{tag_pagecontent}

Hopegrams

Hope Rays

Shining the light of hope into dark places

DONE

Karen Sebastian - Saturday, July 14, 2018

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes…


My heart sank when I saw the word for the week. It instantly made me think of the things that make me say, “I’m DONE.”


Have you ever wanted to give up? Your internal dialogue might sound a little like this, “That’s it! I’ve had enough! I’m DONE.”


This is not a good place to be because it’s tempting to give up on everything and hurt those you love the most. On the positive side, it can be a transformational opportunity to examine what is going on underneath the surface and develop some HOPE Antidotes of what you will do the next time you feel like giving up.


Let’s take a HOPE approach to the “I’m Done Syndrome” with some HOPE Antidotes that will replace the sense of futility with feeling of hope and a sense of purpose.

Release Expectations

Disappointment can set in when you thought something was coming together and it did not do so. This is often attached to what you understood other people to have said.


NEXT TIME

Get clarification and details from the beginnings. Rephrase what you heard so that you are on the same page. Remember that you are only responsible for your response to situations. God can change the hearts of others and is in the process even though you don’t see anything from the outside.

Recover Personal Purpose

Focus on what only you can do. It can feel heroic to be the one who solves everyone else’s issues and problems. What can happen easily is that you can get sidetracked from your own purpose as you attempt to rescue others who may not even want your help.

NEXT TIME

Take off the superwoman cape. When someone is venting ask them what they need from you right then. They may just need a listening ear.


Refresh What Works

When you feel like giving up remember what has worked well. When did you feel fulfilled and engaged? What were components of that feeling?

NEXT TIME

God has great plans for you. He redeems, restores and has great plans for you. This time may seem a little more difficult than the last, yet you are now stronger. Your capacities have grown. You are an example of how to keep believing and being all God has called you to be. This current situation is going to be an awesome testimony that you can share with many who feel the same sense of hopelessness.


STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love check out her Facebook page - The Power of Hope.



Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home




VACATION

Karen Sebastian - Friday, July 06, 2018

VACATION

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes…

You’re the only place of protection for me. I keep coming back to hide myself in you, for you are like a mountain-cliff fortress where I’m kept safe. Psalm 71:3 TPT

Vacations are a fairly new concept and were once available only to the wealthy. They have become a badge of honor and a bragging point for many. They are often built into a salary package as a negotiation point. In fact, many people tolerate a job they dislike in order to have a few weeks of  prime time as they live a fantasy of perennial.


Enter the entrepreneur.


As a serial entrepreneur, I am usually working on one of many projects as I get away for vacation. Here’s the funny part: When you are passionate about what you are doing it does not seem like work.

Hope Principles

Design a life that does not crave escape

Do you feel excited to head to work on Monday? Every job has parts that we may not like, however, many are stuck in a job that does not match their greatest strengths. It’s important to have courage to find what works for you and press in to the parts of your job that you may not like.

Hope Questions

  • Would you continue to work at your present job if you inherited a lot of money?

  • What type of work does not seem like labor?

  • What do you enjoy doing?

Enjoy every day

The sense of joy may be missing because of life stress. When your adrenals are fatigued you may not have the biological components of feeling true joy.

Hope Tools

  • Take more breaks throughout the day.

  • Let go of what you cannot control.

  • Take charge of what you can do.

  • Release, release, release.

Feel safe

Our scripture today shows us the main way to feel safe is to take a spiritual vacation. It is to quiet your heart before the Lord and get His input on the situations that are stressing you. Fear doesn't have to control your life.

Hope Tools

  • Write down what you are feeling.

  • Write in a journal or create a blog.

  • Find a person you can trust to be a sounding board.


What are your ways to take mini-vacations every day/week?

How can you implement these concepts into your current situation?


STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love check out her Facebook page - The Power of Hope.



Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home




IF

Karen Sebastian - Friday, June 29, 2018

IF

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

If you love the Eternal your God and listen to His voice and always remain loyal to Him, for He is your life, then you’ll be able to live a long time. Deuteronomy 30:20 VOICE

My Dad just celebrated his 101st birthday. He personifies this scripture.


This is an “IF-THEN” statement.


If you know anything about Excel formulas, you know they are powerful. When you have different outcomes, you set up the options and the rest works on the back burner. They seem to be work like magic to those of us who do not know how to write them, yet simple for those who have learned how to use them.


Moses is setting up a powerful dichotomy in this chapter. You get to choose life or death. 


Serving God or living in your own strength


Here’s the formula for a long, prosperous life:

Love

At the root of this formula is a deep love for the Lord and people. Your motivation is out of love not religion or duty. My parents were missionaries in several different companies and collected disciples in each one. These are people that they stayed in touch with and reached out to over 75 years of ministry.Hope Tool Dad has an ever-expanding circle that he texts every night to say “Good night.” He has hundreds of friends on Facebook that he communicates with each day.

Listen

Listen to God's voice. Obey all that you know at the present and keep moving in the direction to seek Him more. Quiet your heart every day to hear what He is saying. 

Hope Tool 

Dad has a daily discipline (regular) where he gets a sermon (or several) every day. He is seeking inspiration to share with others in order to encourage them.

Remain Loyal

Loyalty follows the heart. Even when others may not understand your choices, you can move forward and know that you trust God in everything. God is good and will take care of you.

Hope Tool

Dad is extremely loyal. He speaks kindly of everyone and does not indulge in judgment or criticism. 

We enjoyed a wonderful time last weekend with a man who allowed the Holy Spirit to imprint this “if-then” statement on his life. The rewards are great.

Practical Application

How’s your love quotient today?

Have you taken time out of your busy day to really listen to your Abba (Heavenly Father)?


Have you remained loyal when tempted to express negativity about someone else? 


These are heart conditions that can become regulars that enrich and lengthen your life. They make a huge difference.


THEN you will enjoy the promise of a long, prosperous life.



STOP

This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love check out her Facebook page - The Power of Hope.




RESTORE

Karen Sebastian - Friday, June 15, 2018

RESTORE

The Lord offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.
That’s where he restores and revives my life. Psalm 23:2-3 TPT

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

This familiar Psalm is one I have quoted since I memorized it as a child. I love the freshness of this translation.

Do you need to be restored? Then you need to go back to the best times when you felt the presence of the Lord in your life.

Restoration is rooted in love

You can only be fully restored when you know your identity and how much your Heavenly Father loves you.

Restoration comes when you rest

When you are exhausted, nothing makes sense. My sweet little Mom (now with Jesus) used to say, "That most spiritual thing I can do right now is take a nap." Follow her advice.

Restoration results from peace

Find a place of peace. Where is yours?

STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love check out her Facebook page - The Power of Hope.


FLY

Karen Sebastian - Friday, June 08, 2018

FLY

An undeserved curse will be powerless to harm you. It may fly over you like a bird, but it will find no place to land. Proverbs 26:2 TPT


Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

A few years ago, I prayed a dangerous prayer, "Please, Lord, give me an unoffendable heart." You can only imagine what happened next. Even those I thought were on my side began to have issues with me around the way I did things. I won't say that they cursed me but their feedback seemed incredibly negative to me. I cried a lot in my prayers times in that season.

Defining a curse

Your words have power. Negative words can come back to land in your lap. The Passion Translation has the following in its footnotes for this verse: There is an implication in some Hebrew manuscripts that the curse will go back and land on the one who wrongly spoke it, like a bird going back to its nest."

Removing landing places

The best way to remove the landing places is to remove negative words and gossip from your own life. As you look at others with eyes of love and compassion, you will discover that you are able to let negative words spoken over you to fly right on by. They will not hover or linger in your thoughts.You will be free.

Changing the atmosphere

Every place you go, speak positive words of encouragement and hope. You will begin to change the atmosphere in dynamic ways. Find ways that you honor those closest to you and that may be challenging you in special ways. 

Questions to ponder

How is the Lord using difficult people in your life? 
In difficult situations, how is the dynamic similar to one where you dished out the negative feedback? 
What nest of unforgiveness have you allowed to fester in your own heart that has come out in comments you have made about others?

STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love check out her Facebook page - The Power of Hope.


Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home




RETURN

Karen Sebastian - Friday, June 01, 2018

RETURN

Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. Isaiah 30:15 NLT

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

Returning quietly

Grieving is unpredictable. My first husband, Bill, moved to Heaven almost 6 years ago. And yet, I will sometimes feel a wave of sorrow hit me in an unexpected way and at unexpected times. 

When that happens, I simply take a deep breath and ride the wave of the memory. I quietly feel the bittersweetness of the difference in my life now than if he had not died. I sometimes feel regret for what I did or did not do which I have to release.

Resting confidently

Rest can only come when you release the expectation of what you thought your life would be and return to trust your Heavenly Father. I am so thrilled that God has taught me so much during this time and that I have found a new love. 

I will never replace what I had with my first husband. And yet, I can rest in the confidence that God is always good. My new husband, Rodney, and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary this weekend and I can rest confidently in what God has started in us and will complete. 

That's The Power of Hope. 

What's your story?

STOP

This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love check out her Facebook page - The Power of Hope.


Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home








PAUSE

Karen Sebastian - Friday, May 25, 2018

PAUSE

Quiet your heart in his presence and pray; keep hope alive as you trust that God will come through for you. And don’t think for a moment that the wicked in their prosperity are better off than you. Psalm 37:7 The Passion Translation

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

When was the last time you got quiet? I mean really quiet.

It can be so very hard to do in our noisy world.

Here are three keys to a positive pause button.

Presence

Quiet your heart in his presence and pray.

I love that this verse says to quiet your heart. This quietness only comes from acknowledging the presence of God in the middle of the difficult circumstances. It also comes from a level of trust that if you take the time for guidance in the beginning you will accomplish more with less. Prayer is partnering with God for His desired outcome.

Patience

Keep hope alive as you trust that God will come through for you. 

Waiting is so hard. It involves trust to keep from doing things your own way. That's where HOPE enters into the picture. This word in Scripture always implies a good outcome no matter what it looks like right now.

Prosperity

And don’t think for a moment that the wicked in their prosperity are better off than you. 

Have you ever envied others for what seems like their life of ease? Stop it! Prosperity is a condition of your soul where you spirit aligns with the good things ahead. You are already rich no matter what your bank statement says bewcause you are living God's way. You have the gift of His presence. You have abundant blessings and the rest will follow.

STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home




SECRET

Karen Sebastian - Friday, May 18, 2018

SECRET

Lord, you are my secret hiding place, protecting me from these troubles, surrounding me with songs of gladness! Your joyous shouts of rescue release my breakthrough. Pause in his presence. Psalm 32:7 TPT

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

Finding a Secret Hiding Place

On the day I got the call that my first husband, Bill, had moved to Heaven I wanted to crawl in a hole. I wanted to hide. I was in another state when I got the call and I had to move quickly to make the last flight home to be with our kids. I found a secret hiding place in plain sight in the waiting room of a small airport and the last window seat on a small jet.

Discovering Protection from Troubles

When the unthinkable happens, you feel vulnerable and unprotected. The temptation is the surround yourself with your own defenses. Instead, press in deeper to the secret place in the Lord.

Singing with Joy

Joy comes as you sing. Don't wait until you are joyful to sing. Instead, start singing and the joy will come.

Shouting joyfully before the Breakthrough

You are a fanatic when you cheer as if your team won before they actually have. Still, that is what your Heavenly Father has promised for you.  You are winning in the midst of the darkest places of your life. There is always hope - the expectation of the breakthrough you have been expecting .

Pausing in His presence

All of this can only happen as you pause in His presence. Recount the many promises that He is ALWAYS with you. He has not abandoned you. In fact, He is working the night shift and from the inside out to bring you  (and those you love) to the other side of your dark place with a greater testimony than you ever thought possible. 

STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home

INCLUDE

Karen Sebastian - Friday, May 11, 2018

INCLUDE

Show hospitality to each other without complaint. 1 Peter 4:9 VOICE


Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

I have been missing my Mom this week. As I was thinking about her I realized that her greatest gift was the gift of inclusion. Her hospitality is legendary especially her ability to share her cooking (waffles) with others.

My earliest memories were of sitting around the table with family and guests. It seemed like we often had visitors join us. We laughed a lot. We always had plenty to eat and share.

Some friends in Oregon gave us a commercial waffle iron that found its way to several countries. She would whip up a batch of waffles in minutes and there were always leftovers. It reminded me, even as a kid, of the loaves and fishes that multiplied for the 5000.

Lessons learned from Mom:
  • Stock up on staples 
  • Be prepared to enjoy the prep 
  • Serving is fun
  • Laughter is multiplied around the table
  • Include those who may not have anywhere to go
  • My house doesn't have to be perfect before inviting others to join a meal
  • Set the table with joy
Mom's greatest challenge in her last few months here on earth was that she was no longer able to serve others in this way. She missed that expression of her creative gift to add another egg, some flour and milk to stretch the waffle mix and serve up with hospitality and no complaints because it is an honor.

STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.


 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home


 

ADAPT

Karen Sebastian - Friday, May 04, 2018

ADAPT

Look here, what’s done is done and gone. The now is new, and there’s hope in the not-yet.  Isaiah 42:8 VOICE

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes... 

How many times have you heard that stress can kill you? Countless times, right?

I read an article yesterday that challenges that concept. It showed research that it is your interpretation of the harm caused by the stress that hurts you and not the actual stress.

This started me thinking about my  own HOPE filter (Jeremiah 29:11). Everything that comes into my life is filtered through God's love and HOPE. He is providing me with opportunities to grow and develop. He wants me to be challenged to do what only I can do. He never called me to ease and comfort. He called me to challenge and victory.

Think of David. Everyone else was freaked out (stressed) by Goliath.  This young lad adapted in such a way that instead of running, crying or freezing he went back to a familiar pattern of looking at his current resources (5 smooth rocks) and taking action toward the problem (giant) rather than running from it. He then challenged his fears in the name of the Lord and killed the giant.

What giants are you facing today?

God is at work to make the shepherd a King; to make a foreigner a part of the lineage of the Messiah; to include a woman with a shady past in the tapestry of the redemptive message to all of us. 

ADAPTing means embracing my giants to see what God is doing. I am excited for the future because I know that what is happening today is new. There is great HOPE in the not-yet. The future is unwritten and I can finish the remaining chapters of my life's book with victories and conquests. 

Hope is very powerful because it provides the grace to ADAPT to my current difficulty in ways that become a testimony. 

STOP

This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home




Hopegrams

Hope Rays

DONE

Karen Sebastian - Saturday, July 14, 2018

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes…


My heart sank when I saw the word for the week. It instantly made me think of the things that make me say, “I’m DONE.”


Have you ever wanted to give up? Your internal dialogue might sound a little like this, “That’s it! I’ve had enough! I’m DONE.”


This is not a good place to be because it’s tempting to give up on everything and hurt those you love the most. On the positive side, it can be a transformational opportunity to examine what is going on underneath the surface and develop some HOPE Antidotes of what you will do the next time you feel like giving up.


Let’s take a HOPE approach to the “I’m Done Syndrome” with some HOPE Antidotes that will replace the sense of futility with feeling of hope and a sense of purpose.

Release Expectations

Disappointment can set in when you thought something was coming together and it did not do so. This is often attached to what you understood other people to have said.


NEXT TIME

Get clarification and details from the beginnings. Rephrase what you heard so that you are on the same page. Remember that you are only responsible for your response to situations. God can change the hearts of others and is in the process even though you don’t see anything from the outside.

Recover Personal Purpose

Focus on what only you can do. It can feel heroic to be the one who solves everyone else’s issues and problems. What can happen easily is that you can get sidetracked from your own purpose as you attempt to rescue others who may not even want your help.

NEXT TIME

Take off the superwoman cape. When someone is venting ask them what they need from you right then. They may just need a listening ear.


Refresh What Works

When you feel like giving up remember what has worked well. When did you feel fulfilled and engaged? What were components of that feeling?

NEXT TIME

God has great plans for you. He redeems, restores and has great plans for you. This time may seem a little more difficult than the last, yet you are now stronger. Your capacities have grown. You are an example of how to keep believing and being all God has called you to be. This current situation is going to be an awesome testimony that you can share with many who feel the same sense of hopelessness.


STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love check out her Facebook page - The Power of Hope.



Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home




VACATION

Karen Sebastian - Friday, July 06, 2018

VACATION

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes…

You’re the only place of protection for me. I keep coming back to hide myself in you, for you are like a mountain-cliff fortress where I’m kept safe. Psalm 71:3 TPT

Vacations are a fairly new concept and were once available only to the wealthy. They have become a badge of honor and a bragging point for many. They are often built into a salary package as a negotiation point. In fact, many people tolerate a job they dislike in order to have a few weeks of  prime time as they live a fantasy of perennial.


Enter the entrepreneur.


As a serial entrepreneur, I am usually working on one of many projects as I get away for vacation. Here’s the funny part: When you are passionate about what you are doing it does not seem like work.

Hope Principles

Design a life that does not crave escape

Do you feel excited to head to work on Monday? Every job has parts that we may not like, however, many are stuck in a job that does not match their greatest strengths. It’s important to have courage to find what works for you and press in to the parts of your job that you may not like.

Hope Questions

  • Would you continue to work at your present job if you inherited a lot of money?

  • What type of work does not seem like labor?

  • What do you enjoy doing?

Enjoy every day

The sense of joy may be missing because of life stress. When your adrenals are fatigued you may not have the biological components of feeling true joy.

Hope Tools

  • Take more breaks throughout the day.

  • Let go of what you cannot control.

  • Take charge of what you can do.

  • Release, release, release.

Feel safe

Our scripture today shows us the main way to feel safe is to take a spiritual vacation. It is to quiet your heart before the Lord and get His input on the situations that are stressing you. Fear doesn't have to control your life.

Hope Tools

  • Write down what you are feeling.

  • Write in a journal or create a blog.

  • Find a person you can trust to be a sounding board.


What are your ways to take mini-vacations every day/week?

How can you implement these concepts into your current situation?


STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love check out her Facebook page - The Power of Hope.



Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home




IF

Karen Sebastian - Friday, June 29, 2018

IF

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

If you love the Eternal your God and listen to His voice and always remain loyal to Him, for He is your life, then you’ll be able to live a long time. Deuteronomy 30:20 VOICE

My Dad just celebrated his 101st birthday. He personifies this scripture.


This is an “IF-THEN” statement.


If you know anything about Excel formulas, you know they are powerful. When you have different outcomes, you set up the options and the rest works on the back burner. They seem to be work like magic to those of us who do not know how to write them, yet simple for those who have learned how to use them.


Moses is setting up a powerful dichotomy in this chapter. You get to choose life or death. 


Serving God or living in your own strength


Here’s the formula for a long, prosperous life:

Love

At the root of this formula is a deep love for the Lord and people. Your motivation is out of love not religion or duty. My parents were missionaries in several different companies and collected disciples in each one. These are people that they stayed in touch with and reached out to over 75 years of ministry.Hope Tool Dad has an ever-expanding circle that he texts every night to say “Good night.” He has hundreds of friends on Facebook that he communicates with each day.

Listen

Listen to God's voice. Obey all that you know at the present and keep moving in the direction to seek Him more. Quiet your heart every day to hear what He is saying. 

Hope Tool 

Dad has a daily discipline (regular) where he gets a sermon (or several) every day. He is seeking inspiration to share with others in order to encourage them.

Remain Loyal

Loyalty follows the heart. Even when others may not understand your choices, you can move forward and know that you trust God in everything. God is good and will take care of you.

Hope Tool

Dad is extremely loyal. He speaks kindly of everyone and does not indulge in judgment or criticism. 

We enjoyed a wonderful time last weekend with a man who allowed the Holy Spirit to imprint this “if-then” statement on his life. The rewards are great.

Practical Application

How’s your love quotient today?

Have you taken time out of your busy day to really listen to your Abba (Heavenly Father)?


Have you remained loyal when tempted to express negativity about someone else? 


These are heart conditions that can become regulars that enrich and lengthen your life. They make a huge difference.


THEN you will enjoy the promise of a long, prosperous life.



STOP

This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love check out her Facebook page - The Power of Hope.




RESTORE

Karen Sebastian - Friday, June 15, 2018

RESTORE

The Lord offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.
That’s where he restores and revives my life. Psalm 23:2-3 TPT

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

This familiar Psalm is one I have quoted since I memorized it as a child. I love the freshness of this translation.

Do you need to be restored? Then you need to go back to the best times when you felt the presence of the Lord in your life.

Restoration is rooted in love

You can only be fully restored when you know your identity and how much your Heavenly Father loves you.

Restoration comes when you rest

When you are exhausted, nothing makes sense. My sweet little Mom (now with Jesus) used to say, "That most spiritual thing I can do right now is take a nap." Follow her advice.

Restoration results from peace

Find a place of peace. Where is yours?

STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love check out her Facebook page - The Power of Hope.


FLY

Karen Sebastian - Friday, June 08, 2018

FLY

An undeserved curse will be powerless to harm you. It may fly over you like a bird, but it will find no place to land. Proverbs 26:2 TPT


Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

A few years ago, I prayed a dangerous prayer, "Please, Lord, give me an unoffendable heart." You can only imagine what happened next. Even those I thought were on my side began to have issues with me around the way I did things. I won't say that they cursed me but their feedback seemed incredibly negative to me. I cried a lot in my prayers times in that season.

Defining a curse

Your words have power. Negative words can come back to land in your lap. The Passion Translation has the following in its footnotes for this verse: There is an implication in some Hebrew manuscripts that the curse will go back and land on the one who wrongly spoke it, like a bird going back to its nest."

Removing landing places

The best way to remove the landing places is to remove negative words and gossip from your own life. As you look at others with eyes of love and compassion, you will discover that you are able to let negative words spoken over you to fly right on by. They will not hover or linger in your thoughts.You will be free.

Changing the atmosphere

Every place you go, speak positive words of encouragement and hope. You will begin to change the atmosphere in dynamic ways. Find ways that you honor those closest to you and that may be challenging you in special ways. 

Questions to ponder

How is the Lord using difficult people in your life? 
In difficult situations, how is the dynamic similar to one where you dished out the negative feedback? 
What nest of unforgiveness have you allowed to fester in your own heart that has come out in comments you have made about others?

STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love check out her Facebook page - The Power of Hope.


Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home




RETURN

Karen Sebastian - Friday, June 01, 2018

RETURN

Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. Isaiah 30:15 NLT

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

Returning quietly

Grieving is unpredictable. My first husband, Bill, moved to Heaven almost 6 years ago. And yet, I will sometimes feel a wave of sorrow hit me in an unexpected way and at unexpected times. 

When that happens, I simply take a deep breath and ride the wave of the memory. I quietly feel the bittersweetness of the difference in my life now than if he had not died. I sometimes feel regret for what I did or did not do which I have to release.

Resting confidently

Rest can only come when you release the expectation of what you thought your life would be and return to trust your Heavenly Father. I am so thrilled that God has taught me so much during this time and that I have found a new love. 

I will never replace what I had with my first husband. And yet, I can rest in the confidence that God is always good. My new husband, Rodney, and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary this weekend and I can rest confidently in what God has started in us and will complete. 

That's The Power of Hope. 

What's your story?

STOP

This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love check out her Facebook page - The Power of Hope.


Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home








PAUSE

Karen Sebastian - Friday, May 25, 2018

PAUSE

Quiet your heart in his presence and pray; keep hope alive as you trust that God will come through for you. And don’t think for a moment that the wicked in their prosperity are better off than you. Psalm 37:7 The Passion Translation

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

When was the last time you got quiet? I mean really quiet.

It can be so very hard to do in our noisy world.

Here are three keys to a positive pause button.

Presence

Quiet your heart in his presence and pray.

I love that this verse says to quiet your heart. This quietness only comes from acknowledging the presence of God in the middle of the difficult circumstances. It also comes from a level of trust that if you take the time for guidance in the beginning you will accomplish more with less. Prayer is partnering with God for His desired outcome.

Patience

Keep hope alive as you trust that God will come through for you. 

Waiting is so hard. It involves trust to keep from doing things your own way. That's where HOPE enters into the picture. This word in Scripture always implies a good outcome no matter what it looks like right now.

Prosperity

And don’t think for a moment that the wicked in their prosperity are better off than you. 

Have you ever envied others for what seems like their life of ease? Stop it! Prosperity is a condition of your soul where you spirit aligns with the good things ahead. You are already rich no matter what your bank statement says bewcause you are living God's way. You have the gift of His presence. You have abundant blessings and the rest will follow.

STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home




SECRET

Karen Sebastian - Friday, May 18, 2018

SECRET

Lord, you are my secret hiding place, protecting me from these troubles, surrounding me with songs of gladness! Your joyous shouts of rescue release my breakthrough. Pause in his presence. Psalm 32:7 TPT

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

Finding a Secret Hiding Place

On the day I got the call that my first husband, Bill, had moved to Heaven I wanted to crawl in a hole. I wanted to hide. I was in another state when I got the call and I had to move quickly to make the last flight home to be with our kids. I found a secret hiding place in plain sight in the waiting room of a small airport and the last window seat on a small jet.

Discovering Protection from Troubles

When the unthinkable happens, you feel vulnerable and unprotected. The temptation is the surround yourself with your own defenses. Instead, press in deeper to the secret place in the Lord.

Singing with Joy

Joy comes as you sing. Don't wait until you are joyful to sing. Instead, start singing and the joy will come.

Shouting joyfully before the Breakthrough

You are a fanatic when you cheer as if your team won before they actually have. Still, that is what your Heavenly Father has promised for you.  You are winning in the midst of the darkest places of your life. There is always hope - the expectation of the breakthrough you have been expecting .

Pausing in His presence

All of this can only happen as you pause in His presence. Recount the many promises that He is ALWAYS with you. He has not abandoned you. In fact, He is working the night shift and from the inside out to bring you  (and those you love) to the other side of your dark place with a greater testimony than you ever thought possible. 

STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home

INCLUDE

Karen Sebastian - Friday, May 11, 2018

INCLUDE

Show hospitality to each other without complaint. 1 Peter 4:9 VOICE


Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

I have been missing my Mom this week. As I was thinking about her I realized that her greatest gift was the gift of inclusion. Her hospitality is legendary especially her ability to share her cooking (waffles) with others.

My earliest memories were of sitting around the table with family and guests. It seemed like we often had visitors join us. We laughed a lot. We always had plenty to eat and share.

Some friends in Oregon gave us a commercial waffle iron that found its way to several countries. She would whip up a batch of waffles in minutes and there were always leftovers. It reminded me, even as a kid, of the loaves and fishes that multiplied for the 5000.

Lessons learned from Mom:
  • Stock up on staples 
  • Be prepared to enjoy the prep 
  • Serving is fun
  • Laughter is multiplied around the table
  • Include those who may not have anywhere to go
  • My house doesn't have to be perfect before inviting others to join a meal
  • Set the table with joy
Mom's greatest challenge in her last few months here on earth was that she was no longer able to serve others in this way. She missed that expression of her creative gift to add another egg, some flour and milk to stretch the waffle mix and serve up with hospitality and no complaints because it is an honor.

STOP


This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.


 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home


 

ADAPT

Karen Sebastian - Friday, May 04, 2018

ADAPT

Look here, what’s done is done and gone. The now is new, and there’s hope in the not-yet.  Isaiah 42:8 VOICE

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes... 

How many times have you heard that stress can kill you? Countless times, right?

I read an article yesterday that challenges that concept. It showed research that it is your interpretation of the harm caused by the stress that hurts you and not the actual stress.

This started me thinking about my  own HOPE filter (Jeremiah 29:11). Everything that comes into my life is filtered through God's love and HOPE. He is providing me with opportunities to grow and develop. He wants me to be challenged to do what only I can do. He never called me to ease and comfort. He called me to challenge and victory.

Think of David. Everyone else was freaked out (stressed) by Goliath.  This young lad adapted in such a way that instead of running, crying or freezing he went back to a familiar pattern of looking at his current resources (5 smooth rocks) and taking action toward the problem (giant) rather than running from it. He then challenged his fears in the name of the Lord and killed the giant.

What giants are you facing today?

God is at work to make the shepherd a King; to make a foreigner a part of the lineage of the Messiah; to include a woman with a shady past in the tapestry of the redemptive message to all of us. 

ADAPTing means embracing my giants to see what God is doing. I am excited for the future because I know that what is happening today is new. There is great HOPE in the not-yet. The future is unwritten and I can finish the remaining chapters of my life's book with victories and conquests. 

Hope is very powerful because it provides the grace to ADAPT to my current difficulty in ways that become a testimony. 

STOP

This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home