Wednesday, July 1, 2015

So Much More Than a Label

Do you ever feel like someone is staring at you? Like your every move is being watched? I can't shake this feeling. I feel like people in my small circle, in this big world, are waiting for me to take a stance on the gay-marriage issue that is a-buzz on social media right now.
Rainbow as seen on a recent drive somewhere in Montana.

Not speaking my mind isn't working. The feeling isn't going away.

I suppose I feel the pressure because I'm the daughter of a wonderful mom who happens to be a lesbian. And I'm also a daughter who happens to be a Christian.

Oh the labels. Aren't we so much more than these labels? I know I am. I know my mom is.

I think that's where the real issue is... We have these labels for people and then we tend to forget the people behind the labels. Labels are intended to make things easier but sometimes I think they just make things harder.

Let me try taking the labels away....

I'm the daughter of a wonderful mom who happens to be crazy in love with my son. The other day she tracked me down at the grocery store because she could her my son screaming uncontrollably in the background when I was talking with her on the phone. She stopped what she was doing, drove to the store, and helped me shop when my son was upset. I didn't ask her to do that. She just did it. Growing up, my mom worked very hard to provide a nice home and opportunites for my brother and I. No, our upbringing wasn't perfect. But now that I'm a mom, I realize more than ever that my mom did the best she could in the circumstance that she had. I know she has regrets, but I've been a mom for only 8 weeks and I already have regrets. I think it's just part of the mom job... regretting choices. 

I love Jesus. It's a love I don't fully understand but it's genuine. Sometimes I doubt, and my faith is pretty pathetic. I also believe what the Bible says and I try my best to follow its teaching. But often times I fall way short of the standards the Bible sets. I guess that's a big reason why I love Jesus. Because he loves me even though I fall short every day. He loves me enough to walk beside me, and mold me into a better person, and he's died for my sins. In fact the more I study the Bible and get to know Jesus, the more I realize how selfish and sinful I am... which makes me appreciate Jesus all the more. I go to church because it helps me stay focused on my goal of being a better person. Plus it provides fellowship with people who also fall short, but love Jesus. Our church isn't perfect but since it's made up of sinful people, it never will be perfect.

Ok there's a couple of paragraphs. It's a lot easier to just use a word or two to describe my mom or I, but it just doesn't come close to painting the full picture. It would take several paragraphs or books to paint the full picture of who we are as people. The same is true for anyone. Lesbian and Christian are two words that describe part of who we are... just a small part.

And that's what makes this issue complicated. It's not just about labels. It's about people. And people are complicated.

The Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage is just that.... The court made a decision for a country that it governs. Like it or hate it, the decision has been made. It's now law of this land.

The Bible is clear on homosexuality.... God loves homosexuals but does not condone the lifestyle associated with homosexuality. Like it or hate it, that's God's law.

Simple. But yet so complicated.

If I could just humbly speak to the labels of which large bodies of people comprise. I have some things to say that I think make things a bit less complicated... Here goes nothing...

To the Christians:

  • This isn't the first time a society has gone away from what the Bible teaches. You don't have to read very far in Genesis or a history book to learn of societies and "Christians" that didn't follow the standards that God has set. So please quit acting so shocked. History is full of examples of what happens to societies that don't put God first. This country is not God's kingdom. John 18:36 "Jesus answered, 'My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.'"
  • If marriage is so important to you then start acting like it. The divorce rate, even within the church, has gone as high as 50%!!! The Bible is VERY clear about what God thinks about divorce. God hates divorce.  Malachi 2:16, TLB. “For the Lord, the God of Israel, says he hates divorce and cruel men. Therefore control your passions—let there be no divorcing of your wives.” The LGBT community has not destroyed marriage. The human race has. Again, nothing new, read Genesis. So please be careful where you place the blame.
  • Christians have a prime opportunity to show Jesus' love for their LGBT brothers and sisters. It's been my experience that they LGBT community want to be loved the way that they are, which by the way is sinful and imperfect. Sinful and imperfect - you know just like you and me.... just like every single other person that's ever walked this planet besides Jesus. Jesus died to be our judge. So follow his example. Judge someone because you love them. Judge them because you love them enough to walk beside them and help them out of their sin. Judge them because you would die for them.  If you can't judge like that, then please leave the judging to Jesus. 
  • Seems silly to type this, but I'm going to. We are all sinners. That puts us on the same playing field. Sin is sin in God's eyes. There's no sin ranking. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."  So let's remember that we aren't better than anyone just because we believe in what the Bible teaches. In fact, the Bible says that the last are first, the first are last.... you know the verse! With that said, the rest of the world tends to hold Christians to higher standards. Not fair? Perhaps. 
  • Please be kind. Fair or not, the world is watching to see how you are going to represent Jesus.
To the LGBT community:
  • On behalf of Christians, I am sorry that in the past and present we have misrepresented Jesus so often. I am sorry for the hypocrisy and the bigotry.  And the word sorry just doesn't cut it, but I am so sorry. 
  • Please remember that Christians are imperfect humans. Please remember that there are some really kind Christians and there are some really mean Christians. It really hurts when I read or hear such hurtful things being said about Christians in general, because I am one, and not all Christians are bad. Just like you probably wouldn't like it if I were to say  blanket derogatory remarks about the LGBT community. Please be kind.
  • Please also remember that Christians, even mean Christians, are entitled to their opinion. Just like you are. So often I hear Christians being called "closed minded" because of what they believe. But isn't it "closed minded" to accuse others of being "closed minded"? 
  • And in case someone hasn't told you today, you are loved by God. He loves you just the way that you are.  And I love you too (especially those of you that are my family and friends, but you already knew that). I love you, but I'm not changing my facebook picture to have the rainbow colors on it... it reminds me of a Skittles commercial... and I'm more of a Starburst fan. :) 

For what it's worth, here's what I believe: I believe what the Bible teaches. I respect the opinions of those who may differ than mine. I believe that all people, regardless of race, gender, and sexual orientation are God’s children and should be treated with civility, compassion, and Christ-like love. And hopefully I will have the insight to ask forgiveness from God and my fellow humans when I inevitably fall short of my own beliefs. 

God is love and has placed so much more value on you than any label ever could,

PS. To my mom: I love you very much. I don't know what I would do without you. Especially these past 8 weeks. And I'm so thankful I was raised the way I was.... gay pride parades and all :)... I don't know that I would appreciate God's love for His kids the way that I do if I were raised any differently.  And I certainly wouldn't know the colors of the rainbow forwards and backwards like I do. :) Please don't let other people's hate and ignorance bother you or make you angry. Zeb, Ryan, Eric, Barney, Mr. Rhoid, and I love you just the way you are.... and so do the Christians who get it.

"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots." Luke 23:34. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pros and Cons of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Most likely you have heard of the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge".

It's been quite the social media phenomena lately. Every day a Facebook friend is posting their ice bucket challenge for the world to see. Even some of my favorite celebrities, such as Jack Johnson,  have taken the challenge.

I'm not sure, but I think Peter Frates started the challenge. Here is a 7 minute video that tells his story:

I too, have been both publically and privately, challenged to dump ice water on my head and donate to the ALS Association. Initially, without thinking much, I was going to jump on board. Sure I had a couple of concerns but they were minor.

But then, like I do before donating to any organization, I started researching the ALS association.
So after much thought and prayer, I have come up with a list of pros and cons to participating in the ice bucket challenge for the ALSA.


  1. The "Ice Bucket Challenge" is bringing much needed worldwide attention to a devastating/lethal disease for which there is currently no cure. Watch this video for an idea of how devastating the disease is.
  2. The Challenge proves once again that Americans are some of the most generous people on earth. 
  3. Millions of people are coming together to do what is seemingly a good thing. The "Ice Bucket Challenge" reminds me of "The March of Dimes" that President Roosevelt started in 1938 to combat polio. It makes my heart so happy any time a large body of people join together to do good of any sort.
  4. People are getting really creative in how they dump cold water on themselves. I especially enjoy videos of my friend's kids getting involved. So cute!
  1. The ALS association uses embryonic stem cells in their research. Don't take my word for it. Check out their website and read for yourself: .  Honestly a few years ago this may not have bugged me as much as it does now. But the older I get, and the more women that I meet that want nothing more than to be able to conceive and carry a baby to term (myself included)... the more I struggle with abortion. I believe there is a time and a place for abortion: for the safety of the mother or in a rape victim situation. And I believe it should be a woman's decision what she does with her body. But that doesn't mean that I need to support her decision or support an organization that uses embryonic stem cells. To kill a life for research in hopes that said research will some day save a life, just does not make sense to me. Why try to save one life but not the other? I don't get it. 
  2. I spent three months volunteering at an orphanage in Zimbabwe back in 2004. Safe drinking water was really hard to come by. We had to boil our water so it was safe to drink or bathe in. It got really old, really quick, for this spoiled American. A part of me cringes every time I see perfectly good water wasted in these challenges. And people are trying to outdo each other with how much water is being dumped.  True, not everyone is wasting the water. Some people are doing the challenge in such a way that the water is being used for something else (which is great). Or they are doing things like jumping in cold lakes. Like noted above, the creativity is great! But I can't help but wonder what kind of message we are sending to people in places such as Africa, where 345 million are without access to water. Kudos to the ALS Association for putting the following suggestion on their website: "Please be thoughtful about water usage. If you’re in an area of the country or world affected by drought, please consider making a donation instead, or repurpose the water for later use."
  3. Donations are way way way up for the ALS Association.  According to the ALSA website, "As of Wednesday, August 27, The ALS Association has received $94.3 million in donations compared to $2.7 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 27). These donations have come from existing donors and 2.1 million new donors." Making a donation to a non profit organization is kinda like making an investment. Before I invest my money in stocks for example, I want to know what kind of track record those stocks have had. How has the company done in the past 5 years? 10? 30? I'd be curious to know how the ALSA is doing a year from now. They have never experienced this kind of attention or donations. I sincerely hope they are good stewards; time will tell. And this is putting aside that even one dollar towards embryonic stem cell research is is no bueno in my opinion. 
  4. And then there's Matthew 6:1-4, “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.  When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get.  But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you." I used the New Living Translation. I believe that the Bible is God's inspired word and is meant for instruction on how to live this crazy thing called "life" here on planet earth. The "Ice Bucket Challenge" has morphed into a good-deeds-social-media-peer-pressure phenomena. Admittedly, a very interesting phenomena. 
That concludes my list. And what do you know, it's a tie. However, the cons far outweigh the pros in my opinion. I've obviously put much thought and prayer into this, and I encourage you to do the same. Perhaps you will come to a different conclusion, and that's ok! One of the many blessings of living in this country is that we each get to make the choice as to how we will or will not spend our money. We each get to choose what we will put on social media. Yay for freedom. 

  • I don't judge anyone for doing the ice bucket challenge and donating to the ALSA. I realize that 99.99% of the people "dumping and donating" are doing so with nothing but good intentions. Which is a beautiful thing. 
  • I would be completely delusional if I thought for a second that I never waste water. Truth is, I waste water on a daily basis. But I honestly do cringe at these ice bucket videos, because I do think about my friends in Zimbabwe who carry buckets of dirty water on their heads (for miles) and here we are purposely dumping clean water on our heads. I'm not gonna get mad at anyone for wasting water. If anything it's caused me to evaluate how I can be a better steward of water. 
  • My husband and I aren't scrooges. We have an "open hand" policy when it comes to our money... we err on the side of generosity. I believe and support giving! Giving is often more of a blessing to the giver than it is to the receiver. So do it! Give your money away! But please, if possible, research where your money is going. Don't just give 'cause it's the current fad.  If you have a burden for ALS research... May I suggest donating to the Mayo Clinic? They do ALS research and I haven't come across any red flags (let me know if you do). 
  • I sincerely hope and pray that a cure is discovered for ALS. 
  • I believe in Jesus and I believe in the Bible, but in no way do I claim to be perfect or have all the answers like Jesus does. 
  • Invedibetly someone somewhere is going to disagree with this blog post. And that's ok. I just ask that your comments/messages be kind and thoughtful in nature. I won't read mean words, so you will be wasting your time.
  • Perhaps you are thinking "I regret donating to the ASLA." My advice would be, don't regret it. When you donated it was with the best of intentions. Contact the organization and voice your concerns or what you disagree with. Use this as a learning lesson for the next time you are considering donating to an organization. 
  • I'm not an expert on the subject, but I don't have a problem with adult stem cell research. No one is killed in the process. Educate me.
Well I'm glad I got this off my chest (so to speak). Now my husband won't have to hear me ramble on about what my video would look like, or how I'm going to dump water without wasting water... poor Ryan. haha :)

God is love,

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Love is Watching Someone Die

"Turn on a little Jack and write away. You really need to start getting it off your chest..." advice from my best friend. Somehow I forget that she knows me so well. She always surprises me with her words of wisdom in my "crisis" moments. Moments that I try so hard to avoid and hide from her. And everyone else.

So here I am trying to write, listening to Jack Johnson and others.

One of those moments happened earlier today. A moment I would rather hide. I had prayer up front for church today. I could barely speak. Tears and snot flowed easier than the words out of my mouth. Finally the "Amen" and I tremble as I walk back to my pew. I wanted to be anywhere else. But the words of my best friend replayed in my head "You have got to get this stuff out of your head". Going home or somewhere to be alone wasn't the solution either. So I force myself to be around people.

So I stay. And after the service is over a dear lady asks the question.

"How are you?"

"Exhausted." I reply honestly.

She knew it was a rough week. I knew it was a rough week. But it's so much more than a rough week.

A family member had a massive stroke while running errands with me. 8 days ago. 4 days ago she went to sleep in Jesus. The 4 days in between the two events was the hard part. The hospital rooms, nurses, drugs pushed into her veins, life shoved out of her, lack of sleep. Breaths more difficult and less frequent with each hour that passed. The hours didn't pass quickly enough.

This isn't my first rodeo. The motions and scenes are so familiar. Too familiar. This is the 5th time I've literally watched a loved one die. But it's not just watching. It's an experience. And it's an honor and privilege. Seriously. An honor and a privilege.

It's not this death that's hard. It's the combination of them all.

I've decided that one is officially an adult when you closely experience death. God bless the children who closely experience death, they must have to grow up all too fast. And thank God I was at least 22 the first time around.

It's the pain and suffering. Even a moment of uncomfortableness for my loved ones. The feeling of no control. Which they too might be feeling. The shallow, hard breaths. The smell. The anxiety. Crushing weight of life coming to an end. Gravity gets heavier. What once was, will be no more. So I absorb as much as I can of them in the last, but also try to let go. It's a battle. 

You'd think it'd get easier each time. But it's harder.

The knowledge and hope of heaven is just that. It's not a pain anesthetic.

"What Sarah Said" by Death Cab for Cutie helped me deal with my Grandpas death when I was 22. My Grandpa, who by the way, hung the stars and the moon just for me. Whose face lit up when I entered a room. Who I adored more than anyone.

The lyrics to the song were nearly identical to what I was going through at the time. One line in particular has stuck with me ever since, "Love is watching someone die."

Think about it. I'll allow you to draw your own conclusions.  But Love is watching someone die. And love is God.

Oh the crossroads.

A little over two years ago I left for nursing school across the country. A dream of mine I've put on hold many times for multiple reasons. Some of which were to stay close to my "Star and moon hanger" and the soft landing for my heart which was my grandma.

I took a leap of faith. At 26 almost 27, I trusted my grandma and a big portion of my heart to God. "God, this is the one and only thing that I'm asking you to take care of in my absence. This is the one thing that would keep me from staying focused. Please Lord keep her safe and healthy. I believe you want me to take this step....I am trusting Grandma to you...."

My grandma. Who was like my mother, teacher of so many things. As I grew older, I grew closer to her. She had become one of my best friends. My one constant. My only home I had ever known.

She was a soft landing for my heart. She gave me space to breathe.

My worst fears came to pass. Her health dwindled and I wasn't with her to meet any or every need.

Now I can look back and see everything worked out for the best. My head knows this. My heart struggles. Still.


                     I made it home in time to spend her last 18 hours. My grandma literally drowned in her own fluids. I literally watched her take her last breath. I can replay it in my mind now. And do often.

She suffered. Which caused so much suffering for me.

Why the suffering?

I can honestly say that she never hurt anyone. Sure she wasn't perfect, but she was the most Jesus like person I have ever met. Put others before herself. Never spoke unkindly about anyone. And when unkind words were spoken, she'd say something like, "We don't know what they are going through". Or she would immediately bring out a good attribute.

She never spoke a harsh word to me. And she had me at my worst years, the teenage years. I was such a brat. She took care of me and my family in more ways than I will ever know. She adored my husband and made him feel just as at home as she did me. She Never complained. She didn't have an easy life. And my grandpa wasn't easy to live with. She was classy with a capital C.

She didn't deserve to die the way that she did. And besides, I trusted her to the Lord. The one thing that mattered to me. And there she was drowning in her fluids in front of me.

How can I trust again? If the opposite of what I want happens to the person I care for most... Is anything safe? Is everything fair game?


These are the questions that came back to me this week. Questions I had settled or buried. Or so I thought.


A couple of months ago my friend Megan shared the following on Facebook about her own grandmother's death:

 For all humans, death is a sorrow we must bear... And only in the promise of Jesus can we find peace and hope in the promise of the resurrection of our loved ones at His second coming! "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death." Hosea 13:14In losing my precious Nana- I wondered why such a wonderful person should have to suffer at all in the process of death?! And as I pondered this I thought of our most glorious Savior and how He suffered a cruel and torturous death on a cross... "

Her words struck a heart cord so hard I about fell off my chair. And I had to remind myself of them over and over this week. 
Of all people to walk this planet, Jesus deserved a painful death the least. Less than my Grandma. Less than our dear loved one, Jackie. Less than Blaine. Jesus didn't deserve death at all. Jesus trusted God and look what happened to him. 

It's not that God is cruel. It's this world that we live in. 

Back to the Lady at church.

"Well you look exhausted sweetie. You just need to put some rouge on and a little lipstick and fake it."

I said nothing.

It's taken me 29 years to start to realize that death is an inevitable part of this world. And it doesn't get easier. I'm thankful for the pain. The pain serves as a reminder that death was not intended for us to experience. And some day, death will be nothing but a memory. 

"Jesus wept." John 11:35. 

Love is watching someone die. Jesus didn't fake it. The pain is real. Jesus wept over the death of a loved one. 

God is love. Proven in Jesus' death on the cross and my loved ones death on a hospital bed.

  • Hebrews 2:14-15, CEV. “We are people of flesh and blood. That is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death. But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, NKJV. “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, NKJV. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.'  ‘O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

 I realize as I type these words that I'm exhausted because my heart hasn't found it's safe landing place. Nor have I had much space to breathe in my grandmother's absence. And this quite literally has taken a toll on my own health.

9 days ago I thought I was on the mend. But now I realize the only safe landing/breathing place is in my Heavenly Father. EVERYTHING else is temporary and not guaranteed. Including my husband, my health, success, money, church, any other relationship, etc etc. 

Jackie and I had all kinds of plans eight days ago, a massive stroke was not in our agenda. 

Romans 8:38-39, NKJV. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

 Life is short. Even if blessed with 100+ years. 
Love is watching someone die. God is love.

Jordan, you're right; I should write more often.

Peace & Love, 

PS. Here is the youtube video of the song I mentioned  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Memory Verse Monday: Matthew 22::37-38

"Jesus replied: '"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment.'" - Matthew 22:37-38

Join me while I get philosophical for a few.
What is love anyway? 

What does it look like?  Does it have a certain smell? Can you feel it? What does it sound like? Have you ever tasted love?

If love looks like anything, then love has an infinite amount of looks.

If love smells like anything, then the possibilities of smells are limitless.

If love is a certain touch then I suppose love could feel like at least a billion times a billion things.

If love sounds like any one thing than it would have to sound like an endless amount of other sounds.

Can love taste like one thing... who decides... therefore the possibilities are endless for taste too.

Go ahead... try to define love, I dare you. Describe it. Illustrate love. 

What does God look like? Does God have a certain smell? Have you ever felt God? What does God sound like? Have you ever tasted God?

Go ahead... try to define God. Describe Him. Illustrate God.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

The Bible describes love like this:  Corinthians 13:4-7, NKJV. "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things "

Couldn't God be described the same way? 

My favorite Bible verse says that "God is love"... 1 John 4:7-12, NKJV:  "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us."

So I must ask, can you have one without the other? I seriously want to know how one can "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" without God being involved in the love? (Matthew 22:37-38)

"Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for creating each of us in such a way that we are capable of love (You). These words seem so insignificant at times, but I mean them when I say... I love you. Because of Jesus I can pray! Amen!!!" 

"Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment." Matthew 22:37-38

God is love and Love is God,

PSS. Philosophy, not my favorite college class. :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Memory Verse Monday: Psalm 20:7

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name Lord our God." Psalm 20:7 NIV

via Pinterest

Here are a few different versions of the same verse: 

  • "Some nations boast of armies and of weaponry, but our boast is in the Lord our God." - Psalm 20:7 TLB
  • "Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7 NLT
  • "Some trust in and boast of chariots and some of horses, but we will trust in and boast of the name of the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7 AMP
  • "Some give the credit for victory to their chariots and soldiers, but we honor the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7 ERV
  • "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7  KJV

You might be thinking, "Chariots? Horses? What?" 

The emphasis of this verse is actually in the second part of verse. How is that for a cop out answer? Seriously though, put the emphasis in the second part of the verse. Let me teach you why...

Nowadays chariots aren't used much. The TLB version uses the words "armies" and "weaponry" instead of "chariots" and "horses", which makes it a bit more modern.

Try the words, "democrats" and "republicans" ~ Some trust in democrats and some in republicans, but we trust in the name Lord our God. <<<How is that for current events?>>> And I digress... 

via Dave Ramsey's Twitter & Facebook

Okay... getting back to my point (I think I have one) and this week's memory verse...

Try the words, "hard work" and "sacrifice". Or try the words, "their own strength" and "self-discipline". ~ Some trust in hard work and sacrifice, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.  Some trust in their own strength and some in self-discipline, but we trust in the name Lord our God. 

Some trust in degrees... some trust in money... some trust is their spouse... some trust in alcohol... some trust in good deeds.... some trust in their church.....

The point to this verse (in my opinion):
 the Lord our God, is alone worthy of your life and your trust. You can trust your life to God and God alone. 

I suppose that's one of the many reasons why He is the "I am" (Exodus 3:14).

"Dear Lord, Of course I want to trust the big things to you. But I also want to trust the little things to you and everything in between. I love you. Amen."

God is Love (and worthy of your trust),

PS. I don't usually recommend switching out words in the Bible for random words. In fact, never do that. Bad idea. But for purposes of getting the verse's point across I did just that. And since it's my own blog I can do that. < insert giggles here> 

PSS. Can you recite last week's memory verse, John 15:5, without cheating? If so, that's so great! If not, here's the link to the verse for a refresher. Blessings!    

Monday, September 30, 2013

Memory Verse Monday: John 15:5

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

There's a word from this week's memory verse that is really catching my attention. Any guesses what it might be?!?!? 

If you came up with, "nothing" then you would be correct.
This same word is found in John 5:19 "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself...."

We live in a world that wants to know, "What can you do?" More specifically, "What can you do for me?" And often times, what you can (or can't) do is in direct correlation to a measure of success (or failure).  

Who wants to be dependent? Weak? Insufficient? Incapable? When's the last time you witnessed someone signing up for those traits? 

Jesus did. He signed up for all of that and more... he signed up to be a nothing. 

I don't know what your day looks like but here's mine: Deadlines, I have them and they're today. Bills, it's that time of the month. Responsibilities, as a wife and nursing student and blah blah blah, I've got responsibilities alright. Grades, they could be better (so much better). Loved ones, frail and week across the country far from any help that I can offer. Husband, across the country period. My own ailments, insecurities, weaknesses.... just a typical Monday. Okay so I'm purposely only pointing out the negative and it could obviously be a lot worse, but you're getting my point... 

So instead of "I do..." or "I will..." or "I can...." today I am stripping myself of any independence, and agreeing with God when he says that I "can do nothing" (John 15:5) apart from Him. NOTHING.

Say it aloud with me, "NOTHING." 

You can do NOTHING apart from Him. No, I think that needs an exclamation point. You can do NOTHING apart from Him!  

 Let's pray together...

"Heavenly Father, I get it. Forgive me for trying to be independent. It's really silly if I think about it. I want to be like a Georgia Peach on a healthy organic tree... I want to ooze with your sweet goodness and love. Lord there's no way that I'm gonna even come close to that without you. Thank you for making the most of my day and making up for what I lack and then some. And Lord, it's tough for me, but I want to trust you with all my burdens, especially my loved ones across the globe. I love you! Because of Jesus I can pray! Amen.

#nothing Let's be it together.
God is love and EVERYTHING,

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thoughts, Floods, & Promises

Do you ever think? Of course you do. 

I mean do you ever just think? How about for long stretches of time? Well, this thinking-thing is a hobby of mine and has been for as long as I can remember.

my best thinking face 

Sometimes to make this hobby more interesting I'll ask others,  "What are you thinking?"
I am and always will be completely mystified at anyone who responds with a simple "Nothing." 

Actually chances are good that I won't believe you if that's your answer.

Ryan (that's short for "my superhero husband") is well acquainted with this hobby of mine so he no longer ever says, "Nothing." when I ask, "What are you thinking?"

Here's an example from the other night:
Me:"What are you thinking?"
Ry: ________________________ (you can pretty much fill in the blank with whatever husbands say to make their wives blush).

Every once in a while Ry will throw a proverbial curve ball... the other night he asked,"Do you ever think about _______________?" (I actually can't remember exactly what he said)
Me:"No." My quick blunt answer was unsuspected.
Me: "Do you ever think about how we are going to decorate a nursery someday?" (No I'm not pregnant, no I don't know when we are going to have kids. Yes everyone I know and their dog are having kids and yes perhaps I frequent Pinterest so perhaps that's why I was thinking about such things...)
Ry: (equally as quick and blunt) "No."

Its night as I write this; I can't sleep. And I'm thinking about that conversation and Noah's Ark, because that's what I imagined I'd decorate a nursery with. Notice the past tense .... I've been reading about Noah in the Bible, and in this book called, Patriarchs and Prophets. Sure I've read it before but I'm just realizing, it's not the happy story one sees plastered in a nursery.

The other day the county that I live in had flood warnings, due to days and days of heavy HEAVY rain. Flood warnings aren't a pleasant thought either.

The good in Noah's story is the same good that is found in my story (and coincidentally your story) and that good is in God's promises.
They're so functional, those promises are, that I suppose they're worth plastering all over a nursery. God's promises are also something to fill your thoughts with.... 

Here's some verses worth thinking about:
Phillipians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

Genesis 9:12-14 "And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,  I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.  Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” 

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

It's time for my scattered thoughts to come to a close... but before they do, may I just remind you that God has a proverbial rainbow for you, no matter the storm you're facing... God and I promise you that!

God is love,