Archive for the ‘Spiritual’ Category

Pond pictures 008

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

No photographer was there to capture this incredible event, as it occurred under cover of darkness this past Friday night. But we all heard the humming sound when Mike flipped on the switch that activated the water pump. Within seconds we could hear the sounds of running water as it cascaded down each stone tier into the pond….Heartspring Pond, as we named it. With the flashlight, we were able with our limited night vision to view our two falls merrily skipping down the stones and abandoning themselves over the rock precipice down into our little pond below. We looked forward to the next day when we could photograph our new falls.

Saturday dawned dreary and rainy. It showered all day, and the pond ran as well. This was not a good picture-taking moment. But today, Sunday, arrived in golden sunshine and illuminated our little pond and falls with radiant light. After months of planning and toiling, Mike and Jeremy can now rejoice in the work of their hands…Heartspring falls are running! Much thanks to all those who helped with digging and moving the big stone.

The new music we now hear outside our family room door and windows is a song no musician could compose. We almost feel like we’re in Yosemite by the Merced River or near Happy Isles when we listen to our falls running. What is it about running water that calms the spirit and ushers in tranquility? Caleb’s daughter must’ve sensed it too, for she asked her father for a blessing; in addition to the property he had given her, she requested springs of water. And being the generous father that he was, he gave her the upper and lower springs (Joshua 15:17-19). Of course water is necessary to sustain life, and best of all, it quenches our thirst.

Jesus spoke of water to a Samaritan woman who was drawing from a well. He said, …”Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14) In another place, He said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive…(John 7:37-39).

I remember a time in my life where I was so empty inside. My soul was thirsty and dry. But Jesus came into my life and filled me with His Spirit. And it was indeed like a well springing up into eternal life! Nothing can satisfy soul thirst like being filled with the Spirit of God.  Now I’m drinking from a well that will never run dry!

The falls cascade over The ROCK

Close up of Falls cascading down The Rock


Side View of Pond


Other Side View


Front View

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The other day I was listening to a Christian talk show program about intentional living.  The host had opened up the phone lines and was inviting listeners to call in and share with the audience how they were being intentional.  He explained that the Intentional Life is focused on developing your spiritual, relational and personal skills so that you can embrace Jesus as He desires. 

The first caller was a woman.  She reiterated how one night she was surfing the T.V. channels trying to find something good to watch.  Out of 66 different channels, she just couldn’t seem to find a program that would satisfy.  Her husband noticed what she was doing and suggested that she just turn the contraption off.  She ignored him and continued for another half hour or so to flip through the many channels, not really finding what she wanted.  Suddenly, it was like a light bulb came on in her head, and she realized what a time waster this T.V. was.  Right then and there, she turned it off and packed it up along with their other televisions, and put them in storage.  Now they spend more time together as a family talking, playing games and reading.  She has even taken up knitting.  And she doesn’t miss the T.V.!!!


This is a good example of intentional living.  In our 28 years of marriage, we have never had a T.V. in our home, and we don’t miss it either!  It’s a robber of our time and relationships to name a few.  So I guess you could say that we are being intentional as well.  I am an avid reader, and a long time ago, I intentioned in my heart that I would not read anything else first thing in the morning until I read the Bible and my devotional.  This has greatly improved my spiritual life and walk with God.  Daniel was a man of intentional living.  The Bible says:  “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8)  If we dig deeper into what God desires from us, we can become even more intentional in our lives.  What are some of the ways that you have become intentional, and how has it benefited you, your family, others?

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Balancing Act

Balancing Act

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

Several months ago, our son Jeremy showed us this trick he had learned to do. He had taken a glass, a straw, a toothpick, a fork and a spoon. He then placed the straw inside the glass on an angle. Then he took the toothpick, intertwined the fork and spoon in the middle of it and balanced it all on the very tip of the straw. I was amazed, and so was his Sunday school class of 11-13 year-olds. It all has to do with the laws of physics and engineering. Way beyond my pea brain for sure! I began to think about balance, and how life itself sometimes seems to be in such a delicate balance. I thought about my life and how it sometimes seems like I am performing a juggling act just to maintain a balance between work, home life, my spiritual life, recreation, rest, etc. And yet God has it all under control. He is completely balanced and helps me to get back on an even keel when I’m tottering.

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This Sunday I sponsored my first Pastor’s Breakfast. One of the members of our church, Sister Sonya, had seen this done on another church’s website, and thought it would be a great way to welcome new converts and visitors to the church. Plus, a chance to visit with their new pastor and share a meal. On the second Sunday of each month, a team of ladies organizes the breakfast. This month was our second breakfast, and since I had never organized it before, of course I was a little nervous, wanting everything to run smoothly. I arrived at church about an hour before the breakfast was to commence. Hope was there to meet me. I had set up the tables and chairs on Friday night, so all we had to do was set up the food. Everything should flow easily, right? As I inserted my key into the front door and began to turn it, the key remained steadfast in its vertical position. It would not turn!!! I tried both doors, but to no avail. We then walked around to the back doors and tried them. Still no success!! Oh, what were we going to do? I called Sonya on her cell and all I got was voicemail. Time was running out, or so it seemed. Suddenly, our music director Cliff pulled into the lot. It was 8:10am. Without a minute to spare, I hurried over to Cliff and told him our predicament. He promptly unlocked the door, and we hastily entered and began setup.

Did I tell you that we are in a remodel program near the back of the church? The multi-purpose room where the breakfast would be served happened to be right by the construction work, and lo and behold, the floor was laden with drywall dust and other particles. By this time, some of the other ladies arrived, and they so graciously mopped the floor. Since the kitchen had been demolished, we did not have a source of water to wet the mop. Not to worry, Hope used “TOILET WATER”!!! They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and now I see why.

It was now 8:55am. Pastor had arrived, and all the food was in place. The theme I chose for the table was grapes. Our church name is Promise Land Worship Center. We have a beautiful sanctuary with lush silk trees and plants, depicting the promise land of the Bible. So I felt that grapes would go right along with our name. Now we excitedly awaited all the guests who would be coming. Molly showed up first, but Molly is really not a newcomer. She has been attending our church since earlier in the year. Yet it was still nice to see her smiling face. Ten minutes passed, fifteen, twenty. Where were our visitors? Last month’s breakfast had such a good turnout. As we were wondering about this, we realized that during our weekly services, the pastor’s breakfast had not been announced. Somehow, it had been forgotten, and none of us noticed this. Some of us had made phone calls the night before inviting visitors to come, but nobody showed….until about 9:45! We had our one and only visitor. Mary had never been to our church before. She had seen the sign a few days earlier, and the word “Worship” really appealed to her, she told me. The day before service, Mary had driven to our facility to check it out. One of our members was there doing yard work, and he told her the times of the services. Mary was so surprised that we had a morning and an evening service. She said that not many churches did that anymore. Mary met our pastor and had herself a cup of coffee. That was all she wanted.

Several minutes later, during the worship service, as the music was playing and the praise team singing, I saw Mary on the other side of the sanctuary with eyes closed and arms raised in worship to the Lord. She later told me how much she enjoyed the service, and she even returned for the evening service. I am looking forward to God doing great things in Mary’s life and through this new ministry of the pastor’s breakfast.

Mary enjoying a cup of coffee pastors-breakfast-mary.jpg

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It has been related that when the ground in London was cleared of the old buildings to make way for the new Kingsway, it lay for several seasons without use, exposed to the rain and sunshine.  After a while, naturalists were coming to view the cleared land.  A strange thing had happened and they wanted to observe.  In spots it is certain that the soil had not felt the touch of Spring since the days when the Romans sailed up the Thames-perhaps even before then.  When the blessed air and light had drenched the uncovered soil, a host of wild plants and flowers sprang up to be kissed by the sun.  Some of these flowers were never seen in England before.  But they were blooming in the Mediterranean countries at that very same time of year.  These many years they seemingly were dead, buried beneath the mass of rocks, bricks and mortar lying dormant season after season.  But they were merely obeying the laws of life under these new conditions and were blossoming into new beauty.


There is a simile here.  Every life, no matter how crushed and bruised by the cares and sorrows of circumstances, needs only to be laid bare to the sunshine of God’s love, and the healing touch of His grace.  Then a new life with new possibilities and new beauties will blossom forth in abundance, no matter how desolate the surroundings may appear.  (Taken from Streams in the Desert)


I wrote the following poem after having visited Mt. St. Helens in Washington state in 1995.  I was amazed that 15 years after the cataclysmic eruption new life was forming everywhere I gazed.  And so it is with God.  He can take the ashes and embers of a life torn by sin and tragedy and transform it into a thing of beauty.  To God be the glory!




Out of the desolation,

A tiny flower blooms.

Only months before,

Encased inside a tomb.

Buried ‘neath the rubble,

Of snow and ash and stone.

Destined to destruction.

Confined and all alone.


But now this thing of beauty,

Appears beneath my gaze.

Amidst the ruin lies splendor,

Worthy of my praise.


Out of the desolation,

How can this life now be?

Once dormant ‘neath the wasteland,

Now alive for all to see.


Who would have know that a flower,

Which everyone thought was dead,

When touched by the Hand of God,

Could bring new life instead.


Out of the desolation,

New life begins to grow.

Tis not man who does it.

But God, who makes it so.

Dead to self and sin

Will raise us from desolation

And bring a change within.

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broccoli_lifting_weights1.gifThe army of Alexander the Great was advancing on Persia.  At one critical point, it appeared that his troops might be defeated.  The soldiers had taken so much plunder from their previous campaigns that they had become weighted down and were losing their effectiveness in combat.  Alexander immediately commanded that all the spoils be thrown into a heap and burned.  The men complained bitterly but soon came to see the wisdom of the order.  Someone wrote, “It was as if wings had been given to them¾they walked lightly again.”  Victory was assured.


As soldiers of Christ, we must ride ourselves of anything that would hinder us in the conflict with our spiritual enemy.  To win, we must “lay aside every weight” that would drag us down and rob us of our strength and endurance.  The watchword must be:  Off with the weight!  ¾R.W. D  (From Our Daily Bread)  Throw off the weight of the world before it drags you down. 


Hebrews 12:1 ….”let us lay aside every weight, and the sign which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

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Our Cabin in Yosemite National Park

Originally uploaded by karing1960@sbcglobal.net.

Another Temblor

This morning we were awakened by the phone ringing around 5:00 am from one of Mike’s co-workers at the switch in Oakland. There had been an earthquake, and he was calling to tell Mike about it and to reassure him that everyone there was safe and all the expensive cell-site equipment was still intact. The network was still running.

This brought back to my memory another temblor that Mike and I recently experienced while vacationing in Yosemite National Park. It was June 11, 2007. We had just settled down in our rustic cabin at Camp Curry for a long summer’s nap. I had just dropped into blissful slumber when I was rudely awakened by a rustling noise. I realized then that we had a visitor in our cabin. “Mike”, I stammered. “I think there’s a mouse in our cabin.” Mike stirred from slumber and told me to be quiet for a minute so he could listen. Sure enough, we both heard the rustle. Mike turned on our light and we began looking. There underneath the nightstand, where my purse was sitting, was a wee little grey mouse, and he was terrified. Mike chased him, and eventually he ended up going under the door into the room where the hot water heater was. Mike placed a towel under the door, and we both settled back down to try and get some shut-eye after all that excitement.

No sooner had I dozed when somewhere in my subconscious, I heard my hubby speaking. “Karen, I just felt an earthquake.” Well those words jolted me from my reverie pretty quickly. No sooner did he tell me about what he felt when we both heard a low rumble that seemed to grow louder with reverberation until it seemed like the noise was right under us. Then the whole cabin shook. “JESUS”! I yelled out without even realizing it. Then the shaking stopped. Because we were only about 200 feet from the base of a very high cliff, Mike and I quickly dressed and got out of our cabin for fear of a rock slide. It was 12:20am. We went to the registration desk which is open all day and night. The desk clerk had gone on the U.S. Geological Survey’s website and learned that there had been two earthquakes near the Mammoth Mountain ski resort, which was about an hour southeast of Yosemite; the bigger one registering at 4.9.

We eventually went back to our cabin and tossed and turned the rest of the night; our ears attuned to any strange noise that might signal the onset of another quake or aftershock. Thankfully, there were none that night nor the rest of our stay in Yosemite. These earthquakes reminded me of a scripture in the bible that says:
“At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens. The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” (Hebrews 12:26-27 NIV)
Someday everything that can be shaken will be shaken. But when the dust has all settled if nothing else stands, I want my faith in God and his Word to still be standing. For that’s the only thing that will truly last.

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