Kathleen Hardaway

Category - inspiration

And the Winner Is?

Americans spent over 25 billion dollars on professional sports last year. Massive amounts of time, money, and energy is spent on athletic events. People enthusiastically go and cheer, clap, and watch their coveted team try to WIN!

While others sit at home spending countless hours in front of their flat screen TV’s waiting to see who will win, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and The Voice. Millions take the time to vote and give their opinion on who they believe the winner should be. Countless people wait in anticipation to hear the words… “And the winner is?”

The Olympics continue to be loved by most and it too brings millions of viewers glued the tube to see which country and athlete stays on top! It often can be within a fraction of a second that stands between the winner and loser.

Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

Is winning the only thing?

When the athlete, recording artist, Hollywood star stays on top, often people love them. The minute they begin to sink in their careers there can be an instant slump in sales and the fans can turn on them in and instant.

While on top, the winners have the world by the tail as they say, but there’s a problem, it’s fleeting and often never last.

Oh, I highly admire what our Olympians have to do in order to be the best in their field. The sacrifices they make are unbelievable. They have one focus, one goal, one ambition, the Gold medal.

What’s your one ambition? Think about it. What’s the one thing you would die for, the one thing that makes you eager to get out of bed every day?

Did you know you’re in a race?

God’s Word says,  “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Oh my friend be sure you’re in the race. God’s race. Run, as He directs you and help make a difference for the Kingdom of God.

Facing Winter with a Smile

When was the last time you laughed at winter? One of the last things I did in preparation for winter was to plant pansies. I’ll never forget the day I purchased the flowers. I asked the gardener, “How well do they live in the winter?” She replied with a grin, “Oh, they laugh at winter!”

Now that’s a line I’ll never forget – “They laugh at winter!” As if the pansies could talk and say, “Are you kidding…we love the winter; below freezing doesn’t bother us. Bring it on!”

Many have already had snow and the cold weather has blasted across the country with vigor. And I wonder, what is in store for us this winter? Being from the South, it’s hard to imagine living with sub-zero tempts. But no matter how cold it gets can you, “laugh at winter?”

Winter is by far my least favorite season. And if I’m not careful I can let myself get depressed. I love being outside in the warmer weather. I enjoy daylight savings time, not driving home in the dark after work. I go home to an empty house, not one with a husband or children. Well, there’s my cat, Bunker. He does a great job welcoming me home, but of course he’s only a cat. And the communication continues to be one sided.

The television seems to provide some sense of not being alone, but it can become a huge time waster. The winter months can often make you feel lonelier than ever. We’re living in a day when one of the greatest epidemics in our society is not cancer, obesity, alcohol, or drugs, but loneliness. Yes, all these issues plague our country, and these are often ways people channel their pain due to loneliness.

During these cold, dark, dreary days you need your spiritual armor on more than ever. When was the last time you laughed at winter?

How do you face winter with a smile?

  1. Remember, winter does not last forever. It’s only for a season. 
    Seasons come and seasons go. Thank God! But some last longer than others. Are you in a trial? Has life taken its toll and it’s almost more than you can bear? Keep rolling your hurts over on the Lord. He tells us to “Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7). Also, never forget that He will never give you more than you can bear (I Corinthians 10:13). Take each day knowing that spring is on the way and He is always with you!
  2. Look for ways to help others.
    Often when you dwell on your own problems you can cause continued frustration and heartbreak and before you know it, you’re more depressed than ever. Look for ways to help others. You may need to write someone a note of encouragement. Go help in a soup kitchen. You may find many have far more problems than you do.
  3. Get involved in a small group Bible study.
    If there is not a Bible study group in your own church, you may want to start your own. Be sure you’re in Bible study. This is foundational to your spiritual growth. Meditating and studying His Word gives you the power to press on during these challenging months.
  4. Join a health club.
    If you’re financially able to join a health club, you may want to consider this. Exercise is vital to your health and well- being. I always feel better after I exercise. It’s certainly better than putting on ten to twenty pounds during the winter months. Gaining weight is a battle for so many especially during the winter. If finances are an issue, go walk the mall. I do this on occasion and thoroughly enjoy it.
  5. Pray, pray, pray.
    Being cooped up inside has few advantages, but one drawback of spring and summer is that it’s far easier to play, than to pray. You may play tennis, golf, swim, boat, fish, run or walk, all which can be good things, but they can rob you from your quiet time with the Lord. Cultivate your prayer life. Nothing can be better for you, and for those you’re praying for.

Embrace the winter! Laugh at it knowing that the God of the universe designed the seasons for a reason. Keep on praising Him for His goodness, His mercy, His love, His compassion, His forgiveness, and His comfort! Stay warm, my friend, and keep smiling.

Preventing a Broken Heart: Is It Possible?

My friend, have you ever had a broken heart? Has the pain been so deep you thought you just wanted to die?

I’ll never forget the night when I wondered if I was ever going to stop crying. All I can remember was going to bed and finally crying myself to sleep.

Hurt and pain can come in many different forms, but grief that comes from a broken heart seems to hurt us the most. There can be deep disappointments when relationships don’t work out.

Is it possible to date and not get hurt? Certainly! Is there anything you can do to help prevent heartbreak? Yes. There are lots of things you can do.  However, you are never excluded from heartbreak if you give your heart to someone else.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where many date with reckless abandonment. Godly integrity is often not a part for many relationships today and consequently enormous heartbreak is inevitable.

If there was ever a time we needed some basic guidelines in dating, it’s now. If today’s media has become our standard we’re in deep trouble.

Following a few basic truths from God’s Word is the answer to preventing much heartbreak.

Whom should you date? How do you date? There is absolutely one essential key in the area of spending time with someone and developing a relationship. If you’re a believer, then it’s important to date a Christian.

God says in His Word, “Do not be unequally yoked” (2 Corinthians 6:14). And since dating often times leads to marriage you don’t ever want to get involved with an unbeliever. Plus, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” You may think that you’re just having fun and you never intend to marry the person you’re dating. I have known people who began dating someone just for fun and ended up marrying them. With deep regret they admit they made a huge mistake. Be careful with whom you’re spending time.

Since respect is a key to a good marriage, respect is vital in a relationship. If you don’t respect whom you’re dating or if they do not respect you, stop the relationship now!

Often women tell me that the man she’s in a relationship with does not respect her, and he pushes her too far in the area of sex. This is an age-old problem that continues to break the hearts of countless women. How do you guard your heart?  One way is by “Fleeing youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22). If you play with fire, you will get burned. Don’t go there.

As a Christian you must have a passion for purity.

If you truly have a passion for God, then you should have a passion for purity. Much can be said on this subject, but the key is holiness. The Bible is very clear, “Be ye holy for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16). What are you watching, reading, and viewing online? Does it please God?

If you’re pure in your dating relationships you are less likely to experience as much heartbreak. Always pray about every friendship that you have. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Ask for God’s direction in all your relationships.

Keep your relationships pure. Keep your relationships simple.  Keep an open hand with your relationships. Ask the Lord to use you to be one who is pointing all your friends to the Lord. Be honest with yourself, and certainly be honest with whom you’re dating. If the person you’re spending time with is trying to fool you into thinking they’re a Christian, but they’re just trying to steal your heart, ask the Lord to show you who they really are.

A lady shared with me her deep hurt after rushing into marriage. “Please tell anyone who is single to not be blinded into thinking the person they’re dating is a godly person if they’re not. I married my husband much too soon. I thought he was a believer and I know now I was very deceived. It’s much better to be single, than to be in a wrong marriage.”

Is it possible to avoid a broken heart?

There’s no guarantee, but there are certainly ways to prevent the hurt from devastating your life. In all your relationships walk in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. Yes, my heart has been broken, but praise God He has been faithful. As I reflect over my past, I’m so grateful for the relationships that didn’t work out.

I tell much more of my story in my book, “I Kissed a Lot of Frogs, but the Prince Hasn’t Come.”

My friend, wait on the Lord. Trust the Lord. Always put your hope, your joy, and your dreams in Christ. When He is first then, single or married, you will have a peace that no person or thing can give.