My family is in a valley.
Anything in this “About” section was written prior to February 2020 and prior to the unexpected walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
Yes, there’s been a loss of life, but the true journey through the valley began way before any funeral.
The details don’t really matter because God knows. In fact, He is the only One who ever knows the condition of someone’s heart.
I continue to write because it’s my only outlet and even Pollyanna had her moments of refusing to play the Glad Game.
And a true follower of Christ knows that we should actually consider it all joy and not be surprised when trials come our way.
We are to expect and allow them to do the work needed because the testing of faith produces endurance.￼
For two years, this “about” section has received very little attention from me. In fact, there were times I forgot it was even here.
Then I found out the most viewed section of this blog was this page, a hodge podge of rambling thoughts that skirt around the edges of what anyone might want to know about me.
I know it’s long. As of 02/01/2020, it’s under construction. I just have a hard time telling a short story.
Also, every blog post and design feature here was created from my iPhone. This is probably why I am going blind. ☺️
Let’s start with my opening paragraph:
The goal of this blog is to captivate you with the greatest discovery I have ever made and to convince you of why I desperately want you to have it, too.
(Keysha LaNaye, around 1980-1981)
captivate (verb): attract and hold the interest and attention of; charm.
I want to attract your attention with interesting or charming stories, in order to plant a seed that sets you on a course to discovering Jesus Christ.
This is my goal. Whoever you are.
Your future – all of eternity – depends on what you choose to believe.
I became passionate about this when I realized in 2003 how close I came to an eternity in hell.
I became frantic about it in 2017 when I had to stand over the casket of someone in their 30’s, who probably thought they had plenty of time to work things out with God, but I don’t know if they ever did.
These blog stats show viewers from dozens of countries, but let me warn the people of America, especially in the Bible Belt:
- Family tradition isn’t a religion and it does not save you or make you a Christian.
- Man-made religious rules and ceremonies, that are not found anywhere in the bible, do not save you or make you a Christian.
- A certificate, a completed class, a sprinkle or dunking of water does not save you or make you a Christian.
We go through these processes in the South like we pick football teams. “I’m with grandma!”
But are you with Jesus?
We pick sides, but sometimes we don’t even know why.
Your denomination, preferred casserole dish or reserved seat at church can be a carefully, crafted tactic by the enemy to make you comfortable and complacent into thinking you are going to heaven.
You don’t question it because you grew up immersed in cultural Christianity.
I want you to be sure.
I write about it because I’m awkward around adults. I know that I talk fast and my adderall wears off and I jump topics…and then your eyes glaze over.
Maybe I cannot verbally hold someone’s attention and be charming, so God gave me an outlet here.
I wouldn’t put my life story, mistakes, and fears in print for everyone in the world to read…to possibly embarrass myself.
No, I want to be a Paul Revere, rushing through the streets, shouting a warning cry.
I’ll take one for the team. I’ll expose all that life is, so that hopefully you can find the truth sooner than I did.
For the 80’s kids, I often refer to myself as Marty McFly, who is back from the future to give teenage girls and young women a cheat sheet on how to better navigate love, loss and life.
I want them to know that their First Love is supposed to be a man called Jesus and not the first cute guy that gives them the slightest hint of attention.
I am also writing to my daughters. They are precious, but they have trouble hearing my words as well.
God always brings us to a place where we finally drop our agenda and our will and freely surrender to Him.
We cry out and He answers.
Then, the scales fall from our eyes and ears. The story begins to make sense.
I am hoping when they have that moment, these pages will reveal great insight into the decision to follow Christ completely…and what happens when we don’t.
A collection of my stories is a humbling process. However, I will take humility over pride any day.
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
But she changed a whole town in the process.
Who is Pollyanna?
Her dad invented The Glad Game. After she became an orphan, she kept finding things to be glad about, and she shared it with everyone around her. Even the mean people.
Although Pollyanna is a fictional book and a movie, the concept of a glad game is…charming.
Some call it naive, but I like to think of it like this:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:4-8 (NASB, NIV)
I don’t always believe this.
In fact, I battle a darkness every single day that tries to convince me otherwise.
I don’t live in The Glad Town or even in a glad house, but the Word of God tells me it doesn’t have to be that way…
The tagline of my site recently changed because it occurred to me that I mention a movie, a book or song in almost every post.
The name of this blog is even based on a movie, Pollyanna!
So, welcome to: Movies, Music and Mercy.
I can give you a devotion or biblical application from almost any movie or song. My greatest one might be when I finally finish writing about Jesus and The Matrix.
Going back to The Glad Game, I do not naively believe life can always be “glad” or like a Hallmark movie simply by always looking on the bright side of things.
Yes, we will hurt and we will cry.
We will want to stay in bed and forget all about being glad, but we must remember press on to the next scene once the tear-stained pillowcase is dry.
This Pollyanna girl has survived abandonment, physical and sexual abuse, divorce, financial ruin, job loss, excruciating fear and anxiety, the death of my younger brother, life-threatening health issues, and an actual Jezebel chasing after me.
I have traveled to The-Upside-Down level of depression and have been tempted to escape by suicide.
Maybe if we talk about the spiritual battle for the mind, our mental health and why it is an epidemic – with young and old alike – people won’t kill themselves in record numbers.
<insert Green Scrubs or 27 Hours here>
We leave them defenseless, without prayer cover and without the most important component of the fight – Jesus.
I want to be brave.
I want to be tactful and gentle, but completely honest.
We don’t have time for anything else.
[There should be a transition here, but that is still under construction.]
The words gladness and joy are synonyms.
The point of my Glad Game journey was to force myself to discover and understand what joy really is.
In fact, I waited in line for two hours at Epcot to meet Joy and Sadness.
Seriously though…a great sermon by Dr. Adrian Rogers taught me this:
Happiness is based on circumstances.
Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is manifested in you from the inside out.
You cannot produce this fruit on your own, but you can bear it forth, while abiding in Jesus.
Joy can coexist with your pain when you belong to Jesus and allow the supernatural fruit of His Spirit to be the main feature in your life.
If you think about it, we hear these words a lot in today’s society, but so many are “looking for love in all the wrong places.”
What exactly is The Glad Game?
This is my evolving, digital scrapbook of live events that I have attended – willingly and unwillingly.
It’s a record of where I paid to park, stood in line, bought concessions AND a t-shirt, found my seat…and everything else that followed. Most will also include photos.
If I could package The Glad Game in a cute, cardboard box, then this would be the instructions of How To Play:
…considering it all joy whenever we face trials of many kinds, because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance.
We let perseverance finish its work, so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Be prepared, as this is often live coverage with no retakes, filters or proofreading, of what it means to try and walk as a Christian, a mom and a wife – all while trying to control my speech, maintain faith, hope and naturally curly hair.
My prayer is that someone would see in these words what the Lord has taught and revealed to me over the last 40+ years, even though it clearly requires a double scoop of my own humility.
May we all grow together in wisdom, grace and truth, in order to make disciples and spread the gospel to the ends of the earth…
For the Kingdom.
And for Narnia.
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. Ephesians 6:19
© Keysha Thomaston and The Glad Game, 1996-2020, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keysha Thomaston and The Glad Game with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.