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.
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Posted in Faith

Faith is hard sometimes

I believe that God told me to quit my job at Union High School. Not only was the drive long, but gas prices were skyrocketing and my family time was being squelched. Also, I no longer agreed with the school’s mission or methods; it was time for me to go. I felt great peace when I quit; the relief was almost tangible.

I had lots of people ask me if I was crazy. Why would someone quit a job when the economy is this bad? How would I find another job? What if I couldn’t find a teaching job? Really, am I insane?

This past week, I’ve been very fearful. I thought for sure I’d have a job by now. I’m still trying to decide if I want to continue teaching… or write professionally… or work from home for more family time… and Satan is making me question myself: am I capable? employable? stupid for thinking God would talk to me?

See, money is starting to get very tight, and I still don’t know what God wants for me, and I see no money coming in. And I’m praying that He’ll provide, that I’ll only do what He wants…

And then I read this post, http://www.aholyexperience.com/, and I wonder if God is asking me to walk to the beat of a different drum.

Here’s what spoke to me most from this post: “catastrophizing is how we make our own soul-cages. That fear’s always the flee ahead.” … “Abide. Because it’s never about your capabilities. When you’re in covenant with Christ, it’s His responsibility to cover your cracks, to be all your competency and completeness. Inabilities, in Christ, are made all-sufficient, just-right abilities. Abandon worries — and wholly abide.” … “Waiting is just a gift of time in disguise — a time to pray wrapped up in a ribbon of patience — because is the Lord ever late.” … “Because on this whole spinning planet — this is the only rhythm that makes music: to do the will of the One whose heart beats at the center of the cosmos. Regardless of what anyone thinks of us. Maybe the genuine followers of Christ always march to their own drum — Thrum: I will walk with God. Thrum: Even if I walk different than everyone else. Was it just that he heard his name called down the canyons of his heart — and love compelled him to lunge forward? Love is never a trite feeling. Love is a wildfire in the bones, a burning flame willing to serve — willing to say yes. “Mom?” Malakai’s speaking to me — but he’s looking out the side window … Or within. “Do you think God’s calling our name too — all through our hearts — to come step out — and we’re just not listening?”

So, Lord, I’m listening ~ I’m waiting ~

I’m scared ~ but by faith, I’m trusting.

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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.