Today with Kara

Tea for Two ~ God and You

Bottoms Up June 6, 2014

Have you ever coaxed a sweaty, over-heated toddler from their play for a drink of water? One of three results usually occur:

A. They completely ignore you, silently declaring that what they are doing is more important.

B. Begrudgingly they take a swig, making it clear that it is only because they are forced.

C. They grab the cup with both hands, gulp noisily much of the water, and look at you breathlessly for admiration for obedience.

Obviously, you didn’t offer a drink for your own benefit…apart from your concern for their well-being. It was for their own good. Without water they can not function properly, will get sick, and eventually die. Your providing vital life-sustaining is an act of self-less love.

It is healthy growth where a child realizes that water is important, good for them, and a necessary part of life. Hopefully they will learn to quench their own thirst with H2O without someone waving a sippy cup and begging them to partake.

Consequently, we don’t do God any favors by connecting with him. It is a privilege. A vital, life-giving privilege. Enjoy it. Appreciate it.

 

Winning March 16, 2014

Winning

My Dad recently gave me a book by John C. Maxwell to read ~ “25 Ways To Win With People; How To Make Others Feel Like A Million Bucks”. It is quite interesting that Dad would be reading this, since I thought he was the master. He’s always been amazing at making people feel good about themselves.

Pictured here is a family who he has helped in many ways. They now host a weekly Bible club with many neighborhood children. My Dad is constantly winning with people, and here are some ways that you can, too:

1. Start with yourself.
2. Practice the 30-second rule. (Within the first 30 seconds, say something encouraging.)
3. Let people know you need them.
4. Create a memory and visit it often.
5. Compliment people in front of other people.
6. Give others a reputation to uphold.
7. Say the right words at the right time.
8. Encourage the dreams of others.
9. Pass the credit on to others.
10. Offer your very best.
11. Share a secret with someone.
12. Mine the gold of good intentions.
13. Keep your eyes off the mirror.
14. Do for others what they can’t do for themselves.
15. Listen with your heart.
16. Find the keys to their hearts.
17. Be the first to help.
18. Add value to people.
19. Remember a person’s story.
20. Tell a good story.
21. Give with no strings attached.
22. Learn your mailman’s name.
23. Point out people’s strengths.
24. Write notes of encouragement.
25. Help people win.

That’s my Dad, and I love him so much!

Thank you, Mr. Maxwell, for writing this wonderful book!

thejohnmaxwellteam.com

 

God’s Pleasure May 13, 2013

While reading this morning in Psalms, it hit me that we can literally bring real pleasure to the Holy God of the Universe.  After checking what the Scripture had to say about it,  this is what I discovered.

 

Image

 

Nine Ways To Bring God Pleasure:

1. The prosperity of his servant.  Psalm 35:27

2. Them that fear Him.  Psalm 147:11

3. Those that hope in His mercy.  Psalm 147:11

4. Uprightness.  1 Chronicles 29:17

5. Giving His people His kingdom.  Luke 12:32

6. Adopting His chosen. Ephesians 1:5

7. Showing His children His mysterious will.  Ephesians 1:9

8. Working in His children.  Philippians 2:13

9. His creation.  Revelation 4:11

 

Romans 12:5 March 7, 2013

Romans 12:5, originally uploaded by Xapa.

 

RESTORE // The Film – Part 1

I love this concept beyond words.

I don’t love fellow humans being called “The least of these.” It reminds me of how my old church branded people as “bus kids” for life because they were reached through the bus ministry. It carried an unfair stigma.

I still love this video.

 

Simplify March 6, 2013

Simplify, originally uploaded by Xapa.

 

What if?

What if prayer stopped being a daily “To Do” list for God and became a renewal of surrender and availability to that for which God has for US to do?  I’ve heard thousands of people pray (myself included), and I can’t help but wonder if it is annoying at best and even nauseating to God for us to give him our fleshly lists of instructions, recommendations, reminders, demands and suggestions.

Lord, just bless us.  Lord, just protect us.  Lord, just lead us.  Lord, just heal us.  Lord, just provide for us.  Lord, just make our team win.  Lord, just prosper our journey.  Lord, just give me the job I applied for.  Lord, just make her fall in love with me.  Lord, just make my neighbor stop being so loud.  Lord, just give me an A on my test.  Lord, just do what I say, really, just do it.

What happened to “Thy will be done”?  Where is the “Here am I, Lord, send me”?  Why don’t we ask God, “What do YOU want me to do today”?  Would it be so terrible to surrender control of the day to the One who created it and has a perfect plan for every one of us?

The paradoxical reality is that His way is always, always better than ours.  We can’t see this for a variety of reasons, but the fact remains true, nonetheless.  Not only is he worthy of our surrender, but completely trust-worthy.  I have yet to hear someone declare that trusting and obeying God ended in destruction.  It always leads to blessings in abundance.

If we are honest with ourselves, we can certainly admit that God is wiser, stronger and more able than we treat Him.  He has more resources than we count on and more options than that of which we are aware.  Than why do we begin the day with a barrage of commands to our God and King?

I would dare say it would make more sense and absolutely behoove us to kneel at His feet, empty ourselves of any agenda, and humbly ask him to use us in his eternal kingdom.  I am by no means an expert on prayer, nor do I have the Christian life mastered to any extent.  However, I can only imagine there is more to a relationship with God than a constant string of cryptic instructions and annoyed reminders of what He is “supposed” to be doing for us.

This is for me, but you’re welcome to read it.

Love.