitations. We are deluged with more information, invitations and expectations than any other generation to date. I expect it will only escalate.

This is not to mention concerns on National and Global fronts which are certainly capable of interfering with our relaxation abilities.

As dedicated Jesus followers we can easily get caught in this trap:

“I was dominated by ‘shoulds,’ ‘ought to’s,’ and ‘musts.’ . . . I was exhausted trying to be a hope constantly rekindled for others, straining to live up to their images of me. I had worked hard to develop a reputation as one who was concerned, available and involved—- now I was being tyrannized by it. Often I was more at peace in the eyes of others than in my own.”

This is a quote from Tim Hansel’s book “When I Relax I Feel Guilty.” This particular book sat on my personal library shelf for years. I started it at least ten times but never got very far. It’s not even a very long book. Only 147 pages. I’d begin with enthusiasm and then I fell right back into False Guilt pressure and stop reading. My goal for this summer of 2016 is to read that book and share anything useful I may glean from it with anyone of you who may also be struggling. As August begins, time is running out. I must hurry up and read about relaxing! Hah!

 

Watching swans is relaxing
Watching swans is relaxing

You see, I can tell this inability to relax is interfering with my FLURISHING. This is not what God wants for me or you. His desire is for all of us to experience His love and forgiveness moment by moment and then FLURISH freely with Him in the world He created for us. We need the awe and wonder of His world restored in our hearts and minds despite what is happening around us.

Read I Kings 19:10-13 in your favorite version.

So for now be aware of your own relaxation quotient. Is your soul at peace? Are you able to hear HIS voice above the din?

Kayaking, fishing, etc.,
Kayaking, fishing, etc.,

Talk to God for direction to explore HIS world in some new fashion. When HE gives you an idea, try it out to see if it relaxes you.  Keep asking and trying whatever HE  suggests. You will find ways to relax and FLURISH quietly with HIM!

P.S. I was able to relax while listening to my nine year old great niece play a mini concert on her violin. She told me it would be relaxing and she was right.:)

Shine on. . .

karan k

CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU REC YOURSELF!

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

Luke 12:34 New Living translation

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

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

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

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

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

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

God has given us WHAT!?!

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love,  and self-discipline.” II Timothy 1:7 NLT

Ok, how familiar are you with this verse? Normally I tend to focus on the fact that fear does not come from God. But today something else jumped out at me; what our great God HAS given us. I would like to share it with you as part of our FLURISHING journey together.
GOD gives us power, love and OH MY GOODNESS, self-discipline. Did you catch that? Self-discipline! I never caught that before. Don’t all of us need that? When we desire to FLURISH, our GOD will give us power for self-discipline. How fantastic is that?!?

To access this power we must first, KNOW (consider yourself informed) that our God wants to give it to us and then BELIEVE that He will give it. So much depends on believing the things God says. We can read the Bible all day long but the key is believing and then EXPECTING Him to do what He says.
Do you struggle with self-discipline? Have you ever considered practical help from the Almighty is this area? Cakes, cookies, and pastries are my weakness. Things get nasty when I eat too many. Head gets fuzzy, can’t think straight, physical weakness sets in and sometimes I pass out. Not much good to God when I’m a helpless heap on the floor. When I talked to God about this issue, He offered some practical suggestions such as;
1. Only indulge in homemade sweets. They are worth it.
2. Keep sweets out of sight and out of the house if possible.
3. Earn your sweet by doing some type of physical exercise.
4. But the number one help HE showed me is that I could not fulfill His plan for my life if I ate too many sweets. Physically I’d be too weak.
As a result I have made smarter choices and haven’t had any health issues. I ‘m truly flurishing in this area of life.
Maybe for you it’s financial issues? You’re in debt and you just can’t get out no matter how hard you try? What about time? Do you manage time well and get things done or do you waste time? And, do you beat yourself up whenever you feel you have failed in any of these or other areas of life? I know I have.
If we want to FLURISH, we need to know our God offers help. Use these words in II Timothy 1:7 as often as you are faced with decisions requiring self-discipline. Practice self-talk for self-discipline “God has given me the spirit of self-discipline to make the best decision right now regarding ______.” (whatever your particular problem may be) Saying it aloud might help and with consistent use can become second nature in your thoughts.
I encourage you to believe He wants to help you with self-discipline and intentionally decide to depend upon His power to help you with all your choices increasing your ability to FLURISH!! Talk to you soon….

Shine On….
karan k