Monday, December 19, 2011

Why Celebrate?

At Christmastime, we celebrate Jesus’ birth, which represents God’s goodness.

For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall NOT perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV

When we receive the Son of God as our Lord and Saviour, our sins are forgiven, we are saved from Hell, and we have a promise of a home in Heaven. But eternal life means more than all this; it means you become a "partaker of the divine nature" (II Peter 1:4), you become a child of God. Eternal life is the "new life" that God gives to all who are willing to receive His Son. It is the life of God imparted to man.

Jesus came so that we may have life and have it ABUNDANTLY! (John 10:10)

Are you living life in abundance; is your life full & overflowing with the goodness of God? If not, WHY not?

The first part of John 10:10 says that The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy.

Recognize that it is the enemy who wants to prevent you from living the abundant life that Jesus came to give YOU. Do NOT allow the enemy to have victory in any area of your life. Take authority over the enemy in Jesus’ name. (Luke 10:19)

We are born into an earthly life that contains sin and its deadly effects - pain, suffering, despair, illness, but take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! (John 16:33) The life that Jesus made possible by His saving work, of which His birth is just a part of, has much different attributes:

Hope - an eternity spent together with God is assured! (Titus 3:7)
Joy - an everlasting happiness that can penetrate even the toughest of times. (Isaiah 61:7)
Peace - hearts free from anxiety and filled with gratitude. (Phillipians 4:7)
Love - the eternal, unconditional love of God that will never change. (Psalm 136:2)

We can exchange the ‘un-abundant’, cheap imitation of life that exists in this world for an abundant life filled with Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love. That’s WHY He came.

Jesus came that you may have a life filled with hope; that you may have a life filled with joy; that you may have a life filled with peace; that you may have a life filled with love; Jesus came that you may have a truly abundant life!

Stand upon God’s Word, celebrate God’s goodness & embrace the life that Christ came to give YOU!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


  Strive for Greatness "Women of Purpose" Conference
for a chance to
at the
Beautiful TradeWinds Sandpiper Beach Resort!
Early registrations must be received
by Thursday, December 15th, 2012
Drawing will be held & WINNER announced
Friday, December 16th!
Call 727-289-6648 or toll free 800-587-7402

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Women, Pastors &/or Ministry Leaders, this INVITATION is for YOU and the WOMEN you know! Please JOIN US if you can! And remember that God is a WAY MAKER! Love & Blessings, Karen

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas-The most WONDERFUL TIME of the Year!

Christmas- the most WONDERFUL TIME of the Year!  We've all heard that before, right?  

Well, let me tell you, Satan, doesn’t want it to be the most WONDERFUL TIME of the Year!  He’s NOT happy that Christians are celebrating the birth of Christ, so he will do WHATEVER he can to steel our JOY!  Satan is a thief!  

Satan comes only to steal and kill and destroy and Jesus has come that we may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10 (NIV)

Do NOT allow Satan to have victory over you in ANY area of your life, especially at Christmastime!  Stand upon God’s word when you come under attack KNOWING that you have AUTHORITY over the enemy in Jesus’ name.  (Mark 16:17)

Recognize that it’s Satan who is your enemy, NOT society, retail stores, marketers, broken Christmas decorations, a pre-lit tree that won’t light, nor difficult family members OR unruly children!  It’s Satan! He will use WHATEVER and WHOMEVER he can to steel your JOY!  

REFUSE to ALLOW Satan to have victory in your life!  With resolve take authority over him in the name of JESUS and choose to walk in PEACE with JOY and live the VICTORIOUS and ABUNDANT life that Jesus came to give YOU!

God’s word says that we are MORE than CONQUERORS through Christ JESUS!  We are the HEAD and not the tail!  We are BLESSED coming AND going!  (Romans 8:37, Deuteronomy 28:13, Deuteronomy 28:6)

You may be thinking, “Karen, this is easier said than done, you have no idea what has come against me the past few weeks or what I’m facing right now!”  You’re right, I don’t know, but what I do know is that it’s a SPIRITUAL battle that you’re fighting and YOU can WIN the battle because YOU are a Child of the Most High God!  (Psalm 82:6)

God’s word, His promises are what enables you to WIN the BATTLE!  Stand upon His word!  YOU CAN do ALL things through Christ who strengthens YOU.  (Philippians 4:13)

PURPOSE the next several weeks to be the most WONDERFUL TIME of the Year by choosing to focus on Christ.  Walk in VICTORY over Satan!

When you look at the evergreen in your home, may it remind you of the everlasting life that you have through Christ (John 3:16), may Christmas lights, remind you that Jesus is "the light of the world" (John 8:12) and when you give gifts in honor of Christ's birth, may it remind you of the Most Precious Gift of All, IMMANUEL (Isaiah 9, Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23)!  

At Christmas time we celebrate more than just the birth of a child!  WE CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF A SAVIOR & THE MANIFEST PRESENCE OF GOD TO MANKIND! (HEBREWS 4:16)

CELEBRATE your SAVIOR!!  He LOVES you!  He is your SALVATION!  He makes life worth LIVING!  He gives you STRENGTH when you are weak.  He makes a WAY when there seems to be no way!  He is a FRIEND that sticks closer than a brother! He is your HOPE!  He gives you JOY unspeakable JOY!  

It's a GLORIOUS TIME!  Walk in PEACE as you celebrate His Birthday! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Photos of Sarah Rachel Hill

Sarah is beautiful inside AND out!  We're BLESSED to have Sarah as part of our team!
Sarah was instrumental in helping professional surfer Bethany Hamilton through a tragic shark attack that left her with one arm. Sarah's own past, which includes suffering a broken neck and back in a surfing accident, helped prepare her and equip her in ministry. Sarah serves as a missionary on the Island of Kauai where she leads one of the largest student ministries on the Island. Grounded in her devotion and love for Christ, her training allows her to recognize those in need and gives her the ability to reach out to them. After growing up in a tough and abusive home, through God's grace, she continues impacting lives for God's kingdom as she travels sharing her story on Kauai...and beyond.   

Strive for Greatness Women of Purpose conferences are a great way to share your faith! 

Round up a carload of friends (10 or more) OR bring a bus full of women & the 11th registration is FREE!

Groups are GUARANTEED seats TOGETHER!  You'll experience the kind of bonding that occurs when women laugh, cry, and spend time together learning about God and each other.

For more information please visit
and make sure to visit our Spread the Word page!
We look forward to seeing you & your girlfriends at the beach in February!     
Because your Father is great, greatness resides in you.  Therefore, expect greatness everyday!
The Bible declares in Psalms 95:3 - For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Amen & Amen!  

Soul Surfer - Interview and Testimony - Sarah Hill

We are thrilled to announce that Sarah Rachel Hill, portrayed by Carrie Underwood in the recently released movie "Soul Surfer," has joined the Strive for Greatness Women of Purpose 2012 line-up!

Sarah was instrumental in helping professional surfer Bethany Hamilton through a tragic shark attack
that left her with one arm.

You are invited to join us February 3rd & 4th, 2012 at the beautiful TradeWinds Sandpiper Beach Resort, St. Pete. Beach, FL for the Strive for Greatness Women of Purpose conference.

For more information, please visit

You & your girlfriends do not want to miss this LIFE-CHANGING EVENT!

Register EARLY!

at the
Beautiful TradeWinds Sandpiper Beach Resort!
Early registrations must be received
by Thursday, December 15th, 2011
Drawing will be held & WINNER announced on
Friday, December 16th, 2011!

Healer - Bethel

May the Lord BLESS your heart through this song, as He did mine! He is MORE than ENOUGH!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Choose Life!

God has a plan for your life.  
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

SALVATION is part of God's plan; God wants us to be SAVED from sin and its effects.  In order to be SAVED, we must repent of our sins (turn from our sinful ways) and receive (accept) Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives.  (Romans 10:9-10)  This is where TRUE LIVING begins!

We are given the power of CHOICE!  "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!  Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLV)

In His love, He wants each of us to CHOOSE LIFE, that we may live in eternity with Him. This is His desire, but again, it is our choice!  (2 Peter 3:9)  It is up to us to accept Him as Lord and Savior of our lives.

If you are going from day to day just existing . . . living in the mundane . . . not enjoying a full relationship with Jesus Christ, let me tell you, you don’t have to live that way. The Bible says in John 10:10 that “the thief comes only to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. But Jesus comes to give you life, and life more abundant.”

God has a GREAT PLAN for your life! 
CHOOSE to BELIEVE in HIM, ACCEPT Him as your personal SAVIOR, turn from your sinful ways and “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  Colossians 1:10

Don't mess YOUR LIFE up by NOT choosing Him!  "CHOOSE LIFE" each and every day, His life!  Real life doesn’t exist outside of Christ.

Life in Christ is a life of ABUNDANCE, a life of FREEDOM, a life of TRUE LIVING!  “For he who finds Me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord. But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate Me love death.”  Proverbs 8:35-36

Satan’s job is to make you miserable. He wants to steal your happiness and peace, kill your joy and you, and destroy your life.  We have been given authority over Satan in the name of Jesus! (Luke 10:19)

CHOOSE LIFE!  It is there for the taking, receive it.  Choose life and then LIVE IT!

CHOOSE LIFE - ABUNDANT LIFE - a life filled with PEACE, JOY & HOPE....with Jesus!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade -- kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power.  1 Peter 1:3-5

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spread The Word - Strive for Greatness

Join us mid Winter at the Beach and walk away REFRESHED, ENCOURAGED & INSPIRED!

Become a Group Leader and receive your Women of Purpose conference registration FREE! For more information, please click on the link below!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Soul Surfer's, Sarah Rachel Hill, joins the 2012 Women of Purpose Line-up! via @constantcontact

EXCITING NEWS!!!  Please click on the link below for more information!!!

Confidence in Christ

In order to have CONFIDENCE in Christ, we must first BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and be willing to get off the throne and let Him be Lord of our life, which is the hard part, because most of us like to be in control.  

What’s it going to take for us to relinquish control of our lives to Him?  That’s a question to ponder; the answer is different for each one of us.  

I’ll never forget the day that I acknowledged my need for Christ; it was a monumental moment.  I fell to my knees and said, “Lord, I need you; I cannot make it through this day without you!  I need your strength Lord!”  

I was in my mid-twenties and even though I BELIEVED, I had not fully surrendered my life to Christ.  The Bible says that even the demons BELIEVE and shudder at the name of JESUS!  James 2:19

I believed, but I was living my life apart from God and apart from God, we are SINNERS.  In order to be SAVED, we must acknowledge & repent of our sins & confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Romans 10:9-10  

I invite you to pray this prayer with me.  Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you took the pain of the cross to give me new life. I ask you to come into my life and to give me your peace and joy. I confess that I am a sinner -- that I have gone my own way and have done wrong. Please forgive me for my sins. I receive you now as my Lord and Savior. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit. Help me to follow you and to serve you all my life. Thank you, Lord Jesus.  Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, you are now a child of God. The things of your old life have passed away and He has made ALL things new.  2 Corinthians 5:17

From this point forward, stand upon His word and TRUST in Him!

In this world we will have trials and tribulations, but be of good cheer because Jesus has overcome the world!  John 16:33

In this life we do not fight against flesh and blood but against the principalities of the air.  Eph. 6:12  

Spiritual battles are REAL and they must be fought with a SPIRITUAL WEAPON, which is the Word of God, and that is WHY it is very important to read God’s word and KNOW what His promises are and then SPEAK His Word over your life daily!  

Following are a few of my favorites!

I am a CHILD of the most high God.  Psalm 82:6 
I am joint heirs with Christ.  Romans 8:16-17
I have access to the throne of God.  Romans 5:2, Hebrews 4:16
I am RIGHTEOUS in the eyes of God.  Romans 3:22
I am BLESSED coming and going.  Deuteronomy 28:6
I am the HEAD and not the tail.  Deuteronomy 28:13
I have AUTHORITY over the enemy in Jesus’ name.  Mark 16:17
I am more than a CONQUEROR through Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:37
I CAN do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13
I have OVERCOME by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of my Testimony!  Revelation 12:11

Amen & Amen!  (So be it!)  

Confidence in Christ comes from BELIEVING & TRUSTING in Him! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Season of Doubt

Secretly, I had entered a season of doubt in the existence of God.  

I cried out to Him and felt as if He was NOT present.  I was angry.  He is HOPE & to no longer believe in His existence meant that life was HOPELESS.  

I wanted to BELIEVE, however, doubt had presented itself to me and faith & doubt can NOT co-exist; we either believe or we don't!  

Friend, we have a real enemy and his name is Satan!  

Satan wants to get us to doubt the goodness & love of God, and if he can he’s won a great victory.  

Satan is not looking for the unbeliever, he already has them.  He’s looking to devour Christians; this is a battle for our souls.  Satan wants to get at us in this life because as Christians we are headed for GLORY!  

Satan would love for us to turn our backs on God & curse Him to His face.  He would like us to believe that God is holding back on us and that He’s not a good God.  

Satan is a liar and the father of lies.  John 8:44 (NIV)  

When Satan attacks time after time after time, don’t turn your back on God; there is no HOPE without Him.   

If doubt shows it’s ugly face REFUSE to give into it!  Dive deeper into God’s WORD, gather together with other BELIEVERS, PERSEVERE & STAND FIRM until the end!  God’s word says if we draw nigh unto Him, he will draw nigh unto us.  James 4:8 (KJV)

Satan comes only to steal and kill and destroy and Jesus has come that we may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10 (NIV)

I don’t know WHY God allows Satan to attack believers, it’s a mystery to me.  

When we are faced with what we don’t know, go back to what we do know and that is God is a God of LOVE, a God of HOPE, a God of ENCOURAGEMENT and a God of RESTORATION.  

I share my journey of FAITH with you for the purpose of encouraging those of you who may be living a life of hopelessness, due to your doubt of His existence, to NOT give into Satan, instead choose to BELIEVE!  Fully SURRENDER your life to Him and He will reveal Himself to you!  

God has revealed Himself to me in undeniable ways; STAND FIRM in your FAITH and BELIEVE that JESUS LOVES YOU!

 “Now may the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13 (ESV)

Additional Scripture references:

Jesus said even the elect would be deceived by Satan.  (Matthew 24:24)

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.  Revelation 3:16  (NASB)

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:23-25 (NIV)

Thursday, November 17, 2011


You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20

Dear Friends,

I'm excited to share my new web page with you!

My life has been spared and I'm dedicating my life to sharing Christ's love with others and using whatever platform the Lord gives me to create an awareness regarding Melanoma Cancer, the most deadly form of skin cancer!

Please click on the link above & take a look at my page and share it with others!

Love & Blessings, Karen

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. Luke 8:39

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hearing God's Voice

Through the Holy Spirit the Lord speaks to each of us ALL of the time!  We need to prepare our hearts in order to  hear His voice!

It starts with BELIEVING  in the Father, Son & Holy Spirit and then in FAITH we SURRENDER our lives to our Heavenly Father by saying, "Your will, Lord, NOT mine, be done!"

We give our lives over to Him.  We seek His face by studying His word.  We pray & ask and He answers!

How do we know it's God?  When there is PEACE that surpasses ALL understanding, it's GOD!

I learned a long time ago, if I didn't have peace it was a BE STILL AND KNOW that  He is God moment!  If you're NOT at peace, God's trying to tell you something.  I urge you to BE STILL, know that He is God & LISTEN.  He will speak to your heart and you WILL KNOW it's Him when PEACE comes over you like never before. 

I know in my own life, I have prayed for answers to questions like, "Lord, what is my PURPOSE?  How can the gifts you've given me be better used to build your Kingdom?"  He had the answer; however, He LOVED me so much that He WAITED to give me the answer until I WAS READY!

If you're in a time of waiting, consider this, He has the ANSWER; however He LOVES YOU so much that He's waiting on YOU to be ready to receive it!

BELIEVE in Him, SURRENDER your life to Him, SEEK His face by studying His word & BE STILL & know that He is God!  Psalm 46:10

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Famous people who have DIED or are SURVIVORS of Melanoma

Melanoma is not a high profile cancer, therefore there is a lack of awareness regarding the seriousness of it; most people think that “it’s ONLY Skin Cancer” and you just get it cut out and then you're OK, which is NOT the case; SOMEONE DIES EVERY HOUR, EVERYDAY OF THIS SKIN CANCER, which is unfortunate because it’s largely preventable (two-thirds of Melanoma cases are related to sun exposure) and highly curable IF detected in its early stages.  

Please click and register to be notified of FREE Skin Cancer Screenings within a 50 mile radius of your home and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same! 

Following is a short list of FAMOUS people whose “untimely deaths” could have been prevented:

BOB MARLEY (singer) died at age 36 in 1981 from a cancer whose primary source was an Acral Melanoma under one of his toe nails.   (
*Acral Melanoma one of the most common forms of melanoma in Asians and people with dark skin, accounting for up to 50% of melanomas that occur in people with these skin types.   Acral melanoma is often referred to as a “hidden melanoma” because these lesions occur on parts of the body not easily examined or not thought necessary to examine. It develops on the palms, soles, mucous membranes (such as the lining of the mouth, nose and female genitals) and underneath or near fingernails and toenails.

EVA CASSIDY (singer) died at age 33 in 1996.

STEPHEN CANNELL (American TV producer, writer, novelist & actor) died at age 69 in 2010 from complications related to Melanoma Skin Cancer.

DANNY FEDERICI (Bruce Springsteen's E Street Bandmate) died of melanoma  at age 58 in 2008 after a three-year battle.

FRANK MCCOURT (teacher and author e.g., "Angela's Ashes") died at age 78 in 2009.


JOHN MCCAIN (2008 U.S. Presidential candidate)

TROY AIKMAN (NFL Cowboys quarterback) was diagnosed with the "earliest stage" of Malignant Melanoma on his shoulder in 1998.  "I've known people who had skin cancer," Aikman said. "Usually they go in and the doctor freezes it. I thought that was how it always was. But melanoma is different. If you don't catch it, it can be deadly. I'm fortunate that we found it early and got it out."

EWAN MCGREGOR (Star of Blockbuster Star Wars episodes 1-3) had a cancerous mole (Melanoma) removed from his face at 36 years old in 2007.

Just to name a few.

PLEASE click on TODAY and let others know about the LIFE-SAVING OPPORTUNITY to have a FREE Skin Cancer Screening. 

Thank you for joining along with me in creating an awareness regarding the seriousness of this deadly disease for the purpose of SAVING LIVES!  

Originally Posted by Karen Rae Selm Hickam February 9th, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hope in Christ

At 39 years old I was diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease, Melanoma Skin Cancer, the most deadly form of skin cancer that can metastasize and invade other organs throughout our bodies and as a result kill us.

Thankfully, my cancer was detected in it's earliest stages, which is highly curable.  My life has been spared; HOWEVER, I was faced with the REALITY of the FACT that this life we are living is TEMPORARY and at some point EACH OF US WILL DIE!    

We don't know the time of our death; most of us assume that it will be LATER rather than SOONER; however, we are NOT GUARANTEED TOMORROW.  This FACT is very hard to grasp. 

How do we "live like we are dying?"  Do we really go sky diving and Rocky Mountain climbing?  Life brings along with it responsibilities, like providing for ourselves and taking care of our homes &  families, so as long as we are still living, we have a living to make, laundry to do, groceries to buy, meals to prepare and kids to take care of.

In the midst of handling our day to day responsibilities we must do our best to not only "get through" each day, but to "gain something from" each day.  We have been BLESSED with the GIFT of LIFE!

BELIEVE that there is a purpose & a plan for your life.  Seek God's face, read His Word and He will reveal to you His will for your life.

We must first have FAITH, which is a confident belief in the TRUTH, a secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will. 

What is TRUTH?  Many don't have a basis of truth, their truth is a matter of opinion derived from upbringing, culture or society, and it's ever changing.  God's Word is TRUTH, His promises are the same yesterday, today & forever. 

As a believer in Christ, we have the promise of Eternal Life, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  There is HOPE in Christ!

Believe in Him, Trust in Him, Lean on Him, Hope in Him, Call upon His Holy Name & NEVER GIVE UP! 

But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What I wish I knew when I was 16 years old!

Please click the link below and watch this video, Dear 16-Year-Old-Me; POWERFUL!!! 
Sharing this short video will SAVE LIVES!  

Fortunately, my life was spared as a result of detecting my Melanoma BEFORE it spread to other parts of my body, which could have been FATAL.  

Below are some pictures of my Melanoma, aka "Ugly Freckle" BEFORE and AFTER excision. 

This is serious business folks! 

Please click and register to be notified of FREE Skin Cancer Screenings within a 50 mile radius of your home and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same; it may very well SAVE your LIFE

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I found a picture of my "ugly freckle!"

I found a picture of my melanoma that I feel is worth sharing; this picture was taken within days of my melanoma being "discovered!"  If you're interested in knowing HOW it was detected, please read my blog post titled, The day we found out!

Pls. click the following link to learn How To Spot Melanoma, What To Look For as well as the ABCDs of Melanoma AND forward this message to others for the purpose of creating an awareness and saving lives! 

Early detection greatly improves one's chances of surviving melanoma!  The longer you wait to have a mole examined, the greater the chance a potential melanoma may become metastatic and spread to other, more distant parts of the body.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Short answer to the question, what is the PURPOSE of life?

May the following be an encouragement to you to live your life with purpose for the glory of God who is so worthy of a life lived for Him because of the salvation given us through Jesus Christ. With blessings and prayers, Karen

About Rick Warren, author. You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having "wealth" from the book sales.

This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life" and pastor of Saddleback Church in California. In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

People ask me, what is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal.

God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense. Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ-likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life,there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, "which is my problem, my issues, my pain." But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72. First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases. Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation. Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

In the happy moments, PRAISE GOD. In the difficult moments, SEEK GOD. In the quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD. In the painful moments, TRUST GOD. And, in every moment, THANK GOD.

Visit Rick Warren's personal blog:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Sister's Love

My sister, Kristy, sent this e-mail message to me the "morning after" I received the news that my "ugly freckle" was Malignant Melanoma Skin Cancer; may my sister's faith touch your heart as it did mine. 

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Positive Thoughts!!
From: "dankovich"
Date: Tue, January 25, 2011 7:49 am
To: "Karen Hickam" <>

Good morning!!  Just wanted to make sure that you're staying focused on what God says about healing!! 
This will be a new Chapter in your book about trusting in the Lord, regardless of circumstances!!
It's perfectly normal to be concerned or "Shocked" upon receiving a report like you did....BUT now it's your chance to "CHOOSE" to process it in a Faith based way!!
The "C" word is a scary thing; however, our God is much BIGGER than "it" and He will take care of you and heal your body...Remember what Believe stands for:  Because Emmanuel Lives I Expect Victory Every Time...............Please remember that!!
Also, here is something that I have said hundreds of times over the past 6 years:
** The same spirit that raised Jesus from the grave lives and dwells within you!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Skin cancer is "no big deal" UNTIL...

Skin cancer is "no big deal" UNTIL your Dad dies as a result of it, just ask Carol, OR your 22 year old nephew is diagnosed with stage 4 Melanoma skin cancer and it kills him at only 23 years old, just ask Cathy, OR it kills your dear friend who's in his 30's "with a lot of life before him," just ask Scotti or Brad, who's friend died a few years ago as a result of Melanoma skin cancer. 

Over 50% of adults think that skin cancer is "no big deal"; Kevin & I fell into that category UNTIL at 39 years old "I", someone's Daughter, Granddaughter, Wife, Mother, Sister, Niece, Aunt and Friend, was diagnosed with Clark's level 2 MALIGNANT MELANOMA Skin Cancer! 

Please do not let this DEADLY CANCER "hit home" before taking heed of this WARNING! 

Prevention &/or EARLY DETECTION can SAVE your life OR one of your loved one's life! 

Please click and read Conquering Melanoma: PREVENT IT, SPOT IT, TREAT IT and share my blog with others for the purpose of creating an awareness and saving lives! 

Romans 8:28  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"How" my cancer was detected

Kevin and I had heard of skin cancer, but we didn't know anything about it.  As I said in my initial post, over 50% of adults think that skin cancer is "no big deal" and we fell into that group.

HOW COULD WE BE SO NAIVE?!!!  WHY didn't we know about the seriousness of Melanoma skin cancer?  WHY, WHY, WHY?  Had we turned a deaf ear to it OR is it not common knowledge? 

Melanoma skin cancer is life threatening IF it is not caught early; EARLY DETECTION is critical, thus my desire to create an awareness regarding this deadly disease! 

Over the last year I had noticed an ugly "freckle" on my inner right calf, but I didn't know to be alarmed by it.  I was more concerned about the sun damage on my chest, so I had considered going to a dermatologist for cosmetic reasons; I had even scheduled 2 appointments that I canceled because it wasn't a priority to me.

Skin cancer had crossed my mind, but again, I didn't think it was "a big deal."  From what I could tell, the "ugly freckle" wasn't hurting me and the few "dry spots" on my chest and upper back weren't adversely affecting me either, so I felt it was a luxury rather than a necessity to visit a dermatologist; I didn't feel any sense of urgency whatsoever. 

Sophia, our 2nd daughter, may have very well saved my life!  When I was pregnant with Sophia, I had a pyrogenic granduloma to appear on the side of my nose; because it was on my face, I had to have it removed by a plastic surgeon. 

While examining my face, my plastic surgeon "happened" to look down at my leg and said, "I don't like what I see on your leg, we need to get that cut out immediately!" and within 48 hours she cut my "ugly freckle" out and sent it to pathology. 

I still didn't think a thing about it!  I actually thought, "Here we go!"  We've heard those stories about people getting addicted to plastic surgery, haven't we?  She had removed the pyrogenic granduloma from the side of my nose and I had her remove 2 other moles that were on my face and now this place on my leg, again, I was thinking, "Oh brother!"  That's how serious I took it! 

Come to find out, the "ugly freckle" on my leg was MALIGNANT MELANOMA, which is an invasive type of cancer; if not detected early, it can be deadly!

My cancer was "miraculously" detected just in the nick of time!  It takes my breath away to think that I was ONLY weeks or months away from being given a possible death sentence! 

This is serious business folks!  I beg you to ACT UPON this WARNING!  EARLY DETECTION can SAVE YOUR LIFE; please click the following link and join me in spreading the word for the purpose of saving lives!