hope

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

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

Up In Smoke

A little over a week ago, I had a moment. Here’s the back story…

Brandon and I both had a crazy week… my beloved was working ridiculous hours since it was his duty week as Senior Drill Sergeant (See: really early mornings, late/tiring nights) and I was running like a lunatic trying to keep up with more church activities/duties than anticipated.

Our backyard needed to be mowed. It is a small, little yard and we really can’t justify spending a couple-hundred bucks on buying a mower… If we play our cards right, we only need to mow about once a month anyways. When we have “time” we borrow a mower from our sweet neighbors.

However, our schedules didn’t allow for that and I didn’t want to make our neighbors do it for us. (They are busy people too.) So I contacted a small local business to do it. I’ve used them before and they do a great job. Just $10 to mow our yard. No biggie. (And still cheaper in the long run than if we actually bought a mower.)

Long story still long… I wasn’t going to be home when they were coming to mow on Saturday, so I agreed to “hide” the payment on the grill in our backyard.

Unfortunately, they weren’t able to make it on their scheduled day. No biggie, right? They were going to come on Sunday. Worked for me. I left the envelope with cash in its hiding spot so I wouldn’t forget to put it back the next day  before they arrived.

Saturday evening, Brandon finished out his duty week and came home at a semi-decent time. (AKA in time for supper.) We hadn’t really gotten to spend any time with one another for the last week, and he had to work another 24 shift on Sunday. So we decided to cook supper together.

Preparations began. Suddenly, I heard Brandon call me from the backyard… “Uh, Sharita???”

Oh no. The grill.

Sure enough, I rounded the corner  just in time to see the faint resemblance of a 10 dollar bill turn to ash and be whisked away by the breeze.

Our money went up in smoke. Literally.

Brandon thought it was hilarious. (Cue deep belly laugh.) Me? Not so much. I was working really hard on keeping our budget in check… and my beloved simply didn’t understand that those tiny ashes could have  bought me two (maybe three) servings of Fro-Yo at Chill. Or two skinny mocha-lattes at Starbucks… Or, or, or…

What do you do when things go up in smoke?

It’s funny now. (Kinda. At least my bitterness for the situation is fading.) And I know you are laughing. But sometimes it isn’t funny when things go up in smoke… Like our plans. Like our dreams. Like our money. Like our relationships.

When those go up in smoke… it can be painful. But I have good news. Notice the keyword in all of those? OUR. Our plans. Our dreams… Not God’s. God’s plans never go up in smoke. God’s dreams for us never fail. God’s love for us never runs out.

Nobody can send God’s goodness up in smoke. Not even The Enemy.

Have you ever had something go up in smoke? How did you react?  How do you handle the disappointments in life? Don’t be shy… Share your thoughts here.

If you feel like your life right now is similar to that poor $10 bill on the grill, take heart. God has you covered. He has a fire extinguisher on hand. Submit to His plans, His dreams, His love… and He will save us from going up in smoke.

Beauty in the Ashes,
SGK

“The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” –Revelation 8:4

Categories: beauty, Christ, funny, glory, God, hope, Lesson, life, pain, promises | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Unblock Your Heart

I will never forget that phone call. It was March, my senior year of high school. I was “supposed” to be in English class, but of course was spending my time ever-so-wisely in the library. The secretary tracked down my location and transferred the call to the library. It was announced: “Sharita… You have a phone call.”

The chorus of “Oooooooo, I wonder if she’s in trouble?” echoed in the room from my schoolmates as I rolled my eyes and made my way over to the phone.

“Hello?”

“Sharita.” My mom’s voice sounded… weird. “Um, your Daddy is sick.”

“What kind of sick?” I wondered why Dad having a stomach ache would warrant a phone called to school.

“I think he’s having a heart attack.”

BOOM. There it was. He was 45 years old. I was a senior. My sister a junior. And little brother just started kindergarten that year. How could my Dad be having a heart attack? Just 45 days before, he had been to the cardiologist for insurance check-up stuff… and they gave him a clean bill of health.

 I didn’t really understand the severity of his heart attack until they decided to LifeFlight him to the Kansas Heart Hospital in Wichita. The events over the next several hours could easily fill up a week’s worth of blog posts. I will never forget the details.

Turns out, an artery in his heart was 98% blocked. By the time Mom, my two siblings and I got rounded up and arrived in Wichita, he was already out of surgery from receiving a stint and resting in the ICU.

Scariest few hours of our lives. All I could think about was the fact that we might lose him that day. Not fair. Where did that blockage come from? They said he was HEALTHY less than two months ago.  He was supposed to see me graduate high school and college, walk me down the aisle at my wedding and give me away, hold his grandbaby in his arms.

All of that was threatened to be taken from us from a tiny blockage in his heart.

When was the last time you had a heart check-up from God?

I am happy to report that over 8 years have passed and Dad is still kicking. (Thank you, Jesus!) As I reflected on this event, I couldn’t help but think how our OWN heart blockages can threaten to take our lives…

I am not talking about the heart blockages from plaque and build up. I am talking about the “heart junk” that keeps us from being in an intimate relationship with Christ. If our heart is blocked, it becomes hard… we start to die from the inside out. We grow farther and farther from Christ.

All the while, we could convince ourselves that we have a “clean bill of health” from the outside. We are “doing” all the right things– going to church, half-heartedly praying, giving to the poor– but inside, we are slowly dying. Our heart for Christ is blocked. Clogged. Slowing down. Ceasing to beat.

Our blockages can come in many forms. Unconfessed sin. Unforgiveness. Desire to control our lives. Inability to trust God. Worry. Anxiety. Depression. Unhealed hurt from others.

Fortunately for us, God is the most talented cardiologist that ever existed. He doesn’t require medication, LifeFlight helicopters, or surgery. We must simply RECEIVE His grace and mercy into our hearts. If we share with Him openly our hurts, sins and grudges, He is the one who can heal them. Clean them out. Immediately.

Ask God if you are living your “clean bill of health” from the inside out or if you have some blocked areas of your heart. Ask Him to reveal any “blocked areas” to you and then help you to clean them out… He is The One who can make your heart beat, healthily, wildly and passionately. For Him.

Today, let’s allow Jesus to unblock our hearts so we can Live for Him.

Lovin’ His Lub-Dubbing,
SGK

“…Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having ourhearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” –Hebrews 10:22

How is your heart beating today? Is it healthy? Has God helped to unblock your heart? In what ways? I would love to hear about it. Comment here.

Categories: blessing, Christ, faith, Family, fear, God, healing, health, hope, Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sabbatical brought to you by: Generosity and Grace

Many of us have dreams of where we would like to visit or vacation. Perhaps the beach. Maybe the mountains. Or it could be somewhere ritzy.

For me… I just wanted… AWAY.

God called me to come away with Him this weekend. I had some incredible time alone, by myself, just Jesus and I in Pine Mountain, Georgia. He recharged my heart, mind and soul for doing His work. I could talk about the words He spoke to me for about a month’s worth of blog posts. But I will spare you all of the major details… For now. 😉 (Don’t worry– Thanks to this weekend, I’ve got plenty of new Jesus revelations to share AMERICA! )

But for this current moment, know that my sabbatical weekend was filled with generosity and grace.

At the risk of sounding like an award acceptance speech, this weekend wouldn’t have been possible without the following folks’ generosity:

  • Thank you to my dear friend Lauren for covering my duties at church on Sunday
  • Thank you to my  friend/boss/mentor Kelli for praying for me and encouraging me to be obedient to “Come away”
  • Thank you to my darling husband who provided the finances and encouragement to have my own “retreat” while he attended our church’s mens retreat.
  • Thank you to Debby and the Homestead Log Cabins family for being so generous and making this weekend financially feasible.

How I got hooked up with Homestead Log Cabins is a long (awesome) Jesus generosity story, but I will give you the semi-abbreviated version: As of last Thursday afternoon, I still hadn’t found anywhere to “go away” for the weekend. I knew I needed to be in nature since it is where I am closest to God, but I also knew He wanted me to rest. (Which is why sleeping in a tent wasn’t legit. It’s a TON of work to do by yourself. And a lot of planning.) I was getting desperate because no where I called had availability or was even remotely affordable for a woman (that would be me) working for Jesus dollars.

God laid Homestead Log Cabins on my heart earlier in the week as I had called them a few weeks ago when my cousin was down… but I knew it still cost dinero. But I was getting desperate. I pleaded with God during CRAVE on Thursday that if He really wanted me to come away for the weekend, He was going to have to make a way.

So at the nudging of God, I called Homestead Log Cabins. I talked to Debby and pretty much word vomited what I needed for the weekend. It wasn’t a vacation. It wasn’t a romantic getaway (although it was awesome to be with the Ultimate Lover of my Soul.) I simply needed a roof. And a bed. Out of town. AWAY.

After some quick negotiation with the manager, she gave me an incredibly generous deal for the weekend. I almost cried.

It was a sweet little three bedroom chalet on the lake. She said that she firmly believe that all of their reservations “Come through God.”

Isn't Jesus gorgeous??

Oh. Did I mention this adorable weekend home was owned by a preacher? Talk about divine intervention.

So long story still long, my weekend with Jesus was incredible. I left my laptop and iPad at home… and just sat at His feet. Thank you to Homestead Log Cabins for their incredible generosity (don’t be shy about booking them for your next Georgia getaway!) And thank you Jesus for a weekend full of grace.

Refreshed and Ready,
SGK

“My lover spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.” Song of Solomon 2:10

PS: Don’t forget! “A Latte Love” contest to win a Starbucks gift card is still going on until the article runs in the Bayonet this week. Be sure to share this post with your friends and leave a comment here!

Categories: adventure, attitude, clarity, faith, God, hope, Love, relax, rest, retreat | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Real-Life Love Offering

Yesterday, my husband reenlisted in the army.

For how long you ask? Six. Whole. Years.

So for all of you wonderful friends that ask when we are “getting out” of the army? It’s gonna be a while. The signed paper says so.

I wasn’t in a great mood yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I love (and support) my husband with all I am. And my crappy mood really had little to do with the whole re-enlistment thing. But it was just one of those days.

I was/am fighting a cold that my husband contracted from the germy privates he is training, which he so generously shared with me. (It happens every red phase. Almost all of the wives/families in our company are ill. Airborne, anyone?)

In addition to feeling like poo, the reenlistment ceremony was at 1300 yesterday afternoon. (That’s 1pm for all of you non-military folks.) Yeah, right smack dab in the middle of the day… Which really jacked up my schedule. I really don’t enjoy when the army messes with my battle plan, especially when it involves me missing out on the majority of a day of work on a week that we have a huge project to work on.

Oh. Did I mention the ceremony was outside? In the sun. At 1300. In Georgia. And I didn’t dress appropriately because it was only supposed to get up to 75 and was about 47 when I left the house that morning. But the 86 degree temp and sweat through my long sleeved blouse proved otherwise. Sigh.

As I sat there trying to sweat as un-awkwardly as possible, I was overcome with emotion. Now, before you think I am softy, I should clarify what kinds of emotions. Pity. Annoyance. A tiny smidge of pride. Fear. This reenlistment kind of snuck up on me– and not that I ever planned that we were getting out of the army, but talking about it and actually signing the paperwork (for six years!) are two different discussions.

I was just in a grumpy (sweaty) mood most of the early afternoon. But suddenly I was struck with the thought…  I sure am being an ungrateful little heifer today. It was like a Jesus lightening bolt. Every had one of those?  I remembered Easter was just two days ago. Jesus did A LOT more than just sit in the sun and agree to follow the army for (at least) six more years.

He gave us His life for us. Bled for us. Hung on the cross. Died.   It was a real-life love offering for you, me and all of mankind. A sacrifice that I can’t even comprehend.

Now I’m not downplaying my beloved’s reenlistment contract or his commitment to our country/family. After all, it is a big life event– and if it matters to us, it matters to God.  I love my husband with everything I have, second to Jesus. I will support him and follow wherever God leads us in the army. But it is Christ’s love for us that helps me realize the sacrifice required to love another person.

America!

People always tell me “I don’t know how you do it.” Well, I don’t know either. Other than Jesus. He is a constant reminder of HOW I am supposed to live, love and honor my husband, no matter how many years we will be serving in the United States Infantry, where we go or how we get there.

I do it because Christ died for me. This is my way of giving my God-chosen husband my own real-life love offering.

Can I get a Hooah,
SGK

“This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves.” 1 John 3:16 (MSG)

PS: Do you have something or someone in your life that you regularly give a “real-life love offering” to? I would love to hear about it… Comment here. 

Categories: 2012, America, army, attitude, gratitude, hope, loyalty, marriage | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

Peace is a Priority

When I was a little girl, Easter ranked in the top 4 of the most exciting and wonderful days of the year. It was just behind Christmas, my birthday and the last day of school. I loved hunting for eggs and that feeling of excitement as I came down the hall peered into the kitchen… and on top of the deep freeze, our Easter baskets would always be sitting, overflowing with candy and toys.

Ahhh. Those were the days.

But back then, I don’t recall having ANY idea what Easter was really about. Now as an adult, things are a wee bit different. Don’t get me wrong– if anyone is willing to sneak into my house and leave an Easter basket on our deep freeze filled with chocolate, please feel free. (But call first so I can kennel up the pup. I would hate for your ankle to have an encounter with our ferocious 12 pound beast.)

So yes, now Easter has a MUCH different and much more profound meaning to me… It of course signifies that Christ has Risen. How. Awesome. Is. That??

During my quiet time last week, God gave me a revelation of sorts… In all of our hustle and bustle of life, specifically for a minister preparing for Easter church services, PEACE is a priority.

We see this in John 20:19-21 when Jesus first appears to the disciples after He has risen from the dead.

“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.””

Jesus makes peace a priority. “Peace be with you” was the first phrase He uttered to his group of best friends after this profound event of rising from the dead. It wasn’t “Hey y’all, I’m back!” or “I win, let’s party!” or even “Now let me tell you my plans…” It was simply “Peace be with you.” He didn’t just say it once– He said it twice. Pretty important, eh?

When have you experienced God’s peace most deeply in your life? Have you mastered it or do you still struggle with it? Please share your Jesus-peace experience by leaving a comment here.

As we approach Easter, let’s rejoice that He has risen and will soon be coming back. But let’s also remember  the promise of peace that comes from clinging to Jesus and spending time in His presence– daily, not just on Easter. Jesus made peace a priority– shouldn’t you?

Rejoicing in the Peace,
SGK

“The God of peace be with you all. Amen.” –Romans 15:33

Categories: believe, Bible, calm, celebrate, Christ, hope, Jesus, peace | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Flower in Your Hair

All right… Whoever thought up this concept of Daylight Savings time OBVIOUSLY did not work in ministry. Otherwise, they would have picked to either A) Not mess with the timing of our days or 2) Do the time change on a Friday night.

When you work on Sunday, Daylight Savings Time seems to be ANYTHING but a blessing.

But I’m not bitter. Seriously. It’s fine. Because I work for Jesus– the paycheck is better and the job is way more stable than anything the government can give me.

Now that I have THAT off my chest…

I’m tired. And yes, it is from that whacky time change, coupled with my preggo brain that seems to think sleeping at night is overrated. I didn’t sleep worth a poo on Saturday night (it was that level of “sleep” just above a doze ALL night… I could have jumped out of bed and written a blog post at any moment, and it would have actually made sense.) Definitely not rested.

So when my alarm went off at 6:30am on Sunday to get ready for my 10 hour day of Jesus work, I just laid in bed, staring at the ceiling… Angry. (Don’t you just LOVE those days?!?)

As I lay there, I began to think… And pray. My mind was drawn to Colossians 2:23-24… “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” I knew that if my tired body (and brain for that matter) were going to make it through the day, it was going to be a straight up act of God.

When I finally got the motivation to swing my feet to the floor, I was DETERMINED to work for God’s glory… even if it killed me. (Which at that point, I was convinced was a possibility.) I stumbled downstairs and had my quiet time with God.

As usual, God knew exactly what I needed… He spoke to me through Jesus Calling.

“When I gave you My Spirit, I empowered you to live beyond your natural ability and strength. That’s why it is so wrong to measure your energy level against the challenges ahead of you. The issue is not your strength, but Mine, which is limitless. By walking close to Me, you can accomplish My purposes in My strength.” (Jesus Calling, March 11)  

Um… Touché, God.

I was reassured that I didn’t have to walk through that day on my own physical or emotional strength. However, I am a firm believer in having a legitimate attitude and the concept of “Look good, feel good, do good.” And I needed on of those days for Jesus.

My outfit choice for the day was… bright. (Don’t worry, we are not getting into a fashion conversation– I am the last person you want to take advice on THAT topic from.) I had to teach part of a class later that night, so knew that make-up and clicky shoes were a requirement. (Confidence boost.) But I chose a BRIGHT (and when I say bright, I mean obnoxious) yellow dress to wear with black tights and black overshirt. Someone described me as “Their little bumblebee.” (Uhh, thank you?)

And the final touch for my Jesus strength? A fake yellow flower clippy in my hair.

I didn’t care what other people would say. God was with me. He was the one who was going to carry me through the day.  Some days you might need extra prayer… or extra sleep… or a little flower in your hair.

What do you do when you need a Jesus “pick-me-up?” I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment here or “Like” and comment on 7 Days Time Facebook Page. 

Oh, and if you are curious… Sunday rocked (especially with the Jesus motivated impromptu auctioneering demo I did during my class… but that’s another blog post.)

🙂

Rejoicing in the small things,

SGK

“That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.” –Colossians 1:29 (MSG) 

Categories: CCC, energy, faith, God, hope | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

Love, Peace and Jesus Cheese

“Would you like cheese on that?”

Talk about a moment of truth. You haven’t really given any thought to the question prior to this very blip in time. It doesn’t matter if the person behind the counter/at your table is asking about a salad, a Big Mac (ick) or Subway sandwich.

For me, the answer is almost always yes.

Cheese is awesome. I am a non-discriminatory cheese eater. My only stipulations are if it smells like a foot or comes in a can,  it is not going in my mouth. Other than that, bring on the cheese baby!

Just last Saturday, my supervisor Kelli and I traveled to Macon, GA to do some SHAPE training for a church plant. As we were discussing each person’s spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality and experiences, we got to the topic of “filling” holes in ministry with volunteers.

Now, this is a baby church, just being planted and doing the work to get off the ground. Their numbers are small, so “filling holes” within their group was a challenge. But one participate piped up and jokingly said, “Holes aren’t bad. Just think of swiss cheese. People love swiss cheese. We are the swiss cheese church.”

This comment not only made us laugh, but it got me to thinking. We know that Jesus is all about love and peace… but how would he feel about cheese? Specifically, swiss cheese. (Hang in there readers… this will make more sense momentarily, I promise.)

We have already determined some types of cheese are “holey.” And I don’t know about you… but so are our lives.

Let’s start with our holey selves. We are full of holes. Looking to be fulfilled. Broken. Searching for something greater. Seeking love and peace. Completeness.

So where do we find it? In Christ. Jesus fills our holes with His eternal love and neverending peace. We can be wholly His. ALL of us can live in Him. Lean on Him. Trust in Him… And ultimately we can become…

HOLY.  This is a good kind of holy. Fully, deeply and completely dedicated to Him through our actions, words and lives. We can live a full un-holey life by being holy. Our original holes are filled to the brim with love and peace through Him.

So maybe Jesus is a cheese fan like me and you. He understands our “holes” and embraces our longing to be filled wholly with Him… to make us holy FOR Him.

And let’s not forget that Jesus STILL has holes… no, not the ones that are needed for perfection. He needs nothing, because He is perfect. But He himself has holes in his nail-scarred hands. The holes in His hands ultimately compensate for the holes in our lives caused by sin.

Don’t be ashamed or concerned if your life looks like swiss cheese. Mine does. Instead, find the love and peace from Jesus. And next time when someone asks if you want cheese on it, you can simply reply, “Sure, but I’ve already got some… I have love, peace and Jesus Cheese.”

Life is cheesy,

SGK

“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence.” Acts 4:31 MSG

Categories: Christ, food, fulfillment, healing, hope, Love, peace | 2 Comments

Stop suffering from DFD

It affects millions of people everyday.

You might suffer from it and not even know it.

It is most prevalent in married men… but if you are human, you are at risk.

It’s symptoms can literally change your life… for better or worse.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about Degenerative Filter Disorder, or DFD for short. Ok, ok… so it is really an issue that my husband and I made up. After doing much research (ok, two days worth) I really think it is a major problem in our world. My beloved suffers from it. I suffer from it. And I would guess you probably do too.

Let’s break this down. DFD kicks in when we begin to focus on one thing more in our life more than we normally do. Lemme give you a real-life example. Two nights ago, Brandon and I were hanging out in the living room and he was doing research for his potential experience at Ranger school. Whenever a big life event (in his case: profound army stuff) is on the horizon, his “filter” of thoughts, words and actions begins to break down (degenerate) and become less effective. Hence, the higher probability of saying or doing something that might potentially offend his darling wife (yes, that’s me.)

But this is not a husband bashing session, I promise. I am just as guilty. When I was finishing up my masters, specifically working on a big project, I too suffered from DFD. I would be WAY more blunt than necessary in normal conversation, wearing my project-focused attitude on my sleeve.

See. I told you it would change lives. For better or for worse.

Are you still not convinced you have it? Let me list some of the symptoms:

  • Focusing on one item or big event
  • Memory lapse regarding important people surrounding you
  • Lack of focus on other important aspects of life
  • Excessive word vomit
  • Red Face
  • Frustration
  • Heavy breathing in the form of exasperated sighs
  • Eye rolling

It is not a pleasant disorder. But DFD is something we all battle… Especially when it comes to God. I have noticed that when I start to focus on my eyes on things of this world, my “filter” begins to break down… Negative thoughts come into my head. I am quick to anger. Slow to forgive.

Yeah. Totally unfun. And potentially painful.

But wait! There IS a cure. Instead of allowing our eyes to drift to the people, places or things in our lives, we can keep our eyes focused upward.

Then and only then is our filter strengthened by God. And instead of word vomit, we overflow with love. We more easily handle the big life events.

When we focus on Christ, our DFD essentially goes away… And honestly we don’t even need a filter anymore, because we are focusing our eyes on things that are pure and trustworthy– AKA Christ.

You will no longer be suffering from DFD… but rather be an OWL… Overflowing With Love.

With eyes focused upward,

SGK

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” –1 John 2:15-17

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