Posted in Uncategorized

Matthew McConaughey mentions God. And?

My family loves watching the Oscars. My two teen girls and I cuddled on the chaise watching the entire.four.hours of the show. I dealt with squeals every time Benny Cumberbatch photobombed, or tweet bombed, or got in on the panning camera. I dealt with groans and “philosophical” discourses about how it was unfair that Gravity received so many awards when The Hobbit, either part, didn’t receive a one. I listened to teen girls singing along with Let It Go and whoops of victory when Frozen and Let It Go won their respective categories.

Now, evidently, I have to “listen” to Fox News and Facebook feeds and almost every social media outlet extol or belittle the virtues of Matt’s speech where he mentions that God is who he looks up to. I mean, really. Why is that such a big deal? He was born and raised in Texas – bottom half of the buckle on the Bible belt. Of course he believes in God. Of course he looks up to God.

Even the demons do this, and shudder. (James 2:19)
What about the African American woman who sang “I sing because I’m happy… because I know His eye is on the sparrow and He watches over me” when the documentary about her life won an Oscar? What makes Matt’s speech any more important… or impressive… or noteworthy than this lady’s song?
You know what would have impressed me when Matt said those words? If he had also won the humanitarian award (which went to Angelina)… or if he actually helped AIDS victims (like he portrayed doing in the movie he won the Oscar for)… or if there truly was some meat, some substance, behind his words.
And, there may be some meat there. I really don’t know. And it isn’t my place to judge his “stance” with God, either positively or negatively. Nor is it anyone else’s place. 
I think there would be a lot less hubbub about a movie “star” mentioning God in his acceptance speech if Christians who truly believe in God acted like they did. Kristen Welch wrote a post here that better sums up exactly what my point is. I enjoy Kristen’s take on life… on Christianity… on parenting… and I agree 100% with most everything she says.
 
NOTE: This post is not intended to belittle or elevate Matt or Angelina in any way. Matt deserved his Oscar – Angelina is a humanitarian who serves well.
Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized

Fortune Cookie Words

My fortune cookie read: Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived .

What mystery am I living?
 

~ “This the power of the cross / Christ became sin for us / Took the cross / bore my shame / I stand forgiven at the cross.”

 

Christ became sin for me… He didn’t just take my sins away; He became my sins.

He became: a liar ~ a thief ~ an adulteress ~ an idolator ~ a selfish ~ angry ~ hateful ~ bitter ~ lazy ~ dirty-rags woman.

He took the cross… Once He became me, became my sin, He SUFFERED AND DIED because of me and my sin. 

In His MERCY He withheld from me the punishment that was due me; in His JUSTICE, since someone had to receive the punishment, He took it for me.

 

I stand… There is no hanging my head in shame; there is lifting of my hands in praise.

In His GRACE, He lavishes me with blessing after blessing; He gives me that which I do not deserve and have not earned.

This is the mystery that I want to live: that I am a child of God, an heir with Christ of God’s glory, the recipient of hope and eternity and relationship.

Posted in Uncategorized

Life Wasted

We spend so much of our lives wasting time in a desperate search for meaning, for purpose, for fulfillment ~ and it’s all right there in front of us.

There is NOTHING that compares to living your life with Christ.

Everything is more real

more true

more alive.

Joys are more joyful ~ sorrows are more sorrowful ~ life is more alive. And Christ is IN each moment of joy ~ of sorrow ~ of life.

What makes us choose to ignore this? Why do we choose to life our own way? Haven’t we proven to ourselves often enough that on our own we screw everything up?

A friendship that doesn’t have God at the center is destined to fail. It cannot be its deepest and most meaningful because we are incapable of that level of connection apart from Christ. A person who is completely ~ devotedly ~ whole-heartedly committed to Christ has a hard time connecting deeply with someone who is not. What is there to talk about?

What joys can be shared? The one’s joy so far surpasses the other’s joy.

What comfort can be given in sorrow? The person who is not connected with Christ cannot receive His comfort that the other person is trying to give.

What life can be shared? Priorities are different; interests are different.

This is not to say we CAN’T or SHOULDN’T have relationship with them. It just will not be ~ cannot be ~ should not be the deep, soul-stirring, challenging, engaging relationship that would be there if both were in the same place.

I thank Jesus that He is willing ~ and able ~ to be my Best Friend.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Journey

I changed the picture on my blog – it’s now a long road with trees lining the side and a solitary man walking at the end.

I chose this picture because, as I’ve always known, life is a journey. We’re all on a pathway from birth to death and into eternity. As a believer in Jesus Christ, we are never alone on this journey, but often we forget that Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to be with us.

Here’s the great thing about having the Holy Spirit:

1 Corinthians 2:10-12

10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

Today, some believers are under the impression that God no longer speaks. That God has said all He intends to say to us through His Word, the Bible. That the Holy Spirit is inactive; God is inactive.

I say this is not true! Yes, God did give us His Word, the Bible. Yes, that is a primary means of His communication with us. IT IS NOT ALL. As Scripture says, we can know God’s deep secrets because we have His Spirit within us.

For example, we can pray: “Lord, I don’t know who I’m supposed to pray for or what I need to pray for this person.” And God will answer. He will tell you exactly who to pray for and what His heart is for that person. I know this because He has done this for me.

He can use us to be answers to the prayers of others. For example, Thursday night (July 21st), I woke up from sleep with an “insane” thought in my mind. I fell back asleep, dismissing it as my typical big-idea-no-follow-through silliness. Friday, I kept thinking this idea, so I prayed that if it truly was what God wanted me to pursue, He would have my husband bring it up in conversation. Saturday morning, my husband brought it up in conversation. However, as he and I discussed God answering my prayer, I realized that my prayer was an answer to my husband’s prayer. God woke me up Thursday night to give me the idea that my husband had already been thinking about – I was God’s confirmation to him.

The journey of life never ends. God promises never to leave us alone on this journey. Therefore, God cannot stop communicating with us; He cannot leave us alone with just His Word; it would be against His nature, which He cannot do.

Praise God for His faithfulness on our journey!

Posted in Uncategorized

Being faithful… when I’m not sure of anything

In April, God prompted me to quit my job at Union High School. There were various reasons for this change, but the decision was hard to make because I do not have another job. In April, I was at peace. Now, in mid-June, I’m still at peace. After this decision, my pastor began a sermon series on James entitled “Staying on the Right Path”. Each week, he discussed how to stay on the path now matter what.

I’m trying to discover my path. I’m looking at anything, starting over from scratch, praying for insight, meeting with a life coach.

The only things I know for sure are: I only want God’s path, I want to know that I know that I’m on His path and fulfilling His unique plan for me, and I’m not in a hurry. I’m not moving until I know for sure.

Lord, please show me Your path for me. May I know that I know; may I fulfill Your plans; may I walk on Your path; may I glorify You.

Posted in Uncategorized

Being Faithful … to be Thankful

Psalm 136

 1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.
 2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever.
 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever.

 4 Give thanks to Him Who alone does mighty miracles. He gave me a new job in October 2008, 3 days before it was announced that the plant where I worked was closing. His faithful love endures forever.
 5 Give thanks to Him Who made the heavens so skillfully. [I have never been caught in a stormy situation during my hour drive to and from work]. His faithful love endures forever.
 6 Give thanks to Him Who placed the earth among the waters.  [He controls the snows, the rains, the temperatures]. His faithful love endures forever.
 7 Give thanks to Him Who made the heavenly lights—His faithful love endures forever.
 8 the sun to rule the day, His faithful love endures forever.
 9 and the moon and stars to rule the night. His faithful love endures forever.

 10 Give thanks to Him Who [kept me safe driving the Tulsa Motor Speedway (HWY 169) every school day for 3 years].  His faithful love endures forever.
 11 He brought [me through the stress of three years of temporary teaching contracts]His faithful love endures forever.
 12 He acted with a strong hand and powerful arm [to make sure I had a job for three years – even to the point of creating “stimulus money”].  His faithful love endures forever.
 13 Give thanks to Him Who [kept the storms and bad weather from me; Who kept me supplied with a running vehicle]. His faithful love endures forever.
 14 He led [me] safely through, His faithful love endures forever….
15 Give thanks to Him Who led [me to the realization that I’m not on the path He intends for me]. His faithful love endures forever.

 17 Give thanks to Him Who struck down mighty [barriers and strongholds in my life]. His faithful love endures forever……
 21 God gave [me His grace, mercy, love, SELF] as an inheritance—His faithful love endures forever……
 23 He remembered [me] in [my] weakness [of sin, of selfishness, of not being faithful in the small things, of being proud].  His faithful love endures forever.
 24 He saved [me from myself]. His faithful love endures forever.
 25 He gives food to every living thing [I can take that off my to-do list; He’s got it covered]. His faithful love endures forever.
 26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.

I love You, Lord, and I lift my voice, to worship You. Oh my soul, rejoice!

Take joy, My King, in what You hear. May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear!

Posted in Uncategorized

Breath-Taking (Tres Romantique Part Deux)

“The king is enthralled by your beauty” (NIV, 1984).

As I’m writing about wanting to be breath-taking, as I’m recounting my evening of doubting my hubby’s motives and being remind of my Savior’s, this verse (Psalm 45:11), came to mind. It isn’t one I think of often. Maybe that’s because I don’t truly believe it – or maybe because I might become conceited – or maybe because it wouldn’t be so meaningful if it were overused.

Either way, it gets me every time I hear it or read it. Among my vast mess of papers and notes, I remember writing down my thoughts when I first heard this verse (thanks, Beth Moore). But, I’m glad I can’t find them – it makes this morning’s remembrance even more special.

Enthralled – what a word! Unfortunately, it isn’t used a lot any more. As I’m trying to define it for myself, I’m thinking –

CAPTIVATING – JAW-DROPPING – STUNNING – ENCLOSED – CAN’T STOP STARING – COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS TO EVERYTHING ELSE – HAPPY – JOYOUS – SMILE

I think in pictures, and I see a man standing still, mouth slightly open, with a small smile quirking the corner, as he stares intently, taking in every tiny detail of a painting.

And the Bible – the absolute truth – tells me that God looks at me like that because of my beauty.

I’ve tried to substitute smart for beauty, but that isn’t what captivates God.

I’ve tried to substitute talent for beauty; again, my talent isn’t what stuns God.

I’ve used hard work, ministry, and service to try to make up for what I think I lack, but god isn’t open-mouthed-in-awe about any of that.

He is enthralled with my BEAUTY! He says to me, “Gee, you’re pretty!” May I believe Him – wholeheartedly – and live accordingly.

“The King is wild for you.” (The Message)

“The King longs for your beauty.” (God’s Word)

“The King loves your beauty.” (New Century Version)

“For your Royal Husband delights in your beauty.” (New Living Translation)

“Let the King be enthralled by your beauty.” (NIV, 2010).

Posted in Uncategorized

Tres Romantique

The other night, as my hubby and I were parting ways, he said, “Gee, you’re pretty.” Of course I smiled and said, “I know.” Then I quipped about how I was turning into Bones, very conceited. We laughed. Later, as I was lying in bed, I replayed the conversation in my head.

I’m pretty insecure; it takes a lot for me to admit that. The insecurity is very obvious when it comes to my appearance. I love it when Geek Man tells me I’m beautiful, but a part of me doubts anyway.

It was that part of doubt that caused me to begin wondering why he said it – was he wanting something else, and so said it to prep my mood? Those thoughts led to ones of needing to hear it everyday so that I wouldn’t question his motives.

Then, my hopeless-romantic streak really kicked into overdrive. I thought how wonderful it would be, if just once, I could literally take his breath away. I’ve always wanted to be “breath-taking” – “stunning” – to be able to make at least one man stumble over his feet, or stop in his tracks, or stutter stupidly. I think, at least I hope it’s so, every woman has this desire. I hope it’s so because I’d really hate to be the weird one.

As I’m lying in bed, lamenting how I’ve never caused Geek Man to stumble or stutter due to my beauty, this thought came into my head:

“Jesus thinks you’re breath-taking.” I fell asleep thinking it was “tres romantique” to have imagined that my Savior thinks I’m breath-taking.

Posted in Uncategorized

God showed up

First, let me start by saying that our God, with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, is AMAZING! I have struggled with talking about this, fearing that I would offend or scare off people I am in contact with. May you enjoy my story of God’s grace and overlook my humanity full of doubt.

The story:

Back in September, I began taking dance classes with my girly-girl. The very first night, I hyper-extended my right knee; at least, that is what I think I did – I tried to make it bend backwards. So at night, when I laid down to sleep on my stomach, my knee hurt as I stretched out my leg. It hurt when I tried to bend it in dance class (grande plia). Since it was not a constant ache, only at night or when dancing, I never took treating it further than a pain pill occasionally.

The weekend of January 14-16, I got away for the weekend to spend some time alone with Jesus in prayer. As I was walking along the lake bank, I stepped into a ditch that was covered with leaves, and I again hyper-extended my knee. I was irritated because I was enjoying the walk; I love to be out in nature, hiking through woods or along lake banks, especially if I’m trying to focus on God.

In my head, in a voice I recognize as my Savior’s, I heard Him say: “Pray for healing.” This wasn’t something I was totally comfortable with (another reason why I know it was Him and not me) because of my own spiritual history. Honestly, I didn’t have faith He would if I asked. And I didn’t want to be embarrassed if He didn’t.

He prompted me again. So I sat on a rock on the water’s edge, placed my hands on my knee, and prayed that He would fix it: take away the pain, fix whatever damage had been done, and make it so I could walk and dance.

My weekend finished with some soreness, but not the pain I had been having for months, or that I would have had from re-injuring it. Monday, at dance, I was moved to tears as I tried to dance because I was able to dance and bend and enjoy Him without pain. Part of our warm-up includes stretching our hands about our hands. Mine were stretched as far as they would go as I praised my Lord, my Healer.

As I write about this, I’m reminded of this verse:

Matthew 9:22
Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

He showed up for me … and encouraged me and built up my faith in Him.