Friday, November 24, 2017


“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;”
(Ephesians 1:15-16 KJV)

Note:  This is a revised post from November 2015 and 2016.  After an absence of a few weeks, I thought I should let my readers know that I am still alive.  

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It is currently Thanksgiving Day in the United States—a day where some people gather to enjoy each other, eat a lot of food, and for some—watch football games.  However, not everyone has this type of story.  In fact, it is a difficult season for many; please pray for those who do not have family or friends to fellowship with during this season, as well as those who have challenging relationships with family members.

During my graduate school years, I presented a variety of programs in my residence hall and at the Wesley Foundation, one of my favorite programs to present on was the topic of thankfulness—at one point I had several versions.  I attempted to present this program around Thanksgiving or shortly before finals—a very busy and stressful time for students!  A time when it is hard to be thankful!  However, I did not do this during finals week, none of us had time for programs of any type (other that “de-stress” programs, such as cuddling a puppy or kitty!). 

The programs were not elaborate or even all that time consuming; they were focused on being thankful (thinking about things, places, and people we were thankful for).  Due to the hectic and stressful nature of being a college student it was easy to lose focus on what really mattered and to be thankful for the important things and people (no matter how small) in life.  Even those of us who are not students can lose focus on what really matters; therefore, it is a good idea to mindfully practice thanksgiving each day. 

Life continues to be hectic, even after college and graduate school; it is so easy to get distracted by unimportant things and lose sight of what—and especially—who really matters.  For many of us, we are blessed beyond measure and have so much more than most of the world, yet it is easy to forget that in the workaday world.

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Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 
(Psalm 100:4 KJV)

Those of us, who have Jesus as Savior and Lord, should be among the most thankful people in the world.  In Jesus, we have been forgiven of our sins and have a multitude of blessings.  Yet, sometimes, we forget just how much the Lord has given us and has done for us.    

 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.  (Psalm 116:17 KJV)

Consider taking some time during this busy holiday season (and every day of the year) to reflect on what and who you are thankful for—you may even want to let people who you are thankful for know it! 

Have fun with it!  I imagine that your perspective on life will change, if you are persistent about doing this. 

Try listing at least three things you are thankful for each day until the end of the year.  It is fine to be thankful for the simplest of things in your life.  Then read back through them and rejoice.  In 2015 I wrote down three things each day that I was thankful for; this year I have been writing down at least five I am thankful for each day (and some times more).  It is an interesting exercise.

What are you thankful for today?

Please join with me in prayer:

Heavenly Father, we thank You for all the things and people in our lives.  In Your Word we learn that we are to be thankful in all things but not for all things.  Help us to change our perspective so that we realize just how much we do have to be thankful for; we have so much in abundance compared to many places throughout the world.  Remind us that all we have is from You.  Help us to remember to count our blessings daily and particularly when we are busy or under a lot of stress.  In our busy lives remind us to not take people or You for granted; encourage us to place others ahead of ourselves, serving them in the name of Jesus.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Dear Readers, I would like to wish you and your families a blessed Thanksgiving.  Enjoy and celebrate all of God’s richest blessings during this season of thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Christian Persecution and International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church 2017

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.  (Hebrews 13:3 KJV)

*Note: This post is a compilation of two posts that I have shared in past years on the topic of Christian persecution.  Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer in ways that are simply heartbreaking.*

Twenty-one years ago the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church started—it is generally the focus of the first Sunday of November (and occasionally the second Sunday as well).  For additional information on this day, please click here: International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.  Since the reality of Christian persecution is a daily reality in many parts of the world and needs to be publicized; I simply cannot ignore it. 

If you are interested in watching a short video (a little over six minutes), I invite you to view this year’s Voice of the Martyrs’ video Solitary Prayer.  It is about Voice of the Martyrs’ founder Richard Wurmbrand’s experiences of persecution in Communist Romania.  While it is not easy to watch videos of this nature; I believe it is vital for us to understand what is going on all around us in other parts of the world.

For some news on Christian persecution from earlier this year, please watch this a video that can be found at

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Currently throughout the world there are many countries where to be a Christian is a death sentence or at least a guarantee to lose home, employment, family, and so much more.  In the face of all this—men, women, and children demonstrate great faith in their Savior—Jesus Christ—not denying Him despite the overwhelming horror and violence.

At this point, in America we have it fairly easy—we can worship freely and without fear.  How has that affected our faith?  How strong is our faith—is it strong enough to sustain us, even if that freedom was taken away?  Some day, we may find ourselves in a very similar situation to our brothers and sisters in Christ in places such as North Korea, China, and the Middle East.

American Christians seem to be hiding their heads in the sand regarding the persecution of their brothers and sisters in Jesus, disregarding the reality of so many; thereby, refusing to even want to consider the possibility that one day they may face the exact same reality.  Persecution purifies and strengthens (or it can) Christians to live for Jesus.  The remnant that withstands persecution is stronger than before—the Scriptures are clear—persecution strengthens and grows the Church rather than killing it.

I strongly believe we can learn much from our Christian bothers and sisters in the persecuted church.  They know what it means to rejoice in the face of things what are not joyful.  Learn about them and from them.  Remember to pray for those who are suffering all because they refuse to turn from Jesus. 

As we pray for our family in chains (Hebrews 13:3), let us prepare ourselves to face the unthinkable.  While persecution is not pleasant to read or think about or even consider, denying its reality is not wise either.

Hopefully, we will never face persecution.  However, I am feeling nudged about getting prepared now, “just in case”.  After all, those of us who live in the Midwest tend to stock up on food and supplies in preparation for winter, not to mention the occasional blizzard or ice storm.

How can you prepare yourself for difficult days ahead?  Where have you placed your allegiance?

*No matter what happens in this life can you say “it is well with my soul”?*  I encourage you to listen to the following worship video from Bethel Music: 

 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 
(Philippians 3:7-8 KJV)

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Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.  
(1 Peter 4:12-19 KJV)

Please join with me in prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the testimonies and tenacious faith of our brothers and sisters in Jesus; their stories are difficult to read, watch, or hear, yet they inspire us to live more fully sold out for You.  For those who are in prison for their faith, strengthen and encourage them with Your felt presence.  Bolster their faith and witness as they face torture and unspeakable cruelty.  Illuminate their light—the light of Jesus—in the darkest of places, showing their captors Jesus.  Let them know we are standing with them and are praying for them.  Comfort and protect their families who are suffering far more than we can grasp.  Teach us through their witness how we are to live for You and even suffer and die for You.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Special Note: Faith Journey with Kim: Growing in Christ Jesus is on  Facebook.  To get to the site, please click on the grayish text above or here.  There is also a link on the right side bar.