Christ

A Simple Gift… In case you forgot

I LOVE getting gifts. Even more so– I love giving gifts. Although it’s not my primary love language– sometimes it sneaks its way to the top. And over the last year and a half or so of blogging and doing online ministry (time flies!) we have continually mentioned God’s great gifts– big and small. (In fact, I continue to work on my 1000 gift list inspired by Ann Voskamp’s book. As of this post, I am over 1500 and still going strong!)

The other day, I was digging through some of my archived blogs– and ran across this one. It made me laugh– and encouraged my heart… so I though that re-sharing it was in order.

I pray it speaks to you– so read, share, comment, enjoy. You know the drill.

Oh– and thanks for being such a blessing and gift in MY life, dear reader!

Jesus Fist Pound,
SGK

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gift

Gifts can come in many, many forms from that engagement ring promising a lifetime of commitment to that forced smile when we open up a “fashionable” sweater from Grandma. God’s gifts also come in many shapes, sizes and colors…

I ran across the following a few weeks ago when working on a project for church and was reminded of it today. The Lord loved us enough to create laughter and allow us to feel joy in our heart. (That’s a gift) He has also given us GRACE. (There’s another one) Sometimes he combines them. (One of my favorite gifts! )

How to Get Into Heaven 

A woman dies and meets St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. Peter says to the woman, “Here’s how it works. You need to have one hundred points to get into heaven. You tell me about all the good things you’ve done. They are all worth a certain number of points. If your total is 100 or more, you can come in.” 

“Well,” says the woman. “I was happily married to the same man for 52 years. I never looked at another man. I was attentive and loved him dearly.” 

“That’s great,” says St. Peter. “That’ll be two points.” 

“Hmmm,” says the woman. “This is going to be harder than I thought. Well, I attended church regularly, volunteered my time and tithed faithfully.” 

“Wonderful,” says St. Peter, “That’s worth another point.” 

“One point!” says the woman. “Okay, okay. I was involved with a woman’s prison ministry for twenty-five years. I went into the prison, at least monthly, and shared Jesus with them.” 

“Wow!” says St. Peter. “That’s another two points!” 

“Only two points!” says the woman. “At this rate, it’ll be only by the grace of God that’ll I’ll ever get into this place.”

“Bingo!” says St. Peter. “That’s 100 points! Come on in.”

Praise God for the gift of His grace… because just like this example above, we can’t earn our way into heaven– but he has given us that nonrefundable present. It seems like such a simple gift with no fancy wrapping paper or ribbon, but instead by the body of Christ.  That alone means so much!

No Receipt Needed,
SGK

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” –Ephesians 2:8-9

Categories: Christ, faith, gifts, heaven, works | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hardly Easy

There it sits. Staring you right in the face. Your heart starts to pound. Your mind begins to race.

Should you grab the donut or opt for a fruit cup? Would it be ok to sneak a peek at the answer key to an upcoming test or spend hours studying? Will you turn in the lost wallet with all the cash or take a “tip” for yourself beforehand? Shall you strap on your tennis shoes and head to the gym for a work out or stay planted on the couch? Are you going to stay snuggled under the covers for a few more minutes of snoozing or peel yourself out of bed for some quiet time with the Lord?

You must make a choice… but what will it be??

So... what's it gonna be?

So… what’s it gonna be?

It’s a constant battle of easy versus hard.

And the bottom line choice is hardly easy.

On the one hand, the at-the-tip-of-easy choice seems to be just that– easy. Right there. Quick fix. Enjoyable. Instant gratification.

But then your blessed conscience (or Jesus) enters stage left and complicates the whole situation.

We all know what we SHOULD do… but following through on it is a whole different ballgame.

Now, this post is not intended to be a guilt-inducing post. I mean, after all– we all need a donut and some snuggly couch time now and again. But the purpose of this post is to acknowledge that doing the right thing is hardly ever easy.

You’ve heard that saying “Anything worth doing doesn’t come easy.”

How true (and sometimes frustrating!) that is!

Making the “hard choice” is good for us in the long run– but sometimes it seems super lame in the moment.

Being a legit and genuine Christian is “hard-ly easy…” It requires dedication, sacrifice, grace (lots and lots of grace) and perseverance.

Heck, if it were easy, EVERYBODY would do it– and I wouldn’t need to be involved in ministry at all. But here’s the great news… Christ understands what it is like to make the tough choice.

Let’s look at the “hardly easy” choices that Christ made on our behalf. He chose to be obedient and leave His Father’s side to come to earth. He chose to go against the flow of the world, to stand up for what God instructed Him to do. He never wavered. Even in the garden, the night before He was captured to be crucified  (on our behalf) He made the most difficult, sacrificial, non-easy choice of His earthly life. He said “God, I would really appreciate it if I didn’t have to go through with this. I really don’t want to hang on the cross, be briefly separated from you and die– but if that’s the bottom line choice you want me to make, it’s hardly an easy one… but I will do it because I love you and I love ALL your children.” (That’s my very loose paraphrase… 🙂 )

So He did. Christ made His choice. He was obedient to the Father, even though it cost Him His life. And it sure wasn’t easy. But if you ask Him… I guarantee He will say it was worth it.

Because He loves you THAT much. Just that thought alone should be encouragement enough for us to not only talk the Christian talk– but walk the Christian walk.

What choices do you struggle with the most? What do you think the hardest thing about being a genuine Christian is? What is most rewarding?

Jesus fully understands our struggles and choices. The choice to follow Him is hard-ly easy– but as hard as it seems, it sure is worth it!

Making the choice today for Him,
SGK

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” ~Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

Categories: Christ | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One is Enough: A Personal Reminder

You never know… your ONE act of love might be more than ENOUGH to change someone’s life.

Ministry is HARD. Heck, who I am I kidding– LIFE is hard!! And exhausting. And confusing. Yet depending on how we live our lives– it can be incredibly rewarding.

As I was driving to work yesterday, my heart was heavy… My Facebook ministry page was ticking me off, because FB decided to start filtering who sees what posts. Which means sometimes only 10% of followers will see these posts unless I literally PAY to promote it.

But I digress. SIGH.

I was thinking… “Lord, does this really matter? What am I working for? Is it worth it?”

Suddenly, God reminded me of a post I wrote last May with a flash of this statement…

“SHARITA… ONE. IS. ENOUGH.”

So today, I wanted to remind myself (and you, if you happen to be in a similar place!) that when it comes to following Christ and loving others… ONE IS ENOUGH. Here is our lil reminder… Enjoy!

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Husbands can be pretty useful creatures. They are great jar-openers, heavy lifters, huggers, patience-builders, grillers, laugh-inducers, Jesus-leaders, eye-roll-causers… You can probably add a few of your own to this list.

Mine, in particular, is a great perspective-keeper.

My beloved helps me to keep things in perspective. He is a great big-picture thinker. (A skill that I sometimes lack.) My type-A firstborn personality lends to me wanting to do BIG things… but He always keeps me grounded and encourages me to keep a clear focus.

Let me give you an example. Several weeks ago when we were first contacted by the Fort Benning Bayonet to do a story on our Factor of 7 Latte Love,  I was super-duper excited. Wow!! The Fort Benning Bayonet wants to do a story on the 7 Days Time ministry?!!? SUH-WEET!

I obviously told them YES. But before you could say “Make it a Grande,” either my fleshy-firstborn self or The Enemy (or a combo of both) snuck into my head. I blurted out my thought to Brandon. “I don’t want to get too excited. I mean, will it REALLY make a difference?”

That sweet man of mine raised an eyebrow, lovingly put his hand on my arm and said, “Sharita… if only one person reads that article and is moved by it… Then one is enough.”

Touché, husband. Touché.  Talk about keeping perspective.

ONE IS ENOUGH. That is powerful. So we went ahead with the story, pressing forward for Jesus. And in typical God-fashion, the Lord went above and beyond.

I know for a fact that AT LEAST one person was impacted by that article. I won’t get into details, but we received an incredible heart-wrenching prayer-request email from a soldier due to that article. I did some research and as far as I can tell, The Bayonet prints somewhere (ish?) between 22,000 to 26,000 copies on a weekly basis. Granted not all of them are read… but does it really matter?  ONE IS ENOUGH.

7 Days Time Ministry has been up and running for 88 days. That is about 7,603,200 seconds. With each article, prayer, blog post and comment… God is at work. If a single person has been positively impacted by this ministry, then it has been a success. One is enough.

But great news… We worship a God of abundance– and He is blessing this ministry abundantly. PRAISE JESUS!  The Latte Love Factor of 7 post inspired a ministry follower to do the same thing in her home town in Minnesota… She took $107 and bought/coffee lunch for the patrons who came through the line, even when here family finances weren’t exceptionally abundant  at the time. Mandy’s mission of Helping Hands & Burgers for Babies reached her goal of over $2500 to purchase a table for the preemie benefit in Fort Worth. That soldier who emailed us to share his story and now my husband and I continue to pray for him.

One is enough, folks. You CAN make a difference right where you are. Starting NOW. Pray for God to reveal to you how He has called you to share His love. We don’t have to change the world by spending a bajillion dollars or quitting our jobs to enter ministry full time. We just need to be obedient– and Jesus will do the changing.

I don’t know where this ministry is headed tomorrow, next week or 5 years from now. But if this ministry has impacted just a single person, then I shall leave you with the words of my beloved husband: “One is Enough.” YOU can do the same!!

Praising The ONE who IS Enough,
SGK

“My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” –1 John 3:18 (GNT)

PS: How is Christ working in your life? Is He calling you to share His love? We would love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below.

PSS: Have you been moved by this ministry? If so, subscribe via email at the top of the right sidebar to receive daily posts to your inbox. To learn more about how to make a difference in small (or big) ways in the name of Jesus, check out the updated Factor of 7 tab at the top of this page. Oh, and don’t be shy about commenting and/or sharing this ministry with your friends via Facebook, Twitter etc. Remember… ONE IS ENOUGH! May God bless you abundantly 🙂

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Addendum for today… Turns out the article in the Bayonet about this ministry DID make a difference… We were able to minister to several folks in ways that we couldn’t have possibly imagined or sought out in our own strength. Wow. Thanks, Jesus. YOU ROCK.

Categories: blessings, challenge, change, Christ, Factor of 7, giving, humility, husband, Lesson, little things, ministry, obedience, servant evangelism, serving | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Aftermath of our Path

It is Friday… It is Friday… It is Friday, Hey, Hey, Hey, HEY! <Feel free to sing this outloud to the same tune from Little Rascal Buckwheat’s rendition of “I got Two pickles.

It IS Friday and that can only mean one thing– It’s time for our weekly Friday Flash Mob, writing style.

Here’s the deal: Each Friday, I link up with The Gypsy Mama. She gives us a prompt. Then we write. Unscripted. Unedited. For five minutes flat.

Too easy right? Well then, let’s get to cracking.

Todays prompt: Path

Ready? GO!

*****

The bags are packed. My water bottle is full. Pup is leashed up. It’s go time.

We are out to discover a new running path. We begin our walk/jog/hike in a beautiful spot. Trees surround us. Birds whistle cheerfully. The sun gently warms our neck. It’s gonna be a good day.

Off we go. This is awesome! Trotting along, I sing quietly to myself. I talk to the pup. Our new path curves a bit.

HOLY CANNOLI. That’s a big freaking hill. Um, that wasn’t in the plans.

Meh, it’s just one hill. We can do it. We trudge on. The sun is getting warmer. Beads of sweat form on my brow. My calves are screaming. We get to the top. And there in the distance, is another beast of a hill. Ugggg…

Walking on our chosen path isn’t always easy– both literally and figuratively. When Jesus called us to follow Him, He didn’t say it would be easy. But He said it would be worth it.

Our paths are going to be filled with hills, curves, broken areas, bridges that have gone out, detours, sweat and maybe even a snake or two.

But we must keep walking. One foot in front of the other, following after Christ. Because after all… Our path, no matter how hilly or sweaty or snake-infested, has a heavenly destination.

Tie on your tennis shoes, bring your water… Because the aftermath of our path is heavenly.

*****

Know what I love more than  Friday flash mob writing? Your feedback. I would love to hear about the current path you are on… Are you facing a hill? What’s around your next bend? What keeps you motivated to press onward to reach that glorious path-walking aftermath? Please leave your comments below!

And now… I must get started on my path for today! Many blessings to you… and as always, if you have any prayer requests, leave a comment, send a message to 7 Days Time Facebook page or email me at sharita{dot}knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com.

Following After Christ,
SGK

“Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way.” ~Psalm 16:11

Categories: Christ, Five Minute Friday, God, path | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Bravocado, Jesus! (Factor of 7)

Few things in this life make my heart overflow with joy more than when God turns a trial into a blessing.

That was certainly the case in our latest “Factor of 7” for the month of June.

My beloved and I were in Fort Stewart for his eye surgery. (To read the back story, click here.) We were doing our best to enjoy ourselves—but when you are dealing with army hospitals and/or their plans and/or the fact that we were traveling/fasting/ eating only 7 foods for a month, it can prove to be a bit challenging.

However, I was trying so, so hard to cling to my key verse for the day found in 1 Corinthians 10:10– “And do not grumble, as some of them did…” Honestly, I thought I was doing pretty good… until we made it to suppertime.

We made the mistake of not doing appropriate recon before deciding what to do for supper. I had brought food with us from home to make meals in the hotel room, but sweet Brandon was convinced that we could eat out and be fine.

Big mistake. It was easy for him—I mean, most restaurants in America can do something that involves plain beef and normal potatoes—but my fasting requirements were a little more restrictive.

He picked Chili’s—so off we went. We sat down and I scanned the menu. Oh dear. This was going to be difficult.

I frantically scanned the menu to find something that would accommodate my need for only eggs, chicken, bread, apples, sweet potatoes, spinach or avocado. The only thing I could come up with? A plain grilled chicken sandwich with avocado.

It was the third meal in a row that I had that almost exact food combination. I nearly cried. (But held strong. Barely. Thanks, Jesus.)

We ended up explaining to our waitress Heather why we had “weird food” requests. We told her about the fast and a little bit about Jesus. At the end of our meal, we asked Heather how we could pray for her. She blinked her eyes for a moment and briefly mentioned that she was currently having some financial struggles… Duly noted.

I got up to go to the restroom since I had been chugging water trying to fill up my stomach. Brandon and I had been talking earlier in the day about what we should do for our monthly Factor of 7 act of kindness. Up until that point, we had nothing. But  when I came back from the restroom, my sweet husband asked if she could be our “Factor of 7.” He thought that since she was struggling financially,  he we should leave her at $107 tip.

I was speechless. Not only was I touched at the thought, I was downright impressed at my husband’s ability to piece that all together. (Amazing what the Holy Spirit can do, huh?) Oh, and I have NEVER been more in love with that man than at that very moment. (BE STILL MY HEART!!)

So that’s what we did. We left her a $107 tip with a note that said: “Heather, we hope that this tip is just the beginning of many answered prayers. $100 because God loves you more than you can imagine, and $7 because we all have 7 Days Time each week to share that love. God bless.”  We left her a 7 Days Time Ministry card and departed the restaurant.

My stomach might have still been a little empty as we left that restaurant—but my heart was full.

How has blessing someone else blessed you? We would love your feedback. Please leave your comments below!

So today,  we are thankful for Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, guiding us and inspiring us to do His will in the most unexpected of places. We praise Him for turning our small trials into His triumphs.

We rejoice in the fact that God can take something small like another avocado chicken sandwich and transform it into a huge blessing.

And for that, we say Bravocado, Jesus.

Blessed by blessing,
SGK

 “Bravo, God, Bravo! Everyone join in the great shout: Encore! In awe before the beauty, in awe before the might.” –Psalm 96:7 (MSG)

Categories: blessings, challenge, Christ, Courage, evangelism, Factor of 7, positive | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments

Stirred, Not Shaken

There are several things in life that are meant to be shaken, not stirred.

Take Shake-N-Bake for instance. I mean, you literally have to shake up that delectable piece of chicken in a plastic bag filled with the coating. Stirring is simply not a legitimate alternative.

Or what about mixing formula in a baby bottle? I don’t know many folks that have had much success with stirring formula. Shaking is easier and more efficient, so why not?

And of course we can’t forget good ol’ 007 James Bond’s love for shaken, not stirred martinis. (Fun fact: I’ve never had a martini, shaken, stirred or otherwise.)

But on the flip side of the shaken, not stirred… what about things we don’t want shaken?

Soda cans. Definitely not good when shaken up. Or a rope bridge when someone is walking across it. (I’ve been there, done that, got mad, fell off.)

But probably the biggest thing that we want STIRRED not SHAKEN?

Our faith.

No shaker allowed when it comes to our faith.

This idea came to me kind of by accident (via the Holy Spirit) the other day during my quiet time. Satan was all up in my grill.  I was writing in my journal, letting the words flow. I paused to read the sentence I just penned:

“GET BEHIND ME SATAN, MY FAITH WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.”

Wow. Good stuff Jesus. Thanks for that one! WHOO! Well, that powerful message didn’t stop there… later that day, I shared the thought with my husband. Right after I finished the statement, I kept talking. (I know, you don’t have to act surprised.) But what came out of my mouth next also shocked me:

“I SHALL NOT BE DETERRED, BECAUSE MY HEART HAS BEEN STIRRED.”

Good grief. Semi-profoundish Holy Spirit words twice in one day? I was a little overwhelmed.

I have sat with these phrases for a few days and obviously they have not left my brain. (Or my heart.) I was certainly moved by these thoughts and considered that maybe you would be too.

“GET BEHIND ME SATAN, MY FAITH WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.
I SHALL NOT BE DETERRED, BECAUSE MY HEART HAS BEEN STIRRED.”

Just sit with that for a moment. Let it sink in… What does it mean to you? How can you embrace the concept of letting God strengthen your faith and ward off the enemy through stirring your heart? In what ways has your heart been stirred lately? I would love to hear your answers to these questions– leave a comment below.

We all have a choice. We can let our circumstances or trials shake us up, turning us into a figurative exploding can of soda or shaken martini. OR… we can submit to God by letting Him stir our hearts daily through His loving presence and grace.

Then and only then can we quench our thirst with the Living Water through a faith that is stirred, not shaken.. Oh, and served on The Rock.

Drinking Him in,
SGK

“I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” ~Psalm 16:8

Categories: affirmation, Christ, faith, God, hope, lessons | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Think “Fast” (7 Experiment, Week 1)

It has been one week of eating only eggs, chicken, bread, apples, sweet potatoes, avocado, and spinach. That’s right folks. I’m eating only 7 foods for thirty days.

If you missed last week’s entry about this fast, let me catch you up. (Or you can click here to read the entire post.) My beloved hubby and I are fasting for 30 days by only eating 7 different foods. Only water to drink. No seasonings other than salt, pepper, olive oil (sparingly) and cooking spray.  This concept is inspired by Jen Hatmaker’s book “7: The Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.” In short, it has two main purposes: to seek after God at a deeper level and to restore a heart of gratitude for all the incredible choices we have in this world.

We started on June 4, so we are one week into our experience. In two words: EPIC. CHALLENGING.

The first two days kinda sucked. Like, a lot. My beloved and I both had a headache, which honestly was to be expected. We were no longer drinking any caffeine. Plus, I was probably going through sugar withdrawal.

But once we made it through Monday and Tuesday? It has been epic. We are using the extra time that we would have normally spent grocery shopping/cooking/discussing what’s for supper to spend time in prayer and in the word.

Additionally, this has been awesome for our food budget. Great for our heart. And our physical bodies feel pretty incredible.

PLUS (yes, it goes on) God has brought out my hidden gift for creative and resourceful cooking. Seriously, I have created more shockingly tasty meals with limited foods than I have in my entire adult life. Here’s a brief glimpse of some of my creations:

Breakfast:

  • Power breakfast sandwich– egg, avocado, shredded chicken on toast
  • Eggs & toast
  • French toast with unsweetened applesauce
  • Scromlet– scrambled eggs, spinach, shredded chicken
  • Fritatta– eggs baked with shredded chicken & spinach with avocado on top

Lunch/Supper:

  • Spinach salad including any/all of the following– shredded chicken, avocado, spinach, apple, hard boiled egg, salt, pepper, olive oil
  • Sweet Potato Chicken soup– chicken stock, chicken, sweet potatoes, salt/pepper (BEST. INVENTION. EVER.)
  • Baked Chicken dredged in egg and coated in bread crumbs
  • Egg/chicken/avocado salad sandwich (It looks a little funny  but tastes fine)

Snacks:

  • Dried apple chips (homemade)
  • Toast with unsweetened applesauce
  • Hard Boiled egg
  • Croutons (homemade)
  • Apple Leather (it’s like a fruit roll up, homemade out of applesauce put in the dehydrator)

My sweet potato chicken soup and spinach salad… with homemade croutons. Nutritious, colorful AND tasty. Thanks, Jesus!

God has really brought about a new, refreshed and grateful heart in the both of us. He has also revealed how I turn to food when I am stressed– but now I am turning to Him first. Here’s to returning to our First Love!

So in short, it’s going great. Definitely still challenging every time I pass by a Starbucks or see free oranges for the taking at the gym. (And don’t get me started on the Diet Dr. Pepper situation.) But guess what… I have one more surprise for you.

I am doing a giveaway at the end of this experience. The prize will be… well, a surprise. (But it won’t be lame. I promise.)

To enter, you can share this post via Facebook, Twitter, email etc. You can like my Facebook page if you haven’t already done so. But to make it an “official” entry, leave a comment below with your guess of how many eggs my husband and I will consume by the end of this fast. (Hint: We like eggs.)

Random, I know. But hey, don’t judge me– I haven’t had any sugar or caffeine for a week. 🙂 Plus, I think it is going to be eggstremely entertaining.

What do you think so far? We would love your feedback–leave a comment (and your eggsact guess) below.

Loving this Jesus eggsperience,
SGK

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” –John 6:35

Categories: blessing, budget, challenge, Christ, food, God, gratitude, life | Tags: , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

20/20 Vision

Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? I don’t. And I am very thankful for that. I have been blessed (so far anyways) to have pretty legit vision when it comes to reading and seeing near, far and everything in between. My beloved husband, however, is a whole ‘nother story.

Without his glasses/contact lenses, my sweet husband is practically blind. Ok, not really in the legal sense, but his eyes are jacked up enough that without corrective lenses of some kind, functioning is practically impossible.

His eyes are so out of whack, in fact, that they can’t be fixed with Lasik eye correction. However, this week his life is about to change. He is getting Implant Contact Lens surgery (ICL.) Yep, you read correctly– they actually implant a real contact lens permanently into his eye. (Isn’t the medical world fascinating?)

He says they will be his “robot eyes.” See through things, never need sunglasses, look two different directions at the same time. Right, honey.  (I think his expectations might be a bit high.)

Brandon has worn glasses for nearly two decades. It is a hassle for him as a soldier, because he can’t wear contacts in the field for very long without risking an eye infection, he always has to worry about breaking his glasses etc. But God willing, at the end of this week, he will no longer need corrective vision anything.

However… Although we will both have close to 20/20 vision in a matter of days, we are the first to admit we need our vision corrected in different ways.

We need to see others like Jesus. I would take a wild guess to say that you might probably kinda sorta find yourself in the same boat.

If only there was a simple surgery to help us see through Jesus’ eyes and we would never have to worry about it again. However, getting our vision corrected by Jesus is a life long process.

Jesus didn’t judge based on appearances, actions or past sin. Instead, He judged the heart. I sure could use some help to see others like He did.

Think about the last time you judged someone: Perhaps that single mom. Or the overweight man. Or a disruptive kid that runs around your neighborhood wreaking havoc.

I have been praying daily for God to help me see like He sees. We aren’t called to judge. We are called to love.

Today, I challenge you to take a good look at your heart– do you have eyes like Jesus? Or do you  need you vision corrected? How can you judge less and love more by seeing through Christ’s eyes? I would love to hear what you have to say on this topic… as I think we all struggle with it. Leave a comment below.

Let’s ask God to give us Jesus glasses. Or maybe to give us contact lenses made of faith and love as we see others as He sees them. Then and only then will our vision be corrected and truly be 20/20.

Jesus help me see more clearly,
SGK

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” -John 13:34-35 (MSG) 

Categories: blessing, Christ, God | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

Lord, Thank You for the Socks (Five Minute Friday: Expectation)

Come one, come all!
The time is here once again,
To bust out a Five Minute Friday post,
With all our online friends!

Linking up with The Gypsy Mama,
We get only five minutes to write,
Our urge to over think and edit,
We must honestly fight.

She has given us a prompt,
So without further ado,
Let’s get to crack-a-lacking,
What are we waiting for, hop to!

Today’s prompt: EXPECTATION

GO!

*******

It’s covered in beautiful paper and decorated with a bow. I shake it. It doesn’t rattle, but hey, that doesn’t mean much. Maybe it’s padded really well. The time has come– my heart pounds as I rip open my gift with great anticipation and expectation. Maybe it’s that new book I wanted. Or a sweet pair of shoes. Or maybe even something shiny…

Socks. It’s socks. Talk about your all time expectation let down. Siggggghhhh.

I force a smile and blink my eyes, trying with all I can to be grateful. I had expected such big things only to get socks.

Isn’t that how it goes sometimes? We dream up all sorts of ideas and plans of what the ideal gift or circumstance may look like, and sometimes God gives us proverbial socks.

It certainly isn’t wrong to have high expectations. But just because those “socks” we received from the Lord aren’t shiny or have a great plot-line, doesn’t mean they don’t serve a purpose.

Sometimes what we see as socks from God can really be the initial pathway to His incredible plan for us. That seemingly let down expectation of a gift is in fact very useful and necessary.

Through those less than perfect circumstances and gifts from God, aka the “sock gifts of life,” we have an opportunity to seek Him out at a deeper level. If it is a trial or period of uncertainty in life we didn’t expect, we can rest in His protection.  We are kept warm. And our feet are covered and prepared for the journey ahead.

The outcome of that gift, while initially might seem like a let down, can result in an experience that changes our life and surpasses all of our wildest expectations.

So in that case… Lord, thank you for the socks. 

STOP!

******

Always such a fun rush,
For my brain and my fingers,
But hey it’s almost the weekend,
No reason to hang around and linger!

Jesus pumps me up,
SGK

“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.” –Romans 8:19

PS: What did you think of today’s quick-fast (and slightly goofy) rhyming post? I always love hearing from folks… feel free to leave a comment below!

Categories: blessing, Christ, excited, Five Minute Friday, gifts, God, gratitude, perspective, plans | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

Junk Food of Life

It’s everywhere you look. On TV, in the newspaper, throughout the aisles of the grocery store, by the checkout register. Colorful packages beckon you to reach out and take them home. We love it. We sometimes think we need it. Oh baby, we gotta have it.

Such is the junk food of life. Cookies, chips, soda, candy, anything deep-fried and covered in chocolate. Now that’s tasty right there. Talk about instant gratification.

For the general American population, we tend to take a things for granted. We can have a bag of Cheetos and 32 oz ThirstBuster of Coke in our hands before you can say “$2.53, please.” We can get a full meal in our hands via drive-thru in about 4 minutes or less. And we can eat pretty much whatever we want.

Junk Food Still Life

The junk food of life… It’s everywhere.
Source: Flickr/awrose

Now, I am a huge proponent of all things in moderation. Sure, my husband and I are limiting ourselves to eating only 7 foods for 30 days, but you can bet your ketchup bottle that I will be grabbing me a Diet Dr. Pepper and something that involves cheese when that time expires.

Yes, snarfing down that entire package of Oreos or slamming that Mountain Dew like you just came out of the desert sure tastes good– and it makes us feel good.

For a little while.

Until our stomach starts to hurt. And we start feeling guilty about our choices.

Here’s the thing with stuffing ourselves with junk food… it doesn’t leave room for the “good stuff.” Yeah, you know, the meat/dairy/veggie/fruit/bread kinda stuff that your Mom always told you to eat (or else.) Something about “Young lady, put the cookies away before you ruin your supper!” (Sigh. Why do Moms ALWAYS have to be right?)

This concept isn’t just true for actual “food” that we eat. It is also true for the junk food of our life. If Jesus is the bread of life, then what are the Skittles?

The junk food of life comes in many forms… too much TV, Facebook, thinking about what “might have been,” worrying about tomorrow,  focusing on material possessions… the list goes on. If we are consuming these areas of “junk food,” then we probably won’t have much of an appetite for Jesus.

It says in Matthew 5:6  (MSG) “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.” Working up a good appetite for God starts with not stuffing ourselves with the “junk” around us.

What areas of your life do you consider “junk food?” Are they in moderation or out of control? How do you think you can work up an appetite for God? I am excited for your feedback– please leave a comment below 🙂

Today I challenge all of us to take a good look at our “shopping list” and “menu” when it comes to our junk food vs. good food Jesus ratio. If it is a little off-balance and we find yourself full of the “junk food,” let’s take a moment to bow our heads and ask God to clean out our pantry or fridge of the junk food in our life. He is the Main Course that will ALWAYS fill us up and satisfy our appetite.

Hungry but satisfied,
SGK

“God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you!  I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts.” –Psalm 63:1 (MSG)  

Categories: chocolates, Christ, food, God, health | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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