promises

The Rule of 4.0

“Moooommmm… I… didn’t…do…good…on… (sob)…my (gasp)… Chemistry… (sniff)…tessssttttttt. I…won’t…get…an.. A!” 

That is a real (ok, paraphrased) excerpt from a conversation that I frequently had with my Mom on the phone my freshmen year of college at K-State.

Chemistry was a nightmare. And when I bombed that first test, I was convinced my life was over. Seriously. Up until that point, I had only gotten a “B” on a report card ONCE in my life, and that was my freshmen year of high school in Algebra. (What IS it with freshmen year? And boo on math.)

I despised chemistry. (And still do, just for the record.) I didn’t understand it. I didn’t get it. And I didn’t get an A that semester. What a way to start out my college career, huh?

My friends and I had a theory in college. We called it the “Rule of 4.0.” The idea was that there were many things in life that once you fell short, it was hard to care about trying to work hard at it again.

Chemistry class was my example. After I got that first “B” in college, I knew there was no hope of pulling a 4.0. My record was marred. So I had a choice to make… would I keep trying to do well in college? Or since I had fallen short of my dreams of “perfect” grades, should I just sorta half-way try and count it all as lost?

Fortunately, my motivation kicked in and I kept trying. No, I didn’t get my 4.0 due to falling short early on (Thanks, Chem I and II…) But I did manage to graduate with honors five years later. (I took a victory lap for my undergrad, just because I could.)

Now you might be wondering: “Uh, Sharita, I am kind of done with school. What in the name of sodium chloride does this have to do with me?”

Great question. I’m glad you asked. The “Rule of 4.0” doesn’t just apply to literal grade point averages. It also applies to different areas of our lives. For example…

The Rule of 4.0 kicks in during a long-distance run after you made the mental decision to walk for a few steps… You failed right? Whats the point of trying to redeem your run? Might as well walk the rest of the way, yes?

The Rule of 4.0 applies when it comes to purity… maybe a girl (or guy) decided to engage in pre-marital sex with a significant other, but then they broke up. She/he isn’t “pure” anymore. So what’s the point of abstaining from that point forward until marriage?

The Rule of 4.0 shows up when we get reprimanded at work– we weren’t the perfect employee, so why strive to regain a solid work ethic, right?

The Rule of 4.0 comes to life in our everyday lives when we sin. We messed up… so why try to make it right and live a Christ-like life? We failed.

Obviously, this way of thinking can be a dangerous and little off the mark. The Rule of 4.0 is meant to be an encouragement to think twice about making a decision that might damage your heart, your GPA, relationships or work life. HOWEVER… like it or not, we are ALL going to fall short.

None of us are going to graduate from this life to the next with a 4.0 without the help of Christ.

Will you allow Christ to help you “graduate” from this life to the next with a 4.0?

We might get a B or C in life… or we might even flunk on occasion. God grades on a curve. And that curve is in form of The Cross.

We have the beautiful and blessed opportunity to start fresh every single day, reaching out to Christ for that 4.0 perfect score. Each time we give an incorrect answer or fall short, we can take it to The Cross and learn from the ultimate teacher.

Christ is our Valedictorian. He is the one who will help us graduate summa cum laude. He is the one to restore us to our 4.0.

Here’s to “graduating” with Honors,
SGK

“If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.”
–2 Thessalonians 1:12 (MSG) 

PS: Where have you needed Christ to grade on a curve in your life? Have you struggled with the “Rule of 4.0?” I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below.

Categories: blessing, challenge, childhood, Christ, fulfillment, God, grace, perspective, promises | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 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

He Forgave You– Now Forgive Yourself Too.

“If only I hadn’t… I wish I didn’t… Why can’t I go back… It’s all my fault.”

Regrets. Mistakes. We all have ’em. We’ve all made ’em.

So what are we supposed to do?

This week,  we have been working through reasons why our hearts can be blocked and how we grow apart from Christ. (Click to read the original post here.) Yesterday was all about forgiving others… a hard but necessary topic.

Today we touch on a subject that I feel is sometimes overlooked in our Christian world. Forgiving ourselves.

Our hearts are really complicated. When you add our brains and flesh to our heart mixture, things can get super confusing… And kinda messy. Fortunately, God can clear things up for us.

See, here’s the deal. God forgives us WAY more than we deserve it. Yes, we screw up. Yes, we repent and apologize to Him. Then He forgives us… And thanks to our human nature, that cycle repeats. (And thanks to God’s love, He continues to forgive us. WHEW.)

We can get stuck when we refuse to let it go  and let God do His thang. When we hang onto our past sins, hurts, regrets and don’t allow God to take them… It is like we are saying that The Cross was not enough.

Let me say it again… When we hang onto our junk (blockages), we are essentially saying “Thanks so much for sending your beloved Son to die on The Cross, God… but that’s not quite good enough for me. I need something more.”

Uh. Yikes? I think a mindset like that might be offensive to The Big Man! I sure wouldn’t be happy if I made the biggest sacrifice of my entire existence and somebody said it wasn’t “good enough” for them. Sheesh.

So what do we do? We need to get over ourselves. Seriously. (Yeah, I said it.) Yes, we are God’s loving creation, but we aren’t better than The Cross. And we don’t have the power to mess up more than Jesus’ sacrifice can cover.  We must GENUINELY believe with our heart, soul, mind and strength that The Cross WAS enough. God made a promise to us through His Son. The action of Jesus’ death on the cross FORGAVE us of ALL of our transgressions. Not just the little ones. Not the easy or simple ones.

ALL. OF. THEM. Every last lousy sin, from stealing a pack a gum, to hurting someone else to… well, you get the picture. After all– a sin is a sin is a sin. (But that’s another blog post 🙂 )

So today’s challenge for unblocking your heart is to FORGIVE yourself of any past hurts or hang ups. If you have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior* then YOU. ARE. FORGIVEN.

Period. The End. IT IS FINISHED. (Does that sound familiar?)

Do you struggle with forgiving yourself? Have you forgiven yourself in the past? What did you experience? Please comment here… I would love to pray and/or rejoice with you!

Let God do the work. Give Him your hurts and regrets. He loves you more than you can imagine. Let it go and let God do His thang, covering you with mercy, grace and forgiveness.

He has got it covered. The Cross did that for us. He Forgave you– Now go ahead and forgive yourself too.

Thankful for forgiveness,
SGK

“…If we admit our sins…he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.” 1 John 1:9 (MSG)

Forgive Yourself

(*If you haven’t accepted Christ and aren’t sure what  all that involves,  shoot me an email via sharita{dot} knobloch{at} gmail{dot} com. I would love to talk with you about it.)



Categories: attitude, Christ, cross, faith, forgiveness, freedom, God, health, heart, Love, peace, promises, release | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Faith to Forgive

“YOUNG LADY! You march over here RIGHT NOW and tell your sister you are sorry.” 

Shuffle…shuffle…stomp. SIGH. 

“Mmsrry.” 

“Oh no, that’s not good enough. SAY IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT!”

Sigh. (Again.) FINE. 

“I’m sorry.” 

How is that two little words can be so difficult to say?

If you are a living, breathing human (which I am gonna go out on a limb here and assume that is a pretty legit possibility unless you have a super talented and technology loving pet) chances are you have been on both the giving and receiving end of an apology.

Sometimes, accepting those two little words of “I’m sorry” as the hurt party might be harder than the one who is doing the apologizing.

Yesterday, we talked about heart blockages that separate us from God. (Read the complete post here.) Carrying around the burden of unforgiveness can be heavy. Like, really heavy.

forgiven by soot+chalk
forgiven, a photo by soot+chalk on Flickr.

He forgave… So can you.

Forgiving others takes  A LOT of humility and faith. I don’t know about you, but I tend to be a pretty stubborn little heifer sometimes. Letting go and letting God take care of my hurts really requires me to fully surrender to Him.

But… while forgiving others can be more difficult than driving past a frozen yogurt shop without stopping to get a snack, it is a command. God forgives us waaaayyy more than we deserve. (Remember The Cross?) Thus we are to do the same to others.

There are numerous stories in the Bible that talk about forgiveness. Remember the parable about the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:23-35?  Check out The Message Version of the story…

 “The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.

 “The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.

 “The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’

 “The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.

 “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”

Oh snap. Jesus told this story to Peter to illustrate the importance of forgiveness. Right before this parable, our dear friend (and slight blabbermouth) Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone for an offense. Then, before Jesus can respond, Peter answers his own question. “Is seven times enough, Jesus?” (Peter might be trying to show off his stellar knowledge here.)

But Jesus really schools him. “Seven TIME Seventy.” Now, 490 is not the magic number of forgiveness. (Let’s be honest. We probably have people in our lives that we have to forgive MORE than that.) But it is an illustration. We should infinitely forgive others, knowing that God is the judge– not us.

Today I challenge you to take a look at  your heart. Is there anyone that you haven’t forgiven? It doesn’t matter how big or small the offense. It doesn’t matter if they have apologized or not. (That can be the hardest part!)  Give it to God. Turn it over to Him. Forgive the one(s) that hurt you. Pray about it. And God will give you the faith to forgive.

Thankful to be forgiven by faith,
SGK

“…You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others.” –Matthew 6:14 (MSG) 

How has forgiving someone blessed your life? What did you experience after you forgave someone? I would love to hear all about it– please comment here.

Categories: attitude, challenge, faith, forgiveness, fresh start, God, mercy, promises | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Bad things. Good People. Great God.

I have heard this phrase in many conversations. I have witnessed it on Facebook statuses. I have even seen it on a billboard.

“Why do bad things happen to good people?”

That is a good question. And a tough one at that. I’m not gonna get all theological on you today (my brain isn’t quite up for that level of discussion) but I think that “Bad things” happen to “Good people” due to sin.

I don’t mean those folks who experience the “bad thing” have sinned. I mean, they have sinned… Shoot, we all have… but God doesn’t PUNISH us for things we do. That is what the cross is for. “Bad things” happen because we live in a fallen world. I would like to think that if Adam and Eve hadn’t messed it up for the rest of us, we wouldn’t have to deal with things like pain, sickness, loss, death, betrayal.

But let’s be honest. If it wasn’t Adam and Eve, I’m sure somebody else would have come along 15 seconds later and jacked it up for us. Sigh. Isn’t human nature (and Satan) frustrating?!!

Anyways, bad things happen to good people in this life. I’m willing to bet you are sitting there nodding your head thinking “Tell me about it, sista.”

But here’s the good news… Even though bad things happen to good people, we have a great God. The other night during prayer week at church, we were briefly looking at Job chapter 38. God is reminding Job that HE is bigger. HE is the creator. He is THE ONE.

As I sat there and mediated, God gave me these words:

“Only when we start from the bottom of the valley can we truly appreciate the mountaintop. When we experience how bad it can be, we can know how great God IS. He is above it all.” 

In essence, we have to go through the crappy (pardon my French) parts of life to TRULY experience the fullness of God’s love. Otherwise, what kind of heaven would we have to look forward to??

When your path seems uncertain... Know that the God of Love and Peace is guiding your footsteps!

In the last few months, I have encountered several good people going through some pretty “bad things” in life. My beloved boss and mentor dealing with the loss of her husband’s grandmother while BOTH of her parents battle cancer. A soldier who lost his wife and daughter, now a single father to his 11-year-old son. A close friend struggling an illness. Another friend questioning her purpose in life.

We’ve all been there. I don’t know where you find yourself today. Are you in the midst of a “bad thing?” Or coming out of it? Or perhaps facing it soon? Take heart. We have SUCH an incredible promise of a future world with no pain or heartache. And while we walk through our current “bad things,” God is walking with us. Daily. Know that while bad things might happen to good people… we can rely on an incredibly GREAT God.

Thankful to worship a kind, loving, merciful God,
SGK

“I’m thanking you, God, out loud in the streets, singing your praises in town and country. The deeper your love, the higher it goes; every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness.” –Psalm 57:9 (MSG) 

Have you ever been through a “bad thing?” How did God see you through? (Or if you are going through a “bad thing” right now, leave a comment here and I will pray for you. Or you can email me via sharita{dot}knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com.)

Categories: affirmation, challenge, Christ, cross, death, faith, God, Goodness, life, Live, mercy, pain, promises | Tags: , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

No Such Thing as Good-bye (Five-Minute Friday)

Oh what joy I have in my heart today! It’s Friday! (Insert happy dance here!)

One reason (among several) that I am joyous that it’s the end of the week? Because Five Minute Friday is here for us in the blogging world.

To catch you up: On Friday’s I link up with The Gypsy Mama. She gives us a prompt, then we write for five minutes flat. No over thinking. No editing. Just write.

I kind of think of it as a high intensity cardio-workout of the phalanges. (Phalanges= finger bones and personally one of the top five most hilarious words on the planet.)

So today’s prompt? Good-bye. 

Ready? Let’s do it. GO! 

****

Bon Voyage. Adios. Sianera. Sayonara. Hasta Luego. Don’t let the door hitcha where the Good Lord Splitcha. Peace out.

GOOD-BYE.

However you say it, it can hurt. Or in some cases, it might be a relief. Either way, good-bye is not the most fun thing in the world.

Now, you would think as an army wife, I would be an expert with good-byes. But that’s not entirely true. Yes, while my beloved and I have been separated by calls of duty more than I care to brag about, we have a policy. Both of us despise good-byes. So we don’t do it.

Instead, we say “See you later.” Or “See you soon.” Or simply “I love you and I will be praying for you.” Because “good-bye” just sounds so… final.

And great news… nothing in this world is final. Because of the Cross, we have the promise of reunion in heaven.

So even when he deploys, we don’t say good-bye. No matter WHAT happens, we are CONFIDENT that we will see each other again, either on this side or the next. The same goes for all of those we have lost in our lives.

Praise the Lord that we NEVER have to say good-bye. We can rejoice that whether it is a trip to get milk at the grocery store, a few month separation by duty, a life-risking deployment or even that last journey to meet Jesus…

We WILL meet again.

So in our world– there is no such thing as good-bye.

STOP!

I don’t know about you, but that was kind of an emotional (yet encouraging and interesting) roller coaster ride. And on that note– it’s time for breakfast and to celebrate the day.

Thanks for stopping by… I would L-O-V-E your feedback. Go ahead… make my day and comment here. 🙂

Good-bye See you soon,
SGK

“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”’ 1 Chronicles 16:31

Categories: army, Christ, death, Five Minute Friday, future, promises | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Joy in the Mourning

It’s the day after Easter, folks… This means that in addition to Easter candy going on sale today (YAY!) and most church workers being tired after working like crazy yesterday, lent has ended for another year.

What did your 40 days bring? Mine were… um… profound.

For Lent, I “gave up” worrying. (Read “Removal of the Worrywart” for the whole story.) Long story short, God told me to stop trying to control things and not to worry so dang much about stuff. So during Lent, whenever I worried about something, I wrote it down, crinkled it up and literally laid it at the foot of a cross in my living room. Then I would write a “Faith” statement to counteract whatever worry I had. I kept the faith statements in a jar and would give myself a “refresher” when the worries started to resurface.

Well, 40 days have come and gone… God has done a number on my worrywart of a heart.

But that isn’t the “profound” part of the story.

God grew my trust in Him immensely. Here’s the profound part: My two biggest worries actually happened in the last 40 days… and God carried me through it.

Not only did He carry me through it, but I am able to write about it. And find joy… in the mourning of it all.

My first fear was miscarriage and losing our baby. I kept writing it down, laying at the foot of the cross… and it kept coming back. When that fear became a reality 27 days ago, I felt as if God had answered my prayer to prepare my heart for this baby, whatever was to happen.  Now, don’t get me wrong– if Jesus Himself came down from Heaven and asked me if I wanted things to turn out differently, I probably wouldn’t hesitate to scream “YES!” before He finished His sentence. However…

With that biggest fear of losing that baby came tiny blessings… I now understand Matthew 5:4– “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” I lost something I held very dear– but Jesus never left me. Not for a moment. Yes, my heart broke… but our Father’s heart also broke as He watched His son die on the cross. In mourning, I became closer to my husband than ever. In mourning, I became closer and more dependent on Our Father than I have been in my entire life. In mourning… I found joy that only comes from Jesus.

My second fear was my beloved husband recycling Ranger School– mainly because I didn’t want him to miss any more of the pregnancy than required. God has a plan with that as well… because Brandon did end up as a Darby phase recycle, which would be a 7 week extra wait due to Best Ranger Competition coming up. But once I told Brandon about the loss of our little one, he decided to come home to me immediately. He told me that it wouldn’t have mattered if he was going to recycle or not– he was going to come home to deal with what we were facing.

The worries with Ranger school were also realized, but under the circumstances were a blessing as God brought us through it. Oh, and did I tell you that God also planned out that Brandon would make the promotion list way sooner than expected, the day after the miscarriage and the day prior to Brandon withdrawing from Ranger school. To me, it was affirmation that God has Brandon’s career in His hand.  I guess God knows what He is doing after all, huh?

I can’t help but feel a little bit like Mary  when she discovered that Christ was gone from the grave. When she saw that empty tomb, her mourning turned to confusion… then to joy as she discovered Christ’s incredible plan. Praise the Lord, for He is Risen! His promises hold true and we can fully depend on Him– no worrying necessary!

What did you learn during Lent? Did you grow closer to God? I would love to hear your feedback. Comment here. 

I have laid my fears at the foot of the cross… and I will continue to do so. That cross will stay in my living room as a constant reminder of God’s promise, plan and purpose for our lives. God removed the worrywart in me… and helped me to find exceptional and unexpected joy in the mourning.

Rejoicing for He is Risen,
SGK

“Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well.  I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” –Jeremiah 31:13

As promised, I set fire to my worries at the conclusion of lent. I've given them over to God... For good.

Categories: blessings, Christ, cross, dependence, faith, glory, God, joy, lent, promises, worry | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

We have… Memory Loss

Think about your most prominent memory. Where were you? What time of year was it? Was it a good memory? A challenging experience? What type of details do you remember about it?

Reminiscing can be a lot of fun. It might also be a little painful. Personally, my memories can be triggered by a location, sound, song, smell, person or experience. Some memories are so prominent that I literally get goosebumps– it feels like I am traveling back in time, experiencing the specific event all over again.

I don’t want to brag, but I have a memory like a steel trap (much to my husbands occasional dismay: “How or WHY do you remember that, Sharita?!?)” I remember the most ridiculous things from kindergarten experiences, weird and random facts from some of my college classes and even  direct quotes of conversations I have had years ago. But even with this amazing memory, I still have memory loss… and often forget some of God’s promises.

Let’s think about this for a second. We almost NEVER forget promises made by other people, especially when they don’t come through for us. How many times (especially as children) do you remember saying “Heeeeyyyyy… YOU PROMISED?!?!”

We don’t forget the promises made by people in this world. But I always find myself saying “Whoops, sorry God… I forgot you already promised me that.” God often says to me “Heeeyyyyy, Sharita… I PROMISED?!? Remember?”

Oh. Yeah. All those things I worry about or am uncertain about… yep. He already promised to help me out with it. God’s multiple and never-failing promises can be found in His word.  His amazing promises are found in the Bible, in every book, every chapter.

Concerned about your path? Check out Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Don’t know if God is involved in your life and knows what He is doing? Look at Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Unsure if all things that come from God are legit? Take a peek at Romans 8:28– “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.”

God never promised it would be easy. But He said he will never stop loving. Never leave. Never forsake. His love never fails. It never runs out. It endures forever.  “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1) He PROMISED us this!!

I vividly remember when and where I was the moment I began remembering parts of His word. I was parked outside of the Schnucks grocery store in Jefferson City, Mo in the winter of 2009, around 10:30pm. I did NOT want to go to work that night at midnight. I had brought my Bible with me and needed a reminder from God about His promises because I was in the middle of what would eventually become my recovery testimony. (Check out No Bologna Testimony Part 2 for the full story.) I forgot that God was in control and had a plan.

I grabbed my Bible, trusting God to give me the reminder I needed.  I didn’t have the verses memorized, but from the last few months of spending time in the word, I had a general recollection of where to look in the Bible. I (guided by the hand of God) narrowed it down to a book… then chapter… then read through and BOOM. Found the verse. “Ohhhh… NOW I remember. Thanks for that promise, God.”  Memory: restored.

Spend time in the word. Relish His promises. Overcome that memory loss. You never have to say “HEY GOD, YOU PROMISED.” Instead, He says to us, “Hey you… I promised! TRUST ME.” He ALWAYS comes through. And boom. No. More. Memory loss.

Remembering fondly,

SGK

“O LORD, you are God! You have promised these good things to your servant.” 1 Chronicles 17:26

Categories: future, God, hope, life, memory, plans, promises | Leave a comment

A Little Big Conversation

I have learned over the years that I am a talker… Making small-talk, chattering away, sometimes talking very fast dominate my conversations. Fortunately over the years of maturing, I have learned to slow down (a little) and shut up (on occasion… still a work in progress.)

Part of this conversation development over the years has been found in my ability to talk to the Lord. We all have the ability to talk to him any time, any place. Some folks think that it has to be some flowery prayer, with a lot of “thous” and “thees” and “doeth” etc… If that is a comfortable method for you, go for it. But if you are a little more casual, we can have a “normal” and informal conversation. We all can have a personal relationship with Jesus, so it doesn’t have to be showy or involve using the right vocabulary words.

As an army wife recently moved to a new location, I have learned that talking to God is even more important. My little-big conversations with Him happen anywhere and at some random times. I talk to him while I am jogging with my dog, while I am grooming for the days activities, when I am driving in the car, sitting in my chair in the living room, getting ready to sleep, when I wake up in the morning. I don’t say these things to sound righteous and legit in my prayer life (I have a VER Y long way to go, trust me)– but as a woman who is at a new army post with no extremely close friends to talk to (yet), it brings me comfort to have someone to talk to while my husband is gone/out on the trail training baby privates how to make good life decisions. I have a friend in Jesus, one that lets me talk as much/little as I want, about anything.

So what can prayers look/sound like in our little-big conversations with Him? A great place to start is in Scripture in the Psalms. There are three primary types of Psalms that I have learned about: Praise, lament and petition/protection. I don’t know about you all, but all three of those can apply to me on any given day. Praise is pretty self explanatory as they are primarily giving thanks. Lament can be the conversations of “Why God why?” or “This is really lame sauce, man.” Then petition is a plea for guidance, protection from enemies (The Enemy?) etc. Some Psalms stick to just one category, while others can be a mixture of two or three.

We can talk to God without fear, pouring from our heart whether it is a praise, lament or petition. He is a big boy and can handle our crying, yelling, stomping, pain, laughter, joy, hope, requests all at once. Plus, it is therapeutic for us personally. Prayer is an act of faith, showing that we believe in his sovereignty.

What is on your heart today? Are you in need for a good conversation? Go on, get chatty. Just ask him “Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.” (Psalm 54:2) Spill your guts. He is a great listener. Enjoy your little-big conversation with Him.

Oh… and how can I pray for you today? Facebook, Tweet or message me.  (I can never have too much to talk to God about 🙂

Thankful for His listening ears.
SGK

“My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.” — Psalm 145:21

Categories: conversion, God, praise, prayer, promises | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: