Monday, August 27, 2012

Are you caught between 2 stations?

We pay attention to what we're 'tuned in' to.

It's funny, my mom who is on the East Coast, emailed me and said she was praying about our earthquakes. 
My response? 
"What earthquakes?"
I apparently missed the memo...
missed the part when that piece of chipper news was being announced.

I've had a few deadlines to complete some books I was asked to read and write reviews for, so I've had my head buried in those.  As a result, I was clueless about quakes and more focused on how not to come "Unglued" when you hear of such things.

You know how you're driving along listening to that Christian station on the radio,
when suddenly it starts vascilating back and forth between that and that other station where they sing about kickin' the dog and leaving your no good husband.  (Sorry Country Music lovers...I know they're not "all" about that ;)

Any hoooo...
do you ever feel like that in life?
One minute you're tuned into a positive station,
and before long another station creeps in unbenounced...
and competing for your affection. 
And the further you drive down that road,
the louder and clearer that station tunes in.
Eventually you're tempted to just switch over completed to that station cuz it's not so 'staticky'.  (is that a word?!?)

Be careful what you tune in to just because it's loud and clear.  (doesn't make it good and right.) Note to self: Lies can be articulated very well.

Just because the squeaky wheel gets the grease...
doesn't mean the clearer station gets my attention.

There are many messages being shouted at us through the megaphones of life.
Don't let the 'clarity' persuade you or the pervasiveness.

Galatians 5:7-9
"You were running the race so well, who has held you back from following the truth?  It certainly isn't God, for He is the one who called you to freedom.  This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!"

1 Corinthians 5:6-7
"Your flip and callous arrogance in these things bothers me.  You pass it off as a small thing, but it's anything but that!  Yeast, too, is a "small thing", but it works its way through a whole batch of bread dough pretty fast."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Buffet Style Faith

My dog Faith wasn't feeling good this morning and threw up a few times.
When she came back inside I fed her some dogfood.
It's the kind with several colors and flavors.

Just watching her 'cracked.me.up.' as she picked out the pieces she didn't like and
chucked them babies out of the bowl and across the floor.
(Those were probably the pieces that were good for her, she just liked the
other ones more.)                            [EXHIBIT A]

I was thinking about my Pastors sermon on Sunday on the book of Jude. 
He asked us,

"Are you a cut and paste type of person?"

"Do you pick and choose?"

We tend to be just like my dog Faith, don't we?
We take the stuff we don't like in the bible and chuck it across the floor (like a piece of Beneful)...
and we choose the stuff we like. 
Possibly the reason we're sick (like poor Faithy)
is because we're not ingesting those hard things that will bring health to our soul. 
Of course we prefer grace and forgiveness and love, especially when we're blowing it.

                                                                    [EXHIBIT B]
But how about sacrifice and discipline and surrender ---
those pieces aren't quite as "yummy".

Hebrews 12:11 says, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  LATER ON, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
(emphasis mine...I love hearing about LATER ON when our 'give it to me now' culture is so preoccupied with NOW! Oh yeah, and my sinful nature. ;-/

Monday, August 20, 2012

Imposters among us!

Recently in the news there was a man arrested who had many identities and disguises. (none of which appear to be real.)

He owns quite an array of law enforcement military and medical uniforms, badges, ID cards and supplies after his home was searched because of suspicion.

He had a NASA uniform.
US Customs.
The Navy.
The CIA.
Secret Service.
Homeland Security.
Dozens of military medals.
A flight helmet.
Boy Scout troop leader uniform.
Medical scrubs and a black Doctors bag (with instruments no less!  Sca-rrry!!)
There was an actual photo of him in scrubs holding a newborn. (eeek!)
(Tawkin' bout a major identity crisis!!)

I started to think how easily we could be fooled just based on someones appearance...

their uniform.

Their badge.

Anyone can play the 'role'.

We tell our kids to watch out for strangers -
and yet we could so easily fall for it.

Then I recalled the verse where Jesus warns against wolves in sheeps clothing in Matthew 7:15.

They're imposters.

They dress the part.

They attend the same church possibly.

They're attenders,
yet not followers.

Matthew 7:20-22

"Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its frut, so you can identify people by their actions.  Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord!  Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.  On judgment day, many will say to me, 'Lord!  Lord!  We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.  But I will reply, 'I NEVER KNEW YOU.'

Ouch.
Words that carry much weight.

As much as we all love to speak of God's Grace and forgiveness (cuz Lord knows we certainly need it)...we also must not turn away from His truth.

*I wrote the above on August 11th for my book, and then on August 19th my Pastor did an amazing message on Jude, asking if we are 'contenders' or 'pretenders'?  Are you a poser?  These people 'secretly' slipped in.  A 'form' of godliness.  Those who claim to be Christians (just don't live it). Pretenders are an inside job.  They want their ears tickled, they don't tolerate sound teaching.  They want to water it down.  BEWARE!  Check out www.northpark.com and click on the Contend message on August 19th.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sometimes ya just gotta snap out of it!

Perspective.
Who doesn't need a healthy dose of that?
It doesn't change your 'reality', 
yet it pulls you away from the impact it's having on you.  
It diffuses its effect.
It waters down its potency.

If you're crammed in that small place, wishing you had more room...
then I think of my Robbie who just got released from a tiny hospital room after 117 days!  That's 4 months!
Day in.
Day out.
Her Aortic Stenosis.
Her pneumonia.
Her UTI's.
Her ventilator, and trying to wean her off.
Her muscles atrophy because she wasn't breathing on her own. 
Her having to get a new trach, then getting an infection in that area.
Yeast infections in her mouth.
Heart valve issues.

She is finally home sitting on the deck in the sunshine with a great big smile!

I don't know about you, but that gives me perspective.
One big helping of it!

My ant problem becomes laughable.
The car with no air conditioner that makes me cranky...
yeah, so what!
The broken washing machine that sends me to the laundromat and inconveniences my comfortable little life,
get over it!

Perspective.

It's a gift we receive by taking a look around.
It comes freely when we aren't so introspective,
but by observing outside of ourselves.
You may need to go looking for it,
whether it be found in a cancer  ward or a soup kitchen...
but chances are you don't have to go far.
It could be right next door as your neighbor is carrying a huge load.
Something unbearable.

Philippians 4:11-13 says,
"Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally.  I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm JUST as happy with little as with MUCH, with much as with little.  I've found the recipe (who knew there was a recipe?!  Gotta pin THAT one on Pinterest!)...for being happy, whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.  WHATEVER I have, WHEREVER I am, I can make it through 'anything' in the One who makes me who I am."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When's the last time YOU came unglued? (not pretty....I know :o/


Here's another review I just wrote for Amazon, for a Book Launch I am a part of @Lysa TerKeurst:

5.0 out of 5 stars She dares to reveal the 'messy' truth...thankfully!August 15, 2012

By 
This review is from: Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions (Paperback)
If you've ever felt unimpressed or defeated when those Christmas letters come piling in, informing you that Johnny got straight A's, and Suzie just got a full scholarship, and 'that' family has a well oiled ship running over in their neck of the woods...then you might just love this book! Lysa doesn't put on a facade that she's got this thing called 'life' all tied up with a nice little bow. She bravely uncovers her current struggles and has you laughing at the crazy that goes on in each of our households, she just dares to say it out loud! Refreshing! Who wouldn't want a 'real' friend like that telling you like it is? A 'what you see is what you get' kind of girl, but with some solid answers straight from the giver of life Himself. She has an engaging way of inviting you to be more authentic as you share your life with those in your circle. The more transparent we are with others, the more magnetic we become. She says, "What happens in between the smiling snapshots of life isn't all pretty. I'm willing to admit that. And I love my friends who are brave enough to admit the messy stuff as well." I'm grateful that I had received an advanced copy of part of this book to review, and I chuckle at the things we all tend to come unglued over(the basic dog throw up, towels, broken computers...the list goes on.) Run out and grab a copy, help is on the way!
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