Category Archives: Daily Grind

Good Wife/Bad Wife? Part II

Clinton Kelly and Stacy London  look on the Cathedral Hoodie.

“Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretense.” Marcus Aurelius

Multiple Myeloma Bone Marrow 2

“. . . but a disgraceful woman is like a cancer in his [her husbands] bones.” Proverbs 12:4b New Living Translation

In the last post we saw that we wives can be a crown for our husbands. That was from the positive first half of this proverb. Now we get to the ugly second part. I definitely do not want to choose this option! Bone cancer is the negative side of what a wife is capable of causing in the life of her husband.

A few years ago I loved watching a show called “What Not To Wear”. This show was very different than “The Good Wife” discussed in Part I. It was not a fictitious drama but a sad altho interesting reality show on how some people choose to dress. Friends or relatives nominated someone for the show who they considered to dress in poor taste. The two hosts would surprise this individual and offer to take them shopping for $5000 worth of new clothes if they agreed to trash their entire current wardrobe. That was the general gist of the show. I loved watching each episode because I learned to avoid my own fashion faux pas by watching the mistakes of the featured guest.

In the same way we can identify and avoid our own “Bad Wife” behavior from watching others and learning What Not to Do. There are the obvious bad behaviors of wives who flirt openly or have sex and cheat on their husbands in private. That is aggressive multiple myeloma in the bones for sure! It can quickly destroy a man.

But what about the not so obvious behaviors? Ever witness a wife berating her husband in public? Makes me shudder. It’s painful to see and so humiliating for the husband. What does she do in private, I wonder? Or have you ever heard a friend complain about her husband to a group of her girlfriends over lunch? And then there’s  rolling the eyes or shooting looks of contempt toward your husband which can be deadly. These too are cancer causing behaviors altho less aggressive, the end result is  the same. They destroy your husbands spirit and should be avoided at all costs.

Crown or Cancer? Those are the choices. Which will you choose?

To attempt to remain indifferent is compromise with mediocrity. There is no riding the fence here. Mediocrity is choosing the “Bad Wife” business as usual mindset.

Loving your spouse is one of the ways we love the Lord and you know how He feels about indifference. . . check out Revelation 3:15 Barnes’ commentary notes.

 

“Among those who made no profession He had reason to expect nothing but coldness; among those who made a profession He had a right to expect the glow of warm affection; but He found nothing but indifference. . . anything is better than this condition, where love is professed, but where it does not exist; where vows have been assumed which are not fulfilled.”

 

Why not mix Love and Faith together for a Good Wife life? Be encouraged. If you choose to be a crown rather than a cancer in your husbands life, God will honor your efforts. Nothing gets passed His notice. He will help you by His Spirit so your marriage can FLURISH no matter how long since you said I DO.

 

“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.” Criss Jami, Salome’

Shine on. . .
karan k

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Wife/Bad Wife? Part I

“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.” Criss Jami, Salome’

 

I never watched the CBS hit tv series “The Good Wife” even though it ran for seven seasons and I often considered checking into it. Julianna Margulies stars in this political drama about her decision to reenter the workforce after 13 years to provide for her children because her state attorney husband is jailed for corruption and sex scandal. Is he guilty? That’s what we all want to know?

Not sure if it’s a GOOD show to watch (only you can be the judge of that) but Margulies character supports her husband in some form or other throughout the shows run.

That being said, I want to be a Good Wife. Not like the one on the TV show but like God created me to be. To reach my potential that He set out for me to glorify His name. I want my husband to know and feel that he has that kind of “Good Wife”. In this post let’s look at the first half of an intriguing proverb:

“A worthy wife is a crown for her husband. . . .” Proverbs 12:4a New Living Translation

The word “Crown” to the Jews meant more than kingly power but also joy and gladness.
Solomon the writer of this proverb knew what a crown of joy should be. His mother gave him a crown of joy on his wedding day. (See Song Of Solomon 3:11). So he knew the blessing of  receiving a crown from a woman.

I am striving to be a crown, a joy for my husband. Striving because it is a daily effort. A choice I make over and over. I’m endeavoring to discover what I can do that brings my husband gladness.

A key moment for us is when my husband walks through the door of our home after working all day. I look forward to this moment. I try to set the tone of peace and tranquility with low music, dimmed lights and the scent of supper cooking. That’s the easy part. The tough choices come when he drags in, growling under his breath not noticing the pleasant environment I’ve created just for him.

This is when I have to choose my attitude. Will I continue to care for him unconditionally by trying to understand his mood? By giving him space if he needs it? By not pushing my agenda for the evening? And by not whining about my own unmet needs? LORD help me! I can do it only by choosing His grace!

Love for a Lifetime—Husband and wife harmony

 

Being a crown for our husband also entails being helpers or a “help mete” according to scripture. Hebrew for Help Mete— Ezer Kenegdo, a difficult term to define. It means so much more than helper. A partner, a lifesaver comes close.

What does that look like? We can be a support second only to the Holy Spirit in our husband’s life if he’s a believer. We choose to be: A companion for him in loneliness. An enthusiastic cheerleader in his triumphs. A soft voice and a soothing touch in his struggles and wise words of encouragement in his defeats. A loving nurse in his physical weakness and an eager lover in his passion.

Which of these areas are hard for you to be supportive? God’s grace is available to help you improve. All you need to do is ask.

I have to choose to respond to my husbands needs and trust my own needs to be met by Jesus. It can be challenging and sometimes I fail at one or all those things but I am determined to be a crown so I keep working at it.

Are you choosing to be a Crown or something else?

 

Next time we’ll explore the brutal second half of Proverbs 12:4

Shine on. . .

karan k

 

 

Be Prepared

 

“Being prepared has taught me to look ahead, to anticipate the unexpected, and to carefully prepare myself.” An 83 year old former boy scout.

Woman pulls up to pay her $5.35 fare with a debit card. Her account is 90 cents shy of the total. She has no cash. So I ask for her license to do an insufficient funds procedure whereby she has 10 days to pay by mail or online with an added $2 processing fee.

Not prepared?

She begins looking for her license. Meanwhile, the traffic is backing up because my coworker is on his break. She tells me she doesn’t have her license so I inform her that I must call for a trooper to ID her. She tells me she has a job interview and she’ll be late if she has to wait for a trooper. This customer was in no way prepared.

I wondered if she sensed my frustration? These type moments make me beg Jesus for more grace. I mean really. Why would anyone drive on a toll road to a job interview without money or their drivers license and expect a positive outcome? She didn’t even offer any excuses. This appeared to be her habitual modus operandi.

 

I needed grace!

In the end I don’t know if she made it to her interview on time or if she got the job, but I do know she wasted time and paid extra fees for her lack of preparation.

Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts of America, devised the motto “Be Prepared” in 1907.

Baden-Powell’s idea of BE PREPARED was that “Scouts should prepare themselves to become productive citizens and strong leaders and to bring joy to other people. He wanted each Scout to be ready in mind and body to meet with a strong heart whatever challenges await him.” 13th latest edition of Boy Scout Handbook

Baden-Powell further expounded:

“Be Prepared in Mind–by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.

Be Prepared in Body–by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.”

 

Sounds like a healthy and productive way to conduct ones life. I believe Scripture also encourages this way of living.

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Jeremiah 29:7 English Standard Version

What preparations are in your knapsack?

So, how prepared are you?

For todays situations?

For your place in eternity?

Read Matthew 25:1-13 to gain important insights on being prepared.

Shine on. . .

karan k

 

 

Technical Difficulties

How many remember this sign appearing on your TV set with a long loud annoying beep? It was to inform you that the station was experiencing technical difficulties. Never a source of joy that I remember.

Television technical difficulties sign

“. . . when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 1:2&3 New Living Translation

Lately my phone has not  been working properly. The battery wouldn’t keep a charge so I got a new battery. However, the phone continues to malfunction. I can’t use it unless I have a strong internet signal. The only thing on the phone that seems to work right is the phone feature itself. I can still makes calls. WooHoo! But rarely do I make personal calls anymore.

How about you? Do you text or email rather than call? It’s become the norm for most of us. Who has time to sit down and talk on the phone with a friend or family member? These days I make appointments ahead of time to talk to friends or relatives on the phone. I have to intentionally block out segments of time to make this happen and sadly, it doesn’t happen very often.

Our world is changing rapidly with all the advancements in technology. Some changes and developments are fantastic but the old ways should not be discarded just because they’re old. Sometimes the old ways are best.  And they’re reliable when we run into technical difficulties.

For example, when I write posts for this FLURISH blog, I use my various Bible apps to look up verses on specific topics. It gives me skads of information and saves me lots of time. I’m truly grateful for this capability. But at the moment, I don’t have access to that luxury. I’m facing technical difficulties.  I have to  actually open my Bible and search the scriptures by hand. I have to  wait for  the Holy Spirit to guide me to verses or passages I want to use. IMAGINE!

Some may think this is a pain? No way! Although seemingly inconvenient at the moment, it forces me to spend more time digging around and studying the Word of God. That my friends is a blessing of technical difficulty! In fact, I think I’ll add a new category to the FLURISH blog called “Offline Musings”—-posts written without the internet. Who knows, perhaps the Father wanted some undivided time with me— no competing with FaceBook, YouTube,  Instagram or Google etc.? HE is sovereign over the internet so it is certainly possible.

Have you had any technical difficulties lately? Allow Him to turn them into a blessing.

“Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again!” Lamentations 5:21 New Living Translation

Shine on. . .
karan k

The living breath of God in readable form

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.

 

 

The Thrill is Gone?

B.B. King and his guitar “Lucille”

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Jonny Lang

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

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

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

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

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

Skip away the blues

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

 

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

Allow Him to help you FLURISH again.

Shine on. . .
karan k

 

 

 

 

Friendship Lost

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

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

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

Coworkers and friends?

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

Dyadic encounter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shine on. . .

karan k

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

The Melting Pot?

“When I turn my attention to you, I’ll refine your dross as in a furnace. I’ll remove all your alloy.” Isaiah 1:25 New International version

What does the term ‘melting pot’ conjure up in your mind? What ideals do you consider “American”?

Merriam-Webster defines ‘melting pot’ as “A pot in which metals or other materials are melted and mixed.’ AND “A place where a variety of races, cultures, or individuals assimilate into a cohesive whole.”

London Graffitti

The US of A has long been called the world’s melting pot. This melting-together metaphor came into use as far back as the late 1700s. But the term became widely popular in the States after a play entitled “The Melting Pot” opened in Washington D.C. in 1908. The play later moved on to New York City and exploded on Broadway.

In Israel Zangwill’s play “The Melting Pot”,  he modernizes the story of Romeo and Juliette for the 20th century swapping out feuding Italian families for Russian Jewish and Russian Cossack families. Zangwill boldly uses the play to claim that America is a new country free of all the old animosity and predispositions of the old country. America becomes a beautiful escape for immigrants. A place where the immigrants were welcomed but not their former belongings of hatred and prejudice.

According to PBS, “God, Zangwill claimed, was using America as a ‘crucible’ to melt the ‘fifty’ barbaric tribes of Europe into a metal from which He can cast Americans.”

Mr. Zangwill dedicated his play to the US President at the time:
To Theodore Roosevelt
“In respectful recognition of his strenuous struggle against the forces that threaten to shipwreck the great republic which carries mankind and its fortunes, this play is, by his kind permission, cordially dedicated.”

What are your thoughts on that statement now in the year 2017?

Do you think we and any immigrant should melt down our individual heritage and mix together to conform to “American” ideals?

Grandpa and Grandma Klassen

The Klassens did. In 1924 my husband’s grandparents migrated to America from Russia where they faced cruel and unthinkable oppression. They willingly laid aside their European homes and loyalties to sail across the Atlantic to start a new, free life.. They allowed their Russian and German selves to be melted and mixed into patriotic Americans who gladly waited years to gain their coveted U.S. citizenship.

If you happen to live in this Melting Pot of the United States, may you find yourself praising God for the privilege.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He chose for His inheritance.” Psalm 33:12 New International version

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

Life Time

 

“The indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.” Wikipedia

Recognize this definition? Chances are you never looked at this definition because we are all so familiar with the concept. But I found it intriguing to reflect upon the thought that we are a tiny segment on the continuing, changing line of TIME. Equally mind bending is the fact that TIME is irreversible. Think about that. Each moment that passes is gone forever, never to return.

A young woman pulls up to the booth on a frigid day in January sporting a gray beanie with large letters in fluorescent green. The letters glowing across her forehead read YOLO. You know the phrase, it was popular a few years ago: YOLO — You Only Live Once.

 

I wondered to myself what that term meant to her in her personal life? Was she a thrill seeker trying to squeeze as much adventure as possible out of each day? Was she an ambitious entrepreneur seeking to break into some exciting new business and working daily toward that goal and not about to waste time. Or was she simply determined to try everything under the sun whether it was good for her or not? I guess I’ll never know, but as always it made me think.

I remember in Christian circles there were two added lines to YOLO;
“You only live once, this life is soon past
Only what you do for Christ will last”

So what does YOLO mean for you? What or on whom are you spending your lifetime? When we’re young it seems we have so much life ahead to do whatever we want. And then we find out as we grow older time seems to slip through our grasp faster and faster.

Time is mysterious

Science has not yet explained the mysteries of time and how it seems to speed as we age but one theory by William James made sense to me. He hypothesized that we gauge time by memorable events in our life. When we are young there are so many new things to experience. First day of school. First friend. First bicycle. First kiss. Prom. Graduation. Etc., All these events outweigh the average daily life of a working person where one day seems no different than the next. So time is altered or so it seems.

If Mr. James’ theory is true then we need to chase after new things. New experiences, new friendships, new challenges, new leaps of faith to keep life fuller and time slower.

Last year Dwight and I took surfing lessons. It was on his bucket list and I sorta got roped into it. This year, Lord willing, we are working toward experiencing the “Hang Loose” island life in Hawaii together. That is on my list.

Is there something on your bucket list you want to do but keep shoving that thought to the back of your mind thinking you’ll get to it later? Time is probably moving faster than we realize. So make or revisit your bucket list. Revel in past checked off experiences and start adding new ones to the list. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. We can garner ideas from each other. Share your bucket list plans as we FLURISH together and have the Time of our Lives!

“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4:14 New Living translation

Enjoy Yourself. It’s Later Than You Think. . .
CHINESE PROVERB

Shine on. . .
karan k

Nuff Said

 

“Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” Proverbs 10:19 New Living translation

During my growing up years I had a mouth problem. It ran constantly and caused me trouble. My mother called me a Babblemau, which was her version of “Babbling mouth”. My father had a rule about speaking at the supper table. He would slap my mouth if I spoke out of turn during a meal. You’d think that would have cured me after a few swift smacks but no. That need to babble, continued on when I got to school.

uh oh!

My teachers agreed on one thing about me that did not change from kindergarten through twelfth grade; I talked too much. I stood in corners, had to write on the board, “I talk too much” several hundred times and once got detention. All for my quantity of talking. For me, too much talk led to discipline. Hopefully by now I have learned to listen more than talk.

Instead of remaining a babbling brook I now find words fascinating. Their meaning, their sounds, how they can affect us. They are powerful. It’s a temptation to be verbose in my writing. More words do not equal quality. Brevity is a blessing. A skill I aspire to master. I attempt to use my words with wisdom whether in speech or in writing. I endeavor to think before I speak but am not always successful.

In our computer age, words we speak are often in written form. Texts, emails and social media have become our main form of communication. The written word becomes the words we speak. I see the need to carefully choose my words in light of Matthew 12:36;
“And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgement day for every idle word you speak.” New Living translation

What are idle words?
Idle word– This literally means a vain, empty, thoughtless, careless, useless word; a word that accomplishes no good.

“Here {in this particular verse} it means wicked, injurious, false, malicious, for such were the words which they had spoken.” Barnes’ Notes

So written or spoken, our words should be weighty with goodness, enlightenment, love and encouragement. How do your words stack up in this list?

Ever encounter a battle of opinions on the internet? Or conversations that seem to go on forever in a negative manner? Individuals arguing a point by beating it to death? Those words lose their power and will one day come under holy scrutiny.

Think before you type

Twice in the second chapter of II Timothy, verses 16 and 23, Paul instructs his young protege’ to avoid what he calls “foolish talk”. Repetition like that is means for paying attention.

As believers we need to be aware of our words and take responsibility for them. Follow James’s instruction to “. . . be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” (James 1:19b New Living translation)

Next time you notice rampant opinions flying all over the internet about any myriad of topics, think twice before you add your words to the conversation. Your two cents here may have a much higher cost in eternity.

 

“But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.” II Timothy 2:16 English Standard version

Good conversation skills include lots of listening

Shine on. . .
karan k

Who’s the Boss?


Then He said to the woman, I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. . . ” Genesis 3: 16a

The above passage is familiar to most of us. All too real to those who are mothers and have gone through the experience of nine months of pregnancy and then labor pain to bring a child into our world. But how often do we pay attention to the second half of that verse?

“. . . And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”
Genesis 3:16b

How do you feel about control? Do you enjoy being in charge? Some personality types thrive on playing follow the leader as long as they are the leader. How does this play out in a marriage where the dominant personality is the wife?

Early in my marriage, I got frustrated often over “his” way of doing things as opposed to mine. After living on my own for many years, I had grown accustomed to wielding control over my affairs. His way was slower. He lacked a “sense of urgency”, I thought. His way caused him problems in the past. His way SEEMED inferior to mine. Can anyone relate?

Control is difficult to relinquish. It can be more painful than birthing  a child for some of us. I can tell you it’s a process that requires diligent effort. Most of the time we women are too busy with all our domestic and maternal  responsibilities to even think of giving up control. But the effort we make to give it up in the end will be worth it. It’s another “MUST JUST TRUST  God’s truth” lesson.

 

My dear husband kept mentioning his personality type as a reason for his method of handling concerns. After hearing his explanation at least a hundred times, I began to listen. I let him show me the personality test he referred to and read up on his personality type as well as mine.

Are you familiar with the DISC Personality Model? It’s one of many systems for evaluating personality type and learning about human behavior. It’s the personality test my husband took before I met him. Below is a basic skeleton of the DISC model. Each of us can have a combination of these with one usually standing out as the strongest.

D = Dominant and Direct Behavior
I = Inspiring and Interactive Behavior
S = Supportive and Steady Beahavior
C = Cautious and Careful Behavior

After a bit of study on the DISC model, the light began to dawn and understanding crept into my mind. I could see my husband being a Type S on the DISC scale. He is Supportive and Steady. This formerly translated in my mind as “taking too long” to finish a task. Of course when he performed a task it was done right and it was done well as opposed to my quick and shoddy workmanship.

 

I’m a huge believer in learning to study your spouse because it will increase your understanding of him or her. Understanding can go a long way to aid you in getting along on a day to day basis.

“People with understanding control their anger, a hot temper shows great foolishness.” Proverbs 14:29 New Living translation

If you are single, taking a personality test will help you understand yourself more and will benefit your relationships.

Sailing requires serious teamwork

For wives, understanding your husband can build your confidence in who he was created to be. It will help you to allow your husband to take charge, instead of hanging on to your natural bent to control. This is God’s design. He wants to mold a husband and wife together as a team but ultimately the husband has the final say. So learn to let go and trust God’s plan, His way works so much better than our own! Isaiah 55:9

“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” I Corinthians 11:3 Berean Study Bible

 

We must diligently guard and protect the love relationship with our spouse IF we happen to be married. After Christ, they are the number 2 priority. Don’t take them for granted, they may not always be there. Learn more to live better together!

 

Shine on. . .
karan k

There are lots of free personality tests online. Here is one example.
For a free personality test try: personalityperfect.com

The goal

 

 

 

 

 

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

Breaking the Chains of Loneliness part III: Dating God?

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 New American Standard version

Dating God. . . let that sink in. Have you ever thought of Him this way? He desires us to know Him, to pursue Him, to spend time with Him. Isn’t that what we do when we date someone? We want to know all about them. Their past and childhood. What they value. What goals they have, etcetera.

To discover the answers and who this person is requires time and effort. It’s the same to get to know God. For someone who is lonely, the time and effort aspect can be difficult because you struggle to see beyond your own pain. This is the “chain” of loneliness. It’s a bondage the enemy uses to weight and drown us into the sea of despair. The chain must be broken by faith. By trusting God and doing things His way, all the way.

Read Psalm 34:18 again (opening verse above). Focus on the truth of this verse. The Lord IS near to the brokenhearted. If you are suffering from loneliness, you definitely qualify as brokenhearted. So the Lord IS near you. That’s the reality the enemy wants to hide from you. Break the chain by refusing to believe anything but the truth that God IS NEAR YOU!!! Then in faith act on that truth.

Begin by dating God. Sounds a bit strange but it helped me through some very lonely days. Basically, I would pick a place and off we’d go.

 

A park date consisted of packing a picnic lunch, a blanket and my Bible. I drove or walked to a park and found a nice welcoming spot. (Of course this date needed some good weather to succeed.) I’d spread the blanket across the grass, lay out the food and open my Bible. I usually brought a notebook as well to record anything God chose to tell me on our special date. Things He would whisper in my spirit as I sat with Him.

A mall date is good for when the weather is contrary. Pick a comfy seat and people watch with God. Talk about whatever comes to mind. You may want to converse silently in your head while in public places although passersby may assume you’re on a bluetooth.:) Again, take a notebook to record any words He speaks into your heart. You will treasure them later. God may even direct you to a hidden bargain while you’re there.

A similar date can also be done at a bookstore or library. Read books together with God. Ask Him what He thinks about new ideas you discover in the text or just enjoy a novel together KNOWING He is right by your side. Remember Psalm 34:18.

One of my favorite dates was going to Disney’s Animal Kingdom with Him. Sharing the wonders of His living creation with Him was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life. Being fully aware of His presence enhanced every ride we took and every show we saw. Similarly, you can do a zoo date or go to a botanical garden with Him.

Remember to talk to Him to and from the date as well because He IS still near you and through His Holy Spirit lives in your heart so you are truly never ever out of His presence. You just have to intentionally be aware of Him.

Tree of Life—Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Florida

These are just some ideas to get you started. If you do this consistently, in time His presence will naturally, or I  should say, supernaturally be a conscious part of every waking moment.

When you’re ready for a deeper understanding and connection find a book on or google THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD to learn more about His character.

Over time your mindset will change but that’s not all. Join FLURISH for part IV of this series to find out more. Until then, start dating and share your ideas so all of us can learn and benefit.

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” James 4:7 & 8 New Living translation

Shine on. . .
karan k

Breaking the Chains of Loneliness part I

 

“I am lonely, like an owl living in the desert, like an owl living among old ruined buildings. I cannot sleep. I am like a lonely bird on the roof.” Psalm 102:6+7 Easy to Read Bible

Heart wrenching seasons of loneliness visit all of us. How do we FLURISH through these times?

As a child I spent a lot of time alone because my siblings were much older and my parents both worked. Every year I dreaded the summer months because it meant being alone for an extended period of time. I enjoyed the social aspect of school and wished it continued year round.

At an early age I recognized and invited Jesus as my Savior to come into my heart. Soon I began making up plays, dramas, dances and songs that I would perform in our backyard to an audience of one. I knew God was watching. I could feel His presence and pleasure. This greatly helped me through the lonely times. So Jesus and I went out to play together as often as possible.

But as I grew older I forgot these precious moments with my heavenly Father. I stopped spending creative times with Him. I even thought at one point in my life that it was just foolish child’s play.

As a young adult I spent 15 years living totally alone. It became agonizing at times. Then one day I remembered the loveliness of the moments spent as a child dancing and singing in His presence where I could be my complete self. Loved for exactly who I was. I realized what I did as a child was not foolish but something led by God. I needed to lay down my pride and begin to recognize His presence and respond to Him as I did when I was young.

I began believing what the Bible says; He is ALWAYS with us. (Matthew 28:20b) The Bible also says to “Never stop praying” in I Thessalonians 5:17. So if HE is always with us and we are to talk to Him all the time then we had better learn to practice His presence.

One of the first things I began doing to practice His presence was to pick out music that spoke to my heart. I’d crank the volume and dance around my apartment with a fair amount of abandon. Praising and jumping for Jesus’ sake. Sometimes I did cheering type moves or ballet. Probably only a God who is Love Himself could enjoy it? I do know it always released stress for me and gave me a supernatural joy. I could be a carefree kid in His presence. Of course this is easiest to do when you are alone because others might try to have you committed somewhere other than to Jesus, if you know what I mean?

Years later when I bought my first home I had an upstairs Rec room with laminate hardwood flooring. One day while having devotions, I felt a still small voice in my heart calling me to play. At first I dismissed it as my imagination. But it did not stop. So I got up from my sofa and put some funky praise music on my stereo system.

As the first notes hit my ears I felt like moving. In my pajamas and socks, I discovered I could slide across the laminate. Jesus was calling me to slide with Him. Laughing and zooming across the floor, we had a great time. Later, I rearranged the furniture so there would be maximum sliding room. I created a little track and slid around it with Jesus often.

When my young nieces and great niece visited, I taught them to slide with Jesus too. I didn’t care if they thought I was crazy. I was crazy about Jesus and He was the only one who filled the lonely void in my life. Being seen acting crazy about Jesus is nothing new. Consider King David:

“And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns. But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she was filled with contempt for him.” II Samuel 6:14-16 New Living translation

Notice that David “leaped” and “danced” before the Lord. He simply delighted in the Lord and the return of the Ark to the City of David. David laid aside his royal garments to dance before his Lord. HE was willing to look foolish in the eyes of anyone for the Lord’s sake. That is a tight relationship. So powerful that it can destroy the chains of loneliness.

If you find yourself lonely take advantage of being alone, where no one can see you. Put on some music you love and surrender your pride as worship to your Lord. Dance, jump, sway just do whatever you can. Trust me, HE will love it and you may be surprised at the results on your end.

“God can’t give us happiness and peace apart from Himself because there is no such thing.” C.S. Lewis
Shine on. . .
karan k