My Savior

My Savior is dead.

Lost in a tomb.

Hands and feet scarred for my sake –

Yet I lay in sorrow for Him                   …I presume

 

I wander to his final resting place hoping for the unexpected

The stone cast away and my LORD nowhere to be found

All that was left were cloths that wrapped him

Are his words true, is this real, is it all connected.

 

Turning to see a man in flashing white saying, “Fear not!” Jesus has risen!

My spirit lifted and I was alive again

His words were true, and his ways righteous

For he is alive and living and no longer hidden.

 

Joy, hope, happiness arise from his grave

Hope and faith was given through Jesus our savior

Freedom from sin and death Jesus gave

He is alive and in him is no failure

Today is the day that Jesus conquers death

All creation can breathe a new breath.

 

— Cole H. Taylor

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The children are our future

This morning in our Sunday school class (or Sunday morning Bible study, whatever you call it) we discussed a passage from Mark 10 when Jesus rebukes his disciples as they attempted to keep the children from Him. There are certainly many layers to this passage to explore, but the one that we camped out on was the fact that children have a point of view on faith and Jesus that we should value and pay attention to. Our children do represent future believers in our churches, future parents passing their faith to another generation, future employees and supervisors who will have a broader spherechildren-7 of influence outside their home and churches. As parents we have an awesome responsibility to our children, to raise them to know the Lord personally and to carry their personal faith into adulthood. Allow me to take this responsibility a step further.

Not every believer is a parent. An individual who is a Christ follower may be an aunt or uncle, a teacher, a coach, or a friend of the family. These adults can have a HUGE impact in the life of a child. As I listened to the lesson this morning and I considered that many of the adults in the class were parents, I was grossly aware of the individuals who are not. But I know them to be investing in the lives of young people who God has brought into their lives.

I don’t often talk about my single parenting days, but during those eight years, the first eight years of my son’s life, I prayed for God to bring Godly men into his life. The prayer was answered in several ways – my brother who came to ball games and concerts; a friend from college who “happened” to be his Bible bowl coach and fifth grade teacher; a good friend who coached basketball and baseball; and the best of all, my husband and his step father who shows Christ to him every day.

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me,” and He drew them into His arms. The children we encounter every day or every week need us to invest in them, take an interest and pray for them. To the parents reading this, be encouraged to stay the course and finish the race of parenting strong. When you are tired ask for prayer. As your children grow and become more independent, this is when the real-life choices come. They need you just as much to guide them through the worldly issues they will encounter, as when they were young and you made all the choices for them.

To the non-parents reading this, find a young person and even if you don’t have a close relationship with them, pray for them. Seek ways to cheer them on to a Godly adulthood.

All the best,

KK

 

Six Days or Six Thousand, Who Cares?

There are dozens of theories about howhand of god the earth was created, evolved or banged together. I believe in creation through the power and spirit of one God. But even those who agree with me have thoughts about whether it was six literal 24-hour days or it took thousands of years. To this simple-minded, non-scientific girl, I say, who cares? The story of creation gives us more to discuss than how long it took.

First of all, God created the world and everything in it in a specific order. An order that provided for growth and sustainment. Think about it, the light and darkness came before the land and the water being separated. The land provided for the animals and plants, the water provided for the water creatures and the water that land dwellers would need.

Then came vegetation. All plants and trees needed to produce fruit and food was water, light and darkness.

Then came the sun and the moon. So what was the light and the darkness before we had planets to attribute? Who knows? Perhaps the light and darkness came from the control God had over his own power. Knowing our limited ability to comprehend Him, perhaps God is the pilot light of the sun, set it in space and let it be our reminder of the giver of life. Nonetheless, he gave us the sun and the moon as physical reminders of when we should wake and when we should rest.

He then gave life to the creatures of the sea, air and land. These creatures that would later sustain his favorite part of creation, man.

And 26 verses from nothing, God created his most sophisticated creature, man. Man was created in their image. God put him in charge of all he created. Man, imperfect, but God’s most trusted creation. And to create balance and order, he gave man a woman by which to partner and procreate. It was VERY good. Then he rested.

It is good from us to search the scriptures and have healthy debate. But in six days or 6,000, God gave more than our physical world.

  1. He taught us order. Do things in the right order for greater sustainment. There is peace and harmony in order.
  2. He taught us that nature was important enough to create first. Take notice and respect it.
  3. He gave us structure by which we schedule our life; day and night – seven days. Be productive and create for six days and then remember Him on the seventh. Rest in knowing that God is in charge of the big stuff like the universe AND the little stuff like caring enough to know the number of hairs on your head.

Your thoughts please,

KK

Give It Up For Advent

Every year folks talk about how busy the Christmas season is. They declare that THIS will be the year they slow down and enjoy the true meaning of the season. Good intentions. I’m guilty of it too. Every year I begin December longing to truly feel that silent night, holy night. And while there will be moments late at night, or in church on Christmas Eve, I don’t feel like I experience what I long to have during the holiday. I’m not looking for movie-like Christmas miracles, just a little deeper peace; an expectancy throughout the season seeking the coming King.

Part of the problem is the noise and clutter in everyday life. What if we made intentional decisions every day to remove the noise we can control? What if each day until December 25th we live expectantly? starUnlike the shepherds and wise men, we have a date on the calendar. We know that we are going to celebrate the birth of Jesus. For believers, it is the birth of our King. The man who changed the course of history.

I don’t sacrifice for Lent. But this year, I’ve decided to sacrifice for Advent. I’m clearing some clutter and making way for the birth of the Savior. I’m giving up talk radio for Advent. No Dave Ramsey or Sean Hannity or NPR. My time with the radio on will be with music declaring the coming King.

The other decision I’ve made is to not get caught in the hurriedness. We will make choices about the most important activities and be in the moment; not worrying about rushing to the next thing.

How will you make this season special? Will you join me in living expectantly each day, choosing to prepare your heart and mind for the birth of the King?

Merry Christmas,

KK

 

Noel — Take 4 minutes

This is absolutely amazing. Please take 4 minutes to sit quietly, eyes closed and let the message pour over you.

 

 

Is everything important on the list?

Fair_volleyball_wingsSunday evening it occurred to me that we would be going straight from Thanksgiving into Christmas. Like within a week. The first weekend in December my father and his wife are coming for their Christmas visit. Given that they will be staying with us and we will be hosting the entire family for a Christmas celebration I needed to make a list.

Actually, there are three lists. Groceries for Thanksgiving week, groceries for the week of their visit and the other “to dos” I want to make happen for it to be a wonderful time. By December 3rd my house will be completely decorated for the holiday and there will be cookies baked. That’s the goal that getting all the things on my list marked off will accomplish. Reviewing my plan and lists something was missing. Something was nagging at me that I needed to do. What was it?

The AHA moment hit when I laid my notebook and pencil down. As I let go of my plan, I realized I needed to be sure I took time to be grateful and enjoy the planning AND the doing. No matter how many things get marked off the list, my dad won’t care and my family won’t notice. It will be preparing my heart for the holiday and the time together that will be the most important thing to do.

Blessings,

KK

 

What’s the worst that can happen?

The tall strong father felt his little girl’s grip squeeze just a little tighter. Their steps were shortening the distance. After eight weeks of swimming lessons the determined reward was to get to go off the diving board by herself.

“You ok? Still want to do this?” The father spoke gently.

“Yea daddy.”

“Then why are you squeezing my hand?”

“Well, uh, I may be a little scared.”

The father nodded and kept walking. Arriving a few feet from the end of the line. The father knelt down and pulled the pony-tailed girl’s towel from around her shoulders. “You’re going to do great. It’s just like we talked about and practiced. You hold your breath, jump, big splash, then come up swimming toward the ladder.”

The little girl laughed at the big splash part. Her father’s reassuring words were as warm as the summer sunshine, melting her anxiousness. But the butterflies still bounced around her stomach.

“I, I, I, think I’m afraid, daddy.”

Knowing this was all his daughter had talked about during her swimming lessons. Having watched her watch the big kids every week at the pool; she at the shallow end and them laughing and doing all kinds of funny jumps, the father knew his daughter would enjoy.

“Remember the question I always ask you when you are feeling afraid.”16089391-Little-girl-standing-on-the-end-of-a-diving-board-Stock-Photo-swimming-pool-children

In her small voice the girl said with rote memory, “Yes, what’s the worst thing that could happen?”

“That’s right. And we’ve talked about how to jump safely. You just got your completion certificate for all your lessons. AND” the father stressed, “You just swam three times the distance you will after jumping. I know you will do fine and if you get in pickle, I’m right here and will jump in. Look up in the chair, it’s Ms. Sara. She will be watching too.”

Ms. Sara waived. The little girl smiled real big and waved back. The site of one of her teachers as the life guard and her father’s reassurance was the last dose of encouragement she needed.

The little girl walked up to the line. Took the two steps up the low dive. Her toes wiggled at the first feel of the rough board. Walking to the edge, with a smile and a wave to her father, she puffed air into her cheeks and jumped. The splash washed over the diving area and in the rings of success the little girl popped to the surface and into a free style stroke. Climbing out of the pool her success dripped off of her and splashed in her words, “I did it! Did you see me daddy? Can I go again?”

With a congratulatory squeeze the father chimed, “Of course you can.”

*** 

This scene demonstrates the many times in our children’s lives when we as parents need to remind them of what they know to be true and encourage them to take the next step. Anxiousness is a good emotion when it gives pause to ensure we are going in the right direction. A direction for which we have prepared. A direction that fits with our values, beliefs, and talents. There have been many times that I’ve asked that same question, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Short of death or dismemberment, the worst thing that can happen is a mistake that, no doubt, I will learn more from than allowing anxiety to paralyze my life. As our children grow we continue to be ready to jump in the pool to catch them. I’m wondering, is it sometimes better, knowing they are ready for the next step, for us to stay on the sidelines and cheer them on?

 Your thoughts,

KK

“Dive” — Steven Curtis Chapman