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Showing posts from October, 2009

Christian = Stupid?

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In a letter to the editor of our local newspaper, a man wrote that creationists, "to be credible and true to their non-belief in science," should stop driving, seeking medical attention, using phones...etc.

In a movie I was watching with my husband, the only Christian character turned out to be a pompous, stupid, and hypocritical jerk that I would've liked to punch in the head myself.

It makes me wince, tho, that we, as Christians, are seen as stupid and backwards.

Being seen in that light definitely doesn't make any good news we want to tell the world relevant, does it?

I am a "creationist." I do believe in a God who created the world. I do not know His definition of a day, tho I do believe in a sequential creation. I do believe He may have used evolution as a tool, but I do not believe we descended from apes. Sorry.

I can act like a jerk sometimes. Fortunately, I believe in grace. Because I believe in a God of grace, I also try to be gracious to other…

Armchair QB-Rumors of God

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This weekend I visited Victory Church with women from my small group. We had a really peaceful morning of prayer, worship, and then lunch. Though we were strangers just a few years ago, it is amazing, even somewhat sneaky, how these women have become so dear to me.

I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!
I'm sorry—forgive me. I'll never do that again, I promise!
I'll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor."

(Job 42:5-6 MSG)

Pastor Curt spoke about pain this morning. He defined three types of pain:

Messed up world pain- marriages struggle due to self centeredness, children aren't safe from abuse, and physical death
Stupid decision pain- our decisions and choices result in our pain-you reap what you sow-debt, health issues
Enemy driven pain- happens because the devil hates believers or when you are sinned against
What perked my ears up, tho, was the Suburban God Rumor. Simply put, it is the myth that God exi…

Singing for grace.....

Blog Carnival: One Word at a Time

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TRUST:
assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something

I have been thinking a lot about surrender lately. Things have been feeling tough. I was having a lot of headaches. We are making some changes in our life, and the uncertainty makes me feel insecure. In short, I have been out of sorts.
But where surrender comes in is that many of the changes are beyond my influence or control. In fact, there are only a few things that I can control. Most of the time that is okay, but there are moments when it makes me crazy.
Sunday I cried through worship. It is not unusual since I become a grandmother for me to be that emotional. (Some button got pushed by that baby, and I became an emotional woman.) My cry was simply that Father walk with me through these times, that He not leave me. And then this:

"The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."…

Armchair QB

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Before we get into the message, I have a bone to pick with song writers...or maybe it is with the worship leaders who pick the songs...or maybe it is just with the people who robustly sing the praise chorus....either way:
Do we mean the words we sing? St. Augustine said, "He who sings prays twice." Do we think of the words we are singing as prayers or just catchy words that go with a cool beat and geez, we don't want to appear like a dork and not sing....
Sometimes I resent words being put in my mouth, literally, but today as I struggled with the emotions of being back in my home church with my church family...well, being wholly surrendered to God's will seemed a little much.
I desire it, I desire to be relaxed and trusting, but I cannot honestly even say I am "mostly" surrendered. I am still working on it.
But I sang the song because I didn't want to look like a dork. Just kidding... I sang with a heart full of desire and fear, asking her Father to hold he…

Can I get a witness?

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Been thinking about what all this thing is about...

What is church about? What is Christianity about? Is Christianity about the same stuff Christ is? Yeah, you might think I should have some of these answers, and I thought I did, but I am feeling a bit insecure right now, a bit challenged. I thought I knew more answers, the boundaries gave me a nice, safe yard in which to run and play, but now I am wondering if there is something beyond the wire gate that I need to see...
This is a pluralistic society. I work, live, and shop with people who worship a higher being as Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindi, and Buddhist. I cry, laugh and love with people who desire to create their own style of relating to God and those who do not believe in God. My friends are straight, gay, Christians, pagans, God fearers, and sometimes God jeerers. Most are just waiting to get some high pressure, arm twisting, 10 commandment interrogating, conversion speech. Is that how we really witness, tho?
Do we witness or…

Armchair QB

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God has a sense of humor, doesn't He?

This Sunday my husband and I visited a different church, Inner Metro Green. Sounds a little like a golfcourse in the ghetto, but it is actually a missional church plant in Lancaster city. I researched them to see what they believed, how the messages were, what music style. Even so, I have this anxiety about not knowing which door to enter. Makes me not like to try new things. (Pride sucks) So I had to laugh when we got near the church->seemed like EVERY door was open.
The service was very much as I expected, having looked into it pretty thoroughly, but what I didn't expect was communion. What surprised me about this was that every church my husband and I have visited has been celebrating communion on that Sunday, even those that only celebrate monthly. Almost this heavenly embrace to reassure us, "This is My body. You are My body."





And, of course, the message, was "right on time" as well. Text is Genesis 12.
The offici…

For Melissa

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I got a text message yesterday from Dad. Ok, God didn't press send, but my friend Melissa did. She knows this week has been hard. Changes, death, fear...


"Keep looking into My eyes. U r walking on water with Me."

I had forgotten I stepped out of the boat. I had forgotten I was walking toward Him, with Him. The waves and the wind distracted me.

Wonder if that is how Peter began to sink also...

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It is so easy to lose focus, isn't it?
This being the 10th month, my recovery group is studying the 10th step-We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Complacency is our enemy. We feel like we have arrived somewhere, and we take a break. Life gets busy, and we let some chores go. Then, well, something happens...something hits the fan...someone hits the fan...everything is suddenly wrong and all mixed up.
What I suffer from, more than anything, is being a control freak who is powerless. I forget that sometimes. I forget that the …

Where are we going?

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Do you ever wonder?
Last night as I gathered with my dear friends, one has been to her grandfather's funeral, another one is experiencing the death of a relationship, we are all struggling to adjust changes within our church. Things are not as we expected. The road up ahead is foggy and visibility is poor. We are moving slow, cautious and apprehensive, worried we will make a wrong turn.
The odd part is that we never know what is up ahead, but sometimes we are more bothered by it. The only thing that has changed, tho, is our perspective. If things happen that are hurtful or create fear, we suddenly worry about what the future holds because there must be more hurtful and dangerous things ahead, we reason. However, if we are having a good time and life is calm with pleasant surprises, we are excited at what the future holds. We do not worry about God's plans because we trust they must also be good.
Thankfully, Father is not like us, fickle and changing. Altho it is difficult to unde…

Let's Join the Obedience Canival!

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My blogger friend Peter is having an obedience carnival. Unfortunately there are no funnel cakes or lemonade to enjoy while you read, so just pretend your coffee and toast is more exciting than it is.
If you have been reading the Armchair QB posts, you know we are studying the book of Proverbs in church. Sometimes, looking at all the "shoulds" is very frustrating. I think we all want to be more than we are.
The piece of obedience that I have been looking at, gnawing on, twisting to find the best angle, is how to be who I am, who my Father made me to be.
I want to be good. I want to be articulate. I want to be needed, indispensable. I want to be loved by many. I want to be admired. I want to be memorable.
Somehow, trying to live the principles of my faith has almost become a contradiction to those things.
I need to be less. I need to elevate others. I need to be quiet. I need to be supportive. I need to be content rather than ambitious. I need to be loving rather than loved.
This …

What kinda fool are you?

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I don't know about you, but the book of Proverbs can be a bit depressing for me.

I know all my faults, ok-no elbowing me!, most of my faults...there may be a few lurking that I haven't acknowledged yet...but I don't always know how to DO better. I tried for years to fix me on my own-to quit smoking, to be nicer, to become more graceful, to have neater penmanship (ok, that one I have done). Fixing me just isn't that easy.

Pastor George described 3 types of fools found in Proverbs-
Simple one: basically a gullible follower whose life choices depend on the crowd he hangs withGarden-variety Fool: closed-minded, self-centered person Mocker: scornful, prideful jerkGULP! Which one am I?What I appreciated is that he also pointed out people don't plan to set out on a journey to be a fool. How many times has a friend approached you for advice on how to become a more self-centered jerk? I have never had that experience, either.But what I have experienced is the challenge o…