CONVERSATIONS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE 

conversations-that-make-a-difference

There’s one thing that Jesus and I have in common. Actually, I have many things in common with my Savior but I’ll highlight just one today. Jesus loved having and engaging in conversations with people. All people. In his 3 years of public ministry, the Bible records more than 120 conversations that He had with people from every walk of life. He had conversations that others would never have had. More than 1/2 of those conversations took place in the workplace and in homes. Very few took place in religious settings. I find that quite interesting. Think about that. You know Jesus seldom pressed for ‘closure’. His conversations often included questions. Some of His conversations were with:

A. The Samaritan Woman–John 4:7-42

B. The Crippled Beggar–John 5:1-15

C. The Rich Young Ruler–Matthew 19:16-30

D. The Hemorrhaging Woman Mark 5:24-34

Jesus Christ had the ability to hear the heart of what people were thinking and feeling and engage with them on common ground. Do you have that same ability?

I love family time. As one who loves good conversation, whenever I know the family is getting together, I get very excited. I even save certain topics to talk about with them because I want to engage with them. I love to hear their heart, thoughts and opinions. I try to appreciate each one for the wisdom they bring to the table. More times than not, I learn something I didn’t previously know or I gain an entirely different understanding than I had.

Conversations are valuable to me. I call our family conversations “kitchen table conversations”. These conversations are transparent, real, raw, safe and often contain some element of passion and emotion. Kitchen table conversations often reveal the state of our hearts. If the state of our hearts doesn’t reflect Christ, you’re challenged to realign with Christ’s heart. We all hold each other accountable.

Late last year, I sensed the LORD directing my heart to invite others to come to my kitchen table to engage in conversations a few times a year. After much prayer and seeking wisdom from others, I knew I needed to move forward. Thus, Kitchen Table Conversations with Kathy was conceived. These conversations will cover various topics and give opportunities to engage with one another in a safe environment. My goal is to be a bridge-builder in a world where division is at an all-time high. Sitting at the table with others who are different than me, in my opinion, supports this goal. As I prepare to give birth to this new endeavor, I covet your prayers.

In future posts, I’ll share more of what this looks like.  In the meantime:

Have you ever hosted conversation around your kitchen table?  If so, leave me a comment and tell me what that looks like!

 

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MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE LOOKING GLASS BY KATHY

Sending God’s richest blessings to you and yours for a blessed Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. 

Kathy Bruce ✝

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From the Archives: Dying to Self…Brilliance on Display!

Fall is my all-time favorite season!  The colors, textures, smells and crispness in the air all minister to my soul and to my senses.  My love of aesthetics is fulfilled as I drive around taking in my surroundings.  I marvel at the beautiful array of colors I see. The beautiful hues and colors of God’s majesty manifest themselves in rich jewel tones of burgundy, orange, red, emerald, magenta, goldenrod and purple.  As the trees change color they shed their leaves. The leaves fall because they are dying.  Their season is complete.

As I take in the splendor of it all, I am reminded that God has appointed the seasons.  A time to live and a time to die.  He has appointed my seasons, too.  As a Christ follower your seasons, too, are appointed by Him. To everything in life, there is a season. [see Ecclesiastes 3:1]  Seasons of life and seasons of ministry.  Seasons to begin things, seasons to end things.  Spiritually speaking, a season is ‘an appointed time to carry out an activity or to fulfill a purpose’.  In Biblical Greek, the word time (‘kairos’) is a season of strategic significance.  Kairos, then, is a season that is set forth by God to accomplish His purposes.

Every Christ follower is called to a season of strategic significance for such a time as this for His purposes. [see Esther 4:14-17We don’t know how long a season will last, so it would behoove us to embrace the season we are in.  Much unhappiness and disillusionment with life comes because we will not embrace the season we are in.  Whether we are married, single, divorced, a parent, stay-at-home mom, children, no children, waiting on children, raising children, struggling with issues, struggling with people, embracing life, empty-nester, employed, unemployed, healthy, ill, confident, doubter, etc., we are called to meet with God there.  Right in that place.

Dear Reader, this is a season of strategic significance for you and for me.  Do you believe it?  Do you recognize what season you’re in?  Are you embracing it?   Does your season bring about bitterness in your heart?  Consider this: you are poised right now to be developed, challenged and changed to take on the brilliant Glory of Christ, just like the beautiful jewel toned leaves.  Just as leaves display their most brilliant hues and colors when they are dying, we too look more and more like Christ when we ‘die to self’.  Consider what keeps you from displaying the most brilliant Glory of Christ.  As the fall changes to winter and you ‘die to self‘, what do you need to put on to look more like Him? Is it humility, trust, hope, rest, compassion, gentleness, forgiveness, peace, patience, joy?  Remember, you are a jewel.  A gem.  A ‘displayer’ of the Glory of God.  Shine!

First Look: Read Ecclesiastes Chapter 3.  Look for phrases that describe what season you may be in.  Journal about it and/or reflect on it.  What is God saying to you about it?

Through The Looking Glass:  What old way of life is God calling you ‘to die to’ today?  Surrender.

“If you have really heard His voice and learned from Him the truths concerning Himself, then throw off your old evil nature…Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better.  Yes, you must be a new and different person, holy and good.  Clothe yourself with this new nature.”  Ephesians 4:21-24  LAB

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Fighting for Your Kids: 5 Scriptures Every Mom Should Pray

http://arabahjoy.com/fighting-kids-5-scriptures-every-mom-pray/?utm_content=Fighting+for+Your+Kids%3A+5+Scriptures+Every+Mom+Should+Pray&utm_term=Continue+Reading&utm_medium=email&utm_source=MadMimi&utm_campaign=20160819_m133596885_Arabah+Joy+%3A%3A+A+Showcase+for+His+Glory

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Bloom Where You’re Planted

Bloom where you are planted. That’s what I tell myself AND my window box flowers every year. If my flowers would just bloom where they are planted, we would not have a problem. I love gardening, but it is a lot of work. Anything worthwhile is. Using the right flowers-in the right soil-in the right conditions…My personality dictates easy to grow, low maintenance kinds of flowers for my garden. This is so me. My daughter, Kathie, has beautiful billowing flowers every year. She’s a great gardener. It’s an art, I am convinced. I also realize that for my flowers to ‘bloom where they are planted’ it will take some effort on my part. 

Consider that as Christ-followers we have our own garden of unique flowers. Those that surround us are unique souls. How awesome would it be to help others bloom where they are planted, too. Some people are fragile, tender shoots, some have weeds trying to suck the life out of them, some are dying and are not producing any blooms. Still others are thriving and surviving many harsh conditions. The Word of God encourages us to nurture them as we ourselves are nurtured. As Christ-followers, we can help provide the right growing conditions that facilitate spiritual growth by cultivating an inviting, loving, safe environment around us. We can then water them regularly (with the water of the Word), feed them the right food (Jesus, The Bread of Life), then the Master Gardener can deadhead or prune them to cause them to produce more luscious growth (prayer, confession, accountability) or place them where they get just the right amount of sunlight (focused study time each day) or transfer them to bigger containers when they need it (deeper study questions and higher level opportunities to serve), etc. Think about how this could look in your life if you help others to bloom where they are planted. Ask God, The Master Gardener Himself, to teach you what you need to know to grow and tend to your own garden of unique flowers. Go ahead and start planting!! Consider this foundation:

First, plant five rows of peas: PRAYER, PERSEVERANCE, POLITENESS, PROMPTNESS, PURITY next, plant three rows of squash: SQUASH GOSSIP, SQUASH CRITICISM, SQUASH INDIFFERENCE then five rows of lettuce: LET US BE FAITHFUL TO GOD, LET US BE UNSELFISH, LET US BE TRUTHFUL, LET US FOLLOW CHRIST, LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER no garden is complete without turnips: TURN UP FOR BIBLE STUDY, TURN UP WITH A SMILE, TURN UP WITH NEW IDEAS, TURN UP WITH DETERMINATION TO MAKE EVERYTHING YOU DO COUNT FOR SOMETHING GOOD AND WORTHWHILE 

                                                     author unknown

 

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