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Rock Hill, SC, United States
"My heart is overflowing with a good theme. I recite my compositions concerning the King. My tongue is the pen of a ready writer." (Psalm 45:1) This verse has become a life verse for me. As I continue to walk it out, I realize this journey as a breast cancer survivor has changed me but does not define me. I remain the loved, chosen, redeemed and blessed child of the living God who supplies me daily with more hope, strength, grace and courage than I ever dreamed I could possess! God has been so good to me ... indeed my tongue is the pen of a ready writer ... poised to tell the story of my faithful Father! I love Him so!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Still Sovereign, Still Great!

My mind reels every time I see the news reports of the extreme weather that has been hitting the US over the past few weeks. It is so unsettling seeing the pictures and videos of the devastation and hearing the stories of survival and loss.

My heart breaks and my prayers turn heavenward while the age old questions rise within us, again ... the same questions that have been asked since the dawn of time ... and will continue to the end of time ...
  • Why does God allow these tragedies to happen?
  • How do people deal with situations of this magnitude? 
Along with those honest questions comes the mockery of those who don't believe ... and they ask ...
  • Where is your God now? 
And, my heart breaks a little more. It breaks for the lack of understanding all around. It breaks for the lack of trust all around. It breaks for the mockery directed toward my God.

You see, I don't have the answers either. I can't say why horrible things happen but I am learning in my own life that I don't always have to have the answers. In fact, I must confess there are no easy answers, no box to pull from, no magic formula that can fully explain why certain things happen. The only answer that works, the only theology that resounds within me with any kind of sense is to know that God is sovereign.

Yes, He is sovereign over all. He is El Roi, the God who sees. He is merciful and compassionate. His loving-kindness endures forever. His does not slumber nor sleep. He is a Rock, a Shield, a Fortress. He is the very-present Help in time of need. He is matchless in all His ways.

Isaiah 40 speaks of His greatness, His sovereignty, His power and His might. If you haven't read it lately I hope you will. It brings me great, settling peace to be reminded that ...

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth! vs 22

Knowing this one simple fact makes it enough to bow to His sovereignty in the midst of uncertainty. It makes it enough to cling to faith when answers do not come. To trust in His mercy and run to His arms of compassion. To choose to fix my eyes on the Hope that is in Christ Jesus even when all hope seems lost. It is a glorious mystery that this simple truth, that He, can be enough in times of deep sorrow, deep loss and overwhelming confusion.

My heart goes out to those affected by the storms. My prayers are with them as they pick up the pieces of their lives and find a new normal. I pray that they will find Him to be enough. I pray they will look to His Word and be strengthened. I pray they hold on to their faith and hope. I pray they never miss seeing His greatness!

Job said it best when he found himself humbled by, crushed by, the weight of God's greatness that all he could do was simply bow before God Almighty, his Maker and say ...

I have heard of You by the hearing of the ears;
But now my eye sees You
Job 42:5 (nasb updated)

Let's make it our aim to not just hear with our ears but with eyes wide open to look for His greatness all around and in the midst of even the toughest of our days. Let's find Him in His Word first and then surely we'll be less likely to miss Him in His World.

Blessings and prayers for the journey!

Cindy K

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's my Birthday & I'll reminisce if I want to ...

Well, here I am again. One year older! My, my how those birthdays roll around with rapid speed!

I was out walking the other day thinking of the upcoming "day of birth" and was reminded of the birthdays of yesterday. I got all warm and fuzzy on the inside just recounting how blessed I have been. Here's a bit of what I remembered ...

1972 ~ my 8th, and I woke up to the loudest sound of a bird singing, singing right in my room! When I opened my eyes I saw a bird stand and a cage with the most beautiful yellow canary inside just singing his heart out. He had a crooked beak so I promptly named him "Ernie".  Why? You might ask just like my parents did. To which I replied, "in honor, of course, of  Ernie on My Three Sons!" I used to love watching the re-runs, did you?

Anyway, I don't remember exactly how long little Ernie lived but I do remember that when he died we gently covered him, from the neck down, in a blanket of Kleenex. We placed him on his side with his head on a little pillow, also made of Kleenex, and sealed him tightly in a quart size Mason glass canning jar.

I'm here to tell you that he was beautifully preserved. In fact, I would repeatedly dig him up to show him to our visitors. My Dad finally moved his grave so I couldn't find him anymore. Now, neither of us know where he's buried. Probably a good thing! LOL! What a weird kid I must have been.

1979 ~ my 15th birthday, had a cookout with my family and they invited my Jr High School sweetheart (and future hubby), Mark. He gave me the prettiest, and daintiest, gold earrings. I think I still have them. I'll have to check!

1989 ~ my 25th. Storms and Tornadoes were in the area that evening and we had been at a friends home. They lived in a mobile home and as the storms approached we all decided to head to our house while it was still safe enough to do so. Our house was about 5 miles away. We (Mark, myself and 10 mo. old Bradley) were in the car in front, and something told us to turn left and take the back way home. Our friends behind us didn't know we had turned and as they continued straight they came to a bridge and saw an odd looking cloud (we'd later come to know it was a small twister) just crossing the road ahead of them. They just knew it had blown over us!

Indeed, had we not turned it might have crossed right over us surely resulting in a powerful collision. I'm sure our car would have lost that battle. Thank God for His prompting. I'll always know it was His hand upon us.

1995 ~ my 31st. I've never doubted the love of my parents for me. They have made me feel secure all my life. Not perfect parents but I don't blame them for any of my issues and you won't see me on Oprah railing them either! LOL!

Anyway, on this particular birthday, I was really feeling the Lord call me to a deeper walk with Him. Calling me to a more exclusive dependence upon Him. To let go of the hands around me, except for Mark ~ we are one, and to hold tighter to the hand of my Maker. Little did I know the ride we were about to embark on. Glorious and it continues to this day!

For that birthday, I wrote my parents a little poem of thanks and I want to share it with you now. Hopefully, knowing how God was stirring in my heart will help you to understand the poem a little better. Remember, it was meant to honor my parents for the heritage of faith which gave me courage to follow hard after Christ.

From May 5, 1995 ~


I'm thirty-one today, you know, another year has passed
It's the deep desire of my heart to be "growed-up" at last. 
Not in appearance ~ that would be a physical kind of "growed".
I'm speaking of the inner kind that only Christians know.

It seems I've always been a child, dependent on the ones
who brought me life and taught me life and always sought my good.
I love you Mom, I love you Dad, and I want you to know
I'm grateful for your guiding hand and all the love you show.

It was in your home where I first heard the story of my Lord
where I became a child of God and trusted in His word
I live in calm assurance now that Jesus lives in me,
I know Him as my Source of joy ~ the Calmer of my seas. 

But, more often now I hear Him say, "Hold tighter to MY hand.
Through every joy and sorrow; beside you I will stand. 
Life isn't always easy. You'll have your share of pain.
Sometimes it really hurts to grow; sometimes it has to rain."

How will I know when I am "growed"? The answer's very clear!
I'll find His grace and mercy when I smile or shed a tear.
Then when I lay my burdens down at Jesus' precious feet
I'll know my earthly journey's done and I'll be "growed-up" complete.

And, what a wild ride we've had ever since and I can say with more confidence than ever before ~ I wouldn't trade not one moment of it. My hand in His. His hand is firm. His hand upholds me. His hand sustains me. There's no safer place to rest than with my hand securely holding on to His. Yep, my hand in His!

So on this birthday, my 47th birthday, I say to my Father ~ Happy Birthday! What an honor to have received Your breath of life 47 years ago and may I use every ounce of breath that remains in me to boldly proclaim Your goodness!

Lead on, O King, lead on ~ I'm just all Yours and I love You will all that I am!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Love Defined!

The Bible says in 1 John 4:19 that  "We love, because He first loved us." I'm thinking you've heard many messages around that particular verse. I know I have and usually those messages are focused on the if and how and why of loving others. I guess this is because the very next verse tells us that if we say we love God and yet hate our brother then we are a liar (1 John 4:20). That's important to know in our application and stewardship of His love in our lives. 

But, I'd like to suggest to you that until we fully comprehend and embrace how much we are loved by God Almighty, the Creator of the Universe, our Father, then we cannot truly love another human being. Love at its best will be self-seeking. It's human nature to want something in return for the love we give. We want desperately to be loved ~ to feel loved ~ and many of us have been disappointed and wounded by those in our lives that haven't loved us well and so our view of what love really is, of what the Father's love really is, gets horribly distorted. Likewise, the love we give will be also.

I'm loving this verse (I Jn 4:19) in my life right now because I'm just a bit overwhelmed by what it says, by what it means ... imagine, to be able to love someone simply because He first loved me? Kind of takes the pressure off. I mean, it redefines where I reach to find the reservoir of love to draw from in the first place. It redefines, where I find the capacity to love those around me. It redefines my definition of what love even looks like and my understanding of whether or not I deserve it.

Earlier in that same chapter,  at the end of verse 8, we find these 3 words ...  "God is love" It does not say that "God loves" although that is true but John is emphasizing the nature of God ... God is love. It's Who. He. Is.

Love Defined! Not an emotion, not an attraction, not a feeling to be conjured up but rather a deep abiding, everlasting, intentional, lavish, unconditional, undeserved, unfailing, life giving, perfect expression of the very nature of our God. God. Is. Love.  Love Defined!

G.S. Barrett says about these words, God is love, 

"the greatest words ever spoken in human speech, the greatest words in the whole Bible ... It is impossible to suggest even in briefest outline all that these words contain, for no human and no created intellect has ever, or will ever, fathom their unfathomable meaning; but we may reverently say that this one sentence concerning God contains the key to all God's works and way ... the mystery of creation ... redemption ... and the Being of God Himself."

And this Love ...

~ has come to us in the gift of God's Only Begotten Son (1 Jn. 4: 9-10)

And, this Love ...

~ has come to us in the pouring out of His perfect (complete) love into our imperfect hearts through the indwelling Holy Spirit (I Jn 4:13 & Romans 5:5)

And, this Love ...

~ has come to us in the confidence (no fear) that we will stand before Holy God, as the forgiven and redeemed, made pure through the blood of Christ Jesus, our Sacrifice (1 Jn 4:16-17)

And, this Love ... loved us first; therefore, we can love.

I heard it said recently, and I wholeheartedly agree, that the appropriate response to such lavish, first love might be to simply say ... "I love You, too" ~ After all ~ I love because He first loved me.

So, next time He's on your mind, no matter what you're doing, take a moment and acknowledge that He first loved you and echo back to Him ... "I love you, too"  It'll do your heart good ~ that imperfect heart of the believer filled with the continuous pouring of His perfect (complete) love!

Be blessed, be filled, be made complete by the One who is Love!

Cindy K