Category Archives: Deeper Trust

Well Known/Well Used?

How many of you honestly enjoy your daily life? Are you truly FLURISHING? We all have ups and downs, difficulties and challenges but underlying it all, do you feel good, do you sense the peace of God that passes ALL understanding? Do you have a private joy in the depths of your soul?

I have just come through a long depression that lasted about 5 months. It most likely was triggered by the death of my mother back on New Year’s Day. Could have been the grieving process? I may never know but it has been a difficult year. I leaned on familiar passages of scripture and continued trusting in the loving kindness of my heavenly Father. There were good days, blah days, tired days, unmotivated days and horrible days within my soul. Yet, as I kept looking to Him HE WAS EVER FAITHFUL!!!

I am here today to encourage you not to give up seeking the face of God amidst whatever you may be experiencing. This is the purpose of my blog, to remind you that HE is ever faithful and wants to be close to you and experience all of your “stuff” with you. HE wants the best life possible for you, the abundant FLURISHING life HE knows is possible for each of HIS children.

So, all that being said if you know these verses listed below, don’t just pass them by. USE them and BELIEVE them for your current situation. They may be well known but if they are not well used they will not help you.

And, if the verses are new to you, read them over and over allowing them to sink into your heart and memory so you can use them when needed. His Word is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword. He is alive in these Words so USE it, that’s why HE gave it to us.

If you are FLURISHING currently, don’t forget to praise God for the blessing. Thank Him for His goodness in your life.

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His Name.” Psalm 100:4 New Living Translation

 

 

If things are rough going at the moment, cry out to Him for help.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” II Corinthians 1:3 + 4 New International Version

 

 

If you are tired, burned out from exhaustion, come to Him for strength and let Him help you with your load.

“Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 New Living Translation

 

 

If you feel blah and lack motivation call on His name to renew your zeal and revive your spirit.

“But those who trust the LORD will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired.” Isaiah 40:31 Contemporary English Version

 

 

If you are overcome by sin and guilt, talk to Him, confess your sin and depend upon His mercy which endures forever.

“But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” I John 1:9 New Living Translation

 

Read about His mercy in Psalm 136

REMEMBER:

“For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12 New Living Translation

Shine on. . .

karan k

“Never, Never, Never Give up on God! If HE helps me, He will help you.” A combined  quote from Winston Churchill + me

Post Conference Reflection Ramblings: Part III Wrap Up

 

 

Ready Lord!

Ten minutes before the start of the Conference, I stood in the Pastor’s study as he and Dwight prayed for God to use me that night. My God-focus generated confidence and energy within me as we opened the session with Praise and Worship. The last song was one I requested and it felt like the Spirit of God was blessing our time together from the start.

The Pastors wife introduced me and I breathed a quick, “Here we Go, Lord” and walked to the podium. This time I was not flat! I could feel the Holy Spirit’s empowerment. There was excitement and expectation in the air as I began. The audience responded well to the message and participated throughout the conference.

The one screen issue forced some added exercise for the ladies to turn around every so often but perhaps that was not a bad thing? Kept everyone awake.

Dwight running powerpoint from sound booth

After the first night I had several women tell me it was an inspiring message. There were two older ladies well past retirement age who remain active in YWAM and encouraged me the most. The oldest one, an 80 year old woman told me the message and time spent together was “cleansing”. She had never been able to share and unload some parts of her life with any Christian community up until this conference. That alone was worth it all! To be a blessing in this way to a loyal saint of God still touches my heart every time I think of her.

There were several others who asked for prayer afterward. I pray all the women in attendance received one new thing the Lord revealed to them about Himself and their relationship with Him during our time together. I further pray that they continue to allow His healing in their hearts.

We ended the conference with a lovely fellowship meal. A beautiful woman named Gricelda cooked all the food for the conference. She had a squad of  ladies assisting her, busy slicing fruit and preparing desserts. She and her team did a fabulous job. They made me love authentic Mexican food like I never fathomed possible for me, a Pennsylvania Dutch girl.

Gricelda, you made a believer out of me!

And so dear fellow FLURISHERS those are the highlights of the 2018 Christian Women’s Conference from Tyler, Texas. Until the Lord opens new opportunities,

Shine on. . .

karan k

Post Conference Reflection Ramblings Part I: Learning to Fight Fear

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”

II Corinthinthians 4:7

DO YOU HAVE TROUBLE FACING CHALLENGES? PERHAPS YOU ARE FROZEN IN FEAR? I  CAN TOTALLY RELATE:

 

For months I strained over how to compile notes and story threads for two hour-long sessions to be presented at the women’s conference earlier this month in Tyler, TX. It was the first time I’d be speaking for more than an hour and I wasn’t quite sure how to go about organizing all the information. I literally had scattered notes covering an entire dining room table. My inadequate organizational skills stared me in the face.. This was new territory for me and a bit scary.

fear-uncertainty-doubt

I don’t usually have trouble filling time talking but I wanted my words for this conference to be edifying to the heart and soul of each woman in attendance. I didn’t want to waste time with my own vain babblings. I wanted the precious Holy Spirit to speak through me.

I prayed for guidance. I asked for courage because what I would share was very personal and painful. Simply acting as keynote speaker terrified me if I took my eyes off Jesus. But I remember a song from Audioadrenaline’s 1996 BLOOM recording called “Walk on Water”. The line that repeated in my head is:

“If I Keep My Eyes On JESUS I Can Walk On Water!” Taken from Matthew 14:29.
I had to remember I can do anything HE calls me to do IF I keep my eyes on Him, further backed up by the Apostle Paul’s words to the Philippians in chapter 4 verse 13: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” New Living Translation

I persisted in asking God to help me and little by little as I trusted Him, the presentation began taking shape. Over the weeks in April and May He gave me idea after idea to keep the audience engaged and remain interested. The table in our dining room slowly cleared and actually looked organized with neat stacks of paper.

My husband worked tirelessly on a two part powerpoint presentation involving movie clips and stills. He stayed up late on work nights just to perfect everything into a professional looking presentation. I so appreciate his tech talents.

Just before leaving for Texas, onslaughts of fear and anxiety, dread and depression took turns tormenting my mind and emotions. I had to fight back because I knew the more opposition the enemy threw at me the greater the need was for someone to hear my message at the conference.

I leaned heavily on God’s words to Joshua in the first chapter of the book bearing his name, verse 9:

“This is my command— be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” New Living Translation

And from God’s word in Revelation:
“And they defeated him (satan, the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.” Revelation 12:11a New Living Translation

I had to trust God that He wanted to use my testimony, no matter how inadequate I felt. I had to trust Him and not give in to any fear, doubt or worry. We boarded the plane flying West and the adventure began.

 

The Pastor and his wife of “The Lords House” in Tyler, Texas welcomed us into their home. They encouraged me with their enthusiasm and I continued in faith.

My husband gave advice and suggestions to tweak the final version which we got to practice once with the sound system at the church. I barely got through it. The near 100 degree temperatures and traveling had left me exhausted. Even my dear husband’s face expressed the same conclusion— it was flat. But I had made up my mind by now that God wanted to use my message.

Deep inside a still small voice assured me all would be well the next day when the conference began.

To be continued. . .

Shine on. . .

karan k

 

 

Jet Ski Redemption

2007 Honey Moon

 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 New International Version

Earlier this week Dwight and I had the pleasure of jet skiing on Lake Tyler in Texas. Pastor Samuel Priddy provided us with this exciting experience along with his lovely wife, Amy. I am so grateful we had this redeeming opportunity and blessed with such good friends.

2018

You see, this happened to be my fourth time on jet skis. A bay in Honolulu in 2001 marked my maiden voyage. I drove the jet ski myself with trepidation around the still water at first but became somewhat confident after an hour. Weaving in and out of the buoys and gaining speed. I loved it.

Second time I rode with someone at a local lake in Southeastern Pennsylvania. This was on a high power jet ski with an experienced driver. We zipped and zoomed across the water at higher velocities than I can imagine. I hung on and what an adrenaline rush!

Third time arrived during my honeymoon in St. Lucia. I wanted to share the thrill of the jet ski experience with my new groom. He loved motorcycles so I figured a jet ski is like riding a motorcycle in the water, right? I talked him into renting a jet ski at our Sandals resort. The problem arose when we discovered that the area where we rented to ride involved only the open sea! Not a bay, not a lake, not calm waters! The swells were about four foot that day.

My precious new husband Dwight did not tell me he was scared to death but bravely took me out onto the open sea. I smiled as I expected a similar experience as I encountered previously, anticipating the fun and exhilaration. Instead, both of us clung on for dear life as we plowed through the gathering waves. Thank GOD for life jackets because Dwight never learned to swim. My heart pounded fearing all sorts of sea creatures lurking below waiting to get a nibble on us if we capsized.

yikes!

After that harrowing episode I promised never to ask Dwight about jets skiing again. However, the desire never left my heart to someday share a positive jet ski escapade with him. So when Pastor Sam invited us to go on Lake Tyler I was so proud of Dwight for not letting past fear stop him. This time his experience was 100% different than in St. Lucia! He loved it and tore all over the lake! We had a blast!

 

By the grace of God and His goodness, the positive jet ski adventure has been redeemed! (Click on below)

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Are there events in your life that scared you in the past? Things you’ve been avoiding due to fearful memories? Let God redeem the experience. Don’t allow the enemy to steal your opportunity because of fear. Fight back with your shield of faith, fully trusting in the Lord’s care and help. Pray now for His courage to overcome past fears. When occasions present themselves, you’ll be ready to meet and enjoy the challenge in Jesus’ Name!

“I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalm 34:4 New International Version

Shine on. . .
karan k (click on below)

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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

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

yeeha!

 

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

 

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.”

(chorus)

JESUS, JESUS, how I trust Him,
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er.
JESUS, JESUS precious JESUS!
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.
JESUS, JESUS precious JESUS!
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

 

 

Eulogy for My Mother: Celebrating Romayne Part II

 

After I spoke what you read  at my Mother’s funeral service in Part I, my dear husband spoke. As I held the mike for him my eyes scanned ahead on his notes, which he barely used. Love and pride swelled in my mind and heart for this man and his caring words which so totally captured the essence of my Mother. The following is a written copy of what he said at her Celebration service.

“My memories of Romayne I’ll share focus mainly on her ‘words of wisdom’ that would sometimes suddenly appear out of nowhere. I like to call them ‘ROMAYNEISMS’.

Those of you who knew her and spent any amount of time with her know that she was rarely at a loss for words. Maybe not a lot of words at times but those snippets of profound truth impactful all the same. . . and impactful for different reasons.

There are three expressions or truths I heard from her often over the last few years. The first being, ‘That’s the way the mop flops’. On the surface this may sound a little superficial maybe even somewhat cavalier. I think though it speaks to Romayne’s acceptance of whatever life threw at her. As Karan just said, Romayne’s life wasn’t always easy or happy, but inspite of difficulty you have to keep moving on, keep living life. That is what I saw her do.

She became a mother at 17, then raised four children, lost two husbands, and a son. She also struggled with multiple health issues throughout the years and did it with little or no grumbling or complaining. In fact, I’m told she did not like complaining or hearing complaints. She accepted life as it came and persevered, because ‘THAT’S THE WAY THE MOP FLOPS’.

Romayne Christmas 2017

Another truth I heard from her and Karan often told me Romayne expressed was ‘They’ll get good again’. This can go hand in hand with the previous quote, but I think more so she meant it as she was going to live life on her terms. She was her own person. Again those of you who knew her would have to agree, if how she decided to live bothered some folks well. . . ‘they’ll get good again’. She was not going to allow others to affect the way she chose to live. She had her life to live and her decisions to make, as we all do, and if others are upset by that, well. . . ‘THEY’LL GET GOOD AGAIN.’

The final Romayneism is not so much a truth as just a comment she made regularly in the last few years as her physical body was failing her more and more. Simple things like sitting down or standing up and walking became increasingly difficult for her— not to mention trying to get her in and out of a car to take her places. Every movement was a painful battle.

She would often cry out ‘Oh Jesus! Oh Jesus!’ Sometimes I secretly thought depending on where we were, I hoped that people around us wouldn’t think she was swearing! Those of us that know her, know that could not be farther from the truth. Romayne simply knew where her strength to go on came from.

I would like to imagine for a moment a different circumstance:

Imagine with me, if you will, what Romayne was doing this past Monday at 11:46pm. . .
There she is. . . she can see Jesus. Maybe from a distance at first. As she moves closer to Him she begins to sense the awesome glory of where she is.

She’s moving toward Jesus and her steps become hesitant because she is so overwhelmed by the presence of our Savior. Jesus sees her hesitation as He is now standing before her.

He has the biggest, widest smile on His face and with His arms outstretched He says, ‘C’mon, come here my beautiful daughter. What took you so long? . . . I was waiting for you! Don’t be scared. Come here! Walk to Me! I gave you those new feet and those new legs, and knees and hips so you could come to Me!’

She looks down at herself and realizes she’s been given a new and perfect body, without defect. She looks up at Jesus’ smiling face and runs to His arms and one more time she cries out, ‘OH JESUS’!!”

 

I hope your heart is blessed by this even if you didn’t know my Mom. For someday Jesus will welcome each of us who knew Him!!

Shine on. . .
karan k

Romayne’s Eulogy: Celebrating Romayne Part !

Mom’s loves:
Leon R. Buffenmyer–my Dad
Dale E. Carpenter –my second Dad
Romayne and her children
Hawaii

For those who could not attend any of the funeral services  for my mother Romayne, here are a few glimpses for you.

Funeral service at Reamstown Church of God

It is my complete honor to celebrate and share with you a little bit about my mother that you may not know. Romayne, as she liked to be called was her middle name and forever wanting to be different she refused to spell her name according to her birth certificate. She felt the “Y” rather than an “I” was much more distinguished. However, it was never legally changed.

Young Romayne at 15

I am not going to place my mother on any pedestal, the Lord knows how frustrating Mom could be at times. She was strong but stubborn. Loving but certainly not gentle. She was loud in manners and louder in her fashion choices. But we are all flawed human creatures in need of His grace and I am happy to say Mom received that grace when she was 15 years old at St. Pauls EC church also in Reamstown.

Up until that point in her life, she struggled in a broken, unhappy home. Her mother suffered severe depression and little Romayne was scared of her father. Her search for happiness began early and she dreamed of moving out West and living on a ranch. She never wanted children.

At 16 she met my Dad while he worked on her parents well and they were married that same year. Motherhood arrived early while my father was serving our country. Depression overtook her young life. Romayne gave birth to 3 boys and much later, a little girl.

 

She sought happiness in music throughout her life, first cowboy music such as Hank Williams and later she discovered one of the loves of her life— Gospel Quartet music. She liked it loud and “peppy”. The music used today were her personal favorites. When she wasn’t coaxing my father to take her to Gospel concerts in the tristate area, she was blasting her Quartet music thru her five foot long stereo.

A special shout out today to those of you choosing to honor Romayne with your apparel choices of Hawaiian shirts or her signature colors of pink and black. She loved to have fun and she wanted her funeral service to be a celebration of her life so she pre-planned some of the details of this service.

 

 

Because her early years were dark, lonely and depressing a common theme for my Mom’s life was Heaven:

She sang about it often when I was a little girl. The song “I’ve Got A Mansion Just Over the Hilltop” was the one I heard her sing the most and she wanted it played for you today as her casket entered the sanctuary.. She also loved hearing others sing about Heaven.. Vestal Goodman was her favorite soloist so thanks to YOUTUBE, we could share that with you as well.

Vestal Goodman

 

My Mom loved to laugh. She wanted a Happy funeral service. So some may view this service as irreverent but it is what she wanted and I know if God allows her to see us, she is happy over every detail.

Contagious laugh!

Speaking of laughter, during my high school years when I participated in plays, my director wanted my Mom to come to every performance because he knew her infectious laugh would stir laughter in others even if the play itself was subpar.

 

Besides laughing, Mom also loved hugging and kissing the people she loved. Often unsuspecting loved ones left her presence carrying her special brand of a hot pink lipstick kiss mark on their cheek.

Mom’s youngest great grand daughter, Maya

 

I think Mom wanted to escape this world of pain and sorrow and go to the place Jesus prepared for her. So she focussed on Heaven. I am so grateful she taught me about Jesus at a very young age. He is the ONLY reason I am able to stand before you today and can speak to you at this time.

I was extremely close to my mother for many reasons and I’ve been asking Jesus for years to prepare me for the day when He called her home. I know there are bawling sessions ahead… had a few already but she is no longer suffering and I know I will see her again. But I have also had some laughing sessions as I remember so many funny memories of her. I hope that in the days to come you will remember her smile, her laugh and her hugs because she truly was a unique individual and will be missed.

Last lucid pic of Mom and me
Christmas day 2017
She crossed over to Heaven New Years Day 2018

 

In one hour we will commit her physical body to the grave but the real Romayne is dancing on the streets of gold with Jesus next to her pink mansion!

God bless us, everyone!

Shine on from Heaven Mom!

karan k

 

 

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

In the Pink

 

What do you envision when you think of the word Christmas? Are you a Scrooge who only sees it as a money stealing holiday to rob one’s pocket every 25Th of December?

Or do you have fond memories from childhood? A special gift you received one particular Christmas perhaps? Or the annual Christmas pageant you were forced to participate in at church or in school? How about all the glorious lights and colorful decorations adorning the houses and the fresh scent of Christmas trees?

Does your family have any special traditions that they continue to practice year upon year? Growing up in dysfunction left little room for any warm fuzzy traditions.

My family was distraught every year when it was time to set up the Christmas tree. My Mom would pull out the fake tree and adorn it with only two things, pink tinsel and pink satin balls. My three older brothers and my father hated the tree. I think all of them hated pink ever since the first year she set up that peptobismal tree. Pink was and still is my Mom’s signature color.

Mom would wear hot pink lipstick with every outfit and dressed in pink, carried huge pink pocketbooks and come to think of it, we even lived in a pink house. So I can’t blame the guys in our family for their aversion to pink.

I never minded pink. In fact, I love pink and sometimes I wear it in honor of my Mom. When people stare at my bright pink lipstick or clothes I have to chuckle to myself because I don’t care what they think. I’m enjoying remembering my Mom and her glory days.

This year Christmas with Mom was hard. Her dementia is increasing. She’s in pain from a weird rash,the beginnings of cellulitis and congestive heart failure that causes her to retain fluid. Normally affectionate, she’s in pain if you hug her too hard.

Her body and mind are deteriorating and I am praying for grace for her so she doesn’t suffer. She was always such a strong woman. But now she is eaten up by fear and paranoia. She cries at imaginary things and screams for no reason.

I am grateful she could come to my house to celebrate Christmas yesterday even though it was uncomfortable for her as well as for other family members at times. She told me it was “a nice party” but that she knows this will be the last time she can go out of the nursing home bar a miracle.

Mom and I have lots of stories to share with you but right now I ask that you pray for her to be at peace in her mind and be free of pain in her body. Thank you so much!

Shine on into the New Year!
karan k

Got Mask?

 

Masquerade party 2017
Everyday wear 2017

How many of you like masquerade parties or attending events requiring a costume? I love to dress in costume and pretend to be someone else for a day. It can be a fun challenge and definitely entertaining. What I don’t enjoy is wearing a mask. I find them confining, hot, stuffy and can cause dizziness. I’m sure some masks are better than others but I am steering clear of them.

Of course there are times when masks are absolutely necessary and not an option. Protection is a main purpose of masks in todays world. They’re an important part of certain outfits. Masks are regularly used in certain sports for protection such as hockey, baseball and skiing. Football requires helmets with face guards. Motorcyclists sometimes wear shielded helmets for protection and masks for warmth. Face masks protect us from germs. Oxygen masks can keep us alive.

But masks are usually not meant to be worn daily, are they? And yet if we look close we see masked people all around us everyday. People hiding true feelings or character, countless numbers afraid to reveal their true selves. Are you one of them?

If yes, can you identify what you’re hiding? Is it Insecurity, inadequacy, shame, regret or something else? Don’t ignore this if you suspect you are wearing a mask. Ask God to reveal the truth to you.

 

I once heard of a woman working in an office setting who frequently mentioned to her coworkers that she had a very strong work ethic. Turns out this was only a mask she wore to hide the truth: She often came in late to work, made many personal calls and surfed the internet on company time. She wanted to hide her laziness. But she was caught in a mask. Her co-workers were not fooled.

worst mask of all

Or the familiar story of a more insidious mask. A smiling facade that leads you to believe he or she is your friend. You begin to trust them and their smiling face. But the reality of backstabbing and exploitation leave you with painful scars and you are tempted to pick up your own mask to protect yourself from being hurt again.

But masks are fake. There is no real protection for the wearer. They only provide a false sense of security which will eventually backfire into deeper pain.

This is the cycle of entrapment that masks our genuine selves. God alone knows who we really are and HE created us to be completely free in our own identity. Masks bind us not free us.

“Wearing a mask wears you out. Faking it is fatiguing. The most exhausting activity is pretending to be what you know you’re not.” Rick Warren

 

Got mask? Jesus invites us to rip it off, cover ourselves in His righteousness, and depend on His Holy Spirit within us. HE will guide and protect us daily as we allow our real selves to emerge and ultimately FLURISH!

Free at last

“For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26 English Standard Version

Shine on. . .
karan k

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).

Proper Support

“For I hold you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am here to help you.’ “Isaiah 41:13 New International version

Have you seen this new sculpture crafted by Lorenzo Quinn, son of actor Anthony Quinn? The giant 5000 pound set of hands appear to support the 14th century Ca’Sagredo Hotel in Venice. It will remain in place until November of 2017 in case you are in Italy.

The key word here is “appear”. The hands are only props of fake support revealing artistic expression. Real support would be much stronger and substantial. Nothing fake about it.

Sculpture  entitled “Support”  in the Grand Canal of Venice on display until November 2017

A piece of art named “Support” I find incredibly interesting. We all have art of some sort in our homes representative of things we love. Finely crafted furniture is also art.

One of my favorite pieces of furniture in our home is a 9 foot mirror which rests against the wall just inside our bedroom door. It’s always my last stop before I go sailing off into the unknown. Just a quick once over to avoid any public embarrassments and I’m out the door.

When we first bought the pricey mirror, we planned to hang it as an ornamental piece on the framed out stairway landing wall. We hired someone to hang it but the mirror was too heavy for the wall to support it. It dawned on us at this juncture that we were attempting to HANG a piece of furniture that was created to LEAN.

What’s your favorite piece of art in your home?

 

In our humanness we often attempt to HANG onto our ways, our intellect, our strength, and our experience to progress through life. None of these things can realistically support the weight of our journey. We were created to LEAN.

But sometimes we LEAN on unhealthy things and fake supports just like the sculpture in the opening. We are fooled into thinking we need this or that to get through the day, the week, the year etc.  We can lean on food (which is a struggle for me),  prescription drugs, alcohol and in some cases adulterous affairs.  Christians are not immune to these deceptions. Beware the age old warning about reaping what you sow (Galatians 6:7). LEAN on the truth that stands the test of time.

Lean even one handed as a first baby step

Life’s curves and twists, tests and trials are all specifically designed to be encountered with support, never alone. It’s the shared experiences that build relationship. A lifelong deepening relationship with us is what our loving Lord desires. Like a leaner mirror without a load bearing wall, we cannot expect to stand and succeed without leaning on Jesus.

Don’t fight against your design by believing that you can support yourself. The result will not be a pleasant one for you. Rather embrace the truth and learn to lean on the God who created and cares for you. (I Peter 5:7)

Lean on the ROCK

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and LEAN NOT on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5+6 New International version

Shine on. . .

karan k