Musings of a Super Girl | Archives 5
101. I am sometimes overcome with grief. Grief for things gone and grief for things to come. I can get stuck in this odd pendulum of mourning the past and the future. For example: My son just played his last football season. I will never again get to see him play the game I’ve spent the last 7 years watching him play. I know that the sadness comes from not only the end of that era, but also the realization that this particular ending brought us one step closer to the end of another era; he graduates high school this spring. So I mourn both endings, one that hasn’t happened yet and one that has.
We tend to do this in quite a few situations from the seemingly frivolous to the big and scary. It doesn’t matter if it was or will be a good thing or bad thing, we are frozen there. We get stuck in this bizarre swing of emotion because of it. We become paralyzed for fear the ending will come sooner if we move. We are bogged down by the memory of the thing past, good or bad.
My brother and I were discussing this state this morning. He said this, “I should be hoping and looking forward to the good times I haven't experienced yet.”
We all should.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:30-31
Whatever it is we are grieving from the past, good or bad, our strength will be renewed. Whatever it we are grieving for the future, we will soar on wings like eagles.
And now, I can see that what is yet to come is the next big adventure. Bring it on!
February 5, 2015
102. If you rearrange the letters properly, there is an “I” and a “Me” in marriage. No arrangement of the letters can make “We” or “Us”. Yet that is what marriage is about. It is the two of us. That means that we have to work harder and use more creativity to get “We” and “Us” out of marriage.
Take Genesis 2:24, for example, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” One flesh, one being. There is only one of us.
I know it defies our sense of independence. Our cultural scream of “I AM UNIQUE!” The idea that we are more than just glorified roommates does not jive with our entitlement syndrome. We assume that the blending of two into one erases us, takes away our self. And we don’t like that. It’s why we see so many divorces.
It would be so very easy to put my own whims above his. Especially because he finds it difficult to tell me no, except for my request for a savannah cat. It would be really easy for him to do the same to me. This is where the “We” and “Us” come back in to the equation.
Marriage isn’t about me. It’s about us. Does this mean that I give up who I am and disappear into this “We” thing? Not at all. The reality is that I am still me. Matthew (my husband) is still him. But we are one. We each bring something to this mixture of marriage that created a whole new being. I am the chaos to his structure. He is the logic to my emotion. He likes numbers, I like words. When I make rules, he’s my enforcer. The list can go on and on. Separately, we’re pretty cool. Together, we are a force to be reckoned with. We can do anything and take anything on.
Honestly, it’s actually pretty easy to blend into one. All it takes is realizing that apart, you’re pretty nifty, but together you are fortress.
February 12, 2015
103. The other day a friend dropped by unannounced. We ended up talking until I was really pushing the limits of time to get bathed and get to class. So I hopped in the shower, got dressed, and then picked up the conversation where we left off. End result, I ditched class and spent the day with my friend, cleaning my kitchen, making granola, and watching Jimmy Fallon clips.
That could be classified as a wasted day, but it wasn’t.
We spent the day laughing, whining about our problems, lifting each other up, and just enjoying each other’s company. We needed it. We needed a break from the daily trudge. Get up, get everybody out the door on time, get to work, come home from work, fix dinner, watch some TV, go to bed. Rinse and repeat. Then there’s all the stress that goes on during each activity, or the mind numbing boredom. Even the smiley times during the daily routine can get bogged down by the blah of it all.
I can’t help but think that, as friends, we are letting each other down. We let each other slide into the mediocre humdrum of “adult” life. We compare stories about how meh our days are and cheer each other up with, “That’s life.”
What we should be doing is lifting each other up. I don’t mean we need to walk around shouting, “YOU GOT THIS, GIRLFRIEND!” What we need to be doing is drop in and urge our friend to do something silly with us, break the cycle. Go to the park and push each other on the swings like when you were little (just please remember that some of us are too old to jump out of the swing). Go for a drive and moo at the cows when you go past, or go around the round-about as many times as traffic lets you get away with. Hit the farmers’ markets wearing stupid hats. Put on evening wear and take your daughters to the mall. Have a Green Machine drag race. Anything you want, just do it!
Create memories, inside jokes, and side splitting laughter.
“This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24
February 19, 2015
104. My husband was rocking the kipping pull ups when his hands slipped off the bar. He landed with a loud smack on the concrete floor.
My youngest leapt up and grabbed the cross bar of a hotel luggage cart and pulled it down on top of himself. He hit the ground with a splat and an “oof”.
My oldest tried run when the wrought iron gate jumped its track and I lost my grip. It caught him across the shoulders and bounced him a couple of times on the ground before he finally lay still underneath it with a whimper.
My little girl looked both ways then stepped out into the road. She was promptly hit by a pickup truck. She was knocked to her back and lay there breathless.
My sister missed the top step and went head over heels back down to the bottom. The basement floor greeted her with a resounding crack.
We all have stories like these. Something unforeseen happens and you hear a crunch, a crack, or a thud, and the world stops for just a moment. Even the air stands still while your brain struggles to understand what just occurred. And then everything snaps back. You fight to contain the panic raising up in your throat, to keep the fear from taking control. Helplessness combats the instinct to save the injured one.
When the world snapped back into place for me, my husband was still on the ground. The nurses we work out with were already on their knees by his head and at his side, hands on his body and cradling his head to keep him from moving. They gently asked him some questions and then rolled him to his back. These beautiful ladies proceeded to check for concussion and broken bones. Thank God neither were present, but they sent us to the ER anyway. Chest wall contusions was the diagnosis. Easily mended.
The other accidents I mentioned? They all ended in serious but not grave injury. Bed rest, pain medication, and in one case, surgery, were all that were required. All of them have a scar or two, but all are whole.
What if those stories all had nothing to do with physical injury but, rather, were spiritual injury? Why do we not feel the same panic for those whose souls are crying out in pain? Why does the lump of fear not raise in our throats? Why do we lash out at them instead of, like the nurses taking care of my husband, treat them gentleness and love? These injuries are just as easily remedied as broken and bruised bones.
We know of God’s wrath. We know of His anger at our disobedience. And we use this as tool to reach out to the broken and bleeding. Where is the healing? They already know His displeasure.
For God so LOVED the world. The greatest of these is LOVE. Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? We are more than conquerors through him who LOVED us.
Next time, most likely today, we see an injured spirit, let’s get on our knees, and cradle them. Let us be gentle while we seek the wound that needs healing. And let us LOVE them into salvation.
“We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
February 26, 2015
105. I’m off to meet with an advisor from the Department of Education at BSU this morning. Yesterday was filled with doctor appointments, missed class, Math, and just running, running, running. I’m stressing out over here.
While I was dealing with the required mommy stuff this morning, I kept hearing this:
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Do that today. Regardless of what is going on, give it all to Him. It may not make the running any less, the stress levels may still be present. But give it to Him anyway. He’ll get you through it. He’ll raise you above it.
He cares for you.
March 5, 2015
106. I have this scream that’s just for my kids; my scream is both encouragement (as in, “You got this!”) and pride (as in, “You did it!”). When I watched Kid 3 play football you could hear me screaming, “REEEEEEED!” When Kid 4 runs out on the mats you will hear me screaming, “REEEEEEED!” When Kid 1 started his own business, Kid 2 went back to school, and Kid 5 plays a chess tournament, the “REEEEEEED!” scream is bouncing around the inside of my head (only because it’s socially unacceptable at those particular times to scream it out loud).
Truth be told, I’m so very, very proud of my children. The kind of proud that brings tears to my eyes when I watch them leave it all on whatever field they’re playing on. They’re not perfect; I know their lumps, bumps, and warts. But dang it, they’re mine and they’re fighting against the odds the world throws against them.
“And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:17
Of course, Jesus was perfect, it was easy to love him and be proud of him. But his life here started with a difficult course. I can imagine God screaming, “JEEEEESUS!” at every obstacle thrown against him. I can imagine the kind of pride Jesus’s Father had when he trudged up that hill, broken and bleeding. “YOU GOT THIS SON!” I can imagine the pride God had in His son when finally he lifted his head and said, “It is finished.”
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” – Galatians 3:26-27
We are His children. That scream of pride and encouragement, that’s for us.
Kelly (Reed) Heuer
March 12, 2015
107. My dearest Alice:
I will call you Al, you will call me Betty. Someday I will show you Paul Simon’s video. Every day I will sing the song to you. Especially the part about Betty being the bodyguard. Because I will be your bodyguard.
I will stuff you full of candy and give you back to your mom.
I will brush the hair out of your sleeping face.
I will sing you ridiculous songs.
I’ll let your Aunt Sam teach you how to belch better than the big boys. Your Uncle James will teach you how to walk it off, rub some dirt on it, and make them bleed. Uncle Jordan will help you build pen rockets. Uncle Jonathan (or if, like your mom, you can’t say it, Tantany) will turn you into a programmer and a hockey player.
I will hold you, snuggle you, kiss your booboos, and teach you how to climb trees.
You and I will play in the mud, dance in the rain, and eat corn on the cob.
Like Uncle Jonathan, you will be my guinea pig. I’ve never done this grandma thing before.
I’ll let you be a pretty princess or an intergalactic warrior, whichever you prefer.
Because I love you, I’ll watch Disney movies with you. Not because I like them, but because I like you.
I’ll show you just how awesome it is to be a nerd. Your family is built on nerdom. We are math and science nerds, book nerds, tech nerds, art nerds. Every last one of us. You will be too. I’ll help you find your nerd realm, and then we’ll make a dork flag for you to fly high and proud.
I’ll teach you every day that scars are awesome.
When you fall, once I’ve determined that you’re ok, I’ll laugh.
I will remind you with every breath that you are a gift.
I will teach you that you are a Beloved Daughter. You are bound for greater things than any of us can imagine.
I will teach you the depth of our Father’s love for you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb. – Psalm 139:13
I can’t wait to meet you, Al. You’re already my favorite.
March 19, 2015
108. Driving west out of Idaho into Oregon, the interstate generally follows the old Oregon Trail route. Oregon does a great job of marking the old trail and it is fun to follow it along as you drive the interstate. What is amazing about the trail is that even after over 150 years since its use, it is still visible – the grass is a different color, ruts still run deep, and hardly any sage brush grows in its path – even without the trail marker stakes, you can usually tell where the trail is! We Christians take a path in this life that is different than the world. Can others tell where we’ve been? Has the life of Jesus “fertilized” our path so that we leave a trail behind – one that lasts well beyond our lifetimes?
March 26, 2015
Used by permission from Truth in Love Ministry (www.tilm.org)
109. I was sound asleep this morning when my husband called me on his break. He gently talked me out of my slumber and then jolted me awake with the announcement of how much more was being taken out of his paycheck in taxes; I had just reconciled myself to the last round of hikes. I'll admit, I threw a full blown fit that included blaming one of my best friends because she voted for the guy that put this in motion. But this isn't about who's politics are right and who's are wrong, nor is it a whine.
In Matthew 22 the Pharisees try to trap Jesus by asking if they should pay taxes. He responds to their question by asking them one, “Who's picture is it on the coin?”
“Caesar's,” they respond.
“So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
Fine, I can do that. I can give our current Caesar what he's demanding. But now I'm left struggling with how we're going to survive on so little when our budget was already stretched tight. What do we do now? Can you sense the panic causing my voice to rise?
Guess what? There's an answer for that too.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God...”
I know that God is in control. I know all the Sunday school answers and still the fear lingers. The little whisper in the back of my mind keeps telling me that we're going to drown any moment now. And here we go again.
Let's recap shall we?
Give to Caesar: Check!
Freak out: Check!
Be still: Can I do a half check?
What's still missing? I can tell you exactly. Just like Peter stepping out of the boat, taking a few steps on the water and then sinking, I am of little faith, I doubt. But remember the part where Jesus reached in and saved Peter anyway? Yeah, that's what I was missing.
It's not just taxes. There are plenty of other areas that cause me to freak out and doubt, to be of little faith. I'm pretty sure you have them too. But just like he did for Peter, our God will reach out and save us.
April 16, 2015
110. Today’s musing is from another Super Girl in Christ. We are delighted to have this insightful thought for the day…
I have always imagined the crossing of the Jordan to be no more than a creek with large stones in it and the walled up water gradually grew to the height of a man. How wrong I was!
God gave the people three days to prepare their hearts for a miracle and they got a big one. The Jordan is described as "squirming frantically, burrowing madly, and seeking wildly to escape". The Jordan snakes its way from the Sea of Galilee 60 miles to the Dead Sea but it takes 200 miles to do it. The river is in a valley with a smaller valley inside next to the river. This crossing happened in spring when the river was running at flood stage (we know this from Joshua 4:18). Snow in the mountains and spring rains flood the river every year. The gap that God opened and dried for the people was many miles wide, over 10. So even with 2 million people they could cross rather quickly.
Imagine the bird's eye view of this event. The people of Canaan must have been terrified as this swarm of people like hornets entered their land. The Lord uses this event to elevate Joshua in the eyes of the people. God uses this miracle in other ways too. It was not just to keep feet dry. Remember Rahab said the people knew about this nation that walked through the Red Sea 40 years ago. God proved He had not left His people, nor lost any of His power.
Joshua 4:24: He did this so that all peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.
April 30, 2015
111. So I graduated. It’s “just” my AA in Liberal Arts, but I graduated. From here I’ll be moving on to Boise State University and getting dual degrees in Spanish and Secondary Ed. But for now, I graduated. It’s the first time in my life that I heard Pomp and Circumstance and it was playing for me. So even though it’s “just” an AA, I graduated.
After I got my diploma holder, walked across the stage, stopped and took a selfie (on stage) with my friend, I sat down in my spot completely stunned. This actually happened. I couldn’t believe it. Then the ceremony was over, our professors lined the aisle, and we were ushered through. Several of my professors found me and gave me hugs. Two of them turned me into a blubbering mess: my chemistry professor and my math professor (the one I’d been with for 3 semesters). Both of these men taught me the two subjects I was sure I’d fail, both men showed me that even though their subjects are not my cup of tea, I could excel at them, and both men cheered me on. Then I walked out of the arena and there was my family, huge grins in place, waiting to hug me too.
Why am I telling you this? Partly because I’m super proud of myself, partly because I learned something valuable from my family, and partly because these guys taught me more than their subjects and I want to share it with it you.
My family is proud of me. My children didn’t understand/accept that I thought I couldn’t do it. They cheered me on, distracted me, helped me with homework, and never once doubted my ability even when I did. My husband helped me with my math until the level I was at was beyond him, then he tried to help me sort through the confusing instructions so that I could finish my homework; he also failed to accept my thought that I wouldn’t make it.
My math and chemistry professors very patiently explained things to me. Even when I told them that I thought their subjects were magical, as in flying monkey magic. One day my chemistry professor told me that the language of science can be a beast. I responded, “Yep. As in the mark of…” He laughed and explained in little words what I missing. My math professor started using Buzz Lightyear and TMNT to help me understand the concepts. They too failed to accept my belief that I couldn’t get it.
What all of them showed me was this: I can do it. With help, I can do anything.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
Whatever we are doing, whether we are going to school, fighting cancer, struggling through grief, or just trying to make it through today, do not fear. He is with you. He is your God. He will strengthen and help you. He will uphold you.
Find those people who refuse to believe you when you think you can go no further. Be that person for someone else. God uses us to show us that promise in Isaiah is true.
May 14, 2015
112. Harped on. Berated. Made to feel less than. Criticized. Put down. Made to feel worthless.
Have you ever felt that way? Has anyone ever made you feel that way? Before you answer, I’m not talking about the kind of stuff that can be fixed by having coffee with a friend or taking a long soak in the tub. I’m talking about the kind of stuff that makes you know, deep down in your bones, that you are absolutely, unequivocally worthless. Have you ever been made to feel that way? If you have, you know that you can never really shake that nagging voice in the back of your head that tells you it’s true. It doesn’t matter how confident you become after that kind of emotional beating, the worthlessness clings to your subconscious heart and whispers its truth every time you let your guard down.
I can’t sing, let alone hear the title of the song, “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love” without feeling at least a little angry. I get angry because it’s not true. They don’t know we are Christians by our love. We won’t sell to them because they are gay. We look down our noses at them because they are in prison. We sneer at them because they are alcoholics. We piously march on to heaven and leave the filthy, nasty sinners rotting behind us. And boy do we let them know how truly worthless they are.
While we walk our straight and narrow path spouting John 3:16, our actions show them Jonah. We treat them like he treated the Ninevites. We have forgotten that we too were once dead in our sin; probably because our sin wasn’t as bad theirs. After all, we only thought about punching that girl, we didn’t actually do it. We only sometimes think of bad things, there’s no follow through. We’re not like that sinner over there, we proudly stand on our soap boxes and declare our superiority.
Is it any wonder they mock us? We are the goats, not the sheep Jesus was talking about. We, in our self-righteous pride, can’t even see that. They want nothing to do with us because we have made them feel the depth of our disgust. We have judged them, without recognizing that we are guilty as well.
“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? – Romans 2:1-4
When we get up from the pew, our witness begins. God gave us jobs, businesses, and friends to bless us and so that we can bless others. By standing staunchly in our self-righteousness and refusing to see that we too are sinners, that we too need a savior, we are robbing them of the forgiveness we bask in. We are making them believe they are worthless, the kind of worthless I spoke of at the beginning. Is it any wonder they are rebelling against us?
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” – James 2:10
Serve them, love them, and speak the truth to them. Only the truth sets us free and only speaking it in love makes us hear it.
June 11, 2015
113. I woke up this morning to hear the terrible news that a shooting happened last night at a Charleston church. The police are calling it a hate crime. I would agree, as I’m sure most of you do. I can’t imagine a scenario where it would be considered anything else. My instinct is to send the full force of my loathing after the man who did it. But that is not what we are to do.
Many will ask, as with all violent crime, “Where was God?” They will ask it especially now since this happened at a church. I tell you, God was there. He wrapped His arms around his people and took them home. He stayed the hand of the shooter so that more did not die. God continues to be there. He’s holding those who are hurting, confused, and terrified. He’s not there the way we so many times think He should be. We want a hero to come in, guns blazing, and save us from the terror.
As we pray throughout the day for the families of those who were killed, those who were injured, and those who witnessed this terrible thing, let’s also pray for the gunman and his family. Let us pray for peace for all involved. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in our prayers for this situation.
“Lord, we ask you today to be with the families and victims of this terrible thing. We ask you to be with the man who is so awfully confused that he felt this was the only way for him. We ask you to bring peace to the hurting and healing to the injured.
"Lord, we ask you to guide our prayers so that, in our anger and confusion, we do not ask you for sinful things.
"Lord, we don’t understand why these things happen to your people. We don’t understand why you didn’t stop this man at the door. We ask you to give us clarity, to give us understanding. If it isn’t ours to understand, we ask that you give us comfort.
"This we pray in Jesus name. Amen.”
June 18, 2015
114. One of the things I’ve noticed over the last couple of days is our inability to combat inaccuracies about the Bible. For example, I saw a post that contained the statement, “These verses are going to drive conservatives crazy,” and the following post was about Romans 13:1-2. We are able to read these verses, and all the verses in context, and know that there really is nothing to go crazy (conservative or liberal Christian) about; we are subject to the laws of the land unless they go against God’s will.
God’s will is easily seen in scripture. He’s not mysterious. We know that homosexual AND heterosexual sin are against his will. There are plenty of scriptures that point this out to us. We also know that, in spite of popular opinion, the Bible defines marriage as one man and one woman. So far, I assume, I’m not telling you anything new.
Here’s the part where it gets tricky for us: the misuse of the scriptures about love. “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “the greatest of these is love” are the ones I see the most. What does it mean to love your neighbor? What does it mean that the greatest of these is love? To use the story of the adulteress and the Pharisees, these verses mean that we should not throw rocks at each other; literally or figuratively.
Somebody left a comment for me once that said, “I’d rather offend them into heaven than love them into hell.” Here’s the thing: WE HAVE OFFENDED THEM INTO HELL! Not the other way around. We can take all those Bible verses that say that this or that is wrong and beat the living daylights out of the nonbeliever with them or we can use those same verses to love on them.
Welcome ALL of the sinners into your businesses and homes, serve them all. Love them. Jesus did. He stayed with Zaccheus, Matthew was a tax collector, let an adulteress wash his feet, hung out with a woman who’d had five husbands and was living with another… The list of the horrible, awful people Jesus hung out with is long.
That list includes me. He hangs out with me. It includes you too.
Know the Bible, know what it says about sexual immorality, know what it says about marriage, know what it says about all sin. But, most importantly, know what it says about love and forgiveness, know that we need it because we are not perfect, know that they need us now more than ever. They need HIM, more than ever. So invite them into your homes, your businesses, and lives. Love them.
July 2, 2015
115. God gave me this talent to create stuff. Give me a handful of mismatched beads and I’ll make you an oddly cool necklace. Tell me you have cardboard and coffee cans and I’ll tell you how to make a nifty cupcake stand. If you hand me a bunch of sharpies and a poster board, I’ll make you an awesome sign.
The problem is that I don’t listen. I forget to listen to God telling me that I’m actually capable of doing this, whatever “this” is. So I do all these things with a voice in the back of my head telling me that I’m not actually good enough. And then I pray, asking God why I’m not better at the tasks He’s given me to do.
Several years ago I learned how to make beaded jewelry as a distraction from the distress surrounding my family. Now I don’t need a pattern, I can look at purple and green and brown beads and figure out how to turn them into something other than a mess on my counter. I’ve sold some at craft shows, but not much, just enough to fuel my hobby (and the kitchen island coup de grace I stage when the creativity hits). I’ve often heard the voice in my head and the voices of my family telling me I should turn this into a business.
The problem is that I don’t listen. I forget that these voices are God telling me that I’m actually capable of this.
A few months ago I got an email about a local Friday night concert series; they needed vendors and wanted to know if I’d be interested. They got my name from a friend that I haven’t seen or talked to in a very long time. I thought it was silly that my friend recommended me, I figured I didn’t have what it takes since this is happening at a high end shopping/entertainment center. Then, one night, another friend looked at the collection of jewelry I have sitting and collecting dust in my nerd room and asked, “Where do you sell this? I want to buy some.”
I listened. “Fine, God, I hear you.”
My father-in-law, woodworker extraordinaire, and I have a vendor tent at the event. I’ve taken care of all the business-y stuff , including getting a temporary DBA. If all goes well, I’ll make the DBA permanent.
The point of telling you this isn’t to toot my own horn. Hopefully you’ll see those areas where you really do have talent, a gift from God, and listen. He’s telling you that you can do this, you can use this.
I’m not sure how my gift for making stuff is in His plan to use me, but He’s certainly made it clear that it somehow is. I am sure of this, though, God gives us gifts, talents, and desires. He gives us these things for our entertainment, our pleasure, and our ministry. He equips us to be in front of people, talking, and He has given us that moment of ministry.
Ministry isn’t Bible thumping. It isn’t parading a list of sins. It isn’t using a megaphone to announce who we think going to hell. Ministry is hanging out in a vendor tent, talking to people, showing them what love looks like. It’s cheering your kid on at a sport event or chess match. Ministry is listening when God puts you in front of others.
Now the problem is that I’m listening. Pray for me while I take this leap of faith. I’m praying for you in yours. “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13
July 9, 2015
116. On whatever social media we see, mixed in with cat memes, BuzzFeed videos, and Some e Cards, there are snide remarks about Christians. I’m sure you’ve all seen them too. Our response to this seems to be screaming, “The atheists are coming! The atheists are coming!” as we run about in panic and doom.
“… In this world you will have trouble.”
That’s a promise. It’s not one of the fun promises God made us, but it is a promise nonetheless. He told us it would get rough for us. He told us it wouldn’t be easy.
“They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Another promise. Still not fun. Still not easy. I’ve seen this one. A child becomes a Christian, the parents and siblings mock and reject her, and the family is thrown into turmoil. Have you seen it? Maybe you’ve experienced it firsthand.
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
Again, a no fun promise. Jesus didn’t come to sit around the campfire singing Kumbaya. Jesus came to end the war. And He made us His warriors.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God… the belt of truth buckled around your waist… the breastplate of righteousness… feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace… take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one… the helmet of salvation… and the sword of the Spirit”
One final promise as we head out to the front lines. “Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
July 16, 2015
117. Our Super Girl, Kelly, is off taking her fierce tribe of a youth group on a mission to the great Pacific Northwest. We pray Godspeed their travels and God’s blessings on their work.
So while she’s off wearing her super cape to parts unknown, we’d like to tell you who “Super Girl” really is.
Pssst, please stop what you’re doing and tip toe up to anything that gives a reflection.
See that woman with skin the warm colors of silky cream to darkest chocolate,
with eyes red from losing sleep meeting the needs of her loved ones,
wrinkles from laughing,
wrinkles from crying
gray strands refusing to lay quiet,
rumpled clothes from running errands in the heat…
Yes, you are Super Girl! And you, Super Girls, have your own musings to tell. You have stories of God’s faithfulness, protection, healing and wisdom. You have stories of God’s love.
Can we get a witness?
“…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
Lord, for each and every woman who reads this post, we ask that You bless her beyond measure in all the work she does in Your Name. Amen!
July 30, 2015
118. I’m kind of on sensory overload. I had outpatient surgery and left my job of ten years a couple of weeks ago, left a couple days after that on a weeklong youth group mission trip, came home to a lot of company and a busted washing machine, and now I’m gearing up to go camping with my sister. When we get back from camping, it’s time to gear up for school. All of these things are good things, but they can be overwhelming.
Tuesday night we had a youth group committee meeting; the opening devotion was on Mary and Martha. My niece read me her daily devotion yesterday, it was about being still and knowing He is God. These were nice, but unheeded, reminders. Last night my internet disappeared. Today I got seriously riled at the customer service people for the lack of helpfulness and dropped calls.
Be still, Kelly, be still. Take a moment and breathe. Keep in mind that while all this is going on, He is God. While I’m running around and doing the things that need to be done, don’t lose focus on Him.
Deep breath. Here we go. Let’s do this.
August 6, 2015
119. One of the Youth Group members said that he didn’t have time to come and help out with stuff because he goes to school, has practice, and has a job. One might be tempted to let him off the hook. I mean, he is busy. But I simply reminded him that his busyness is nothing special. I go to school, raise a family, and, up until a few weeks ago, I had a job. In all of that I still found time to teach Bible study, sit on the Youth Group Committee, and be an active participant. This also is nothing special, we’re all busy.
Life doesn’t slow down. It’s a sprint from beginning to end. There are moments when we can stop for a sec, take a breather, grab a glass of water, and then we’re back to the race. From the surface it seems pointless. What’s the point of all this running about only to fall exhausted into bed every night?
Paul, also a very busy person, said, “Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.” (1 Cor. 9:26)
What was he running for? What was he chasing after?
“…They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Cor. 9:25)
When the running gets to be too much, ask yourself why you’re doing it. Are you trying for a crown of pyrite or gold? If it turns out it’s just glitter and not precious, let it go. Race after the end, race to the prize.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Cor. 9:24)
The prize, by the way, is heaven.
August 27, 2015
120. “The end is nigh!”
“The polar ice caps are melting and the entire earth will flood!”
Or other such nonsense is uttered on a regular basis. We see it posted by slacktivists on Facebook, see it in the news, and watch movies that are centered on it. There are any number of ways that we hear about climate change and there are just as many myths surrounding it.
The environmentalists take a Chicken Little approach and race around telling us that the sky is falling. The Christians heard them say the earth was going to flood and stopped listening because we know that’s not true. Then there are those people who sit somewhere in the middle and just don’t do anything either because they are overwhelmed or because they’ve grown numb.
What is the truth? The truth is that we are causing change in our global climate. The truth is that we do need to do something about it. The truth is that we need not panic. God is in control.
Speaking of God, what did he tell us about our responsibility to this world He made for us?
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Genesis 1:26
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15
Whether or not we believe that climate change is real, are we really taking care of the home our Father gave us?
September 3, 2015
121. I’ve been obligated by the university to take a Foundational Studies course. My husband calls it my Tolerance Class. At first I thought it was just going to be one of those classes that I would have to grit my teeth and bear it. Now I’m starting to see that it’s not about tolerance, it’s about awareness of the world around us. My professor isn’t trying to change our minds, he’s simply trying to give us more information to form our opinions with. One thing I keep asking myself is how this relates to my faith.
Questions such as, “Am I pro-birth or pro-life?”, “Did Jesus call us to be activists?”, “Are my views due to Biblical standards or Christian tradition?”. One thing I am certain of is that we are definitely required to do more than show up and occupy our staked out pew space. We are told to care for the fatherless and the widowed; in other words, the helpless. We are told to anoint the heads of the sick with oil and pray for them. We are told to stand, unwavering, in our conviction; even if that means personal harm or imprisonment.
Are we willing to do that? Or are we still offended that we are no longer able to simply coast in the belief that we are a Christian nation?
Jesus never promised us a life filled with sunshine and butterflies (John 16:33). He never promised us a cut-and-dry line between sinner and saint (Matthew 7:21-23). He warned us of the danger of resting on our laurels (Revelation 3:15-16). He tells us to be careful that our words and actions line up (Matthew 12:33-37).
I don’t bring these things up to discourage you. I bring them up so that we, as God’s children, can be more fruitful, so that we can sift through this ever changing world. We weren’t called to be comfortable, we were called to get out of our chairs and proclaim the gospel. I’m still trying to figure out what my role is in this ever changing world that has always desperately needed God, yet turns a collective back to Him.
I’m praying that we find the answer soon. I pray that we are able to proclaim His love loudly, that we are never silenced; and if we are, I pray that we have the strength to ignore the laws of man that would close our mouths.
We can do all things through Him who strengthens us. This, therefore, is not beyond our reach.
September 24, 2015
122. This morning I woke up with To God Be the Glory on an eternal loop in my head. I know exactly why that’s the song in my head. I read too much bad news, I’m stressed out about school, I worry about my kids, I keep forgetting to defrost something for dinner, can’t think of anything to teach my Sunday school class this week…
To God be the glory. Great things He hath done.
Did you know that Fanny Crosby, the author of this hymn, was blinded by her doctor at just a few weeks old? And her father died when she was about one year old. When her mother tried to sympathize with her, Fanny told her that she wouldn’t accept it if she was offered her sight back. She told her mother that the first face she would ever see would be Jesus’s.
And I sit here and freak out about things like forgetting to pull the chicken out of the freezer for dinner.
That song is playing through my mind because I’ve temporarily lost my focus. It happens to all of us. I pray that this song gets stuck in your head too.
1. To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the lifegate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he hath done!
2. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
3. Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done,
and great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son;
but purer, and higher, and greater will be
our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.
October 1, 2015
123. After my last class of the day yesterday I managed to end up in the room alone with my professor as we packed up our things. She and I chatted about random things before she said to me, “Hey Kelly, you know how the Bible starts, right?” I immediately responded with, “In the beginning…” I have to admit, I was a bit confused about where she was going with this. She smiled, knowing the look on my face meant that I hadn’t followed her down this particular rabbit hole. “The Bible starts with a verb. The Bible is a verb.” Did I mention she’s my Spanish grammar professor?
She’s right. The Bible is a verb, it is action. Action is demanded of us.
Think about baptism. God can save us without it, but He has given us an action to complete.
Faith without works is dead.
Go into all the world teaching, baptizing, making disciples…
Love each other.
Care for the weak and helpless.
The Bible is full of action. God gave us things to do, not because He needs us to do them, but because we need to do things.
We may now be living in a post-Christian nation. What are we doing about that? Is our faith dead or are we putting it into motion? Are we teaching and baptizing or are we whining and moaning about our situation?
The church has always grown in the face of adversity. This environment we find ourselves in today is not devastating, it’s exhilarating. We believe in a verb, we are a verb. So, let’s go do it!
After all, the promise that we’ve got this is a verb. “I can DO all things through him who strengthens me.”
October 8, 2015
124. The world, not just the US, is suffering from a culture of death. This includes controversial topics such as abortion and euthanasia, the abjectly wrong such as ISIS, and the seemingly benign like television and video games. We have become so inundated with violent death that we have become numb to it. This has created a situation where we are oblivious to the suffering around us.
This culture of death has made us unable to truly comprehend the cross. Jesus’s sacrifice is no longer shocking to us. His suffering is no worse than anything we see on Criminal Minds. We are blind. And that’s just us Christians. What does the unbeliever see when they see the cross? Do they see bottomless love? Or do they see just another gruesome picture?
We, as a Christ body, need to work towards bringing the truth about the cross, the truth about what actually happened there, back into focus.
For God so loved the world… even those we would deem unworthy… that he gave his only son.
October 15, 2015
125. “Sin is a misdemeanor in the eyes of the world unless you’re found out, then it is a capital crime.”
I don’t remember where I read that, but the truth of the statement has stuck with me for a long time. We tend to treat sin and its perpetuation as a misdemeanor; as long as we’re not found out, it’s no biggie. But the moment anybody else finds out what we did we are sentenced to shame, disgust, and comments whispered as we pass.
We cast our sideways, judge filled gazes at those who have been found out to be a (gasp) sinner. We become offended and behave as though it is we who have been betrayed, as though we were the ones who sacrificed our bodies and souls on the cross. We wonder what they were thinking, not keeping their wrong doing nicely hidden away as though every day is a Sunday with its plastered smiles covering up the guilt.
This is wrong.
Our sins were forgiven long before we ever committed them. They were forgiven before others became aware of them. Our sin hung on a cross, broken and bleeding. Yet, somehow, we still think it’s appropriate to play a version of keep-away with that salvation, the soothing balm on hurting souls.
“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” – Psalm 51:5
All of them are capital crimes. From day one we have committed acts that deserve the death penalty. Next time we find out the egregious act of another, let’s remember that long before we knew, they were forgiven, just as we were. Next time, let’s wrap our arms around the hurting and pull them close. Let’s create a church where we don’t have to hide.
For God so loved the world. We should too.
October 22, 2015