Broken Bodies

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I found this picture on a friend’s social media page and with her permission I am using it to illustrate my thoughts.

Hopefully by now you have recovered from the poses and absence of certain body parts.

Since pictures speak a thousand words, this blog is going to be shorter than most.

At first when I saw the picture, I had a flood of emotions and then several writer’s thoughts too – not all good but I knew right away I needed to take a deep dive!!

Missing or broken limbs, missing bodies, so much detachment.  Dear friends, based on many conversations I have been having as of late, this is how our churches are beginning to look.

People are missing, some have detached themselves or parts of themselves because they don’t feel like they fit or belong, some have simply moved on to other churches, or simply drifted away all together.

Is that you?

Do you know someone?

Well then, what are you doing about it?

Aren’t we, as believers, called to “keep the body together”?

What will it take?

For those dolls some good tape, glue or some other strong adhesive will be required.

Within the “Body”, we have forgiveness, reconciliation, acceptance, patience, and the love of Christ as adhesive for fellow believers…in Jesus’ Name!!!

A few suggestions to help you on your journey: (assuming you have some proximal relationship with the person).

DON’T SAY: “you look good, must be everything is going well!”

INSTEAD SAY: “I’ve missed seeing you, how have you been?”

 

DON’T SAY: (when you do see them in church) “I see you haven’t been in church for some time.”

SAY: (via text, call, email, social media…) “I haven’t seen you at church in a while, would you like to talk?”

 

DON’T SAY: “I was giving you your space.”

SAY: “I would like to come over and sit with you as you work through your situation.” (or something that sounds like you are stepping into their mess with them).

 

Let’s do our part to fix The Body.   Who’s ready to do their part?!?!

 

Thank you for joining me on my journey.

Kinita

Driving in Unity

These past eight months have been so full of travel and interestingly enough, most of them involved a lot of driving on busy highways and roads.

I often find myself alone in my passion for multi-lane highways that wrap around concrete jungles.  And the more I stay true to this unique passion; I find more of my true authentic self.

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So why do I like them? You ask.

It’s simple really. Everyone is headed in the same direction.

The vehicles are all unique, various makes and models, but they are travelling in the same direction.  Notice I didn’t say destination? From time-to-time, vehicles make take their exits but then others join us as they merge from one of many on-ramps, joining the masses, all of us on our merry way…in the same direction.

That my friends, is called UNITY- “The state of being united or joined as a whole”.

We are united by going in the same direction and yet staying uniquely individual, traveling in our own make and model.

The Problem?  I find that as we travel on a highway in a united fashion, some travelers become weary and impatient and they begin to grumble.  They don’t like the “PACE”.  Perhaps they don’t like the masses and would prefer a country road that would take them to the same destination faster, without all the extra traffic.  Some get annoyed when someone else wants to join the journey and merge into the mass of travelers.  They don’t like to create “SPACE”.  Perhaps they don’t like the fact that each vehicle is unique, and the comparison of “who has the better vehicle” gets under their skin.  They like to “COMPARE”.   

I remember on one recent road trip as I was merging onto the highway, I almost got clipped by the truck that was in the lane I was trying to merge into.  The driver didn’t have room to move over to make room for me so I needed to let them pass before I could merge safely, at which point I realized I was holding my breath out of fear the whole time!!

Whatever the case, everyone is forced to go forward in UNITY (road rules).  But are they really experiencing UNITY if all they want to do is get to their destination and “get rid of / ignore” those who aren’t like them, or choose to take a different highway to decrease the number of others on the road so they can simply get to where they are going faster?  And are they really driving forward in UNITY if they demand that “it is their way or the highway”? (Pun intended).

Then it happened…

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

This visual got me thinking of the Church (shocker).  There are so many people who say they want UNITY.  Although, they may be genuine, don’t seem to know how to live it out.  There are some who want it, but only for the sake of their public image (aka: being a ‘good’ Christian).  There are some who want UNITY because they have embraced it as heart of Christ’s ministry to His people.  And there are some who could care less, and they do.

I don’t know who you are or how you define unity, but as Believers, we are all headed in the same direction…all on a journey of following Jesus and ultimately headed for a destination called heaven.  God made a way for us by sending His Son, Jesus ahead of us to the Cross on our behalf.  That secures our identity and our destination of Heaven.  He is the Way, the Truth, and the life.  No one can get to the Father but through Him.  Do you believe that?  Then you are on a journey of living the abundant life and on your way to Heaven.  It doesn’t matter how long or short you have been on your journey. The question is, do you believe in Jesus?

I think what seems to be trapping so many people within our church communities is in-fighting and as a result, they take their own version of “road rage” to their social media sites.  If that describes you, I encourage you to consider how you are representing Jesus in the spaces and places you go.  This is not an argument to support or deny what Jesus says or does. It’s simply a reminder that there are some who are meant to be on this “highway” and are waiting on the on-ramp.  They want to find a place of hope and rescue and to travel a better road, not the road where they experience what the world is giving them.

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I’m not saying, “go to church (the Building) and you will find Jesus”.  What I am saying is that “we as the Church” (who we are) need to do a better job of making room for those who desire to join us on the journey and to help them experience more unity as we travel this road together.  Whether you are on a highway, a bi-way, a country road or trail and have a relationship with Jesus, then you have the responsibility to share that with others and encourage them to join you from the on-ramp and not discourage them to get out of the way or to take an exit.

What a privilege, to leave our church buildings, to spend the rest of our week building relationships with those who are not yet on the highway, who feel they are on the outside and give them the gift of inclusion.

On this road trip of life, I have discovered that the destroyers of unity are PACE, SPACE, and COMPARISON.  We have all been guilty of those from time to time.

Let’s make today different…

Check your pace, make space, and don’t compare…Live your story!!

 

Reflection:

What does God’s word say about the direction you are going in?

Is He asking you to consider a “rest stop” so you can take a spiritual inventory of some kind?

Is He asking you to move over and make room for another on your journey?

 

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Kinita

Directionally Challenged

It has been almost a year since my last blog post. In 2017 the LORD took our family on a very big detour that required all our time, attention, emotional energy, and brain space. In a way, we were living out all the ideas I wanted to blog about. We believe we are now on a renewed journey where the road looks much different. We are learning and discovering new rhythms and seeing His faithfulness and goodness in a whole new way. We continue to grow towards wholeness every day. This topic seemed most appropriate for the first one this year in 2018.

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On a recent trip to Ontario, I needed to travel on Highway 401, a common thoroughfare that extends the length of the province. Instead of taking the 407-toll road that would save money and time in getting to my destination north of Toronto, I chose to endure the company of MANY other fellow travelers on the 401. I enjoy “their company” since we were all going in the same direction (pun intended). Unfortunately, it also makes me think of life in a church where so many people are going in the same direction (heaven) but don’t really know their fellow travelers. Perhaps that’s for another blog.

As I travelled this always busy and crowded highway, a news report came over the radio (CHFI 98.1, my favourite station when I am in town) announcing that there was an accident along my route that was causing a backup. I soon realized that the accident was so severe that the authorities chose to close all four lanes of traffic near an upcoming exit. I decided to get off at an earlier exit to visit with my sister-in-law and her beautiful daughter in hopes that the blocked roads and traffic congestion would clear up once I was back on the road.

Unfortunately, that was not the case at all. The accident took longer to investigate and clear up, so the highway was completely blocked off and all the traffic was directed to the nearest exit. Fortunately, for me, the exit to the 407-toll road was right in front of me just at the right time!! Go figure. God provided a way out. Although this detour was going to cost me more financially, I trusted that God’s plan was always better than mine. Along this new path, there would be more detours, a few more challenging than others. But I eventually made it to my friend’s house with minutes to spare. I had told her I would be there between 4:00 and 5:00 pm and I arrived at 4:55pm. For those who don’t know me, I love being a woman of my word and I don’t like being late! 😊

So many times, in life, we make decisions about “where we are going to go and how we will get there”. Then, something happens in our story that makes us feel like we are “changing direction”. I haven’t always liked that feeling but eventually the Holy Spirit gives me a different perspective in that space.

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Years ago, I handed God the pen to my story when I decided that I wanted His way for me and not my own. Since then, I have come to see “a change in direction” as God putting a detour into my path. A detour can come in multiple forms. From illnesses, job changes, loss, a new romance, a pregnancy, etc., all of which can make us question our own decisions, callings, and passions. Sometimes, these detours have an unintended cost in the short run, but great rewards overall.

Can you relate?

When it comes to my spiritual life, I am NOT directionally challenged. I face the Cross. I face Jesus and seek to do what He wants me to do and go where He wants me to go. My passion to grow forward (#growingforward) has sometimes been detoured because I was going faster than He wanted me to go. I needed to stay or go in a different direction to keep learning the lessons He wanted me to learn. He wanted to equip me with all that is good from Him to allow His lessons to grow deep roots in my heart as I journeyed with Him. I continue to learn to trust in His timing and His direction…and then follow His leading. The distance between those two is getting shorter with every day I face Him.
There will continue to be detours, accidents, and road blocks in my story. But I am learning that my responsibility is to keep my eyes on Him and not on the obstacles and negative feelings I experience from the perceived inconvenience. It is always for my good!!

The Enemy gets a kick out of watching us come to a detour in our lives. He wants us to think that God isn’t a good God. That He (God) doesn’t want the best for us. After all, He is a jealous God, eh? Yes, the Enemy will twist God’s word…a detour that is very damaging to our souls.

Dear friend, please…

Embrace the power of God when you come up to a different direction in your story.

Seek godly counsel with those who are truth tellers and Jesus lovers. Sometimes they are one in the same and other times, not.

Pray and trust that His ways are ALWAYS better.

Don’t follow the crowd.

Let go of the wheel. (but not while you are physically driving please 😊)

Stay in your lane and live your own story.

REFLECTION:

What is your destination?

What are the obstacles, accidents, road blocks in the road you are travelling?

Are you being asked to take a detour in your journey? If so, how are you responding?

 

Thank you for joining me on my journey to find Jesus.  Blessings on yours.

Kinita

Do you see what I see?

From my heart:  It’s been awhile since I last wrote.  Life has been very full and very complicated and I haven’t been able to blog the way I have wanted.  I decided I wanted to finish out the year better than it started. I have many pieces waiting in the wings.  I hope you will continue on this journey with me and that you will receive peace and insight for yours. 

I love to write and share what God has put on my heart and I THANK YOU for joining me!!!! 

“I’m looking at the man in mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways…”

You might recognize those lyrics if you, like me, are a child of the 80’s.  “Man in the Mirror” was one of Michael Jackson’s most critically acclaimed songs released in 1988 and nominated for “record of the year” at the Grammy awards.  Many radio stations continue to play it today, nostalgically taking me back in time.

A song I turn up in the car and sing along to my hearts delight.

Truth be told, I was a huge Michael fan growing up and even remember seeing him in concert when I turned 13.  Sadly, his life ended at the age of 50 leaving behind a legacy of music, fashion and talent that no other artist has ever measured up to.  He was aptly named “the king of Pop” for those reasons.

In the past several months, the lyrics of this song have taken me into deeper intimacy with Jesus causing me to have a lump in my throat and tears to follow.

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Here’s why.  I have been asking God to change His ways.  I have had more requests for Him than affirmation, praise and gratitude for Him amidst the many storms surrounding me and many others in this country.  I sat with these lyrics and God showed me something different.  He changed the lyric for me to read, “I’m looking at the man in the mirror and He’s asking me to change my ways”.  Who is this man you ask?  Please read on.

I look in the mirror and see a woman.  A woman of strong convictions that aren’t always received by those around her.  A woman with scars, blemishes and character qualities that aren’t always welcomed, accepted or admired. That’s ok, because God isn’t finished with me yet.  More importantly, He loves me just the way I am.  I don’t spend a lot of time looking in the mirror.  But the glimpses I get I haven’t liked because the messages of rejection seem to be louder.  I confess, surrender and ask God to show me what He wants me to see.  To show me how He has created me and what He wants me to do with it all.

That’s when it happens….

Amidst the pain and struggle in my journey, I see the Man in the mirror.  It is Jesus.  The King of kings.  I see the tenderness of His eyes and He is smiling and delighting in me.  He tells me I’m beautiful and reminds me of His healing in my life.  He shows me His scars, on his hands and feet as He reminds me that I have been crucified with Him, therefore I no longer live but He lives in me (Galatians 2:20).  He reminds me that I have a Companion and Comforter in the Holy Spirit especially for all those times I feel alone.  I feel the Holy Spirit’s presence while I look at this Man in the mirror and He has become my Advocate.  He points me to the things I need to think on as He has written them in Philippians 4:8, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and whatever is admirable.  If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” 

Do you see what I see?

This Man in the mirror is asking me to change my ways.  Not because He doesn’t love me just the way I am but because they aren’t ways that reflect Him.  He loves me more than I will ever know yet for today I receive that correction and walk in the way He wants me to.  I tell Him it is hard to change some of those ways in my own strength and He assures me that when I am weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).  I need to surrender to Him and He will do the changing.

I am learning to sing out those verses to my heart’s delight as I grow forward (and older) on this journey to find Jesus in the small moments of life.

A song written the year I graduated from high-school has become a landmark in my heart for the woman I am and the woman I am becoming as God grows me to hopefully reflect Him more and more each day.

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 REFLECTION:

What do you see?

Who do you see?

Is God asking you to change your ways? How will you answer Him?

Is God asking something of you that you feel is impossible to do / change?

 

 

 

“Be the change you want to see in the world” –Mahatma Ghandi

Thank you for taking this journey with me,

Kinita

He Leads, I Follow

While vacationing at a friend’s cottage for a few days up in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, my devotions were centered around Matthew 11. Specifically verse 28.
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.

I love how God times His Word to be the exact thing I needed on this vacation. We were entering this vacation after a several exhausting few months for our family. I was continuing the work of recovering from the effects of the Nepal earthquake. We had recently buried my sister after she lost her battle to brain cancer. My first book, “I Am Hagar: Forgotten No More,” was published and released (you can find it on Amazon.com). And a plethera of other situations that required my attention. The ups and downs of my emotions and the hard work I had done to cope has been exhausting, to say the least. This road, amidst it’s great joys and disappointments has been very treacherous!!
Without my supportive and loving husband, my children and friends who have been genuinely walking this journey with me, I think I would have been fit-to-be-tied months ago.

There was actually a time during those weeks where the “ride” seemed fast and furious and left my head spinning. I remember just closing my eyes and asking God to show me where He was in the midst of all this. At that precise moment, He gave me a picture of me sitting on a roller-coaster chair/bench and the lap bar was His arm. As I held on to His arm (the lap bar), I began to stroke it and had peace that He was holding me in place. I was assured that He would not let me go and would see me through to the end. That day (and since) He gave me an inexplicable peace that I was going to make it.

Back to the verse…I love this verse because it is very direct. For those who know me personally, I love direct communication. When I hear indirect communication it makes my brain work harder to have to decipher what looks like hidden meanings.

Jesus says, “Come to Me”….not, take a bunch of detours and then come. Yet, even if we have taken those detours, He still wants us to come to Him. If Nike was the speaker, they would say, “just do it!!”.
“All who are weary and burdened”, I think that everyone reading this and those we know have been weary and burdened at one time or another. I wonder what would happen if all of us who have obeyed this gentle command “Come to Me”, were to share with those who are currently weary and burdened, the Hope and rest they can find in Jesus?
“I will give you rest” is a promise from a promise-keeping God!! The kind of rest we can have in the midst of the fast and furiousness of our lives is uncompromising and available to all of us.

He lead, I followed very close behind.

He lead, I followed very close behind.

Our vacation ended with a day on Mackinaw Island. My time on the island started with a bike ride on a tandem bike with my husband. We rode the 8 miles around Mackinaw Island with the family and had a great time while learning a lot about us and other areas of our lives. Ken was in the front and I in the back. He did all the driving and I was along for the ride. I just held on. When he changed gears and went faster (than I would have liked), my heart raced and my muscle spasms (a result of the earthquake) kicked in with a vengeance. But I held on (perhaps muttering a thing or two under my breath). He would check on me every now and then and my answer was the same everytime. “I’m doing ok”. I’m not sure what He wanted me to say, because I really didn’t have a choice but to keep trusting him.

That gave me the beautiful picture of journeying with Jesus. I am doing ok and I don’t have a choice but to trust Him!!
He is leading, guiding and taking me on the ride of my life. I choose to rest in Him and hold on to see what other great adventures lie ahead. So, no matter how “fast” and “furious” your journey may be right now, know that God will lead you safely through it all.

REFLECTION:

What are you going through right now that needs more faith?
How do you respond when things don’t go your way?
How have you been responding to Jesus’ invitation to “Come to Him”?
Maybe you say that “God is leading” but are you following Him?

Thank you for joining me on this leg of my journey!

Kinita