Saturday, February 22, 2014

The One Where I Talk About Small {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute Friday

Yeah Yea the story of my life a day late.  The word for the day is Small.

I have a lot to say about small.   I am small.  I was born small. Three pounds.  Two ounces.  Small.  Fighting for life.  And it seems I've done that from my first breath.   In my smallness I demand to be here.  To be seen.  To be heard.

It's easy to look over the girl who's barely tall enough to be seen.  That's how it's felt.

Because of my smallness, I've been picked last for team sports.  Told I wouldn't be good at them.  I'm not tall enough.

Now at a full grown 5' 1" I see the error in that.  I can do anything.  Small but mighty.

In some ways, I'll be honest, that's how I've seen God.  Small.  In my humanness, smallness, He's small.  And maybe not so mighty.  What kind of Savior is an infant?  How can an infant change the world?

But don't we all change it? And don't we all come into the vastness of the universe in our smallness?

My favorite movie to watch at Christmas is Its A Wonderful Life.  Because of the message, we all matter, our life touches the lives of many.  And because it was the only thing on the hospital TV when I gave birth to my first born.  And his smallness changed my life.

Let Small Change You.  :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

The One Where I Talk About Gardens {Five Minute Friday}

Five Minute Friday

So this is my first Five Minute Friday.  The topic is gardens.  I love gardens.  I wish I could grow something, anything.  Every year I think I'll have a garden.  I buy all the stuff. I till, I plant, I feed, I water.  Nothing.

I weed, I water, I till, I feed, I watch, I wait.  Nothing.

I've said on more than one occasion that I can kill Ivy. I can and have.  I've even killed cactus!  Yea, I'm that girl.

My grandmother had a garden, a big garden, a garden we ate from.
My mom had a garden, a big garden, a garden we ate from.
My sister had a garden, a small garden, a garden she ate from.

I'm a Texas, a southern woman, and like Weezer says in Steele Magnolias, I grow tomatoes because its what we do! I don't make the rules! We're southern!

I've never grown a tomato.   I've tried for years.

I like the thought of a garden.  Of growing vegetables that I'll eat.  To feed my family. I think it's a beautiful wonderful thing.   This like in many areas of life, I need guidance, and by guidance I mean "a tour guide" someone to walk me through it and help me step by step.

I think there's something Edenic about gardening, it all started there in the garden.  What in my minds eyes looks like a beautiful garden.  Where you walk through and have plenty of fruits and vegetables to pick fresh off the plant or vine.  

It leaves me wanting, that I can't grow a garden, or even a plant!   Maybe this spring I'll try again.  maybe I should start with one plant, or maybe flowers, instead of a a full garden!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The One Where It Takes A Small Town Not A Village Day 2 Session 1

IF: God is Real, Then What?

First Speaker Sarah Bessey,  I found her through blog hopping.  Following links on Facebook.  I found her.  I haven't read her book.  I just follow her.  I like her.  I like her philosophy.  I agree with it.  Yea, I agree the greater of the verses should be Submit One To Another.  I also believe in being Submissive to my husband, he is my covering.  He's a wonderful husband who allows me to be me and lets me grow. Allows The Lord to soften my heart.  He doesn't submit to me, not do we have that kind of relationship.   But Submit One To Another, I get it.  She's got me listening.  Like where Mary was the first person to "preach the gospel"  Jennie Allen addressed that they had differences and it was a sweet moment.  Women of all ages and theologies and ideas and sizes and Bible Versions are welcome. 

Sarah Bessey: 

I'm too liberal for the conservatives and too conservative for the liberals and I believe shoes should be comfortable! (everyone laughed)

I'm a Jesus Feminist.  I'm a cryer.  I still have stars in my eyes about Jesus.

Today is not about to do lists or evangelical heroes. It's about grace.

Turn to Matthew 11, I'll be reading out of The Message for all you biblical scholars! (Laughter)

After hearing Ann speak last night I got up at midnight to change what I wanted to say.   Is Jesus Beautiful or Useful to you?

28-30: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.

Learn the unforced rhythm of grace.  Walk with Him.  Fall in step with the man from Nazareth.

Make your Right Now Life an Alter!  Your true being brims over into words and deeds! So. Walk. With. Him.

Is the parable of your life your own belief that you have to earn? Work hard for? Run faster to fill in the gaps?  More to-dos?   Or are you walking in the unforced rhythms of grace.

God saved you because He Loves You and Delights in You!  God doesn't want to use you! He wants to be with you because He Loves You!


God for us
God using us
God managing us
God working us
God manipulating us

When you are in step with Him, things are different. Jesus calls us friends.  Sooo, If: God is Real, Then What?

Let our life be the natural consequence of the Sacred Company we are keeping.  Our homes, our churches, our neighborhoods is where our life happens.

Prayer (as much as I could write):

Jesus we want to walk in your ways where ever you lead us.
And draw us into community where we stay - anyway
When toes get stepped on and we'll be hurt
And we forgive and stay - anyway
That we have the guts to follow wherever you lead us
Where there's messy living rooms,
Dirty Dishes, Late Nights, Friends That Show Up
That we would long for prayer and scripture
Let us be the hands and feet to every soul
In our care and in our influence for you
Let us sit outside under your sky and
Let us walk in the knowledge of the
Sacredness and Purpose of our lives
The Active leading of the Holy Spirit
Love is our Identity
Speech seasoned with salt
A Sisterhood of Grace.
Courage to face our lives as they are right now
Keep our eyes on Jesus for
Signs of your presence.

Jennie Allen interviews Kristen Armstrong.  I have a few notes, but they aren't coherent!


If we are to pursue the call that God has for us, the race we are to run, it's a Yes/And.

We need to recognize our sins. And stop minimizing our place. Let Go in Jesus Name and without doubt Run!

You can't run if you're looking back.   Release your mind from lies, Be Transformed.  In order to "throw off" the thing that hinders you need to change your thoughts.

It has been said that hurt people, hurt people.  But FREE people FREE people!

I want to free others!  How?

1) Transforming your mind (Romand 12:1-2, I Corinthians 10:3-5)
2) Think on these things (Philippians 4:8)
3) Put them into practice (Philippians 4:9)

There is a plan for you! There is a purpose for you!  Let the ruins come to life!!

With Endurance
With Patience
With Perseverance
Never Quit!


You need a come to Jesus Moment where you aren't afraid anymore!  This is NOT for someone else! This. Is. For. Me!  Remember who you are!! Whose you are!

This isn't a sprint its a Marathon!  Stand at the starting line and stare the enemy down!


What are you afraid of? Humiliation doesn't await you!!  Though my enemy surround me - God surrounds my enemy!

Our potential is unlimited because an unlimited God lives in us!!

I love all the running metaphors because I'm a runner.  I get it.  I can visualize what's being said.  Running is soooo mental and "mental".  If I've heard it once I'e heard it the snakiness 100 times…. Why do you run?! Why I wouldn't run unless something was chasing me!  

To which I reply, something IS chasing me…. Heart Disease.  High Cholesterol.  Diabetes.  Mental Illness.   And metaphorically God.  He's got a race bib for me. He's Got My Number!  And has numbered every hair on my head.  He's not counting them.  He.Knows.Them.  It's time to lace up and hit the pavement running!!  Throw OFF the things that hinder!! Run the race with abandon! 

Rebekah Lyons:

I don't know her, never heard of her until today, but her message wrecked me.  I have a… not a special needs child but a high needs child.  Easily frustrated, lacking communication, not on grade level at school, dyslexic (sorry kiddo, you inherited that), ADD (unmedicated, his decision).  Moved from the city to the country where I found God. I'd heard about God, for years. But God Found me in a small town, guess it was easier there?  Wasn't raised in church, but around church.  Saved as a teen, begged God every day after that to save me. Prone to fears and anxiety.  Panic attacks.   I too am afraid of mental illness.   I have mentally ill family members.  People to struggle with addictions. People who need help.  People who have left scars.  Mental Illness scares me.  

She talks about Parker Palmers book Let Your Life Speak.

Is the life I lead the life that longs to live in me?  We are supposed to run, but how? How do I live? What do I do?

I chuckle at her Chic Fil A Play Dates and Target Therapy.  That's me.  Right there.  I swear I'm the only one in the room… oh wait, I'm watching at home with my peeps still a sleep I am the only one in the room.  It's me and her.  And I'm just Wrecked.  

She talks about her son Cade being born with complications, how he has Down Sydrome and he's' in the NICU.  My son doesn't' have Down Syndrome, but he's born with complication and is in the NICU.   She finally gets to see him and says:

He looks at me with his smallness and peaks his eyes open to say:

Are you gonna love me, for me?  Not for what I can do? Or what I can accomplish? Or what milestones I can meet so that you think you're a good mom?   (did she just say that? yes she did! Oh…. breath out really slowly…. wipe my face, unblur my eyes, thankful for technology I can pause her and listen again…..) 

Are you gonna love me, for me? Not for what I can do? Or what I can accomplish? Or what milestones I can meet so you think you're a good mom?  (I think there, there you have it, the secret is out, this is how I think.  What kind of hoops do I need my kiddo to jump though so I feel better?) 

In praying for Cade she asks for him to be whole… a friend confronts her and says maybe your version of Whole and Gods version of Whole look Different.  (and I pray every day, after that prayer of salvation, sometimes before it, that God would open my boys mind, help him to learn, rewire his brain so he's successful and has confidence… in other words make him into who I want him to be not who You have created him to be…. I might need to turn Rebecca off….) 

Regarding moving to NYC:

I thought I was going to NYC looking for meaning, it turns out I found surrender.  

We moved from the city to a small town after I was laid off, in part to start over a bit, and in part so I could become a stay at home mom.  It required a lot of down sizing.  I thought I moved to the "country" to be the mom I always wanted to be, to go to bible studies like other moms, to go to play dates and socialize.   It turns out, I'm not that great of a mom, I was panicked about it.  And walking into a bible study was paralyzing.  And I went to play dates, but I'm the girl in the corner with the not so socially adapted child.   Panic and paralyzing fear became the new normal. 

Unlike Rebecca I didn't tell anyone about it.  I prayed and prayed to the sky with no change.  I put on my pretend face and just kept going.

Regarding her revelation/deliverance:

Sometimes you don't receive your gift, the gift of deliverance until you're interceding for someone else.

Women are gripped in fear.  One in four take meds for anxiety (i do not, why? I'm afraid of them).

The root of anxiety is unfulfilled responsibility.  You were made for more and you're not doing it!
We fade when we don't know who are are.
When we don't know what He knit in our mothers womb
When we don't know that our frame was NOT hidden from Him.
When we don't know His works are wonderful.

When He knit you, He made you with distinct birth right gifts. And believe me there is enough calling for everyone!

What is your birthright gift? That thing that makes you happy? That thing that annoyed your parents as a child?  That thing that comes so naturally to you?

Your calling is nothing more than our talents and burdens combined. Where they collide.   Running from your true self prevents you from ever hearing the call.

Burden is informed by the life you life, the family you were born into, the story you've told, by a broken heart.

Calling comes from facing your greatest fear.  What is your greatest fear?  (really, I have so many, must I pick one over another?)  Stop asking for clarity and ask to see things clearly!  Because you can be in your calling and be rescued and delivered and still not be Free!

Challenge to write first 40 minutes you're awake… you think the most clear.

Affirmation from the world will not heal a broken heart - only Jesus can do that.  When you do what you do for an audience of One it always counts!  He makes it new as if it were never broken!

So You're It!  You are my holy people whom I Love!

This rescuing and receiving and delivery, it requires responsibility.

It starts with confession.  We struggle with freedom because we struggle with healing, because we struggle with confession.   Just say it.  I don't know why I'm this way help me heal and be free.

Cast off our sin so you can RUN!

(and cue the bawling, Oh Lord, I need this, these ladies, this moment, all of this, yes really Thank You Jesus!) 

The One Where I'm Wrecked #IFGathering Day One Session Two

I'm sure I missed a few things like the phenomenal poem The Esther Generation. It was so mind blowing that I didn't write any of it down.

The persons name who spoke first in the session two, it was probably Jennie Allen, but I didn't make mention in my notes.  It just says Session 2:

Hebrews 11:39 - 12:3
Proverbs 29:18
Jeremiah 9:23-24

Be honest in your faith to God because Jesus can handle that.   You are given permission to own where you are.

After the death of Lazarus, Mary comes to Jesus with doubts, with questions, crying.  Jesus doesn't have answers to her questions, He Weeps With Her!

Psalm 88:9-13
Psalm 13: 1-6
Ephesians 5: 1-2
Psalm 141: 1-2

Ann Voskamp:

Christianity: The Short Version

In Palestine it becomes fellowship
In Greece it becomes philosophy
In Italy it becomes an institution
In America is becomes and enterprise.

Like a business.
When Christianity comes to America is becomes a Business?

And we are The Body of Christ.

If a Body becomes a business doesn't it become about prostitution?  What IF: The Body has become about transactional prostitution than about authentic passion?

Prostitution is about pretend passion, it's only a transactional model to get what you want.  Prostitution is about a guarantee upfront.

Performing is a form of prostitution.

Are you happy to love Christ based on His Return? Is there No Patience to wait for heavenly rewards? Are you living like Jesus is Beautiful or Useful?

And we've been walking around with measuring sticks for too long!  We measure The Body among itself! We measure ourself against Christ! We measure each other!

Everything isn't a marker to make me feel behind or ahead!

We measure our lives like this:

If so n sos life is a mess (compared to mine): Then I'm confident of my worthiness
If so n sos life is monumental (compared to mine): Then I cut you down to size

The world isn't a forest of measuring sticks!  When you walk through life with a measuring stick, a comparison stick, your eyes get so small that you never see Jesus!

Ask any mom, measuring sticks always become weapons!  And against The Body, a weapon so self harm!  This measuring and competing and cutting it's suicide to The Body!

Comparison robs you of joy!  But more than that comparison makes you a thug that cuts your own body!

They don't make a scale that could ever measure value, worth, or the weight of a soul!  Jesus isn't about scales because none of us is a size!  Souls defy measure.  You can't measure souls.  You can only love souls.

Come suffer with the broken, with those who have been measured all their life and we'll break the measuring stick together.

Be so moved by His Grace that we move In Grace to the world!  Let His thick passion cover all our flaws, emotions, sins and brokenness

Remember the passion that stretched out on the cross and said STOP performing for love! STOP trying to earn love! STOP trying to measure up!

Leave this Transactional Business in Christianity behind!

We break all the measuring sticks because Christ broke the bread.  As the sisterhood that is broken and made whole, we make all those broken measuring sticks into a table.

The One Where I'm #wrecked after IF:Gathering {Session 1-A}

That was the theme for me this weekend.


Ever since I found Jen Hatmaker through my running buddy Sarah, and found Ann Voskamp though a Jen Hatmaker's comment "I wonder what Ann Voskamp would do?" I ended up spending a lot of time on their blogs, reading their books, reading books and blogs they suggest.  Friends I don't know where in the Inter-Web world I've been that I hadn't known about these ladies.

I've read She Reads Truth for a year,  I started last year with Fresh Start and I read all year!  I formed a bond with the ladies of SRT.  Well I formed it with them…. I'm pretty sure they think I'm a stalker! Pretty Sure of that! I email them, I tweet them, I follow them, I like them.  If they have a stack of books, I have a stack.   Anyway.

Those ladies led me to more resources, resources that tell me You Are Normal.  We All Struggle.  Some Days Parenting Just Sucks.The.Life.Out.Of.You.  Perfection Is Unattainable.  Fix Your Eyes On Jesus.  Find One Word Instead Of A New Year To Do List, It Is All Gonna Be Okay.  And not in an I'm Okay, You're Okay kind of way, but in a real and authentic way.

I say all of that to day, one day while reading a blog, we'll give Jen Hatmaker credit. I read about IF:Gathering.  I see a lot of ladies I admire will be there, ladies I don't know or heard of, and one I held in my arms when she was born.

I read the blog, I longed to be in Austin.  Oh don't I always.  But totally wanted to be there for this.  I only know one person who will be there and well she's speaking.  It's too far out to make plans, who knows what will come our way by then.  Hope it's really good!

I follow along more and Whaaaaaaatttttt….. A Live Stream!! A. LIVE.STREAM!  Put that on my calendar.  Talk to my girlfriends.  Get ladies together.  This will be fun!

As it got closer, I just felt this anticipation come over me.  Alysa Bajenaru said it best: "There has been something stirring in me for a few years… I'm tired of comfortable Christianity, frustrated with how my faith is portrayed in social media…. I crave authenticity, messy authenticity….. Real people having real conversations.  And I'm not the only one."

Indeed, she's not the only one.

A tweet from her later that day, Strip away that which usually defines me and get to the core of how I really am I have been feeling RESTLESS!!  I am ready to be brave, ready to be bold, ready to run the race Jesus has marked out for me.  Run the messy race of authentic faith.

DITTO!  Ditto to it all!

I'll just write my notes out.  Maybe later this week I'll be able to process more of it.

Day One:

Jennie Allen

I was built to run races for God, eyes fixed on Jesus, but I was missing it.

Hebrews 11:1  Faith is the Substance!
Jesus says two things:

Repent, confess, be honest, broken, throw off your sin, don't miss this moment!

We have prayed for a movement of God, that women who are afraid, scared, in bondage, would be set free! That you would run your race. Because this is our time, this is our leg of the race! By Faith!

It's okay to be terrified, just obey!  Quit with the comparisons and just do what you are called to do!  Throw off all the junk and live like God is Real!

My biggest fear is that we would walk away and do a bunch of great stuff.  A great movement of God isn't doing a bunch of great stuff.  a great movement of God is 10,000 women all around the world on their knees depending and coming to God in brokenness.

By faith, we could be a generate that wasn't fancy, wasn't perfect, but we lived like our God was real!

Get back in the race! We are all human and we are all jacked up, just fix your eyes on Jesus!

Christine Caine:

The wilderness did not denote freedom, but deliverance.  It was for freedom that Christ set us free, but many of us settle for deliverance!

It was an eleven day journey to freedom that too FORTY YEARS because of fear, doubt, murmuring, grumbling and complaining!  It's time to lay aside the weight and the sins that ensnare us - the unforgivness and jealousy and bitterness and anger.  If we set these aside, some of the injustices of the world would be solved overnight!

Redefine your comfort zone, because wherever you go you are with the Great Comforter!  Just as he was in the wilderness! A pillar of fire at night, a cloud by day!

You came out of Egypt, but Egypt is still in you.  But God want to get Egypt out of your so we can walk into the Promised Land free!  Go from Deliverance To Freedom!! The wilderness is where you shake off Egypt!

A generation came out of bondage and slavery.  But they died in the desert! That generation is Gone!! You have to have our own "cutting away"

LET US lay aside the weight…
A weight could be anything, it could be good, but holding you back.
An anchor.
A thought.

The Weight of:

The day after they ate of the promised land, the manna stopped.  Because God is doing a new thing!  Don't become so used to the systems of God that you don't need Him!! The manna Ceases!! Don't get stuck in the past!

You allow the past to define you like the Gospel isn't True!! When you owe it to the next generation to get free!  We either believe in this Gospel or we don't!

The most potent force on the planet is not a missile or the atomic bomb! The most important force on the plant is the Blood of Christ.  It sets people free!

Many of us prefer the comfort of victimhood over what it takes to be free!! Time to move on girls, get a new problem!!

God starts with impossible!  A Virgin, A Stable, A Cross, A Risen Savior! It's all Crazy, so believe the impossible anyway!

If you want to see the promises of God worked out in your life, then you must believe the truth of God's word over your circumstances.  Yet most of us base our lives on the facts, and that's why we never go into the Promised Land, why we never walk in freedom.

Let's build our lives on the truth of God's Word, not the facts of our circumstances.

Sue Davis and Shauna NeiQuist:

Table People

This Time Matters

Toast - raise a glass says I see you.  You matter.
Prayer - every good thing we have is from God.

Where ever you are BE ALL THERE especially at the dinner table.  Acts 2:46 They worshipped together, they ate meals at home, with glad and sincere hearts.

Once a Month IF:Table
6 Women from all walks of life, some you know well, some you don't (you count as 1 so you can 5 other women)
4 Questions about God (see the website….information coming soon)
2 Hours  (Present not perfection)

Revival Starts At Home!

#SheReadsTruth - The Things Of This World

Oh how this speaks to my heart today.

For years (and I won't tell you it's not a struggle some days) I was scared of heaven. I think for me, it meant judgment (in my mind I compete with Paul for the chief sinner claim) It wasn't, isn't a love for the world so much as a distrust of heaven. Of my Heavenly Father. His goodness, plans, love, will, did I mention goodness? Or perhaps that His goodness isn't for me. It's for everyone else. 

Heaven is for everyone else. I'll sit in the corner with the dunce hat on. Love the world? I can't say no. Because I have a lot of fear of separation from it. Mostly from my family. My kids. My husband. (Who I won't be married to in heaven) 

As a bible snob, a Greek Freak, it's crazy (to me) that I've been really digging The Message (a challenge from my pastor) Nothing scholarly about it. I admit. But I'm seeing this precious word with new eyes. 

1 John 2: 15-17 Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. 

Love the worlds ways? No. Right? That's the answer. I do not. Love the worlds goods? No? Not quite so steady, sure. Love of the world? 

But when you say.... Want my own way... Want everything for myself (not everything, right, I can really see the semantics in this and thus be off the proverbial or prepositional hook). Wanting to appear important.... (Read: mans approval) ouuuuch! I certainly have fear of rejection and a longing for approval. 

How about this: 

Love of My ways. Love of My things/people/goods? Love of My world? I can't help but be pierced and indeed isolated. 

All of that is fading away, and I need to fade away with it. And run to Jesus. Because of the previous verses. 

12-13 I remind you, my dear children: Your sins are forgiven in Jesus’ name. You veterans were in on the ground floor, and know the One who started all this; you newcomers have won a big victory over the Evil One. 

My sins are forgiven. I KNOW the ONE who started all this.

I can let go of these ways, things, and world to cling to Jesus. Then wash rinse and repeat. Daily, or ya know hourly.  The clock keeps on ticking; and I have choices to make, today, right now, and the next moment, and hour, and day and week.  It's not a one time thought, but a (romans 12) renewing of the mind.  A metamorphosis that takes place.  Eventually the caterpillar becomes a butterfly.  Let's be honest though, some days I'd settle for a moth! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

The One Where I Weep When The UPS Guy Comes

I've been reading blogs and I follow several people on Instagram and I Like some pages on Facebook.  And I see everyone's stack of books.

Last year, over the summer, we looked for a new church.  Love our old church but really needed a smaller youth group for our son.  The big, loud, crowded scene just wasn't doing it for him.   Our Life Group disbanded after several years and we were lost.  Lost at church, Lost in the crowd, feeling like we needed a home.

Before trying out several churches.  My husband and I listened to PodCasts of local pastors.  We narrowed it down to two.  We went to the first one and honestly that was it.  We were instantly home.

The pastor encouraged us to read more books, the bible in various versions (particularly if you are prone to reading the same one).  He told us to seek out books that increase our faith, uplift us, point us to Jesus.

I immediately got some books, I lived it seemed at Half Price Books, see the Blog Here: The One Where I Choose Books

I've read Desperate and I'm almost done with What Women Fear.

As I've read blogs and Facebook and seen Instagram feeds I've seen more books I want to read.  I have a wish list on Amazon so as soon as I finish a book I can order more, and actually remember the ones I want to read.  LOL The 'ole menopause brain gets ya every time!

Sooo this week the buzz is about Notes From A Blue Bike, the last week or two the buzz was Chasing God.  Because I'm already reading an Angie Smith book, What Women Fear - so.good.  So.Good! And I purchased Mended at Half Price books, and I really wanted Chasing God.  Truth be told I want to BE Chasing God!

I also ordered Praying For Boys - Thrilled about this one.  I have boys, and boy do they need prayer! Well I need prayer, probably more than them.

FYI there's a contest going on to win Notes From A Blue Bike (and two other books I want to read) from TheNester.  But if you purchase the book before Saturday the author has some freebies for you!

Anyway, this is about the UPS guy.  It's freezing here in Texas, literally.  And I ordered these books last night while tweeting about the #IFGathering and listening to the IF Girls conduct the test.  Less than 24 hours later the books are on my door step.   I couldn't believe it.  And I'm so grateful to the UPS guy who was bundled up like the kid in Christmas Story who delivered them.

And I'm wishing I had time to dive into the books but I'm hosting a few ladies for the IF:Gathering at my house. Well and even if I weren't I'd be watching this moment in God With Women time because I have come to know these women through their blogs and books and Facebook updates and Instagram feeds and I feel this is an important time in my life, and the life of the women around me.  Close friends,  Inter-web friends, friends wanting change, purpose, answers, a closer walk, not a walk and infusion.

So the books came today while I'm in the midst of waiting, in a flight pattern, waiting to land, checking twitter as all my favorite bloggers, authors, wise women, imperfect letting their vulnerable show women gather to say IF and I leak out a bit in anticipation of what God will do in our lives over the next few ticks of the clock, days on on the calendar, moments of our lives, spans of time to come.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The One Where I Watch the Superbowl and Say AMEN!

Bummer, all those high hopes for Peyton Manning and they were all shattered in the first 12 seconds of the game.  Wow.  It looked like the Broncos played that entire game in slow motion.   One bad play after the next.  One missed opportunity after the next.
It was painful to watch. Painful.
It would be nice to say that the commercials were funny, or even entertaining.  Nope.
The only one that stands out in my mind is the Doritos Time Machine Commercial. Cute.  Funny.  Original. 

Then you had the Doberuaua or whatever it was.... I can't even remember what it was advertising.

Budweiser usually has good commercials.  I liked the puppy one and the coming home one.

The Yogurt commercial was funny, off color, but funny!

Bob Dylan selling Chrysler? Can he sell anything? Even himself these days?

The Chevy commercial with the cows... that at least got a chuckle.
And then there's the Half Time Show.   I'll be honest.  I liked it.  But I like Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.  I like music, all kinds. I appreciate music, all kinds.

Bruno was entertaining.  Clean.  Sang well.  Put on a good show.  His band is phenomenal.   Entertaining.  RHCP well they were entertaining too.  Clean.  Energetic.  Apparently not plugged in? They really sang, but didn't really play the instruments.  Odd.  Dare I say the Half Time Show was the best part of my day.  Okay that and the show before the preshow about the people who won tickets to the game.  Great stories.

As luck would have it there were all kinds of comments on the inter-web during the game, after the game, about the game, about the commercials, about the performances, about that painful slow death of the Broncos loss.   I don't think Peyton shouted Omaha one time.  Maybe that was the problem.  I dunno.
Driving home from work and school pick up line yesterday I heard a really good story about a Facebook response from Bart Miller, lead singer of Mercy Me.  Apparently he posted that he really liked the Half Time Show and thought Bruno Mars did a great job.   Then he was attacked, had he said it in person he may have been beaten by "Christians". Ugh.   I didn't see the original post, only his response.  And it is seriously awesome!
"Seriously I love you guys. I really do, but you've got to find a bigger cross to die on. If me saying Bruno's performance was awesome can instantly tear down my 20 years of ministry, then I've been doing something terribly wrong! Oh wait I have been doing something terribly wrong! I've lived most of my life as a legalistic, judgmental, religious person. Not anymore folks. I'm a huge fan of music regardless whether Bruno misuses it or not.
I'm a huge fan of sex, so is my is God by the way, regardless if the world abuses it.
I'm also a fan of the word of God REGARDLESS if some of you people twist it to make a point. In other words, I'm no longer living my life based on what people say or think about me. My plate's already pretty full adoring my wife and kids and relishing in the truth that there's nothing I can do great enough to make Christ love me more than he already does and I can't be bad enough to separate myself from the spirit that dwells inside.
So I'm gonna live life like I can't screw it up. I can screw "stuff" up...sure. And maybe some of you think I've screwed this post all up. Ha. But that's ok cuz grace works for even me. And as far as all of us being judged by our maker one day? That does not exist for the believer. There is and will never be any condemnation from Christ. When James talks about ministers or lead singers of Christian bands being judged more harshly. He ain't talking about in heaven. He's talking about being judged by the Jesus police who prowl Facebook waiting to pounce. Ha. So what do I mean when I say find a bigger cross to die on? Live life doing stuff that matters like finding rest knowing Christ has done the work for you! I'm telling you, when you truly taste grace, life is a freaking blast! To know a perfect messiah came so we can have imperfect moments, like my Bruno worship apparently, and still be ok may be the greatest news of all! Heck if I'd known all of this was gonna come out of what I posted, I would've posted "BRUNO MARS FOR PRESIDENT!"

I really appreciate you guys. I would not have spent 9 yrs writing this if I didn't.

Welcome To the New Bart"
All this Grammy and Superbowl talk and "averting ones eyes" and "in the world not of it" and Christians badgering their own kind like Pharisees, and living as it were segregated from the world.   Set apart doesn't mean segregated. 

Jesus didn't live his life segregated from the world he came to save.  He did call those out that lived segregated.  He lived in the world, he mingled, ministered to and medicated those around him.  Are we doing that? 

Do I know my neighbors or their needs?

I really great book that mentions some of this and has been in the forefront of my mind these days is Grace Based Parenting.  In the first chapter Dr. Tim Kimmel talks about  how we've segregated ourselves from the world.  We're our own subculture, parallel universe.  Yet our marriages aren't anymore sacred, our children are no more safe from abuse, teen pregnancy, abortion, drug addiction, pornography. 

Page 10, Chapter 1

"You'd think with all the resources that have been developed over the past forty years we'd have a little more to show for ourselves.  If we looked at where the Christian movement is on a grand scale, it demonstrates we've clearly left something out of the equation.  The Christian community in the US numbers in the multi-millions and is referred to as the "Christian Nation."  We've dedicated billions of dollars to our spiritual experience.  We have more brick and mortar commitments as well as professional paid personnel dedicated to the development of our Christian walk than any other nation.
Our churches are often an extension of our families' social needs to the point that many serve as evangelical country clubs.  We're created a parallel universe to the corrupted world system that provides all the amenities we want.  We have Christian bookstore, Christian radio, Christian television programming round the clock.  Christian concerts, Christian cruises, Christian vacation resorts.  We have our own school system, clothing lines and we have our own breath mints!

The irony is that the "secularization" of the non-Christian world has risen proportionately with our withdrawal from it.

This type of living is fear-based.  We're scared of Hollywood, the Internet, the school system, Halloween, the homosexual community, drugs, alcohol, rock n roll, rap, partying neighbors, unbelieving softball teams, liberals and Santa Clause!"

The absence of negative influences doesn't increase one's spirituality, the battle isn't on the things seen, but the things unseen.   We battle not against flesh and blood.......
The Message.  Ephesians 6: 13-18
13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

For me this is where Trust comes in.  Trust the Lord with all my heart and lean not.  I Trust that God hasn't forgotten us.  We're not some third grade science project he put in the closet and forget about.  He's involved in our life, in this world, trusts His own plan, that its coming to fruition a little more, every day.  He's not shocked or shaken by The Grammy's or The Superbowl or The World He created. 

Just as he wasn't really asking for Adam's physical location when asking, "Where Are You?" He wasn't asking them their location, rather their condition.

What is your condition?  Whatever it is, you can Trust Him With It