Shine Your Light

Who cares how dark the world is?

It has been dark before.

It will get darker still.

We don’t walk in fear of the darkness.

We walk according to the Light.

The darker it is, the brighter a light can shine.

Focus on The Light and shine yours brightly.    ~Bro. G. Carpenter

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light ~Ephesians 5;8

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Yet – Chapter 2

(A few days ago I posted about the word yet.

I talked about how the Lord whispers this word to me when I am praying and tell Him I am concerned He hasn’t answered a prayer I’ve prayed several times.

Read about it here.)

One of the ways I use the word yet is when I am talking about things I want, but don’t have.

I don’t own my own home. Yet.

I want a house where I can paint the walls any color I please.

A place where I can grow a beautiful rose garden without worrying I will have to move away and leave it behind because I’ve planted it in land that doesn’t belong to me.
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I long to plant Iris bulbs in dirt I can run my fingers through and call my own.

But, I don’t own any dirt. Yet.

I grieve because not all of my kids are walking with the Lord the way they should be. Yet.

I know they were raised to love and respect Him. I know they have all met and trusted in Him.

While in prayer I’ve heard the Lord reassure my heart they are all saved but they have to learn lessons and make their own mistakes the way I did.

They are learning, but they just aren’t there. Yet.

So many prayers I’ve prayed.

So many prayers have not been answered. Yet.

I will keep praying.

I will keep believing He is going to answer when the time is right.

It just isn’t time.

Yet.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ~Hebrews 11:1

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Yet

Yet.

I hear that word a lot.

Mostly in my prayer life.

I’ll be praying about something – again – and I’ll remind the Lord He still hasn’t solved a problem or situation and the word yet will immediately pop into my head.life-choice-clipart-1

He hasn’t solved it. Yet.

Then, I’m reminded that His timing isn’t the same as my timing.

He’s working behind the scenes, putting it all together.

I just can’t see that. Yet.

This past weekend I was at a Woman’s Banquet.

The speaker talked about entrusting God with things I have but don’t want. She also talked about things I want but don’t have. Yet.

She reminded us that God’s timing is perfect and he is not slack concerning any thing.

She reminded us of the importance of entrusting Him with things I don’t see Him working on. Yet.

Having faith means choosing to:

  1. Trust that He is willing and able to handle things and turn them around for the better.
  2. Trust Him with the things I am praying about, no matter what they are.
  3. Trust He is able to add or subtract the right things from my life to improve my situation.
  4. Trust He knows when the perfect time to act is.
  5. Trust He will move in just the right way, even if it’s not when and how I would like or expect Him to.

Today I have a choice to make.

I choose to continue to pray and ask Him to move in my life and the lives of others around me.

I choose to trust His timing even though I don’t quite understand what He’s doing or how He’s moving.

Yet.

 

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Heaven or Hell?

On more than one occasion I’ve heard someone say they’re going to hell.

Some even laugh as if it’s no big deal.

But, it is.

It’s a VERY big deal.

It’s not some party central where you get to spend eternity hanging out and having fun.

It’s a very sad, scary, painful place.

For those of you who don’t quite understand what it means or think it’s no big deal, here is the truth.

It is not God’s desire for any of us to go to Hell.

He loves us and wants us to spend eternity with Him.

The thing is, He cannot tolerate sin in any form.   question-mark-clipart-01

Unfortunately, all of us have sinned and fallen short.

There is absolutely nothing we can do to fix ourselves or rid ourselves of that sin.

Only Jesus can do that.

That’s why we need Him.

To ransom us.

To cleanse us.

To rescue us.

Jesus lived and walked on this earth for approximately 33 years.

In all that time He never sinned.

Not once.

He could only live sin free because while He was a man, He was also fully God.

He did it because he knew that by coming down and sacrificing His life for us He could pay for all of mankind’s sins, once and for all.

Now that He’s done that, it’s up to us to accept or reject the free pardon from sin His death, burial, and resurrection provide.

If we accept this gift, we become children of God, new creatures in Christ who have been forgiven of our sins and will spend eternity in Heaven with God.

If we reject this gift we remain in our sins and cannot enter Heaven where God resides.

The end destination for those who have not accepted this free gift and therefore cannot enter Heaven is Hell.

It’s sad, but it’s true. There is no third option.

The choice is yours, really.

Will you accept this free gift – a new redeemed life?

Or, will you remain in your sins and face an eternity of suffering and pain?

It is my prayer that you will turn to Jesus and accept this free gift He is holding out to you.

God loves you and wants you to spend eternity in Heaven with Him.

So do I.

 

If you have doubts or questions about accepting His gift, or just want to talk about it, please email me. I am also available to text, Skype, or FaceTime. Just let me know what works for you.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Today’s My Birthday!

I’m 50!

Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday I was graduating high school! Now, here I am with 3 grown kids and a full life.

Looking back I can see a lot of things that happened to me.

Some were sad, some were bad. Some were very painful.  Mostly though, they were good, happy times.
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I  see times when God has blessed me without me even realizing it until much later. I see times when His presence was very visible in the moment.

All in all, it has been filled with His amazing love and protection. I’m very thankful for that.

I am thankful, too, for the people the Lord has put in my life to help me, love me and challenge me along the way.

I look forward to what this new year will bring. Whatever it holds, I am certain the Lord will be there with me through it.

One thing’s for sure – it’s gonna be a great year!

Happy New Year to you!

Happy Birthday to me!

God Bless,
Karen

 

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Oh, the Irony!

All week I’ve been avoiding writing this post.

All week I’ve felt it rolling around in me.

So, here goes.

It’s Suicide Prevention week. The time we set aside to raise awareness and encourage people not to leave.

It’s a subject that has always been near to me. Not because I’ve ever been tempted but because it’s a subject the Lord has given me a heart for.

This year is especially hard —suicide_prevention_campaign_help_suicidal_people_cg8p7405236c_th

On June 29, 2015 I lost the best friend I ever had.

He died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

Suicide.

I never saw the signs.

I knew he had been sick. I remember him telling me he was tired and discouraged but I never once thought he of all people would make this choice.

That’s the thing about suicide – you don’t always see it coming.

That’s why it is so important to pay attention when people seem depressed or say they are tired. I don’t mean the “I’ve been playing ball, or just finished work” tired. I mean the tired that comes with living life.

We’ve all felt that kind of tired but for some people it runs so much deeper. It runs all the way to their foundation and chips away at their hope. It drowns them in sadness and keeps them from living.

If someone tells you they are tired, ask questions. Listen to what they say. Hug them.

DON’T tell them to “lighten up” or “let it go”.

That’s like telling a man with serious chest pains to shake it off or walk it off – impossible and ridiculous. If they could, they already would have.

Instead, take it serious. Be there for them. Listen to what they have to say and help them feel heard. Pray for them. Help them find the resources they need.

There are counselors out there who can help.

There are online resources for both those in danger and the ones who love them.

Go here: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Or here: National Suicide Prevention Hotline

If you need to talk to someone you can call toll free to 1-800-273-8255.

 

It’s ironic to me that the last post I wrote before I got discouraged and gave up my blog was about suicide only to have a friend’s suicide bring me back to it. Funny isn’t it, how life works? How it has been one year to the day since I last posted?

I know what my friend would say – he would tell me that I should be writing because the world needs my gifts. Maybe that’s the exact message we should be telling those thinking about leaving:

Please stay – the world needs your gifts. The world needs you.

 

If you are feeling tempted, please don’t leave. You are loved. You matter. You are wanted.

Even with all it’s heartache, this world is a beautiful place. Please stay.

Peace,
Karen

 

Here is Last Year’s Article written specifically to those thinking about leaving.

 

 

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Yesterday’s Post

Yesterday I posted about World Suicide Prevention Day.

It’s an important subject.

One that needs more attention, work and resources than it gets.

It was a good post, getting the message across.

But…

There were other things I wanted to say in that post but I didn’t because I wanted it to be short and sweet so if someone in crisis read it they wouldn’t feel preached at.

Here is what I wanted to say, and what I should have said:

I know you are hurting. I know you don’t see a way out. I know you have tunnel vision right now and all you see is a need to find a way to make the pain end.

The thing is, suicide is NOT a way out. There’s still pain on the other side.

It will come in one of two ways: either you will have to stand before God and explain why you threw away the precious gift of life He gave you or worse yet, you will step into eternity without the security of salvation that only comes through a relationship with Jesus.

Either way, death is not a cure-all end to pain.

Here’s the other thing – there is a way out and a solution to your situation, you just haven’t seen it yet.

Sometimes when we are hurting we get so focused on our pain we can’t see things and people around us. We miss opportunities before us.

I know it’s hard. I know it hurts, but don’t believe the lie that says it won’t get better. It will.

Don’t let this storm you’re going through win.

Refuse to give in.

Fight back.

Reach out for solid ground.

There is solid ground – it’s an anchor we all have access to.

His name is Jesus.

Turn to Him.

Cling to Him.

Let Him calm your storm.

Let Him calm you.

All you have to do is call out to Him with your heart.

He’ll meet you where you are.

He’ll walk you through this storm.

He’ll fill you with a peace and joy you have never imagined.

Just turn to Him.

Even if you are so weak and beaten-down all you can do is whisper His name, whisper it.

He’s there, waiting.

He loves you.

He wants to help you.

He is your anchor – hold tight to Him.

I love you.

God loves you.

You are special.

You are beautiful.

The world needs your gifts.

The world needs your talents.

The world needs you.

Please don’t leave it before it’s time.

You are important.

You are valuable.

You are precious.

YOU MATTER!

 

If you need someone to talk to about this, please email me. I would love to either email back and forth with you, speak on the phone, do a Google Hangout or Skype. Whatever you need, I’m here. I care, and I love you. Click here to send me a message: Karen’s Email

Karen

Online Resources:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

 

 

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World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

It’s the day people around the world rally together to help those in need understand there is an alternative.

There are people out there who care.

There are people out there who want to help.

Each year nearly 40,000 people choose to end their own life.

That’s in United States alone.

This is a tragedy we all need to be in prayer for.

Learn the signs.

Watch for them in the people around you.

Speak up.

Reach out.

Help someone in need.

If you or someone you know struggles with suicidal thoughts or urges please contact a trusted adult, school or religious authority.

If you prefer to be anonymous, please reach out to one of these resources:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

There is a way out. Be brave. Be strong. Choose Life!

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God Answered A Prayer

I have often posted on this blog about the struggles my son, Ringo has had over the years.

He still struggles in several areas.

Thankfully, the lows he’s dealt with over the last several months have not been nearly as dark or deep as they used to be.

Until last week.

Last week he had a very hard week. We both did.

I wish I could say I set the example for him, but I didn’t. I lost my temper at him.

He lost his temper at me.

It got ugly.

It took a lot of praying for me to shake off the pain and frustration of the fuss we had. For 2 days I did nothing but pray the Lord would help us patch things up, show me what to pray and do and that He would help Ringo feel better.

Then, something miraculous happened. Ringo came into my room one night, sat down on my bed and started talking. About himself. About his way of thinking. About his relationship with me.

This was especially unusual because Ringo has never been one to share his thoughts or feelings with anyone about anything.

Over the next 2 days we talked. A lot. He explained a lot of things about himself to me.

All these explanations and insights were answered prayer.

For years I have struggled to know how to help him because I didn’t know how he thought or felt about things. I didn’t understand his mindset or reasoning. I knew his thought processes were different than most people’s, I just didn’t know how they were different.

I have been at a loss for what I should be praying.

I’ve known I should be praying God would be with him.

I’ve known I should be praying God would change his heart and draw him near.

I just didn’t know what else I should pray about.

The insights he shared gave me specific direction concerning what his needs really are.

It was like a breath of fresh air.

Here was the answer – straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

It was a God thing. I know that.

I know that the Lord answered my prayers.

I know that the Lord arranged this huge breakthrough in my relationship with Ringo. That He in His infinite mercy had given me a clear vision of what it is I need to do and pray to help Ringo be healthy.

Words cannot express how much it means to me.

I am so thankful the Lord has chosen to answer this prayer for me and show me what to do.

I look forward to seeing the Lord continue to work in Ringo, in me and in our relationship.

I look forward to the day He will answer my prayers about the things He has chosen to show me.

The last few days have truly been answers to prayers and I am profoundly grateful!

 

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. ~Psalm 136:1

 

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When You Don’t Think God Likes You

I was talking to my friend, Elle, the other day about how she doesn’t think God likes her.

She said she knew she’d been saved but no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t feel God’s presence in her life and she couldn’t see Him working.

I tried to help her understand that wasn’t true. I tried to explain how deep God’s love for her is. I shared the plan of salvation with her.

She said she knew all of that, but it just seemed like even though she made a commitment to Christ and even though she was seeking a deeper relationship with Him, He wasn’t responding to her.

I was heartbroken because she felt that way.

I was heartbroken because I didn’t have the words to say.

I walked away promising that I would pray.

I walked away wondering what I should have said to help her.

That was several weeks ago.

Last night the answer finally appeared. Or several possible answers.

I started to email her but then I thought if she is having this problem maybe there are others who are as well.

So, here’s my answer to her (and anyone else struggling with this).

Dear Friend,

It is not that He isn’t responding to you. He is. It’s that you can’t see it. There are several possible reasons. Here are a few things for us to consider:

1-Wrong Motive. Are you approaching Him because you want something from Him? Or, want Him? If we are going to approach Him we have to do it for the right reason – to have a relationship with Him. It’s not about Him helping us or straightening out our lives. He will do those things, but they are byproducts. It’s about giving ourselves completely – heart, mind, life, agenda, plans, dreams, goals, expectations – to God so that we can be His child and He can be our Father.

2 – Wrong Expectations. What are you expecting from Him? He is a very kind and loving God, but He is not a flashy God. Sometimes He shows up in our lives in the gentlest and smallest of ways – in the chirping of a bird outside our window, the laughter of a child or the smile of a passing stranger on the sidewalk. When we expect big shows from Him we sometimes miss the real thing right in front of us.

3 – Sin-Clouded Eyes. Sometimes when God responds to us we can’t see it because we have unconfessed sin in our lives. Things we are doing but shouldn’t. Things we should be doing but aren’t. That sin can blind us to God. It is important for us to bring the sin to Him in prayer, confess it, ask Him to take it and confidently believe in faith that He has removed it from us. Then and only then can we see clearly.

4 – Misunderstanding Our Role In Our Own Lives. Sometimes we forget or don’t realize we are not the captain of our ship. God is. We have to be willing to change or lay aside our plans in order to make room for His. This allows His will to rule in our lives. This allows us to glorify Him with our lives. It’s about us fitting into His plans, not Him fitting into ours.

5- We Don’t Know We Have A Part to Play. We cannot be idle in our faith walk. We are to be participants. We have to read our Bible and then live out the truths we find in it. When we sit idly waiting on God to show up we are not walking our faith walk. Faith requires effort. It requires commitment, sacrifice and determination. It requires work.

6 – Timing. Sometimes God’s timing is not the same as ours. Maybe He is on a different time frame than we are and we are expecting things at a different time than He is planning to give them. Remember, His ways and thoughts are much higher than ours so His timing is not always going to be what we think it should be. The next time you have an inkling or urge to read your Bible or pray, try doing it right then. No matter what you are doing. No matter where you are. Often we can better hear Him when we are quiet and relaxed than when we are struggling with something. Be open to the possibility He is going to speak to you at a time you don’t expect.

There are other things, too, that are involved, but these are a few to be thinking about. Please don’t give up. God loves you very much and He truly is reaching out to you. Keep reaching to Him and it will work out. I promise. More importantly, He promises!  I love you and I’m praying for you!

Karen

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. ~Psalm 145:18

 

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