Category Archives: Kathy Brights Korner

What would Jesus do on Halloween?

Halloween is just around the corner.  Actually, in Orlando it arrived weeks ago.  Creepy billboards announcing Universal studios Night of Horror line the freeway, while Disney wanna-be’s create cemeteries with body parts coming out of…everything.  I hate it.  Why does humanity have such a fascination with evil?  I was pondering this question when I asked another, “What would Jesus do on Halloween?”  I suspect He would use it as an opportunity to light up the night of darkness.   After all, how many nights a year do children from your neighborhood (and beyond!) knock on your door, hold out their hands and receive whatever you put in them? Each year Halloween provides an opportunity many of us crave the other 364 days of the year…a chance to make a difference in the life of a child who has never seen the inside of a church or heard about Jesus (except as a swear word).

I’ve shared the story below with you before, but I think it’s a perfect example of the kind of work Jesus does on Halloween.  He’s not hiding in Heaven hoping the night ends quickly.  He’s out there working in the midst of it.  God takes what the enemy intends for evil and uses it for good.

Decked out in their costumes, she and two friends went trick or treating by themselves. House after house they yelled, “Trick or Treat” and held out their bags for the bounty. One house, however, was different. The smiling face that answered the door gave them more than just candy. Into the bag went something for their sweet tooth and something sweet for their soul.

The trio stopped at the bottom of the driveway and looked at the gospel booklet in dismay. Her friends threw it in the yard, but she couldn’t do it. She dropped the booklet back in her bag and forgot about it.

Later that night she dumped her candy bag onto her bed and spotted the booklet. Curious, she picked it up and read it. The truth of the Gospel of Jesus pierced her young heart and she accepted Him as her Lord and Savior right then and there.

The family who handed out the booklets may have been discouraged to find the discarded ones in the yard the next morning. It’s so easy to feel like our efforts aren’t making a difference. If they only knew the difference it did make in the life of one little girl! They may not meet her until Heaven, but what an incredible introduction it will be!

Dear friends, don’t let the enemy have control of this night. Give the precious souls who come to your door a warm smile, a generous amount of candy and a booklet that tells them about Jesus. I strongly recommend The 4Keys 4Kids booklet.  You can order them at  Order them today, buy some great candy (don’t be a Scrooge when it comes to the candy!) and pray for the children who will come to your door.  Make it a family affair!  You could be God’s instrument to change a life that may have no other way to hear about Jesus!

What your kids need to know about suicide…

It happened one year ago.  The phone rang as I was making dinner.  My youngest sister’s voice trembled when she asked if I was alone.  “Is anyone with you?  I have some bad news….” Raw pain and unbelief engulfed me when she said our nephew (my other sister’s oldest) had committed suicide.  I’d just seen him the previous month.  Doug had texted me two weeks before.  He seemed happy.  I invited him to come to Florida and he said he would love to.  Suddenly he was gone.  A year later I still have trouble getting my head around it.  Processing suicide is heart wrenching and… complicated.


When Robin Williams took his life it thrust the issue of suicide into the national conversation.  Many spoke words of comfort, wishing the actor peace and freedom.  Others, like blogger and talk show host Matt Walsh, blasted the well wisher’s for glossing over the hard realities of suicide and making it appear an attractive option for those who battle suicidal thoughts.   His blog was flooded with an overwhelmingly vitriolic response.  I, too, was angry.  His legitimate fear had fueled an article void of grace and hope.  How do the ones left behind find comfort and at the same time discourage those struggling with depression from choosing the quick fix—end it all and be free?


Doug’s mom is my hero.  She has navigated the worst year of her life with grace and God-given strength.   Her candid honesty about the pain, anger and loss point the teenagers who knew Doug to the only One who can truly give hope.  Doug knew Jesus as his Savior, but somewhere along the way he felt his life struggles were too much for even God to overcome.  There in lies the tragedy and the hope.  The tragedy is that my nephew didn’t have to face the challenges on his own.  The strength and love of his Abba God was there for him, but for whatever reason…he didn’t hang on to it.  The hope is found in the unchanging love, grace, faithfulness, power, presence and justice of his Savior.  God is bigger than Doug’s choice to commit suicide.


Romans 8:38 promises that “nothing” (NOTHING) can snatch us out of His hand.


When Doug was a young boy he asked my dad (his grandpa) to tell him about the “old days”.  Grandpa shared stories of growing up on the farm, but most importantly, he told his grandson about the time he knelt by his desk in a one-room schoolhouse and accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior.  “I want to do that too, Grandpa!”  Doug told him.  My dad replied, “That’s great Doug, but this is not something you do because you want to make Grandpa happy.  You only accept Jesus if it’s something you believe and want to do yourself.”  Doug assured him that he wanted to do it for the right reasons.


Years later dad talked again with his grandson about the decision he made as a boy.  He asked Doug if he remembered praying together on that night long ago.  Doug said he did.  “You were so young then Doug. Do you think you truly accepted Jesus or were you doing it to please your grandpa?”  Doug assured him that the decision was real and that he still trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of his sins.  The conversation would be a source of hope at Doug’s Memorial Service.


I don’t have answers to all the questions that surround the pain of suicide.  People much smarter and wiser than I have debated the nuances for centuries.  There are four things, however, I would urge you to pass to your children and grandchildren.


  1. There is only one choice that will condemn a person to eternity separated from God (hell) and it isn’t suicide.  Once a person has sincerely accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior he/she will spend forever with God in Heaven–regardless of how they exit this world.  Christ’s death on the cross covers ALL our sins, even the sin of murdering ourselves.  Refusing to accept Christ’s payment for sin is the only choice in which there is no hope for peace and freedom after death.  Matt Walsh said that suicide “obliterates” ones self.  The problem is, that’s just not true.  Our eternal soul lives on.  The greatest tragedy is the person who dies without Christ.  It is the only time there is truly no hope.  Seize every opportunity to point people to Jesus, especially those you love.  You never know how long or short the time you have will be.
  2. Teach children that God is big enough to get them through anything.  He’s bigger than their deepest disappointment, greatest challenge and most disastrous choices. Teach them to know God.  His unshakeable and totally dependable character.  Help them know with their mind and experience in their heart the unfathomable and unchanging love of their Abba Father.   As Tolkien suggests, He will be their light when all other lights go out.  There is still no guarantee those we love will lean on Him when the need is great, but they will know how if they so choose.
  3. Isolation is dangerous.  Teach your children the importance of pursuing deep, honest and trustworthy relationships and then model it for them by pursuing those relationships yourself.  God created us to live in community.  The enemy of our souls works overtime to tear down those communities and fool us into believing we’re alone.
  4. There is nothing “unspiritual” about taking prescribed medication to treat chemical imbalances that contribute to depression.  Although there is a spiritual battle raging for the hearts, minds and lives of our young people, there are also times when legitimate chemical imbalances could contribute to depression.  God can heal all our ills, but sometimes He heals through the medical technology He gave us the ability to invent.



Suicide is the leading cause of death among college students and young adults.  Some estimates reflect 44% are suffering from some sort of depression.  Your kids will be there soon.  Prepare them well.


So God has given both His promise and His oath.  These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.  Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.  This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.            Hebrews 6:18-19 NLT

Meriam Ibrahim. Is it worth dying for?

What’s worth dying for?

Meriam Ibrahim sat for months in a Sudanese prison cell nursing her newborn daughter and caring for her toddler son. She steadfastly refused to do the one thing that would instantly save her life and the lives of her children; deny her faith in Jesus.

Wow.  It’s one thing to put your own life on the line, but to know that your choice could lead to the death of your kids…that’s a tough one…unless you care more for their eternal souls than you fear their physical death.    And unless you know that Jesus offers something so amazingly wonderful it’s worth dying for.

Meriam understood that living under Islamic law, worshiping the hate-filled god of Islam and risking the souls of her children wasn’t worth living for.  She’s not alone.  Followers of Jesus are tortured and killed for their faith all over the world.  Those precious souls have experienced something many Christians in America have not—a faith worth living for and dying for.

There is a crisis of faith in America which is destroying our nation from the foundation up.  We claim to follow Jesus and yet we often deny who Jesus really is… or we water down what He actually taught when it becomes uncomfortable.  As important as it is to fight for our freedom to have our faith; we must fight even harder for our faith.

Young people are leaving the church in droves.  Why?  The answer we hear most often is they don’t think Christianity “works”.   They hear a lot of “rules” associated with faith but they don’t see the joy Jesus plainly promises lived out in their homes and in their churches.  If it doesn’t really work…why bother?  The thing is, Jesus hasn’t changed.  The promises of God Almighty haven’t changed.  We have.

My dear readers, fight for your children’s faith by personally pursuing God with wholehearted passion.  The more you know Him the more you will trust Him.  The more you trust Him the more you will rely on His strength rather than your own.  The more you rely on His strength the more your children will see a faith worth living for.  The more they see a faith worth living for the more they will see a faith worth dying for.  The more they embrace a faith worth dying for the more the culture they live in will be transformed.

Fight for your children’s faith by engaging them in daily conversation about who God REALLY is and why it matters in their life today.  (Because God is Awesome!  and are great tools).

Pray today for the other “Meriam Ibrahims” still imprisoned around the world for their faith.  Pray for God’s strength to stand firm.  Pray for their freedom.  Pray for our faith.

P.S.  A huge thank you to Megyn Kelly of Fox News and Tony Perkins from Family Research Council for fighting for Meriam’s freedom!


I normally agree with the reviews on but after seeing Maleficent I have to disagree with their take on the movie.  Did it have some dark elements?  Yes.  Was there a lot of magic?  Oh yeah.  Could you find some environmental messaging woven in…I guess.  Was there confusion over who is good and who is not?  Only if you are expecting a remake of Sleeping Beauty, but if you put aside any preconceived ideas about the characters it becomes very clear who is good and who is not.

The most powerful message in the film is this:  you become what you focus on.

If you take your older kids to see the film, go out for ice cream afterward and discuss some of the following questions:


  1. What did Stefan want most?
  2. What was he willing to do in order to get what he wanted?
  3. After Stefan became King what was he focused on more than anything else?
  4. After Maleficent had her wings stolen, what did she focus on?
  5. When she began focusing on Aurora how did she start to change?
  6. How did Stefan’s focus destroy him?
  7. How did Maleficent’s focus save her?
  8. What do you think Maleficent learned about true love?
  9. Are you focused on anything that makes anger and bitterness grow in your heart?
  10. What can you do about it?


Maleficent and Stefan started off likeable characters, but Stefans fixation on power drove him to do the unthinkable.  He couldn’t go as far as killing the one he claimed to love but by taking her wings he destroyed her just the same…almost.  Once in power Stefan was haunted by what he did. It ate at him from the inside, but it did not lead to repentance.  He dug in, held on and prepared to protect what his betrayal had provided.  He focused on destroying Maleficent.

Maleficent became consumed by hatred after she had been betrayed but as she focused on the goodness, joy and innocence of Aurora her heart began to soften.  The transformation of her heart is revealed not only in “true love’s kiss” but also when she chooses not to kill Stefan.

What we focus on will determine who we become.

…let us run with endurance the race God has set before usWe do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  –Hebrews 12:1b-2a  NLT




My husband, Brad Bright, is a guest blogger today!  I hope you are as challenged and motivated as I was by the article.  The recent killing spree in Santa Barbara is one more deadly reminder of the problem that threatens our children.  The question is:  What are we going to do about it?


“Take away the guns and they will use knives.”

Two months ago I made this statement while speaking to a group in Washington, D.C.  I pointed out that the same day Adam Lanza shot 20 school children in Newtown, Connecticut, Min Yingjun stabbed 22 children in a school on the other side of the globe in central China.

Eerily, twelve days after the event in D.C. Alex Hribal attacked 21 fellow students at Franklin High School in Pennsylvania—with a knife.

The culture we live in has never been so connected due to technology yet so alienated at the same time.  And alienated people are capable of doing terrible things, such as mass shootings—or mass stabbings.

The real problem is our alienation from each other because of our alienation from the holy God who loves us more than we love ourselves. It is a logical progression.  As a culture we are roaring down this path at breakneck speed.

No matter how many laws we pass our children will never be safe if we do not deal with the underlying alienation from God and each other that drives the savage behavior.

God, himself, is the issue: not guns or knives, not abortion, not same-sex marriage, not racism, not the economy.  Until we willingly chose to put God back at the center of our society and our churches our children will all be condemned to increasingly experience the inevitable consequences of our culture’s choice to exclude God.

The only question is, do we possess the courage to inject God back into the culture in the towns and cities where we live?  If we win this single battle we will ultimately win all the others. If we lose this battle we most assuredly will lose all the others.  Our children’s future is literally on the line. The choice has never been clearer—we must make the God who loves us the issue at all costs.  That is the only effective solution to alienation.

–Brad Bright

God promises: You are what you think

The excerpt I’m sharing with you today from Bill Bright’s Promises caused me to do some soul searching…or maybe “mind” searching would be more accurate.  What consumes my thoughts?  Not what do I want to fill my mind, but what am I pouring in, mulling over and tucking away?

I grew up learning about the power of positive thinking.  I know it can work, but I’ve also become painfully aware of its shortcomings.  Positive thinking can only take you so far.  I wonder if the reason the church is overflowing with frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned Christians is because they are trying to “positive think” their way to the abundant (full and meaningful) life God promises.  I hope you’ll read this to the end.  The last sentence is the key and most of us miss it.

PromisesAs a man thinketh… by Bill Bright  copyright 1993

“Every day in every way I am becoming better and better,” declared the French philosopher Emile Coué.  But it is said that he committed suicide.

Positive thinking by a nonbeliever without a biblical basis is often an exercise in futility.  Though I agree with the basic concept of positive thinking, so long as it is related to the Word of God, there is a difference between positive thinking and supernatural thinking.  We do not think positively so that we can know Christ better; we come to know Christ better, which results in supernatural thinking.  The basis of our thinking is God’s Word; supernatural thinking is based upon the attributes of God.

When a man says, “I am going to be enthusiastic, by faith, as an act of the will,” or “I am going to rejoice, by faith, as an act of the will,” he is simply drawing upon his rights as a child of God, according to the promises of God.

In supernatural thinking, we apply the promises of God, knowing with certainty that if we ask anything according to His will, He will hear and answer us.

Some well-known Christian leaders emphasize “positive thinking” and “possibility thinking.”  They are men whom I admire and with whom I agree basically in this regard because the Christian life is a positive life.  “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.”  Proverbs 23:7

But I prefer to use what I believe to be the more scriptural definition of the Christian life—supernatural thinking, which includes—but goes far beyond—both positive thinking and possibility thinking.


Final thought from me…

Your view of God:  It always comes down to our view of God.  I’ve been a Christian for a long time and yet I can still allow my mind to be consumed with the wrong things, weighed down with problems and overwhelmed with trying to “fix” everything.  I’m learning to fix my eyes on who God is and think on Him first.  I’m seeing His promises become reality and problems become opportunities to see Him work…supernatural thinking!

Promise: He never sleeps

What keeps you up at night?  Worry, problem solving, fear, anticipation…  Maybe you can relate to an experience a friend of ours had several years ago…

When everyone was investing in the dot com market he advised his clients to get out.  Following his own advice, he sold most of the company stocks and put it in cash.  His competitors laughed as the stock market soared and portfolios doubled.  Someone asked, in light of what many saw as a career-ending mistake, “Sir, how do you sleep at night?”  He responded, “Like a baby.  I sleep an hour–wake up and cry an hour, sleep an hour–wake up and cry an hour…”

Can you relate?  I can!  The next time sleep eludes you and worry, fear or heartache consume the night hours, I hope the excerpt from Bill Bright’s book, Promises, encourages you as it has me.

Promise:  He Gives Attention  (copyright 1998)

A mother and her 4-year-old daughter were preparing to retire for the night.  The child was afraid of the dark, and the mother, on this occasion alone with the child, also felt fearful.

After the light was turned out, the child glimpsed the moon outside the window.

“Mother,” she asked, “is the moon God’s light?”

“Yes,” replied the mother.

“Will God put out His light and go to sleep?”

“No, my child,” the mother replied, “God never goes to sleep.”

“Well,” said the child, with the simplicity of childlike faith, “as long as God is awake, there is no sense in both of us staying awake.”

God expects you and me—with that same kind of childlike faith—not only to live good lives but also to cry out to Him in our times of need, knowing that He watches intently and gives attention to our every cry.

Again we have that helpful imagery of guiding eyes, the eyes of Him who rules and reigns over all—who is concerned about each one of His children, and equally concerned about those who have not yet trusted in Him for He is not willing that any should perish.

For the eyes of the Lord are intently watching all who live good lives, and He gives attention when they cry to Him.   Psalm 34:15 (Living Bible 1971)


P.S.  The rest of the story:  When the dot com market did crash our friend was one of the few NOT crying through the night.

Listen first, fix it later… maybe

I joke with my kids that if growing up with me has taught them anything, it’s that mom isn’t perfect!  I do wish, however, they wouldn’t so heartily agree with that statement!

After hearing a sermon on “Four things every parent should know” I asked my daughter what she thought of the message and if it related to us.  She smiled.  I knew what she was going to say.  FYI, if you don’t want to hear the answer—don’t ask the question!  She looked at me with a twinkle and said, “The part about listening and not trying to jump in and fix it.”  We laughed.  It’s sooooo me!  I’ve worked hard to listen but it hasn’t come easy.  Thankfully my sweet girl said I’m much better than I used to be, but what was left unspoken is… I still have some growing to do!

It’s so easy to jump in and “fix” whatever our kids are struggling with, hurting over or angry about.  Our kids may need us to step in and help, but first they need to feel heard.

Okaaaay”, my defensive self responds, “the fact that I’m trying to help solve the problem proves I heard what was said doesn’t it? “  Hmmm, I think I’ve had this conversation with my husband but the shoe was on the other foot…  I want Brad to acknowledge my feelings, empathize and ask how he can help.  I don’t want “fix-it” Brad when I’m bearing my heart, I want “listener, compassionate” Brad.  Our kids want the same thing.

When our kids are hurt the Momma Bear comes out .  When they struggle in school the Principle comes out.  When they make a stupid choice the Enforcer comes out.  We may need to put on one of those hats, but it might not be the first one we should pull out of our parenting bag.  First we need to listen, then ask questions—find out what’s going on the head and heart of our child— and THEN we take action.    Sometimes the “action” is to let them handle it.

It’s hard to stop and listen in the midst of a busy day, but I assure you your kids will remember the times their mom or dad stopped to listen and process with them far more than most anything else you do.  If you’re not sure if you need to stop and listen (or if it’s a situation that can be handled with a quick response) take a breath and ask the Lord for wisdom (He will help!) and do as He leads.  Let the laundry pile up, let dinner get cold, let the athletic practice be missed, let the other kids wait…  Stop, listen and then fix it…maybe!


Your view of God:  God is a great listener.  Do you need to take some of the burdens of your heart to Him?  Curl up beside Him, unload your fears, anger, worry and mistakes.  He will listen.  His Spirit will open up His truth and love to you and give you exactly what you need.

I love the LORD because he hears and answers my prayers. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath!        Psalm 116:1, 2  NLT

God Promises: You will mature in faith if…

My Father-in-Love, Bill Bright, wrote a devotional he entitled, “Promises”.  I’ve enjoyed soaking in these nuggets and want to share some with you.  Each week I’ll post one of my favorites.

Would you be surprised to learn that at least 61% of the young adults who sit in church every Sunday and self-identify as committed Christians believe it’s okay to have sex outside of marriage.   Those same people often join the majority of Christians who quote Galatians 5:22,23 and bemoan the fact that they don’t experience the love, joy, peace, patience etc. the verse promises.   Mature Christians are becoming an endangered species…and we don’t even know it…

From Promises by Bill Bright:  copyright 1993

But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives He will produce this kind of fruit in us:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.         Galatians 5:22, 23 NLT

One of my dearest friends had a 25-year old son who had never grown past the baby stage mentally or physically.  He had greeted the birth of his beautiful baby boy with great joy, but his joy turned to heartache and sorrow with the passing of years as his son never matured.

Martha, a new Christian, approached me with this question, “With all my heart I want to be a woman of God, but I do not experience the consistency of Galatians 5:22, 23 in my life.  What is wrong?”

Maybe you are asking the same question.  If so, it will be helpful for you to understand that the Christian life is a life of growth.  Just as in our physical lives we begin as babies and progress through childhood into adolescence, young adulthood and mature adulthood, so it is in our spiritual lives.

The Holy Spirit takes up residence within every believer at the moment of new birth.  The growth process is greatly accelerated when a believer consciously yields himself to the lordship of Christ and the filling of the Holy Spirit and is faithful student of God’s Word, who has learned to trust and obey God, can pass through the various stages of spiritual growth and become a mature Christian within a brief period of time.  Some Spirit-filled Christians demonstrate more of the fruit of the Spirit in one year than others who have been untaught, uncommitted believers for 50 years. 

Closing thoughts from Kathy:

Today’s promise reminds us that spiritual growth takes time and effort.  Helping our kids grow to maturity can be a daily reminder that we, too, are in process.  Our kids need help in growing up; we need help to mature in our faith.  Our kids need discipline, healthy food, exercise, good relationships and increasing knowledge and wisdom… so does our spiritual growth.  What changes do you need to make to allow God to grow His peace, joy, love, patience etc. in your life?  As I write I’m thinking of a few things I need to change in my daily routine to help cultivate my relationship with God and make sure it continues to grow!  May it never stop!!!!

We don’t fit the mold

We celebrated Valentine’s Day on Saturday.  Husbands, no need to panic, you didn’t miss it!  Brad and I decided to capitalize on a rare free Saturday evening and celebrate a week before the price of roses doubles and a dinner out drains half our entertainment budget for the year!

The pragmatic approach might leave some romantics disappointed but for us it was very fitting.  We’ve come a long way from our first disastrous Valentine’s Day!  (Check out my blog from Feb. 14, 2011)

February 8th was the perfect day to celebrate a love that continues to grow, mature and break the mold!  We work hard at loving each other but we rarely follow the templates many in the “marriage business” suggest.  We hardly ever go out on dates, we don’t do Bible studies together and the last vacation just the two of us took was our honeymoon 21½ years ago.  It’s not that those aren’t great things to strive for but for reasons I won’t go into here, they haven’t worked for us.

What has worked for us is a fierce commitment to communicate even when it seems we will never understand one another, seeking to love the other in his/her love language not our own, sharing our spiritual journey and what we’re learning from the Bible even if we can’t “study” it together, praying together every day about everything, keeping our focus on God first—marriage second, and laughter—lots of laughter.  (and a little chocolate never hurts!)

How about you?  What are the things you do to keep relationships strong?

Can you apply any of those principles to your relationship with God?  The Lover of your soul longs to communicate with you, share His truth with you, laugh with you and share life with you!!  It takes work, but it is soooo worth it!