redeeming our Victory lap… {be transformed}

Today started out like any other Friday… I had stayed up too late working on adoption grants & FB, so I slept in while Mark cooked me bacon/eggs/hash for breakfast. Tryston took the train to piano lessons. The other boys played & messed around instead of school because mom was asleep, until Daddy cracked the whip & they got to work. Once I was sipping coffee around 9, Dad left to run errands (Friday is his study/work at home day, so he also runs errands that must be done during work hrs-VERY helpful!) & we all got started on some projects…

Somewhere around 11, Mark & I both had the same idea for a fun family outing everyone had been trying to fit into our busy schedule. This was no small miracle, since we weren’t together or even on the phone/texting each other when this happened… As soon as he got home, I asked if he had seen my text about my idea. “He said no, but can we talk in the other room?” LOL Short story is, we agreed it was the perfect day & weather for a day at the public pool! YAY for taking the afternoon off from school!!

And THAT’S when it happened. Out of nowhere, the house seemed to be in a fog. Kids started bickering, parents were nit-picking & the teenager was huffing around… What is this all about? We were having a great morning & planning a fun afternoon??!! What the heck?

So.Not.Cool.

This was going nowhere fast friends, I was about fit to be tied. With everything we’ve been working on lately for work & the adoption, we have had precious little time as a family to go have fun & relax. How can we throw it all away? People were already suggesting that we just stay home… 😦 I was about to cry…

Instead, I made a DECISION. A choice. We are NOT going down without a fight. Fear Not little family! This is NOT how this battle ends. The devil can go play around with someone else’s family because we’re not defeated today! — So I told my family all that. I reminded them who we are, Children of God. I acknowledged that we have plenty of ‘issues’ that need to be addressed from time to time. (Every family does, if they’re honest!) I told them how we have a CHOICE to get into all of it today, right now, when we KNOW we are planning to leave for a much needed family day… knowing also that the ‘discussions’ may ruin our plans altogether… Or we can CHOOSE to set an appointed time to calmly/rationally address these little dust bunnies that get swept under our rug now & then… when we are rested & can come prepared with rational & well thought out opinions, rather than feeling defensive & angry at not being heard ‘right this second’… For everything has its rightful time & place. But THIS was neither the time OR the place. Not today, not on my family’s ‘family time’!

Of course, I’d like to say we all held hands, prayed & sang ‘Jesus loves me’ at that exact moment. But that would just be a silly lie & you wouldn’t buy it anyway… right? Well not if you know us very well! Ha ha. What we DID do is take a deep breath, go to separate rooms (admittedly, the hardest thing to do in a 680sqft flat with 5 people!), & cool down until lunch was ready… The rest is history. We had a perfectly lovely day at the pool & water slide playground! We had a delicious dinner at a little noodle shop, bought some groceries & topped it off with some soft serve from McDs & a short tv show before bed… Successful fun family day! – Praise the Lord for His grace – our victory lap for today was indeed redeemed!

Moral: NEVER let the enemy steal your joy! Protect your family! PRAY! Mark & I pray constantly pray for our family, our kids & our marriage. The Holy Spirit lives in our home & I’m certain HE is the reason I had the clarity to grab ahold of our quickly spiraling day this time! Be ready to kick the devil out of your house friends! Be ready in & out of season! KNOW that you are God’s children, He is WITH you always. But because of that, the enemy of your soul is out to attack everything he can to derail you from God’s calling & plans for your life! It’s no surprise to us that we’ve had more & more moments where we’ve identified enemy attacks like today’s on our family since starting our adoption of AnnaBelleYou can be sure, if you are following God’s will for your life, it’s not a matter of OF the devil will attack your life/work/ministry/family/health/finances… but a matter of WHEN! – Don’t LET him beat you! He only wins when we stand down… but why should you? With God on your side, who can be against you? The VICTORY is won friends – CLAIM IT IN JESUS’ NAME!

“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” -1 John 4:4

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” -Joshua 24:15

As always, feel free to leave a comment about your experiences or how this peel into our world may have helped you… But please also email me if you have any questions or if you would like prayer for your family!

-JK

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fear not brother – God’s got this!

These are scary times we live in (school shootings, bomb threats, etc.), it’s only human to be afraid. We naturally want to hide or shelter ourselves & our loved ones when we see or hear of the terrible things happening around the world… But I refuse to live in fear – for I know the power of Jesus & the grace of His Father. He knows our every moment, He loves each hair on our head & He asks us to cast our cares on Him. The God of angel armies IS LOVE & He is always by your side! It’s because of that & in spite of the uncertainty & fear that I say to you “Fear NOT Brother – Take courage – We have  Hope & Victory – God’s got this one too!”

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…” -1 John 4:18

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

-Isaiah 41:10

-JK

2 countries, 2 tragedies – 42 Innocent Children {a call to prayer}

Go hug your kids, right now! Then read this & pray with us! This is YOUR CALL TO PRAYER for the world & the children in it! ~ ‘Violence against children’ is not new. It’s not isolated. It’s happening everywhere. In our home country, the USA. Where we live, in China. It’s not going away either. Why? It’s evil! So… We. Must. PRAY!

Today,  Newtown, USA & Beijing, China are not as far apart as they seemed to be last week…

China Post: 22 children stabbed  outside a school in Beijing, China on Friday – Dec. 14, 2012

Fox: 20 children killed in school shooting in Newtown, USA on Friday – Dec 14, 2012

Evil is everywhere in this world. Here are some things I shared on FB today. There was plenty of discussion & as a friend mentioned, we are so blessed to know we can think differently, process differently & see things differently – but still love & honor one another in the end. You may not agree with my thoughts or my take on things… that won’t make me love or like you any less! I’d love to hear how you DO see & handle these things that go on in this world. It is only by respectfully sharing with one another that we all might learn & grow from each other’s experiences & wisdom… Now is the time to come together in unity & love, comfort one another & simply ‘be there’ for those that are hurting.

“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” -Romans 12:15

As I see it, hundreds of souls in the two countries that I love are hurting, due to evil & violent acts on children. Right now I am going to spend time praying for all of these families in both these countries… So instead of taking time to rewrite & make this all sound pretty – I will let you piece it all together in your own mind. I just ask that you keep all comments respectful & please… PLEASE take time to pray for everyone involved!!!
____________________________________________

The first thing I saw on my phone today was this notification “Carin Pasion shares Jesus Christ Savior” & then I saw everyone’s posts about the Conn shooting that happened while I slept here in HK… So glad that my friends know exactly what to ‘share’ at such a time as this… ♥

Hurting people hurt people… It’s a matter of bringing Jesus & His hope to those without it… Those of us filled with the Hope of Heaven, we must stand up & fight evil with LOVE, we must be angry with the devil who has come to steal & destroy – we are not fighting against gun control or even against people with guns – the battle is against the devil & JESUS has already won – Let us LOVE EVERYONE & use our God given POWER & AUTHORITY to kneel & pray! Binding evil & releasing love – fighting evil spirits with the spirit of the Living God!!

“And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be what has been bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be what has been loosed in heaven.” -Mathew 16:19

We are also praying for every soul involved & every family that grieves today (including the shooter’s family & the stabber’s family)… Jesus is the answer for them too. May the Holy Spirit be with each & every one! May they come to know Him more each day as they walk through this time & into their healing.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” -Ephesians 6:12
There are many problems with mental health all over the world, but I am certain the the root of most of those mental concerns is found in the schemes of the devil, the enemy of our souls. The destruction caused is no mistake, it’s his design to tear us all down & have every soul accomplishing his destructive plans for him…

BUT GOD said NO! His MERCY says NO! & we must continue to look to Him, read His Word (our Bibles!) & practice what we learn every day – let your light of Hope shine for the hurting & deceived people of the world to see that God is GOOD & that He is LOVE & that He is the WAY TO HOPE EVERLASTING!!! Pray more & use your authority in Christ to fight the battle with evil in the Spirit, where the victory is already won by the King of Kings!
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” -1 Corinthians 15:57
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” -Luke 10:19
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” -Ephesians 6:11
Thoughts posted by a friend – Food for thought & discussion:

I was listening to Tom Sullivan today, and I have to agree with him! If the FAA can license pilots to carry a weapon in a cockpit of a plane, why can’t teachers and principles be licensed to carry a weapon in our schools? After all, who has the most precious cargo to be protected? Would the outcome have been any different today if the principal or a teacher was packing? The only protection those teachers had was huddling in a closet and hoping the shooter did not find them!

How come people accept an armed guard around MATERIAL POSSESSIONS such as a bank, a mall, or even a convenience store, but not when it comes to our children?

We can continue to debate on whether or not guns should be banned, but lets face it, criminals will always get a weapon, and those who are disturbed will always find a way to carry out their plan. Ted Kaczynski (The Unabomber) mailed explosive packages to his victims, while Timothy Mcveigh blew up a Federal building with fertilizer and diesel fuel. We don’t even want to mention those who will strap a bomb to themselves. I say, until they figure it out, let’s protect our children!

— Aaron
I DON’T think teachers should carry guns… but ever since ‘Columbine’ I have been more & more ok with the idea of trained & armed security at school campuses. This is not the same world that you & I went to school in…
Another friend shared this:
I agree that criminals will always find a way to get what they need to carry out their insanity, I don’t know if the outcome today would have been better or worse, no one can possibly know that. I agree that our children are the most important thing in the world and SHOULD be better protected, but I do not agree that school officials should have weapons at school. Think about it, if they did have a situation where they had to fire the weapon and the kids saw that, they may be afraid of that teacher or principal for a very long time and that would affect everything at school. I won’t even go into the “what if” of a child getting a hold of the weapon. What needs to happen is roving police patrols at every school. Children, even young ones, understand that is a police officers job and how they protect them. Teachers teach, police protect. Just my two cents.
— Melissa
It’s not about guns people… Guns are very hard to find (& completely banned) in China, large knives are hard to find too… but evil does not give up easily – we should not give up either! 22 elementary kids & 1 adult were hurt in the Beijing attack, but the article reminds us of many other recent attacks where others were hurt/killed…
A fellow American living in China said:
I am thankful teachers can’t carry guns….it would have made the situation MUCH worse. The answer is not found in arming people… The truth is, I may feel different if my kids attended a public school in America. They don’t, so its easy to have an opinion when it will not effect me in any way…
— Josh
That rings true with me – when Tryston was in public school in CA I was always concerned about safety… & school violence was a lot less common 7yrs ago. Makes me even more glad to be homeschooling… Amid all the reactions of our hundreds of FB friends, both in America & in various countries near & far… everyone has a different take. Some say ban guns, others say correct the mental health system, still others talk about the stigma of admitting to needing counseling or psychological help… All I know is Jesus, so that’s my take. This world needs Jesus. If we love Him we will love others, if we love others we will make a difference by bringing light & hope into the darkness. Praying for all of you, everywhere. Let’s go out & love God’s children, One by One! Be the LIGHT & make the darkness of this world FLEE friends!
“Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.” -Philippians 2:9-10
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” -Hebrew 4:12
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” -2 Timothy 4:2-5

With Jesus, God & the Holy Spirit by our side – whom shall we fear?! Searching for answers?? The answer is LOVING people, in ways that show them WHO love comes from… HE is the answer.

I know Who goes before me
I know Who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always on my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a Friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
“Whom Shall I Fear?” -Chris Tomlin

-JK