One of the beautiful things about Jesus is the HOPE and the JOY He brings to any circumstance in life. I am constantly amazed at this life I get to live because it truly is the best!
In can be easy to focus on the wrong things. The wrong things bring about worry, strife, fear, and anxiety. This is not the way we were intended to live. The Jesus life truly brings freedom and victory from those things even if life looks bleakest.
He is so good! He is the greatest of all time! This is why I will not be silent. I will open my mouth and raise a hallelujah! I will raise a hallelujah on top of the mountain and in the valley. I will praise His name because He is good. I know He is working all things together for good.
It may look dark for some of you. Others, you may not know how to get out of bed without worrying about the next hour or day. What I can tell you is that He loves you and has the best in mind for YOU. If life is tough, sad and bleak right now, HE is there… HE has you. He provides peace and a place to rest if you choose to abide with Him.
I won’t be silent! My God is the greatest of all time. He is worthy of all my praise— even in the storm.
This weekend we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. In between that was silence. Tension filled the air as Jesus’ followers awoke with devastation unable to comprehend His death.
But God in great anticipation had a countdown going. He knew that a mighty conquering was occuring and victory was running towards humanity. While the people waited having only begun to grieve, to mourn the son of both God and man, silence settled as Jesus was about to breathe again. Even though Jesus had told them what was to come they still did not understand it. They knew the Messiah had come but nothing occured the way they had thought it would.
We are all in waiting right now. In our homes, on our own, we are waiting for our lives to go back to normal. But perhaps our lives are supposed to be resurrected? Maybe our lives are supposed to change to become better than before?
There is beauty in the waiting. We may not know what it is going to look like but because Jesus defeated death and rose from that grave, we can be certain that what is waiting is full of victory, hope, joy! Could we view the silence, the waiting, a beautiful part of our journey to a great comeback where life is restored the way it should be and reconciliation has occured; where our pain has been healed and each of us has returned to love?
Don’t you long for more?
The more is on the other side of the waiting, the silence, if one is willing to embrace the risen Savior. He has been waiting with great anticipation and joy for the day of resurrection… In your life.
Aren’t you ready?
It is time to stop ignoring the gentle whisper of love that will bring you freedom and heal your pain, Dear world.
You are loved more than you know.
As a child all I wanted to do was fly. I wanted to be free, to feel the wind on my face. Freedom and joy seemed to be what I yearned for. Even as a child I felt deep pits of darkness and despair deep in my gut. It felt like an anchor, a prison, a painful friend (or foe depending on your perspective).
But God met me in every way, everywhere I went. He showed me that my letting go allowed Him to raise the dead in me. This allowed hopes and dreams to rise, a new life to come forth even if it was slow. I found I could be brave as God opened new doors and a new way of living. Freedom and victory became normal.
It is true. The more you let go, the higher you will rise. God will remove whatever hinders you. This is how you can soar no matter what comes your way. His way of life for you teaches you how to fly like an eagle. He will show you how to soar above the storm and soak up the suns rays to rest and persevere through any circumstance.
Let go and rise.
Will you lean in?
Every Sunday my favorite thing to do is pray with kids. During prayer I place my hand on their heads. If a child is new I will always ask permission first before doing this.
On one particular Sunday morning as I laid my hand on one child’s head they relaxed and leaned in. I went around the classroom and one child after the other leaned in. The response of leaning in is not a new response but having as many children do so like they did, was.
This action of leaning in conveys trust. In the context of the heart it often can signify surrender and the action to receive. For others they simply hunger for more of God.
As I witnessed these children do this it dawned on me how important it is for us to lean in. When we lean in we are expecting more. We can expect more because we know that God wants to give more.
How many times have we ignored God? How many times have we rushed prayer or decided that enough time was spent with him?
Greater treasure awaits us in the quiet moments of waiting, listening and leaning in.
God is a good God. He always wants to give us more. He loves to give good gifts.
I have to wonder what have we missed out on for being too busy or rushing our time?
What is even more extraordinary to me with children is they know and will lean in no matter what is going on. They will lean in when they are happy. They will lean in when they are sad or hurt.
How often do we stop leaning in when things are good and we don’t feel the need for God? Or maybe it is the opposite and instead of leaning in when things get difficult, we blame Him instead?
Whatever season we are in we become the inconsistent ones. God remains faithful. He is always ready to help and to bless us if we are willing to receive from Him in those still and quiet moments.
What is your focus on?
Those that study the mind share scientific proof that whatever you focus on becomes a part of you. Whatever it is can become bigger and bigger until it is all consuming (whether true or false). Essentially what you dwell on, read, watch & post has become apart of your wiring in your brain. Whatever you spend the most time focusing on will generally dictate your responses or reactions to life.
When life gets difficult it can be easy for many to focus on those difficulties. Some of us hide. Others get busier. Or we get angry, sad and melancholy.
A victors life chooses to focus on victories rather than defeats or the potential of them. It does not matter what is going on in life, if you focus on joy and victory because of Jesus, there is nothing that can touch you. I am not saying that things won’t discourage you or tire you. But what I am saying is that you have what it takes to remain steadfast, to persevere and to praise God through it all.
No matter what you may be facing today pick up your joy. Pick up your hope.
God is for you.
Victory is yours because of Him.
Joy is your choice and that is something that can never be taken from you.
Choose the victory life.
I know that since the dawn of time individuals have been trying to make truth what they want. Somehow people think that if they just say something or feel something then that is what is true. Like a magic lamp and poof!, truth is what I say it is.
This is a big fat lie! Anyone that lives like this has an agenda whether they realize it or not. That agenda is this: “I get to live however I want and when I want no matter how it hurts others or hurts me. I do not care if it is an abomination to the Creator of love.”
Injustices occur all of the time. Sin destroys people.
Truth exists to set everyone free from the above.
If hatred, anger, vulgar talk, gossip and lies are coming out of your mouth like a venomous snake, let me tell you a not-so-little secret. Truth always wins. Lies will rise to the surface and light will expose what is malevolent.
Be ready to be exposed.
Your game can only be played for so long before justice comes running in to save the ones you are bent on destroying. Love wins. His name is Jesus, perfector of truth and savior for all.
Victory is here.
Recently I was struck with a grand reality that I have realized before but it finally burried itself deep into my heart:
God takes care of you when you sleep. While you sleep He is taking care of things unseen.
Anything that you face He has you completely covered. We do not need to strive for control. We do not need to have all the solutions, finances or best plan because God already does.
This does not mean that we get to be lazy. Absolutely not. What it does mean is that as we submit ourselves to Him and allow Him to guide us, we can find rest amidst the battle.
At a service the other night the word, “refreshment” was spoken over me. Simply put, just like a soldier needs to come back to camp for food and water and rest, I would receive the same spiritual refreshment. It resonated with my soul because I had just asked the Lord to help me understand how to do this.
In a flash all these dots seemed to connect more and the truth about God became deeper rooted within me. He never tires. He never tarries. His timing is flawless. He knows what He is doing. Because He is good, He is trustworthy. Because He is love, He is faithful. Because He loves you, He will help you and make a way for you.
There are no buts, what ifs, maybes, or rugs waiting to be ripped from beneath you. God is not the culprit of either your bad choices or the bad choices from others. He is always the one to help you back up, to cry with you or to fiercely roar in the face of your enemy.
He is mighty!
He does not like it when others mess with His own.
There is justice for you.
He stands in front and behind to declare that you are His.
Dear heart, arise and lift your head up.
Do you have the courage to face the day even amidst your darkest hour? When the battle is thick and a cloud of darkness is all you can see surrounding you, will you choose to be brave and press on?
The Lord, like a fierce lion is in pursuit. He sees you and your eyes lock. In His eyes you see victory and a love so fierce that fills your soul to continue pressing on through each assailant. In that instant, a light bursts forth ahead piercing the darkness.
Mighty God, the Lion of Judah, smashes every assailant in your path. He leads you to victory. His roar makes the whole earth tremble. Justice has just been dealt. Laughter echoes into the valleys. The waters and bubbling brooks dance with joy.
He lifts you up. You stand triumphant looking upon your enemies, every foe has been laid low. New breath fills your lungs.
Every ounce of blood and every fallen tear has been worth the journey to get here.
His roar brings victory. His breath restores life. His laughter scatters the rest of your enemies.
He has made you victorious!
Is there a word that better describes grateful, thankful, or blessed? Joy?
The past month has renewed hope within me for the impossible. I cannot describe it. I could not tell you when it happened. One day I woke up & all of a sudden what seemed impossible no longer looked or felt impossible. Childlike faith & joy was restored. It was not like I lost it but the pain that God delivered me from has now enabled joy to invade every part that was ever damaged.
Words are not adequate. Giving my life will never convey how grateful I am for all that God has done for me and my family.
Just this past week alone I have found myself wanting to shout praises to God! Simple things like being greeted from our cat at home have made me say “thank you”. Or the time she fell out of our window this past week & bounced off the side table onto the floor because she fell asleep there (she didn’t get hurt and I laughed a lot).
What really gets me is when I see my daughter smile at me & tell me unsolicited, “I really love you Kara”. I love hugs from my husband & waking up knowing he is excited that I’m the first person he sees.
I am grateful for voxers & phone calls with friends who have lasted the test of time & distance. I love that others have adopted me & love me without an expectation of what my response may be. Love has literally consumed my heart that it often feels as if it will burst.
Grateful? Thankful? Those words do not cut it. Those words merely express a tiny piece of what is in my soul.
I am living in freedom!
Joy is life.
Now I know what it means to laugh my way through trials. Do you want to know why?
There seems to be a health craze lately about cleanses for our bodies. I am not discounting the health benefits from a cleanse. It made me think more about our hearts. Our hearts need a cleanse more than our bodies. After all in the end that is what matters the most.
I’m tired of olive branches being extended out only for them to be cut off. I’m tired of verbal abuse, guilt trips, manipulation and blame cast upon the innocent. I’m fed up with toxic words spoken over those I love, and over our nation. Lies. All these lies will crumble revealing the truth of hearts involved.
When all is exposed what will your heart reveal? Will there be toxic ooze? Will vile & rotting flesh reveal a broken heart that chose to blame cast and tear down others? Or will your heart reveal purity, love, gentleness, joy, and beauty?
Everyone has a choice.
“But Kara you don’t know how hard my life has been!”
Hog wash! I’ve been through hell but my God saved me and has continued to turn the ashes into something incredibly beautiful. I’ve experienced my deepest sorrows and deepest pains being touched by my healer. His love and his joy have set me free from not only the fires of hell but he has touched the scars from the battle on my way back up.
He is not done with me yet.
He certainly has not forgotten about you nor is he finished with you. He took your pain to the grave after dying on the cross so that you wouldn’t have to carry it. Just as he rose you have a choice to choose the same destiny.
A heart cleanse. Get rid of toxic thinking, toxic words & toxic relationships.
Stop casting blame.