December 1, 2017

Where I Am


Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. ~1 Thess 5:11


There have been so many of you asking me where I am and why I have stopped writing or dropped communication with you, that I felt I needed to write everyone at once.

The largest reason is due to the change in how I meet with and support individuals.  The writing always alighted with topics we were studying; it gave everyone thoughts to digest and form conversation for the next weeks group.

While the organization was on sabbatical several years ago, I experienced health issues which demanded a change in how I personally supported people in crisis. Strangely enough, while attending a BMI Leadership Coaching Workshop about the same time, Richard Blackaby spoke about the seasons in our lives.  (If you have not read The Seasons of God I highly recommend you add it to your library!)  Even thought I miss being surrounded by you all: from the women we support to the organizations I advise, train or counseled the changes have been an amazing adventure.

It is not that I have stopped supporting people in crisis, teaching, organizing, studying, breaking down scripture and or writing. The change is how my time is used -  more methodically and able to go deeper one-on-one with each person.  But this means I have little time for editing and logically composing segment.

Many of the individuals I meet with have asked me to write down the things we discuss; because they would like to think more about it throughout the week and never seem to thoroughly write their thoughts down.  "I will try to make that happen, soon."  I don't know if others, of you who write, finds it difficult to get back in the saddle or not, but I do.  I'm grateful for all of you who have been prodding me.  I ask those of you who desire daily, weekly or maybe bi-weekly Spiritual encouragement to pray for the Lord to prepare me, teach me and guide me that He may be glorified.

I desire to get back in the saddle.........it kindles a unity, for me, with each of you and Him, as I think about His truth, grace and love for us all.

Dare I end with "Giddy UP!"

Kisses,
C

     © 2017 by Candace Huffmaster / Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®

April 14, 2017

Without Regret


John 19:38  After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 


Recently I was asked to participate with a Stations of the Cross Gallery, and wanted to share what I learned from the experience. Painting while meditating on scripture always takes me on an adventure, it has a way of pulling their world and mine together on one plain for brief moments.

As I began reading through the scene John created, I imagined the lay of the land, the community, and the crosses in the background. The image began building, and the crosses kept slipping farther away. It was, as if the Holy Spirit was leading me to minimize the cross, with all my worldly thoughts of pain, regret, humiliation and think about Spiritual things: the purpose, the people, the life. I could not see Joseph and Nicodemus clearly until I imagined them paused before heading back into the city gate. Everything around them appeared to continue on uninterrupted. I imagined their emotions were of grief, loss and confusion, which made me so very grateful that we have the written word of God. I thought about all He procured for me to live in the freedom of His love without regret.

For a moment, take pause: Picture yourself as a landscape, would you be a dark cave of regret or as the garden holding His body for a time…..each day, the fruit of the spirit blooming a little more and releasing a sweet fragrance glorifying our Lord and Savior.

It is a Great Friday to be alive my friend….a Good Friday to be saved….My prayers are with each of you, in Jesus’ blessed name.

Kisses,

Candace

                                                           © 2017 by Candace Huffmaster / Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®

March 3, 2017

Thank you for Asking!



The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.  All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives. ~ Prov 16:1,2




As I have been studying and reviewing information for various things, I couldn't help but notice a common theme among them all:  The value of questions.  When I was younger, I may not have been the most curious child in a group, but I was certainly in the top 3.  Question after question would layer my mind; hence I was probably the most talkative child around.  In time, however, my questions brought with them a sense of self consciousness. More often than not, I began to view questions as more of a liability.  After all people believe we are smarter when we don't know something and remain silent, or so we are told. This disastrous mindset is pretty much on the same plain as, "children should be seen and not heard". .....But I digress....

Paul David Tripp is the author of a book I have been re-reading.  He suggests we are all: influence-ers, interpreters and worshipers. As with all our studies on view points and words, the combination of these three words brought back many thoughts:


  • How do individuals who care enough to marry each other and build a family together end up wanting, more than anything, to not have to be around each other? 
  • How can jobs, hobbies and friendly relationships become something elevated over spouses and children?
  • How can we think we know what is best for others when we cannot go many days, our self, without making a poor decision? 
  • Why do we feel the generic things we have to say are more grand than something the next person might desire to speak about?
Considering all these dynamics, it seems that self concern/preservation, and pride may be what we desire to call it; however, due to how common place those critiques of character are today, let's break it down further. Since our topic is "questions" lets look at it from this angle.


The people I speak with on a regular basis, are coming to see me due to crisis in their life.  This crisis takes many forms.  The commonality begins after a series of conversations where in I get to ask questions regarding something/s that have changed in their life.  Surprisingly many people have not simply asked the person/s they are in a relationship with questions about the things.  People, for what ever reason, take facts and add onto them their version of reasoning.  If it goes on long enough they build story lines supporting their theories. Sometimes they even add characters. It is heart breaking to hear the attempts, of their family and friends, to convince them that what they are thinking is not real.  But that is how deceptive thoughts poison our brains first and then bleed out, infecting the good things in our lives.

Part of the reason we do not ask questions, is due to lies we have been told.  After so much time of being lied to, people begin to believe that the words of others are not as valid as their own reasoning.  The saddest consequences stemming from this is the victim of these situations begins to distrust everyone and depend on their interpretations of life around them.  Life is very distorted from this view point.  And when you won't listen to anyone there is very little help for correcting what you perceive. It is like watching someone ride a bike, thinking they are on a garden path, when in actuality they are heading toward the edge of a steep cliff.  And as you warn them, they wave at first, but as you continue, they begin yelling back at you to be quiet, because you are ruining their enjoyment! reminds me of Proverb 12:15 : The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to wise counsel.


Counsel does not usually begin with answers and people, being short sighted, desire answers. God gives wisdom but rarely treats it like a google search. He takes us on a journey, so that we may grow and become wise, patient people who can love investing in the lives of others. Relationships with good integrity come from investments made. Anyone can have a relationships which feed their emotional and egotistical tanks. We simply fish around till we find someone responsive then cut bait and move to a more happening spot when it fizzles. Please understand the relationship that is giving you what you want is almost never the relationship that is good for you.

If we are not trusting God, how can we find the truth? If we cannot believe the truth of the one who created us, how will we ever find anything which makes lasting sense? Where you are encountering consistent patterns of problems with a person, start listening more and talking less.  When you begin talking ask relation-ally invested questions, rather than questions leading toward what you want from the relationship.  

When we can ask questions meant to find out how to care for someone, rather than figuring out if they care about us - then maybe people will not avoid communicating with us, but actually thank us for asking!

Have a curiously good day my friends!
Kisses,
Candace

© 2017 by Candace Huffmaster / Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®

January 18, 2017

The Power of Words by Paul Tripp

A friend forwarded me his devotion for today. We all can benefit from understanding this more.  It is also relevant to the things we have been thinking about recently. I hope it gives you as much to consider as it did me!




The Power of Words

My two oldest sons are two years apart. They’re adults now, but when they were younger, I remember an argument they had. I can’t specifically remember what the argument was about, something silly and insignificant. It was one of many, like all brothers have.
What I do remember was how harsh their tone was, how their words were laden with accusation, and how their choice of vocabulary was personally damaging. Their sentences were designed to tear down, not find a solution to the conflict.
I had never taught my boys how to speak like this. Had they heard their father speak poorly to their mother? To them? Yes, regrettably. But I never sat them down and said, “Boys, if you want to win an argument and get your way, this is how to do it.”
In this mundane moment, God reminded me: the natural tendency of the human heart is to selfishly employ words to get what we want.
Listening to the same argument, God also opened my ears to hear how powerful words can be. Since I often don’t listen to what I say, or understand how my words are received, God was giving life and breath to the famous passage on the power of words in James 3.
"The tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness ... It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison ... With it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God."
More than 25 years removed, that argument still gets me reflecting today: how often do I naturally employ powerful words to selfishly get what I want? How often do I threaten, manipulate, accuse, guilt, or slander those in my life with what I say?
If you’re anything like me, I know you do the same. Be honest, but don’t be discouraged. God never reveals our hearts to discourage us. Convicting us of sin is one of the most profound ways he demonstrates his love for us.
Additionally, God never sets a lofty standard for our speech and demand that we reach it on our own, sitting back and waiting for us to fail. Rather, he gives us everything we need in life for godly speech (2 Peter 1:3).
How does he do that? He sent the Word – Jesus Christ – to become flesh and blood (John 1:14) and help us with our words. We have power and glorious riches at our disposal through Christ and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
This week, listen to yourself talk. Take note of how natural it is for you to employ words for selfish gain. Be aware to the powerful vocabulary at your disposal. Grieve and confess how you threaten, manipulate, accuse, guilt, or slander others with words.
But take hope. The Word came to release us from the power of sin. We can experience a new direction with our words!
God bless
Paul Tripp


Reflection Questions

  1. What was the last argument you engaged in? Rewind the audio of that conversation.
  2. Did you attempt to use words to repair conflict, or were your words chosen to "win" at the expense of another?
  3. How can you use powerful words this week to build up and restore?
  4. What practical steps can you take to "dwell" with the Word? How might that help with your words?

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December 23, 2016

How Long Can This Go On?





Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;  that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. Hebrews 12: 14-16



Having been over a month since I have had a moment to continue where I left off, I had to revisit the details of where we were.   If you want to review it click this link.

The first question in the random list was: How long can this go on? Length of time under pressure is indeed one of the first culprits which weakens us enough to take pause, when we are heading toward a crisis.  It isn't the first thing which happens; usually we have made attempts to under gird and manage our discomfort, but we get frustrated and worn out. Reminds me of the Happy Train analogy we use: Our Happy Train is scooting on down the track and at first there is a bump, then a metal sparking sound and THEN a disastrous flailing of bodies and loose objects slinging around the box car?

Most of us can do well with a bump or two.  We are even able to adapt bumps into our everyday life without too much disarray.  However, what happens when we are a bit frazzled from "life" and the ride is bumpy for hours? Add to this: everyone around you being pesky, only to have  the screeching metal sound shrill the airwaves in a grand crescendo!  How would your comfort level be in this moment?

Habakkuk wrote, that it was not of the Lord that we weary ourselves in vain. What does that mean to you? Do you think God desires for us to weary ourselves to the point we are disconnected and tolerating life? What are we pursuing? What are YOU pursuing? Most of us ARE pursing peace....but is it more rightly having what we want, which makes us happy and we deceive ourselves that we are experiencing peace?  Even if we are achieving this goal at the moment and no one seems to be grinding the gears of our Happy Train experience, we must realize we've seriously bypassed one of Gods major train stop.

God allows things to go on so that we understand what is going on.  The reason I went to Hebrews to address this is because in chapter 11, we were given the great cloud of witnesses legacy.   Esau, we are told, sold his birthright to get what he desired to happen.  He may have had peace in the moment, worldly peace, but he was not pursing peace with others; it was only about what he wanted.  Do you think Jacob was on a Happy Train Ride? What about their parents? Were they happy, did they have peace?

The Christmas Hymn, link above, speaks of peace and goodwill toward men.  This is the peace Hebrews 12 was speaking of, not the selfish peace of getting what we want.  Sanctification is the only means of experiencing a peaceful journey through life - How long can it go on till you make it? Till
Christ comes again!

Fortunately, as we begin seeing others and caring about the weight of our own wants upon them, God gives us all the mercy and grace to BE different all along the way.  This year give something beyond a perfect present, give notice to how you have treated others to get where you are and what you wanted.  Give a sincere apology for wrecking their train at times and ask how you might be able to help them find their way back.  If possible.......

When we begin living out the long lives we are blessed with in this way, we might feel less days of "How long can this go on?" and more day filled with " How much longer do I get to experience life?"

For God so loved the world, shouldn't we join in?

Merry Christmas to all and to all a marvelous night,

Kisses,
Candace

© 2016 by Candace Huffmaster / Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®

November 18, 2016

Something's......Got to Give


"Behold, it is not of the Lord of hosts that the peoples labor to feed the fire, and nations weary themselves in vain."Habakkuk 2:13



With everything going on and our current state of affairs, it isn't odd that Habakkuk has come to mind often lately. I never turn away these prompting. I use them to revisit our past studies and retrace the experiences of those long ago.  God, always has new insight for us; if we are willing to give Him the opportunity.

To start with, lets consider what Habakkuk was dealing with and find some common ground: We all, at times, encounter situations where the burdens upon our life stem from the stubbornness, or rebellion, of others. A natural response during these experiences can be to carry on a dialogue within our self, attempting to find a sane refuge from the insanity outside us.

Due to many conversations with myself and others I have a few examples below:

  • How long can this go on?
  • How long can I put up with this?
  • Why doesn't God intervene in this situation?
  • How does God expect me to relate toward the this person; knowing the person was well aware of the consequences to everyone?
  • Does God consider it selfishness to not have anything to do with those who continue to be selfish?
  • Would God desire me to suffer silently, in order for Him to work in and through me to reach them?
  • Is God going to help me in my pain and deal with the things they've stolen from my life?

If you recall, Habakkuk asked questions similar to these. We are going to touch on all these, but not all today.  Today our focus is the emotional weight he was experiencing; it had become incredibly burdensome.  We do not know all of his thoughts, however it is obvious the dialogue was with God not himself. It is painfully obvious Habakkuk had been crying out to God for a long time....and he had reach the point where something or someone had to give:

 “How long, Oh Lord, shall I cry, and you will not hear? Even cry out to You,‘Violence!’ And you will not save.” ~ Habakkuk 1:2

There are so many raw emotions in the words of Habakkuk. Read it again, and picture a man, trying, exhausted, desiring to see God and feel His salvation from the pain of living among all that he was dealing with.  From scripture we know he was speaking of  imbalance, injustice and the oppression taking place; and he pointedly questioned God as to why He causes him to experience it.  Although he questioned God he did so reverently; he never questioned the Sovereignty of God.  I do not know if Habakkuk was confidently bold, or broken, and at the end of his rope. However, the last nugget of insight he gave us was this:  he was sure he would need to consider, after God spoke, what he would say when corrected.

Have you ever been confident that you could handle something, only to find that it went on way longer than you could have fathomed?  Has the torment and confusion of others ever caused you to take solace, in your own conversation and companionship, in hopes of finding clarity? Have you ever, in exhaustion, simply cried out to "God knows who" just to vent? If so, I can honestly tell you you are not alone.  However, sometimes it is better to be alone with those things / thought than a group of people, in confusion, considering their own thoughts, and rehashing the debris of life. More often than not, those people find comfort in the commonality of their pain and forget, for a brief moment, the misery coming down on and around them.

Habakkuk could have become discouraged and found solace in social circles; he could have found something to comfort him in his time of desperation.  However, when he demonstrated that he only wanted God and would not turn away, God spoke:
Look among the nations and watch - Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you!~ Habakkuk 1: 5


Did you notice how we become more utterly astounded by the hurtful / harmful situations cause by people; we are taken aback; we just cant believe it - And we loose sight of God.   Doubtfully, we would have believed it if we had been told beforehand. As the bible says God uses foolishness to confound the wise (my usage is tongue and cheek).  God uses our crazy desperate thoughts and conversations to calm, stabilize and encourage us; as well as boldly declare He is Lord and listening!  Remember, He is God and does not operate as we think best.  He is too loving to allow us to misunderstand what is going on and get in harms way. As in Habakkuk's life, God took time to explain the work He was doing.  He was in the process of raising up a bitter and hasty nation to take possession of places that were not their own. He even warned him that they were terrible, even dreadful; their judgment and dignity emanated from themselves.  If that wasn't enough, God stated they would be coming for violence and claiming all power, honor and glory for their god.

While all this sound disastrous and unfathomable, in His Sovereignty, He explained that something, was indeed, going to Give.  We will stop here for today and I ask for you to consider, when you are in a time of distress, to consider Habakkuk: how he carried his grief to a place of true refuge.  He climbed the tower and waited for a reply from his faithful God.

Please note: It is wise to find Godly counsel when you are in a desperate place, but if fear has not yet grabbed hold of you, climb away to a safe space and find solace in the One who is faithful and with you even now.  He listens, He speaks and is faithful to save us, if we believe and trust Him.

I pray peace, comfort, joy and the ability to hear His wisdom, over you all.

Kisses,
C


© 2016 by Candace Huffmaster / Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®

August 12, 2016

You Lucky Dog!



He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you.  My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you......And now, I have told you before it come, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.....  (John 14: 26,27,29)



Our family once had a dog named Lucky.  He was a rescue dog from the Salvation Army.  I cannot recall if we gave him his name; he certainly was not a puppy when he came to live with us. Lucky was a beautiful Collie, like the picture I posted here.  But being confined to a small fenced area most of his life, he did not know how to use all his energies and strength well.  He never learned to run; his head would get too far in front of his front paws and he would tumble.

When a car would come by our yard, Lucky seemed to forget all his awkward inabilities; all he remembered was "I want to GO!".  Time and time again he would fall and several times even hit by a car.  Finally, Lucky's luck ran out.....Ironic isn't it?

Today, I went back to read over the past 4 months journals of prayers, biblical studies and how God has been using all these throughout my everyday life.  What I realized is some of the thoughts and questions I have had, He had already talked with me about.  It was all there; did I forget? Did I just get going too fast?  Did I not pay attention because something passing caught my eye?  Or ....is it all the above, but now I see all the experience, in focus of the journey through it all.

Today, as many other days my focus isn't on the sprint from thing to thing, getting caught up in things passing by me, but on watching all that has gone by and talking with my Creator about what He has planned; what He was accomplishing; where I could see Him and bring His activity to light.  These are the reasons we're all alive; to know Him, bring Him glory, and other to Him.

So today, I prayerfully challenge all of us to slow down and stop looking around at what "next thing" we might not catch up with, or miss out on.  But instead, to slow down, so that we don't get run over by something in all our awkward attempts - and allow Him and His power some time, space, energy for strength training.  Just like Lucky, we have no idea, what He is capable of doing, since we are no longer limited and confined.

Side bar, Lucky was a rescue, as are we.  We got Lucky through Salvation army and we are rescued through Salvation in Christ. I could keep going but I will stop with we are not Lucky....we are blessed =D

Kisses,
Candace


                                                         © 2016 by Candace Huffmaster / Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®

July 5, 2016

How Could I?

He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. ~ Proverbs 11:29

This past month as I was studying some scriptures, which are common to me, they resonated in a unique way.  In Genesis 39:9

There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

As I was reading through this experience of  Josephs', I found myself thinking more of Adam and Eve than Joseph and his master's wife. I began to compare some things between Joseph and Adam. Of course, before Eve, there were no other human beings in relationship with Adam; nor was it just a household given for Adam to tend and manage.  The similarity is in there not being anyone whom was given more authority than Adam, and his Creator had not kept back anything from him but the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Genesis 2:15:

"Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Both men were tested with a lust through a woman:

  • Adam, through the wife his Master had given him
  • Joseph, through his masters wife 
As I read Joseph's response I was incredibly humbled:  ....." How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" Can we all pause and examine the tremendous gravity of the sins we have slammed against God? 

I cannot begin to imagine what Adams ability to comprehend a never before seen or felt truth might have been; nor would I attempt, beyond this point, to compare these men's actions and intent.  However, this one thing I have extensively thought about: How on earth did Adam and Eve so casually disregard, seemingly,  how great God is and how inconceivable it was that He would bless them with such splendor and authority - of course at the same moment I reached the end of that though, immediately, my mind envisioned my own reflection many times over, instead of them.

My (our) God is SO great, has blessed me (us) so very much!......How could I ever do wickedness against Him or His precious Son? How can I bare to grieve His Holy Spirit which abides within me, sealing me till the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?   In closing, I beg of us all to see the lies of the tempter, realizing no one or thing is off limits as a pawn, and respond as Joseph: speak the truth of our Master with great respect and appreciation.  Also, no matter how long the trial assaults us, even if day by day as was the case with Joseph, that in the end when the evil will not flee, we will! 

Most importantly, it is my prayer that through it all we will believe every word the Lord has spoken is truth; knowing in His perfect timing all will happen just as He states.  May we all be weak, yet courageous in Christ, that God alone may be seen as our Might.

Sending Peace and Love in Christ,
Kisses,
Candace


© 2016 by Candace Huffmaster / Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®