Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Disappointed


Fiction under 250 words.


“God help me,” I muttered under my breath. I was behind “Eeyore” mom and we were traveling at a maximum of 20 miles per hour.

I glared at the navy blue Chevy Tahoe and tried to keep my cool in front of the boys. I didn’t know this woman, but I hated her. She was the slowest driver in the entire city and I was always the lucky dipstick that got stuck behind her.


The boys began squirming in their seats. They knew whenever we got behind the truck with the Eeyore decal that there would be trouble. We were slowing down (which only required a tap or two on the brakes considering we were moving at a snail’s pace) at a stoplight.

We were in the left-hand turn lane and there wasn’t a car to be seen for miles. The light was green and yet we continued to sit there.

I could feel a hot bubble of impatience making it’s way up my throat. I gritted my teeth and tried hard to keep my cool. Only, I couldn’t. A force, bigger than myself, took over and I gripped the steering wheel so hard I heard a knuckle crack.

I glared at the woman hoping she would catch my death-ray look in her rear-view mirror and get the hint.

No such luck.

We continued to sit through the green light. I tensed and before I could stop myself, I called her an ugly name. We were all disappointed.


Thanksgiving is SO Over

Are you ready for this … ?

I’m thankful Thanksgiving is over.

There. I said it.

I know! Where is my attitude of gratitude??

Actually, I AM grateful for everything, please don’t think that I’m not. But I have a hard time summoning the gratitude attitude when I have to host Thanksgiving dinner.

This hostess with the mostess gets stressed out!

We had everything under control (for the most part) though. Kevin put the turkey into the oven at 11:00 p.m. Friday night (did I mention we had to have our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday?) and it cooked until 6:00 a.m. the next morning. We have a thermometer that plugs into our oven that is programmed to shut the oven off once the turkey reaches the desired temperature. Which is nice, because we were able to sleep without worrying about the turkey over cooking.

Kevin then carved the turkey and we had it ready to go by 8:00 a.m. We stuck the turkey in our warming drawer, I woke the boys up, straightened the house while they showered and Kevin and I still had time to sit for about thirty minutes and catch our breath while listening to Christmas music.

Our guests were scheduled to arrive at noon. At 11:00 a.m., we heard what sounded like someone walking on the roof – it was because someone WAS walking on the roof. The roof guy just showed up prepared to tweak the roof. We didn’t say anything at first, but when I saw him go to his truck, pull out a tool belt and start gathering equipment, I asked Kevin to tell him that now wasn’t a good time.

We were expecting 15 people in little less than an hour, after all. (Can you imagine being in the middle of the Thanksgiving prayer and trying to thank God for our abundance while competing with mind-numbing hammering? Exactly).

Everyone arrived at noon, we ate, talked …


had pie …


and me, my brother-in-law, my nephew, and Dude played the Settler’s of Catan game …

Longest Catan Game Ever

which lasted three LONG hours …


seriously, THREE HOURS.

It was like the longest Settler’s of Catan game EVER. (Actually, we played the Cities and Knights expansion pack which added to the difficulty level and of course, extended the game).

By the way, I came in last place. My nephew won, Dude came in second and my brother-in-law third.

Everyone stuck around until about 7:00 p.m. and when they left, I ate more pie and collapsed into a coma.

I think I’m still trying to recover.

Kevin LOVES hosting Thanksgiving. Me? Not so much. And it’s not because I don’t like having people over, oh contrare, but rather, it’s A LOT of work. Of course, a lot of that work is self-imposed, meaning that we don’t have to do nearly as much as we do whenever it’s our turn to host the dinner, but it’s fun to use Thanksgiving as our goal to work toward because most of these home improvements would still just be talked about instead of actually done if not for our self-imposed deadline.

I’m quite sure that made sense.

At any rate, we’re DONE with Thanksgiving and we won’t have to host dinner again until 2013.

This kid? Will have graduated from high school by then.


THAT doesn’t blow my mind at all.

Abundant Life

Teaching: Transformation: Becoming Like Christ

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

[The following article is an edited transcription of the October 2002 Teaching of the Month, “Transformation: Becoming Like Christ,” by John W. Schoenheit.]

This month we are going to be talking about Transformation: Becoming Like Christ. In this particular teaching on “transformation,” I am going to have two subtitles. One would be Dealing with Anger and Bitterness. I believe that those are two things, the hurt and pain that we feel that results in anger and bitterness, which really keep people from becoming like Christ. The other will be Participating in the Suffering of Christ.

Ephesians 5:1 and 2
(1) Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
(2) and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

This is God’s command to us, the goal if you will, that has been set in front of us. We are to be an imitator of God. Not just be an imitator of God, but also to be an imitator of Christ because we are to “live a life of love, just as Christ loved.” We are supposed to imitate God and we are supposed to imitate Christ. These are lofty goals. Often times what happens is that in the process of trying to transform ourselves to become like Christ, we run into roadblocks. We often hold these roadblocks in our hearts in the form of hurt, pain, bitterness, and anger. These are a result of what happened to us over the course of our lives. We need to think very carefully about how to become transformed into the image of God and the image of Christ. How do we do that? What is the process we have to go through? We need to get some definitions in place because as we begin to discuss this, one of the things that is going to come up is the difference between our mind and our heart.

The Bible uses heart all the time, such as: “Guard your heart with all diligence. It is the wellspring of life.” The Bible uses the heart in a way that actually refers to the deep part of the mind, the seat, or the center of a man’s personal life, the starting point of the manifestations that occur in a person’s personal life. The heart is thus the core of your mind and the core of your personal life. Meanwhile, the mind itself is the place where you think, the place where you hold knowledge; it is the faculty of intellect. It is very important for us to understand that a very good distinction can be found between the heart and mind. If we are ever going to be like Christ as people, we have got to purify our heart. We have to. It is not good enough to just know what the Bible says. If we are going to be like Christ, we have to purify our heart.

At this point, I would expect you to say, “Why is that? Why do we have to purify our heart?” The answer actually is pretty simple. The answer is because what is in your heart is what will actually manifest itself in your life. In a battle between your mind and your heart, your heart will always win. Let me see if we can get some examples of that.

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

In my journey to become like God and to become like Christ, I want to get to the point that I can do this. I am not going to let any unwholesome talk come out of my mouth, none. “Okay, John, got it. This is the Word. I am only going to speak what is helpful for building others up according to their needs so that it blesses and benefits them.”

Ephesians 5:3 and 4
(3) But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
(4) Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

We see a stark contrast between the heart and the mind. Now, I have got the Word in my mind. I know what the Bible says. It says, “No obscenity.” It says it right here in front of me. Also verse four says, “Nor should there be obscenity.” This is a good translation of the contextual meaning of the Greek word. God does not want His children going around using obscenity. God wants His children speaking wholesome talk that is “helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” I am now holding the Word in my mind. I can give myself a pep-talk and say, “That’s it, John. You are going to obey the Word here. You are going to only speak things that are a blessing. No more obscenity, no more cursing—none of that stuff.”

How long does that last? Well, when I first stumbled across this, it did not last very long at all. I had a habit pattern of using foul language in my life because of my background and training. The fact that I knew the Word in my mind did not keep me from using bad language. I get in a traffic jam, or something else, and out comes this string of expletives. It is like “Whoa, from where did that come?” I thought that I knew what to do. I thought that I knew what the Word said. I thought that I knew better than this. I thought that I knew what right behavior was. You see, you can know what to do, but in the contest between your heart and your mind, the heart will win. That is why James 4:8 says:

James 4:8
…Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts…

Why is it so important to purify our heart? It is important because what is in our heart is going to come out in our actions.

By the way, this is why the Old Testament was uneffective in making people righteous.

Romans 8:3
For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature (The Greek word for sinful nature is sarx, which is flesh.), God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.

Now, what was it here where it says, “for what the law was powerless to do”? What did the law attempt to do? Deuteronomy 6:25 says this:

Deuteronomy 6:25
And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”

God wanted people to be righteous before Him. He gave them a law and said, “Look here it is. Read it. Understand it. Do it.” Reading it they could do. Understanding it they could do. Acting it out—they would not do. Why? Scripture says because we are “weakened by the sinful nature (our flesh).” Thankfully, God did what the law could not do because He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.

Can we have righteousness today? Sure we can. How do we get it? We get it through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8 says that we are not saved by works. We do not gain our righteousness by works, but we gain our righteousness through Jesus Christ. [For further study read Righteousness – Every Christian’s Gift from God.]

Ephesians 2:8 and 9
(8) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
(9) not by works, so that no one can boast.

The reason that people could not do the law is because what was in their heart and the demands of their flesh overrode what they knew to do in their mind. This is a very important concept when it comes to becoming like Christ. If you want to become like Christ and you think that the answer is, “I am simply going to study the Word, find out what it says and then go out and do it.” Well, you have got a bit of an education coming. Like I said, we just read a verse that says, “No obscenity.” By the way, I am an advocate of that. I believe that we should clean up our mouths and the way that we speak. It is only going to happen as we clean our hearts.

That is where we are going to go now.

Matthew 12:33-35
(33) “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.
(34) You brood of vipers, [This is referring to the religious leaders and Pharisees.] how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
(35) The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

That is exactly right. Whatever is stored up in us; whatever is in our heart is what is going to come out of us— “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”

I like how the New American Standard Bible translates Luke 6:45.

Luke 6:45 (NASB)
The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good. The evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

If we are ever going to be like Christ we have to cleanse our heart. In the battle between the heart and the mind, the heart will win. If we have anger, bitterness, hurt, and pain in our heart, that is what is going to come out of us. We have to work hard to get that out. [For further study read Healthily Processing Anger.]

Cleansing the heart is not just a mental exercise. It is not as easy as cleaning a pan, where you just get some soap and a scrub brush and clean it out. We have to change the way that we live, and we are also going to have to, in many cases, come up with an explanation that satisfies our minds so that we can release the anger and bitterness that we have in our heart. If you have any anger or bitterness in your heart, sometimes you need to come up with something that is mentally satisfying where you can release that. I know that a lot of people have released a lot of anger and bitterness just because they understand that it hurts them to hold it, which is part of why the Bible says to forgive.

What I want to do now is talk about the process of cleansing the heart. It takes time and some mental and physical effort to cleanse the heart. We need to learn how to cleanse the heart. The first step would be to be confident that the change can occur. You can do it. I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to in my life, and I have even felt this way on many occasions, that say, “I will just never change. I have been fighting this, fighting this, and fighting this.” One of the keys to success in cleansing your heart is to have confidence that change can occur.

In Matthew 13:15, Jesus Christ is talking about the people and how they fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah.

Matthew 13:15
For this people’s heart has become calloused…

Ephesians 4:17-19
(17) So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
(18) They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
(19) Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality…

I think that you and I know that many situations in life occur where people go from bad to worse. It is interesting that a lot of times we try to be good so often, and we try to cleanse our hearts, and it is like swimming up-stream. This is because our sin nature is going in the opposite direction, yet it is so clear that people can get worse and worse in their life. Somebody who is a liar can become an addicted liar. Somebody who likes possessions can become a thief and an embezzler. We understand that people can go from bad to worse in their hearts, but the good news is that also means that we can go from bad to good. Of course, Romans 12:2 is one of the great verses.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,

Peterson’s translation uses the word culture there.

Romans 12:2 (The Message)
Do not conform any longer to the culture of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

This is a verse that has great hope because it says that a person can be transformed. That is what we want to do. We want to be transformed into the image of Christ.

If we are going to change, the first step is to have confidence that change can occur. Do not give up on yourself.

The second thing that I would say is that I would get God involved in your change. Pray for God’s help. 2 Corinthians 13:7 is just a really cute verse on this. I say that in all seriousness. I just read it, and I laughed because so many verses exist on prayer. This is not a teaching on prayer so I am not going to spend a lot of time on it; however, when we are talking about doing right and cleansing our heart, look how great this verse is. The Apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthian Church, and what a mess they had been. They had messed up the manifestations. They had messed up the Lord’s Supper. They had all sorts of differences (fights) among them. They had messed up the financial situation. They had all kinds of weird questions about their sexual behavior. The Church was just really having problems. This is the close of the last chapter of the second epistle. The Apostle Paul writes this to this Church.

2 Corinthians 13:7
Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong.

That is what we want to do. We want to pray in support of ourselves. We want to pray for God’s help.

The first step in transformation is to have confidence that you can change, and second pray for God’s help. Get God involved. Ask for His insight and wisdom. The third step is to realize the seriousness of the situation and prepare to do the hard work and take drastic action.

Read the rest of the article here.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page, their YouTube Channel, or follow them on Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

(Comments have been turned off. The information is here to inform and bless you. God granted you the gift of free will – take it or leave it).

More from Write From Karen


Waiting to Celebrate

Annnnnnd ….

We’re ready. I spent most of today cleaning the crap out of my house (sometimes literally, but never mind). We only host Thanksgiving for Kevin’s family every third year (we trade off with his two sisters), but I sometimes swear it’s our turn more often than it’s theirs.

Whenever we host Thanksgiving, I overkill – a lot. We usually use Thanksgiving as our excuse to get some things done around the house. We don’t do these things BECAUSE of Thanksgiving, we do these things because it gives us a deadline to finally do what we’ve talked about doing for years.

For example THIS go-around we:

  • Completely gutted our kitchen and put in new cabinets, appliances and floor.
  • Ripped up our carpet from the living/dining room and put in hardwood floors, complete with new love seat/sofa and TV media center (or commonly referred to as an entertainment center for us hillbilly types)
  • Repainted our front bathroom walls and cabinet, put in a new counter top and sink and new accessories.
  • Got a new roof. (Which leaks – don’t even get me started).

And if we had had time, we would have ripped the carpet out of our family room (it’s buckling – HOW ANNOYING considering the carpet is only THREE years old! GRR) and put in hand-scraped wood. (Our family room is an outdoorsy-type room – rock fireplace, paneled walls). But we ran out of time so … that will get done before NEXT Thanksgiving dinner.

Anyhoo …

I am now putting the yeast rolls into the warming drawer because the house is too cold for them to rise otherwise. Kevin plans on putting the turkey into the oven at midnight and then getting up at 6:00 to take it out and carve it up. Doing it this way will save time and counter-top space in the morning as we can get the turkey carved, put away and the mess cleaned up to make room for our other dishes.

I plan on making The Pioneer Woman’s mouth-watering mashed potatoes, stuffing, and deviled eggs. My sisters-in-laws are bringing veggie dishes and my mother-in-law is bringing the pies (she usually cooks about ten of them).

We’re cooking a Honeysuckle turkey and using some special vegan butter because my niece has all sorts of food allergies and I wanted to be able to make at least one thing she could eat with the rest of us (her mom will have to bring other foods for her to eat). I feel sorry for the girl – it must really suck to not be able to eat what you want to eat.

We plan on eating at noon and then we’ll likely play games, eat pie, play more games, eat left overs for dinner, play more games and then Kevin’s family will likely leave about 7:00 p.m.

It’s going to be a long day … but it’s going to be a great day. 🙂


I Am So Thankful For …

I was reading Emily’s 100 More Things: Thanksgiving Edition today when I thought, “Hey self, you should make a list, too!”

Though I can’t think of 100 things (okay fine, I could probably think of 100 things, I’m just too lazy to list 100 things, hush), I’m pretty sure I can come up with twenty five things. And because the technical writer in me LOVES how Emily put her list into nice, neat little categories, I too shall put mine into (less than neat) similar categories.


1. God. (I know God is not technically a “person” but just humor me, okay?) I would be nothing without our wonderful, gracious and loving Father.

2. Husband. Truly. I shudder to think where I would be in my life right now without my best friend and help mate. It’s not even worth imagining because it’s THAT scary.

3. Children. I always wondered what my life would be life with children, now I can’t imagine what my life would be WITHOUT children – they define me.

4. Extended Family. I truly have the best extended family a girl could ask for. Everyone seems to be firmly grounded and well adjusted – thank God for no ugly dramas.

5. School Administrators. For without them, I wouldn’t have a job.

6. The folks at Truth or Tradition. For without them, our family wouldn’t be as informed or blessed when it comes to spiritual matters.

Spiritual Matters

7. God. I know. I listed Him twice, but I think He’s worthy, don’t you? 🙂

8. Articles from Truth or Tradition. These articles have blessed me countless times, not to mention, they keep me humble and give me strength and comfort.

Here are a few that I hope bless you as well:

Thankfulness: A Blessing for Your Life

The Benefits of Thanks-Living

What is the Point of Prayer?

The Problem With Blaming God

You can find many more articles here.

Social Media

9. Twitter. My husband doesn’t get Twitter, but I do. In fact, I’m on Twitter waaaay too much, but I’m thankful for it because it allows me to feel connected to the outside world. Since I work from home and I don’t have any friends, it really does keep me sane.

10. Facebook. I think our families have grown closer since Facebook. I honestly don’t think our family has connected so much before Facebook came along – now we know what everyone is doing and that’s a GOOD thing (mostly).

11. My blog. Since I don’t have a lot of friends (but I’m always looking for that special woman friend who is basically like me, but far less annoying), it’s really my only opportunity to vent. I can record my thoughts and put them out there and the fact that people read what I have to say? BONUS.

12. Blog readers. Though I’ll be the first to admit that I blog for me, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s REALLY NICE to know there are people out there that give a crap about my life – as boring as it may be. 🙂


13. My PC. It’s my doorway to the only socialization I get.

14. My laptop. I love that I can write anywhere at any time. (I don’t DO pen/paper. I LOATHE writing long hand).

15. Photoshop Elements. I love that I can pretend to be a graphic designer, or trick people into thinking I’m a much better photographer than I am (not) by editing/creating in Photoshop.

16. Dreamweaver. A program that virtually creates websites for you. (Which is a blessing because I may be a designer, but I’m not a computer programmer – Dreamweaver does all the technical stuff for me).

17. AVG. Finally. A virus program that I can trust and doesn’t give me a migraine!

Family Vacations

18. Washington D.C.

19. Western Caribbean Cruise

20. New York

21. Saint John, New Brunswick

22. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Favorite Things

23. Our Home. I truly LOVE our home. It’s so comfy and I love our neighborhood. I get annoyed whenever Kevin starts talking about moving. Our house is paid for and it’s a wonderful house, WHY would I want to move??

24. My Car. It’s a Pontiac Vibe and it drives like a go-cart. And if that sounds fun? Then you’re right – it’s a fun little car. It’s also very reliable and great on gas.

25. My treadmill set up. I’m thankful that we have room for it and that we can afford it. I’m also thankful that it motivates me to stay in shape and control my girth. And believe me, my girth needs lots of control.