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Archive for January, 2008

Mom Does the Hula!

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

Yesterday, a good portion of our family dropped by my sister Annie’s home to visit and spend some time with her new son Brady. While there, we all tried our hand at doing the Hula with Abby’s Hula Hoop. Only my 16-year-old niece Jennifer was able to master it, but we all had fun trying. Here is my 68-year-old Mom taking a turn at it. She did pretty good! We all had a good time with this, and I thought to myself later, how wonderful it is every now and then to get in touch with your inner child. Didn’t Jesus say except you become as little children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God? There’s innocence, self-abandonment and a care-free feeling to becoming like a child. There’s a simplicity too that I like!

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Quit Pouting!

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

The dictionary definition of the word “pout” is to thrust out the lips, especially in ill humor, to be sullen; sulk. Yes, I definitely was pouting in this photo. Even though it was taken over 40 years ago, I still can remember the emotion I was feeling at that time. I had just arrived home from school (first grade), and I was happy and excited because I had received an excellent grade on an assignment and couldn’t wait to show it to my mommy. As I walked in through the side door of our home, Mom immediately whisked me off to the bedroom to change into some dress clothes. There was a photographer at the house to take our pictures. I had no idea he was coming. In my six-year-old mind, all I wanted was some praise and recognition for my good grades. I did not care about getting my picture taken with my two other siblings. Things were definitely not going my way. How did I deal with this? I refused to smile for the cameraman. I cried, I fussed, and in the end, all they could get out of me was a pout!

As I ran across this picture the other day, I began to think of how I respond as an adult when things don’t go my way. Yes, I am ashamed to say, that sometimes I pout. Oh I may not make the same pouty face as I did back then, but in my spirit I pout. It doesn’t happen as often as it did when I was a child, but nevertheless, I sometimes have my moments.

The Bible says that godliness with contentment is great gain. The apostle Paul said that he had learned in whatsoever state he was in to be content. I resolved right then and there with God’s help to have a better attitude when things don’t go my way.

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My Sister Annie gave birth last night to a 10 pound baby boy.  What an awesome experience being there in the delivery room to witness a miracle from God.  This makes 8 grandkids for our Mom ranging in ages from 26 to newborn.  Mother and baby are both doing fine.

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When wisdom enters your heart, . . . discretion will preserve you. (Proverbs 2:10-11)

Toward the close of World War II, one Allied unit was assigned a crucial mission in Berlin. Each soldier had to memorize a map detailing all of Berlin’s important military sites ─ in a single night! In just a few hours, each soldier had committed the map to memory. The mission was a success.

Several years later, the Army conducted an experiment to see if that original feat could be duplicated. They offered a similar unit an extra week’s furlough ─ an attractive incentive ─ if they could carry out a comparable mission without a hitch. But the second unit could not match the success of the first. What made the difference? The lives of the men were not at stake.

Christians are engaged in a spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-18). Our road map, our plan of strategy against Satan’s military strongholds, is the Bible. The more of it we memorize, and the more thoroughly we know it, the more effective we will be for God.

─H.W.R.

If your life depended on knowing the Bible, how long would you last?

Taken from Our Daily Bread

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Christmas 2007

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

I had mentioned in a post earlier this month about defining moments in our lives. There are also defining Christmas moments, and this year was no exception. I started out Christmas with a horrid, itchy rash all over my face and body. It had been forming for a few weeks and seemed to peak on Christmas day. Christmas morning began with the  family gathering in the living room to read the Christmas story. This year, instead of Mike reading the entire account, each of us was assigned a portion of scripture to read. For some reason, the Christmas story really came alive for us this year, and a thought-provoking discussion ensued: When did the wise men first see the star? Did others see it or just them? Was Jesus a baby when they came with their gifts, or was he a toddler? Why did Herod have all the boys from 2-years old and downward killed if Jesus had just been born? Isn’t it amazing that Jesus’ birth was announced by angels to a bunch of lowly shepherds? Kings and shepherds both witnessed the Christ child. What was the significance here? So many questions we had, and it has spurred us on to study the scriptures more on this topic. It was truly an enjoyable time of discussing the scriptures with family.

In the midst of all this dialog, the phone kept ringing. I think we had about six interruptions total. We even had a deliveryman from the airport drop off Jeremy’s misplaced luggage from his trip to Maine. The nicest interruption was a phone call for me from Rose who works at our local bible bookstore. This sweet lady and I had struck up a friendship of sorts in 2007, and she just wanted to call to wish me a Merry Christmas. How thoughtful of her!

As I was preparing for the Christmas meal, Jeremy our son called us all into the family room to announce his engagement to Molly. Ever since Jeremy was a small boy, Mike and I have prayed that he would find the right woman to share his life and faith with. There was a song by Wayne Watson that came out in the late 80’s called “Somewhere In the World Tonight.” This song depicted a man praying for the little girl who would grow up and someday marry his son. Here are the words to that song:

Somewhere in the world today
A little girl will go out to play
All dressed up in mama’s clothes
At least the way that I suppose it goes
Somewhere in the world tonight
Before she reaches to turn out the light
She’ll be prayin’ from a tender heart
A simple prayer that’s a work of art

Chorus
And I don’t even know her name
But I’m prayin’ for her just the same
That the Lord will write His name upon her heart
‘Cause somewhere in the course of this life
My little boy will need a godly wife
So hold on to Jesus, baby, wherever you are

Somewhere in the world out there
That little girl’s learnin’ how to care
She’s pickin’ up her mama’s charms
Or maybe, swinging’ ’round in her daddy’s arms
Somewhere in the world to be
Though the future’s not real clear to me
Theirs could be a tender love
Grounded in eternal love above

Repeat Chorus

Yes, this was a defining moment for not only me, but also our entire family. For it is the beginning of a transition period for which we have been preparing since we gave birth to our son almost 26 years ago. We welcome Molly with open arms of love and warmth.  Our prayer is that as their love grows deeper for one another, together may their love for the Saviour who created love,  also deepen.  May they share many defining moments with each other and Him.

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The Friday before Christmas, we were privileged to host a gathering of some very special ladies at our home. We call them “The Elites”. This name was given to them by Wanda Johnson, who founded this group at our church several years ago. Ranging in age from 50 and up, these women have weathered the storms of life and are still walking with God. What a blessing and encouragement they are to others who have gleaned from their wisdom and knowledge. When the Elites have their bi-monthly meetings, in which they share a time of fellowship, prayer and bible study, they don’t just end their meetings at 9:00 pm like some of the other care groups. This meeting is a lifeline to them. They share scriptures, life experiences, food and fun. When my mom attends her care group meeting with the Elites, we have gotten in the habit of trying to guess what time she will come home that night. It’s a running joke in our household. What time will Mom get in tonight? Her record is 2:00 am.

Anyhow, I digress. We had a wonderful time of food, fun and fellowship at our home that Friday with The Elites as well as some of our care group members. Mike waxed philosophical and read several moving and funny stories to the Elites. He then sent them on a scavenger hunt throughout our living room and family room to find different items in his Christmas village scenes. It was a team effort, and everybody won in the end and was awarded with collector’s plates. It doesn’t take much to make these special ladies happy. Many of them grew up during the post depression era and know what it is to do without. So little things really mean a lot to them. They have a depth and simplicity about them that I think is lacking in younger generations. What a treasure they are. I hope that when I reach Elite status (in 2010) that I can be as much of a blessing to others as these special ladies have been to us.

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