I have arrived…

If you are offended by the title, please read on.  I am not someone who lives with the attitude of “I have arrived”, “I’ve got this”, “I’ve got it together” …or anything else that sounds like that.  However, I have arrived into a new season, a new decade, a new era.  The old is gone and the new is coming…

This spring and summer, my husband and I watched our third son graduate from high-school in June with plans to move out of state (deeming us empty-nesters). We also celebrated the marriage of our middle son to a beautiful young lady in July.  Just this week, I completed half a century of life.  And since not one more minute or experience is guaranteed in my life, I thought I would do a post about the lessons I have learned.

“No Longer Slaves” by Bethel, is a very personal song for me and it unravels me with a melody that always reminds me that from my mother’s womb, God has CHOSEN me.  From deliverance to the drowning of fears and to accepting His Perfect love for me, I am no longer a slave to anything (at least that I which I am aware of).  But I am a child of God.

So yes, I made a list of 50 things that I have learned in the past 5 decades…most of them in the past 25 years…thanks to moving to the USA from Canada, marriage, parenting, running a salon, leading ministries and starting my own consulting business, just to name a few.  Hope it encourages you!

Here’s to 5 decades behind me, the present with all its joys and challenges, and to whatever God has in store for me going forward.  #ISurrenderAll.

So, without further adieu, here’s my list.  Not in any specific order, just how they came to me. I would love to hear how they impact your story.

  1. Keep my eyes on Jesus not on people.
  2. Be true to myself.
  3. Live my story.
  4. Be authentic…even when I am rejected.
  5. Obeying God is the key to my success.
  6. Love well so I can live well.
  7. Be honest to myself and to others.
  8. Learning “I can’t care more than you do” about someone else’s situation.
  9. Be consistent.
  10. Live a life of integrity.
  11. It’s ok to not like pink or pets.
  12. People will always disappoint, God will not.
  13. Never drink coffee when wearing white jeans.
  14. When things go WRONG always make sure I am RIGHT with God.
  15. Ask God what He wants to do in my life not just what I want Him to do.
  16. Consider others better than myself.
  17. Learn my own pace.
  18. Let God’s Word be my pace car in my life.
  19. Surrender only on days that end in “y”.
  20. Listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
  21. Emotional health and spiritual maturity go together.
  22. Keep confidences.
  23. Relish the moments where I get a front-row seat to God’s work in someone’s life.
  24. Speak truth.
  25. Don’t let people “should” on me.
  26. Stay true to my convictions.
  27. Don’t try to keep up with others.
  28. Focus on God’s calling on my life.
  29. Embrace negative emotions / feelings and then surrender them to God for His purposes.
  30. Acknowledge God’s authority in all I do.
  31. Take “mental trips” down memory lane.
  32. Don’t fight the growth process.
  33. Let God be God.
  34. Unity results in exponential growth.
  35. Understand your own expectations.
  36. Most of life’s decisions are in wet cement.
  37. Who I am is more important than what I do.
  38. Hold all things loosely.
  39. Taking risks will reveal strengths and weaknesses.
  40. Learn to live into MY strengths not the ones people think I have.
  41. Stand firm in the knowledge that God loves me…NO MATTER WHAT.
  42. Surround myself with genuine and authentic people.
  43. Mind my own boundaries.
  44. Make sure to always have margin in my life.
  45. Learn to have fun.
  46. Always trust God with the story of another person.
  47. Take more RISKS so I have less REGRETS.
  48. Cry because it is good for my soul not their expectation.
  49. Become a shame lifter and grace giver.
  50. Own my brokenness and pour out God’s healing in me.

 

Here’s to learning more and Growing Forward Together!!

 

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Kinita

 

Satan is a pimp…

[I wrote this back in May, but haven’t posted since then.  I have been writing pretty faithfully so watch for more posts in the near future.  I started my own business in June called Seema Ministries, LLC.  Checkout our website at http://SeemaMinistries.com and let me know what you think!!]

 

…kick him to the curb.

I have a picture burned in my brain’s photo album and because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, the actual location this picture was taken and the danger it might bring to people I dearly love, I cannot post it.

The picture is of men standing on a balcony of a nearby dingy building with their phones in hand and their eyes fixed on the women prostituting themselves on the street corner below.  They were the pimps, watching their possessions.

(These facts were given to me by the trusted people we were serving with).

Please, stay with me a moment longer.

I took the picture and stood there watching them watch them.  I was overcome with emotions of anger, disgust, a deep sadness, and a sense of “why???”.  These men are made in the image of God, right?  So why the deep feelings of disgust?

It’s the behavior y’all.  They stand around prowling and waiting to steal, kill and destroy the spirit of innocent young girls, young boys, and women.

Sound like anyone you know?  It did to me. Satan.

As I embraced the negative emotions that I was experiencing in that moment, the Holy Spirit revealed that those pimps are no different than the Enemy (Satan) himself.  I also have a deep disgust for him and a sadness of how he tries to infect the lives of those I love and hold dear to my heart.

As we read in John 10:10, “the Enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy…”

Also, in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”.

The only difference is that we can’t always physically see the Enemy prowling.  Is God’s Word enough for you to believe he is?

As the Enemy prowls around (like a pimp) looking for someone to devour how are you making yourself available?  How are you guarding yourself?

There are so many little (and big) ways that the Enemy pimps his way into our lives.  It seems the big ways are “easier” to fight off sometimes. A few little ways he might be trying to pimp us with.

  1. He keeps us busy.
  2. He provokes us.
  3. He deceives us.
  4. He feeds our idols.

The list goes on and on.  I would love to hear your thoughts!

2 Timothy 3:16-17, “Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man (or woman) of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I am a firm believer that God’s Word fills me with His truth to fight the lies that I believe.  He corrects my thinking, so it doesn’t become “stinking thinking”.

Satan wants to be the pimp of our minds which then affects our behaviours.   Prostitutes have been physically prostituted, but I think Christians are being mentally / emotionally prostituted in many ways.

Where our thoughts linger, so go our behaviours.

Quoting Tim Keller, “sin is a kind of practical atheism – acting as if God were not there”.

Since God’s Word is teaching us that the Enemy is going to do it anyway and we can’t change him, then I believe what we need to do (as followers of Christ) is protect ourselves as we remember the second part of John 10:10, “…I have come to give life and give it abundantly!”

  1. Confess your sin. (unconfessed sin opens the door to the Enemy)
  2. Put on your spiritual armor (Ephesians 6)
  3. Get accountability from a truth teller and Jesus lover. (sorry to say, that not all Christians fit this description)
  4. Choose to walk in the freedom that The Gospel of Jesus Christ has afforded you.

Doing these things doesn’t mean the journey will be easy.  It means that you will be able to grow stronger in your faith and understanding of God’s love for you because He is the one that does the protecting as we engage in this way.

Several years ago, one of my dear mentor/friends, Patty, said these words to me during a very challenging season in my life.  “The Enemy plays dirty”.  Through her stories, experience, and wisdom she worked with the Holy Spirit to develop in me the confidence to stand firm in my faith and not sway towards what the world, the flesh and the devil do.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, I have learned to “play nice” and allow Him to pour out His Grace whenever evil is present as He is protecting me.

I have been back from that trip for about a month now and the picture I have burned in my brain continues to sit at the forefront of my memory.  I realize that I am still sad because I can’t really do anything about them.  But God gives me HOPE, and I can do something about the Enemy wanting to pimp you.

I can point you to The Rescue, Jesus Christ.  He Rescued us by pouring out His blood as a ransom for our sin. He paid the price, so we wouldn’t have to.  As a result, we are free.  We aren’t getting the life we deserve (mercy), we are getting this life as a gift (grace)!

Please dear friend, LIVE into that freedom.  LIVE into that Truth.  For your sake, and mine…and theirs.

 

REFLECTION:

Where do you see the Enemy pimping you out?

Are you on standing on the curb too?

What are you willing to do about it?

 

Thank you for joining me on the journey,

Kinita

Not For Sale

Generally there are four seasons every year but for most of us across the Continental U.S and Canada, we can add two more. “Construction and Garage Sale” Season. Often here in Michigan,when the climate gets warmer and the ground has thawed, our streets are flooded with construction vehicles that are fixing roadways, sidewalks or simply just building new ones.

Garage Sale season is in full swing when we see homemade signs on the corners of intersections and at the end of neighbourhood streets. Some even linger long after a sale is finished (Yup, a pet-peeve of mine), advertising everything from childrens items to small appliances, from clothing to lawn furniture. The thought is that, “anything you want, you will probably find at a garage sale”.

oscar the grouch

During this season, I am often reminded of a children’s book we had in our home. When our children were little we would read to them and as they learned to read they would gravitate to this book as well. “Trash to Treasure: that’s the Grouch way”, a Sesame Street Golden book written by Liza Alexander. On the show and in the book, Oscar the Grouch, lived in a garbage can and pretty much grumbled, whined and complained about everything. He was a grouch and lived up to his name well. In the show Oscar had an “uncanny” (punn intended) way of taking trash and making it into something useful. If he was real, he would have been great at selling things at a garage sale. Convincing people that sometimes one person’s trash is useful and can become another person’s treasure.

Does your trash have a price?

For fifteen years I was faithful at going through our house and finding things in order to host our own sale – things we didn’t want, that didn’t fit, or were just taking up space. It became a once-a-year routine almost. Sometimes I would go in with a neighbour or another friend so as to have company and help for the day or two we were open. It was fun (for the most part) meeting people, getting money for whatever it was we were saving for at the time, hanging out and having great conversations with a friend over the scheduled time.

Over the years, I began to enjoy the whole experience less and less. It was more draining than fueling. The pricing, the setting up, the signs, making less money for the same amount of work only fueled my desire to quit. I had run my course of hosting garage sales and soon would discover that shopping at them was not appealing either.

What changed? What happened to my passion, my desire to take my trash and turn it into treasure? It was a season, one that lasted fifteen years.

I also have trash that has a price. So do you, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.  It is sin, but it really is trash. Unlike the stuff in our homes that we don’t want around but we put a price tag on, sin needs to be unloaded permanently without expecting anything in return.  It is garbage and belongs in a bin at the foot of the Cross. For some of us, we might feel that thebin needs to be a barrel or anything from a U-haul truck to a semi.

Why the Cross you ask? Because that’s where we get the top price!! Jesus Christ poured out His blood for our sin. We are called to confess, give Him our sin because He has already paid for it in full. No sale price, no discount, no return policy. He paid ONE price for ALL the sin in the world. As followers of Christ, our job now is to simply acknowledge and confess the sin that lingers and embrace the forgiveness He has already given us.

When we embrace His forgiveness we are more apt to give forgiveness freely.

Sadly, so many believers go on thinking (and living) as though “their sin is still for sale”. They struggle with completely embracing the forgiveness Jesus gave them at the Cross. They hold on to their sin as though it were a treasure and if they were to “put it out there”, they might face rejection and that would be more painful than the understanding the comfort of forgiveness. The “for sale” sign that hung on my heart came down when I was just a teenager. There have been times over the past thirty years that I have treasured sin in my heart. Sometimes it was because of fear, while other times it was because of a lack of understanding that I was TRULY and COMPLETELY forgiven!!

 

Unfortunately, I found myself surrounded by people who also lived the lie that forgiveness was difficult to fully receive. As I spent more time in The Golden book, the Holy Bible, I grew in my understanding of my sin and found great comfort through confession and forgiveness received through the blood of Jesus.

 

The enemy’s role is to keep unbelievers in the dark and the believer from finding freedom in their faith journey while trying to destroy their witness. He uses sin to keep us trapped. God transforms our sin into His glory. He takes our trash and turns us into His Treasure!!!

 

How about you?

Are you treasuring sin?

Have you received the FULL price for your sin?

Do you still have a “for sale” sign on your heart?

 

Thank you for joining me on this journey,

Kinita