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LET IT GO!

By Cheryl Kilgore on January 15, 2019

I'm sitting at my desk for the first time in two months.

The last time I sat down to write was just before the holiday season began... my favorite time of the year. I love it all: the decorating, the baking, the shopping, the wrapping, the cooking, the parties.... It's so much fun to have my children home and to enjoy time set aside for being with friends.

It didn't really go to plan this past year.

Thanksgiving went well; although I may have overdone it. :-(

I don't get sick very often, but when I do it's usually due to me being flat out exhausted! Who knew you could get sick just from doing the things you love to do!

But I did, and it just wouldn't let go.

And guess what! The holidays happened without my input... RUDE!

While I sat on my throne... aka... the recliner, my family made it all happen.

My wonderful daughter continually surprised me. One day she bought, hauled home and decorated the entire tree by herself.

One night, I went to bed and in the morning found my kitchen full of all the favorites that I usually bake.

And just when I was considering what type of sandwiches we should have for Christmas dinner, in comes my daughter... with a fresh turkey and all the trimmings, which she turned into a lovely meal... made more impressive by the fact that my daughter does not cook!

And lest I forget, my son, who made it home for four days, made our favorite stuffing... I think it turned out better than mine.

And while all of this was happening, my sweet husband took very good care of me.

So there you go... I don't have to do it all... and sometimes shouldn't. I can let go and let others shine.

The moral of the story? Just because something needs to be done... doesn't mean that I ( or you) have to be the one to do it. In the interest of full disclosure, this is not the first time I've been taught this lesson... some lessons are harder than others!


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TIME TO HAVE SOME FUN!!!

By Cheryl Kilgore on November 8, 2018

I am so thankful God has a sense of humor!

Also... that He created me in His image... and He makes me laugh. Often at myself.

Many years ago, I had an experience in Scripture that pierced my heart. I don't even remember which verse it was, but it was calling me to be holy. I was crushed... not because of the verse itself... but because of what I thought it meant.

We happened to be visiting our closest friends shortly after my "discovery", and I told them what had happened. "God wants me to be holy, and holy people are so boring!" I think it took my friends five minutes to stop laughing! They knew me well enough to know my distress!

At home I started preparing for my life as a holy person. I got rid of all my Michael Jackson records, I stopped drinking coffee and made an effort to drive more slowly. There were more changes, and my husband will tell you that I was miserable by the end of the week.

Being holy doesn't mean getting rid of everything you enjoy. As believers in Christ, we have more reasons to be happy than most.

There are a lot of reasons to be sad these days... sad, mad, scared, etc.... Don't focus on them. Give yourself permission to experience God's promises and go have some fun!


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CONSIDER IT ALL JOY

By Randy Kilgore on October 25, 2018

The Light of Christ in us shines brightest in the darkness of trials.

Christians suffer the same trials and indignities as those who aren't Christians because we are no better or worse than those who don't yet know Him. To spare us merely because we're saved is to tell the rest of the world God loves them less than us; that we're better or more valuable than others who've not yet met Christ.

Salvation is the beginning of an eternal story that one day will end our suffering and trials, but it is not a get-out-of-jail free card from the storms on this side of life. Storms---or the absence of storms---are never an effective measure of a person's holy acceptance to God; nor are they a measure of whom He loves or doesn't love.

God can---and sometimes does---act in miraculous and supernatural ways to alter the current course of trials in our lives. It is that hope we cling to as we plead with Him in prayer for others and for ourselves. But like parents who sometimes say no to their children's earnest pleas, there are times when our Heavenly Father will say no. We're forced, then, to trust His wisdom, or not; to trust His eternal perspective, or not.

When we face trials, we must ask God to change our hearts even if He chooses not to change our circumstances. For then our perseverance may be used by the Holy Spirit to produce the kind of fruit that redeems our suffering.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3


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A CHANCE TO HELP

By Cheryl Kilgore on October 16, 2018

Have you ever visited a food pantry?

I volunteer at our local pantry, and I'm always encouraged by the people I meet. I enjoy getting to know other volunteers, and I especially enjoy getting to know the clients. I've met a wide variety of people, and like all of us, each one comes with a story.

Too often when people think of a food pantry, they have a set picture of what a client is like. I can assure you, however, there is no one-size-fits-all description that fits.

For example, I've met several people from what we would call the "upper middle class". One such client comes to the pantry for help because their spouse's cancer used nearly every dollar they had. The Pantry has been a great tool in a difficult season of life.

Many clients are embarrassed to be there. They have never before been in a position to need help from others. They feel the need to explain why they're at the Food Pantry at all.

Although my "job" has me shelving food, organizing donations and being the "check-out" volunteer, I make it my goal to speak to everyone that walks in the door... regardless of their appearance. You would be surprised at what it means to people when you call them by name. For those whose stories are the bleakest, just recognizing them, speaking their name and asking them how they are almost shocks them. They are invisible people to most, and it's like-for a moment- they remember who they once were.

Let me encourage you to find a way to reach out to the invisible people in your community. Volunteering is an option, but so is contributing food or money. Or maybe you could notice that person in your town who no one else sees. Say hello, ask their name or how they're doing. You might just make someone's day, or as Scripture says in Hebrews 13:2, "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing."


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A VERY MOOOVING TALE



By Cheryl Kilgore on October 2, 2018


When we were expecting our children, one of our prayer requests was that they would have a good sense of humor.  It might not sound like the most "spiritual" of prayer requests, but it was one that He answered, and it has played an important part in our family.

Proverbs 17:22 says, "... a cheerful heart is good medicine..." and we have found that to be true. In almost any situation you can find something to smile about; and when smiles turn into laughter it, literally, raises your spirit.

Recently, in our neighborhood, my husband overheard someone that we don't really know speak to a friend saying, "We don't know them at all, but they sure do laugh a lot!"  The way I figure, there are worse things to be known for... right?

My daughter and I were out for breakfast one Saturday, and the place was packed.  About half way through breakfast, the man next to us remarked that we seemed to be having a great time together. We entered into conversation with him, and he was soon chuckling and thanking us for letting him be a part of our conversation.

I highly recommend finding ways to smile and/or laugh.  I find that when I'm out and about, passing a baby makes me smile.  I have a few pictures on my phone that absolutely crack me up!  God's creatures can be very humorous! Have you ever heard a duck speak... quack, quack, quack. They are hilarious!

I'm so thankful God gave us humor.  It encourages me to know that He enjoys a good laugh...you can see that in His creation. Ask God to show you the funny things around you.  Remember, He tells us that,  "a cheerful heart is good medicine"!


HOSPITALITY

By Cheryl Kilgore on September 25, 2018

God instructs us to "practice hospitality".  Many think that means having people over to your home for a three course meal; and that the house has to be spotless.  I used to think that way, but I soon realized that if that were the criteria, I would never have anyone over!

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We can practice hospitality in many ways.  You could treat a friend to an ice cream cone.   You could have someone over for a BBQ in the yard.  You could drive someone to a doctor's appointment... or to a medical procedure.

You could take a meal or dessert to someone unable to leave their home.

Or maybe you could just pop over to an elderly neighbor and have a chat... or a listen.

There are lots of ways to fulfill God's instruction to reach out to people.  Practice one today!!!


GOD AT WORK

By Cheryl Kilgore on September 18, 2018

Have you ever had the joy of working in a Christian organization?  I have, and let me share with you... it felt a lot like working in a secular organization, except there seemed to be less swearing.

Even though we're taught that we are all sinners, it somehow seems worse when the problems we face are coming from Christians.  Shouldn't we practice what we preach?

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I was once at a dinner where a fellow believer was talking through a financial decision he had to make regarding his business.  When I mentioned a Scripture verse that I thought was applicable, he said, "Oh no, this isn't a spiritual decision, it's a business decision!"

Here are a few things I have learned while working with Christians.  First, every decision is a spiritual decision; you can't leave your Bible at home.  Second, a Christian organization should be a better place to work than a secular organization.  Third, we all should be honoring God; at home and work.                                                                                                          

However, the only Christian at work that I can change... me. 

So every morning before you head off to work, be sure that you put on the whole armor of God and ask Him to help you honor Him with every conversation, every decision and every behavior.  Change can only happen from the inside out!