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Showing posts from January, 2009

But for the grace of God...

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I really dislike that saying. In earlier days, it seemed to tell me that God was the only One who had the power to keep me out of harm's way and He did. Today, well, it seems selfish.

Reading the obituaries first, as only the elderly and nurses do, I came across the face of a friend. Lyle struggled to recovery and due to a withdraw seizure, the end of his life was warped by a head injury and chain smoking. It was hard to see him. Really hard. He was in rehab about the time we were and we played cards with him and his wife for the first year or so. We lost touch as he relapsed and then would hear bits and pieces, here and there. When our lives intersected again because of my husband's job, we went to their house for dinner, but it was not the same. He recognized us as one thinks he sees something in the shadows. He repeated himself frequently. He asked for I.D. not believing how old my husband was. It was difficult. The old Lyle was barely there, but tho we recognized his spirit…

Backbone?

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I recently started seeing a chiropractor for my back pain. Altho I had huge misgivings before, at this point I figured what was the worst he could do? To which I would nervously quip that I could end up paralyzed, get a better parking space, and ride around in a scooter with flames airbrushed on it.

My fear had definitely caused me to hold back but I had never been to a chiropractor because I watched other family members seek them out for relief and nothing really seemed to change. What was the point? Until I reached that place of needing relief with nothing to lose.

So, on my first appointment I stepped into this odd hippie/new age office. You were asked to slip off your shoes and leave them at the door. Strong aromatherapy or incense filled my nose. The drone of monks chanting both calmed and startled me. What was I doing? This guy was recommended by someone I trusted...I thought I trusted anyway.

Looking around the office I found Ganesh, Buddha, Quan Yin figures. Of course…

Priorities

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Finally, brothers, 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. Philippians 4:8

Priorities have been on my mind lately.
I have a full, full to the brim with a little splash over kinda, life.
I have been blessed.
But...(always there is a but, isn't there?) I am busy. I am scheduled. I am behind on my readings. I long for prayer time. I am late for bed time. I miss my husband. I want to clean the bathroom.
What???? Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8 I have a lot to do. I have a lot of responsibility. Everything is good in my life, but is it all good for me?
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
I used to spend a lot of time trying to figure…

Church?

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I gotta rant.

A woman recently asked a pastor, "How do we make the church more welcoming to broken people so that we can attract visitors?"

I wanted to scream. I wanted to throw something at her. I wanted to rip the microphone out of his hand and address her.

Instead, I kept my hands to myself and took a deep breath, praying for forgiveness for myself as well as wisdom for this sister, and for all of His church.

Why do we expect pastors to have all the answers? When did the church relinquish its birthright as a priestly people for the bland soup of attendance? Who sold us the idea of needing to market our beliefs rather than live them so that the world is curious about, hopeful in, the difference?

The church is no more or less welcoming then we, the church, are welcoming and loving. We, the believers, are the church, not the brick and dry wall structure. There is nothing more empty than an old abandoned church building. It has no soul because the true Church has left. The edific…

Gratitude List

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I have been working extra, been extra tired, or just been grumpy (or probably grumpy because of those extras in my life).

I get frustrated with my frustration and those moments when I snarl because my mouth bypassed my filter. I become discontent with my abilities to do good, to be kind, to yada yada yada....
Enough!
I don't care about the shoulda, woulda, coulda stuff right now. Today, I am focusing on gratitude.
I am grateful for my back pain because it helps me lean on God's strength and slows me down so that I can pray and study
I am grateful for being tired because it reminds me to rest and let God handle the things He wants to anyway.
I am grateful for the times when I struggle with being broke because it makes me more creative and when I have extra to give it is so very sweet.
I am grateful for the bad times because I know pain and hurt and darkness and God has used that to create connections with others who suffer and give them hope.
I am grateful that I cannot go to school r…

Call me...

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My voice has been very quiet lately. There doesn't seem to be much to say.

God has seemed quiet lately, too. I bet He has lots to say, tho.

If only we weren't trying to communicate thru soup cans...that is how it feels sometimes. He is so far away, so quiet right now, makes me wonder-is the string taut enough?

Have I been in His Word enough? Am I caught up with the pettiness of my world rather than seeking His guidance? Am I setting aside time for Him or is my schedule jam packed so that I speed from one thing to the next and only pray "quickies" in the car? Am I practicing spiritual principles or am I stuck in indifference and intolerance?

These are the questions I ask myself from time to time. There are other questions, I suppose, based on the situation, but these fit best for now. It helps me to consider whether the "string" that connects me to God is taut so that I can hear Him, or perhaps whether I have set my can down, distracted by other thing…

Refuge

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I studied Buddhism for a minute...learned about the 3 refuges-Dharma, Sangha, and Buddha. Christians also have 3 refuges-Scripture, Christian community, and Christ.

I yearn to go to church when I need to hear from You, when I need you desperately. Why, I am not sure since I know no man made structure contains You while you let my heart hold You. Is church simply the place where I can be quiet enough to hear You, where I expect to be able to hear from You, where I let my guard down long enough, feel safe enough?

My New Year Wish

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I desire to love you as You love me.

If only I could love God the way He loves me. Maybe even half as much....a quarter as much....a smidge? Do I trust God's love? I believe He paid the ransom for us, but do I trust it? If I did, would I not throw my whole self to His cause? Would I not abandon all of this life to help others find Him? Would I relish each moment here, knowing He loves me so much, but also despise each moment because I long for my true Love?
I whisper my deepest heart's longings to you in the night. Beyond any broken dreams and brittle insecurities, there is a place of ripened desire, fragrant with love, calling to You in soft melodies. I awaken from my sleep humming these melodies to you. And still, my spirit, pregnant with longing for You, is minuscule when compared to Your love for me. Just the thought fills me with intoxicating reverence. I love You. Clumsily, feebly, I love You! Beloved, my wish for this year, though it is merely a wish, would be that I coul…