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Sunday, May 25 2014

Guest Blogger... Thanks Kisa Raye!!!!


To The Soldiers Who Serve...Thank You!!!


The other day, Angel and I were both reminded of our former lives. We were sitting at her kitchen table catching up and talking about events when suddenly the conversation took a pause and we heard a familiar sound. Most wouldn’t even make the connection, but to the two of us it took us back to another time. We listened and smiled. I asked her if that sound meant anything to her and she knew what I was asking. The sound was a helicopter passing overhead. That sound is comfortable to me. It brings me back to my childhood, and as I discovered that day, it does the same thing to Angel. You see, we are both Army brats. 

My younger sister and I saying goodbye to Dad before he leaves for Vietnam.

We share this past, and that has connected us on a much deeper level. Our very identities are rooted in this very special community. It’s a tight knit community that is almost impossible to describe to an outsider. I am thankful that I grew up in this environment where service to God and country was a daily practice.  I learned many things that would eventually mold me into the woman I am today.  I learned sacrifice, trust, honor, hope, love, and faith in that community. What amazing gifts!

The greatest gift I witnessed daily was the act of service. It played out differently from my father and mother.  My father, like many servicemen and women, was dedicated to the Army and its mission while my mother supported our own family and other military wives and families. I obviously did not know at the time what I was witnessing, but as I grew older I began to understand this selfless act of sacrifice and servitude. Daily I saw examples of honor, trust, obedience, hope, faith and love in this community I called home. It was selfless. My parents with their distinct roles were serving our country! That is something to be proud of!

The essence of the military is a servant’s heart.  Sound familiar?  Are we not to be servants to our Heavenly Father? Are we not to practice obedience, trust, honor, faith, and love daily? What great seeds about service and God’s higher calling were planted in me, Angel, and many other “brats” so many years ago.

So on this Memorial Day, may we honor the fallen, the active duty, and the veterans for their bravery and commitment to serve.  May we strive to live each day more like our military men and women, to first serve God and than our brothers and sisters. It’s just that simple. So thank you, to the military community who taught me what serving others looks like and feels like.  It feels like God’s heart!

God Bless America and the men and women who serve.

Thanks Dad!


Posted by: Kisa Raye AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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Benefits of Weariness


WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.


However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.


Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 


It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.


It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.


“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”


And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 


BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.


And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.


“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”


That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.


Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!


We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.


The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.

Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?

NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.


As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.


Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.


In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.


Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

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