Category Archives: Daily Grind

Labor of Love: Part II

 

As we said in Part I, to FLURISH on a daily basis, we need to enjoy our work. God gave us the privilege of work because idleness is unhealthy for us. We need purpose to FLURISH and work is a substantial part of that.

Do you know your purpose and are you enjoying it? Huge CONGRATS if you can say yes to both!  Share some of your tips on self discovery and why you like your job. For the rest of us, read on:

If you are not in that blessed situation, where are you today as far as your job and purpose are concerned?

Are you unemployed and scared?

Or  perhaps seeking a job better suited for you and your purpose?

 

Do you view work as a gift from God ? That He gives you specific skills to use your gift? Our attitude is an important part of being successful in our purpose and our ability to enjoy  work. A good attitude frees us more than we may realize.

If you’re currently unemployed and scared I want to encourage you not to give up hope and realize God already sees you and your need. El Roi is the Hebrew phrase for the “God Who Sees Me”, it’s one of God’s names you can pray when asking Him to help you in your situation.  (Read the story of Hagar in Genesis 16) He will help you find a job that fulfills your purpose and bring fulfillment to your heart. However, you may have to do some things in preparation for that future position:

Some work requires skilled labor. Natural skill and learned skills alike. Do you know what your skills are? And don’t say you don’t have any skills, because God gives them to all of us. Some are easier to recognize than others, but God does provide skills naturally in us.

“. . . and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze. . . He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn. . .”
Exodus 35:31, 32, 35 New International Version

We need to proactively discover and develop whatever skills we find within us. Whether its crafting something, communicating people skills or a service type skill, each one is important and needed in God’s scheme of things. He created so many unique individuals each with their own set of distinctive abilities.

Skills, Knowledge, Abilities

Our heavenly Father eagerly desires to join us in taking the adventurous journey into uncovering what He’s creatively placed inside us. If you haven’t taken this trip yet begin talking to Him about it and wait for his direction. Then follow His lead!

Some jobs require furthering our education. Ask God for financial resources IF He leads you back to school. Or if you’re young and continuing to study in preparation to enter the work force, ask Him for guidance on what schools to attend, classes, every detail. Pray about everything!

Our God promises to supply all our needs including employment opportunities. As always MJT! Must Just Trust!

 

 

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19 New Living Translation

 

Shine on. . .

karan k

Labor of Love: Part I

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

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

Job loss, bills keep pouring in…

 

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

Perhaps you can relate or you know someone who can?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy businessman sitting on chair in green field

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

Does your work strike you as a gift?

Are you between jobs?

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

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

Shine on. . .
karan k

Ain’t No Fairy Tale: Part VII

 

So now you’ve heard the many sides of our story. But what is your story? Are you a step-mom, dad or child? Are you considering becoming involved in a step-family relationship? Share your experiences in the comment section.

I must tell you as I wrap up this series that I was blessed to have a dear man and sweet girl to blend into my life. I remember early on when I first met Cortney that her heart held innocence and compassion and I didn’t want that spoiled. If ever there was a child I could nurture, she would be the one. It was an extraordinary honor to help parent her.

I thank God for the precious gifts of Cortney and Dwight. He used them to teach and mold me into more of the likeness of Jesus. It challenged, scared and frustrated me many times but oh now to look back, it was worth it all!

Unfortunately, this is far from the norm. Wicked step-children do exist. We know of one family where the daughter detested her step-mother so much that she put something caustic in the step-mother’s face cream. The results were disastrous both physically and emotionally.

Another incident involved a boy who wanted people to know he hated his step-father. He carved permanent vulgarities and hateful messages concerning his step-father into walls and doors of the home. So much pain in both cases and so many other stories out there remain hidden.

Likewise, wicked step-parents also exist and I wish I could say they do not. It’s difficult for some people to love children who are not their own flesh and blood. Anger and resentment are evils that run amuck and develop into all sorts of abuses if not covered by the grace, healing and mercy of Christ.

I felt like a wicked step-mother in my heart early on because I didn’t want to share my new husband with anyone, even his young daughter. I knew this was selfish and I tried to fight it. I prayed Cortney never noticed or felt the sting of my sin. The last thing I wanted was to hurt her or Dwight and risk a failed marriage.

 

The enemy used shame often to discourage me telling me I was an unloving mother, a selfish wife and a failure. But Jesus’ strength through the Holy Spirit was my rock so I wouldn’t give up. HE was my gentle guide, helping me overcome the discouragement and immaturity the enemy kept throwing in my face.

In time by the grace of God I learned to rejoice over special dates when Daddy and Daughter got together on their own. God replaced my selfish possessiveness and insecurity with wholeness and generosity so Dwight and Cortney could be free to love each other and me. I am so grateful the Lord was patient while I learned!

“HE won’t brush aside the bruised and hurt reed and HE won’t disregard the small and insignificant, but HE’LL steadily and firmly set things right.” Isaiah 42:3 The Message

 

A little over three years ago we gained a new member in our family. Someday maybe I’ll tell you more about this precious young man.

2015

In conclusion, if you are contemplating getting involved in a step-family relationship, please count the cost first. It’s a complicated and difficult endeavor.

“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?” Luke 14:28 New Living Translation

If you’re already in a step-family and desire to succeed:

Keep focussed on Christ and encourage family members to do the same: you can’t do it without Him.

Talk as a family often and in openness.

Pray together as a family.

Remember, you’re not alone even if you feel like it. You’re surrounded by a world filled with blended family members. Find some healthy ones and support each other.

At the least, I’m sure you have friends or family in step-family situations. Do me a favor and pray for them. Being a successful step or blended family is not easy, it’s hard work. It can be discouraging and at times, destructive. But when it works it can be a thing of beauty shining glory on our great God whose love conquers all!

 

Four Happy Clams 2018

Shine on. . .

karan k

Ain’t No Fairy Tale: Part VI

 

So, you’ve heard the step-mother and step-child’s perspective on the challenging experience that we will call family blending. There is however, another perspective that is missing in this story. Who could we possibly need to hear from yet, in this compelling step family saga? I’m glad you asked. . . that would be me, Bio dad, (a.k.a. daddy, Honey, and “that guy. . .”). Yes, I’m the biological parent in this series. Not only am I a biological parent, I’m a recovering a step-parent, and I’ve been a single parent as well. . .  I know, don’t ask.

While my perspective may be somewhat unique, I certainly don’t have all the answers. Any advice I share with you, will primarily come from my mistakes rather than my successes, unless otherwise noted. In other words, “this is what I did, and it didn’t work, SO DON’T DO THAT”! (Sorry, didn’t mean to yell.)

I mentioned I was a step-parent. In retrospect, my first foray into the role of step-parenting was more a rescue mission, although I didn’t realize it at the time. Twenty-six years ago, I “stepped” into this world rather naively, with visions of Mike and Carol Brady dancing in my head. This was my mission and I chose to accept it. (I know, I watched way too much TV as a kid). This child needs a father and by golly, I’m going to be THAT father.

My idyllic visions of how this was going to work soon hit the proverbial brick wall. There was fighting, manipulation, thinly veiled threats, and outright rebellion. And all this from a step-child under the age of six. How could this be I thought, I’m only trying to help. The bio father was gone and they needed me. Many times, I felt like the odd man out. It was me against them. Frequently, I was just the “guy my mom married”. Let me tell ya, there was nothing sit-com worthy going on in that home. Reality TV, maybe, but we’re talking early 90’s here, so that wasn’t even on the horizon yet.

dating three weeks at this point

So fast forward thirteen years, the marriage has ended. My youngest daughter and I are now alone, and to her chagrin, I meet someone. That someone is the author of this series, parts 1 – 4 and 7, and my daughter wrote part five. How about that?

the new woman, now wife

I’m now the bio parent bringing a new woman, a step-parent into my daughter’s life. I would love to say I gained volumes of wisdom from all the mistakes made from the first go around but alas, God had more for me to learn.

Read part 5 if you haven’t done so. (Actually, read the entire series). You will see my daughter initially struggled with the “other woman”, but I moved forward seemingly oblivious to the depth of her struggles. I did, however, notice she was more withdrawn and angry, but I reasoned that his was due to the divorce and her age. She was after all, a young pre-teen. I could at times, sense the tension between my daughter and my new wife. I mean, I’m not a complete blockhead. I just didn’t know what to do about it. I was pulled in two directions and I didn’t always handle it correctly. I had two women to keep happy. Think about that fellas!

As my daughter said, in her post, we should have all sat down together and had a rap session. [Rap: To talk or chat . . . and no not with Kanye or 50 Cent]. That’s an old 70’s term for sitting down and talking. I should have been more open with her. Explained to her what was going on and tried to reassure her that I still loved her and was not looking to replace her. In reality I wanted to enhance her life with a Godly female influence. I knew she needed that as she matured, and I couldn’t provide that for her, for obvious reasons.

On a positive note, at my wife’s insistence, we did go to a counselor as a family. My daughter initially resisted but, she has always been teachable and went along even though it was hard for her. It made us aware of what we were facing. Through that experience, we learned principles that helped us grow together. Family blending is something that should always be approached with eyes wide open.

So, what made the difference between the first and second step-family situation? There is a Biblical principle that tells us to count the cost before we do anything, found in the 14th chapter of Luke. James 1:5 says that if we lack wisdom, we should ask for it. Proverbs 3:5 & 6 tells us not to lean on our own understanding. . .These aren’t just do’s and don’ts God puts out there because He can. No, they are there because He can see things we can’t. He can see the heartache, the pain, and destruction that awaits by going down certain paths.

Before embarking on the second experience, we indeed counted the cost as much as possible by seeking wise Biblical counsel, together and separately. We were as open as we knew how to be with each other as to what our family values were and what we expected from the marriage and family experience.

Another strategy suggested to us by a dear friend and counselor was to extend our engagement for no less than one year. In doing this, we could all see how we would each function over an extended period, through holidays, change of seasons, extended family relationships etc. Seems trivial but, we have seen first-hand, this notion of “love at first sight”, and quick engagements and marriages, is nothing more than romantic fantasy, better left for Hollywood screenwriters, that generally never works long term.

 

All parts of this plan helped us present a united front to each other. Without that, the divide between all blended family members will deepen to the point it becomes irreparable. Thus, the sad marriage statistics listed in part 3 of this series.

At the time of my first ill-fated journey into family blending, I was living a very different kind of life. One completely devoid of any reliance on Jesus and His Word. Instead, I relied on my own flawed understanding and skewed thinking. I failed to implement any part of the plan listed in the subsequent paragraphs. As a result, all involved are now statistics and damaged goods on some level. Oh, that I had looked to the Lord to direct my paths.

Thankfully, God has promised, according to Joel 2:25 to restore the years the locusts have eaten. This is a promise we have stood on throughout the last 13 years. He has been faithful to us and has rewarded our faith in Him immeasurably. I’m also eternally grateful for my wife and my daughter’s unconditional love for and patience with me. What a long and fulfilling trip it’s been. (There’s kind of a song in there somewhere, isn’t there?).

Shine on. . .

dwight k

Commercial Break

 

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

Check it out.

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

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

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

Shine on. . .

karan k

Cell Slave

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

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

1990 Hydro Sport Vector CC Boat

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

1878 Dolaar Trade Coin

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

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

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

Where oh where is my cell phone?

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

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

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

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

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

New Living Translation

Crisp Cash

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Shine on. . .

karan k

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

Sin Still Happens

“You are a sinner and your sin will find you out in time, in your body, in your character, in your conscience, and ultimately in eternity.”

Dr. Billy Graham

HOW DOES THAT QUOTE GRAB YOUR HEART?

“Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20

Since all of us sin, we need to deal with it properly. How do you handle sin in your life? Do you recognize it as sin? Do you admit to yourself that YES, I still sin at times and am in need of a constant flow of my loving Savior’s grace and mercy? Or does pride block your view of sin in your own heart and life?

It’s oh so easy to justify whenever we sin, isn’t it? So how DO you handle sin in your life?

Whenever I sin a red flag should go up as an alert. I need to pay attention and deal with this as quickly as possible, but often I ignore my conscience and what I know to be true. Was it even sin, I question? Do I take the time to think about it, considering my motives? Not as often as I should I’m afraid. Usually I tell myself something that sounds good about why I did what I did and then just move on about my business. This practice does nothing to cleanse away my sin. It actually allows it to find room to settle and fester in my heart.

So if we want to avoid sin build-up and boldly face the truth about ourselves, we pray for courage and the Holy Spirit’s guidance and enlightenment. Sometimes our sin is easy to spot, other times it hides deep inside attitudes and loyalties. The key is to recognize sin in our heart and deal with it swiftly not allowing it to set up shop in our hearts and minds. The longer it stays the stronger it becomes. We need the Holy Spirit’s help in this process.

 

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” I John 1:9 & 10 New King James Version

Sin separates us from God’s presence as far as closeness goes but HE remains within the hearts of His children even though we sin. We who have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin do not lose our salvation when we sin but we do lose the pleasure of HIS presence while we remain unrepentant. Sin squelches our FLURISHING condition for the moment but we need only confess (admit our sin to God) and repent (remorse prompting us to turn away from that particular sin and toward God for help to overcome it) to be fully restored into His presence again. Through the whole process He loves us and wants us to come to Him for restoration.

 

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23 & 24 New King James Version

 

Shine on. . .
karan k

Puny Peevish Predicaments

Isn’t THIS great?!?:)

 

“Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” Song of Solomon 2:15 New King James version

Today my booth is once again infiltrated with dozens of flies. Buzzing in my face, landing all over me and my stuff. They’re dirty scavengers who “gross me out to the max” (for all you late baby boomers).

I remember from junior high science that flies invert their stomachs wherever they land. It’s like throwing up on any surface and then reswallowing it to pick up food particles. Totally nasty.

Agh!!

I have to ask for skads of grace to get through such shifts when I am forced to share a very small space with these filthy pests. They can be so incredibly annoying.

 

Aren’t we often irritated by the little things in life? A pokey driver in front of us when we’re in a hurry. An annoying sound like fingernails across a chalkboard. People who cut in front of you in line. People who chew with their mouths open. Or how about when someone cuts you off in mid-sentence?

Yesterday as I drove through a convenience store parking lot very slowly, I might add—A guy strolled out in front of me across the macadam while he was texting. He never bothered to look up to see if there was oncoming traffic on his right or left. He leisurely moved in front of me with no care of oncoming cars. Even though I was not in a hurry it frustrated me.

Do things ever get to you like that?

What are some of your irritations or pet peeves?

These little seemingly harmless agitations can build up and ruin our mood if we’re not careful. We can become snappy with those around us and even those we love.
Like the little foxes that ruined the grapes, it can be the little things in life that spoil our moods. Irritations can quickly lead to burdens and touchy attitudes.

Let’s take our annoyances to Jesus. He can deal with them much better than we can! He’ll lighten our load and replace our irritation with better things.

“May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy…” Colossians 1:11 English Standard Version

Shine on . . .
karan k

Never Declined

 

“Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth You created. Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves Your plans.” Psalm 119:90 New Living Translation

I had a customer attempting to pay by credit card today. While the card was processing, I asked if he wanted any receipts because I’m able to issue a Turnpike receipt and/or a receipt from his credit card company. He DECLINED any receipts.

After a minute or two, his credit card posted the dreaded message: DECLINED. I had to tell him. Not my favorite part of the job. He produced an alternate form of payment and completed the transaction without incident.

Ever try to pay by credit or debit only to have your card come up DECLINED? It can be an embarrassing moment, especially if you have no other funds.

Have you ever had an idea you thought was so great you submitted it somewhere for approval? You wait in anticipation of acceptance and moving forward with your idea, but your submission is declined.

What about you as a person, have you ever been declined? “Politely refused” as the definition goes?  No matter how polite refusal arrives it remains a subtle form of rejection and embarrassment. It hurts.

Jesus is the only friend I know who never DECLINES giving me His time. When I need a listening ear HE is there for as long as I need Him. When I need help, He is there working things out for me according to the Father’s will which always includes what is best for me. He is my refuge, my hope and stay when all else gives way. With Jesus as my source I will never be DECLINED!

“He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” Psalm 91:4 New Living Translation

Shine on. . .
karan k

To Be Continued…

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it ALL for the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31 New Living Translation

Greetings and Salutations Fellow FLURISHERS!

It has been brought to my attention that some of you are missing my weekly blog posts. So I thought I would check in and give you all an update.

Since mid March I’ve been working on a series of messages for a women’s conference in Tyler, Texas. I’m the keynote speaker, well the only speaker, and I’m not a procrastinator. I wanted to be prepared. I’d been gathering ideas since late last year and so for months now I’ve been rolling them around, shaping and molding them to fit the Lord’s leading for this conference. It’s a process and one to which I’ve given all my free time. Thus no FLURISH blog during April and May.

I hope to write regularly again after we return from Texas.

In the meantime, I covet your prayers for this trip and the conference that I may yield to the complete leading of the Holy Spirit to be used in whatever way HE chooses. The conference is June 8 and 9.

Thank you in advance and continue to FLURISH during  any hiatus time you may be taking!

Shine on. . .

karan k

 

 

Do You Need A Reminder?

Lovely Reminder

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” Romans 8:25 New Living Translation

The other Sunday I found myself struggling through my work day. On the PA Turnpike the toll collectors work 3 out of 4 weekends every month. Weekends are the busy traffic times so everybody works. Somehow after 29 years I have not managed to accept working weekends. I still dislike it. It feels like the rest of the world is out to play and we toll collectors are helping them on their way. Wah. Wah. Wah. Realistically, I know every job has a few negatives and I must accept it.

Besides the work related wound licking, I’ve been fighting for weeks on a personal level with strung out emotions. I function everyday but my FLURISHING feelings are just not able to push through to the surface. I know they are there because nothing has changed in my life. I remain a child of the Most High and nothing negative has touched my life. I should be enjoying all the goodness He gives.

But instead, I seem to be tired all the time and lack desire and motivation. I cannot get a handle on it. I must push myself to do everything: push to get out of bed; push to pack my lunch for work; push to go to work; push to go to gym or workout at home; push to cook supper; push to write or read anything. The only easy thing lately is going to bed.

yawn. . .

 

Some may accept this as their Modus Operandi but I do not want to live like this under a constant cloud of depression. I detest it. I want to be free to FLURISH again so I keep praying, trusting, believing that this dark cloud will lift by the grace of God. I know He’s been faithful in the past and I’m sure He has a lesson for me to learn while I slog through this difficult season.

So I continue collecting on the job this busy Sunday afternoon and a man in his forties pulls up and asks if I need something to brighten my day. Not wanting to sound as pathetic as I feel, I shrug my shoulders and smile. He reaches over and hands me a dozen beautiful red roses.

He saw hesitation on my face and explained that he had a blind date in the city. He bought flowers for her but she never showed up. He was disappointed but thought someone should get some joy out of the flowers.

I received the roses as a caring reminder from Jesus, through the hand of a stranger,  that He loves me even when I feel weak and struggling. I took them home and my husband set them up in a vase where I can see and enjoy them daily.

Are you weak and struggling too? Be encouraged, His love for you remains! Look around for His reminders.

“No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39 New Living Translation

Shine on. . .
karan k

Blown Away

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Shine on. . .
karan k

Read Hebrews chapter 4, just 16 verses of insight

 

Sweet Read

Praising God for the ability to read 🙂

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

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

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

Frodo battles Shelob

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

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

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

Shine on. . .
karan k

 

Back in Action

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

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

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

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

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

Repairs Needed

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shine on. . .
karan k