"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Welcome to "Hope on the Horizon." This blog is created to be a resource that will help you become inspired, motivated, encouraged and transformed into the person God created you to be.

Sometimes in life when we look onto the horizon we may not have that clear, beautiful sunset staring back at us. Instead, we might have an image of hopelessness and despair. As a Military wife and mother of 4 children whose ages range from 2-17, I am familiar with the stresses life throws your way! My past horizons have not always been so bright. But they helped shape me into the woman I am today . Having survived being orphaned in the streets of Vietnam, domestic abuse, divorce , aftermath of abortion and even widowhood, I have learned to persevere and grab hold of my destiny, no matter what the cost! From these places of pain and trials, I have become a woman whose passion is to bring the gift of hope and encouragement to others through inspirational words, practical tips and advice.

No matter what your present horizon is, there is always hope for a better future. All things are possible when you allow yourself the opportunity to be all you were created to be. So, please come along for a journey where the destination is not always known but the trip itself is worth every bump in the road to get there.
Hope is just on the Horizon!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Change of Seasons

Like every season, changes come and I have decided to start a new blog site and hope you will follow me.
Thanks to all of you who have supported me on this one but I pray you will consider my new one.
I am at FAB life-Army Wife now....Thanks again for your support and hope to see you at my new site!


Friday, September 10, 2010

The Jesus Freak Across the Street

The Jesus Freak Across the Street
Jesus lived across the street from me in a white Colonial-style house with black shutters in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Jesus was not who I expected; actually, He appeared as a 5 feet 7 inch, attractive, zealous, vivacious, bold military wife of three beautiful children. How could that be? At first glance, I would’ve missed Him, probably like most of the religious leaders did back in the early days of the church. At any rate, He, or should I say “she,” kept showing up on my doorstep unexplained during a difficult period in my life. In January, 2001, I lost my late husband, North Carolina Trooper, John H. Duncan, in a tragic high speed car chase, leaving me widowed with two children. In fact, we buried him on my son’s first birthday. Life for me changed drastically and more would come. This naturally happens when Jesus is your neighbor!

The Jesus impersonator, who was my neighbor, AKA Michelle Fowles, loved the Lord in ways that I could not comprehend. She was this bright, energetic ball of fire that would somehow land on my door step early in the morning with words of hope and encouragement while juggling a cup of coffee and bible in hand. However, some days I would quickly escort her out the same door she came! During this time, she was offensive to me because I was in no way, shape or form about to be converted, especially when this God she spoke of was in fact the same One who was in control of my life. I did not trust Him! One day, I even made an agreement with her. She could come over, but she couldn’t talk about Jesus or God to me. She agreed, but for Michelle, that was like cutting off her oxygen supply. Her visits would total about 15 minutes before she would burst into praises again about Jesus. And as usual, I asked her to leave. She was like a bad case of acne that I could not get rid of! Where was my spiritual Pro-Active when I needed it? However, most days she was more of a constant, loving support to me. I simply liked her. She would come visit me at 3 a.m. when she saw my light on because she was up nursing. She understood I had difficult lonely nights without my husband, and she would stay until I fell asleep again. I mean, who does this? Well, the Jesus freak across the street from me did! As months went by, my guard went down, and I began to enjoy and look forward to her visits. Her spirit drew me, and I desired to learn more about the Jesus freak across the street.

After many months, this awkward relationship blossomed into me actually visiting her house. I was in the home of Jesus! At first it was for coffee and conversation, but somehow it turned into a bible study. To this day, I don’t know how she did it. After all, she was Jesus, a miracle worker! This Jesus freak possessed supernatural powers, and I was won over by her passion and love for others. One day, Michelle said to me out of the blue, “Kim, I want for you to come speak at a PWOC meeting on post.”
“What is PWOC and why me?” I asked. She went on to explain that she shared my story of John’s death with these ladies, and they wanted to hear about how I was doing. She impressed the fact on me that I had a message of hope to share and that it would be an encouragement to them. Of course, it was hard to say “no” to Michelle. Her middle name is persistence. I was afraid she would call down the fire of God on me, so I reluctantly said “yes,” and prayed she would spare me the wrath of God!

I recall the morning going to PWOC; I felt clueless. I possessed little experience with public speaking, so not only was I nervous, but also terrified, especially because these women knew about God. In those days, I barely trusted Him. I distinctly asked Michelle on the way to the engagement, “Michelle, how many people would be present at the PWOC today?” She casually responded, “just a few.” Relieved, I thought to myself, “Okay, I think I can do this.” After all, I owed it to Michelle because she supported me through the past months. This was my way of thanking her. Besides, how hard can it be? I wrote a couple of scriptures down and a paragraph or two. My plan was to simply read it, and life would go on. Better yet, we would celebrate with coffee at Starbucks on the way home! More importantly, I would earn my good deed for the day! I was oblivious to the set-up I was about to walk into, both physically and supernaturally. But again, when Jesus is your neighbor, expect things to happen!

We arrived at the Fort Bragg Chapel and proceeded into the building. To my astonishment, more than just a few ladies attended. It was more like 100 women, who, by the way, were all Jesus freaks! I thought I was going to pass out! I grabbed Michelle and whispered “uh, I thought you said a few ladies, Michelle!” She laughed nonchalantly, and I recall her replying with some smart comment about how God multiplies and something about fish! I could have strangled her that day! If it wasn’t for the gracious, kind welcome committee standing in front of us, I would have. The program started, we worshipped, announcements were made, and then the moment of truth came. I made up my mind that I would follow through because these ladies came expecting something. I didn’t know what, because I was just the little widow whose mind was on earning a Starbucks latte afterwards! So, I gave it my best shot and took my first step of faith!

Michelle, of course gave me some superstar introduction, making me feel like I was the President of the United States. The intimidation factor just kept on growing. These poor ladies had no idea what they were in for, nothing as far as I was concerned. At least this is how I felt. Anyways, I stumbled my way to the podium with my pitiful sheet of paper. The room was silent with anticipation. All eyes were on me, and the only thing I could do was open my mouth in faith and speak! Somehow I read through my 2 simple paragraphs without stumbling or cracking my voice too much, and even gave them a bonus paragraph, as I shared a little of my heart. I figured that bought me a muffin to go along with my latte afterwards. So, after what seemed like an eternity, only 5 minutes passed. There, I was done, or so I thought. I looked at Michelle to come rescue me, and she looked at me with eyes that were saying, “Keep going!” With mental anguish, I did what every seasoned speaker did and began to ad lib. Like every good Jesus freak, Michelle sat there the whole time cheering me on.

To this day, I’m not sure what happened at that podium, but it was like an out of body experience where I heard myself speaking without control of what I was saying. Whatever it was, it was good, or so I was told! Ladies were laughing and crying, and I was in a place I never experienced before—I was in Christ Jesus! My nervousness subsided, my fear disappeared, and I was actually enjoying myself. At the conclusion, the ladies greeted me with praises and thanks for the hope I gave them. I was overwhelmed by all the hugs I received that day, and felt the fullness of Christ’s love! For the first time in my life, I felt alive, validated, appreciated, and most of all, I felt a purpose for my life!

I look back on that day, almost 9 years ago, and I’m amazed by God’s provision and grace for my life. No words can describe the depths of my gratefulness to my Heavenly Father for saving me! Today, because of this Jesus freak who lived across the street, I am now a professed Jesus freak myself! Since then, I have spoken for PWOC International. I remarried a wonderful Christian military man, and we have 4 children all together. Currently, I write monthly devotions for the PWOC International website. I share all of that with you not to boast, but to show how the love of a PWOC sister changed my life. Her light shined brightly before me and guided me out of the darkness and into my destiny in Christ Jesus. Now I walk with the same light shining brightly! Thank you, PWOC, for providing me a sister who God used to offer me Jesus. Thank you, Michelle Fowles, for being my neighborhood Jesus freak. I love you all!

Kimchi Lya Blow

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mondays a Mountain Climbing Day!

Jesus replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there and it will move. Nothing is impossible for you!" Matthew 17:20

Ahhh, yes, it is Monday! To some people it is a good day because it means new opportunities ahead for them to conquer and have victory in. However, for others it means another work week filled with defeat and possible negative experiences. Whatever way choose to think is your choice and in that choice lies power. The power to overcome or be defeated before the situation even arises. In a way, we can prophesy our day and week ahead. You might say, "I WILL have a week where I can can overcome all things!" or you can say, "I'm not looking forward to what lies ahead this week!" Our minds hold that powerful to bring us into positive things or negative things...How do you think most of the time? Are your thoughts life giving and helping you or are they death defying and causing you to spiral downward,possibly taking everyone with you. Choose this day in what you will think and Whom you will serve in your thoughts. If your choice is Jesus and all His life giving bread He has to offer, then you are well on your way to the Best Monday available but if you choose your normal "humdrum, barely making it" mindset then, strap yourself in for the bumpy ride over that mountain in the distance! If that is the case, I would dread Mondays too!

Make Monday's your mountain to conquer Day! As you do, keep in mind that with God all things are possible...for impossible is a lie for a child of the Most high God!
Have a blessed Monday! See you at the top:)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Portion Control

Portion Control
Psalm 73:26
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Recently, I joined Weight Watchers because I needed to lose some extra poundage from our recent move and vacation status. While on the road, I had far more hamburgers and fries than I should have consumed. Have you ever had those guilty little thoughts as you about to shove down some greasy, juicy, fattening food, “You know you shouldn’t be eating this!” Well, let’s just say I have selective Holy Spirit hearing at times when He is trying to help me with my health choices. The flesh screams out, “Give me French fries with extra salt or give me death!”

At any rate, after all was said and done, I probably packed on a good 7-8 pounds, so the Weight Watchers program seemed to be the best resource to help me. Part of their program concentrates on portion control. This is something that I have struggled with all my life. I never really learned what proper portions are suitable, much less put them into practice. I grew up in a family where second and third servings at the dinner table were encouraged and a clean plate meant you were healthy! Let’s not forget the desert as a award for clearing your plate. Needless to say, old habits die hard.

Through the years, I have tried to break this poor health habit and make healthier choices for myself, but it seems I always fall back to my old ways of eating until I am stuffed full. While being on the Weight Watchers program the past couple of weeks, I have learned healthy portion sizes. They offer a point system that helps teach you the healthy amount of food you need to eat in a day.

The system itself is fairly easy to follow. They allot you points and your goal is to stay within the assigned total to help you lose weight. I basically just choose the food I am thinking about eating, type it into the computer program and before you know it, I have points being handed out to me with the portion sizes to go along with it. I was amazed at first at how very little I am actually allowed to eat or should I say, “Should” be eating compared to what I use to eat. Needless to say, I have already lost a few pounds and my clothes are feeling looser every day. I have learned to be satisfied with the portion I am given and more than that I have learned about the proper portions I should be eating to help me maintain better health for myself and my family.

However, one day I was sitting quietly before the Lord and was asking Him to help me have the self control I need to be successful for my day when choosing food and the correct portions. Almost immediately, I heard Him remind me that with HIM, there are no portion restrictions that in fact, He is always gives me the right portion everyday in my life. I had to smile when I pondered this powerful truth. God is my portion! He is the very portion I need daily to sustain not only my physical life but more so my spiritual life too. His portion never runs out and He does not assign me only a specific amount of points daily, but an abundant portion is always there for me as long as I need it.

Let’s face it, our flesh and spirit are always at battle and living life can be a challenging at times. It is nice to know there is a God in heaven who loves us and always has our best interest at heart and who is willing to portion out to us just the right amount of life we need! May you be given an abundant portion of His love, grace and mercy today and everyday!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Potty Days...by Kimchi Blow

Potty training, what more is there to say? This is a territory that is unexplained, unimaginable and quite simply, hazardous at times; at least for this 38 year old mother of two toddlers! Yesterday, I spent all day, every 20 minutes like clockwork in the bathroom begging my children to please cooperate with me. It is funny how a small, blue eyed, beautiful- blond haired, thigh size human being can bring you to your knees in a matter of seconds. I remember crying out to the Lord of Hosts to take me home immediately! Deliverance was being demanded on my part !! As most of you know, I am a drama queen and can make a mountain out of a mole hill. No wonder God had something to show me yesterday, right?
At any rate, after much perseverance and many, many changes of clothes; my precious 3- year old son finally made progress. The sight of yellow pee in the toilet was enough to bring tears of joy to my eyes and shouts of delight echoing off the small, confined walls, we call “The Throne Room!” It was like Heaven opened and the angels descended down with harps playing! I imagined the scene in the New Testament where John the Baptist, baptized Jesus. Then when Jesus came up out of the water, the dove descended down on Him. The voice of the Lord was then heard, “This is my son, whom I am well pleased!” Yes, this mama was well pleased with her son too!!!! Oh, but did I happen to mention to you that not 3 seconds before I was doubting my faith and telling the Lord, if He was truly the Deliverer and Savior then make something happen already, a burning bush, a bolt of lightning, something? -LOL!! And then, the miracle occurred! Why this is important? Well, simply because God knows our breaking point, our point of no-return and more than that, He cares! Yes, even about potty training! The smallest details of our lives matters to the one who truly sits on “The Throne!”
Hmm, what did I learn from this experience, other than begging and pleading with toddlers doesn’t work. Bribery doesn’t work. Pretend crying doesn’t work. Patience and prayer makes things happen. Now don’t get me wrong, I said a few choice words to God during my own tantrums of asking Him why He wasn’t working this thing out on my behalf. After all, I cried out, “Lord help me!” Isn’t that the secret? Call for the name of the Lord and you shall be saved? But what I learned was that help doesn’t always come in the way or TIME frame we want it to. Help for me yesterday was God allowing me to practice leaning on Him for something I didn’t want to do. I was being tested in the much needed area of perseverance, patience and faith. Hoping that by the end of the day, something and anything would come forth out of these events as gold. Funny thing is, is that when God is involved, He promises to work all things out for those that are called to His purposes. It will work out in the end but we must be willing to wait for it, work for it and trust God with it. Maybe to you, potty training is simply what it is, potty training. But to me, it was much more than a toilet and a toddler. I am grateful for the small, humble reminders in life that I am not always the one in control, but rather the one waiting for the One who is. Expectations towards others doesn’t work, expectation on God does!
Today, we start another day in “The Throne Room” and I have already changed my little ones several times. It isn’t even noon yet; but I am learning to not have any expectations, but to take it one small step at a time. The servant Joshua did not take the Promise Land in one day, but rather, one small faith step at a time, relying on God’s grace and direction the whole way. Right now, the promise land awaits me and it looks diaper free and $200 more a month in my pocket saved from buying them. In the mean time, I will fix my eyes on Jesus and the two beautiful children He entrusted me with to raise in love and patience. Now off to my duties, I hear my 20 minute timer calling! Duty calls……

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Let Love Lead the Way! by Kimchi Blow

As a Christian, we are called to love. Although, that is a simple statement, it is not an easy task, at least not for me. My love for others is constantly being tested and honestly, I fail at it at times and I have quit on love and on people! Why? Good question, huh? Why do we fail to love others like ourselves? Well, because love has to begin with the other person and not ourselves. In fact, the truth is, Love begins with God and flows from Him through us. It is a supernatural gift that supersedes anything we could imagine as humans. Without God, we can’t truly love. God loved us first; therefore, we can love others. Either way, love is a choice. Notice I said “choice” because in fact it is a choice. It is not a feeling. I will say that again, it is not a feeling! Feelings come and go, but true love remains faithful. Feelings can change like the direction of the wind. It can be fleeting, leaving us with emptiness.
Every day, we are given a choice to love someone. Will it be “us” that we love more or others? For most of us, including myself, it is easier to love myself more. Why is that? Well, for number one, I am not a risk. At least when loving myself that is. However, I might be a risk for someone to love me. I know where I stand and I am in control of myself. It is not a risk for me to trust myself. However, it is a risk to love someone else. It is a risk to trust someone else with our hearts. Why? People hurt people. Or it has been said, “Hurting people hurt people.” Well, the truth is, we are ALL hurting people. In some way or another, we have all failed at love and love has somehow failed us. Our hearts are bleeding out and we ALL need healing! This is the risk and so you have to ask yourself in the end, is the risk worth it? Is loving others more than ourselves worth it?
Jesus thought so. In fact, He BELIEVED in love so much that He died for the cause! Now that is a scary theory. His love conquered all! His love empowered all. His love was faithful. His love was complete. His love was endless. Most of all, His love for us was not a risk, it was an investment for eternity..To Him, we were worth it!
I don’t know about you but that is the kind of love, I want to experience. And it is the kind of love I want to extend to others. It is the kind of love that never fails. It is the kind of love that has no expectations. It is the kind of love that is selfless. It is the kind of love that is freeing! However, in and of myself, I can’t achieve this kind of love on my own. It takes surrendering “myself” daily. Surrendering my rights, my feelings, my thoughts, my pride, etc…basically, my life! It should always be about others and not myself! Or more so, it should always be about God!
I want God’s love! I want it more than anything because it is the one thing I hold as truth. It is the kind of love that is endearing. It is the kind of love that brings me hope. It is the kind of love that I know in the end, is worth the risk.
How do I get this love? Simply by believing in the One in Whom God sent, Jesus. From that choice, love flows. Love is a choice and the choice is Jesus.
What I am learning these days about love is this. First of all, love is a commitment. My commitment is to God first. We can all love others better when we commit with starting with a relationship with Jesus. Why this is important is because when we can rest in His love for us, it makes it easier to love others and when others fail to love us. It somehow does not matter any longer because we have God, who won’t fail us. God’s love is complete and it does not lack in us. We must find a way to tap into that daily. Our expectations should be in God and not people. Somehow, we all have been lied to. People can’t complete people because of our sinful nature and our need to be selfish.
The second thing I am learning about love is not only does it begin with God, but it never ends with me! That is right, whenever love is taking a look at how” I” feel, I just failed in it! Love is always about the other person! This is a hard concept to learn and to act on. It begins with abandoning our feelings, our emotions, our rights, our lives!
Thirdly, I have learned that love will fail because people are human and they are not perfect. However, God’s love never fails. So, if you are looking to people for love then you are looking in the wrong place, people will fail you! I know, I know, that is a tough truth to embrace, but it is true. God is the only person who can complete us. This makes sense because He is the ONE who knows our hearts inside and out. He knows what each if us are longing for. He knows what each of us is thinking before we even think it. He was part of our beginning and will be there in the end. God is LOVE!
My goal these days is simply this, I am crying out to God to help me be faithful to love Him, so that I can love others. I am trying not to look to others for love but instead look to God to fulfill me in any areas I am feeling need in..I am placing all my expectations on Him. God is not a risk, however, He is a choice, but a choice that I know will be the best thing I ever did! Let love abound in you today and let love lead the way!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Betrayl and the Possibilities...by Kimchi Blow

“Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eat with Me will betray Me.” Mark 14:18

I can only imagine, I would have been foolish like Peter and said the same thing, “Not I, Lord, not I.” But the truth is there are times in my life, I have betrayed God. Not meaning to, but in small ways. Like times when I chose not to spend time with Him in His Word or in prayer, instead I chose to fulfill my own desires. The world is full of temptations that lure us away from the One and Only. It happened to the disciples of that day, so why can’t it happen to us now? Let us not be so foolish to think we are any different, especially in the times we live, where life is constantly challenging your heart, minds and souls!
It is important that we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and pray our hearts and minds will be protected from the evils of this world. We can do this by making sure we are in the Word of God daily. Also, by keeping ourselves accountable with other believers. Even with all the safe guards in place, there will be times that we will in small ways betray Jesus. We do this when we chose something in our daily lives that is not His will for us. It could be as simple as watching a not so life giving TV show, or spending our time in conversations that can be hurtful to others. Maybe it is continuing to make our focus about our desires and not the Lords. Whatever it is, we must have a heart that is towards the Lord and be quick to repent, receive the forgiveness and move on, choosing the next time to honor Him with our lives.
The point is, we are all at risk to betraying God daily. Our lives can quickly take a turn in another direction due to our surroundings, the people we hang out with and the world around us. We need to guard our hearts and minds continuously. We need to be faithful to the One who loves us and died for us. What is it in your life that God might be warning you of that could possibly become a betrayal? Take hold of His warning and ask for His grace to help you be more faithful.