Archive for the ‘How to….’ Category

Monday’s Mantra: Who/What are You Plugged Into?

Monday, November 28th, 2016

What/Who are you Plugged Into?

Welcome to Monday’s Mantra and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I hope you are still smiling from the memories made this Thanksgiving. I just love this time of year but it’s taken me time to get there. Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith and let’s go tie some knots as we gain a fresh perspective as “the season” comes upon us.

Tis’ the season…Do you have too much month at the end of your money? Does time run out before your list of things ends? Why is it that these two things, time and $$, pull our focus with a steroidal tug that can literally knock us off balance and leave us completely unaware of the needs of others.

I’m not one that watches a lot of T.V. nor am I one who can recite commercials word for word or character for character but there are a couple that have caught my eye, and encouraged my soul over the last few days, the commercials from TJ Max, Marshalls and Home Goods. Now some may say it’s just a marketing campaign to pull on peoples’ heartstrings, but hey, maybe it’s time we had our heartstrings pulled in a different direction, a direction that leads away from spending so much on too many inevitably sending us spiraling frantically when we go to pay the bills.

The sooner we face this truth, the sooner we can be free from busy business!

What we spend the majority of our time on is where our heart is.

There is no way we can be mindful of the needs around us if we are too busy, focused on our own agendas and especially if we haven’t gotten plugged into our Source first thing in the morning. And even then, if I’m running too fast, too much, I need to stop for a re-charge!

And get this: He waits there for you to plug into Him and recharge you! In Matthew 5:6, He tells us to go into our room and shut the door and pray to our Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you!

So…find a room with a door, shut it, talk with Him for a few minutes, get yourself recharged and refocused so as to avoid being pulled into the world, for though we are in it, we are not of it or from it. What would our worlds look like if we were to remain plugged in to Him more than remaining unplugged?



Power Friday-from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Friday, November 7th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

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Happy Friday and thanks so much for stopping by for our Coffee Hour and for our Power Friday! Can you believe Christmas is around the corner? Oops, sorry… There I go again, jumping ahead in life! Grab your coffee and let’s stay in this moment!

I am currently in the trenches with people who are willing to deal with their hurts, habits and hang-ups by looking at the root(s) they are tied to. We have just finished with the Root of Despair, and I am so loving this transforming journey with these fellow transformers! This root was actually a very powerful one for me, probably one that was the easiest to write for it’s the easiest to detect. See, what I mean is that despair is rooted in a lack of hope, and people who lose hope become incredibly desperate.

But there is something rather profound in this whole dilemma of despair, which translates to no hope. Could it be that who/what we put our hope in leaves us bankrupt? Leaves us empty of the will to fight? Threatens our stability? Steals our joy?

Here is a list of the top 5 things we tend to put our hope in. Make a mental check mark if any of these things steal even a little of your hope:

  1. Others/self
  2. Money
  3. Our hurt, habit or hang-up
  4. Education
  5. Career

You can’t fill an internal need with an external person, place or thing! Oh, to be rooted to the Author of Hope because who we put our hope in we tend to love!

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Secret Faults & Presumptuous Sins-from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Psalms 19:12-14

Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartThanks for joining me for Coffee Hour and our November WOW, Weapons of Warfare and Words of Wisdom. Secret Faults and Presumptuous Sins; sounds a little like a steamy novel, doesn’t it? Grab your coffee and let’s get cozy for November’s WOW, Words of Wisdom and/or Weapons of Warfare.

The first time I saw that combination, I was perplexed and put it in the closet of my mind to research later. Well, it’s been simmering in the far niches of my heart and in the last week, it has come up three times, so I don’t take things like that lightly. There’s something He wants to teach me so He will write through me for you about this very subject.

Before we get into the meat of this delicious but mysterious meal of scripture, let’s look at the backdrop, if you will, so we understand what we are going to be chewing on! J

This Psalm is written by David, and if you don’t know anything about this guy, well, the Scriptures describe him in this way: he was a man after God’s heart; I like to say: His heart was entwined with the Lord’s. He was in tune with his Maker, walked with his Creator, knew Him, and truly pursued the things of righteousness. So is it any wonder that when he strayed off the beat for just a New York minute, he felt the power of conviction, and there were times he wrestled with that conviction before giving in to it.

He was honest, transparent with his feelings, feelings such as frustrations, depression, sadness, and he was just as equally see-through with his joy, attitude of gratitude, and his faith in His God. He banked on the law of the Lord like you and I deposit our paychecks in our bank account.

So why in the world does he begin this Psalm by declaring the sovereignty of his God in the heavens, His works from the heavens — namely the law of the Lord — its perfection and power to convert the soul, then spend a few lines on the benefits of obeying the precepts of the Lord, and then suddenly, it’s like he drops to his knees and cries out: Who can understand why a person does what he does? He then goes on to say: “Cleanse me from my secret faults,” and then, paraphrased, he says, hold me back from presumptuous sins.

Now, the first thing I thought about was his historical and infamous sin with Bathsheba. I’m thinking he’s got to be talking about this, but let’s put that thought aside for a moment as that will take research to confirm, considering the Bible that most of us read is not in chronological order so I’ll look for that later.

For now, think on the term “secret faults.” It would seem he’s talking about things he does when no one else is looking, but that’s not confirmed … yet! What is it that we do that can be deemed a fault that no one else sees? Ask Him to search your heart for secret faults.

Join me for our next Coffee Hour tomorrow and we’ll pick up right there!

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The HIGHway to Destination? Joyful! From Coffeehour @ ChicklitPower

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartHappy Day to you! It’s a great time to meet for coffee and wrap up this sacrifice of righteousness on our way to Destination? Joyful! ™ via the HIGHway! Grab your coffee and come on in.

So I left off with a question of being able to agree to disagree for the greater good. I wish I could say it was easy for me; in fact, sometimes it feels so foreign, but I am learning that the better thing to do, for so many reasons and on so many levels, is to resist evil by walking away after being emotionally/verbally slapped. See, when we agree to disagree, in love, this leaves less clean-up that God has to do! After all, those that we disagree with are His workmanship, not ours! Remember what Romans 12:18 says: If it is possible, as much as is possible with you, live peaceably with others.

So let’s put our name in there wherever applicable and the name of someone unlovable in your life. If it is possible, ______, as much as is possible with you, ________, live peaceably with ________! Wow, talk about a splash of perspective and the awesome thing is we don’t have to do it alone! His Spirit will equip and enjoin in our efforts!

But, oh, the cost … so simple and complicated at the same time: Our pride!

Pride is rooted in a feeling that you are more important or better than other people!

Yikes, when I read that part of the definition, I want to run so far and fast from pride that I never run into it again. Unfortunately, because it is a part of my flesh, I know this cost will be an ongoing sacrifice!

See, doing right is more complicated than just behaving ourselves: it is going out of our way to do the right thing, in other words, taking a detour from our own flesh! The reward of joy makes the cost all the more worth it!

Oh, Abba, I pray that I would turn to you, and from my flesh, in order to offer a sacrifice of righteousness; that my light, you in me, would so shine before men and women, especially in the midst of their words of fire, that they would recognize something different from my sacrifice of righteousness: your love in me that splashes like water.

Loving my search for joy,

kim L


P.S. Join me tomorrow for our October’s WOW! We’ll resume with our Journey towards Destination? Joyful! ™next week!

Faith Keeps us Walking When Understanding Takes a Hike

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

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Oh, happy day to you! Thanks for taking the time to stop by for our Coffee Hour and more of our September’s Wow, which is all about keeping the faith, even when you don’t understand the what and why of your circumstances. Grab your coffee and come on in. It’s moving day in Austin, Texas!

As I recall the day we were moving them into their new apartment in Austin, Texas. It was one of those unforgettable God-incidences – not a mere coincidence — where you knew that you knew that He had ordained everything up to that moment in time.

We had been unloading the truck for a couple of hours, and Lauren, my daughter-in-love, had been in the hot, and I do mean hot, moving truck pushing things to the front and directing the unpacking traffic. She began to suffer from heat exhaustion, unbeknownst to her, but my husband recognized it and got my attention.

I looked up from what I was doing to see him guiding her over to the curb that they shared with their neighbors, and he set her down ever so carefully. “Bring me some paper towels soaked in the ice water from the ice chest.”

Now, the tone in my husband’s voice told me not only was he serious, but he spoke with such an authority I knew something was up, and it wasn’t good. I ran the ice cold paper towels over to them and saw immediately that the color from Lauren’s face had drained and she wasn’t looking so good.

As we began to press the cold paper towels on her neck, her forehead, the color in her face began to come back … but not for long, because when she tried to stand up about fifteen minutes later, the color ran away so fast she nearly collapsed.

George was right there to keep her from falling, but she was complaining of feeling incredibly nauseous so he told her to sit right back down. She did without any argument.

Now before all this with Lauren had started, we met their neighbor Aaron who showed some Texas hospitality right away and jumped right in to help unload the truck. He shared that he and his wife had just moved from Kansas. And I thought we had a long-haul move! He and I began to work together to unload more items from the truck while George stayed with Lauren, and Jeff was in feeding the kids.

After getting her somewhat stable, George decided to take Lauren into the apartment and out of the heat, but again, when she stood, her legs were like wobbly sticks, unable to hold her up completely. Jeff had just come out and when he saw that, he ran to her other side. He and George each took an arm and helped her up and into the apartment while Aaron and I continued working, and talking.

“So did you have to hire movers to get ya’ll out from Kansas to Texas?”

He smiled at my attempt to sound like I was from Texas. “Oh, no, my wife’s company moved us out here.”

I was impressed and didn’t hesitate to ask what his wife did. “She works for Chipotle Restaurants.”

“Get out! Shut the front door!” I exclaimed. He looked almost offended and I quickly added; “That’s why Jeff’s here, because he’s supposed to start working for them”!

“Really?” he asked.

“Yes!” I stopped to set down the heavy dresser we were moving out of the truck. “So what does your wife do?”

He looked almost shy as he responded: “Well, she has 24, or 25 restaurants.”

Again, I didn’t hide my emotion laced with shock and disbelief wrapped up in a knowledge that God was definitely up to something!

He went on to explain she was the district manager and I wondered out loud if this is who Jeff had been dealing with, and asked her name.


I’ll be right back; I’ve just got to find out if your wife is his potential boss!”

I ran up the stairs so fast you would have thought I was shot up there through a torpedo machine. “Jeff, Lauren, who is it you’ve been dealing with at Chipotle?”

In unison they bother answered: “Elsa!”

I jumped up and hollered. “Your future boss is your neighbor! Aaron is her husband!” I haven’t been this excited since I don’t know when but let me tell you, I was beside myself in disbelief, comforted by God’s sovereignty. This latest signature on their moving papers went a long way in helping me to surrender my son to Austin Texas … things were going to be just fine … or so I understood!

Join me next week for the conclusion to our monthly WOW!

Faith-ing thru those times of not understanding,

kim L


Destination? Joyful! ™ From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartOh, it’s great to be sipping coffee with you and writing from my heart to yours! Grab your coffee and come on in for another stir in our pot of joy we are cooking up to enjoy in our days ahead!

Going back to this whole rejoicing thing during a painful time, I’ve learned something else that has helped me with the ability to rejoice, to have joy in and through a tough time; it’s the ability to step outside of myself, because it’s really not all about me, and yet, if I believe that He will do what He says He will do (Jeremiah 29:11) – which is to give me a hope, a future; to help me, not to hurt me, to prosper me — then suddenly I can see the bigger picture and I can rejoice during this tribulation.

When I think of how my life is changing because of God calling my son and his family to another state, I must confess that I am not quite capable of thanking Him FOR it while I’m walking through it, but rejoicing over what I know He is doing in it will bring Romans 5:3-4 to life within me for I know that this painful separation will produce perseverance – STOP! Let’s define perseverance: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success! Oh, yeah, that fits to a T!

Preparing for this separation in and of itself has produced a sort of patience within me that I didn’t even know existed within the likes of me. Have you ever traveled 1450 miles in a mid-sized car with two dogs and a five- and nine-year-old? I am so rejoicing right now as I relive every mile of that trip, a trip that could have been a nightmare – and would have been a couple of years ago – but was absolutely the most amazing time I have ever spent with them on so many levels. That’s not to say there wasn’t a hint of frustration and struggle, but the joy far outweighs the struggle; hence, perseverance! And perseverance keeps us from the distractions of doubt, thanklessness and complaining. We need perseverance for the long haul, the “high” way to heaven.

Along that highway wrought with those struggles which produce perseverance, there is a sort of dip in the road when we discover the unfamiliar but likable sense that perseverance produces character and we become more comfortable in our Christ-like skin. See, character is what you are when no one is looking and is formed by your moral compass! Life has proven over and over again that the more I am tuned into my moral GPS, the more I am consumed by hope!

So as the tears flow steady on the drive home, I am filled with hope, knowing that the important Saying good-bye 3lessons He has loved me enough to teach me are being learned and practiced, and despite feeling like the flesh of my heart is being torn away with every mile, I know the next time I see my son, and hug him to me as if to never let him go, I will see a man God is creating more and more into His likeness.

Tearfully joyful,

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Destination? Joyful! ™ from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

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Happy July to you! Another month gone by! Whew, my head’s spinning with the flying by of time. 🙂  Thanks for taking time out of your day to come have coffee with me at Chicklit Power. Grab whatever you’re drinking, and come on in for some joy.

We left off looking at the first definition in the Hebrew Concordance before taking that detour which showed us that “joy” actually makes its first appearance in Genesis! Then it shows up again in Deuteronomy. Let’s get to the second description/definition for what we long for, joy: “usually a representation of the abstract feeling or concept”!

Well, feelings are within, right? But is joy merely an “abstract feeling or concept”? Let’s look at Deuteronomy 28:47: “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything”… Wow, I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to know more about this one!

In addition to being an abstract feeling or concept of joy, the Hebrew Concordance says “In another technical use this noun signifies the entire activity of making a feast before God: And all the people went their way to eat and to drink and to send portions and to make great mirth [literally]; to make a great rejoicing.”

Hmm, let’s chew on that a moment!20140627_113228

Do you notice that this type of “joy” moves them to action? In this case, it was to prepare a feast “before God” and then they “went their way …” and they sent portions and made a great rejoicing.

So this joy spurs us into action and inspires us to give, to share with others. Joy stirs up compassion for others. Joy causes us to rejoice. You cannot rejoice without joy!

I keep hearing a question: Each of us has a measure of faith that is exercised, stretched and perfected as we walk with God, abide in Him, but where does joy come from? Is it always within us and just needs a big stirring in order to bring some to the surface of our hearts and minds, or is it a gift we get only once in a while or is it something planted deep within when we accept Christ as our Savior?

Have you ever wondered any of these things or is it just me? Have you ever felt as though you were in the midst of a desert and there was no joy to be found? I call those seasons “dry bones!”

I’d love to hear your thoughts and these are some questions that we will answer in the balance of this series! I can’t wait to understand this subject of joy that I might grasp it with my whole heart!




Destination? Joyful! ™ from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

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Thanks for stopping by for our Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power! Whew, we are officially in summer! Grab your “iced” or hot coffee and come on in for a new series.

For those of you who are regulars at Coffee Hour, I’m sure you’ve noticed a couple of changes! God is increasing our territory and He’s using MEN to do it! We now have Monday’s Manna by Garrett Castro, and Wednesday’s Word – which may change to Friday after the event – written by my son, Jeff Burton! So bear with us as we get into a new routine!

I don’t know about you, but I’m in need for a real joy-stirring series, especially coming up and out of a 300-page curriculum that addresses the roots of any — yes, I said “any” – hurt, habit or hang-up! So my intent is to not go too deep, and hopefully I won’t have to dig too much to stir up that joy within each one of us who have figuratively signed the adoption papers to be children of God.

I guess that’s as good a place to start as any! The joy’s already in us. If you’re reading this right now, and going through a real tough time, you may find that truth hard to swallow — ha, then it would really be in you! 🙂 — But let me assure you, His joy is in us if we’ve invited Him to clean out and reside in our heart! See, the word “joy” is in His Love Letters to us over 200 times! It’s one of the most talked-about subjects.

Dang it! I just can’t put the shovel down! I’m wondering if there’s someone reading this blog that needs some real proof about joy and the Author of true joy! Let’s have some fun with this and begin our quest for joy with the aid of my handy-dandy Hebrew and Greek Exhaustive Concordance, a must-have for tools in the digging process.

The first time the word “joy” appears is in 1st Samuel – wait, that tells me something interesting that will definitely add to my bucket of joy: So if joy comes from Him abiding in us, then here’s more proof that the trinity is for real; that God knew man would fall in the Garden; that we would need a Helper, a Comforter to stir up that joy in times of sorrow or trouble. Okay. Sorry, got a bit off track there.

Let’s check out the first translation in Hebrew for joy: “blithesomeness or glee.” Hmm, haven’t heard that first word before, at least not with the “ness” at the end of it! Oh, wait a minute! It says that this noun is both a technical term for the external expression of joy; and then it references Genesis 31:27. Let’s go check that out!

“Why did you flee away secretly, and steal away from me, and not tell me; for I might have sent you away with joy and songs, with timbrel and harp?”

Okay, so we need to detour just a bit here, but oh, how I love the way He’s leading! So this verse is in reference to Laban and Jacob. The short version of that long story is Laban is trying to outsmart Jacob while Jacob spends some time on the run, running from this self-centered man and Laban overtakes Jacob. In that moment, Laban experiences a little breakthrough that helps him let go of some of his selfishness and for that moment, he himself experiences joy and speaks of sending Jacob, who had stolen much of what was Laban’s, off in joy!

The story is way more complex than that, but to wrap up our first detour, I think God wants us to know that no matter how bad things look, no matter what or who is taken from you, or how lost in fear you are, no matter what has tried to overcome you, there is joy to be found!

Join me tomorrow for our Power Friday and next week for more ways to discover the joy within us to lead us to our Destination? Joyful! ™!

kim L


Monday’s Manna from Castro’s Corner @ Chicklit Power

Monday, June 23rd, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Happy Monday Manna,

Last Sunday, after I finished writing for Monday Manna, I drove over to Hillside Memorial Park where my Father is buried. I told him how much I missed him and I prayed that the Lord would fill me with the type of strength and joy he had during his sixteen-year battle with terminal lung cancer.

I sat in front of his headstone with my head bowed praying and reminiscing. I felt alone, but I also felt at peace; it’s amazing what type of emotions couple together when we experience the loss of a loved one. As I sat in front of his grave, I felt like the eleven-year-old boy that just lost his dad, but this time I was alone. I remember the day he passed like it was yesterday. As we sat in the front row of his memorial service, I remember thinking to myself “Now what? Who am I supposed to depend upon now? Why did God have to take MY Dad?”

Robert with Revival Life invited me to a Bible study in Yucaipa weeks prior to Father’s Day and I was asked to share my story with the Church. At first I was very nervous about sharing, but writing for all of you has helped me to step out of my shell. I eventually shared the story of my Dad and how hard his passing was on me. When I finished sharing, I was holding back tears and the Revival Life Church prayed over me. I can’t begin to articulate how moved I was. When we were finished Robert thanked me for sharing and said “Garrett, in taking away your father, God was able to show you how He would provide for you and your family.”

I remembered what Robert had said that night and it echoed in my brain as I sat at my father’s burial site. As the sun set I said my good-bye to my Father once again and prayed that God would fill me with the type of strength and joy my Dad always had. I also prayed for the Amento family and asked that God would watch over the family as they prepared for their departure to Austria where Sarah would be undergoing eight weeks of intense cancer treatment.

I’ve been overwhelmed with planning for Sarah’s fundraising event, but I know that God has His hand on this. He works in such amazing ways and the amount of love and support that’s been pouring in from the local community is a testimonial to how the Spirit moves. We are so blessed to give back and we only wish to honor God through this event.

I pray that each and every one of you have a great week and if you’re available on Wednesday June 25th, come stop by Fitness 19 of Yucaipa where donations will be accepted for the Amento family. God Bless You!


In His Love,


Garrett Castro

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

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Thanks so much for stopping by today for our special time! I’m sorry it’s late! I got a bit sidetracked! Grab your coffee and come on in… make that an iced coffee! 🙂

So our event is coming up and we are doing things a bit differently. Change is always a bit scary but more often than not required and refining! So one of the things we are doing different is encouraging everyone to register for the event online, which means… I HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY TICKETS ARE BEING SOLD!! 🙂 Because we are doing away with tickets and only a few team members have them, it’s hard to know who is coming or if anyone’s coming!

That’s where this power truth brings comfort so if you are going through an uncertain time, I pray this mini download ministers to your soul as it did mine when He reminded me of it!

Peace that transcends all understanding is contentment in uncertainty!

Blessings to you in all your uncertainty!

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