I have to say I love watching “Fixer Upper.” It is absolutely one of my favorite shows. Watching Chip and Joanna take an old, tired house and turn it into a thing of beauty is truly fun. I think one of the reasons I love the show so much is because growing up, we lived in some of those old, tired houses–only we never got to fix them up. I wish I had pictures to share of some of the many places we lived. But alas, our house burned down when I was in college, and there are no childhood home pictures. But I had two favorites. Continue reading “A House Is Not a Home”
If you have been in Christian circles long enough, you have undoubtedly been exposed to a church that is embroiled in scandal, hurt, and poor decisions. Individuals (both inside and outside of the church) have watched as leaders or members take a stand that is not only hurtful, but arrogant and prideful. It can be as simple as choosing a paint color and as complicated as an extra-marital affair on the part of the minister.
I have been watching a scandal unfold in a local church and the depth of the hurt has been unimaginable. No one in the church has been unscathed by the accusations and finger-pointing that has resulted as sin has been exposed to the light. My heart grieves as I watch a church that has been growing for years, splinter before my very eyes. I can’t imagine how burdened God’s heart is for his church right now. Continue reading “Embroiled in Scandal”
She was the oldest of three girls. As she hit her pre-teens, she was sexually abused by her father. The abuse continued well into her teen years. She wanted to stop the abuse, but was afraid if she did, her father would abuse her younger siblings. The hardest part for me to hear was that her father was an active deacon in the church, and her mother was aware of what was happening and did nothing to stop it. Continue reading “Why the Church Needs to Be Transparent about Sexual Abuse”
A few weeks ago I attended the church of a friend. I did not tell her I was coming and as I arrived I entered the nearest door to where I parked. A man greeted me at the door and I entered a large open area, that was virtually empty. I was not sure where to go, until I saw a young couple entering through double doors ahead. As I followed, I looked around me. The room was smaller in size, seating about a hundred, the walls were painted black, and the lighting looked like a theater. There was a slick, themed background for the praise band. There was a multitude of open seats and I quickly found one. Continue reading “Sing Praise”
Well it is coming. On February 1, 2015 at 4:30 pm, Seattle Seahawks vs. New England Patriots. A day of insanity will ensue. Even though there will be a damper on this year’s activities because of the “Deflategate” many people will still watch the game. People will choose sides and have parties; even the churches we attend will host Super Bowl celebrations. Here are a few facts about the Super Bowl–totally unrelated to the actual game itself. Continue reading “Super Bowl Excess”
Sometimes I struggle in life with the futility of being enough. I want to stop being “ordinary” and do something special with my life. You may know what I mean. I think if I am just a better person, or if I work just a little harder, or if I do just a little more, or if I am just a little smarter–I can be loved more, recognized more, rewarded more, respected more . . . and, you get the picture. In all honesty, that kind of thinking is futile and leads to discouragement and disappointment. Because I am searching for significance in the wrong things and the wrong people.
That’s why I love God’s grace. Continue reading “Being Enough”
I am tired of it. Utterly, dismayingly, (that’s my big word for the day), totally sick and tired of it. I can’t tell you how many times in the last few days I have seen posts from both my conservative and liberal friends attacking each other and accusing each other in totally inappropriate and misleading ways.
Take today for instance. I read a facebook post about Carrie Underwood standing up for her baby as a person and how the liberal media criticized her for it. The article went on to say “liberals” are even willing to have children under the age of 5 killed because their brains have not fully formed consciousness. Really, people? Quit using scare tactics and mistruth and twisted statements to further your agenda.
The fact of the matter is that Carrie Underwood had a very nice conversation with Jimmy Fallon about singing to her baby. It wasn’t even remotely about “defending right to life.” It was just a conversation about singing to her baby. One of the statements made in another article was an accusation that someone referred to it as “her unborn baby” instead of a life. REALLY? Do you know how many times I referred to my child as “the baby” when I was pregnant? It didn’t in any way diminish my child’s life.
I confess, there are times I post articles that are about issues that get to me. Such as government research on farm animals in Nebraska, or Illinois’ new law giving schools access to social media passwords if they feel it is warranted. But at least I checked Snopes first or verify it from other sources, before posting it. And yes, I realize Snopes isn’t always the most reliable source, but I have found it to be generally helpful.
I guess my biggest concern is that as Christians we need to be loving, kind and respectful to others, even those we disagree with. Yes, there are people out there doing wrong (some of them may even be us.) And yes, I do believe that there is some mainstream media bias against Christians. But what do you think Jesus’ response would be? I don’t see him getting on a political bandwagon to make his points. And, somehow I don’t see him going on Facebook and posting about all the big, bad people out there. Instead I envision him loving on them and sitting down to meals with them, and listening to them. (Oh wait, I think he DID do that.)
What about you? How will you respond to people you disagree with? Will you treat them with love or disdain? Will you be honest with your concerns or blow things way out of proportion to make a point? Al I ask is that you think before you post.
Matthew 5:43-48–“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (NIV)
Today I will be perfectly candid with you. If you are looking for a feel-good, inspirational blog post, you may want to just stop reading now. This is not it. This is the real truth, probably one that more people identify with than even I could imagine.
In all honesty, when I was reading everyone’s “Thanks for a great 2014” post on Facebook, I wanted to post “2014 sucked (a word I intensely dislike yet found myself using) and I will be glad when it is over.” Continue reading “The Throne of Grace”
Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking at our annual ladies’ tea and talked about leaving a legacy. This was actually prompted by the recent death of my mother and knowing what a wonderful legacy she has left. She has touched more lives than anyone can possibly know and the ripple effect will continue on for generations. As I thought about this, I also thought about how my life is being lived and what kind of legacy I am leaving for my family and friends.
Here are some of my conclusions on leaving a legacy. Shannon Adler said, “Carve you name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” We want to leave a positive legacy. But how do we get there? Here are some areas we need to think about.
A few years ago for Mother’s Day, I wrote the following blog post about my mom. Today my heart is aching and my emotions are raw, as I prepare to say my final goodbye. Her death has left our entire family devastated. My mom was a unique, one-of-kind woman. and it is hard to even comprehend the impact she has had on multiple lives. It would take an entire book to share the kind of life she lived, the kind of example she set, and the kind of love that she showed. She was a mentor to many, an extraordinary friend, and an awesome mom. Continue reading “Goodbye . . . for now”