Love & Respect, Not Hate, Prevails~

3 August 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

Imagine it’s the end of the world. Judgment Day. You’re standing in line, waiting your turn. You’re so excited you can barely stand it – FINALLY, the terrible life you endured is over, and now, you get to meet your Maker, the One Person you’ve wanted to meet your whole life long.

 

And then it’s your turn. But instantly, you realize that the Lord is not happy with you at all. He’s frowning down at you. He’s disappointed in how you lived your life, the things you did. He tells a story of how you went to church every Sunday, but you didn’t obey the Gospel. You read His Word, but you didn’t want to see the truth. The rest of the time, you disrespected the governing leaders, people of authority, and you protested every law that ever passed, laws that God had approved of.

 

Suddenly, He says to you, “Depart from me, you who practiced lawlessness,” and then, down you go. The pearly gates fade away from your sight. The last thing you see before the fire and darkness encloses over you is your Savior’s face, along the bone-deep reality that you let down the most important Person in your life. And now, it’s over, and there’s virtually nothing you can do about it.

 

I am so sick and tired of, day after day, hearing about people’s disrespect in all of the world. They disrespect and decidedly hate anyone who hasn’t let them down. They disrespect God, governing leaders, and basically anyone they downright disagree with. They don’t care what good things they may be doing for our country, the great America. But even though they don’t care or if they disagree, that doesn’t give anybody the right to throw them out of business-places, to downright disrespect them in a cruel and hateful way. The protests are more fierce than ever before. But anywhere really – It shouldn’t matter what color you are, what background you come from, whether you’re a college student or not and whether you think you’re all hip and cool. There is NO reason EVER to disrespect somebody, whether they hear you or not. There is NO reason EVER to talk badly about somebody, calling them racist or any kind of name, when you do not even know the person. If it’s somebody you know, what’s the point? To make yourself feel good about it? And wouldn’t you get mad or upset if somebody did the same to you? Really? I remember when I was a teenager, and there was a news broadcast on TV about a group of kids at some school in the States, where they were hazing another student.

 

Where has our country gone to where we think we’re obligated to think any negative opinion about somebody–anybody we want–and then we don’t think that God isn’t watching this stuff? Some of you may not care, and shame on you if you do because God will heap wrath on you for that one day, but for those who are churchgoers – do you go to church and then the next moment, protest our governing leaders and talk badly behind your back about somebody you dislike or disagree with? Whoa, that was a long sentence. Lol. But do you ever stop to think what God thinks? Did God want anybody in the Bible to treat others with hate and ridicule? Never. Therefore, He doesn’t condone it.

 

“But God is love.” Yes, God is love, but he is also angry with those who disrespect people. It doesn’t matter who that person is or what they have done. It doesn’t matter if they have hurt you or not. DISRESPECT IS NEVER CONDONED BY GOD.

 

Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

 

Isaiah 59:8 says, “They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their tracks. They have made their paths crooked, whoever treads on them does not know peace.”

 

God condones peace – not war. That means there shouldn’t be any dissension. I don’t care what you believe or who you are – if you disrespect and show your hatred on social media, on the media, on the air – anywhere really, and you do it without true repentance before God, consequences will heap on your head one day.

 

Do you really think there won’t be consequences?

 

Psalms 37:27 shows how much God wants us to be part of His kingdom in heaven one day: “Depart from evil, and do good, so you will abide forever.”

 

Matthew 25:41 is a scary verse, “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”

 

That’s a scary verse, isn’t it? All I’m doing is warning you. If you don’t want to end up that way, obey the Gospel today and turn your life around. Repent of the evil thoughts and feelings you feel toward others in your heart, because if you don’t, there will only be wrath to come. (Repentance is being sincerely sorry for a sin against God, confessing your sins before God, and meaning your apology.)

 

I’m not saying this is the only sin that’ll bring you down; it isn’t. But I’m so sick and tired of seeing so much fighting, arguing, debating, and hateful speech. One of the President’s advisors was sent home -just because she believed the same things the President does-when all she wanted to do was have a peaceful dinner at a nice place with her family. Those employees there ought to be ashamed of themselves, and I’m sure God is very angry with them for kicking that lady and her family out of that restaurant. And there are people out there cheering them on! When does the evil in this world end?? Especially when you do that very thing, and then go to church the following Sunday? Do you even think twice about what God’s opinions might be on this? He is the commander of the universe, after all, as well as our Creator. The world will end one day, and when it does, I hope and pray that all of you reading this have repented and obeyed the Gospel.

 

Please, folks. Let’s show love and respect toward others, not disrespect. It doesn’t matter what they did that you dislike or disagree with; turn the other cheek. Love and don’t hate. Don’t protest. Don’t disrespect somebody just because you disagree or dislike them. Pray for them if you do, of course, if you think that is best, but don’t go on the air or on the media where there is too much of a biased opinion. Don’t go on social media where you’ll find yourself in a constant debate, and then curse those who disagree with you. Get rid of this evil among you, this wickedness. If nothing else, rid yourself of all this negativity and be free. If nothing else, do it for your soul’s sake. The world isn’t going to end if you don’t find the next big debate on social media. The world isn’t going to end if the person you’re talking with disagrees with you – just laugh it off, agree to disagree, and don’t disrespect them. And don’t be cruel. God is the Judge, and He sees everything.

 

Don’t you want to make God happy? And don’t you want to live the kind of life that makes Him happy? He’s the one who created you, after all. I’m not saying you have to agree with all the politics going on in today’s government. Make sure it aligns with all of God’s teachings in the Bible, of course. All I’m saying is respect and love – don’t hate and disrespect. It’ll only make your life bitter and unhappy. It’s a waste of time, space, and words. It’s a waste, because there is no positivity in such manners. There is nothing as worth it in this life as serving the Lord – truly, nothing at all.

 

If you would like to comment about this, please do so. All I ask is that if you’re looking for a debate, it’ll be one-sided. I don’t debate with anybody unless they’re willing to prove from the Bible where I am wrong. If they can’t prove it, such comments will be deleted instantly.

 

If you’re looking for information on how to obey the Gospel, though, I hope I have touched your heart with this post, so I’d be happy to provide it to you. 🙂

 

Have a good rest of your summer, everyone. And remember, fight for the Lord – not for worthless things that will not truly matter at the end of your life – or the end of time. Nobody is perfect, of course, so please work on this.

 

JMK~

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When God Keeps Saying “No” ~

When God Keeps Saying “No” ~

6 July 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

Life is never as hard as when you desire something so badly that it brings you to your knees in prayer, every day for months and months, but God keeps saying no. A few days ago, I was thinking about the one thing on this earth that I desired both than anything. And as I was thinking about it while driving, I was in tears, bawling my eyes out, screaming out at the top of my lungs, “Why me, God??!! Of all people, why me??!!”

 

We’ve all been there, at a place in our life that brings us to our knees. When you pray and pray for something and God keeps saying no, it breaks your heart. But it’s not God breaking your heart, it’s how you view  your problem. What you want more than anything looks simply just way too far away from your grasp, but you already know how immensely happy it would make you if you had it.

 

In the Bible, a certain Biblical character named Sarah was infertile and in her old age. God literally spoke to her and promised her and her husband Abraham that in due time (God’s perfect timing), they would give birth to a son. But instead of trusting in God’s promises and in His words, Sarah decided it would be a good idea if she “helped” God out by making her servant girl, Harai, as Abraham’s concubine and conceive a child by her. Did that help the situation? No. Did that bring about God’s promises or answered prayers? No. In fact, it made the situation even worse.

 

Another example of the terrible idea it is to “help” God answer your prayers, is like the story my husband likes to tell me sometimes. Before I came into his life, he longed and desired for a wife. Without realizing it, he tried to “help” God along by asking friends if they knew any good Christian single women. He wasn’t desperate, by any means, but he was ready to settle down. The situation didn’t go so well, so then, he decided that enough was enough. He was going to leave it up to God and prayed that His will be done. Sure enough, in a few months time, I came along, and the rest is history. Now we’ve been happily married for almost 5 years.

 

When you’re frustrated, angry, sad, and heartbroken, the last thing you want to do is stop thinking about your problem. Right? All you want to do is bury yourself in a dark place, cry yourself to sleep, and be completely miserable for a good long while. Right? But what if I told you that there is true peace, comfort, and satisfaction in the Lord when we turn everything over to Him? When God says “no”, it really means that it is not yet His timing for your problem to disappear. It is not yet His timing for the deepest desires of your heart, something you’ve prayed about for so long, to be fulfilled. Just like Paul in the Bible, when he prayed that God might take away the figurative thorn in his side, God replied that His grace was sufficient, that His power was perfected in man’s weaknesses. When you are heartbroken and grieving and you feel like you just can’t wait any longer for that one thing you keep constantly praying for, remember that God is with you. He is with you and He loves you deeply. He is the one who created you, and He understands you better than you even realize. He understands the hurt and pain you deal with; He’s done it all himself. Jesus Himself carried all of our burdens on the cross so we wouldn’t have to. It was by His sacrifice that we are here today, that salvation is freely ours if we truly want it.

 

The next time God says “no”, it’ll be really, really hard to accept. Believe, I’ve been there, and I’m still a work progress to this day. I’m still working on getting my trust in God absolutely perfect. It’s a daily process and struggle. But listen, you can’t receive any blessing at all in Christ UNLESS you let it all go and let God handle it. Don’t try to “help” God out by trying to do the leg work for Him, or try to speed up the process of you receiving that blessing. That’s what the devil wants you to do. This also shows great distrust and disloyalty toward God. When you’re trying to help Him, you’re not really trusting Him, you’re not really believing His words that He is your stronghold and help in all kinds of times of trouble. He is our truest friend, and nothing is impossible with Him. Believe that today, my friends. When life gets tough – and it will get tough – the best thing to do is to pray hard about it, but then don’t keep holding onto your problems, fears, worries, etc. Just let it all go. Give it all to God. Pray that His will be done in these circumstances. And then, great peace and comfort will envelop your soul, and you will feel, from the depths of your heart, that you can do anything, because God is with you. Not only that, but in God’s own good timing, He WILL answer your prayers and it WILL be great. Maybe He won’t answer your prayers in a way that you initially imagined, but how He answers will be even better than you ever imagined. You’ll be that much more thankful, too.

 

I know it’s hard, and it’s not something easy that happens overnight. I personally feel like I’ve been waiting on my dreams forever and ever. But I have complete trust in God now that whatever His will is will prosper, and will make me happier than I ever could’ve imagined. He will make a way when there seems to be no way, and He will answer your prayers with a yes – once again, maybe not exactly what you wanted, but even better!

 

My parents have a sheep ranch, and have so for 18 years. They breed their sheep ewes (aka female sheep) every year. Now the lambs that are born are important. We love the sheep ewes. They’re like your pets, and you raise those mamas and watch them grow up and now that they are mamas, you’re excited for them once they become pregnant. There was this one ewe on this particular year, whose name was Harmony. She was a good ewe, and on the year before this, she had a healthy baby boy. Boys are not as important as girls, not because we don’t love them – because we do – but because we only use them for the 4-H county fair. But they have to be castrated for that and after the summer was over, we have no choice but to sell them. It can be kind of a rough business in that light. But having girls are more important, because you can raise them completely and start breeding them in two years.

 

So anyway, my sheep ewe, Missy, died after giving birth to a stillborn lamb, as well as another lamb who only lived a couple days. It was heartbreaking for me. Then, a few days later, Harmony gave birth to two stillborn GIRLS. It was absolutely heart-wrenching and at that time, I had such difficulty in trusting in God and understanding why He had let such a terrible thing happen. I was so fearful that we were going to lose our whole flock, or the majority of the lambs. Even half of the lambs. I was just terrified, really. But then, someone told me something very important that made me do a complete 180. He told me that whether it was God’s will for us to lose the entire flock of sheep or lambs or to only lose some of them, it was up to God and His choice. Which, for some people, might make them angry. They may think to themselves, “How can a loving God do such a thing?” But when I heard this, it didn’t make me angry. Instead, it made me incredibly guilty for doubting God’s goodness in my life. It made me realize that what I wanted more than anything at that time wasn’t up to me, but the Creator of the Universe. In the end, it really didn’t matter what any of us did to help the situation. God’s will had to be done no matter what. Just like now, for example, there’s so much evil in the world today and people always find someone to blame. They even blame God. But they shouldn’t even be mad at God. Why? Because God is a god! Not just a god, he’s THE GOD. And He’s the one who created not just us, but every human being, creature, and plant that’s ever lived on this earth! He even cares about the tiniest ant and their families. Now how cool is that!

 

So if God cares so deeply for us, shouldn’t we give it all to Him and surrender our lives to Him in serving Him? Aside from our needs, we can still pray for what we want, but ultimately, God’s will has to rule. Whether it’s God’s will for you to be a chef or a banker, it’s not up to you, it’s up to God. Whether God wants you to have a baby through conception or adoption, it’s not up to you, it’s up to God. Whether God wants you to live in Arizona or Maine, it’s not up to you, it’s up to God. Your job is pretty simple, really. You just need to pour your heart out to God in prayer, do your part in it as well as you can, such as sending our resumes, researching whatever you need to do, etc. But don’t help God. Don’t step into something with both feet without completely praying about it first, to make sure it aligns perfectly with God’s will. Then, let it all go and surrender it over to God. Not only that, but TRUST God with the outcome. Whatever He plans for us is always good (Romans 8:28), and He always comes through for us. ALWAYS.

 

I hope this blog post gave you encouragement, and I hope it will give you something to think about. Feel free to comment below to share your own stories! 🙂

 

JMK~

Let’s Just Stop Debating, Shall We?

6 April 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

I’ve never been good at debates. I’ve never really seen the point of them. I try not to watch / read the news a lot, because there’s just way too much negativity – like I mentioned in last month’s post. I would much prefer focusing on things that really grab my attention – as they should grab everyone else’s attention in the world – serving the Lord, enjoying married life with my husband, and cherishing the life moments I get to spend with him, my cats, family, and close true friends, as well as enjoying working in my secular job.

 

When I’m going about my life, I’m not thinking about what the governmental law says about guns, violence, how to lead a just government. Blah. Blah. Blah. I’m not thinking about stuff like that on a daily basis. Sure, I care about such things, but that doesn’t mean I go about my life ratting on people social media pages complaining about how wrong they are, and all the reasons why they’re wrong. If we are to debate, we must do it in a way that is in pleasing to God – NOT what is pleasing to our own selves alone. In all generality, our forefathers began this country with only One Person in mind – God. And that is exactly who our thoughts should be focused on.

 

When you see a news article on TV or in the newspaper that is about violence, laws, etc., we must think in our minds – what would God think about this? And is there anything I can do that would please God? I don’t like to get into debates, because there are too many people out in the world whose focus is clearly not on what God thinks and commands but on their own selves. Such people are close-minded and far too stubborn to even try to persuade things otherwise, if you really wanted to. They don’t mind making threats on the Internet, telling how others are stupid or that something is wrong with them if they believe a certain way that is probably much more pleasing to God than the evil they may fixing up in their minds. Such dirty minds are not pleasing to God, because it clearly says so in His Word. And if we are to go by anything that is pleasing to God, we must first read the Bible – His Word – to understand His exact commands about certain subjects. For example, we should never wish that someone was dead – that is not nice nor would it ever be pleasing to God. Or, we shouldn’t backlash people behind their backs or on social media. For one thing, God sees all and knows all, no matter how you may try to hide something from Him. And if you believe He doesn’t exist – well, I double dog dare you to say that to His face when you will meet Him on Judgment Day.

 

I’m not trying to be blunt here or to even create a debate. I’m simply giving out a bit of a lecture here. Because I am sick and tired of hearing stories of people acting out in evil against God, treating others with evil intentions, others wishing evil upon another, and so forth. The Bible commands such things as leave peaceably with all men and turn the other cheek. Such statements are not mere suggestions – but stark commands, from God Himself given to men inspired by God to write about. Whenever we see someone doing that against another person, we need to rebuke them. And we need to make sure that we don’t follow in their footsteps.

 

So when you’re out there in social media, at work, at home, at church – wherever you are – and you disagree with a subject that someone has – no matter what it is – make sure that what you believe with all your heart, mind, and soul is 100% in tune with God and His Word. If we don’t, we are just asking for trouble one day in Judgment Day. Read the Bible yourself. Study it, and really ponder the words that are written there. They are not just written there for people of the past, but people of the present as well as the future. It doesn’t matter what century it is, the Bible will forever remain the same. It is a cherished, treasured Book that should make you really think about how you’re living your life and if everything that you believe and how you act and think is in tune with God’s Word. Because God knows every heart, and He is God, your Creator, everyone’s Creator. He created you the way you are – an artist, writer, doctor, musician, etc.. And He loves you the way you are – but He so badly needs & wants you to believe every word that is written in His Word. His commands are what He’s going to judge you against one day, when the world will end – and it WILL end.

 

Yikes, that’s a lot of harsh news, right? Well, guess what, bad and ugly news that we hear and see every day is not as harsh as that. It’s just not. Folks, we need to start living for God, not just sometimes or whenever we feel like it, but every time. Every day. Every moment of every day. And we need to keep working our hardest to do so on a constant basis, because if we do exactly what His Word says and if we try our hardest with all our heart, mind, and soul to make sure that our lives are completely in tune with His Word – it is only then that we will have success – true success – in our lives.

 

So let’s stop the debating, shall we? If we all believed God’s commands and trusted in His Will and Word, there would be a lot less debates. There would be a lot less violence, hurt, anger, and misery. But then, God never destined for us to live in a perfect world – but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t still want one. So try to live in a way that is pleasing to God, trusting in Him, reading the Bible, and obeying every one of His stark commands written there. Everything that’s written in there IS a command, and if we only take it lightly, then may God help us on Judgment Day.

 

My dear wonderful readers, know very much that everything I’m saying is not to hurt you, offend you, or anger you. It is simply to help you realize how important it is to act in a way that is pleasing to God. If you wish to debate about a subject, make sure it’s in a way that’s pleasing to God – and you do that by praying hard and reading the Bible heartily first before even beginning a debate. Postpone the debate if possible. All of these subjects that our government brings up IS important – but whether you are to agree or disagree with the changes that are made or not made is up to you. But just remember, if we are unkind to others, evil in any way, or start debating a subject that God may disapprove of, then how are we really living for God? How are we really living lives pleasing to God? How are we really going to make a difference in the world? When it’s all said and done, how much damage will be done? In the end, are we going to choose evil? Or are going to choose good? Choose wisely, according to God’s Word. That’s all I ask. Amen and amen.

 

JMK~

A Soldier’s Unforgettable Journey

5 January 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season spent with family and friends. WOW, I cannot believe it’s 2018 already!! What a year this is going to bring, and I cannot wait to see what God has planned for my husband and I this year! 🙂

 

So, as some of you may know, I am currently writing a WWII book about a soldier. His name is Peter, and today / this month, I plan to tell you all about him and this amazing story I will be writing & editing for the majority of this brand new year! May God be praised that He has given us another year – God willing – to live upon this Earth.

 

Well anyways, let me continue my explanation of this story, although of course I’m not going to give anything away. Peter enters WWII where he is thrust into action and drama that he’d much rather not partake in. He begins his story as a soldier living in fear – fear of dying and never seeing his cancer-sick mother again. She has leukemia, and he’d love nothing more than to be home with her, even though he’d already made a vow to serve his country. Peter is a fearful soldier, and after being thrust into an ugly, brutal, and bloody battle, his ranking officer, Glen, sees something shining out of him that might be worth fighting for within the cold, wintry wonderland of France at this time. Soon, Peter discovers that war, perhaps, shouldn’t have been for him, because he is constantly afraid of dying. Even more so, he’s terrified of never seeing his mother again.

 

Now before I go any further, let me just explain that this is a fictional story – obviously. Anything can happen in life, or even in war, so I don’t want to read any “oh, come on, that’s unrealistic,” or anything like that. Please, just use your imagination.

 

So, continuing on, Peter and his unit are ordered to travel through several different French towns to help civilians – protect them, provide food and shelter, and take care of any remaining wounded soldiers around the premises. But once they reach a certain French town, Glen has this crazy idea that perhaps, since they’re so far from home and so far from their commanding officers, perhaps it’s time to teach the French civilians a lesson for allowing the war to occur in the first place, even though this war is a part of several different countries total. Since he is their captain, he decidedly orders that they all partake of slaughtering the entire small town, and if anyone disagreed with him, there would be major consequences. But Peter, despite his anxiety about the war and being there in general, remembers that being a Christian also means that he had to do the right thing.

 

Glen had grown fond of Peter. But after Peter’s ultimate refusal to partake in this evil activity, his entire unit betrays him and leaves him for dead. But he doesn’t die, and the journey he undertakes gives him the strength, wisdom, and the guidance to make better and smarter and braver decisions in the future. This story is also gradually being researched by his future granddaughter, Janie Berg, whose grandfather is slowly wasting away from dementia in the nursing home. Researching her grandfather’s past may give her the understanding she’s always wanted to know about him and his past, as well as discovering clues to better understanding her future.

 

Since this book is currently in the beginning stages, any ideas you may have for WWII are welcomed. Regardless, I hope to finish this book by next summer, God willing, and begin the editing process then.

 

Let me leave with a final note: I know that most of you writers out there, if not all, are presently trying to partake in sending query letters to agents and publishers. What is my advice? No matter how many rejections you may get, even if you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty in trying your very hardest to write the best query letter you can, don’t fret or worry. God has a beautiful plan for your life. Not only that, but don’t ever give up on your writing and on your passions in life, no matter how hard it may seem. When the agent rejections pile up and you feel at your wit’s end, don’t give up. Keep trying and trying and trying, and, first and foremost, don’t ever stop writing.

 

God bless you all! 🙂

 

JMK~

4-H – An Experience to Cherish Forever

4-H – An Experience to Cherish Forever

3 November  2017

 

Hello everyone,

 

I was eleven years old when my mom thought it would be a neat idea if my younger sisters and I joined 4-H. So we joined the Silver Lake 4-H Club in our hometown, named after a lake in the area. I wasn’t too crazy about it at first, being shy and all, and I wasn’t up for joining “clubs.” But once we started, I learned to like it, love it, and then, years after graduating from high school, missing it.

 

When I was fourteen, my family and I attended an event that gave honors and awards to those at the Fargo, ND college, NDSU, for those who had made lives and careers that all began with 4-H, and who also had been greatly involved at NDSU. My late uncle, Jerome (remember him? Click here if you don’t), had been greatly involved in NDSU, which began from his deep love of 4-H. He’d loved it so much he’d made a career out of it, and that night, Jerome had received an award of his dedication. We all looked on, proud smiles and matching pink flowers pinned to our chests. My family and I took the award in his place and in his honor. The gentleman presenting the award had many great things to say about Jerome. I had proud tears in my eyes when the man mentioned that Jerome’s family was there, and everybody looked over at our table where we sat, applauded, and even gave us a standing ovation. Because Jerome had been that brilliant of a person.

 

Ever since that day, I worked even harder to present myself as a worthy participant in the nearby 4-H county fair. My sisters and I presented sheep, chickens, and rabbits as animals nearly all the years that we performed. It was a TON of work every year from 2001-2008. I cannot even fully express in depth how much work it truly was, particularly with the sheep. It was even extra work when you chose to take non-livestock items to the fair, which included food, sewing and construction projects, painting projects, and the like. In the  year 2003, I got a Reserve Champion award for my writing project novel that I put into the fair, which brought me to the state fair in the Twin Cities, MN. It was very much an exciting experience, although unfortunately, I received a red ribbon (compared to the best blue ribbon award) for my participation. My book deserved FAR better. But in 2004, I received a Grand Champion ribbon for the best wether lamb (which is a young ram) in the open class showing. Along the way, I became disappointed, unhappy to happy, excited, and proud. Along the way, I had a deep adoration for the animals I presented every year. It was especially the hardest and saddest when we had to sell our young rams every year. Working our hardest from when they were newborns to after the fair; it was a yearly struggle that was difficult for all of us.

 

The following are ten things that I learned about 4-H throughout the years:

  1. Remember that it’s not the awards that you receive, but what you learned from the experience and how it has affected you as a person.
  2. Animals are God’s creatures, and they have individual,  unique personalities all their own.
  3. Don’t let anybody just go around and tell you that your animal or your work of art that you placed into the fair is meaningless compared to theirs. Make sure to defend yourself, but do it in a way God will be proud of.
  4. Trust that God has a beautiful plan for your life, which far exceeds any awards you might receive.
  5. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, for everyone’s story is different and everyone’s way of learning is different.
  6. The amount of money the state takes away from 4-H’s funds that they receive in 4-H animal auctions is highly unfair. The 4-Her worked HARD for that animal. They deserve every penny of it.
  7. As my mom used to say, “there’s always next year.” Don’t give up. Keep trying to work hard and keep learning everything you can about 4-H and the 4-H projects you work on. You never know, it might turn into a career one day.
  8. Don’t get mad if someone got a higher award than you, for it will not get you anywhere in life, and such attitudes are filled with nothing but selfish desires.
  9. Don’t forget to smile as much as possible. If you’re all hot and sweaty from bathing that sheep lamb and you don’t want the judge to think that you hate 4-H, because you don’t, it’s really just the hot weather – just keep smiling!
  10. Keep going back to county fairs every year, no matter how old you are, and keep telling stories about the 4-Her you truly were.

 

Recently, I attended a county fair, and as I walked through the corridors of the non-livestock 4-H projects such as gardening, sewing, and painting, I kept smiling to myself. That had been me at one point in my life. A person who may have never been involved with 4-H can walk through such projects in the fair and think, “oh, that’s nice. That must have been a lot of hard work,” and will never TRULY realize the depth of that hard work like us 4-H admin do. I saw every stroke of the paintbrush, every piece of tightening thread, and watering of the flowers that day. I KNEW what it was like to work hard like that, because I lived it. And you know what? I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about putting their kid through a club or special activity. It’s free, and the amount of work that it amounts to will be SO worth it in the end. Trust me, it WILL be worth it.

 

 

Have a great week! 🙂

 

 

JMK~

Words from a Wise Family Man~

Words from a Wise Family Man~

Hello everyone,

 

Sacrifice, hard work, and living life to the fullest has never come easily for me. As a teenager, I struggled with these things especially, mainly about who I am. I have always been a quiet person, but it wasn’t until I learned more about a late uncle of mine that I really began to understand the meaning of life and God’s purpose for us living in all of it.

 

He was 23 years old when he died, under the deep waters of Costa Rica. His name was Jerome, my mother’s younger brother and a great influence in my life. Everybody in my life, of course, has been a great influence, but the words he spoke to me in a speech of his that I found was what made me really admire who he was. To this day, I wish I would’ve met him, but he died several years before I was born.

 

One of his greatest passions in life was agriculture. He grew up on a farm, raised in the beauty of hard work, caring for animals, and learning the good and bad elements of every part of crop and farm life. He adored 4-H and FFA, so much so that he made it a career. While on a mission trip in Costa Rica with his 4-H mates, he’d had so many plans for how to influence as many countries as he could through agriculture and how to be better farmers. His next goal had been to explore Panama. But God had other plans.

 

While out swimming with one of his friends, his friend lost control of his swimming and drifted afar off into sea. Jerome leaped into the water to save him, and his friend safely made it to shore. However, Jerome did not, but instead drifted farther and farther away; ultimately, to his death.

 

I share this story not out of confusion or for you to feel sorry for me for an uncle I never knew that died. But by reading his final given 4-H speech, I discovered that I was more like him than I thought, and furthermore, I discovered the art of really knowing him through such a profound speech. Below are the main points given in his speech. They’re brief, but they signify not only how we should love each other, but how God loves us. This speech persuades us to be positive for our futures, but to also not expect a future, for God has an ultimate and beautiful plan far beyond all of our imaginings. I hope you enjoy this speech as a testament to him, and I hope you learn something wonderful and beautiful because of it.

 

**The most enjoyable journey is to meet someone halfway.
**You’ve got to love life, love things and love those around enough to show them. It’s a risk, but if you aren’t afraid of yourself, your life can really get better each day.
**If you start saying love and thinking about the things you love, your whole day will become a positive experience.
**Replace something negative with the positive like: “I may not hit the baseball, but I love the way you pitch” or “I hate getting up this early–but I love the sunrise and the singing birds.”
**Find something new each day to live. Don’t miss all those things that make life lovable and livable. Don’t miss life. Grab for it. Live each day and each moment. Some people live like there will always be a tomorrow, like they will never die. “Oh I can enjoy life tomorrow, right now I’ll just survive.” Love it now. There may never be a tomorrow. The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. Leo Buscaylia says, “I don’t see death as a villain. I have happily accepted death as a challenge.” I agree. It lets me know that I have to live.
**I see death as a positive force. It tells me I have a limited time. It plays no tricks. Death has been a possibility since the time I was born. It has never hidden itself…unless I hid it. Choose the present. That’s what really matters. Rid yourself of no and can’t and impossible. The world is full of negative. We are full of it. Say yes to life. Try yes and possible and hopeful. Embrace life.
**Are you foolish enough to imagine that you automatically deserve success in an field or activity? Then why do you believe you automatically deserve success in marriage and family relations unless you work at it? Look at the way you treat each other in your family. With silence. With screaming. You ignore their feelings. You hide your feelings. Or you try to. The boss yells at you. You go home and yell at your spouse. Your spouse yells at the kids. The kid kicks the dog that bites the cat that urinates on the rug. Where does it all start? Why is it that the people we love the most we support and reinforce the least?
**We too often criticize. We don’t give our family the benefit of the doubt. We expect the worse. Grandma used to say that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. So why concentrate on the vinegar?
**”My parents did this and that to me.” You know what your parents do for you. The best thing they know how to. Maybe the only thing they know how to. They give you what they know. God bless them. They may not be perfect. But then, no one teaches a person how to be a parent. You suddenly have a baby and there you are. The sad part and maybe the reason you are so disappointed is that you believed your parents were perfect. And they let you believe it!
**It’s your responsibility to become the most loving, wonderful person because that is what you will be giving to your children–to all you meet.
**Sidney J. Harris says on rearing children: Parents who expect or want their children to ‘appreciate’ what they have done for them usually find that the children feel resentful when they grow older.
**Telling people you love them means you have to get out of your way. You’ve got to take a risk and expose your feelings. “I’m too cool. I don’t need to tell you what I feel.” We need love, we tell people we love them, and we need to do it now. We can’t put it off. We don’t know how much time we have.
**Love life–reach for life and stretch your mind. Love yourself–don’t be afraid. Don’t stand in your way. Love those around you. Give them the best you there is, and then they can become the best.
**No earthly happiness would be possible without our gracious God. The thought of eternal happiness with Him makes our joy here almost meaningless in comparison–to make our earthly life meaningful he has some suggestions like this: Be an instrument of peace: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love…where there is injury, pardon..where there is doubt, faith…where there is darkness, light, and where there is sadness, joy. Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console…to be understood as to understand…to be loved as to love…for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
**Carry those thoughts–console, understand, love and give–have a wonderful life!!****

 

Have a good week, everyone! 🙂

 

JMK~

When Life is Unfair

When Life is Unfair

2 June 2017

Hello everyone,

The Bible gives us all sorts of good life lessons from real-life stories of people who have fought through the worst, and survived. My favorite apostle of all time is Peter, because in the beginning of his relationship with Jesus, he was very charismatic and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. He loved Jesus, don’t get me wrong, but he was always questioning Jesus’ motives and reasons for doing things. I think he did so, not because he didn’t trust Jesus, but because he wanted to understand the right thing to do in these situations. He was a man who fought his faith, and who saw Jesus’ miracles hands on. He was also kind of a troublemaker, such as denying Jesus 3 times and cutting off a soldier’s ear to defend Jesus. I could almost picture Jesus looking at Peter when he did that, pretty much saying, “Peter, come on.” The story that really sticks with me, though, is the story of, when Jesus walked on water, Peter didn’t have enough faith to trust in Jesus to walk on water, too. As charismatic, courageous, and adventurous as Peter was, in that tiny moment, fear and distrust of faith got the best of him.

Such a story tells us that even when the apostles saw Jesus in actual physical form in front of them, they still had a lack of faith, such as not trusting when they were in a boat with a sleeping Jesus in a middle of a terrible storm. Nowadays, we trust Jesus completely. But the instant a trial hits us – a loved one dies; a dream disappears; we don’t get an expected answered prayer – we instantly turn into the “why God? Why me?” person. We are all human, but God expects us to trust Him. That is who He is. He is amazing.

A couple months ago, I saw the movie, “Is Genesis History?” It was really a tell-all story of God’s creation and how amazingly He created this earth, more than we can possibly imagine. We know that God created everything and made every human uniquely different, but did you know he made every single living thing unique too? From the biggest animal like the elephant to the tiniest ant – God knows every single one of them and made them all differently. And He cares for every single one of them, too! Isn’t that amazing? Then why is it that when a trial hits us, we forget about that and focus on the trial, as if we are all that matters, as if God doesn’t care about us, as if what we want matters more than what He wants for us.

Faith is a troublesome thing. When life is great, you may have a strong faith in God. But when life is sour, you forget about God and lose complete faith in Him. But we need to be faithful, because of the storm. We need to praise Him in that storm (yes, you read that correctly) and we need to trust that for whatever reason He’s letting the trial happen, no matter what, He has a unique plan for every one of us. He doesn’t have the same plan for somebody else. Just like there’s nobody else in the world with the same personality as you and I, there’s nobody who will ever have that same God-designed plan. Because we all handle life differently, act different, and are different! We are unique as God has blessed us to be, and to dive toward that beautiful plan instead of running from it will give us blessings instead of sorrows.

Recently, and still, I’m going through a personal trial. It is a trial of my faith, of trusting the Lord. My endless fear had been that God will not provide me with specific blessings in my life, or else He would make them different than how I’d like them to be. For months, I struggled with this, in denial that I had no faith problem. I read countless Bible reading plans and devotionals that gave me comfort. But finally, I realized that I needed to trust and accept that God would provide. I had to be courageous to accept that, and I needed to be wise to know how to accept it, and I’m still praying for these things. But because of this trial, I’ve actually drawn much closer to the Lord than I ever thought I could be, and not only that, but I’ve trusted the Lord much better, harder, and stronger than I ever have before, and I’ve been happier and more accepting of life because of it. God may not provide exactly what you want, but He will provide something that’s beautiful, wonderful, and much better than you could ever imagine. Even much better than what you wanted! You may have wanted something wonderful, but God provided something even better than that! All because you didn’t give up hope and kept your focus on the Lord. For example, when my late sister died, my parents blessed me with three more sisters. When a sheep epidemic hit our family’s farm one year, God not only healed the epidemic but blessed us with far more sheep than we ever thought of. God always comes through for us even when all seems hopeless.

You may think that your life is stuck in a rut and not going anywhere. But right now, God is using this time where time in general seems to be running agonizingly slow as you wait for His answers to your prayers. He’s using this time to train you in patience, gratitude, and overwhelming trust and love for Him. He’s using this time to help you grow in trust and love for Him and with your loved ones. He’s not just sitting there waiting. He’s growing the seed in your heart that relentlessly wants to stay put! He’s watering and watering and watering. And soon, you’ll be ready to receive these blessings. Will they be what you really wanted before? Probably not. Will it be exactly as you imagined it would be? No. But will it be worth the wait? Ohhhhhhhhh yes!!!!!!!!!!!

You may be stuck in a rut of growth, just like me. But hold your horses, partner. God has something beautiful planned for your life, something that will make the long wait worth waiting for, and something where you’ll be incredibly glad you trusted in Him all along. So trust in Him, friend, and trust as hard as you can. It will be a stunning sight of heaven when it is all over.

Oh, and don’t forget these three very important verses along the way, something to keep with you at all times, particularly every time a sliver of doubt assails your mind:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not onto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

So is life really unfair? No, because God’s got it covered. All you need to is sit and wait and trust.God will provide, in accordance with His will, in His good time. And it will be beautiful.

JMK~ 🙂