June 24, 2015

My Goody Bag Stinks!


I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:25 NLT

As a child we are taught what to do and how to do it.  It is our parents, or those with whom we are placed helplessly, which form the mesh of moral fiber upholding the weigh of every thought we conceive. It is out from this generational goody bag where we must begin to discern: What goodies do I want from this gift bag or is really a goody bag at all.  The truth is most of the stuff we have in our pretty cellophane  is nothing more than a mess of broken feelings, opinions and knowledge which have little to do with God's truth. They are memories formed out from good intentions, and possibly, usually, good intentions gone wrong.  The fact is, usually when we rely on a goody bag without holding it accountable to God's good ways, it is more of a trash bag in need of being separated into waste and recyclables.

At some point the child becomes the next generation and they are accountable for the gift bags they extend.  This maturity / wisdom begins with a grown up perspective: Just because "something" brings me happiness does not mean my feelings are aligned with God's will: if a person, place or thing is really good for me and trust worthy. Neither does it mean that our feelings of unhappiness are accurate in whether something is truly good for us or not.  The point is, just like a child, instinctively we do what we believe will make us happy.  And what makes all of us happy is to have people around us who enjoy us, see how special we are and won't ask too many questions which make us squirm, or shake us up.

This is where we left off:

Without being shook, we will never realize we can be shaken.  If we do not know we have a need, we can not ask for help.  When we do not need help, we never look up for God.  And with out God we are mere mortals......and mere mortals come to an end in this life. 

Let's merge these two tracks: When we are doing what we believe to be good, even expected and we are not receiving the appropriate outcome, it creates confusion. It is as if someone is holding out a "goody bag" but there does not seem to be any good thing within it.  Or maybe we feel that the bag is being withheld and given to others, when it rightfully is our turn to have a grab.  When our happiness gets interrupted our happy train comes to a halt; because a train cannot run on two tracks. It is at this intersection we must pause and ask: what is the truth here, which way should I pursue. This verse from Jeremiah is a KB cornerstone:
This is what the Lord says: 'stand at the cross road and look,  ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls'.  But you said,  'we will not walk in it'. Jer 6:16
Usually we do not pause, we go full steam ahead till something causes a major road block.  God calls it a stumbling block, the narrow path which we and all our goodies cannot pass through.  He lovingly warns us that our words and actions must equal, or we are not being honest with Him, others or our self.

What happens when a persons words and actions do not equal?  Well......it hurts others.....and it hurts the relationship.  It changes everything: them, you and the good that God had planned for you; because you are not asking what the good is and generously giving it.  We hide these things even from our own heart, we allow our heart to become deceived; we harden our hearts to our unrighteousness, paint it pretty, talk it up and point it out with a bit of flair.

If we continue down this path, it will soon become hauntingly ugly.  Our efforts must become dedicated toward: deflection, manipulation, creating a distance between the sweet relationships and activities God has blessed us with.....if we want to continue to believe we are doing what He considers good, that is.  As long as we are doing something good and can give honor to God is it really manipulation, are we really withholding or stealing their goodies? Is it really something another person should speak up about?  What about those who might be benefiting from our motives and who do not really question why they are receiving a goody bag, should it be given elsewhere?  Is it their place to question a gift?

We will pause here for the day, I pray for wisdom and discernment in each of our lives.  May the grace of God and His Righteousness bear witness to each of us this day.

In Christ, Kisses,
Candace


© Candace Huffmaster 2015, All Copy Rights Reserved
Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc°


June 2, 2015

Not Again, Are You Kidding ME!





This expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.   ~ Hebrews 12:27





As you know it has been almost an entire month since I have been able to pause and post.  Each year when the school systems release their students, it is reminds me of a race: the starter shooting his pistol and the runners fleeing their mark for the open lanes. Never-the-less when I do return it is always with matured comprehension of what I felt was already understood.  This year has been no less insightful / challenging.

After years of dealing with similar situations, and / or the same families, over this stretch of time, I have come to realize, the crisis is not usually with what's happening, but rather with the individuals thoughts in the midst of what's happening. (Do not confuse this topic with making a safety plan and leaving an abuser. click the Emergency or The Cause Is Love tab on our website for resources.)

As we have discussed often: Usually God does not change our circumstance or environment; he changes us in the midst of a troubled and chaotic world. Think about how similar events continually happen to us.  But our frame of mind, attention and environment will be altered in someway every time; much like the movie Groundhog day.  Each nuance creates an opportunity; the opportunity we run off the mark for is our choice.  God is mindful, merciful and gracious to not allow temptation to overtake us; but we will have another time, if necessary to pass the test. (1 Peter 1:6)

God lovingly put obstacles in the middle of our pathway.  These are not because He is mean or angry with us; it is to train us up in the things we can not know otherwise.  His ways are not of this world; which means He must find the way which refocuses our attentions toward His kingdom.  Obviously, we can have knowledge and think that is enough.  But without unpacking it and trying it out we only get to know His words; not the person who said them.

Without regular diverse challenges, we humans have a tendency to become too confident in the assessment of our own proficiency.  Without knowing it we go rogue as we try to make it to God.  God never intended to make it difficult or dependent on our own abilities to cross into His Kingdom.  He sets multiple challenges to give us practice, stretch our faith and trust muscle. It is in the challenges where we realize our natural frailties.  If we become weakened to the point of shaking, God just may be given an opportunity to show off His supernatural capabilities. At least that is His will in our time of need.  

Without being shook, we will never realize we can be shaken.  If we do not know we have a need, we can not ask for help.  When we do not need help, we never look up for God.  And with out God we are mere mortals......and mere mortals come to an end in this life.

This is enough for today; God rest our souls in His peaceful presence, both now and forever.

Kisses,
Candace  



© Candace Huffmaster 2015, All Copy Rights Reserved
Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc°

May 6, 2015

What Are You Here For?


Forgive me this wrong!  Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.  ~ 2 Corinthians 12: 13b,14



As I have been studying these past few months, there have been consistencies which rise to the top of it all.  Today, I am attempting to articulate one main thought: What are you here for? 

We all have a reason for "everything" we do; there is no skirting the fact.  What is yours?
Out from that let me ask you to consider these questions: "What is in it for you?"  and "What is in it for the other person/s?"

Some of us think God wants things from us; our money tops the list.  Maybe you think he wants your worship, your possessions, you to act right, you to serve Him, charitably.  God does not want to burden us.  You don't have to believe me, He said many times, in many ways. Here are a couple:

  1 John 5:3: For this is the love of God, that we keep Him commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. 
Matthew 11:29,30 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light?

We hear these scriptures, when overwhelmed, and think "YES! Hook me up to some Jesus-Amen!" Maybe it is when we face the end of life in some way; we all are unsettled by death. For some of us there was a time when we were afraid, if we were to die, we would go to hell.  For others they have pondered "if" there might actually BE a hell. However we got to the intersection, the road narrowed and we had a decision to make: Heaven or hell?

In that defining moment Heaven or hell, left or right, no other options on the table, accepting Jesus Christ, as savior, just makes good sense; agreed?  When given an option between no more sorrow, death, crying or pain, verses, utter darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, everyone would snatch the free ticket into the golden gate city.

Here is the thing though: Those travelers only want what they receive from Christ.  I would venture as far to say, they would just as soon choose Satan if he had the ticket or said, misery, torment and eternal damnation are off the agenda now.  In fact, I think it would seal the deal if he gave the "but wait, that's not all spiel": AND you can continue to be focused on yourself; AND not have to mess with "other peoples" feelings"!  I can hear people saying, "I'm in ~ it sounds like a hell-of-a-place!"

What he doesn't want them to see is this:  When all the true Christians are gone, there will be no one they can trust,  except when that person will be getting something in return.  They will protect you as long as you have something to offer.  But that is not real, if they trust in that they are fools - so ultimately no one, not even their own motives.

When a person hears the truth of the gospel and understands that Christ came because we had no hope of escaping eternal separation from the Holy One.  He, Christ, had to allow us to take everything He was given and giving with no return at all. His loving kindness and suffering was devalued and counted as nothing.  He in return values our lives and counts what we've done as nothing in light of the possibilities.  To this day we continue to defend ourselves, distort His character and refuse to accept the gravity of who we really act like.  But God is patient, Christ sympathizes and the Holy Spirit, though grieving, keeps on keeping on 24/7, within/ for the one(believer) who's focus isn't on being saved, but on knowing the ONE who saves.  

It is only these people who will, in fact, BE saved; the others won't have spent time with Him, getting to know Him and changing into the image of the recognized Son of God, as the result of their time together.  And it is by His name, character and integrity that we are indeed becoming the Sons of God.

If I can have just a few more seconds: Please think about what you are here for: Is it that you desire not to be seen in all your shamefulness, or if you see your shamefulness, are you repulsed to the point of giving back all that you've taken plus interest to them?

If being second, not being able to have fun if you are second, or maybe never being noticed for your efforts is a deal breaker - as a common thing, I'd say you are in a hell-of-a-place my friend!

May we all do more than "know" we are sinners; may we BE ever changing, day by day, till He returns for US. For He is our Father, He is "here for us" and will not be a burden upon us.  Amen!

Kisses,
Candace


 
© Candace Huffmaster 2015, All Copy Rights Reserved
Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc°
 

May 2, 2015

Mere Intent; The Cries Of Our Heart

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:1-4

 Our prayers are a showing of the cries of our heart, this is why the psalms are so real throughout all generations.  If you have never written out the cries of your heart I would highly suggest doing so.  Over the years you will see how your thoughts and feelings morph over time.  It also helps us to locate what we have on our center stage - meaning who we are looking after or loving.  Sad to say most of the time we are on the stage; but we fool ourselves because we really believe we are doing our best to love others.

It is in our thoughts and prayers which we can see the truth of our intent. It is also a safe space to reflect and feel close to God as we ask for wisdom, discernment and instruction.  We must also never forget that His power and life is within us to brace, empower and encourage our unskilled, weak frame as we embark on living it out.

These are my considerations for the day:

 Dad,

I truly need your help in discerning my emotions and how I act toward others - I need you to investigate my heart, mind and soul and prosper your spirit in my own life.  Help me see the truth of my intentions without holding them in comparison to others actions toward me, or what I see happening around me.
Help my every intention to be holy, lovely and pure.  And when attacked, help me to not retaliate in evil ways - but trust that in all I do I am here to do your work, be loved and prospered by you; and ultimately be who you divinely created me to be.
In all things you are Lord! Help me live mindful of where I immaturely act against that truth. Help me to prosper in growing into the maturity that is ours in Christ Jesus.  Help me to never turn back to the life I have left behind, but see that all I am moving toward is so much more than any vain pleasures I walked away from.
Thank you for this day, my life, my relationship with you, the activities you have for me to participate in and the family I so dearly love.  No matter how I perceive the feelings, thoughts and intents of those closest to me, may I always be above reproach and clearly bringing glory to you.  After all it is by your passionate zeal that I am even able to consider these things.  And if I can consider them, I can desire them and if I can desire them then you train me up to have the preparedness to use them as the opportunity arises.
You said: I AM THAT I AM and in all things you will be with me - setting all things by your sovereign purposes; may that be active and freely accepted as a perfectly beautiful thing in my heart, mind and soul ~ always in all ways.

For the Love you so richly give to us all,
Kisses,
Candace

© 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc°

April 7, 2015

No More Days Here





If we truly believe, we will love. If we really believe.....we are asked to not be fearful. When "we fear we forget" to love others, because all we can feel is our own body and what "we think we need".

How grand would we love if we thought we would not be able to love another day?  What incredible strength could we find,within ourselve to show it, knowing today was the only day left?  How deeply would our hearts break for our wives, or our husbands, if we knew they would suffer in the weight of being stretch and at the same time we being buried beneath insurmountable grief.

It is easy to not want something while you have it with you.  It is easy to say "if they leave it might be hard for a minute but look at everything else which will be better".  It is easy to fill their space with work, friends, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and children; or even nothing but imaginary disconnected things.  But in the reality of a clear moment those lies will surely fail.

These are the thoughts which grieved our Lord and Savior, the thoughts which gave him hope to persevere and endure.  These hopes were not his own, but His Fathers and those griefs are the same ones as the Holy Ghost.

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. "You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. ~ John 14:27, 28

When His people are grieved, so is He.  May we do all we can to love and encourage day after day, as long as it is still called "Today (Hebrews 3:13)

If you have not heard For King and Country's interview about the video above you should hit play and hear that and the song - inspirational!

I pray we love deeply, with the grace we have ourselves been given and let nothing keep His glory from returning to His presence.  May it be the witness of His life in many ways....

In Christ
Kisses,
Candace

© 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc°

April 3, 2015

And As For Fame.....

 God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, Father of Glory: I call out to You on behalf of Your people. Give them minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so they will truly know You. Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance.  Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power. ~ Ephesians 1:17-19

This morning I was looking for a scripture the scripture which speaks about God's plan for bringing all people together as one: connecting, interlocking, destroying divisions, harmonizing.  But then I realized my focus was about to skip over one thing.  My heart, mind and soul were in gear, however my Spirit was imploring that I take pause, linger awhile and pull my sights back in toward Him.....Christ ......alone.

We rightfully love the inclusion, the gracious empowerment of our eternal inheritance and the fellowship of our body, His church.  But today, again rightfully, He deserves my devoted attentions. He humbled himself, left his home and the comfort of joy filled serenity without end.  He entered with no great welcome by the masses, He exited as the masses screamed "Jump down" "Save your self" and "We have no king other than Caesar".

I thank God, for His divine plan and willingness to fulfill His good pleasure.  For empowering Jesus to not think of him self and jump down.  I praise Christ for the glory he brought His kingdom and for enduring to the end, shifting the paradigm.  So today, instead of jumping up in excitement, I will abide in the space of His precious presence. Knowing that my King gave up all His treasures so I could enjoy "my life".

Thinking about all this I was reminded of one of my favorite songs back in the 80's, King for a Day.  The inserted video is actually of an Argentine commercial, (it is like a mini sci-fi movie) and the only sound in it is the Thompson Twins song.  After listening to the song, I see why it came to mind, Christ may have only had one, one taste of what a worldly king receives, being praise by his public.  But what they did not see was his desire to give them so much more than any earthly king was able to give.  I pray that those shouts of Hosanna were carried in his heart as he entry into His eternal reign.   For those of you who are my family in Christ, could you please join with me in praying the Paul's prayer listed in the opening.  I thank God for each of you, and that we are called as One, in Christ.

For His glory and righteousness,
Kisses ~ Candace

Thompson Twin - King For a Day Lyrics Link: http://www.lyricsdepot.com/thompson-twins/king-for-a-day.html


© 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc°

March 27, 2015

People Don't Change

image from sodahead.com
God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old, Selah because they do not change and do not fear God ~ Psalm 55:19
 Sometime I think about how overwhelming life was for me when I struggled to understand why things were so hard. Many times I wondered why all my efforts did not reap the reward, which  similar efforts and plans of others appeared to lavishly achieve. This, of course, was not limited to professional / recreational successes but relational as well.

I do not really have any answers for those question; my apologies if your life has had its share of these plagues. But hopefully what I do understand will encourage you in some way:  God is sovereign and His plans are for our good.  Some of those things, I trust, would not have brought the satisfaction or end result which His BEST would afford us.  In reality, now, I realize how short sighted some of my desires were, based on how I have changed, matured and gained wisdom.

It was in my striving and not getting, being hurt by others and being left wounded emotionally or physically to deal with the fall out, among other things,which finally opened my heart, mind and soul to the One who knew everything I wanted, needed, regretted and distorted: The Lord God Almighty.  Over many years I have praised Him, questioned Him, cried out in frustration to Him and sat silently with Him.  And at the end of each I was so desperately grateful that He is the same and promises to NOT change, yet will Himself never cease to change ME.  

How in the world would I, or anyone,  realize that His Spirit is in me and desiring to help if everything in life constantly made me happy and emote in pleasant ways; which would also mean having so much time, energy and wealth to care for those I desired to help occasionally.  I must assume, people would become fake around me just to get what they wanted, which does not foster realistic, fragile relationships.  Without these dependable relationships in my life, I would never be able to figure out how selfish my real self is; since most often the real us is only exposed when we don't get our way or are confronted regarding our interactions and thoughts.

Most troubling to me is is the thought, of which I am fairly confident, that without the undesirable things, if I had received my life as I wanted it,  I would not have desired God, not really, nor a Savior.  Why would I, If I could get it, accomplish it and gain the glory for my efforts, what would I need to be saved from? And if I was having such fantastic accomplishments here and feeling good about saving others from their discomfort and worldly evils, why in the world would I want to leave a life like that?

In reality however, I did not get life on a silver platter, and I have God size needs all the time.  The difference now, from then, is that as God continued working on my interior and disciplining me (which of course is always in motion), life really did not and has not changed very much outside of me.  NOW,  I am grateful that He chose to change ME and NOT everything that came crushing in on my feelings, which stemmed from physical things past and present and hopes of the future. Due to His choices, His ways, He has managed to prove Himself in the changes within me and how those changes have altered my dynamics within this world - whether private or public.

If anyone has ever told you "People don't change". Please feel free to borrow my reply, which oddly enough came out of the mouth of a christian counselor.  "If people do not change, then why on earth did Christ have to suffer and die?"  People say many things for many reasons......however, the undisputed sovereign truth states: change what you believe, change the way you think, change the way you act that you may change while you live and also change your eternity.  That seems to be a WHOLE LOT of changing for one person - just sayin'!

There is more I wanted to ponder here from scripture; but another time.  As for today, I am ending with something Charles Spurgeon wrote reminding us that God doe not change:
Remember God is the same, whatever is removed. Your friends may be disaffected, your ministers may be taken away, every thing may change, but God does not. Your brethren may change and cast out your name as vile: but God will love you still. Let your station in life change, and your property be gone; let your whole life be shaken, and you become weak and sickly; let everything flee away—there is one place where change cannot put his finger; there is one name on which mutability can never be written; there is one heart which never can alter; that heart is God's—that name Love. 
Charles Spurgeon 

My prayer for us is to worship and serve the One who will never cease to stay with us and save us beyond what we call "REAL".  May each of you have a magnificent day; God gave us light and said each day is good.  And while people don't change unless they desire something better for themselves, God will never stop changing those who are willing for Him to do it.

Let's start thinking about our life from His vantage point ;)

Kisses,
Candace

© 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc°

March 11, 2015

God's Jealous Desire

We last were considering sitting at the feet of Christ, allowing Him to teach us and walking with Him.

The problem is we drag our feet when it comes to participating in what is really God's will, God's way.  We have our own will and frankly, most of the time, we simply think it is no big deal; we know, in our heads, that He knows what we are doing.  However I think we minimize the whole "grieving the Holy Spirit" situation.  We are not tender any longer because we think more of our wants, than focusing on how we hurt others, otherwise we would see how unloving, ungodly and sinful we are almost 24/7.

In Galatians 5 we are advised to walk in the Spirit so that we will not carry out things which are not loving in the eyes of God, toward one another.  If we cannot submit ourselves to the Lord, then we are submitting our selves to sin;  It really is that simple.  Of course we are not damned to hell if we are saved; but we sure will be grieving the holy spirit.  Yet the holy spirit perseveres in loving kindness towards us by the power of God anyway.  Christ came, suffered and died that the spirit might come to help us.  Christ is in heaven now, but the holy spirit has settled right down in our muck! This I think best represents LONG...Suffering...

 Out from our darkness, His light shines forth, as best we will allow it.  His voice is calling out within our darkness,  imploring and empowering us to do as Romans 12 encourages us to do: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Can we begin to prove what the will of God is.......that which is good, acceptable and perfect? 

James tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to you, Why do you think God would ever desire to draw close to any of us, other than the fact that no one loves a child more than their parent does.  But we have hated Him, killed His son, our savior and we continually grieve His holy spirit........Do you get it? It is for the His holy spirit within us, working so hard for no earthly reason at all except to bring God's will to fruition: to reconcile the body that He so desire and calls His own.  The Holy Spirit is the embodiment of Gods powerful, lovely, hopeful, forgiving, pure and perfect Holiness.  Of course God wants to pull Him, His own holiness, close and never let go!  James wrote:
"He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?

In chapter 12 of Romans we are warned: the night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Think about a few things: Most of us know when we are covering up the mouth of the holy spirit, sitting on Him so He cannot run us out of a situation or dragging him grieving along as we do things, which are neither holy, lovely or pure, around or toward other person.  When we say we are a Christ follower and desire to be used by God, for His glory, we must stop doing anything which we would not do, or say, if we could see Him (as He is) right here with us.  Even the thoughts we have, the conversations in our mind, we deceive our self forgetting that the Holy Spirit is right there comprehending everything!

Let me end today with these passages from James Chapter 4:13-17: Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

My prayer for each of us is that we consider how we feel when we are grieved, humble ourselves by asking His forgiveness for our multitude of grievances toward Him, the gift of His holy spirit, and then thank Him for allowing us another opportunity to show love to His Spirit, asking that the holy spirit teach us how to show Him preference.  I pray that we will quickly turn our faces toward Him, submit all our thoughts, actions and will for today and tomorrow, as we pray for all our efforts and communications with others to be proof as to what His will is on earth as it is in heaven.

In my opinion That would prove something mighty for His glory.

With Love, in Christ,
Kisses,
Candace
© 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc°