Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
What a crazy week it's been in both pop culture and political news. I've had a few thoughts rumbling inside my head that I want to share...
Let's start with Kim Kardashian. I'm not a big celebrity news follower, but obviously news of her divorce (after only 72 days of marriage) has been hard to miss. Now I don't know Ms. Kardashian, or the details of her situation... but from the outside looking in, let me tell you what concerns me. Kim Kardashian is a role model to young girls. Now before you start yelling at me that she never asked to be a role model, let me just say that it doesn't matter. She is a role model...period. There are millions of young girls who watch her every move. They watch her reality show, and they want to know what she's wearing, and who she's dating. They watch everything she does. I'm more than a little concerned about the message that her divorce sends to them. I was watching CNN today when they shared this quote from a statement Kim released on her blog:
"It [marriage] just didn’t turn out to be the fairy tale I had so badly hoped for..."
We live in a country with a divorce rate that is well over 50%, and I think part of the problem is that we're trying to live some sort of fairy tale instead of dealing with real life. Marriage is hard, and most of the people I know that have been married for while say that after the honeymoon is over, marriage becomes a choice. When there are problems, they choose to stay, they choose to do whatever it takes to work things out.
Here's another quote from her statement:
"I felt like I was on a fast roller coaster and couldn’t get off, when now I know I probably should have. I got caught up with the hoopla and the filming of the TV show that when I probably should have ended my relationship, I didn’t know how to and didn’t want to disappoint a lot of people."
I also think it has to say a lot about our "reality" culture, that this young woman felt the pressure to marry someone she shouldn't have.
I really do wish the best for her....
Now on to Herman Cain...
One word...REALLY?! I'm sure you've heard now about the two woman who accused Mr. Cain of sexual harassment when he worked at the National Restaurant Association. The way his campaign has chosen to deal with this issue has been laughable at best. I'm no political strategist, but even I know that in the instant information society we live in today, you can't be in the public spotlight and have secrets....or at least not have them for very long. His campaign had to know this was coming, yet they were seriously unprepared to deal with it. They lied, and please someone tell me why I would want to vote for a person who lies to me?
And It gets worse...today I saw him on the news saying that these allegations were racist! Again with my one word...REALLY?! We're going to play the race card Herman?! Between him and Ann Coulter, I just want to bang my head against a wall...ahhh politics...
What are your thoughts????
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Several years ago, I worked as a youth leader with a very unique and fun couple. When I think of them, I think of two things. One is that they keep their Christmas tree up until February. And the second is a story.
When they were praying whether or not they should take the youth pastor position at this church we were attending, they asked God to give them a sign. The husband was scheduled to preach during a Sunday night service, and they were getting close to their deadline to make a decision. So they prayed and told God, if a teenager came forward during the alter call at the end of the service, that would be the sign that they should accept the position. The service began and my friend preached his sermon. And sure enough during the alter call, a teenager came forward. That was the sign they were waiting for, so they accepted the position.
Later they would find out that this same teenager, struggling in the assurance of their faith, came forward every Sunday night!
I share this story, because it's funny, and because it makes me think.
But first another story...
The other night, I was hanging out with a few people from my church. As the evening progressed we realized that we were all single, so naturally the conversation took a turn toward singleness. One of my friends revealed that he is in the beginning stages of a relationship with a girl who is not a Christian.
Just briefly I’ll say this...I can't imagine trying to share my life with someone who isn't passionate about God. My relationship with God is the most important thing in my life...How can I build a relationship with someone who doesn't share the same belief?
Anyways, back to my friend...he's basically already decided to pursue the relationship, because he asked God to give him a sign that she was the one, and he believes that God has given him several...
I wonder sometimes if we depend a little too much on signs. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe God uses signs to speak to people. But I also think that one of the most important tools that God has given us is his word. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The problem is that a lot of people think the bible is irrelevant to their modern problems. It may be true that you’re not going to find the bible verse that says “Tweet unto others as thou would have others tweet unto thee”… But it’s also true that the bible is full of wisdom and truth that can show us how to navigate this thing called life. (Psalm 119:105)
I can think of so many times in my own life, when I’ve cried out to God to show me what to do, when like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I had exactly what I needed all along…
God's word is the biggest sign of all... And any "SIGN" that we think we've received should fall in line with God's word. God does not contradict himself.
I think at it's heart, the desire to receive a sign from God, is the desire to know we're doing the right thing. The desire to know that he is listening, and that he cares enough to nudge us in the right direction.
From my own experience, I'll tell you that God's word changed my life. After being challenged at a conference several years ago, I decided I was going to make it a priority in my life. I began to read it regularly. I also began to meditate and chew on it (Psalm 1:2). And before I knew it the Holy Spirit began to work in my heart. He began to speak to me, and to reveal truth to me. It changed the way I looked at God, myself, my problems, and the world around me. So my advice to you is to seek God in his word...
Find your direction there
Find your hope there
Find all that you need to make your way home...
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Finally saw the movie Sucker Punch this week. It was interesting...
I think it's one of those movies that you either love or hate. I loved it. Without giving anything away, it was basically about a girl in a tough situation who learned that she had everything she needed within her to fight for her freedom...
Here's one of my favorite bits:
Who honors those we love with the very life we live?
Who sends monsters to kill us, and at the same time sings that we will never die?
Who teaches us what’s real and how to laugh at lies?
Who decided why we live and what we’ll die to defend?
Who chains us?
And who holds the key that can set us free?
You have all the weapons you need…
It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures in 2 Peter 1:3
"By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence."
You have all the weapons you need....
Monday, October 10, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I was reading Genesis 7 today, and verse 16 really jumped out at me...
"A male and female of each kind entered (the ark), just as God had commanded Noah. Then the L closed the door behind them."
When I read vs 16 I started to wonder something about Noah. As he built this giant boat that God had given him instructions for, did he worry about how he would close the door?
I mean, let's be honest...A huge boat with an open door would do him no good, when the flood waters started to rise.
Now maybe I'm way off base, and completely wrong. Maybe Noah had a door closing solution all along. Whether he did, or didn't, I don't know. But what I do know is that the door had to be pretty darn big! After all the ark was over 4 football fields in length, and almost 50 feet high.
Biblically there's no mention of Noah worrying about the door. Noah's even listed in the Hall of Faith found in Hebrews 11. Here's what verse 7 says:
"It was by faith that Noah build a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before..."
So Noah had the faith to follow and trust God, even though he had no point of reference for the things that God was telling him were going to happen. Upon further consideration, I've decided that...
He probably wasn't worried about the door.
But after reading his story today, I started to reflect on my situation.
God has called me to go to Spain. But right now I'm still in the U.S., waiting to get my Spanish visa. The process has been just a tad FRUSTRATING! When I think about it, It's almost like my visa is Noah's door.
When God gave Noah his instructions, Noah got to work. He didn't let the fact that he didn't know all the details stop him. He may not have know how he was going to close the door. But he kept working. Building and gathering exactly as God had told him.
I think Noah trusted that if he obeyed, God would work out all the details.
I think sometimes I worry so much about potential problems that could be coming my way, that I lose sight of the things that God has told me.
I know that I will make it to Spain. I also know that I can't control when or even if the Spanish government will grant me a visa.
But what I can do is trust God with the details. And the doors...
Monday, September 12, 2011
"Kinfolk is a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings. We recognize that there is something about a table shared by friends, not just a wedding or once-a-year holiday extravaganza, that anchors our relationships and energizes us. We have come together to create Kinfolk as our collaborative way of advocating the natural approach to entertaining that we love.”
Friday, September 9, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
I just read this great poem by theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that sums up how I'm feeling as I wait. Here's my favorite bit...
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat
yearning for colours, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
thirsting for words of kindness, for neighbourliness,
tossing in expectation of great events,
powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
faint, and ready to say farewell to it all.
Who am I? This or the Other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? Hypocrite before others,
and before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army
fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!
Monday, August 1, 2011
A couple of years ago, my doctor discovered that I had a pretty large tumor in my uterus. To make a long story short, it was benign, and I had surgery to remove it. In the process I ended up saying bye bye to my uterus.
Yesterday in church, the worship leader shared about Abraham and Sarah. A little background...In Genesis God promises a child to this couple. The only problem was that Abraham was 100 years old, and his wife Sarah was barren.
I started thinking about the fact that God made them this promise, even though physically it was impossible for them to have children. Abraham and Sarah struggled to believe it could happen. Sarah even laughed at the thought.
Do I do that?
"Then one of them said, "I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!" Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah waslong past the age of having children. So she laughed silently to herself and said, "How could a worn out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master (my husband) is also so old?" Then the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh?...Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
Does God want to do amazing miraculous things in my life that I doubt because they seem impossible?
For a moment I imagined myself in Sarah's shoes, and I knew that if God came to me tomorrow and told me I was going have a son, at 41 with no husband and no uterus, I might have a little chuckle myself!
But is anything too hard for the Lord? The answer of course is no.
Sarah's womb was barren and dead. Abraham's sperm count was down and out. But God stepped into the dead and barren area, and gave them life. He planted a seed in a place that no one believed anything could grow. And out of that seed, Abraham and Sarah go their promised son...Issac.
So don't give up on the things that God has promised you. If they seem impossible, rejoice! God's just giving himself a stage in your life to show off a little. He's going to come into a situation that this physical world deems impossible and dead, and he's going to make amazing things happen. He's going to bring life.
Friday, July 29, 2011
And ended it by eating birthday cake, macaroni and cheese, and asparagus with my crazy family!
AND the coolest bit of my birthday...
I love the show community, and I got a birthday tweet from the actor who plays one of my favorite characters Abed! First I sent out this tweet:
And before I knew it, I found this in my twitter mailbox:
Now I love that show even more!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
It's my Birthday month! Last year at this time I was celebrating my 40th in Ibiza...
I can't believe it's been a year since I got on a plane, and headed to Spain for the summer.
If you've seen this month's newsletter, than you know that I've finally gotten some good news about my visa! September 15th is the tentative date that it'll be ready for pick up. Which means soon, I will be able to leave! Now I'm starting to finalize stuff here in Vegas.
I still need to:
1. Sell my Car! - I've never done that before, so it should be an interesting experience. I'm going to try to sell it myself instead of to a dealership. Anybody got any car selling advice?
2. Death to the Pack Rat! - Yes I admit it, I am a pack rat! I'm making myself go through my remaining boxes, and throw away all of the stuff that I don't really need. I have one box that I've been through at least 4 times! I'm learning to let go...
3. Packing and Shipping - I'm trying to pack as much as I can, so I don't have to ship a lot. To ship an average sized box to Spain costs about $60-70, so I don't want to send many of those! I'm thinking I'll ship my bedding, and pillows, and maybe a few other things...
4. My Books! - If any of you have ever had the privilege of helping me move before, you know that 80% of what I own are books! I know that I can't take all of my babies with me, so I've been trying to decide which ones I'll take, and which ones will stay here in Vegas. Tough Choices!
As the days pass, I'm getting more and more excited to go. For the past several months, God has been teaching me a lot about FAITH. As I get ready to step out into the unknown, I feel like more than ever He's asking for my trust. I read this great quote last week...
"When you have come to the edge of all light that you know, and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, FAITH is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught to fly"
- Patrick Overton
Here's to learning how to fly...