About Me

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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!

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