Comfort

A Moment of Blog Silence

Today at 7 Days Time, there will be no new information or profound revelations. No witty or snarky comments. No creative analogies.

Today, there is a moment of blog silence.

On Friday, over two dozen people (including 20 children) were gunned down and killed in the Connecticut elementary school shooting. Soon after discovering this heartbreaking news, I was informed that one of our dear Kansas Agricultural Education teachers, Ms. Kendra Linnebur, had suddenly passed away from a form of meningitis. She was 32.

As I read the updates on both of these tragic events, I sobbed over Facebook. I sobbed in the shower. And now, while the tears have slowed briefly, I continue to mourn and weep upon the writing of this post.

Today, we pray… And sit in silence.

Father God… we come to you with broken hearts. With each tragic event in our world, it is hard not to become hardened and calloused to the events around us. So we thank you that our hearts are still tender and we feel this pain. Lord, we lift up the families and victims involved with the Connecticut shooting. We acknowledge that while these events are unfathomable and unexplainable to our human hearts, you were there, in the classrooms, every single moment. Thank you for your continual presence. 

Oh Jesus, we ask you to come– come into our hearts and lives deeper still. Your word says that you are the God of All Comfort– well God, we need that now. Please be with the friends and family of Ms. Linnebur… I pray she is dancing on the streets of heaven with those little boys and girls from Connecticut. 

God, we know we live in a fallen world– but I pray we can take heart that while this world is fallen, your Son has Risen. We have a hope. A future. In you. Come to us today, Jesus. Our nation, our lives, our families and our hearts need you more than ever.

Amen.

Dear friends… Please let me know how I can pray for you today. Or, if you would like to leave a Scripture, tribute or prayer for the victims in Connecticut or for Ms. Linnebur, feel free to share your heart below in the comments section.

Seeking Comfort In Him,
SGK

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” ~Isaiah 66:13

Categories: Comfort | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Comfortably Close

Loose-fitting T-shirt? Check. Comfy black stretchy yoga pants? Check. Barefeet? Check. Perfect temperature? Check. Diet Dr. Pepper within reach? Check. Recliner engaged? Check.

Uh, yes please. Epitome of comfort. I want to go to there.

 Ahhhh… I love to be comfortable.  I am gonna take a guess that you do too. Take a moment to think about when you are most comfortable… Where are you? What are you wearing? What makes you comfortable? It is an INCREDIBLE feeling. What more could we ask for?

Believe it or not, we CAN ask for more… We can ask for God to make us uncomfortable. But that is really, really hard for us (ok, me) to swallow. Seriously, just the THOUGHT of being uncomfortable on purpose makes my stomach flop. Every inch of my flesh screams… Bu..Bu…But… Nooooo!!! I don’t wanna! (Insert two-year-old stomping tantrum here.) If I am comfortable, I would love nothing more than to stay like that—for as long as possible.

But staying comfortable sometimes leads to complacency. If we are comfortable and we don’t NEED anything else, why would we seek the Lord? We have it all handled and we feel fine right where we are. Pshaw. TOO. EASY.

A while back, I blogged about praying for faith like Abraham.  (Read the post “No More Cornflakes here for the full story.) This concept of praying to be uncomfortable is just as challenging as requesting faith as strong as Abraham. But when we are uncomfortable, whether that be physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritual… THAT then when we have the greatest opportunity to be closest to God.

 When we are uncomfortable… we realize our weaknesses.

When we are uncomfortable… we seek the Lord more than before.

When we are uncomfortable… we understand God’s goodness and faithfulness at a deeper level.

When we are uncomfortable… we have an opportunity to glorify God.

Think about folks you might know who have answered an uncomfortable call to be obedient to Christ. I am sure that most missionaries, ministers or Christians don’t go where the Lord has called them expecting to be comfortable. (Although that would be a pretty sweet perk. And motivating.) But when we become uncomfortable—we discover that we can be oh-so-comfortably close to Christ.

Confession:  Sometimes, (ok, a lot of the time) I am uncomfortable in my role as a minister. As a writer. As an army wife. As a speaker. But it is in those moments when I feel closest to God.

When was the last time you were uncomfortable? What did God do for you in that season? I would LOVE to hear about it. Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.

Do you have the courage to pray for God to make you uncomfortable? Drop what you are doing right now and pray: “Lord… Please overcome my flesh-goal of maintaining comfort, and if it is Your Will, make me uncomfortable for Your Glory.” 

You don’t have to sell everything you own and move overseas. (Unless of course He tells you to.)  Comfort levels differ for everyone. Perhaps your level of comfort will simply be asking the cashier how you can pray for them today. Or maybe it is helping out a neighbor who is, uh, less than cooperative. Consider any opportunities that God might be calling you to step out and be uncomfortable.

One thing is for certain—no matter how uncomfortable The Call might make us or how far it takes us from our recliner, yoga pants and Diet Dr. Pepper… If we answer our call, it can make us more comfortably close to Christ than ever before.

Comforted by being uncomfortable,
SGK

“For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” –Matthew 11:30 (AMP)

Categories: adventure, attitude, call, Christ, Comfort, dependence, glory, God, life, Live | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

It Is Well… With My Soul

Sometimes, I pray while I exercise. And no, I am not talking about praying like “Please Lord Jesus, help me to finish this last half mile running strong, without throwing up or tripping on my own feet.” (Although I do frequently pray  something similar.)

In this particular case, I mean praying for others. Specifically those of you on my iPad Prayer List app. Now before you think I am trying to cut corners and multi-task, please know that 1) I still have my quiet time with Jesus in addition to my exercise prayer time 2) I never read/pray while on the treadmill, only the stationary bike and/or elliptical should I risk breaking my face and 3) For some unknown reason, I can concentrate and focus exceptionally well during a challenging workout, just as  good if not better than when I am sitting in my chair in my living room.

Yesterday was one of those occasions that I decided to pray for the numerous folks on my prayer list while burning calories. As I started hopping around on the elliptical and opened up my iPad, I was suddenly overwhelmed with all of the new prayer requests that were laid on my heart in the last 12 hours.

My mind flashed to the news article about some of my friends/schoolmates at K-State that were in a car accident over the weekend which resulted in fatalities. I remembered the Facebook status of a family from back home that were grieving the loss of their 15-year-old cousin from a hunting accident. Monday was the two month anniversary of my miscarriage. And finally, yesterday I had to say “See you later” to my beloved Mama as I dropped her off at the airport after what seemed as too-short of a visit.

Ever have one of those days when your heart and soul just feel heavy? Yeah. That was the feeling. Right as I was debating on quitting my workout mid-gait and running to the car to burst into tears, the acoustic version of “It is Well with My Soul” came through on my iPod.

Immediately, peace flowed through my heart. God whispered “I am bigger than all of these things, my beloved child. Rely on me… and it shall be well with your soul.”

That beautiful song, a song full of God’s love and promise, echoed in my mind for the rest of the day. With each tear that fell,  I was comforted. Strengthened. Hopeful. Prayerful.

Is your heart heavy today? Are you in the midst of a trial or a life season that seems more powerful than an ocean wave? Please leave a comment below  or send an email to sharita{dot}knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com so I can pray for you.

In the meantime… Know that God is greater than ANYTHING you are going through. Sit back, take a deep breath, press play on the following video. Listen, feel, live the lyrics and melody. Say to yourself “I love you Jesus. And because of that love, it is well… with my soul.”

Soulfully living well,
SGK

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
 ~John 14:27

Categories: believe, Comfort, death, exercise, God, heart, help, hope, Jesus, promises, song, strength | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Keeping it Real (Five Minute Friday)

Waawhoo! It’s one of my top five blogging days of the week. (Oh wait… I blog five days a week… Nevermind.) It’s Five Minute Friday, folks. Long story short, each Friday I link up with The Gypsy Mama. She gives us a prompt and we write. Yep, for five minutes. No overthinking. No editing. No quest for perfectionism. Just write.

So without further ado, let’s get this party started.

Today’s prompt: REAL.

Ready? GO!

“So… Do you think they are… REAL?!!?”

This question is probably uttered by most women in America on a weekly basis. (And if not uttered out loud, at least the thought runs through their brain. Myself included.) Maybe they are referring to diamonds or pearls, fingernails, a hairdo, boobs (yeah, I said it), or even personality.

Side note: This post isn’t a judgment post. Hey, I own a real diamond. Perhaps a string of pearls.  I have dyed my hair. And sometimes in excessively awkward social situations, I have to fake “it” until I can get to the car or my beloved hubby is done socializing with his bromances. I am thankful that for the most part, when it comes to my heart, what you see is what you get. Sometimes, I am a little TOO real. (Can you say broken filter? Talk about word vomit. Yikes.)

People are so concerned about “realness” of the things above… Seriously– does it REALLY matter? What does matter is the authenticity of our faith. When it comes to faith… let’s just keep it real, huh? Fake faith is… well… fake. A lie. We all struggle. We are sinners. We don’t have to pretend we have it all together. Because we don’t. The only person who had it all together was Jesus.

Fortunately for us, our God is real. Authentic. Merciful. Kind. Loving. And we can rejoice in that.

So today, let’s be comfortable in our own skin, right where we are. We worship a God who knows we are pretty jacked up but  loves us anyways… No matter what our hair or fingernails look like, or how we are wrestling with our “heart troubles.”  He loves us just the way we are…

Here’s to keeping it real for Christ.

STOP

Hmmmm… well…. THAT was interesting. I am always surprised with what my brain/fingers come up with during Five Minute Friday. What do you think? Leave a comment here. 

Keeping it Real with Christ,
SGK

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious…” –Philippians 4:8 (MSG) 

Categories: attitude, Christ, Comfort, encouragement, Five Minute Friday, funny, perception | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

More than A Motto

It’s Pop Quiz Wednesday! (Wait, don’t go… this will be easy, I promise.)

Quick… Name the company that goes with the following mottos/slogans:

1. “Just Do It.”

2. “Finger lickin’ Good.”

3. “It’s Everywhere you want to be.”

 4. “Can you hear me now?”

5. “I’m loving it.”

Got your answers? Nike, KFC, Visa, Verizon, McDonalds. See,  I told you it was easy.

Here’s the thing, world. I really don’t want to write today. My brain, body and spirit are smuh-oked tired right now, so I wanted to think of something that would use minimal brain power. If we are being perfectly honest, I don’t really have the motivation to do much more of anything today– I am ready for a bath, beer and comfy clothes. (For those of you keeping track of my health: Please note that I try to blog the night prior to the morning that I post… So yes, it is after 5pm on Tuesday. Don’t get all stressed out about me drinking a cold brewsky with my Cheerios.)

Anywho, my brain is rather spent, so forming coherent sentences at this point is about as productive as asking me to run a marathon. Exhausting to think about. See, now I am just rambling. Sigh.

Ok, back to my point. Today, I would like to simply share with you MY life motto. While my motto isn’t quite as catchy or as well-known as some of those listed above, it keeps me going everyday. Ready? Here it is:

Whatcha think? I am personally a big fan. (And also pretty biased.) It keeps me going when my brain, body and spirit are simply spent.

Do you have a motto, verse or phrase to live by? I would L-O-V-E to hear it. Please comment here and let’s get a stellar conversation going.

“The one who called you is faithful and He will do it.” Powerful stuff, huh? That simple biblical phrase shows my motivation, my heart, my mission… Yes, folks it is much more than a motto.

Answering the Call One Rambling-ish Post at a time,
SGK

“He will set things right. That’s when Judah will be secure and Jerusalem live in safety. The motto for the city will be, “God Has Set Things Right for Us.”– Jeremiah 33:16 (MSG) 

Categories: beautiful, call, Christ, Comfort, goals, God, mission | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Coping with a Rather Loud Crowd (Five Minute Friday)

A few reasons to rejoice today, world… 1) IT’S FRIDAY! (That should be enough to put a smile on your face, eh?) 2) In this blogger’s world, Friday means it is finger sprinting time… Great training for my mind/body/heart. Hope I am all warmed up.

On Fridays, I link up with The Gypsy Mama. She gives us a one word prompt, then we write. For five minutes flat. No over-thinking. No editing. Just writing. Literally just going with the flow (of words, that is.)

Thus on that note, I do believe it’s go time. Todays prompt: LOUD.

Ready?

GO! 

“Why didn’t you… I think you should have… the only way is… but what happens if…” 

I am an optimist by nature. (Granted, being an army wife has made more of a realist some days.) However, I attempt to look at the bright side of things. I try (key word: try) to live my life according to God’s voice. However…

There are a lot of folks in my life-crowd who seems to be rather loud. I have heard that “the early bird gets the worm” but apparently we live in a world where “He who is the loudest and makes the biggest scene gets the attention.”

Sometimes, I just want to thump those distracting naysayers in the nose. For real. Let Jesus and I do our thing, please and thank you. But I also have to remember that God made us to live in community, so my job is to be on guard (gentle guard of course) against those less than productive seed-planters in my life.

So how can we cope with a rather loud crowd? The whole world is hollering “Do this, do that, yadda, yadda, yadda” while our gentle and loving God is nudging us and whispering in our hearts.

The answer is simple… but hard at the same time. We have to listen. We have to spend time with Him daily. We have to love on those in the crowd, but we don’t necessarily need to BELIEVE every single word that they say.

As I write this, I can’t help but smile at the irony. My husband is up, getting ready to go to his job as a drill sergeant today. I am in my zone, concentrating. But the LOUDNESS and noise from the kitchen (shutting of cabinets, buzz of protein drink mixer, clank of spoon on the counter– men sure are noisy!) is throwing off my Jesus mojo a bit. Kind of like that rather loud crowd we deal with daily.

But the great news is with just a little focus, a lotta love and perhaps a hypothetical remote controlled mute button, we can live for Jesus… And cope with that rather loud crowd by tuning into Him.

STOP

All right, world… It’s time for me to face the noise of today from that rather loud crowd… but the protein drink mixer has stopped, so I do believe it’s time for a little hour-long time with the quiet lover of my soul.

Thankful for the noise– and the quiet,

SGK

“Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.”– Mark 5:36 MSG

Categories: Comfort, faith, Five Minute Friday, God, listen | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

No Comma Included: "One Nation Under God"

It’s been ten years. 

I was sitting in freshmen English class at Crest High School in Colony, KS. One of my classmates, KC, was tardy from school that day. Suddenly he came barreling through the doors saying that the reason he was late was because he stayed home watching the news about some planes crashing into buildings in New York City. A few moments later the teachers got word of the attacks and clicked on the cable in various classrooms. Is this really happening?

For weeks after that, we all watched the news footage unfold on television. The death toll climbed… and we were soon at war. Songs were wrote about that day, movies and documentaries made. Here we are a full decade later. It has impacted so many lives, mine included.

No, I didn’t know anyone in the towers that day. I didn’t personally ever meet the firefighters or the police officers that sacrificed so much. But I did marry a soldier, who, because of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, has now been deployed to Iraq a three times. Brandon is now a drill sergeant training our future soldiers to carry on in that noble and challenging task. Just as countless people did that day ten years ago, our current service members continue to this day to live out the words of John 15:13. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Even ten years later, it is hard to find good in the tragedy of that fateful day. But Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I doubt that many of us will know in this lifetime why the events unfolded the way that they did. But because we have a God who truly does love us and is a God of compassion, caring, trust and understanding, we can hold tight to the fact that either in this life or the next, God will work this historic moment for the good of those who love and believe in him.

We worship the God of Comfort. We are beginning a study of 2 Corinthians today at church. After the greetings stated by Paul, the first topic covered is “The God of All Comfort.” I think that it is no accident that it falls on the anniversary of September 11th in a military community. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 

As I was praying about this post, felt God whisper that I should pay tribute via poem through his words.

NO COMMA INCLUDED


Today we recognize an event,

That will forever be in our mind,

An attack on our American soil,

One before it you cannot find.

Ten years ago it happened,

When planes crashed and buildings fell,

The memory of the victims and heroes,

In our hearts forever dwell.

But we take heart in the dear fact,

That we worship a God of love,

Who is always watching, guiding, comforting,

Sending hope down to us from His throne above.

We remember as those towers fell,

Hearts broke and we fell to our knees,

God loved us so much that he came down,

Met us here, comforted and answered our pleas.

For in this life we may not know,

The purpose for that tragic plight,

But someday we will understand why,

As we see glory by taking wings of flight.

It’s really hard to understand,

How God can work this tragedy for good,

But remember as the planes crashed, towers fell,

Our beloved nation rose together and stood.

Praise be to Him as God blesses America,

From back then, right now and tomorrow,

God repeatedly brings us together,

Continued strength from Him we can borrow.

The United States of America,

A country like ours there is no other,

For nowhere else shall you find,

So many willing to lay down their life for another.

September 11, 2001

A day that none will ever forget,

God came down and comforted the weary,

Needs of hope and promise his love truly met.

There is a real reason why there is no comma,

No punctual pause in that fateful line,

In the pledge “ONE NATION UNDER GOD,”

For being under Him is a blessing, truly divine.

So we pray to Our Father in Heaven,

That He will keep America Red, White and Blue,

And that phrase with no comma included,

Will always stand strong and be true.

Take comfort, dearest readers, that while today is a day of tribute and remembrance, we can also be comforted that God loves us and is in control. There is a reason that this is no comma included in the pledge of allegiance in the phrase “ONE NATION UNDER GOD.” We, as a nation, ARE under Him.  The God of Love. The God of Compassion. The God of Comfort.

May God Bless America.

SGK


“He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:10-11

Categories: America, Comfort, God, Nation, September 11th, Tribute | Leave a comment

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