How to Make Your Stumble Part of the Dance

Not too long ago, I sent an e-mail to a large group of people. I wrote it rather quickly and then pressed the SEND button. Then, when I got a copy of it delivered to my inbox, I realized I had a typo in the subject: “Please SHARE My Announcement for My BOOTH BOOTH this Weekend.”

Well, it should have read “BOOK BOOTH.”

While it was close to what I had originally intended, close only really counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

It’s so funny how things hit us. As soon as I read it, I had to giggle.

The phrase Gus-Gus popped into my head and I thought of Cinderella’s cute, little rotund rodent friend who helped rescue her from her evil stepmother and sisters.

Fairytale musings aside, the point is: Even though I would have liked to have had the opportunity to fix that mistake, it was unfixable the moment it was launched into cyberspace.

A done deal. No going back.

You might be thinking, Everyone makes mistakes, and misspelling BOOK in a subject line of an e-mail is an extremely minor one.

That is true. Not a big deal. At all. And hey, maybe someone else will get a smile or a chuckle out of it. (That is, if they even notice it.)

The e-mail I sent was about my first event to get the word out about my debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, at the Perryton Satellite Center Arts & Crafts Festival.

The day before the festival started, my husband, Steven, and I got my booth set up and then walked around looking at everyone else’s unique displays.

Not far from mine was one that showcased western art and I was drawn to it.

There were large, gorgeous pieces depicting cattle and cowboys hanging, but the one that caught my attention wasn’t even a painting.

It was a small, framed nine-word sentence, resting on a corner bench: When you stumble, make it part of the dance.

What stood out to me was that it read when, not if.

My mind immediately darted back to a super-sized ministry stumble I would give almost anything to go back in time and change.

A glaring misstep in judgment that, when realized, almost caused me to turn in my ministry dance card and join all the other wallflowers. (Allow me to clarify that every Christian’s life is ministry because the ultimate Minister, or need Meeter, lives in him or her.)

I am so happy and thankful that my eternal dance Partner refused to disqualify me and offered me grace instead!

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.

The only perfect, never-stumbling Person who lived on planet earth was the God-Man, Jesus Christ.

And the reason He never stumbled? He trusted perfectly in—depended completely on—His Father’s guidance and power living within Him:

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

We can learn so much by seeing how Jesus danced through life in the short time He graced planet earth with His sweet Presence:

  • “Jesus answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner’” (John 5:19).
  • “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 5:30).
  • “Jesus answered them and said, ‘My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me’” (John 7:16).
  • “I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me” (John 8:28).
  • “I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me” (John 8:42).
  • “I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak” (John 12:49).
  • “While being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Pet. 2:23).

Jesus trusted perfectly in His Father’s guidance and power within Him to carry out His will on planet earth.

And He did this by keeping the eyes and ears of His heart fixed on His Father.

He didn’t have to have everything figured out.

All Jesus had to do was trust in and depend on His Father to perform His desire through Him.

Honestly, I have stumbled a lot in this dance called “Christian ministry.”

And almost every time I stumble, it is because I have taken my eyes off my dance Partner and put them on troubling circumstances surrounding me.

Kind of like when Peter took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink in the storm-tossed sea (see Matthew 14:22-33).

Another way I stumble is by taking my eyes of my dance Partner and putting them on my feet—on how well I’m doing in this dance.

And every time I do that, I end up stepping on my dance Partner’s toes.

I Googled “step on someone’s toes,” and was surprised to learn what it means: Offend someone by encroaching on their area of responsibility. Ouch!

When we try to do Christian ministry on our own, apart from dependence on and trust in our eternal dance Partner, we are encroaching on Jesus’ responsibility.

His responsibility to do all the leading and living through us as we trust Him.

No matter how much we would love not to stumble in this dance, it’s inevitable. We’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to have missteps.

I am gradually learning that—while stumbling in this dance is inevitable—it’s what we do in response to our stumbling that is most important.

This quote by Wilson Kanadi is a great reminder of this concept: You don’t need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfection.

When we stumble, we have an important choice to make.

We can quit dancing altogether because we can’t score perfect marks and miss out on all the exciting twists and turns in this dance has to offer.

Or we can learn from our stumbling.

We can tell our dance Partner we’re sorry for taking our eyes off of Him and stepping on His toes and start all over again.

In other words, When we stumble, make it part of the dance.

Our only part in this dance is to keep our eyes fixed on the Master choreographer, trusting Him to lead and empower each step.

  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
    In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6).
  • “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You” (Isa. 26:3).
  • “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1-2).
  • “I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me” (Rom. 15:18).

Questions: Have you joined other wallflowers in this dance called Christian ministry because of one or more missteps? Can you hear your eternal dance Partner calling you back out on the dance floor to start all over, trusting in Him to lead you?

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Also, if you would like to subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am In Christ IS Who I am!” please click here:

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Get your copy of my debut book this weekend at the Perryton Arts & Crafts Festival!

For those of you who live in Perryton and the surrounding area, I’m excited to let you know that I will have a book booth featuring my debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, this coming weekend at the Perryton Satellite Center’s Annual Arts & Crafts Festival at the Expo Center.

My booth will be open at the following times:

  • Saturday, November 18, from 9 AM – 6 PM
  • Sunday, November 19, from 11 AM – 4 PM

Your name will be entered in a drawing for a FREE eBook when you join my e-mail list at the festival. There will be a drawing at the end of both days, so there are two chances to win!

Would you do me a huge favor, please?

Will you help me get the word out by sharing this announcement (with the buttons below) on your Facebook and Twitter feeds?

Thanks in advance!

It’s Gonna Be So Good!

I will never forget the afternoon I took my grandson, Logan, to 3 Sisters, our local self-serve frozen yogurt bar. You could almost feel the electricity of excitement exuding from his four-year-old body.

Right as we walked in the door—and with the biggest grin I’d ever seen on his lit-up face—he exclaimed, “This is gonna be sooooooo gooooood!!!”

Seeing this little guy filled with anticipation over the party his taste buds were about to throw thrilled his Honey to no end, as you may well imagine.

As we walked past the bar of tantalizing toppings toward the yogurt dispensers, his eyes and excitement grew. And he said it again: This is gonna be sooooooo gooooood! 

After I filled our tubs with a creamy confection, Logan made a beeline to the toppings. He picked out a few sugary sprinkles, but then he spotted the ultimate, the crème de la crème of all “little boy” toppings—a blue and white gummy snake, at least six inches long, a half-inch thick, and a red tongue.

I could hardly believe how big it was myself.

Can I have a gummy snake, Honey? 

That’s what I get for picking out a term of endearment for my grandparent name. A name I never get tired of hearing (well, mostly). A name that when I hear it, has a tendency to blur my good judgment.

I started to say, “No, it’s way too big. If you eat all of it, you will get a tummy-ache.” But he was so excited, I just couldn’t say no.

So instead I said, “It’s really big Logan. You can have one, but you can’t eat it all today.” (How could I resist that face?)

We ended up taking well over half the snake home, putting it in the freezer, and eating the rest of it later (I even helped). And thank goodness, there was no tummy ache.

Looking back, I can’t help but wonder. It seemed as though his anticipation of the enjoyment of the yogurt and its crowning candy reptile was more enjoyable than the actual eating of it.

Just this morning as I was hanging up laundry, I could smell the sweet potatoes baking in our oven and could hardly wait for them to be done. I love loading them up with cinnamon and pecan pieces and then savoring every delectable bite.

And there’s just something about that indescribably wonderful aroma filling your home on a cold November morning. It brought back sweet holiday memories.

As soon as they came out of the oven, I carefully peeled them, inhaled their fragrance as the steam rose off of them, and mashed them with a fork.

I should have worn a bib. I was drooling profusely.

And I wasn’t disappointed. My loaded sweet potato, hamburger patty, and cucumber lunch was scrumptious!

But just like Logan’s gummy snake treat, as delicious as my lunch was, I believe the anticipation of its enjoyment might have been even sweeter than the actual consuming of it. It certainly lasted longer!

Sometimes, the most enjoyable part of something we are looking forward to is the anticipation of it.

I’m not the only one who thinks that. Just ask one of the world’s leading thought experts, none other than Winnie-the-Pooh:

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”—A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

 

The moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were . . . Ahhh! Sweet anticipation.

Brain science has proven that the anticipation of a desirable event actually boosts a person’s happiness by lighting up the pleasure centers in our brain through the release of dopamine.

Anticipation is a gift from God that He has hard-wired into our brains to cause us to experience pleasure. Positive anticipation, that is. I will save the topic of negative anticipation and its effects for a later post.

In our day and age, with so much suffering going on in this world and in our own neck of the woods, we need to regularly experience the gift of positive anticipation.

The hope of brighter days to come.

There are people I know who are wondering how they are going to scrape enough change together to buy even one Christmas gift.

Friends who are preparing to undergo chemo treatments, wondering how their body is going to respond.

Others who are about to spend their first Thanksgiving and Christmas without their nine-year-old daughter who recently lost her battle with osteosarcoma.

Friends who still don’t know what happened to their teenage son—who went missing last year on Thanksgiving Eve (see Faith in the Midst of a Cloud of Unknowing).

My heart breaks for those who are suffering and my prayers are with them as they enter into the 2017 holiday season.

This will likely sound cliché, but I don’t know how anyone can survive the sufferings of this present time without the hope of brighter days to come. 

The mind-blowing hope that can only be found in the eternal embrace of Jesus Christ.

In Romans 8:13, the apostle Paul writes, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (NKJV).

For those of you who are going through incredibly difficult times, this Scripture might be difficult for you to wrap your minds around.

But I want to encourage you to hang on. Hang on to every Word that He gives you about your glorious future in Him.

Here are five of my favorite Scriptures which speak about what believers in Christ have to look forward to:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.  And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:1-5 NASB).

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28 NASB).

“Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9 NASB).

“We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18 NASB).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:3-4).

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4 NASB).

 

Even though I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around the pure ecstasy that awaits every believer in Christ in Heaven, I do know one thing for sure: It’s gonna be sooooooo goooooood!

Oh, and another thing: I’m convinced that there is no way our anticipation of Heaven could be more enjoyable than the actual experience of it!

Question: What is your favorite Scripture that empowers you to keep hanging on in the midst of incredible suffering?

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Also, if you would like to subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am In Christ IS Who I am!” please click here:

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Faith in the Midst of a Cloud of Unknowing

How God is sustaining a Canadian, Texas mom while the search for her son continues

While many (including myself) in the Texas Panhandle are beginning to look forward to the 2017 holiday season, a cloud of unknowing continues to hover over Canadian, a picturesque community nestled in the rolling hills of the High Plains.

This coming November 23rd will mark the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Thomas Brown, 18 year-old-son (at that time) of Penny and Chris Meek of Canadian and Kelly Brown of Perryton, Texas.

Today’s post is not primarily about the details of Thomas’s disappearance. There are online articles you can read and videos you can watch if you want to learn more.

Today’s post is about a mother’s heart for her dearly beloved, deeply missed son and a longing for the truth about what happened last Thanksgiving Eve and the following early morning hours to come to light.

I am blessed to know Thomas’s parents personally. I taught with Penny for several years at Perryton High School and Kelly attends the same church we attend here in Perryton.

My heart goes out to both of them—along with Thomas’s older brother, Tucker, his stepfather, Chris, and the rest of their family and friends—as they continue to pray for answers.

To be honest, this is the kind of story you might watch on Dateline and 48 Hours, not something that happens in rural America, population around 2,500.

And especially not something that has happened to people you know and love.

My son, his wife, and two children live in Canadian. I’ve always said, “If there was any other place I’d want to live in the Texas Panhandle besides Perryton, it would be Canadian.” It’s so quaint and beautiful.

Quaint and beautiful, but not immune to heartache and tragedy—no matter how much we might like to believe we live in a protected bubble.

We live in a fallen world—a world where hurting people hurt people—a world that has been in existence since Adam and Eve first declared their independence from God (see Genesis, chapter 3).

As an outsider observing how the family is walking through this ongoing cloud of unknowing, I continue to be amazed at the faith and strength I see and hear in both Penny and Kelly.

A faith in their Heavenly Father, who sees all things—who is omniscient—who knows every detail about Thomas’s disappearance.

And a sustaining strength that can only come from Him.

When I asked Penny if there was anything that she would like to share through this post, this was her response:

We always ask for prayers for the family and Thomas. Thomas is very much loved and missed. 

My mom often referred to Thomas as Ferdinand the Bull. Thomas beat to his own drum. He never bothered anyone. He is the most tenderhearted young man that I know.

We pray for those who know and/or have information about Thomas’s disappearance.

I’m not judging, but making an observation about those involved that they do not have a relationship with Christ. If Christ truly lived in them, they would not have committed this act. We pray for their salvation. We pray that any hindrances that stand in the way would be removed.

We are very thankful for the communities of Canadian and the whole Texas Panhandle and beyond. This situation has been far-reaching. We are thankful for everything everyone has done. We are mostly thankful for prayers.

This season of my life has been life changing. I have a much deeper relationship with Christ.

 

I have a much much deeper relationship with Christ. Only God can bring this kind of redemption in the midst of a mother’s worst nightmare (see Genesis 50:20).

In my recent conversations with Penny, I have come to learn that she is no stranger to tragedy. Her dad committed suicide June 17, 1998 and her mom was killed in a car accident October 10, 2011.

Yet, through it all, Penny’s faith in Christ remains unshakable. What an amazing testimony of God’s sustaining love through such heartrending circumstances!

If this story has touched you and you would like to help the family, please pray for Thomas, the family, and that those who are involved and/or have information about his disappearance would come forward.

Another way you can help the family is to support the upcoming Thanksgiving Day fundraiser at Smokehouse Restaurant in Perryton, Texas, November 23rd, from 11:00 a.m. till 2:30 p.m.

They will be serving a free, traditional Thanksgiving dinner and accepting donations that will go to the Thomas Brown family.

If you have any information that could help solve this investigation, please contact one of the following:

  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC): 800-843-5678
  • Texas Missing Persons Clearinghouse at Texas DPS: 800-346-3243
  • Texas Rangers: 800-665-7168
  • Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office: 806-323-5234
  • Klein Investigations: 409-729-8798

For updates on the investigation, you can Like/Follow Help Find Tom Brown and Moms4Tom on Facebook.

God Built this House for Us in 1923!

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two years since Steven and I signed the papers on our new old house. I still can’t believe we get to live in this 94-year-old home. I’ve said many times, “God built this house for us in 1923!”

Yeah, I know we were both born forty-one years after it was built, but God exists in the eternal now (outside of this time dimension) and knows everything. I believe Steven and I were on His heart while it was being built from the ground up.

I wish I could go back in time and watch it being built and meet the families who lived in it before us. The families who loved it so much, they didn’t paint the beautiful woodwork inside or change the ornate light fixtures and antique doorknobs .

We got married in 1997 with a mountain of combined debt, so buying a house was a seemingly elusive dream.  Up until we bought this, we lived in two different rent houses and a duplex for all of our married life.

All I can say is that God’s timing is perfect. He knew all along when this gorgeous, antique house would become ours. And the inside and outside face lift didn’t involve anything major. Mostly, it was just cleaning, painting, and replacing some light fixtures in the kitchen, guest bedroom, and bathroom.

If you would like to take a look at “Our New Old House,” please click here or on the above photo.

I just wanted to share a little bit of our personal lives in my post today. Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Pursuing Love     Speaking     Contact