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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

I Saw the Light!

          It was just a passing comment; “I wish Judah’s breast collar had a hook instead of a buckle.   It would be so much easier to attach.”  That was it.  The full extent of a statement made in front of a barn full of other horseback riders.  It wasn’t unique or unusual, I didn’t put any particular emphasis on what I was saying, I just said it.  In fact, I had probably forgotten I said it before I rode Judah out of the barn and toward the trail. 

           The next morning, as I reached under Judah’s belly to attach the leather strap to her girth, there was a hook.  When I looked up in astonishment,  I was told someone I had just met fixed it for me.

          And I saw the light.
  

          A hot ham and cheese sandwich was what everyone wanted when we stopped at a restaurant in a busy part of town.  The waitress was asking a male customer if he needed anything and we were shocked to hear him scold her for sorry service and bad food.  She looked embarrassed when she saw our expressions, but came to our table with a smile on her face.  

          Her demeanor did not change, even when she returned to the man’s table to bring him another glass of tea.  She kept her smile.  She kept her cool.  She kept her customers.

          And I saw the light.

           If I had only looked a little closer, a little longer, at all the words written on the school website, I might have found the answer I needed.  But it was storming outside, and before I drove my son all the way across town, I wanted to make sure the Back to School Bash was still on tap.  As hot summer days gave way to cool August nights, classes were set to begin in just three days.  The phones had to be ringing constantly as new students, parents, teachers and delivery service personnel verified important information.  I knew the administrative assistant would probably be feeling overworked, but I still needed a quick answer to my question.  When she picked up the phone, I could hear in her voice that she was smiling.  She could have been short, stressed and irritated, but she was sweet, kind and helpful.

           And I saw the light.

          Yesterday, I called (weeks later than I should have) to make reservations for an event that almost always sells out.  I already knew the main section was full and I would be lucky if we could still squeeze into a less desirable spot.  The precious woman, who tirelessly coordinates all the visitors and their various requests, told me they were rearranging some things and the owner had reserved our spots…all I needed to do was send a deposit.

         And, I’m telling you,

                    I SAW THE LIGHT!

           Every day, we get a chance to be light in the darkness.  It’s a chance and it’s a choice.  Too often, I add to the darkness with my bad mood or attitude.  But we are called to step up higher…to lift each other up…encourage each other…to overlook offenses…to give anonymously…to choose kindness over criticism…to choose patience over anger…to choose to do something nice and kind just because it’s the right thing to do.  

           I’m sure I could find bigger examples, more impressive ways I’ve seen the light lately.  But after each of these things happened, I stopped and thought about the fact that the people had made a conscious choice to be kind. It’s usually not those in great positions of wealth and power who impact our every day lives…it’s often the people we meet in traffic…at school…at work…at home. 

 We are light.  We don’t have to be, but we can choose to be. 

And then we get to be!

 “You are the light of the world.”

Matthew 5:14

 “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  

Matthew 5:16

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.

Live as children of light.”

Ephesians 5:8

 

“This little light of mine I’m gonna let it shine…”

Ha ha just kidding you can stop singing now. 😉

 

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved 

 

Search Engine Sanity

  (Audio version)   

         KeziahCarrie may not be the most memorable of website monikers, but when I was mulling over all the practical possibilities, it’s the one that seemed to have the most meaning and set the right mood for what I thought God might want me to say.

          During the mental competition that ensued, KeziahCarrie was deadlocked with Front Porch Swing, and every now and then I second guess myself and wonder if FPS might have made more sense than KC.  I’m a woman who contemplates things.  I analyze them.  I pick them apart.  I weigh the pros and cons.  I decide.  Then I unravel the decision and start asking opinions.  When other people weigh in, sometimes I listen and sometimes I’ve already decided, and I’m just searching for validation.   I sort of wear myself out.

          It’s the same type of thing that happens to a lot of WordPress writers when we start looking at stats.  Those are the daily/weekly/monthly/yearly numbers that tell us if anyone is reading what we’re writing…where they are in the world…what posts they preferred and whether they cared enough to click on the “subscribe button” and come back.  The stats can blow your mind in a moment, make your day and send you away walking ten feet tall… OR… they can leave you dumbfounded and doubting, teetering on the edge of depression and despair.   Such is the POWER of stats.  You try not to look and then you glance up and see the Stats button and you start to click on it, and then you don’t, and then you do.

          It’s a mountain I don’t intend to travel around for the next 40 years.  I see that sneaky snake.  And I remember the song we sang in Vacation Bible School.  Be careful little eyes what you see!  🙂  So, I cast my glance away from the numbers to the real reason many women have joined us here at www.keziahcarrie.com.  It’s the Search Engine Terms.  A column of information guaranteed to lift spirits, make you laugh and remind even a doubting Thomas that God has a sense of humor, and can send you straight to any website even if it has a strange name.

          Beautiful big houseskayak womanif I had the wings of an angel in prison walls have all landed women on this
page.  My sister’s smelly socks…. world’s most smelliest socks… and my son’s personal favorite… deadly smelly socks…may
have sent some men to this site.  I’m not pulling your leg or blogging about the pastor; KeziahCarrie popped up, as a possible
answer, for those Binging, Googling or Yahooing their way through these words.  How do you draw a guitarstand in the rain…or make an angry face in the darkness?   Happy people talkingGod dreamed you…and my personal favorite…handshake in front of the Christmas tree

          A donkey drinking oil painting may or may not be better than a gift wrapped in money but little things matter so reap investment in the long run.  There’s a time image, life memories and oddly enough someone beating donkey.

           Readers have searched their way here from Egypt, Italy, Australia, Indonesia, Spain, Germany, South Africa, Columbia, Trinidad, Canada, Singapore, Sweden, Jordan, the Philippines, Paraguay and some other places I need to Google.  I guess all writers dream of a mob mentality on their out day download.

          The Search Engine Terms surely documented to ease my wondering mind… two hits for front porch swing but many more for KeziahCarrie! 🙂

          God is good, God is fun, God loves laughter and whether you believe it or not, He works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose… even if He has to use majestic white horses calling on a rotary wall phone.

 

 “A joyful heart is good medicine…”

Proverbs 17:22

 “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”

Proverbs 31:25

 The craziest thing I’ve searched recently:

 How to stop a fat horse from eating?

 And you know what?

There are DOZENS of pages dedicated to the topic.

Who knew?

What’s the wildest thing you’ve searched lately?  

Come on, you can tell us.

🙂

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Freshly Pressed

         Audio and Music version

          When I was growing up, my mother and grandmother ironed everything.  They would take their ironing board to the living room, change the setting on the flimsy metal legs so the board was waist-high, then sit down while they ironed, so they could watch their “stories.”  Ironing was a thankless hot job, but at least they got to see who had checked into General Hospital or who was following the Guiding Light.

          I swore off of soap operas years ago when my son told his teacher I watched them “all day long!”  The only one I really kept up with was The Young and the Restless, and I only watched it because it came on at lunchtime.  But if my child thought it was excessive, it was time to stop.  So I stopped watching, but I kept ironing.

          I also iron everything.  Most of my friends think I’m crazy, but it hasn’t kept me from creasing my son’s school khakis or pressing my husband’s pants.  I even iron t-shirts, shorts and blue jeans.

          Wrinkle free clothing just looks nice.  It makes you feel good.  It’s attention to detail in a ratty old world.

          It would be nice if we could just iron out all the wrinkles in our relationships. I’m a fan of acting like nothing ever happened when it comes to mending the messes that I make and it works really well if the other person also prefers that plan.  But sometimes we have to put more effort into it, make up for what we did or said, and then try to move on.  Sometimes we have to push past our own prejudices and refuse to fall into that old trap of thinking someone else’s sin is worse than our own.

          When Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  He didn’t say some of the law and the prophets hang on those two commandments, he said ALL of them do.

          What if we could iron out the differences between Republicans and Democrats, men and women, heterosexuals and homosexuals, Apple and Dell? 🙂 What if, as women, we were the first to quit pointing fingers at each other, to quit judging each other by some sin scale we were taught as children, to open our hearts and minds and really believe that ALL the commandments hang on the two Jesus cited?  We can’t condemn, we can’t judge, we can’t hate the other woman’s hair, dress or make-up if we are loving others as we do ourselves.  It doesn’t matter what we think of abortion, gay rights, paper or plastic.  Love is the bottom line.  We can love someone solely because they were made in God’s image or, better yet, because He told us to.  It doesn’t mean we have to invite them over for Sunday brunch. 🙂

          We’re all in this together.  Even in the Garden of Eden where Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the Serpent and everybody was judging everybody else for what each one had done wrong, they were still in it together.  They had to learn to live together.  They had to overcome the blame game and who did what to whom or whose sin was worse than the other and they had to learn to love again.  As the World Turns wouldn’t have worked any other way.  They just had to iron it out. 🙂

We would love for you to join us on this journey.

Just click on the little box in the upper right hand corner and

an email will be sent to you when I think of something else I just have to say.

🙂

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Our Provider

(Audio Version) I pondered if God would provide again.

He showed me a squirrel, sitting on top of the fence, feasting on a hickory nut.

I pondered if God would provide again.

He showed me two blue birds fluttering from tree to tree.

I pondered if God would provide again.

I saw a butterfly, lighting on a pool of water, with plenty to drink.

I pondered if God would provide again.

A bumblebee landed on a flowering bush.

I pondered if God would provide again.

And He reminded me.

 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not worth much more than they?” 


 Matthew 6:26

 Every day should be Memorial Day!  

 As we honor, and always remember, our military men and women,

let us also be reminded that

God is our Foundation, our Rock and Redeemer, an ever-present help in trouble.

 
“ Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

 How does He remind you?

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

GREAT Things Happen all at ONCE!

  Audio Version

     The cell phone rang when I was half way across town running a routine errand. “Our cousin is moving to Florida and he has two horses he wants to give away,” my aunt announced.  “He’s had offers, but he wants someone who will love them.”

     My heart pounded.  My mind raced.  And then just as quickly, I reasoned my way back to reality.

     “I don’t have a place to keep one horse,” I told her.  “I sure don’t have a place to keep two.”

     “Well then, find one,” she said matter-of-factly.  “And you’ll need to do it soon.  He’s already leased his land and needs to find a home for them by Saturday.”

     It was Monday.

     We hung up and I did what I always do when I don’t know what to do.  I called my husband and blurted out all she had said.

     “Go slow,” he warned.  “This could be God.”

     I had been praying for a horse for over 30 years.  I was so passionate and so determined to have one, I was even able to convince my “city husband” to buy a house out in the country.
I had spent the last year praying for a very specific horse I really couldn’t afford.

     “But God knows I want an Appaloosa,” I whined.

     “Well,” my husband responded, “Do you want what you want?  Or do you want what God wants for you?”

     “I WANT WHAT I WANT,” I said, somewhere between laughter and tears.

     “Then the best way to know if it’s God,” my husband encouraged, “is to take it one step at a time and see where the road leads.” 

     The fact that he didn’t think we were all crazy was the first step.  

     Monday night I called a stable close to our home.  It was full.  I called two other places.  No response.

     While all this was going on, my uncle had passed away, and we were preparing to leave town.  I had no idea where this cousin lived so I called to tell him we might not be able to come see the horses.  He told me he only lived about five minutes from the funeral home and if worked out for us, we could stop by after the visitation.  On the way there, we joked that they were probably going to be run down old farm nags, and we would have to politely decline. Of course, they were beautiful, healthy and happy to see us.

     When I REALLY don’t know what to do, I ask my dad.  He almost always gives me his opinion.  So I ran to him.  He  just laughed, hugged me and said it was up to me.  

     But it was starting to feel a lot like God.

     We came home Wednesday night after the funeral and I called the stable again.  Despite being full on Monday, they now had two openings.  It was even less expensive than I had imagined.  The horses would need tests and shots.  And this process, I was told, usually takes a week or more.  

     Thursday morning, a veterinarian agreed to see them and return the tests in 24 hours.

     We still needed a saddle because, no matter how pretty the horses were, I couldn’t bring them home without riding first.  I found a used saddle online but it was in another town.  I called my husband again.  No problem.  It just so happened, he was scheduled to do a presentation for work that afternoon, just a few miles away from where the people were selling the saddle.   I think I knew, before we
saw it, that the saddle would be perfect.  It even cost hundreds less than it was worth.

     There was still one thing I hadn’t thought much about… how to get the horses home.  Three people had told me they would be available with a trailer if this day ever came.  But none of them could do it.

     Little did I know, my stepmother was already online looking and had sent an email, earlier in the week, that for some strange reason I hadn’t seen.  It had the phone number of a man with a brand new horse trailer for rent, and it was on the way between our house and the horses.

     I had no control over anything that was happening and yet everything was in control.  It even seemed as if each detail had been meticulously planned out in advance.

      We got up early Saturday morning, stopped for a few horse supplies (one of the greatest shopping sprees ever) and off I went with the
three most important men in my life…my husband, my son and my dad.  
We took pictures every step of the way and we’ve told the story many times.  I share it with you now, because I am reminded, God wants to give us the desires of our hearts.  He sees us.  He knows us.  And even after 30 years of praying, some days begging, some days crying, never really understanding why I couldn’t have something I wanted so desperately, God had planned double for my trouble.  I wanted one horse, he gave me two.  His timing was perfect.  The stars were aligned and we were ready.  While I didn’t get an Appaloosa, we did get a Palomino, the horse my husband had dreamed of owning when he was a boy.

     Their names are Star and Judah.  It’s been one year since they joined our family and it is still so surreal.  Some days I just shout toward heaven, “Oh God, you gave me horses!!”  Because it is true, good things happen over time, but GREAT things happen all at once.  Don’t give up.  Keep praying.  Keep asking.  Keep believing.  He hears you.  He loves you.  He wants to bless you!

“Delight yourself in the Lord

and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4

“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart;

consider what great things he has done for you.”

1 Samuel 12:24

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

     Keziah Carrie is now being read by women all over the world.  This too is surreal.  

If you haven’t subscribed we hope you will.  It’s free. Just click on the button at the top of the right hand column.  

If you’ve already joined we hope you will share KC with the other women in your world.


Such a Good Friday!

I hope you don’t mind me re-posting this story from last year.

I recognize today, that I am just as much a sinner as I was one year ago, when this was written.

I need Him as much as ever.

I am as responsible, as anyone, for the price He had to pay.      

          Pounding hammers and cracking wood echoed through the old Catholic sanctuary.  It went on for only 15 or 20 minutes but it seemed so much longer.  I sort of knew what might happen when I first walked in and the man at the door handed me a nail.  But the longer we sat in the silent service, the less sure I was of what was going on.           

           The music playing was reminiscent of a Catholic Mass.  And I wondered if the nuns, who moved out of this former convent years ago, would be pleased with the ceremony now taking place, with people from many different backgrounds of faith.

            On the big modern video screen, hanging up front and to the right, were images of Jesus on the cross.  Silently, but together, we read his final words…the last seven things he said.

            Then it was time.

            A large thick dark wooden cross had been placed on a table at the front of the sanctuary.  We were encouraged to go forward, and by driving our nails into the cross, accept that our sins were as responsible for his death as the Roman soldiers who hung Jesus on the cross at Calvary.  When I picked up the hammer, my hands were shaking a bit more than I had expected.  I placed the nail where I thought his hand might have been if this were the actual crucifixion.  I hit the nail three times before I had to let go and walk away.  I felt sick and weak and very sad.  But, there, at the base of a driftwood cross hanging high on the wall in the center of the church was the welcoming invitation to share the Lord’s Supper. 

            It changed me.

            I thank God I will never be the same because that experience last night changed me.  I suspect it changed all of us.

            As we walked back to our seats, the sounds of cracking wood and pounding hammers continued for a few minutes and then, once again, precious silence. 

            We stood and sang the song, “Lord Have Mercy.”  Then, everyone ended the evening in silent prayer.

            When we walked out into the hallway, it was filled with the voices of families making dinner plans, talking about the weekend and the upcoming Easter services. 

            We left knowing we will sin again. 

            But we left free from the burden of sin and free from the price he offered to pay. 

The last seven things Jesus said:

“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

Luke 23:34  NASB

Speaking to the thief who had asked Jesus to remember him, “And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise. Luke 23:43 NASB

“When Jesus then saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, He said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, Behold, your mother!”

John 19:26-27  NASB

“About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying ELI, ELI LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”

Matthew 27:46 NASB

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” John 19:28  NASB

He said, “It is finished!” John 19:30 NASB

“And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.”  Having said this, He breathed His last.

Luke 23:46 NASB

As a woman and a mother, I think of Mary standing there and the helpless agony she must have felt watching her son die. 

But I also think of the lyrics to the song “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” by Stuart Townend and I recognize my role in all that happened. 

“Behold the Man upon the cross,

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,

Call out among the scoffers 

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished.” 

Yes, ladies, it is finished.  No guilt, no shame, no more penalties for our sins.  He has paid our debt.  And the debt is paid in full.

Happy Easter!

A Message in the Mailbox

     On our first official weekend away from the rest of the world, I noticed my husband favoring his left knee.  It was early fall, the leaves were just beginning to turn, the sun was shining and it was warm.  He’s a basketball fanatic, and so early in our relationship, I was more than willing to play along.  So was our dog.

     We had discovered a quiet outdoor basketball court near a lake and we were just shooting some hoops.  Each time he would run toward the basket, I saw him give a little to the left, before he went up for the shot.  He told me it wasn’t a big deal, just an old basketball injury and that he was fine.

     Over the next 17 years, it became progressively worse.  The first surgeon we saw said a knee replacement would only last him ten years.  We walked out.  The second surgeon said he should start thinking about living the life of a much older man.  We walked out.  The third surgeon, a young, healthy, active, energetic, top-of-his-field kind of guy, said he saw no reason my husband wouldn’t be able to play basketball again with our teenage son.  He da man!

     So we went forward to schedule the surgery.  A problem with insurance put it on hold.  A new policy with a larger deductible made us hesitant.  Time off work was a fear factor.  And another two years went by.  The favoring of his left knee became a noticeable limp, and then an obvious limp and finally strangers were walking up to ask about it.  We ganged up on him…his family, and friends…then his co-workers, and finally his boss.  If he wasn’t already convinced, the pain became so intense, money and time no longer mattered.

      But my husband’s knee surgery is not what this is about, not really.

      As I write this post, it is March 2012.  In September 2011 my husband attended a men’s retreat organized by our church.  It’s not the sort of thing that is in his comfort zone, but he felt like he should be there.  During the weekend, the men were asked to write letters about what God had impressed upon their hearts.   They were told the letter would be mailed to them later as a reminder and a means of encouragement.  (I can sort of see my husband rolling his eyes at the very idea, but he complied.)

      The knee was replaced on Monday morning March 5th and he was walking Monday afternoon.  We came home from the hospital two days later and stopped at the mailbox.

      The letter had arrived. 

      As I opened the letter and prepared to read it, I asked him what he had written. 

      He didn’t remember. 

      But God did.

“It’s time to stay on my knees more than I complain about them.  I feel physically spent…painful to walk…and I must dig deeper into my faith as well as my resolve for recovery…leaving fear of knee surgery and it’s cost behind me.

     Call it coincidence, good timing or just a chance occurrence.  But what are the odds of that letter being delivered on the very day he returned home from doing what he was so afraid to do for 17 years?

     Prayers answered.  Fears gone.  Bills paid.  And in the mailbox, a reminder, a means of encouragement, a simple little message.

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6


 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

 

 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12

 

God knows your needs.

He hears your prayers.

Trust Him.

Lay it down.

Let it go.

And wait!

(I know, easy to say, hard to do.  But try it.  It’s not your only option.  But it’s your best!)

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Around the Web in 365 Days

“Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of.”

          Those  were the first words that came to my mind when I looked up the meaning of Keziah and was reminded the Hebrew name is synonymous with sweet-scented spice.

    “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ…” 

     The name Carrie, coincidentally, means joy.

     “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart…”

     As I prepared to step out on faith and start writing for this website last year, I absolutely knew February 2nd would be the day!  So, I hopped out of bed, fired up the old desktop and prepared to publish. HOURS later and many mistakes behind me, frustrated to no end, and rapidly running out of time, the first post finally popped up around noon.  I felt I had surely earned the right to sit back and chill out.

     But…

     I was  late for an appointment.  And then before I could even make it a mile down the road, my cell phone rang with news that was… let’s say… NOT GOOD!

     Romans 7:21 says when you would do good, evil is present.

     But thank God…

     Isaiah 54:17 says no weapon formed against me will prosper.

     And so today, KeziahCarrie is a year old.

     My hope, one year ago, and my hope now is that I can inspire you, make you laugh, make you cry and help you realize living a Christian life is hard for all of us. It’s why Matthew 7:14 says, the gate is small and the way is narrow. I have often thought if the world really wants Reality TV, watch someone walking with God!  The blessings are big but the tests are tough!  And I don’t know about you, but just when I think I’m about to walk on the water, I divert my eyes for a second and down I go.

    I tell my children that sin is often a whole lot of fun;  that being bad is easy, and temptations come our way almost every day. But the reward we get from a relationship with our Messiah (reminder to self) is SO MUCH MORE!

     I pray I never write one word He has not approved; and I pray KC never has a reader who cannot benefit from what God allows to be written. I’m not always anxious to share my faults, even though I do keep finding them.  I figure, if God can use something I’ve experienced, failed at, made a mess of, or succeeded in, then the glory is all His.

          I thank Him for the opportunity to write and do not take the privilege for granted. It’s not about money, so you don’t have to weed your way through any advertisements to see what God might want to say to us. It’s not about numbers, although it is nice to see subscribers.  And, it’s not about awards, although I’m grateful that other writers have nominated KC for the Kreative Blogger, The Versatile Blogger
and The Candle Lighter Awards.

     If you haven’t already subscribed, we would love for you to join us. Nothing changes except an email telling you there’s a new story. I have little KC cards if you would like me to send you some of those. It’s fun to leave them in places where women go and hope they will log on to the web address and find  “A Place for All Women.” If you feel led, please tell your friends, family and co-workers about KeziahCarrie. I promise I’ll try my best to never write anything that might embarrass you or make you regret sharing the website. If you want to know more about the “why” click on the About KC link at the top of the page.

     Many blessings on your life this day, I look forward to our next year together as women.

     And for the few guys who have come along for the ride…

“Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of.”

     Until we meet again, Shalom!

     (Google it :-)) 

References: 2 Corinthians 2:15 & Proverbs 27:9

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

A New Beginning

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

          He does that, you know, He makes all things new.  He gives us endless second chances.  He gives us new weeks, new months, new moons, new years.  He removes our sins, “As far as the east is from the west.”  He is patient and kind, “not willing that any should perish.”  He is our Shepherd.  And when we get loaded down, messed up and stressed out, He “makes” us “lie down in green pastures.”

         
          All around us are the expectations of a New Year peppered with promises to do better, live healthier, and try harder.  But we’ll fail, not at all of it, but probably at some of it.  We’ll find a good excuse to gossip… a logical reason to overreact…another celebration that will invite us to overeat…and then we’ll wake up one day feeling less motivated than we thought we would feel back on January 1.

          He will still be there making all things new.

          Some of us will venture into new opportunities. There will be new relationships, new houses, new cars, new furniture and new families. 

          He’ll bless us and favor us and wait patiently for us to see Him.  That’s who He is.  It’s what He does.  He provides for us “out of his glorious riches.”

          And even though our New Year will eventually be old, He’ll not change.  He’ll be there to see us through, “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

 Jehovah-jireh, our Provider.

 (Bible references: Revelation 21: 5, Psalm 103:12 NAS, 2 Peter 3:9 NKJ, Psalm 23 NIV, Ephesians 3:16 NIV, Proverbs 18:24 NIV)

© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Just A Story

     The prison doors slammed shut and she knew the price she would have to pay was more than she could give.  Even death seemed a better option than being stuck in this pit with the other prisoners.  She had definitely done some things wrong… not just once or twice, but day after day, month after month, year after year.

It got easier.  Eventually, she didn’t even feel guilty.  Her family had tried to intervene… had tried to talk with her about her choices.  But every time her self-destructive behavior would win over.

She had been taught at an early age that placing yourself in the hands of others will get you hurt.  And, at some point, the drugs and alcohol she used to self-medicate, kept her from caring.  The harder she had struggled the more powerless she had felt.  And it had all ended here.

As she sat down on the cold metal bed, it was almost hard for her to believe she had fallen this far.  She was caged like an animal and suspected she would be treated even worse.  But then she heard the distant sounds of all the prison doors unlatching.  She kept her seat, not knowing what was going to happen next.  As the sounds swelled and her cell door swung open, she couldn’t see anyone, but the voice she heard was clear.

          “There is a way for you to get out of here.  But there is only one way.  It will require you to believe.”

           “And what if I don’t believe?” she said in her typical characteristic, cynical tone. “Why should I believe you?  Why is there only one way?  That doesn’t make sense. There has to be more than one way out of here.”

          “Not this time,” came the response.  “But it’s your decision and yours alone.  No one is going to force you.  The door is open and this is the way.”

She sat there and thought about it…thought about how her parents had tried to raise her…remembered the one Bible verse she had heard so many times in her life she could quote it, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Yep, she had heard that one a few times.  Every Sunday when she wanted to sleep in, those days when going to the lake seemed a bit more fun than sitting through another sermon, or when Sunday morning television was more tempting than a trip to church.

But here she was.  Her life was a mess and, on her own, she was powerless to climb out of this pit.  She was afraid.  So she sat a little longer.  She could hear some of the other prisoners laughing and scoffing at the invitation they had received.

She looked down to see her hands trembling.  She tried to drown out the voices in the other cells and in her mind…so many conflicting voices.  While her parents had tried to raise her right, her friends had been more than willing to show her another route; one that seemed like a lot more fun.  But where were they now, her friends?

She contemplated what her life would be like in confinement.  She thought about all the wasted years.  She wondered how things might have turned out differently if she had followed a different path.  But it was too late for regrets.  The tears drained down her cheeks as she buried her face in her hands.  She remembered a time sitting next to her mom on the couch when she was just a little girl.  Her mom was reading a Bible story to her about Peter and Jesus.

          “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 

She remembered her mom telling her what Jesus had said to Peter.  “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”   Her mom had told her, no matter what she did, no matter how bad, no matter how many times, God would always forgive her, if she asked.

Surely her mom had not anticipated this.

But if there was only one way, then there was only one choice.

She stood up on wobbly legs and very slowly walked out.  It wasn’t easy.  As bad as she wanted to leave that small cell, it still seemed safer than walking into the unknown and following the voice of someone she could not see.

There were only a few women walking in the same direction.  She heard those who stayed in their cells claiming there had to be more than one way.  They weren’t quite ready to leave yet.  And, they were convinced, if they waited, other doors would open.

She kept moving forward, forcing one foot in front of the other and, eventually, she walked out the door and into the light.

The price she had been asked to pay, to remain in this prison of hers, was more than she could give.

But the price had already been paid…one debt, one price, one death, one-way.

 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.   No one comes to the Father except through me.”

                                                                    John 14:6 NIV

 “There are people who complain about the exclusivity of the Gospel. They ask why there has to be just one-way. The more aware I am of the depth of my own sinfulness, the more I look at the subject a bit differently; the more I wonder why there is even one way. I mean, why should there be a way at all? When it gets right down to it, what is it that we think God owes us? How is a holy God in our debt? If God were to offer us two ways, we would want three. If God offered ten, we would want eleven. No matter how many ways God offered, we would always want one more; we would always want our way.”

 Pastor Jim Thomas/The Village Chapel/Nashville, TN 

© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

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