About Me

My photo
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!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Psalm 45 One Ministries

I'm pleased to announce that I've created a ministry page on Facebook called Psalm 45 One Ministries. This verse has become my life verse since my journey as a breast cancer patient and now survivor began in 2009.

You see, whether or not we want to acknowledge it our lives are touching others. Constantly influencing toward hope or despair; toward faith or unbelief. It is my deep desire to influence toward hope and faith by speaking often of my Father, my Redeemer, my Comfort, my friend in everything that I say and do.

It is the only thing that I have to offer any of you. I know that apart from Christ in me nothing else I could give is of value. Yet, I also know that we are a fickle people and most likely you will forget my name so with every breath He gives I will declare His faithfulness and goodness in the hopes that you never forget His!

I pray that you will join me often on this ministry page and I pray that as you do it will become a source of encouragement for us both. I've included the links below for both my website and my ministry page on Facebook.

Cindy's Website

Psalm 45 One Ministries

Be abundantly blessed!

Cindy K

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Today is Friday and in just two days, on Sunday, we will be celebrating Father's Day. In my family this has always been a joyous time.

My Daddy, Glenn Randolph
My own father has been a wonderful Daddy to me. Not perfect. But loving and kind, generous and attentive. I am so blessed! That's his picture over there ....

Actually, I'm doubly blessed because I married a man who has been a great father to our sons. He has been a godly example, kind, tender, generous, forgiving. He is the most self-less individual that I know.  Our sons are blessed and I get to share in that blessing!

But today, I met a young woman who does not feel blessed. In fact, she feels very indifferent.
I could tell by what she said to me, a stranger, but I know that deep down she's wounded. Probably very wounded. Her words betrayed her. Here's what happened.

I was in the express lane at Wal-Mart buying Father's Day cards and gift wrap. The young cashier saw my items and gasped. It seems she had forgotten that Father's Day weekend was upon us and my purchases had rung a bell. The other young lady, the one putting my items in the bag, said, "I don't have a father. I've never had one."

Ouch! My heart bled a little in that moment for her and I didn't know what to say. Well, that's not entirely true. I knew what I wanted to say, what I needed to say, but I found myself lacking the courage to say it. I acknowledged her statement as best I could while stumbling over and avoiding the unmistakable prompting arising from the deepest place of my heart.

Some of you know where this is heading ...
                              you've been there a time or two as well ...

Anyway, we said goodbye, I grabbed my purchases and I walked directly across to the in-store MacDonalds counter and ordered a coffee. Sidenote: Even before I left home, I had planned to end my Wal-Mart visit with a large coffee ~ and before the foundation of the world God had planned that this cup of coffee would not come without a bit of emotional cost and spiritual stretching.

Oh but, I'm getting ahead of myself....

Back to my story ... The young McD's cashier took my money and said, I'll have to make a pot for you. Well, of course she did, and wouldn't you know it? Afterall, the Holy Spirit ~ He's our resident Teacher and guides into all truth ~ was working on my heart, full on! It was all part of the tension that I was feeling and this sudden, convenient, new found, supply of "time" had presented itself so I could work it all out. My only options were to stand there and squirm while waiting for my coffee or do what my heart was telling me must be done!

Have I lost you? Let me remind you of what my tension was rooted in, just in case you forgot ~ I knew what I should have said to that young woman ~ and in that moment, waiting for my coffee, I also knew that I wasn't going to leave that Wal-Mart store until I said it. The Lord was not going to allow it!

So, with my heart pounding and my mind looking for an excuse to go back through that express lane ~ just keeping it real ~ I told the McD's gal that I was going to go buy a pack of gum and I'd be right back for my coffee. (it was the only excuse I could conjure up!)

        Which I did ... buy gum, that is.

                         At the same cash register as before.

                                          Bagged by the same young lady as before.

Only this time as I left, I gently touched her shoulder, asking for permission to do so just in case that gesture made her uncomfortable, and I told her that her honesty had touched my heart. I told her that even though she may not have an earthy father ... she is not fatherless. She has a Heavenly Father who loves her very much and then I said "I pray that He will apply the salve that your heart needs come Sunday morning".

She thanked me and we said goodbye. I'm pretty sure she knew that I didn't really need or want the gum. I walked over and collected my coffee ~ piping hot and never fresher ~ and headed to my car. Tears started to form and escape my eyes as I realized that I had just learned a very real, life lesson.

You see my coffee wasn't the only thing that was fresh;

                                     my perspective was now a little fresher, too...

We live in a society that has carefully, intentionally constructed walls and barriers. I do it and you do it. We don't want anyone to get too close or they may see the real us. Adding to this is the fact that we are content with building whatever persona we choose on social media. We can be whoever we want to be online. Now, I'm not dissing social media. I LOVE IT!! It's so much fun! I Facebook, I Tweet, and I Blog but we've all got to be careful. So careful!

We must never hide behind the social media nor expect others to do it. We must remember, there is still one thing that society cannot deny and that is the ache of the human heart. The empty place that only Christ can fill is very real.  Modern science cannot clone this empty place nor the remedy for it. Likewise, society and technology cannot heal it with all of their advances.

We were created for His great pleasure ~ for Him alone ~ and we will never find meaning apart from Him. We also need each other. That's called relationship. It involves compassion, community, consideration, caring!

Somebody in your circle of influence needs to hear this very thing from you. Their heart may be breaking, they may be spiraling out of control in their emotions, their burdens may be too heavy to shoulder alone. They may be losing their grip! Don't withhold truth and love from them. Don't withhold grace and mercy. You may not get a second chance.  Don't waste a single moment ~ someone's life may depend on it.

That's the life lesson I learned this morning...

More than likely, I will never know if the words I shared were the words she needed to hear, or if the simple truth I shared of God's love for her was a truth she's never heard before.

It grieves my heart to know that I almost walked away ~ unsure, afraid, too timid, unwilling to get involved. I almost missed the opportunity and we both may have missed a blessing. I'm so glad the Holy Spirit wouldn't let me leave. He's a persistent sort! He's really quite bossy! LOL!

I pray for that young lady to be covered with His pleasure, His favor, His love and adoration from the top of her head to the soles of her feet. I pray that for us all. We are desperate for Him. There's not a one of us that can make it on our own. We need our Father!

So consider ~

If you were blessed with a loving earthy Dad ~ and if he's still with you today ~ tell him you love him and appreciate him. But, if he's not with you any longer ~ thank God for the gift that he (your Dad) was to your life.

And consider,

If your heart aches from the lack of relationship, love, and attention of an earthly Dad ~ and if he's still with you today ~ forgive him. But, if he's no longer with you any longer ~ ask God to heal the wound. I promise you that He will.

But above all

I pray that you won't face another Father's Day weekend without knowing and receiving the lavish love that our Great God, our Heavenly Father, has for you. He loves you more than you can know and I'm praying Ephesians 3:14-21 over all of us ... lest we forget ....

             He has engraved us on the palms of His hand (Is. 49:16)         

                         He's a Father to the fatherless and Friend to the hopeless.

                                        There is no one to compare to our Heavenly Father.

Hope you have a Happy Father's Day!
Cindy K

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A King's Tale

As the title implies, this is a king's tale ... in fact, three kings in all ...

First, we have Jehoiachin, king of Judah. He ascended to the throne when he was just 18 years old. Unfortunately, his lifestyle was one of depravity and, just like his forerunners, his reign was surely headed in that direction; however, Jehoiachins reign was cut short. He ruled for a mere 3 months and 10 days before Nebuchadnezzar captured Judah and carried them off to exile in Babylonia. 

Then, there is Awel-Marduk, who was the son of  Nebuchadnezzar. Remember, it was Nebuchadnezzar who was the reigning king when the exiles were brought to their new home in Babylon. Awel-Marduk ascended the throne after his fathers death only to find his reign, like Jehoiachins, would also be a short one. It lasted from 562 to 560 BC

These two meet on the pages of history and the climax of their encounter is recorded in the last four verses of the last chapter of Jeremiah ... 

31 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, he released Jehoiachin king of Judah and freed him from prison. 32 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 33 So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table. 34 Day by day the king of Babylon gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived, till the day of his death. (Jeremiah 52:31-34 NIV) 

                                A Seat of Honor,  
                                             New Clothing, 
                                                     A Seat at the Kings Table, 
                                                                  Allowance and Provision

All of this, the king gave to Jehoiachin ... and that's a real fine thing. A heartwarming end to a bitter story and when I first read this passage, about 2 1/2 months ago, I was walking through a little bit of personal bitterness and chaos of my own. 

I was feeling rejected, hopeless, closed in, trapped, bound, and unsure of what to do next. God used this encounter, this tale of two kings, to remind me that in the midst of my struggle He is my King. He is my Security, my Provision, my Freedom, my Everything! And it soon became apparent to me that there were similarities in this story and in mine.

Come along with me and lets discover it together. 

The first thing we notice when we read these verses is that Jehoiachin waited 37 years for his freedom. WHAT?!?! … Thirty-seven years? I’ve experienced dry desert spells, pain beyond belief but nothing, absolutely nothing, has plagued me for thirty-seven years. How about you?

But that's exactly how long he spent enduring exile and prison before his freedom came but it did come.  And, so has ours ...

I don't know what shackles you may find yourself in but I am here to proclaim to you that our freedom has come! Our King has come to loosen every shackle and set us free! Our prison may not be a physical prison but it is a spiritual one and we will remain there, in prison, until we allow Him to be the Lord of our lives. 

And right there, on the altar of sweet surrender, is where we will see His kindness that will lead us to repentance and repentance that will lead us to freedom where we now can take a seat of honor. This is our inheritance in Christ Jesus! He has set the captives free!

Is this speaking to anybody?
the new king freed him and spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor.  

But freedom, kindness, and a seat of honor is not all …
Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes

What a shame it would have been for him to have chosen to stay dressed like a prisoner after he had been set free. Likewise, it makes me wonder why there are so many Christians still sporting their prison clothes after their bondage is broken and their freedom has come?  

No! Not me! I’m not choosing my prison clothes any longer! Nope, in Christ I am clothed in garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness! I'm a daughter of the King and so I will dress like one! I will make it my aim to act like one too!

But his new clothes were not even all …
… and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table.

Come and dine ... now there's a thought ... and right there at the Kings table, too. I’ll take it!

But a seat at the king’s table was not even all …
34 Day by day the king of Babylon gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance 
as long as he lived, till the day of his death.

This speaks provision to me. Can you hear it too? And, I sure need it! I need a Provider. One who can, and will, meet my every need! The king gave Jehoiachin an allowance all the days of his life and we assume that this is referring to a monetary allowance. But our King does it even better!

Our King gives us an inheritance all the days of our lives ~ It begins in this life but will be fully known in the life to come! He is our "right now inheritance" and our "eternal inheritance"! He is our "right now reward" and our "eternal reward"! He is mine and yours and we are His! He gives Himself ~ to walk alongside each one of us ~ every day, all the days, of our life!

That's a King's tale worth sharing! Worth shouting about! There are captives who need to hear this simple truth ... He has come to set us free! 

Well, all of this kinda makes me think of the song recorded by Mandisa … Shackles ... have you heard it? It's been on repeat on my iPod for about 2 weeks now! I thought it would be a good idea if, for our prayer today, we paused and listened to it (I've posted the audio below for ya!) and while we do let's be sure to lift our hands and our hearts in praise and thanks to God for removing our shackles and giving us our freedom! 

So, go on ... Rise up and claim your inheritance!

But as you listen, if you realize you are still in spiritual bondage ... Just know that He is  as close as the mention of His name! Cry out to Him ... He will remove your shackles and He will be your freedom! I promise!

So, come on ... Rise up and claim your inheritance!

I'll be looking for you around the throne!
Cindy K

Saturday, June 2, 2012

That One Thing ...

I'm struggling to order my thoughts, at the moment, to write this blog which is kind of ironic because the whole reason for today's blog is to share with you what the Lord has been teaching me about the "One Thing" in all of life. I find I have so many distractions competing for my emotional and mental focus and yet that still, small voice can be heard from deep within me saying, "Just One Thing, Cindy" and therein lies the tension.

I love how God always teaches me from right where I am. Present tense. And from that place, I offer it to you as well in case you need encouragement in this area today, too. Come journey with me and let's walk it together.

Do you struggle with an unfocused mind when it comes to your list of daily tasks? I do. Do you find it so very distracting when there is so much to do? I do. I always have. I mean, what to do first? What to do last? How to get it all done?

And it started early for me and has continued to this day ...

I've been the child in school who couldn't focus on the lesson because my imagination was lost in my after school plans of playing outside or playing anywhere for that matter. Distractions!

I've been the young Mom who struggled to willingly and completely let go of my "to do" list and ignore the clutter around me even though my little ones were asking for my undivided time and attention. I'm sad to say that there were many times I asked them to wait just one more minute! Distractions!

I've been the housewife who fought the battle of multi-tasking my chores only to later find my laundry basket of unfolded towels in the living room, of all places, where I had set it down earlier to dust the tables and straighten the cushions. It's no wonder we couldn't keep the towel closet stocked! Distractions!

I've been the child of God who struggled to stay focused in my quiet time and prayer time. Longing to spend precious time with my Heavenly Father only to find my mind wandering to the ever present list of things that needed to be accomplished that day. Anybody? Distractions!

Distractions ~ they always have been, and always will be, everywhere.

In this current season of my life, this notion of distraction has occurred to me and stirred my heart in a fresh new way. The other day I was reading about it in Luke 10:39-42. You probably know the story. Jesus and his disciples have come to Bethany and are at the house of his friends, Martha and Mary. Martha becomes busy preparing the meal for her visitors while Mary sits right down at Jesus' feet listening to what he was saying.

In her distraction (and the frustration) of all the preparations, Martha realizes Mary is not helping and so she tattles and whines just a bit to Jesus about it. What does Jesus say?

Well, first, you've got to know that Jesus loved both Martha and Mary and from that love flowed a gentle rebuke ...

"Martha, Martha. You are worried and upset (distracted) about many things but few things are needed ... or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her."
And there we can almost see it, in our minds eye, unfolding just as it did in that exact moment ... 

                  Mary's sincere posture ... just sitting at His feet

                                        Can you see her?

And we can almost hear it too, the voice of the Savior echoing through the corridors of time ...

                   Jesus' spoken promise ... to be the One Thing she could not lose

                                        Can you hear Him?

That One Thing ...  A Posture I can strive for ~ A Promise that I long for.

It will take much discipline to train my heart and my mind to turn from distraction. To hunger and thirst for fellowship with Christ above all else. To sit at His feet ... still enough, quiet enough, and long enough to know that He is my God.

That One Thing ...  

Resounding in scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, the God of heaven and earth pursuing you and me. Like Mary, we must find our place, surrendered at his feet and in return He promises that He will be the One Thing ...

That One Thing ...  which will not, can not, be taken away from us.

"One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple". (Psalm 27:4)

That One Thing ...  His name is Jesus!

Now go, let's run to Him and find our place at His feet!

Cindy K

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Moments in the Month of May

As Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we are called to minister. We are called to take His light and allow it to shine, through us, into dark places. We are called to speak the truth in love. We are called to be salt and light in the world around us. Not one of us who profess His name is exempt ... not one. We may not all have the same ministry platform but we all have a platform of ministry. A circle of influence. Lives around us that we can enrich and be enriched by. We are all called.

These moments of ministry are sometimes found in the ordinary, everyday moments of living life with our family and friends. Other times they are intentionally planned.  Events organized in advance and birthed from a place of joy and expectation. Still, at other times they flow from a deep ache within the heart when life takes unexpected turns. Either way, whether ordinary or not, planned or not, joy laden or not, the moments of ministry come from His sovereign hand and we are faced with a choice. Do we find our place of ministry in the midst of what He has allowed? Do we receive it as a gift of ministry to faithfully steward? Or do we turn our backs asking not to be bothered by someone else's need? I pray we'd always be willing to be poured out!

It's been that way for me this month. May has been quite a mixed bag of ministry flowing both in joy and grief, from a platform and from right across the kitchen table, but that is life on planet earth and I count it all as an honor.

First of all, the JOY:

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend the morning of Saturday, May 5th, with a precious group of about 30 women at Temple Baptist Church in Rock Hill, SC.  We spent our time in Psalm 46 ... I love the many great nuggets found in this passage. We lifted our song in worship, we laughed, we cried, and we did all of this while basking together in the sweetness of His presence. Remember ladies, (from verses 4-5) "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of dawn."

Oh, that incredible, magnificent presence of our Lord. 
There is no one like our God!

The following Saturday morning, May 12th, I had the privilege, along with a couple of friends (Kendra and Paige) to lead worship for a Mother~Daughter Brunch at Hopewell Baptist Church in Monroe, NC. What a joy to lead approximately 250 women (from all generations) to the throne in worship. He alone deserves our worship ~ and, in fact, ain't nobody else gonna get my praise!

There is no one like our God!

The guest speaker for the brunch was wonderful and as it turned out she had been friends with Mark's mother. Her name is Phyllis and she had walked with Mrs. Kessler, prayed for her, and lived life with her all those years ago. You see, Mark's mother died of breast cancer in 1981. We miss her so much and on this Mother's Day weekend I considered it a treasure and sweet gift from the Lord to have met someone who called her "friend".

There is no one like our God!

The very next day, Mother's Day ~ May 13th, I was privileged to go back to Temple Baptist to share in Worship and Word.  This time my friends, Kendra and Paige, joined me as we led worship and then we went to the Word and took a look at the life of Rahab, the harlot. Have you read her story from Joshua 2? Incredible. And then you'll find her listed right there in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, and in the hall of faith (Hebrews) and in the book of James. She allowed Faith to be the hand that grasped Grace and God honored her with a place in the lineage of Christ as well as in all of history.

Let me just say this ...

        There is nowhere you can go, 

                    Nothing you can ever do,
                                No pit too wide or too deep,

that our great God will not still stoop to rescue you and clothe you in His forgiveness and righteousness. He loves you with a lavish, abundant, and all sufficient love.  

There is no one like our God!

Well, those are the ministry moments afforded to me this month in the midst of JOY ...

But there have been a few that sprung from the aching heart of GRIEF, as well, and it has been my honor and privilege to be a part of the music in all three of these home-going services...

Tuesday evening, May 15th, was the time set aside to honor an amazing woman of God who will be missed so much and by so many. Janelle Hayes walked with such grace and courage straight into the presence of her Lord and Savior and those who knew her have been forever changed by her example in the midst of the storm.

Saturday morning, May 19th, was the time set aside to honor another precious saint, Paula. Although she lost her battle with cancer she gained an inheritance that is worth more than gold. She now abides in the presence of the living God. Thank you for leaving us an example of a life well lived.

Tuesday afternoon, May 22nd, was the time set aside to honor yet another woman, Janice, who exemplified grace and dignity in the midst of uncertainty. She had battled cancer for 18 years and when I met her in 2009 I was drawn to her calm, gentle spirit. We became fast friends and I will be forever changed by our friendship. I would have liked more years to learn from her but I am thankful to the Lord for the almost 3 years He granted us. My life is richer for the journey.

So there you have it ~ life and loss, ministry happening all around and in many ways ~ and all of it by His design.

When I flipped my calendar from April to May, I could not have known what the days would hold. Then again, we never do. So, I'm learning to be ready. To be in His Word and on my knees before Him so that when ministry presents itself,  whether in laughter or tears, on a platform or across the kitchen table, I will be available with a word or song on my tongue to offer encouragement, hope and peace.

Wherever, however, and doing whatever He calls each one of us to do ~  let's do it all for His glory and fame and let us count it a privilege each step of the way! Thanking Him for the call upon our lives to touch and be touched in return.

There is simply no one like our God!

Let the pouring begin ...

Cindy K

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Can You "Smell" That?

I'm so thankful for our five "senses". They each serve such a vital purpose and we are blessed by each one. I've been reminded a lot lately about the sense of smell, in particular, and I get the feeling that the Lord has been saying something very specific to my heart about this subject. I thought I'd take a moment to share my thoughts here in this blog and let it roll around between us. Maybe you need to ponder these things as well?

You know how a scent, a fragrance, can suddenly catch you unaware and the next thing you know memories are racing in of somewhere, something or someone from long ago? I love it when that happens and when it does I like to just go with it and spend a few moments walking down memory lane to where that fragrance leads me. Sometimes it's pleasant and sometimes ... well, not so much. The memories are as varied as the scents themselves.

I love the pleasant ones ...

I was out walking the other day and in the first 1/2 mile I became aware of all the aroma's around me. First, the smell of freshly cut grass in my neighbors yard, which I absolutely love, followed almost immediately by the smell of someone else burning yard clippings and limbs in their yard. I love both of these outdoor smells and the memories they conjure up usually take me back to my childhood and to feelings of security and stability ... all was right in the world in the lens of my childhood eyes.

How about books? I love the way they smell, do you? Again, from my childhood, this scent reminds me of how I would walk to my elementary school library during summer break and check out a book or two to curb the boredom of those hot summer days.

And, I love how certain foods take me back to memories of family gatherings. Just the slightest hint of a baked ham in the air and it's Christmas dinner in my heart and mind. Or the smell of McDonalds or Bojangles buttermilk biscuits make me think of my two, widowed, Great-Aunts ~ Aunt Belle and Aunt Elola ~ the sisters of my paternal Grandmother, whom I never met. You see, they taught me to make biscuits and so much more as I spent countless summers in the country with them and the aroma of a good biscuit brings it all flooding back!

But, sometimes the scents are not pleasing to our senses at all! In fact, sometimes they outright stink! Again, while out walking just yesterday, I saw a Bradford Pear tree up ahead. It is in full bloom right now even as I type these words. Visually, I think these trees are a stunning display of the coming Spring but just as I got close enough to admire it's blossoms I caught the scent of the flowers and guess what?  They still stink! Just like last Spring! They just don't smell good!

It made me think of "ashes to beauty" in scripture ~ in life ~ and, in this case the dormant Winter (ashes) giving way to the newness of Spring (beauty). Sometimes life has to pass through unpleasantness to arrive at it's beauty. Even so, those memories hold a scent that signals something in us and we acknowledge it.

Scents, fragrance, aromas, odors, and smells touching us where our memories are stored and affecting our outlook, our mood, and even our stress levels. Have you thought much about the sense of smell lately and how each of us are affected by it on a daily basis? 

What a gift this sense of smell is and what a complicated, high speed process it is too. The simplified explanation is that the aroma hits the Olfactory Epithelium and from there it bounces along its path to the specific location in the brain which will then notify you of what, exactly, you are smelling and all of this happens in a split second.  Our human bodies are quite magnificent ... God's handiwork, in us, is astounding!

Pondering all of this is exactly how this "heart" conversation began with the Lord. I was reading a book, "I Will Carry You" by Angie Smith that shared a wonderful perspective from her Pastor concerning John 12. The chapter opens with Jesus coming to Bethany, where Lazarus lived. The same Lazarus that Jesus had raised from the dead. While Martha was busy serving the guests, Mary came to the feet of Jesus, shattering a big bottle of expensive nard (perfume) and washing His feet with the pungent nard and her hair. A few drops would have been enough for all to catch the fragrant aroma but she poured it all out. She poured it all out!  At His feet! In a lavish and pure act of worshiping her Savior!

Can you imagine how long the fragrance must have lingered in that room? On her hands? In her hair? On the feet of Christ, our Savior? Can you imagine the constant reminder of that moment of exquisite worship even after His crucifixion and resurrection? Was the aroma still hanging in the air around them?

I had not considered this perspective about Mary's sacrifice. It boggles my mind to consider it because I know that while I may not have an alabaster jar of expensive, fragrant nard, I do have a life that He desires be poured out upon the altar of my worship unto Him. It is a pleasing sacrifice to Him. One that will cost me everything I have. No greater value can be attached to a life than when it is lived in utter surrender and worship to Him. We cannot escape His gaze and it pleases Him to see us being the "aroma of the knowledge of Him" (2 Cor. 2:14).  And, He longs to use us, each one of us, to spread this aroma upon the earth. I didn't make this up! Scripture says it ...

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those are being saved 
and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; 
to the other, an aroma that brings life ... (2 Cor 2:15-16)

Imagine the aroma of Christ in me, in you, pointing others to the Savior, and that will be a sweet aroma (life) to some; but, it will be a bitter, unpleasant aroma (death) to others ~ to those who refuse to believe! Just about the time I want to say ... "Paul, don't you know that it's too much of a responsibility and burden?" ... he asks (at the end of vs 16) ...

And who is equal to such a task?

Paul knew the answer before he asked the question and the answer is that no one is.  Our competence comes from God, alone. (2 Cor. 3:5) Our adequacy to carry the fragrance of Christ comes from God and He uses our fragrant aroma in ministry to a lost and hurting world. It has far-reaching effect but ...

It's Christ ...

In me ...

changing me ...

making me more like Him ... 

that will produce this sweet aroma.

It occurs to me that we are going to smell like something. Afterall, we can't walk in this world without the very real risk of it soiling us, but, I want to be found walking so close to Him that I am unmistakeably "smelly" with the beautiful fragrance of my Christ. And, to do that I must sink deep into His Word, stay on my knees in prayer, and worship Him with the same lavish surrender that Mary had when she poured it all out at His feet.

Oh, to be a fragrant aroma for Him!
Simply Abiding,

Cindy K

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Prayers for a "friend of a friend" ....

What an awesome privilege it is to pray for others. Whether we know them or not! And so, I'm adding this button to my blog in the hopes that some of you prayer warriors out there will help me pray for a "friend of a friend" who could use the intercession.

See you around the throne!
Cindy K

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sweet Siesta Time in Siestaville (aka Houston, TX)

I had the most wonderfully blessed weekend away recently (January 19 - 23) when I flew out to Houston, Texas to meet up with 1200 +/-  other Siesta's and our "Siesta Mama" (Beth Moore) for our Siesta Scripture Memory Team Celebration.

What is that you ask? Well, let me answer that question first ... "So, what is it?"

Siestaville is the online blog community of Living Proof Ministries where "Siesta's",  who were committed to learning scripture in 2011 as part of the Siesta Scripture Memory Team, could gather and "walk it out" together. The blog is a great place for connection and holding each other accountable. Here's how we did it.

On the first and fifteenth day of each month, our Siesta Mama would lead us out with a blog post of encouragement, devotion, etc., and then she would post her specific memory verse. We then would post our name, our city and state, and our verse, including the reference and Bible translation. (Of course, if you didn't have your own verse for that time around you were always invited to memorize Beth's with her). We also wrote them in a little spiral that could be carried around with us so our memory work was never far away and always on our minds. Here's a little picture of mine. 
My Siesta Scripture Spiral

What an amazing year I personally have had by intentionally tucking 24 verses into my heart. It never failed that the Lord would give me just the right verse at just the right moment. Looking back through my verses makes my heart melt as I remember what was happening in my journey while memorizing each verse. Life Changing! And I mean that.

From the beginning, we knew that in January 2012 there would be a planned weekend of celebration so when Fall 2011 rolled around and I received the blog post with details I just knew that I had to attend. I immediately registered for the event, reserved my hotel, bought my airline ticket and began counting the days, with great anticipation, knowing all along that I would not know a single soul! Glad I'm an extrovert! LOL!

And this brings me to the really fun part of filling you in on the details of my trip and the wonderful Siesta's I met. It begins on Thursday, at Gate B1 (Charlotte Douglas Airport), while waiting to board my afternoon non-stop flight to Houston. I notice a young woman (mid 30's) sneaking up behind another young woman (also mid-30's) and surprising her. Well, it seems that the one had surprised the other by being on her flight and even in the seat next to her! How sweet! She had thought they would meet in Houston! Surprise!

I thought to myself, "they have to be Siesta's!" But, while I am an extrovert I didn't ask ... not yet, anyway ... I mean after all, they could be going to Houston for any number of reasons, right? I didn't want to make an idiot out of myself before I even got out of Charlotte, for crying out loud!

So we land in Houston and I find the baggage claim area only to notice these two women are already there. I decide to walk over to them and simply ask ... "You're Siesta's aren't you?" ...  and before they could even answer we hear a squeal and turn to find another Siesta just over our shoulder, waving her arms and jumping up and down as she shouts, "yes, yes!". Too funny! We just seemed to be everywhere!

Well, as it turned out the first two Siesta's I mentioned were staying in my hotel ~ Karen (KY) and Laura (NC). Such sweet Siesta's and they let me hang out with them a bit. Here they are. Beautiful inside and outside!

Karen and Laura

Friday, at lunch, I heard on Facebook about a local Houston Siesta that was inviting any of us that could to come to a Mexican restaurant called Pappasito's so I went. Did I mention that I'm an extrovert? haha!
The table stretched on and on. I bet there were at least 35-40 Siesta's there!

Glad I went, too, because I got to meet about 40 other women from all over the country who were there for the same purpose to celebrate God and His Word! I was especially drawn to the women sitting right around me, Karen (WI), Michelle (WI) and Dawn (OH). We just seemed to click and would find many more opportunities over the next couple of days to visit and chat. We're even planning a road trip! Yay!

L-R: Cindy, Karen, Michelle, Dawn

Friday evening, we all descended on Houston's First Baptist Church and were led in worship by Travis Cottrell and his team followed by Beth teaching us from 2 John. Good stuff and I left there filled to overflowing! But before we left, we took group shots with Beth by US Zone. Here's my zone.

Back to the church on Saturday morning for a continental breakfast, more worship, more teaching and the opportunity to say all my verses to my partner. That would be Dawn from Ohio. We rejoiced with each other as we took turns and completed all 24 verses. The event concluded at Noon with many hugs, tears and hearts that were just brimming with abundant blessings!

I went with Karen, Michelle and Dawn to lunch at Yia Yia Mary's Pappas Greek Kitchen and as we approached our table we ran into 3 other Siesta's. We hadn't met them but they knew we had been at the event because we still had our name tags on. This is where I met Stacey and Tina and we struck up a conversation which led to exchanging phone numbers so they could meet up with me at Houston's First for worship on Sunday.

Sunday morning came and I headed over to the church. As promised Tina and Stacey were waiting to intercept me and let me sit with them. Afterward, they took me to lunch and then later in the afternoon we gathered at Tina's home and just hung out. Her two youngest daughters were with us. Such sweet girls ... All of them!

Back at the hotel on Sunday night I began to pack for my Monday early morning flight and all the while wondering how long it would be before I came down from the wonderful mountaintop that I now found myself on. After all, isn't that how it usually happens? One week later, I'm still there because you know why? Here's how I figure it ...

It's not just one single moment in time (or event) that puts me there.
It's not the incredible worship led by an anointed worship leader.
It's not the moving, inspired teaching of one humble teacher.

Those things may be the catalyst but what really puts me there and more importantly, keeps me there will be the One and Only God who longs to fellowship with me. My faithful Father who says "If you seek Me I will be found". 

So, the way I've got it figured ... if I come down off my mountaintop it will be because I chose to do so. No, I'm gonna choose to keep walking this thing out, face to the ground, in His Word, seeking His face and praying Psalm 143:10 over my every step ...

Teach me to do Your will for You are my God;
may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. 

Why is this my prayer? Why is this my pursuit? The answer to that can be found in the very next verse ... Psalm 143:11 ...

For Your name's sake, Lord ...

Anything good in me, any success or blessing, any trial or hardship, anything at all ... may it be for the sake of Your great name, Lord,  and for Your fame alone.

Since Living Proof only organizes the memory team every other year I guess that means I'm on my own for scripture memory in 2012. Well, that's not entirely true. You see I have a "daughter in the faith" who is memorizing with me. We both have our spirals and have already posted Verses 1 & 2. I guess that kind of makes me a Siesta Mama too! Hadn't thought about that until right this very moment ... you know me ... what comes up, comes out! Anyway, it will be such a blessing to have her in my life!

Maybe you can join all of us Siesta's in 2013. I promise you will be blessed ... more than that He promises you will be blessed ... after all His Word ".. is living and active, sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow; it judges the thoughts and the attitudes of the heart" (Heb. 4:12 - NIV) It'll change you through and through!

Now what could be better than that? Nothing, that's what!

Blessings to ya, 

Cindy K

Thursday, January 5, 2012

NarroWay Tickets - Special Pricing

NarroWay Productions has extended an incredible deal on tickets for their upcoming show ~ "Not Just Another Love Story" ~  opening Saturday, January 7th at Noon.

Here's how it works ~ The first six (6) callers to call NarroWay Productions and request to purchase one (or all six) of Cindy Kessler's discount show-only tickets will be able to do so for a flat $12.00 price/each. (and NO other fees will be applied to this price).  ***Note: You must reference my name when you request these tickets***

Only 6 of them .... the number is 803-802-2300 .... Ready, Set, Go!
For More Information about NarroWay Productions please visit their website at 
Cindy K