Monday, September 29, 2014

Twisted Truth

"Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability." (2 Peter 3:14-17 ESV)

      The past few days I have been reading and re-reading this passage. To me it is one of this passages that must be read slowly and digested bit by bit(nom nom). It's a little meat, not milk. Truly, I've been reading the entire book of 2 Peter over and over (does that make it a 're-Peter'??). It is a book of caution. We all need a little (or a lot) of caution from time to time. 

        The part I want to focus on in this post is what I have typed up (copied and pasted 'cause I am a cheater cheater pumpkin eater). Please note that in this post all of my ADD comments will be held within parenthesis. ;-) 

          In the above passage, it is said that what Paul wrote can be hard to understand. Now he didn't say it's ALL hard to understand, but he did say SOME of it. I, personally, am willing to admit that some of it is indeed difficult to grasp.(Can I get an Amen?) some of the words Paul wrote, while still meaningful to us, weren't aimed to us and our culture, and therefor, make it difficult to make sense of it. This does not necessarily make what is said, or the message behind it, irrelevant.  

           The Gospel itself, and it's message, is beautifully simple. It is meant for all people to understand, regardless of how much bible knowledge they have.  There are many things that are tricky to understand though and are often referred to as "grey areas".  

            We don't like not understanding something. We REALLY don't like believing that there are some things beyond our understanding. And we REALLY REALLY don't like to think that something is over our heads. (No, Really.) In our culture knowledge is prized and sought after. People's worth is sadly, often based on how much they 'know'. 

        What do we do then when we encounter something in the Bible that we do not understand? More often that I'd like to say, I see people contorting the text to fit their believed meaning. It is an easy thing to believe something and then find words to prove it. We can take scripture out of context and make it seem like it's a perfect support for our claims. If we don't know an answer, we come up with one. We speculate and theorize the truth right out of things. If we seek truth, we will find it. However, we must approach the difficult stuff with patience. We may not understand RIGHT NOW, but God will reveal it to us in His time, as we continue to seek. 

           We are told to "prove (or test) all things..." in 1Thes. 5:21. I urge you all to search the scriptures with an open heart to see what the bible has to say. Don't just believe someone because they "know" more than you. Find things out for yourself. 

         How can scripture be twisted? If it comes from God, can't we just have our own take on it? Um, no. We cannot impose our meanings onto Gods words. We must be very aware of the fact that Satan knows the scriptures as well (if not better) than we do. What?? Oh, he does. I'd like to call your attention to Mathew 4:1-11. The recording of Christ being tempted in the wilderness. In this passage, Satan himself quotes scripture. How's that for tricky stuff?  If you don't already, I encourage you to pray for God to protect you while you read the Word. Pray for understanding, and untangled, untwisted, truth. 

          Is there anyone else out there that kind of gets a shiver (my grandma used to call a shiver a pea-willy) when you think of Satan knowing and quoting scripture?? (Looks for hands) Good, I'm glad I'm not the only one. Praise be due to our Lord for protecting our hearts from this. 

        Now, let's look at the last part of the 2 Peter passage. Here it is said that we have a jump start on things. We, armed with knowing things will get twisted, can be on our guard.  The best defense is a good offense. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. All the same basic idea. We must be on our guard, and ready to test everything. When we honestly seek the truth, God is faithful to reveal it. As far as some things go though, we need to accept that there are things beyond human understanding. For these we must rely on faith. Never stop seeking truth though. 

         I encourage you to read 2 Peter for yourself. Pray for God to guard your heart and reveal truth. May we never be comfortable enough to stop growing. 



Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Mackenzie is a 12 yr old girls who struggles with several health issues. The most glaring at this point, is she needs a new heart. Please go to FB (I am not on FB), if you have an account and visit her page and read her story. The page is titled "Kenzie's Krusaders". 

      It is in the times of crisis and great need that people show their true colors. Kenzie is a trooper. In the face of what would cause many adults to bemoan their trials, Kenzie marches on. 

    Please pray for this wonderful girl and her family. I know this post is brief, but it gets the job done. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

The balancing act

       Let's see how writing a post while falling asleep goes. I may have to fix it later so it makes sense! Here we go! 

So much of what we do is balancing. Or at least we try to balance a lot in life. Food; portion and type. Family; correction and compliments. Time; work and home. Life; have to's and want to's. The past; mercy and justice. And on and on it goes. Finding and maintaining balance is more difficult in some areas than in others, but it's all a struggle. 
       Now while you ponder those for a minute let me tell you something that I've been wrestling with. Just hang tight with me, it'll tie in. 

       When did the church become so inward focused?  When did we start to think that people had to check off a list of requirements before being involved?  When did we forget that Christ sat and dined with sinners? Why do we take "misson trips" to another city but don't reach out to our own? When did the church become a business? My questions are endless. 

We've lost touch with search and rescue. The misson of the church seems to be turning into seek and destroy. We've lost the ability to love people to Christ. Beating someone with a bible doesn't work, trust me, I've been on both ends. 

I really believe that the church is having "relationship issues" with God. Who's fault is it? Well....he's that doesn't leave many choices, does it? Do we really have a relationship? We know rules and regulations inside and out and some are purely tradition that we've etched into law. When did we turn a place of meeting into a temple? Have we become Pharisees? Do we know about God, but not KNOW God? 
       So many times we sit and judge and wag our heads at those seeking God. Pure God, not what we've made him. They come and sit in service feeling akward and heavy, hoping to see people (heaven forbid) full of joy in worship. Not looking at their phones, continually checking the clock or singing like their voices are weighed by thick mud. Praying to catch a glimpse of grace and mercy from Gods people.

We love to let Satan get the best of us, don't we? He keeps us busy focused on the politics and details. I frankly don't care if clap in church or not. Or if you pray sitting, standing, or kneeling. Or if you have a power point or use hymnals. We cannot see the forest for the trees and are losing the battle because of it. Can we compromise truth? Not an option. But God be praised, it is possible to present truth in love. Without judgmental glances and upward tilted noses. 

        When was the last time we decided to go sit and visit with the people we felt weren't up to "the standard"? God sent his son for everyone didn't he? We were all lost at some point, and many of us keep getting lost. Yet, we cannot bring ourselves to reach out. Why? Now, don't get your knickers in a twist. I'm not expecting us to spend every moment of every day standing on a street corner with a mega phone. I'm just asking you to get your hands dirty. Learn to love people as they are; flawed creatures, seeking mercy. If we can't love people as they are, then we can't love ourselves, because we are all flawed, are we not? Anyone out there want to cast the first stone? 

        Now this is where it ties in. I want a relationship with my creator (see post before last for more on this). I want to know, love, and praise him with everything that I am. BUT, I don't want to ignore the reverence that is due. I dare not stuff God in a cute box to carry in my pocket. No. I want to be in awe of His Majesty and holiness as much as I want to be held in his arms. I don't want the church to make Christ so human that he's no longer God. I don't dilute what he is with false labels and expectations. Holiness is something our culture is quickly losing understanding of. But I don't want him to be untouchable as only God and not any part human. So untouchable that I may as well not try to reach out to Him. It is a very delicate and difficult thing to balance.

      Most of my life I've been fed a steady diet of fire and brimstone. I've been fed impossible standards that left me wondering why I even tried. Grace and mercy were only for the worthy. You had to prequalify to recieve hope. I learned to fear God, but feared Him so much that I didn't know how to love Him. We can show both reverence and love. 

      Then we have the other end of things where God is only love and fluff. It is not so, friends. God is a jealous, powerful, unchanging God, and he has the power to condemn our souls. We can't even fathom his power. 

      You see how we must wrestle with this? How we must seek to balance? We need to focus inward to keep the church strong, but not so much that we forget our main purpose is to reach out. We need to be in the trenches with people when they are in a battle so we can help them out. Not sitting on the sidelines listing all the reasons they are there because of their own doing, or how they will figure it out on their own. Wouldn't it be sad if Christ did that to us? 
    We also need to find a place where we can love God, and still fear his Holiness. What's more, is we need to do this without compromising the truth. 

        Right now, I am one who is seeking. I am in the deep trenches and trying to survive. It is a lonely place. People look at me from afar and spin tales of "what went wrong".  I make mistakes, and continually need Gods grace. I'm trying. 

       Don't lose heart. There is hope for us all. Salvation is not unattainable. We can correct our corse, and learn to love the way Christ loves. We can stop the petty bickering and focus on what God wants us to focus on. We can open our doors and be examples of truth in love. We are not alone in these efforts. God knows we are not perfect, yet we seem to think everyone should be. He expects us to try, and not give up. The only perfection we achieve is by accepting the blood of Christ in baptisim  and letting Him wash us daily.  Gods grace perfects us.

     Together, let's look around us to help the hurting. Let's get our hands dirty and make ourselves uncomfortable. Nobody is beyond hope, not even me. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Our critics

You know, it's funny how often I think about my blog, but how little I write in it. An idea comes to me, and I want to write about it, but dismiss it as not "blog worthy".  We are our harshest critics, are we not? 

      Right now my daughter is learning this sad truth. When we see it in those we love, it looks so much more menacing. She is 12, her body is changing, her thoughts are evolving. And in a world prolifically portraying unrealistic expectations, it will lead to a skewed reality. Even as an adult, I have to constantly remind myself that images are altered and most of what we see simply isn't true. Sometimes, I wish we lived in a world with no mirrors. Girls spend precious time in front of them criticizing the beauty that God himself formed to be them. 

It's an epidemic. I even find myself caught up in the sad side of being critical of people! We are much too easily decieved, and ensnared. 

Sitting in the church foyer I hear women discussing their dissatisfaction with their bodies. We must stop. We have to set an example. We have to learn to love our bodies if we are to teach girls to love theirs. You know as well as I do that we can talk until we are blue in the face....but if we don't BELIEVE what we is all for not. 

I've actually started seeing a counselor for my body/food issues as well as past problems. I'm trying to seek help to get fixed. It's a big, scary step. But in my heart I know it will not only help myself, but my family as well. We try to fix everyone around us, but it's often too uncomfortable to work on our own issues. For the longest time, I felt it was selfish to work on my problems. What I've come to realize is it is actually the opposite. Working on my problems better equips me to handle other problems, and help others, in ways that weren't possible before. 

      My prayer for my daughter, and all girls, is that they may see themselves as God sees them. As something priceless, beautiful....loved. That is my prayer for all of us. 

      Once I went to a ladies retreat where the speaker talked about how much it bothered her when her "roots" showed and how she didn't want to even go to an even because of it. She did say she ended up going and felt silly for it. What have we become? 

      Ladies, let us shed this vanity. Let us wrap ourselves in the light of our Lord and let His true beauty be ours. 

       Now, don't go crazy on me, and tell me we are supposed to become Amish-like. In a way though, I think they have something right. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look nice. But it is a fine line we walk between wanting to look nice and making our bodies our god. Do we spend more time on our physical bodies, than on our soul? Let's step back and look around us. 

     If you are reading this, know that I am praying for you. It's a long fight, and we are all in it together. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Not the end.

       If there is one thing I don't like it is good-byes. Yet, who does? The ones you enjoy are called "good riddances" (is that even a word??). While I have had a few of those come knocking on my door, those aren't the ones I'm talking about. I am talking about good-byes, farewells, etc. Good bye is a part of life. It marks the end of something.  It comes in many forms and starts from childhood. We say goodbye to a special pet when it dies. It could be as innocent as losing our favorite blanket. That sense of loss comes many times in our lives and will come even more often as we grow older. The goodbyes become more difficult as they are often eternal as we grow. We grow and watch our friends pass on, family pass on, and people we looked up to pass on. Death is viewed as the final farewell. Yet, is it really?

              I was speaking with a friend a few nights ago, someone I admire and love, who is suffering many serious health issues. We reminisced about years gone by for a few hours. Recalling all the people that have passed through our lives, and where they are now. We also talked about how simple the love of Christ is but how horribly complex it is made in the hands of men. We laughed about old pranks and cried about old friends. God brings people together in Christ in an extraordinary way.

             There have been people at Bible camp, who I have worked along side with for a whole week. Eating together, sleeping in the same room, praying together, singing together, bonding in fellowship. The very next week they died in a tragic accident. I had no idea that when I said goodbye that Friday night at camp, it would be forever.

             After talking to my friend that night, I was home in the quiet, darkness, when I decided something. I'm done with good-byes. I even said it aloud, as if I was telling everyone.  I don't know if my friend will be on this Earth next year or not. When he does leave, I will not bid him farewell. I will whisper in my heart, "I will see you later."  Goodbyes mark the end of something, and he will be only touching the beginning.  He told me to read psalm 126, as it was close to his heart. I read it. I hope when you read it, and meditate on it, it will bring you peace.

           I have realized this; for my family in Christ there are no goodbyes. I will, however, see them later. When the clouds roll back and Christ calls us home, I'll see them. When will that be? Later. Could be 5 seconds, could be 5 centuries, but it will be later. In that moment all the petty things people argue about, and fret over, will be gone. Politics gone. Pride gone. Selfishness gone. Lies will be swept away and truth will be revealed. Our hearts will rejoice and it will be the best family reunion ever.

  Let us all decide to live our lives so that we don't ever have to say another good-bye.

I'll see you later,

Monday, July 7, 2014

Out of the dark

A still, small voice. That's how God rolls. Sometimes he needs to smack us in the face. Other times he calls us to be still. Still in ways I've never been still, until now. 
      Letting go of the past. Not living my life based on what others think. Seeking God above all else. Raw, passionate pursuit. Being at a point when you really are ready to let God take control...because you have nothing left in you. 
        My heart and soul ached with longing to shed my pain and despair. I lost my passion in Gods work. People around me seemed to have no joy in God. The kind of joy the world can't understand or take away. I wanted joy in God. 
          I started withdrawing from people. I wanted and needed time to focus on God. I needed to spend time not worrying about keeping up appearances or maintaining shallow relationships. I had no fight left in me. I felt as though my heart had burst and it's pieces scattered to the four winds, and there was no hope of getting them back.  

       I swallowed the jagged pill of pride and had to admit that I had been living my life the way I thought everyone else wanted me to. Following family traditions in faith and life. I knew it was time to step back and evaluate my faith and core beliefs. This, I will tell you, is not for the faint of heart. 

           For so many years I've felt focused on the do's and don'ts of Christian life. You know, rules. What makes me right and all else wrong. Ah, the grand delusions. Though I've spoken of grace and mercy, and of Gods love, I'd never really felt it. Not like I wanted to. No matter how hard I tried, I felt as though heavens gates would never let me enter.  I had no real relationship with God. I was too afraid of Him. Afraid of the rejection I was sure I would recieve. One discovery I've made in my soul searching, is God's grace really is sufficient. Really. Once I began to believe this, I started letting Him closer. Fear has been swallowed by adoration and love. I am not saying I don't have a healthy fear of God, I'm saying that I've stopped being afraid of Him. I'm letting go of my hypocrisy and letting God pour out his love, grace and mercy. 
            In this time of searching, I've started to find joy in God. It is beyond the vocabulary of humans to try and describe it. I wish it upon all of you. 

            I tell you all of this to tell you something else. The past few months, while I've questioned the very things I believe, I have not felt as though I should write. I wanted to find my way out of the darkness so I could tell you what I found in the light, and what I felt in the dark. In the past 3days I've had a few people ask about my blog. I believe that in those questions was the still small voice telling me that it's time. It's time to start sharing you're struggles and victories once more. 

          So, here's to the God of the impossible. The God of the great and terrible storms, and gentle nudges. I'm back. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


The world we live in is full of all kinds of advances, devices, and gadgets. Smart phones are held by the rich and poor alike. Facebook accounts are the main way to stay in touch or communicate. How many times do we pull out our phone just to glance at Facebook, or check our email. We are losing our ability and the skills to communicate with each other face to face. Not only that, but it seems each problem we "fix" creates its own new set of problems. We have so many time saving devices that we've become lazy and have to make time to exersize because we just don't move around like we used to. 

    Now I'm not at all saying advancing is bad. Advances in medicine are amazing! I love my washing machine, too! I don't see me parting with that anytime soon! :-) Yet, I look around at parents and children alike on devices. I do believe that there can be too much of a good thing. I also feel we need to step back and evaluate what these things are really adding to our well as what they are taking away. 
        I tell you all of this not to be accusational, as I am as guilty as any. Rather, I tell you because I have decided to regress. I'm not going Amish or anything, but I'm taking small steps to make a big impact. First, I DELETED my Facebook account. Deactivated? No....deleted. It is the most freeing feeling. I was always getting frustrated with things on there or people. I sat on there wasting time reading about other peoples lives. To stay in touch with people now I have an email address, and a phone. When people think about deleting their account they get a sting of panic. How will I keep in touch with these 649 people? What about posting pictures for relatives? What about being encouraging to people who are down? Well, honestly, I don't want to keep in touch with all those people. I mean do we need to be in touch with our high school classmates -x girlfriends -cousins-mom? Um no. I really think our society has become addicted to it or dependent on it. For family, I keep in touch the old fashioned way. The vast majority of your "friends" on FB, really don't care what you have to say about what you are eating or how you slept, or that headache you've got, or the new diet you are trying. 

      Our world is becoming more and more detached from those directly around us. How many of us actually know our neighbors? I think we could do so much more good if we paid attention to our direct environment. 

       It was hard at first. I'd look outside and want to post something witty about how much I hate the snow. I wanted the little bit of attention it would get. I wanted to know how many likes I would get. Admit it, we all want to get those "likes". We want to post a pic of us posed just so, and hope someone will compliment it. We've all done it. I know some of you are thinking, that you can use Facebook to encourage too. I agree, you can, to a degree. But from someone who suffers from depression, and would post about being sad or doesn't really help. What does help? My friends that are physically here. God will guide us to the right people, and he doesn't need Facebook to do it. There are plenty of people hurting around us that we just need to find. 
      For me leaving Facebook has helped me to deal with my complaints instead of putting them out there for people to fuel my fire. It has helped me to actually call people to see how they are doing. It has been amazing. I feel like instead of having hundreds of "friends", I'm actually building relationships. 

    I don't expect you to read this and delete your account. I would be happy if people just stepped back and became aware of what is around them more. 

    I am also considering going back to a flip phone. My smart phone can be helpful, but I need to exersize more restraint and not pull it out every 5 min. Speaking of phones....think you aren't addicted to your phone? Try going 12 hours without it. Try leaving it home while you go out for the day. Studies have shown that we have built a phsycological dependency on our devices and we can actuall display some withdrawal symptoms when our devices are with held from us. It's funny, because I sit here and get a panicked feeling if I think about not having a cell phone at all. How would I get directions? How would I get help if I broke down? Well, both cases are pretty rare, but what did we do BEFORE cell phones? We managed. 
       Like I said I'm not being accusational, as I'm guilty. Try remembering life pre tech, go without for a day. It might help you see something new. It's just my thoughts, and nobody gave me a penny for them. 

Monday, February 24, 2014


It's been a few months. I haven't been absent from this blog for such a stretch....ever. I've been working on myself. I'll admit I've wanted to write on more than one occation, but the motivation wasn't there. The motivation to simply exsist, teach my kids, and keep the laundry and dishes at bay, or at least try. 
       This winter has been relentless. Every winter I struggle. It's more than vitamin d can fix, trust me. People who normally think I should be able to truck through winter, are feeling the winter blues. Hopefully it serves as an eye opener. 

         In December I hit an all time low. I'd never felt so low. Try as I might, there was no motivation to do more than was required of me. I was tired all the time. Felt like I was dying inside, but had no idea what to do. I swallowed my pride long ago and started taking anti-depressants. Well, I ended up speaking with a Dr and even went through some group therapy. My medication had stopped working and I needed to make a switch. 
        I can't tell you how thankful I am for that pill. It doesn't make me a zombie, or emotionless. It lifts the great fog of depression so I can me me and feel my emotions as they should be felt. Why is it that we are so afraid of deppression? Why do we feel the need to hide it? Why do we deny ourselves the freedom treatment can offer? In a word, I think it is summed up as pride. A very wise elderly woman once told me that if everyone knew what everyone else struggled with, the world would be a better place. Can I get an amen?? 
     Think about it. We are afraid of what people will think of us. Or we've convinced ourselves that it's ok for SOME people to need treaemt....but certainly not us. Nope, we like it here in the city of denial in the house of dillusion. 
       I also hear people use the old, "if you had enough faith" bit. Pause for a moment with me while I roll my eyes. Obviously, these people have never read through the psalms. Uh, yes, David had some pretty dark stuff in there. Or what about Job! We look up to Job as a pilar of strength and faith, and yet in the midst of his tragedy he wished he'd never been born! Depression happens! 

          Some don't like the idea, and think...why me? Why do I have to depend on a pill to be "normal"? Because depression is an illness. I'm sure people with diabetes and several other diseases think the same thing. 

       So something I'd like to work on, is breaking down some of these walls. I want to teach others that stigma sucks. That we need to take care of ourselves and be gentle with all people, because we don't know their story. Be more brave with your story, someone out there needs to hear it. I want to show that you can be a faithful Christian, and struggle with depression. 
God is amazing.
 We are never alone. 
Remember this.