Friday, August 24, 2012

The latest

I think I recognize that byline at the bottom...
If you live in the HP/Dallas area and want to read the rest of the story, I'd love for you to pick up a copy. Find locations here.
A few of my snapshots made the final cut, too.
For the rest of the photo story, click here.
I love telling (Park Cities) people's stories.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In celebration

Yesterday was my momma's birthday.

As far back as I can remember, birthdays have always been a big deal in this family.

same day, same people, (really similar outfits), different year

We like celebrations. Then again, who doesn't? Cake, smiles, laughter, friends, joy, family, more cake...these things equate happiness.

Sometimes, though, there are other feelings that sneak into celebrations.

Memories of people who used to celebrate with us. Nostalgia. Things we file under the category of bittersweet.

As a unit, I think we were really missing this lady last night.

My momma's momma. My Momo.

Until last night, I think I had limited my memory of her to goodbye. Over a year has gone by, but still I could not go deeper into how things used to be; when she would drive to our house for every birthday, make fried chicken for dinner and a chocolate pie for dessert. Our celebration last night changed that. And I'm so glad that it did - I needed to remember.

After all, my mom is a part of my grandmother. In celebrating one's entry into the world, we remember the other's exit.

Cue transition.

I have a B.A. in Creative Writing. To obtain that degree, I had do quite a bit of poetry writing. I pretended not to like it. It seemed gratuitous; overly emotional and feely-feely. I wanted to do young adult fiction that was pop-y and bright. I wanted to write life into protagonists who loved the color pink, and ate cupcakes, and dreamed of being Homecoming queen, and talked about boys and silly drama and fashion. That was that. No black berets and tortured souls and rain-spattered windows for me, thank you.

Mostly, that is what I do. Proof: I'll submit the final draft of a YA manuscript to my editing team at the end of this month. But sometimes poetry just gets at it more than prose - "it" being that nameless feeling, that forgotten memory that tends to sneak into things like birthday celebrations.

That being said:

We miss you, Momo.

Happy birthday, Momma.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sold Out: a summary

everything sold. everything!

praise God from whom all blessings flow.



artist introductions

live piece, finished

blessed by y'all. thank you!

former patients

proud new owners

my forever team

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

Ephesians 3: 20-22

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Colors: a preview

I really wish you all could come to the show tonight.

Since some of you can't, I thought I'd give you a little sneak peak.

Here's a few things you would see if you happened to stop by:

"the karley bun"

my art, for sale

a lot of these being handed out.

prayers/good luck wishes, please!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hearing and Knowing: Part 2

Today, I have the privilege of introducing a very special guest blogger: my dad.


He's bringing you part two of "Water and Oil" - the next saga in our mini conversation series about the Holy Spirit. No further introduction necessary; I can't wait for you to get to know his heart.


Stephen, the man so full of faith and the Holy Spirit’s power, did spectacular miracles among the people.” Acts 6:8 (TLB)

Last night I watched “Father of Lights”, the final movie in the Finger of God trilogy. It was moving to say the least. There was a pastor in India that woke up every day and simply did what the Holy Spirit told him to do that day. His story was amazing, as were the people and their circumstances he encountered. The movie left me to question why I’m not experiencing the Holy Spirit like that more often in my life, and larger still, why we don’t experience the Spirit as a Christian culture at large.

Although I’m still learning the discipline of abiding in the Spirit daily, I will say that at several times in my life I have heard the Holy Spirit give me a clear word and I have stood on that word and watched it unfold exactly as spoken. On one occasion, I was sitting in my car in the middle of a hailstorm. I had just hung up the phone from a call with my daughter, Karley. She had received the news from SMU that her opportunity for a full ride scholarship was not to be. She felt rejected and hurt.

As a parent, when my child hurts, I hurt. We had all thought the scholarship was a sure thing. It seemed like a perfect fit. I cried out to God in that hailstorm and clearly heard Him speak this phrase to me: she can go to California and you can let her.” Whoa! Instantly my mood of sorrow and hurt was broken, changed instead to excitement. With one smooth phrase, He addressed my biggest concerns. Would she be accepted into Pepperdine (her dream school), would I be able to pay for it, and could I let her go all the way to the West Coast, knowing I couldn’t rescue her at a moment’s notice?

Keep in mind that to this point, Karley had never even left the nest for summer camp unless her mom or myself were also attending as counselors. Also, I am a bit of a control freak! Needless to say, having heard the Father’s voice, I went home and told her that she was going to be accepted into Pepperdine and that is where she would go. She got the official notice from P.U. the next day, which was confirmation of the word He had spoken during the storm. And just so you know, He provided the funds and she graduated in three years with no debt. Praise God!

On another occasion, the Holy Spirit clearly told me I was going to have a dog; and not just any dog, but one that I had just been told about by a friend. He was a two-year-old lab being given up by a single mom. The timing was perfect for me. I clearly needed a “bud” as I was going through empty nest syndrome. There was only one problem: my wife Ann is not a big fan of dogs, and I knew that constantly having hair in the house would never fly with her. While pulling into my driveway in my Jeep, though, I clearly heard the voice of God tell me this was my dog. It immediately moved me to tears and I said to Him out loud, “then you are going to have to take care of Ann.” I proceeded into the house and asked her what she thought about us adopting this lab. Her response was simply, “we can go take a look”. Whoa! I knew right away her spirit was open and it was going to happen. I’ve had Cody now for over three years, and consider him a true companion. On a much deeper level, through pet ownership, God has used Cody to redeem me from past wounds. But I’ll save that for another day.

Despite these experiences, more often than not, I don’t operate my life on a consistent basis by following the Holy Spirit. It seems that neither does a large percentage of our American Christian culture. After last night, I believe I know why. We don’t encounter God in miraculous ways because we simply don’t believe we need Him to live our lives of comfort and pleasure. Instead of seeking God and continually talking with Him throughout the day, we only cry out when something goes wrong with our plans or we encounter fear over something. I call this being a “foxhole Christian”. We have bought into the lie that comfort and pleasure are the primary goals in life. The American way has become about acquiring things and having more leisure time to use them. We believe that this will ultimately make us happy.But since things can never make us truly happy (and always leave us longing for more), our blessings have become our downfall. We’ve been deceived.

What then do we pursue? Contrary to what our culture says, the greatest achievement in life is not becoming financially independent or acquiring more possessions, but rather the ability to hear the voice of God and have Him accomplish His purposes through us and in us. God says knowing Him personally is life's greatest achievement. It's the Olympic Gold medal! This is what the Lord says: "let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on Earth, for in these I delight, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

The operating system of the Christian is the Holy Spirit. God designed it that way and promised to impart the Holy Spirit upon salvation.  Psalm 32:8 says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you."

In my life, I am so often distracted by all of my gadgets, possessions, and technology. That’s a problem, considering the times when I hear His voice most clearly are quiet times; while meditating on the Word, mowing the lawn, sitting in the steam room, or other places where distractions are muted. In this I learn what He means in Psalms 46:10 when He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

First, I rest and abide in Him. Next I discipline myself to speak to Him regarding every detail and decision of my day, then listen for His response. Finally, I act in obedience to His direction. I do this until it becomes a habit — not an exception. I have found that in doing so, I experience what it means to be led by the Holy Spirit and I encounter God in miraculous ways.


Twitter: @wkeitho


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Water and Oil: Part 1

Got your coffee cup in hand? There's a dessert recipe for you at the end of this post that should complement your refill perfectly (peanut butter banana bread scented with honey, cinnamon and vanilla. Get ready!). In the meantime, let's chat.

Welcome to Water and Oil: the first half of a two-part conversation about the Holy Spirit inspired by a message that has literally been playing on repeat in my life for the past few weeks. This post is meant to serve as an introduction. My dad will be responsible for the second, and believe me—you’re not going to want to miss his perspective.

A brief history for you. I was raised in a Southern Baptist church where Jesus was Lord, God was good, and the Holy Spirit was that third part of the equation everyone kept ignoring because we didn’t exactly know what to do with Him. As a child, the first two made sense. The Father was the dad; the Son, naturally, was His son. But what did that make the Holy Spirit (or as some people called Him, the Holy Ghost)? A mysterious uncle who died of causes unknown?
Whatever He was, I knew that He was powerful. Which brings us to water and oil, or the way I’ve come to recognize the power that I always knew existed, but never began to understand until my adulthood.  

 Water: representative of the Spirit’s manifestation, or being filled to overflowing as He spills over the walls of our humanity.

 Oil: the anointing that follows His manifestation, or the supernatural ability to accomplish what we cannot do in our own strength.

Let’s get personal for a sec. It's so easy for me to trust what God will do for other people…but in my own life? I so often fear being wrong. Looking foolish. I feel inadequate. I doubt. I’m sure I’ll be hurt. I cling to the messages of the world that tell me to know myself, be myself, take care of myself, stand up for myself. But what if the truest version of the Karley I was created to be is actually revealed when I cease striving, choosing instead to empty myself to be used as a vessel by the Holy Spirit?

That would be, well…crazy, wouldn’t it? Because if that’s true, then we can only really find ourselves when we lay our hopes, dreams, ambitions and goals on the altar. When we entrust our deepest desires into the Father’s hands for safekeeping, faithfully believing that He will bring his good, pleasing, and perfect will to pass. If that’s really true, then we can only be the fullest version of ourselves when we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us completely (water). And it must be true, because we are made in God’ s image. Which means that only in being filled by His Spirit can we set aside our selfish ambition and love others the way we were intended to (oil).

In short, I have found that in my life, the presence of the Holy Spirit clears my vision, increases my awareness, and empowers me to love others with a grace and mercy that says, "Yes, you're flawed, but so am I, and I will love you anyway." That is the Holy Spirit I’ve come to know. This is what He’s teaching me: I am called to trust. I am called to love. He will do the rest.
If you're not ready for this conversation to be over, I highly suggest the following resources:

The Bible

John 5: 16-30

John 14:1-31

John 15:5-16

2 Corinth. 12: 9-10

Rev. 3: 13-16

Furious Love

A friend recently pointed me toward the documentary series that "Furious Love" is a part of, and I can't say thank you enough that he did. Watch this film and you'll see light piercing the dark, questions being raised and chains being broken (the filmmaker goes everywhere from satanic celebrations in Salem to brothels in Thailand). The common denominator? Divinely inspired love. Rent it tonight on iTunes and send me an email afterward if you need someone to reflect with.

A link to the message preached at Gateway church today. If you're looking to dig deeper into the role of the Holy Spirit, what it means to be filled by Him or how to walk daily in the empowerment He brings, this is for you (email rule applies here, too).

Be sure to check back for part 2 later this week, where my dad will share his personal experience with operating in…and out…of the Spirit. Can't wait for y'all to get to know his heart!

Until then—how about that banana bread?
PB n’ Honey Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
5 tbsp butter
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
1 pot applesauce
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup turbinado raw sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter


Let’s keep this simple

  1. Mix the wet ingredients

  2. Mix the dry ingredients

  3. Combine in a loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray

  4. Bake at 350 for one hour, or until slightly browned and set

  5. Combine glaze ingredients in a bowl and drizzle over the top

  6. Consume, run on treadmill for an hour, repeat

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Puppy love

They say everyone has a soulmate.


Who would have thought? I met mine on an appearance in Texarkana.


We look chic together, non?
Karley with a K. Todos los derechos reservados. © Maira Gall.