31 March 2009


During this morning's prayer call, the question was asked, "Why pray if God is just going to do what He wants anyway?" Let me back up - this came from one of the ministers on the call who yesterday suffered a loss of a baby due to an etopic pregnancy. And let me tell you, this statement came in a moment of weakness and cynicism, but when she said it on this morning's call, I immediately knew where she was coming from - and what emotions may have led her to express such a thing out loud to her husband. After all, been there, done that.

How many times have you prayed "God, Thy Will be done" and then when it doesn't work out as you planned it in your head want to rant and rave and say that God didn't answer your prayer? My friend and her husband knew that getting pregnant would be risky: they are older and they lost another baby late last year. So, when they were trying to get pregnant, they prayed Hannah's prayer. [Read 1 Samuel 1:1-20] They promised that if God would honor this pregnancy, they would return this child to the Lord and would raise the child in the fear and admonition of the Lord. When the good news came that they'd conceived a child, my friend says that she just knew that God would honor their commitment to return the child to the Lord and that the pregnancy would be a stable one, culminating in nine months with the birth of a bouncing baby boy or a beautiful baby girl to love and cherish. You would have to talk to her to hear how she got past the question and what her understanding is now of God's plan and you will be encouraged and amazed. In this situation, God's plan was different from the one she planned and unfortunately, this baby will not come to be.

But back to her question: what is the point in praying? Why go through the motions if God is going to do what He is going to do, in spite of our petitions to him? I mean, why give us freedom of choice if He is going to make the final decision? And even if we believe that His plans are better for us - and that His thoughts are not our thoughts - and all the other "stuff" we are taught - why do we have to go through the motions of praying? What good does it do?

I am sure there is some Biblical answer that people like my minister friend and her husband can quote off the top of their heads or that my godsister Linda or my other friend Jacquie would know if I stopped to call them and ask them - but this is my blog and my thoughts, so I just have to answer from my own personal experience. So, here's why I keep praying and accepting God's will - even when His will differs VASTLY from mine: it's part of my partnership in my relationship with God. Huh? "Whatchutalkin'bout?" I have found that talking about my issues, bringing them before the Throne of Grace, petitioning to the Lord for His intervention, guidance and grace is what I have to do to make my relationship with Christ work. It strengthens my faith and gives me the confidence and knowledge of knowing He is working all things for my good - even when it seems like He isn't giving me what I want and/or think I need. How many times have you asked the Lord for something (or someone) only to discover later that His "failure" to answer your prayer (in the way YOU wanted it answered) was indeed the answer to your prayer that you needed.

And can I just say: It is a ploy of the enemy to tell you that your prayers are not being answered - that God doesn't care - that you are not worthy of asking God for anything (well, ok - you aren't, but because of Christ's sacrifice on Calvary, you are.) Don't listen to him, keep praying. Keep asking. Keep petitioning. And then patiently wait on the Lord to answer ... in the way that is BEST for you.

So, what's with the title of this blog? P.U.S.H.? What's that all about? The acronym stands for Pray Until Something Happens. It may not be what you want and it may not come at the time you want it - but you best believe - when the answer does come, it will be JUST what you need and it will be right on time.

Be blessed. (And please keep my friends in prayer)

27 March 2009

Does Satan exist?

Apparently, this is a question being asked by various people around the world. They talked about it on THE VIEW yesterday and NIGHTLINE had a program about it last night.

In the movie, THE USUAL SUSPECTS, one of the characters makes the comment: "The greatest trick of the devil was convincing people that he didn't exist." (or something very close to that). I haven't watched the NIGHTLINE program yet (but thank goodness for DVR technology), but on THE VIEW, Barbara Walters read a statistic that only 1% of young people (aged 18-23) believe in the "world view of Biblical teachings - in other words, that there is a heaven and a hell, that Jesus exists and so does the devil". Amazingly, only 9% of adults believe in this same world view. WHAT?! I mean, I know I'm a minority, but I didn't know I was a double minority!

I have to give Sherrie credit. When Barbara polled the women of THE VIEW if they personally believed in Jesus and the devil, only Sherrie and Elisabeth stated that they believed in both (and Elisabeth kinda waffled and said she believed in good and evil). When Barbara read the statistic above, Sherrie said, (and I paraphase here): "Well, that's good, but Jeffrey (her 3 year old son) will be taught about Jesus and the devil and he WILL believe in Jesus and he WILL believe in the devil." Kudos, Sherrie.

Just as I know and believe that Jesus Christ was born, lived for 33 years, was crucified, and rose again on the third day to return to heaven to mediate for my sins - I know that Lucifer, now called Satan, exists. I know this. I believe this. Not because my grandfather(s) and uncle preach(ed) it. Not because that's what my parents taught me as a child. Not because my pastors over the years have preached it from various pulpits in various churches through my life. I know it because of my personal experiences with both. Just as I believe I'm God's Favorite Child, I also believe that the enemy (Satan) has a personal vendetta against me sometimes. He's always trying to trip a sista up - and, unfortunately, sometimes he succeeds. But every day, I have a choice - I can embrace the sacrifice made on Calvary for me by Jesus - or believe the lies told by the enemy that I'm not worthy of that sacrifice so I might as well do evil, be evil - in other words, be like him.

Joshua 24:15 states: And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; ... but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. That's my choice. What's yours?

Have a great weekend and be blessed.

17 March 2009


I recently misplaced my iPod for a period of four days. I was TRAUMATIZED (and that is NOT an exaggeration!). Me!? Without music?! The earth must be tilted on its axis, the stars are about to fall, and the sun is reversing its tracks across the sky - I mean, this is catacylsmic. But, it got me to thinking...(doesn't take much, does it?) The Bible tells three parables in Luke 15 about three different lost items: a coin, a sheep and a son. Cutting to the chase: each item was lost, each was found, and each time - there was great rejoicing. However, each situation was different.

THE COIN: The coin was lost and didn't know it was lost. Similar to my iPod, the coin was hiding under a table somewhere minding its own business, totally oblivious that its master was frantically searching for it. But searching the Master was and when the coin was found, there was great rejoicing over its discovery. (Luke 15:9)

THE SHEEP: Now, the sheep was also lost and knew it was lost, but couldn't do anything to change its situation. It got distracted, wandered away from the safe path and ended up in a gulley, trapped and unable to escape. Knowing it was lost, it called out for help and the Shepherd, who was looking for it, heard its cry, found it, rescued it and brought it back to the fold. Again, according to Luke 15:7, there was great rejoicing.

THE SON: We all know this story. The son of a wealthy man decided that living in his father's house wasn't grand enough. He wanted his inheritance so he could make his own way in the world. Chafing at the rules imposed by the Father, he wanted the big city, bright lights and fast women of the world beyond the gates of His Father's house. Because true love allows you to make choices - good ones and bad ones - the Father gave the son his riches and allowed him to leave. The son squandered his inheritence on fast cars, fast women, fast friends - and when the money and good times were all gone, they left him - homeless, hungry, filthy and tending pigs. The son realized that he'd sunk to the lowest of all places - he realized and recognized that he was lost - and decided to humble himself, go back to his father's house and beg for a place - not in the house, but as a servant in the stables. He didn't know it when he started his journey home, but His Father was waiting for his return - with open arms, a warm robe and a feast of celebration. Luke 15:24 (NIV) says, "and they began to celebrate."

So, why is it important to remember these parables? Because, no matter where you are in your "lost" condition (and we all lost in some way or another): whether you are totally oblivious to your condition; you know it but cannot seem to move out of your situation; or you know you are lost and are beginning to come to your senses about the whole thing: The Master, The Shepherd, The Father is searching for you, waiting for you - and has a party planned in your honor. That's a wonderful thing to hold onto in these turbulent times.

Be blessed.

Goal...not met...this time.

It's official. Today is day 90 on the Wii Fit and my goal to lose (murmuring behind hand) pounds in this time period meets with failure. Yeah, the snarky little scale on the Wii Fit "delighted" in informing me this morning, "Oh, it looks like you failed to meet your weight goal" (I'm not sure, I may have even GAINED! How is THAT possible!?) And then, it went on to say, "maybe your goal was too unrealistic. Maybe you need to (lower your standards) and set a goal that might actually be achievable." Now, this is the same little scale that 90 days ago told me that trying to lose this amount of weight in this amount of time was realistic and reasonable and...all throughout the 90 day period kept telling me "you are making good progress towards your goal" - "keep up the good work" - "slow and steady is the way to achieve your goals". LIAR!

Well, not really. I mean, those are the things you need to hear to encourage you to keep getting up at some God-awful hour in the morning, turn on the TV and get your butt in gear to do step aerobics or rhythm boxing or any of the other "games" on this device of torture. Or to keep you motivated on Sunday morning when all you'd rather do is crawl back into your bed instead of going walking ... and walking ... and walking.

So, am I disappointed. Of course.
Did I set a new "more realistic" goal - Yep.
Why? Why torture myself? Because I know it is the right thing to do for me and my health and my self-esteem. (What?! Confidence that I am God's Favorite doesn't mean that I don't occasionally get down about not being as fabulous as I know I can be...) So, I'm picking myself up, brushing myself off, bracing for the comments from well-meaning friends and relatives, and moving on. Going for a walk at lunch, wanna join me?

Be blessed.

12 March 2009

Even the small things matter

Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee. Job 14:15

Quiet as I have kept it, for the last four days, I have been in a panic because I could not find my iPod. I KNOW! Me, without my music! Unheard of, unbelievable, unthinkable. Last night, I was almost moved to tears because I thought I'd lost over 10,000 musical files - and that wasn't even taking into consideration all the video clips, pictures and other stuff I had on there. I spent hours retracing my steps from the last time I knew I had it (Sabbath, as I drove home from church). Did I bring it into the house? Did I take it out? Where could I have laid it down? Did I leave it on the GRTA bus? on my desk at work? in the car when it went to the mechanic? Where, oh where, could it be?

After tearing up my bedroom and the car last night, I finally got down on my knees and prayed about it. Yeah, I know...why did it take me so long? I don't know. Maybe I thought, "God is too busy running the universe to be concerned about me and my little iPod". Maybe I thought it was too trivial to bring before the Lord. I don't know. Even this morning, sick to my stomach, as I had my morning devotions, I still wasn't convicted that praying for my iPod was "important" enough in the scheme of things. But I finally did ask for His help in finding it. (even sent an email to my godsis, a prayer warrior to the highest power, asking her to pray on my behalf).

You know what's coming, don't you? Not even an hour later, I was pricked to check a bag that I carried to and from church on Sabbath. In my head, I was thinking, I already checked that bag, why am I being led to check that bag again? For some reason, I forgot that there was a side pocket on the outside of the bag - and I hadn't checked there. Guess what I found there? You got it! My iPod! Woo hoo!

When people are losing jobs, 401K are leaking money like collanders draining (wheat) pasta noodles , and people are sick and dying from cancer and other illnesses - it would seem that finding my portable musical playlists would not rate on God's scale of importance. But He cares. He cares about the "little" things that matter to us. What a wonderful thing to know and hold on to. I need to hold on to that more. I encourage you to do the same.

Be blessed.

11 March 2009

Cheerleading is a hard job

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. Proverbs 15:13

It's not easy being a cheerleader. You know, the person who is constantly called upon to uplift, encourage, and support family, friends, co-workers and sometimes, even strangers. It can at times be emotionally draining - especially if you feel like the cheerleading is one-sided and rarely, if ever, reciprocated.

It has been my lot in life to be the "cheerleader" -to the world - sometimes it seems. (If I had a penny for everytime someone said to me, "you are the strong/responsible one" or "you are my rock" - I would be as rich as Bill Gates - and that's just for pennies! I'm not even asking for nickels or dimes...) And while, on some level, most of the time, I recognize that this is a gift from God - and might even be called a "ministry", sometimes the weight of holding other people up can make a sista weary - and cranky. And unfortunately when I get cranky, the reaction usually is not, "So Kris, what can I do to make you feel better?" - it tends to be, "Well, what's wrong with you?" - like I have committed a major offense by not responding to someone else's crisis with the support/reaction they expected and have become used to receiving.

I mean, I guess it is a blessing that when I am in a bad mood, the reaction usually is, "What's wrong?" as opposed to "Uh-oh, she's in another one of her moods." (which, sadly, used to be the more normal reaction). That shows me that God is making some progress in my spiritual growth, but sometimes I really question why He decided that my change should be from "moody" to "cheerful" when I, at times, find it to be such a burden. But, I am finding out that God looks at me all the time and sees so much more in me than I see in myself.

I guess I should turn that around and see more in the people who rely on me to prop them up than they see in themselves, and trust that God is going to give me whatever I need to be sustained and encouraged myself. So, "Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! You are the best! You are the greatest! I'm so happy for you! Yippee! Yaay!"

Ok, that's all the cheerleading I can do at 11:34 p.m. Hope it cheered you up.
Be blessed.

10 March 2009

The Japanese Magnolia Tree - Part Two

On March 23rd, it will be two years since my mother retired from the workforce - and two years since I planted a Japanese Magnolia tree in our front yard as a memorial to this accomplishment. I wrote about this tree and the abuse it sustained at the hands of this "less than" gardener earlier, so as we approach this anniversary, I figured I'd give you an update. The tree has survived!! AMEN, drumroll, applause...! And as you can see, has SEVERAL blooms on it. (Sorry the close-up is a little blurry, but aren't they beautiful!?)

In the last blog I wrote about this tree, I talked about how it thrived, even despite the abuse heaped upon it by me - pouring coffee on it, not watering on a regular basis - but I truly was surprised to not only see buds on the tree this year, but to actually see blooms on the tree. (And with the rapidly changing weather here in HotLanta - one day they were buds, the next day, blooms)

I love my little purple flowers on the tree. I cannot wait for the tree to become more robust and strong and sturdy and for my yard to be littered with purple blooms...it will come. Slowly but surely. And how do I know that? "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activitiy under heaven ...a time to plant and a time to uproot" (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3) One of the most amazing promises in the Bible is God's promise of stability. And don't we need that in times like these? Summer will follow spring, autumn will follow summer, winter will follow autumn and just when you have had more than your fill of snow, cold, wet, yucky weather - spring will follow winter.

So, just as my tree seemed dead this past winter - right now, you may be going through a season of "deadness" - someone you love is ill or dying; your job situation is bleak; and let's not even talk about what's going on in your 401K or stock portfolio or wherever else you might have placed your financial future - according to God's promise: Spring is coming. Hang in there until it blooms and blossoms in your life.

Be blessed.