Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving!

We all have much to be thankful for!
Take time today to focus on counting your Blessings instead of your troubles and give especially your loved ones a hug and share words of encouragement and thanksgiving with everyone around you!
Especially take time to give thanks to the Lord for He Is Good!

Have a great day everyone!

Blessings,

rlk



#thankfulness #Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Of Skipping Rocks & Impacting Lives



I recall numerous times as a child where I’d stand on the bank of a body of water and I’d collect as many of the smoothest and flattest rocks I could find and put them in my pocket.

Then like any kid I’d take the rocks and sling them one by one across the water to see how many times I could skip it across the surface as well as how far I could reach. 

If was a more narrow body of water the goal would always be to try and reach the other side of course with as many “skips” as possible.  :-)

As I’d make each attempt, the rocks would touch down briefly and repeatedly upon the surface of the water as it moved along the path of its journey.

Each place it touched down it would create a ripple on the surface of the water and if I’d skipped it enough times, one ripple would eventually span out and connect to the next ripple in the water.

As I sat on the bank of a river during a recent backpacking trip I began to reflect on my own life as well as the life of others. My childhood memory of skipping rocks came to mind as an image of the life we live and the journey we are traveling from cradle to the end of our days here on earth.  (Like one side of the river to the other side – the far bank)

Like a rock being moved in its trajectory and briefly touching down skipping across the water - we also have an impact on those around us.  We also have multiple touch points as we come into contact with others and build relationships.

I think God brought all of this to my mind because you and I need to understand that we so easily forget the tremendous impact we have on others whether in a positive - life giving way or a negative - life stifling way.

Never let anyone tell you or convince you that you do not or cannot make an impact on the lives that have been placed around you because it’s a complete lie!  God has created you with purpose and for a purpose! (Read Ephesians 2:10 for a reminder)

We are to live for God’s purpose, plan and will and that includes loving and serving others (Read Philippians 2:2-4, Acts 2:44-46, John 13:34-35, 1 John 3:16-18, 1 John 4:7-12 and 1 John 5:1-5 for some reminders)

So, let’s strive to impact others with only good things like love, encouragement, acts of service and more! We will be better people and grow more because of our humble dedication to God’s work while serving and impacting others!

In turn, with our impact on them, prayerfully they’ll touch the lives of others.

Go impact lives my friend because you are more than capable of doing so as you have much to offer and God is on your side! 


A Prayer: 
Heavenly Father, Help me to never take for granted that You have placed me here, given me life so I may live for You and my life impacts other people in big and small ways. In fact every life has an impact on another like ripples in the water... One life touching another life...touching another... 

Help us me be responsible and purposeful in how I do interact with and impact those You've placed around me!


In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen


Blessings,

rlk








Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Transformed

No matter your past, don't ever forget that your Father in Heaven is in the business of transforming lives! He sent His Son, Jesus to died for your sins and if you are in Christ, you've been set apart by Him (Sanctified) and as you walk with Him in faith, salvation in Him has made you a new creation and He's daily working to renew your mind so you can be even more useful to Him! Take time right now to thank Him for His transforming power in your life! 


Here's a pray for you and I:
Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your transforming power! You take unworthy sinners and forgive & transform us. You've made us new creations & You are daily renewing our minds. You've satisfied / set us apart & You are daily progressively sanctifying us to be useful vessels for You! Again, I thank You and Praise You in Jesus name I pray, Amen!


In Christ Alone,

rlk 

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Prayer For Resting in Jesus



Lord, help us to cast all of our anxieties and cares upon You! 
Help us to not lose sleep over the troubles of today knowing Your mercies are new every morning! 
Help us to not allow the evil one, other people or ourselves to influence negative or anxious thoughts. 
In Jesus name I pray, Amen! 
 Rest well in Jesus family.

Friday, October 10, 2014

40,000 suicides annually, yet America simply shrugs


 
Did you know that In the U.S. there is one suicide every 13 minutes & suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S?! These are sobering statistics...not just a statistics but representative of people who have come to an extreme place of hopelessness and despair and ended their lives. This is heart wrenching!

I've been in that place and it's not a place I want to ever go back to nor do I want anyone to go to that place. There are a lot of influences that send people that direction but not all of the influences are for clinical reasons but for spiritual and emotional reasons too. No matter what, we as a society need to pay closer attention to mental health as much as we do other issues and put resources toward helping reach people before they get to that point....so they don't get to that point.

I share the linked report, not because everything they say is the full picture of suicide, because it's not, but to #1 Beg you, if you are in that place now or heading that way...please reach out for help...simply start by sharing with someone that you're struggling! and #2 For awareness! It may be difficult to know sometimes (In my situation, most people had no idea I was depressed and suicidal), but you and I don't realize that there very well maybe people in our lives that are heading that direction and we need to do our best to reach out to those who (may not be suicidal yet) are down, going through a hard time, are in a predicament because of their actions and a bunch of different reasons and we need to stand in the gap and come along side them somehow...be the ones who show that they are highly valued, they are loved, that they matter! You and I can be that person to them! To help give them and build hope into them!

If you've read this far, thank you...Let's pray and be a part of the solution. Let's pray that the tide it turned in regard to suicide.
 
Take a look at this report when you have a few moments. 
http://www.kgw.com/longform/news/nation/2014/10/09/suicide-mental-health-prevention-research/15276353/

Thanks,

rlk

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

"Smart" Phones and Dumb Choices....Can we Auto-Correct Humanity?

Check out this video. 

It's very well done and gives real food for thought. 


I think all of us with "smart phones" have some adjustments to make. I know I use my phone for pretty much everything when I'm not using a PC because I can connect to pretty much anything, digital books, multiple apps, podcasts, social media, taking and sharing pictures, audio and video, my bank account, e-Mail, etc. 

Gotta long way to go but find that some days the "smart phone" can help us make "dumb" decisions when we're with others especially. 

We need to disconnect in order to connect or re-connect with others...

Anyhow, here's a dose of perspective. Check it...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"The Fiery Sermon"

This is such a great illustration and it's so true! There are also multiple applications within this...Check it out...then let's pray for one another! 
"The Fiery Sermon"
by Greg Bradon

A member of the church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.

It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor's visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.

The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember's flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.

Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.The pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, 'Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I will be back in church next Sunday.'

We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Whom will you serve?!

Whom will you serve today? Pray and then check out this Powerful song/video: 


 Joshua 24:15


Be Blessed and a blessing!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Be Still...and Know!

(Sunset over Tillamook Bay (Photo By Randolph Koch 2014)


 ...“Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.
 
                             -Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Be…Still…

I’ve been thinking a lot about this passage and I’ve come to realize these are two simple but very profound words that communicate volumes!

With the activities of life and hurried fast paced lives we often live, we don’t do the “Be Still” principle very well.

Think about it, when was the last time you and I just allowed ourselves to even physically…BE STILL?

I bet if you’re ever able to get yourself to a place in your schedule where you could be still, it felt very foreign to you for a bit or you felt like you should be doing something because by all means it’s all about “our strength” or “pulling ourselves up by the boot straps”?! We we’re supposed to be self-reliant and not need anyone’s help, right? 

Well, that may be what the world around us tells us but that way of operating doesn’t hold water to what God tells us we need to do. 

Being still requires faith. Being still requires trust. Being still requires hope. 

…A Faith that… God has you covered no matter what. 

…A Trust that… He is God and He already has a plan in the works to meet you where you are according to His perfect will. 

…A Hope that… His plan will be fulfilled in His perfect timing. 

Ultimately being still is more than just being physically still as it involved our mind, soul, spirit and body. 

When we take time to be still, we allow ourselves a few moment of time to collect ourselves and realign our focus back on God who will be exalted – especially when we operate how He instructs us to because His ways are higher than our ways and life typically works out better for us (not necessarily easier) in the long run if we do things His way. 

Other translations use the words “Cease Striving” and it is the same idea that we need to stop and be still. Cease trying to work to make things happen on our own strength. Cease trying to figure everything out on our own. Cease trying to be master and commander or our lives when we can’t do it all alone. No, we need to Be Still and know that He is God and…well…we are not!

The “Knowing” is the second and more important part because, if we can first off get ourselves to regularly “Be Still”, then we can rest in the “and know” part knowing wholeheartedly that He is God…He has everything under control. We need to again, know He is God and we are not.

It’s not that we are to shirk our responsibilities and be completely idle siting somewhere singing the proverbial “Kumbaya”  or think we should “let go and let God" (because this statement tends to not take into account some of our personal responsibility but we are to cast/give all of our anxieties to Him and leave them there. See 1 Peter 5:7)  because there are real things we need to do and own but it’s the reality that we need to completely rest in, be still in... Him. At the same time, we think sometimes that we’ve got it together and in the waiting we try to force God’s hand with pushing our agenda with the absence of His blessing…and in the process we will not get anywhere.

Being still is also a time seeking Him so in this sense, that is an action we can and should take in the process as we can pray, study and seek Him with everything that is within us.

We cannot clearly hear from Him amidst the chaos that sometimes surrounds us (or that we allow to surround us)…we need to sometimes physically escape just to be still before Him.

Once you and I get into the regular habit of being still, it will become more like breathing…it will become more natural and a part of our day-to-day walk and journey. 

So…
Are you going through a hard time… Be Still…and know…

Are you facing a financial crisis… Be Still…and know…

Are you going through a health crisis…Be Still…and know…

Are you having an identity or self-worth crisis… Be Still…and know…

Are you unclear on what direction you’re to head… Be Still…and know…

No matter what you’re facing today, be still, cease striving to do it on your own and seek Him because you know He is God. He will be exalted through your life as you are a part of the nations and He will be exalted throughout the earth.  

A prayer for you and I:

Heavenly Father, Help us to be still…and know. Help us to hold every anxious thought captive. Help us to be better at building “be still” time with you so that we may hear your voice through our times with you through prayer and your Word and through the proclamation of the Word through our local church gatherings. Help us to fight back the chaos in our life that comes our way or that we allow to be a part of it. Help us to live wholeheartedly for you walking in the truth that You alone are our strength and have it all together! Let us be your ambassadors and may we help exalt and make your name great among the nations. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.  

Be blessed friends…by being still...and knowing He is God...

In His Love and for His Glory,
rlk

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Happy 20th Anniversary My Love!


I've heard it said that "Love does not consist of merely gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction."

20 years ago today my love and I began a journey of looking forward together in the same direction.

So far, we've seen many good times and times of trials and it's amazing to look back and see all that we've been through & that God has brought us through!

All of these things have made us stronger and we've been blessed many times over together as well as through the 5 children God has blessed us with!

It goes without saying that I married UP! :-)

I married a strong, independent, intelligent lady who is beautiful inside and out. She has a great sense of humor (for those have taken time to get to know her know this) is very feisty in her own way and she’s continued to blossom even more in the 22 years I've been blessed to know her!

In 20 years of marriage she has helped me be a better man, husband, dad and friend and I look forward to continuing to look forward together in the adventure and journey that still lies ahead.

Happy Anniversary Angela my love!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What do you value?

Here's a sobering reflection to kick your week off with...



What do you value most now? & What will you value at the end of your life?

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you seek out the answer to these questions.

Blessings,

rlk

Thursday, July 17, 2014

60 Is just a number but it’s now a goal...my goal!

This post is a bit of a departure from my other past posts but it’s an even more personal one that I am sharing here.

I believe in some shape or form we all set goals for ourselves.  I set goals all the time and now I have decided to set another goal but this one is one of the most important goals I’ve set for myself. 


For many years I’ve been working, albeit slowly and with varying successes, to get back into shape – to be where I want to be health wise.

For quite a while in my younger days I did A LOT of things. I was a three sport guy, was involved in music, was in several drama productions and much more. At one point I suffered an injury in which I separated my shoulder and snapped the ligament in two places which effectively, per the Dr.’s advice ended my athletic involvement. I still did things like backpacking, riding my bike and walking but I became overall less active and it started impact me…and many years later I am where I don’t want to be.

I’ve had some really good successes over the years in achieving my various health goals and then I’ve had setbacks too.

I also realize that some who know me must assume I eat all day long – or just eat a ton, well, although I do have the capacity to chow down with the best of them, to the contrary, one of my biggest problems is that I skip too many meals and that bad habit coupled with others has influenced where I am today health wise.

I also know that I’ve been the “punch line” to several jokes over the years, which of course, I cannot control other people’s mouths (although sometimes I’d like to physically do so) :-) , but I’d rather not be the punch line anymore. 

Some days I’ve felt shame for not being at my best but no more because God and my family love me anyway so no more shame game…I’m just going to work at being a physically better me! 

So, here it is… My goal today and going forward is to work at losing 60 pounds over the next 2 years or less if possible. 60 pounds that I believe I need to shed in order to be at my personal best. I want to do it and I know I can do it but it’s going to take hard work!

I want to continue to be physically strong but in a more shall we say, streamlined package. :-) LOL.

This goals is sort of selfish but in a good way because I want to do it for myself as I want to look and feel my best – but I also want to look better for my wife and set an example for my kids, friends, colleagues and those I serve and serve with and equally important have even more capacity to serve my Creator according to His will, purpose and plan!  :-)

I also know that even though I own and will be daily owning  this goal every step of the way as I’ll be the one to physically do the work to get there, I believe I will be even more successful with the support and prayers of my family and friends!  


So, please pray for me! Please encourage me along the way. Please send me words of motivation and inspiration. Don’t judge me for my failures and celebrate with me at the milestones along the way…an occasional hi-five would be awesome when you see some of the results/progress being made.

I also realize and believe in order to get there I need to plan and have…

Adequate and regular caloric intake.  I list this first because I know for me it means no more skipping meals and being more intentional about what I choose to fuel myself with. Some days I’ll skip lunch, breakfast and lunch, etc. but that is really bad. With this, I also need to “unlearn” many of the bad habits I picked up transitioning from one sport season to the next…bulking up for one and starving myself and rapidly losing weight for another helped me learn really bad habits.

Adequate water intake.  Don’t allow myself to be dehydrated and just make sure I’m drinking water every day that my body needs anyway.

Adequate sleep. Work on getting more sleep as I need rest to reach my goals.

Adequate exercise.  In the gym, neighborhood and in the outdoors – challenge myself to find fun and varying ways to regularly exercise.

Adequate spiritual, intellectual and emotional care.  All three of these areas are important to me reaching the goal I’ve set and maintaining once I reach the goal and from my own experience they strike a meaningful balance in my life and I know when they are not balanced…I make less progress in multiple areas of my life.

Adequate Prayer, Encouragement and Support.  Again, I will be doing the work but I believe I will be even more successful

So, 60 is just a number but it’s now my goal and I’d really appreciate your prayers and encouragement along the way!

If you’re heading toward your goals, you can count on me to do the same for you!

Thank you in advance for your prayers!

All the best,
rlk



60#s, Health, Goals, Prayer,