Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 16 comments

I was blessed to have the opportunity to speak at The Ladies Prime Time event at Beloit First Christian Church in Beloit Kansas this past Saturday and had a fabulous time with the women there! I just love these ladies to pieces and if I lived in Kansas I could totally see myself hanging out with them as much as possible!

God's presence was definitely palpable as we spent the morning praising Him and studying His Word. He worked in so many ways, I wrote down three pages of praises! Here are some of the highlights:
  • The eight hours of travel (2 flights + a 2-1/2 hour car ride courtesy of Barry and Donna) took their toll - giving me both the beginnings of a migraine and pain in my back and hip - but God took care of both! Once I started speaking I no longer noticed the pain! Thank You Lord!!!
  • I had so much fun giving the messages, which both flowed smoothly! (It's amazing what a difference it makes without a radio on, three TV's blaring and me gasping for air - not to mention people staring at the crazy woman talking to herself at the gym!)
Dude and Bubba were given nicknames for this very reason: they're my illustration!
  • There were no technical glitches thanks to the tremendously talented Doug, who even recorded the messages for me and played this closing video right on cue!



  • I ate a delicious brunch while catching up with my dear friend Mary. I wasn't sure if she was going to be there since she had family in from out of town, but she brought them all to the event with her!

  • Kay did a wonderful job organizing the event and really paid attention to detail, including creating the fantastic centerpieces and placing these cute notepads with the title of my message on them at each place setting. (I was really happy with how my bookmarks turned out too!)

  • Comedian Ken Davis said that "Love Offerings" are usually more love than offering, but that certainly wasn't true in this case! Not only were the women very generous, but the offering was given to help support OpeN Christian Center, our school in Kenya!
  • I had a pleasant trip back to the airport with Kay and her husband J.R. She left me a care package of snacks which was a godsend since I wasn't able to purchase dinner in the airport. 
PLUS on the way home I met the flight attendant of my dreams! (Truthfully, I couldn't have even imagined one so incredible!)


Justin was courteous, respectful, and fun; he even made the announcements in such a way that I actually wanted to listen. For instance, rather than going on about a problem with the air exchanger he said, "You people need to quit talkin' 'cause y'all are heatin' up my plane!" He also went to the back of the plane and introduced us to the man seated in front of the restroom, informing us that we needed to give him a break and make sure we close the door all the way. (It was a weird door - I've never seen one like it.)

Then he did something that no one in my experience has EVER done before - he called EVERYONE by name when serving the beverages. And no first names, but Mr. or Mrs. fill-in-the-blank.

For those of you who haven't flown in a while, that's all you get on a 2 hour flight at dinner time - 4 ounces of the beverage of your choice. After all that speaking and driving I was parched. As a result, my glass of water was empty before he made the trek back up the aisle. The look on the faces of most flight attendants discourage even asking for refills, but not Justin, so I asked and he gave me 2 MORE glasses of water. As I was explaining about my water bottle (which was empty because I couldn't find a drinking fountain to fill it in the airport) he asked me for it and FILLED THAT TOO!

Normally I don't mention companies by name, but I'm going to make an exception since United was smart enough to hire Justin. So United, if you're out there, I have a few suggestions for you:
  • Give this guy a raise! Whatever you're paying him, trust me, it's not enough. You don't want to lose this one.
  • Clone this guy! Seriously, you need a Justin on every flight. If you could guarantee me one, I would fly with you on every trip. (Right now, the airline with the lowest fare wins my business.)
  • OK, since that last one's not humanly possible, at least put him in charge of training flight attendants. If I was an undercover boss (which unfortunately I'm not) that's what I'd do. That, and give him a million dollar bonus. He's worth every penny.
  • Assign him to international flights; specifically one's going to Nairobi this summer. (OK, so that's a personal request.) Now that I've experienced a flight with Justin, I don't know how I'm going to make it 8 hours in a plane without him!
Seriously, Justin, I hope you stopped by to read this. (I'd love it if you'd let me know in the comments!) You rock, my man! Well done! You have a great future ahead of you and I wish you the best! I also wish you would be on every flight I ever take for the rest of my life!

Lord, thank you for looking after every last detail and making this trip fabulous from beginning to end! There's nothing I'd rather do more than meeting great people and telling them about YOU! I can't wait to do it again and see where You'll take me next!


Lisa


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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 7 comments

A funny thing happened to me recently...
I was linking up my blog at Tell His Story and the post by Jennifer Dukes Lee caught my attention. It was the beginning of Lent and she was giving up mirrors - all of them.

My first thought was, "I could never do that! There's no way I could get my contact lenses in."

And God immediately replied, "No, but you could give up the scale."

Seriously? I didn't see that one coming!

I'm in the process of fitting back into my jeans and You want me to keep off the scale?

That's just crazy!

I recently finished reading Jeremiah in our Bible Reading Plan and I realized that God called him to do some pretty crazy things too, such as:
  • NOT praying for God's people. (Jeremiah 7:16, 11:14)
  • Making a yoke and wearing it on his neck. (Jeremiah 27:2)
  • Buying property in the land his nation is being driven out of. (Jeremiah 32:15)
And the one that takes the cake:
  • Buying new underwear and wearing it down to the river, where he was instructed to taking it off and bury it. Then a long time later, he was told to dig it back up! (Jeremiah 13:1-4)
Crazy!

Let's face it; God is not beyond doing seemingly crazy things to get His point across. And I'd say not stepping on a scale when you're trying to lose weight definitely falls into that category.

Then I began to wonder, "What is His point?"


The truth is, I get way too hung up on numbers and was getting on the scale far too often. I wasn't using it to track my progress as much as I was using it to see how much I could get away with. Not exactly the best healthy-eating plan, is it? (Could this be why the pounds have been falling off at such an excruciatingly slow pace?)

The point was fitting back into my jeans again (which technically I can do. Now the point is to be able to move in said jeans.) So what does that have to do with numbers? Not much, really.

It's not a bad thing to want to wear my old jeans again. Beating myself up because things aren't happening as quickly as I'd like them to, that's a bad thing. Getting hung up on the numbers, that's a bad thing too.

So why would God want me to stay away from the scale? Maybe because:
  • I need to focus on eating what is healthy, not what I can get away with. 
  • The needle isn't always going to reflect my efforts. I need to focus on doing what I'm supposed to do and not what the scale is saying.
And most importantly:
  • The number on the scale IN NO WAY affects how God sees me and should not affect how I see myself.


God clearly instructed me; this much is clear to me because this certainly isn't something I'd come up with myself. So it all comes down to a question of obedience. Knowing what God wants me to do, the question is, do I obey Him or not. If I'm not obedient in the little things, like staying away from the scale, how can He entrust me with bigger things?

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much..." Luke 16:10

I've chosen to stay off the scale - and haven't been on it for four weeks now - even though it makes me a little nervous. I don't trust myself, but I do trust God and want Him to find me trustworthy.

How about you? Has God ever called you to do anything crazy?

Lord, You're always doing things that don't make any sense to me, but I'm thankful for that. If everything fit within my understanding, what kind of God would you be? Thank you for allowing me to hear your voice and for giving me the desire to obey!


Lisa


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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 17 comments

Tips for Tuesday


Peeling a banana.

Child's play, right?

Who would've thought that for all these years I've been doing it wrong!

It wasn't until a fruit-loving missionary friend schooled me that I learned the error of my ways. As I was reaching for a knife to cut the stem, he stopped me and instructed me to open it the way the monkeys do.

Um, O.K.; I guess they would know.

And they don't carry knives (that I'm aware of.)

With that, he turned the banana around and opened it from the bottom. 

Voila! 




Seriously? I've spent my entire life doing it wrong?















And speaking of doing it wrong, I just saw this on Facebook:





How do I miss these things?



Please tell me I'm not the only one!


As long as I'm being schooled, do you know of any simple tip that I may be missing?  I'd love to know, so please leave me a comment!


Lisa


I've been known to link up with: Inspire Me MondayLiving Proverbs 31, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Soli Deo GloriaUnite, Titus 2sdaysTell Me a StoryTeach Me Tuesdays, Tutorials and Tips, Knick of Time, A Little R&R Wednesdays, Hope in Every Season, Doing You Well Wednesday, Thriving Thursday, The HomeAcre Hop, Think Tank Thursdays, Thrive at Home, Inspire Me PleaseHome Sweet Home Funky Junk Interiors, Friendship Friday, Feathered Nest Friday, Frugal Friday, Thrifty Things Friday, Make My Saturday Sweet, What Have You Redone, DIY Sunday Showcase , Think Pink Sundays,

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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 14 comments



"No good deed will go unpunished."


Have you had times when this statement appeared to be true? You intend to be considerate or do something nice and somehow you end up with a trainwreck.

http://cdn1.sbnation.com/
My husband is always saying that in order to have good communication, the person with the information needs to share it. I agree wholeheartedly, so that's what I did when I received a positive update on a tragic situation that dated back a few years. I sent a group message relaying the good news to a handful of others who were intimately acquainted with the chain of events.

I could see where the conversation started to go off-track. Hard truth was spoken. A comment was received by one when it was actually intended for another. What was meant as joking was not taken as funny. 

Assumptions were made. 

Words were said. 

Feelings were hurt.

Somehow the good news I shared ended up in a trainwreck of confusion and offense. It would be easy to point fingers, assign blame and harbor bitterness. That's our human nature. 

And that's exactly what satan wants.

I've noticed lately that the more time I spend with God, the better I'm able to pull back and see things from His perspective. He showed me that this situation has less to do with the people involved than with the evil one who orchestrated this trainwreck. 

Other people are not the enemy. Satan is the enemy. 

Hear these words from Jack Hayford: "Satan" means accuser and adversary; “devil” means slanderer…God’s word reveals him as a distinct, vile personality who rules the forces of darkness and operates systematically in the spiritual realm against everything good, righteous, noble, pure, and healthy.  He commands forces of lesser fallen angels, and he roams throughout the earth.

  • The adversary lies to people.
  • The adversary imposes fear on people.
  • The adversary depresses and oppresses people.
  • The adversary sows doubt in people’s minds.
  • The adversary seeks to defeat and discourage people.
Communication is healthy. Trainwrecks are not.

We've all been hurt by another person at one point or another. Maybe it was the betrayal of a friend, or a misunderstanding with a family member. Regardless of who said what, it's crucial that we don't forget about the real enemy who's orchestrating these events. When you take offense or harbor bitterness or unforgiveness, you are playing right into the enemy's hand!

"Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." ~ Ephesians 6:12

Do you know what God says immediately before and after this verse?

"Put on the full armor of God."

I wrote a series of posts describing each piece of armor God gives us in Ephesians 6. Do you know what each of these pieces of armor have in common? Each one of them is rooted in the Word of God. 

But putting on the armor is just the first step, because if you don't know how to use the armor it's not going to be very helpful. It's crucial to read the Bible and ask for God's instruction so that you can drive back the evil forces seeking to create chaos.

Has something you intended for good or an innocent remark you made ever ended up in a trainwreck?


Lisa


I've been known to link up with: Inspire Me Monday,  Living Proverbs 31, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Unite, M,M and M, Monday Musings, Whole-Hearted Home, Soli Deo GloriaTitus 2sdaysTell Me a StoryGrowing Homemakers, Wise Woman, Women Helping Women, Tutorials and Tips,Tell His Story, Winsome Wednesday, Doing You Well Wednesday, Hope in Every Season,  A Little R&R Wednesdays, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Inspire Me Please, Think Tank Thursdays, Thrive at Home, Thriving Thursday, The HomeAcre Hop, Faith Filled Friday, The Weekend Brew, Friendship Friday, Make My Saturday Sweet, Spiritual Sundays,  Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, Sunday StillnessHeart-Filled Fridays,  #Fellowship Fridays, Essential Things,
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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 4 comments


Tips for Tuesday


I'm excited to introduce you to a friend of mine, Susie Finkbeiner, who is guest-posting today. 

Susie is a novelist and short story writer from West Michigan. Her first novel, "Paint Chips" relaeased in 2013 and her second novel, "My Mother's Chamomile" - which she'll be telling us about today - just came out a few weeks ago! And, she's currently working on her third novel! 

Susie is a wife, mother of three, and avid reader. She enjoys time with her family, coffee dates with her good friends, and quiet moments to read and write. 

Let's hear from Susie:
"Comfort Spills" 

My in-laws live in Roswell, New Mexico. Yes, it’s a quirky place. McDonalds is built to look like a UFO and Walmart has an alien painted on the wall. Most of the town is devoted to the tourists who come, looking for evidence of extraterrestrials.

It’s a fun place to visit.

Fun, but dry. Desert spans for miles. It’s hard to tell how many. Blaring sun and dry sand make depth perception fail. The aridity wicks away all moisture. All day, the goal is to keep from becoming dehydrated.

During my whole visit, I was reminded of one very important thing: the desert is dangerous. I could mean death to someone ill prepared. To someone who is not mindful of its perils.

In my novel “My Mother’s Chamomile”, my character Olga Eliot finds herself in a desert of grief. A wilderness of loss. Dry and hopeless and isolating. She feels a kinship with the Israelites who wandered on their trek to the Promised Land.

The desert seemed to have no end. For her and the Children of God. In that desert, they question God. His love for them. His power.

My pastor reminds us often that, in the desert, faith either grows or dies.

I believe he’s right about that.

How many times have I been in a Spiritual desert? Too many to count. Feeling alone. Terrified. Near the end of hope. Wandering aimlessly, wishing for a little direction. Not knowing that what I needed more than anything was mercy. Comfort. A flood of relief.

That, not only did I require it, I would need to accept it. Not only for myself, but for others.

First Corinthians 1:3-11 is all about receiving comfort so that we can become a comfort for others.

When we walk through the desert, we are comforted by Christ. Often that looks like a friend bringing over a casserole. Or someone paying a bill we can’t manage. A kind word. A warm hug.

We drink deeply of mercy, having more than our fill. Let the oasis of comfort immerse us. Renew us.

Refreshed, we have the power, the resources, to let that comfort spill over. To wash over those around us.

And, in the cleansing, faith grows. 


Lisa here again.

I had the pleasure of reading "Paint Chips" and I'm looking forward to "My Mother's Chamomile" (which you can order here)!  How about you? 


If you'd like to connect with Susie you do so on her website.

And you can find her latest book here:  http://www.amazon.com/My-Mothers-Chamomile-Susie-Finkbeiner-ebook/dp/B00IC8E530/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394306213&sr=8-1&keywords=susie+finkbeiner


Lisa

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