Hello 2017! Grit. Consistency. Focus.

Hi friends! Happy New Year to you! I hope that you’re feeling hopeful, focused, loved, and encouraged as we kick off 202017-image
17! I love how the new year brings about fresh perspective and optimism.  Often we hear discouragement about n
ew year’s resolutions and/or goal setting because after all, if you didn’t follow through last year or the years prior, why should we get all riled up
about this year? But I believe that somehow in the human anatomy, we are wired for fresh starts, for plans, for growth; and so, goal setting and optimism is a good thing! The challenge comes at the implementation phase. What is our specific plan? How are we going to daily work towards the goals that we set? Did we seek God’s wisdom that takes into account our unique purpose and wiring when setting our goals? Do we have accountability? Have we counted the cost to determine what it will take to reach our goals?

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Hope: Thankful for Trials?

Hi friends! There is a different type of intimacy and closeness that can come with experiencing trials, and I tell ya, I am SO excited to have a growing perspective on trials that is anchored in The Word.

I can look back on times in my life where things weren’t going my way and, unfortunately, why meI have to admit that my perspective on what was happening, or not happening, in my life was pitiful! I’d feel like God had over looked me, maybe I thought that he didn’t really have my best interest at heart. I felt like I couldn’t trust him, like I knew better than Him, or that his word must not have been true for me.

As I grow in my relationship with Jesus, I am more and more convinced that his heart towards humanity, me included, is absolutely pure, right, true, trustworthy, compassionate, and kind. Now that may sound like a small victory, but to me it is HUGE! Continue reading

Updates (In one extremely long post)!

Hi friends! I have not been great about blogging this year. The end of 2015 was rocky for me; I found myself feeling discouraged often, overly reliant on external factors for my joy, and as much as I encourage my dear friends to have Jesus as an anchor for their souls, I had been attempting to hook my anchor into ideas, anchoredexpectations, my sweet husband, friends, and work. On December 28, 2015 God reminded me that He wanted to be close to me and was the only anchor that would not fail me. I was able to refocus and because of that, 2016 is off to a GREAT start! Here is what has been happening… Continue reading

The Modern Day Good Samaritan

samaritanAs I was reading the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-35) a couple of months ago, the Holy Spirit allowed for me to see the relevance of the parable in an entirely new, convicting light. I hope that you are able to experience His desires for the love that we demonstrate to those in our realm of influence through this post!

Check out this scripture in Luke 10…

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.35 And the next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

I’ve read this passages many times before but it wasn’t until recently that I felt a challenge in the way that I view the hurt of those around me and the love that I demonstrate to those who are hurting. Now here we see a man who was robbed, stripped of his clothing, beaten, and left for dead (vs. 30). Can you imagine riding along your street and seeing a man in this condition? Can you imagine seeing this man and driving along as if you saw nothing at all like the priest and the Levite (vs. 31-32) did? I’m sure you would at minimum call the police if you saw a scene like this. I’m sure in this situation, most of us would do SOMETHING (our natural instinct to help would kick in) to help the hurting, dying man.beat up

But what do you ACTUALLY do when you see people in this situation? No, we may not ever see a man literally beat up and dying on the side of the street but what we do see often are people who are beat up and wounded spiritually and emotionally. We do know people who are oppressed by the tactics of the enemy of their soul (John 10:10) who are in need of the love of Christ that liberates and sets free. We know people who are living life without any regard for God, we know people who are mean and difficult to love because the light of Christ is not fully filling their hearts, we know people who make bad decisions because they are being led by their own desires instead being led by Christ, and we know people who are selfish and prideful. It may be a friend, it may be a co-worker, it may be a church member, it may be a family member, or it may be a stranger. The point is this, though we don’t always see people who are physically beaten up, we regularly see people who are spiritually and emotionally beat up. The pain has been shaped by their life experiences and insecurities, it has been shaped by the distorted truth that the enemy has told them about themselves, it has been shaped by their disappointment in the people in their lives, etc. And Jesus is giving the lawyer who is challenging Him (and all of us) this as an example of how he expects us to love our neighbor.

In order for us to see the relevance of this passage for our life we must first realize this:

The Word of God is The final authority!

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness

Jesus isn’t just talking to the lawyer who is challenging Him in this scripture but He has something for all of us to see, understand, and apply. Every part of the bible is meant to communicate something about God’s love and His desire for His children. So we have to ask ourselves, when Jesus is talking about love here, what is he saying about the way that he desires for us to love? I’ve surmised the following:

A few tips on how to be a Modern Day Samaritan (And love The wounded):  

  1. Call for Help: When we become aware that we have a friend, co-worker, family member, acquaintance, or stranger that is wounded we must call on The Lord for help. We need God’s help to intervene in their situation, we need God’s help to give us the strength and wisdom to love them in a supernatural way (let’s be real, we don’t always feel like loving people selflessly).
  1. Pray for a Compassionate Heart: It’s so easy to have a hard heart. It’s easy to dwell on how jacked up a person is, how much help they need, and focus on their issues. It takes a compassionate heart to see past a person’s actions and love them anyway. One of my favorite preachers, Chip Ingram (livingontheedge.org), said it best: “As Christians, we have to see past a person’s actions and behavior to their need and eternity”. What a challenge?! And this challenge can only be met by a righteous, holy, perfect God who allows for us to share in His character through the power of His Holy Spirit that He has sent to live inside of our hearts.
  1. Total Dependence on God: It’s not easy but necessary! Unlike learning from people who can teach us how to do something that we can master, we never become completely competent in loving people. We have to look to God for guidance, humility, and strength when it comes to loving others in the way that the Good Samaritan did. It takes a lot of prayer and a continually recognition of your weakness in light of God’s strength.

 

So, who in your world is wounded? Who in your world needs an extended hand of love and grace? How will you respond? Hopefully you’re challenged to respond in love and see the person through the lens of Christ (their need and eternity) and not see them only through a carnal lens. It’s not easy, but God didn’t promise that it would be; He did promise to help those who seek Him.

Hooked on His Anchor,

Kristin Sarai

 

HOPE: God as the Masseuse

*This is actually an old post that encouraged me today so I decided to share it here. I hope that it encourages you also!*

massageThis weekend I went to the spa to celebrate the birthday of one of my dearest friends. It had been far too long since the last time that I had a massage so I was extremely excited and anticipated the relaxation. As I comfortably positioned myself on the table the masseuse informed me that my back and shoulders were really tight. I’m no newbie to massages but this one was a unique experience because the Holy Spirit decided to speak to me right there on the spot (God is always speaking but I was still enough to hear Him this time).

In my experience, the massages that have relieved the tension and made my body feel better were the ones that were uncomfortable during the process.
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Missions: The Problem with Laziness

LazyOne experience, that has shaped my life profoundly, happened while I was in graduate school at Morehouse School of Medicine. I was almost at the finished line, and nearing graduation, when two of my professors who cared about me very much pulled me into an office for a ‘heart-to-heart’ talk. I had done fairly well in school, and even received quite a few awards at our Class Day celebration, but the topic of their discussion with me was laziness. Continue reading

:: Hope:: “Today Could Be The Day”

lotteryToday could be the day…

 That is the jingle and motto for the Georgia Lottery. I can recall several instances where I have watched people eagerly standing in line to purchase lottery tickets, a bright glimmer of hope beaming in their eyes the whole time. I’ve listened to people dream out loud about exactly how they would spend the $500 million if they were ever to hit the jackpot. I’ve listened to people tell others how much greater life would be, if only they could win just $1 million. I’ve even seen people pray to God as the winning numbers were revealed, promising that they would tithe some of the money to the church if won (lol!). Continue reading