Hidden in Plain Sight

Re-posted from 5 years ago-

You know those “Hidden Pictures” puzzles that Highlight magazine is famous for? Those pictures where common objects are “hidden” in plain sight, but you can’t see them and you have to search the picture for them.

Well, I’ve noticed that life can be a lot like that. I’ve noticed that my life is filled with these seemingly obvious sins that I am absolutely oblivious to. Sins that I am totally unaware of, but to someone standing next to me, they appear glaringly obvious.

The other day (5 years ago now!) I was recording a couple little videos of my oldest daughter singing in church. (Yes, I know. Videotaping during church. I know. Sorry. That’s not the point here. I don’t need anyone to point that one out now. Hang with me here.) Anyway when I played the videos back, in 3 of the 4 recordings can you guess what really stands out? Me. My voice. And it’s not pretty, friends. Not pretty.

And there it was. There are dozens of things that I am doing every single day that I am unable to see. Why? Because they have not yet been revealed to me. That ugly tone of voice. That bitterness. That pride.

Friends, do you know how much I have GROWN in the last 26 years I have been a follower of Jesus Christ? How MUCH I have changed? How MANY blind spots have been revealed to me in the past two decades?

And yet, I suddenly realized how many blind spots are still there. And, once again, God humbled me. And once again, I heard my Savior’s loving voice, gently urging me, “Kim, you have so far yet to go.”

And I was encouraged to give more grace, to have more patience and to be that much quicker to forgive a wrong, because the Lord daily has grace for me and patience with me. He has forgiven me soo much.

Thank you, Father, for not revealing the depth of my wickedness all at once, but rather moment by moment opening my eyes to the next thing, day by day conforming me more and more to the image of Your Son.

How is God opening your eyes to those unseen sins today? Pray for Him to show them to you.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)

This post is still true today. God is still faithfully, gently opening my eyes!

Waiting and Watching

Our huge lab-poodle-aussie, Kylo, absolutely adores my younger daughter. He will sit and wait for her, watching where she went. It’s so sweet.

Are we waiting and watching like that? Do we have that kind of love? That kind of faith?

Heavenly Father, help me to watch for you, trusting you and waiting expectantly for Your return!


Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. Proverbs 8:34 ESV

Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Luke 12:35-36 ESV

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14 ESV

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him. 2 Peter 3:11-15 ESV

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 ESV

A simple, but powerful, way to read through the Bible – John 6

I share with you one simple way that I’ve found to really personalize and apply the scripture that I’m reading that day.

Read through the Bible, one book at a time, one chapter (or a portion of a chapter) each day. Each day, choose one specific verse that really speaks to you that day and use that verse to write out a prayer.

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me not because you saw the signs, but because you ate your fill of loaves.”

John 6:26

Father, I want to follow You because it is true, because I believe, because You are REAL. You are the true and living God, not a figment of my imagination, not my fairy godmother, not a genie in a bottle. I don’t want to pray to you like I’m wishing on a star or on my birthday candles. You are not the God of “cross my fingers” and hope You will give me whatever I ask for.

I see you and I follow you because you are REAL and Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. You have opened my eyes and I can never go back. I pray that you will use my life, my words and my testimony to spread the good new of the gospel and bring many to know the truth of Jesus.

In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

A simple, but powerful, way to read through the Bible – John 1

Let me share with you one simple way that I’ve found to really personalize and apply the scripture that I’m reading that day.

Read through the Bible, one book at a time, one chapter (or a portion of a chapter) each day. Each day, choose one specific verse that really speaks to you that day and use that verse to write out a prayer.

Today I read through John 1 and chose John 1:34 for my verse of the day.

“And I have seen and borne witness
that this is the Son of God.”

John 1:34

I wrote this prayer based on that chapter and verse.

Father, thank You for making Yourself visible so that we can be Your witnesses. Thank you for the witnesses who came before me, for John the Baptist who told his disciple Andrew who told his brother Peter, and for Philip who told his friend Nathanael. Thank you for those who have told me their stories, testifying to the realness of God! I pray that You would make me Your faithful witness. Give me the wisdom and the words to testify to the TRUTH of what I have seen and heard. I pray that my children and my husband and those that I’m discipling would be Your faithful witnesses, too, not giving way to fear, not being ashamed of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who came to take away the sins of the world. Amen.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about how this worked for you. How do you study the Bible every day?

Where is your Focus?

On the Problem or the Purpose?

On the Father or the Failure?

On the Trials or the Triumph?

On the Savior or the Storm?

Jesus told us that we would have tribulation in this world. Why are we surprised? But Jesus also said TAKE HEART, I have OVERCOME the World!

Daily we have to actively choose to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who for the JOY that was COMING endured the cross.

We, too, can endure and overcome with hope and peace … because of our FAITH in our Risen Savior who conquered death. We, too, know that JOY is coming. These trials are light and momentary when compared to the eternal WEIGHT of GLORY!


I’m looking forward to ETERNITY with Jesus. Who wants to join me there?

The road is indeed narrow, but Jesus made a way! Jesus made a way where there seemed to be no way. Jesus made a way to reconcile sinful man with Holy God – by His death on the cross, paying for my sins.

Jesus IS the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Him, but WOW what GOOD NEWS that there is a way at all for a sinful woman like me to spend eternity with a good and holy God!!!

Who needs to hear this good news today? If God’s given you this hope, go share it with someone who needs it!

TWIG

A Long Look Back at 2020

For all of its tests and trials, 2020 was a good year, full of God’s unfailing kindness, mercy and love, if we choose to look for them.

On this first day of 2021, I want to look back at 2020 and remember.

January 2020

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

If you made it this far, Thank you!

Let me share something with you, we all have to choose where to place our focus.

Do you want to dwell on the masks on the faces and the big dream wedding that never was?

Or do you want to be thankful for the people wearing the masks and the wedding that still happened?

Even right now, at this very moment, I’m finishing this post from the E.R. waiting room as my husband got rear-ended by a speeding car while sitting at a red light.

Will I dwell on the totaled vehicle or give thanks for God’s protecting hand?

Last month I chose a new word for 2021: LOOK!

Look up. Look to Jesus. Look at what is eternal. Fix my gaze on God’s goodness.

TWIG

A prayer of worship, and a prayer for strength – from Romans 11:33-36

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:33-36 ESV —

The Unchanging in the Middle of a Crazy Covid Christmas

This Christmas Season, we can dwell on how strange this holiday and this year have been … or we can dwell on those things that remain the same.


“The LORD will reign forever and ever.” (Exodus 15:18)


“I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 89:1)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)


“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)


“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)


“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)

Join me in prayer.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Thank you for your faithful, steadfast love, that we can trust You, that You are a promise keeping God, our everlasting rock, our eternal anchor, our unending peace in the midst of chaos. We pray for people all over the globe to know Your unchangeable love, joy and peace. You are the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega. We praise Your name in the middle of these days of uncertainty. Amen

That’s My King! Do you know Him?

“That’s My King” by S. M. Lockridge

I wonder if you know Him?
Do you know my King?

The Bible says
He’s the King of the Jews
He’s the King of Israel
He’s the King of Righteousness
He’s the King of the Ages
He’s the King of Heaven
He’s the King of Glory
He’s the King of Kings
and He is the Lord of Lords

Now that’s my King!

No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing
No means of measure can define His limitless love
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply

He’s enduringly strong
He’s eternally steadfast
He’s immortally graceful
He’s imperially powerful
He’s impartially merciful

That’s my King!

He’s God’s Son
He’s the sinners’ Saviour
He’s the centerpiece of civilization
He’s unparalleled
He’s unprecedented
He’s pre-eminent
He’s the loftiest idea in literature
He’s the fundamental doctrine in true theology
He’s the miracle of the age
He’s the superlative of everything good
He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously
He supplies strength for the weak
He’s available for the tempted and the tried
He sympathizes and He saves
He heals the sick
He cleansed the lepers
He forgives sinners
He delivers the captives
He defends the feeble
He blesses the young
He serves the unfortunate
He regards the aged
He rewards the diligent
And He beautifies the meek

Do you know Him?
Do you know my King?

My King is the key of knowledge
He’s the wellspring of wisdom
He’s the doorway of deliverance
He’s the gateway of glory
He’s the pathway of peace
He’s the roadway of righteousness
He’s the highway of holiness
His promise is sure
His life is matchless
His goodness is limitless
His mercy is everlasting
His love never changes
His word is enough
His grace is sufficient
His reign is righteous
His yoke is easy
and His burden is light

Do you know Him?

He’s incomprehensible
He’s invincible
He’s irresistible
I’m trying to tell you
The heaven of heavens cannot contain Him
Let alone a man explain Him

You can’t get Him out of your mind
You can’t outlive Him
And you can’t live without Him

The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him
but they found out they couldn’t stop Him
Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him
The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree
And Herod couldn’t kill Him
Death couldn’t handle Him
And the grave couldn’t hold Him

That’s my King!

He always has been
And He always will be
I’m talking about
He had no predecessor
and He’ll have no successor
There was nobody before Him
and there’ll be nobody after Him
You can’t impeach Him
and He’s not going to resign

That’s my King!

Do you know Him?

He’s the Master of the Mighty
He’s the Captain of the Conquerors
He’s the Head of the Heroes
He’s the Leader of the Legislatures
He’s the Overseer of the Overcomers
He’s the Governor of the Governors
He’s the Prince of Princes
He’s the King of Kings
And He’s the Lord of Lords

That’s my KING!

“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:13 KJV)

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things,
and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 KJV)

A Few Good Friends

I’m on Day 6 of a 40 Day Facebook fast. I’m using a devotional by Wendy Speake called “The 40-Day Social Media Fast.” Today’s devotional was entitled, “A Few Good Friends” and it hit me right between the eyes.

I spent most of my teenage years as an outsider. As a brainiac and an atheist, though I wanted to fit in, I didn’t.

As an adult and born again follower of Jesus, I never want others to feel left out, like I was.

I cast my net wide.

I love everyone.

I invite everyone.

Any age, any skin color, any religion, any economic level, whatever – I love you all.

I love to greet the new people who wander nervously into church. I love to seek out the person sitting in the corner at a party. I love to make the newcomer and the outsider feel appreciated and valued.

8 or 80, male or female, made up or beat up, I want to be your friend.

The struggle for me is that love isn’t always reciprocated, even in the family of Christ. Sometimes I’m too serious, too friendly, too deep, too religious, too loud, too … whatever. And it still hurts me more deeply than I wish it did. 😰

I love getting likes and shares on my FB feed (and my blog). I purposely share some fun family photos and silly memes on my Facebook feed, just so people don’t think I’m too “religious” or too “deep.”

The most personal things I write, which are usually both deep and religious, don’t garner nearly so many likes or shares, but I keep on writing them because that’s how God made me. I think these writings are some of the works that God has prepared for me to do, that God has uniquely designed me to write. (Ephesians 2:10)

Thanks to each of you for being on this journey with me. Whether you’re one of my 3 special friends or whether we’ve never even met, I love you and I want you to know Jesus.

Your love or disdain for me does not change my value in my Father’s eyes. Whether you like my post or not, Jesus likes me. In fact, Jesus died for me, and His approval is all that really matters. ❤

“We don’t need everyone to like us, love us, invite us, or include us. In God’s economy, two or three faithful friends make for great wealth.”

Wendy Speake, The 40-Day Social Media Fast