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time 001

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

The month of May was an eventful and full time for our family. It began with a surprise party for my beloved husband Mike, who turned 50 that month, and it ended with another surprise party for my dear brother-in-law Pete, who also turned 50 in early June. When you’re close to half a century old, one cannot help but reflect on their life and realize how quickly time passes. Time is fleeting; even if you make it to 100. The bible has a bit to say concerning time. James 4:14 says, “Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Yes, time is short.
Another scripture that comes to my mind is found in Ephesians 5:16. It says, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” The word redeem means, “to buy up for one’s self, for one’s use. a) to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own. What is time? A season,” a time in which something is seasonable). So redeeming the time is making the most of every opportunity, turning each to the best benefit since none can be recalled if missed.
Even Jesus seemed to sense the urgency of time.
JOHN 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
JOHN 12:35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you:

The apostle Paul also possessed an awareness of time when he said:
ROM 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed.
To the church in Corinth, Paul said:
1CO 7:29 But this I say, brethren, the time [is] short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
1CO 7:30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
1CO 7:31 And they that use this world, as not abusing [it]: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
One of Moses’ prayers recorded in the Psalms was “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
It is interesting to notice how that wisdom is linked to redeeming the time. In the very framework of Paul’s admonishing in Ephesians Chapter 5, he said,
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is].

In Colossians 4:5 Paul said, “Walk in wisdom toward those that are without, redeeming the time.”
So much of what we do today is just a squandering of time. We do not own a television, but how much time is wasted watching TV, videos or surfing the Internet, that could be spent drawing closer to God in prayer, studying the word of God, teaching a bible study to someone or helping a person in need?

Paul said that the Ephesian church should redeem the time because the days were evil. Our inherent sin nature has a propensity towards evil. Those who would never consider committing adultery will take pleasure in the account of one who does. An individual who wouldn’t dream of killing someone will watch with enthrallment on TV or other medium as actors portray murders.
Paul speaks of individuals who take pleasure in those who are doing evil things. Maybe he was pertaining to the theatre of his age, but it is much more true in the entertainment industry today.
I am reminded of a beautiful old song that my sister Carol had in her wedding called “Only One Life”. The chorus says, “Only one life, so soon it will pass, only what’s done for Christ will last.”Only one chance to do His will. So give to Jesus all your days. It’s the only life that pays. When you recall, you have but one life.”
Lord, help us not to misuse the time you have allotted to us. Cleanse our hearts and renew our minds. Give us the wisdom and strength to make each moment of our lives count in drawing closer to you, showing your love, and reaching out to a lost and dying world. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and I miss it. Summer has been busy, and last minute preparations are under way for the big wedding on October 11 in Maine. But amidst the busyness, I wanted to share this story that a dear friend sent me. It’s lengthy but well worth the read.

A very successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together. He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.”
The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued, “I am going to give each one of you a SEED today — one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and I will choose one to be the next CEO.”
One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and, excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and they planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that they were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.
Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.
Six months went by — still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil. He so wanted the seed to grow.
The year went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she said “Jim, it is important to be honest about what happened.”
Jim felt sick at his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot into the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful — in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him!
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!” All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front.
Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!” When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down, except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Here is your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!”
Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed. “How could he be the new CEO?” the others said. Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were all dead – it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you.”
“Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my original seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!”
Here’s a thought
If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.
If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you reap later.

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Today I was thinking on the worth of celebrating meaningful events with friends and family. If you've ever tried to celebrate anything alone, you know it isn't very enjoyable. A fireworks fanfare isn't very fun if there's nobody to get excited with. Picnics need a crowd. Graduations, anniversaries and birthdays all are enhanced when you have lots of friends and family there to celebrate with you. We were so blessed this year to have a houseful of friends and family.....34 people to be exact! In our 1400 square foot home, that is no small feat! People were eating, talking, laughing, playing games, singing and just having a great time together.

As Christians, we have so much to celebrate and be thankful for, and not by ourselves or merely a couple of times a year. We gather regularly with others of like precious faith to worship God and uplift one another and thank God for His goodness to us all. The bible encourages us to recall the works of God and lift our voices in praise to Him. Yes, we had a wonderful time fellowshipping with one another, and my heart is full of gratitude for all of God's blessings. It's good to know that because we have Jesus living inside of us, we always have a reason to celebrate.

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I found the following article to be quite interesting. I believe most people would agree that there is an inherent power in music. It is used in almost every facet of life, from advertising, media, social gatherings to praise and worship. The influence of music is undeniably real. In the Bible, it mentions that when an evil spirit troubled King Saul, it was David, the shepherd boy who played his harp for the King, who was refreshed, and the evil spirit departed from him (1 Samuel 16:23). Another example is found in 2 Chronicles 20:21-25. The dreaded Ammonites were coming against King Jehoshaphat and the children of Judah with a mighty army. King Jehoshaphat was afraid, but he did the right thing. He proclaimed a fast and then turned to God and prayed and sought God’s help. The next day, instead of fighting in a battle, King Jehoshaphat appointed singers to praise the beauty of holiness. And as they began to sing and praise God, The Lord set ambushments, and their enemies ended up destroying each other! The battle was won for Judah without them even lifting a sword. They won by singing God’s praises! I can’t begin to tell you the times in my life where music has lifted my spirits. So is it any surprise that music, especially the kind that praises and worships God, might have healing power? What think ye?

By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press WriterSat May 31, 9:17 AM ET

Noted neurologist Oliver Sacks has found common ground with the pastor of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church: Both men believe in the healing power of music.

Sacks, the best-selling author of “Awakenings” and “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” was to share the church stage Saturday with the famed gospel choir as part of the inaugural World Science Festival, a five-day celebration of science taking place in New York this week.

“It should be an exciting and unusual event,” Sacks said in an interview this week. “I will talk about the therapeutic and beneficent power of music as a physician, and then their wonderful choir will perform. … And the audience will make what they can of it.”

Sacks’ most recent book is “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” which examines the relationship between music and the brain, including its healing effect on people suffering from such diseases as Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s, autism and Alzheimer’s.

“Even with advanced dementia, when powers of memory and language are lost, people will respond to music,” he said.

A Baptist church is an unusual venue for Sacks, a professor of clinical neurology and clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center who was brought up Jewish but is not a religious believer.

But the central role of music in church makes Abyssinian a good place to discuss the myriad ways that music affects the human brain, said Sacks, who was played by Robin Williams in the movie version of “Awakenings.”

Abyssinian’s pastor, the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, said the choir is looking forward to performing with Sacks. He noted that music plays a central role in the healing power of prayer.

“What we have been studying … is that when you pray, there’s actually a physiological change in the body,” he said. “Music is very much a part of this. There are certain notes that generate in the human body a kind of peacefulness.” Click Here to read the rest of this article.

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I recently read a poem that someone had written that talks about the problem of using a spell-checker program on the computer. The first stanza says:

I have a spelling checker

I disk covered four my PC.

It plane lee marks four my revue

Miss steaks aye can knot see.

This is proof that if you are looking to the wrong source for accuracy, then you still won’t be right. It’s also that way when it comes to faith. It is possible to rely on the wrong source of information about spiritual issues. Where can we go to find truth? We need a perfect, fail-safe source. That source is the Bible. God’s Word is the foundation for what is true and right.

Like a compass, the Bible always guides you in the right direction.

Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in Heaven. Psalm 119:89

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sacred marriage

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

This is one of the best books I have ever read on the topic of marriage, and I’ve read a few in my almost 29 years of being married. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is married or contemplating marriage. Thank you, Bob Oelke, for recommending this book to us! What a treasure! Here is a little description of what the book is about:

Is happiness the ultimate goal of marriage, or is there a greater purpose? Thomas helps you understand the Lord’s intention for matrimony-for husband and wife to reflect the character of Christ. See how God wants to use your marriage as a spiritual discipline to draw you closer to Him, who is happiness.

This is a book that looks at how we can use the challenges, joys, struggles and celebrations of marriage to draw closer to God and to grow in Christian character.

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Dutch Irises

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

A few weeks ago Mike came home from the store with several purple Dutch irises and planted them in our front yard. They added a nice splash of color to the landscape, and I thought I would share this picture with everyone. About a week or two after he planted these, one day, Mike noticed a new Iris had opened up, and this one was White in color! What a surprise. We call it our albino iris. I did not get a chance to photograph that one, but Jeremy did, and I will see if I can get him to forward it to me. Tonight Mike planted over 100 bulbs in our backyard. I’m sure the days ahead will bring many fragrant and delightful surprises! I can’t wait! How can anyone not believe there is a God. His creation screams of His existence!

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