A Place for Us

We built a house, and it was an adventure.  You have to pick so much crap, and it was wonderful!  I know I’m weird.  I spent a few years feeling like a shallow loser for liking pretty things, but truly I get into this stuff.  We’ve moved five times in seven years, and it’s really the nomadic spirit of our marriage. E left home at 18 with the military and has been everywhere.  I began asking for travel as gifts in my teens, took my first major trip without them or a field trip group at 16, left the country without my parents for the first time at 17, and couldn’t get enough.

When we moved into our first place together just after our first anniversary- yes, you read that right.  We spent our dating life and first year of marriage in separate countries. We moved in together to furniture E had bought but placed straight into storage where it sat for years unused.  Those first few years, we loved our homes, and loved to fill them with life entertaining and life.  They were fun investments, and they each served their purpose for that period in our lives.

The last house, we lived in a year and a half, had a baby and walked through the toughest time we’ve had as a married couple.  God was changing us for the better, but in that sweet little beautiful home, I made no changes.  The same grey from the day we closed on it still adorned the walls the day we sold it, and it’s open floor plan, beautiful light and one story layout with oaks served as our hideaway to retreat from everything the world was throwing at us.  Beautiful memories happened there as our babies grew brighter and funnier every day, but it’s purpose was for that time.

As our family is growing and we emerged from the cocoon of that period, God called us out to a new place, and in that a new part of His plan. We’re in a new town, more separated from what we knew.  We have a new church community and now I’m home more to focus on these little people and whatever God calls me to do.

People always think we’re nuts for all these moves, and I’ve heard plenty of jokes about our nomadic ways, and I don’t really disagree, lol. God is beginning to reveal the whys of it all, though, and I think sometimes we don’t realize how our physical locations can impact everything about us.  It wasn’t the houses themselves that mattered, but it was being in the appropriate space for our needs and hearing His voice properly in that time.

I’ve been spending time in Genesis and Abraham’s story and my goodness did he ever have a place for each time in life.  God called him out and to the places his family needed to be.  Look at how his life was multiplied and carried on because of his obedience.

Now people want to know things like what this house looks like and how we love being so far away from everything we know, and truthfully, it’s wonderful.  I haven’t really thought about sharing it, because it hadn’t occurred to me. It hadn’t occurred to me, because we’ve been more focused on our little crew without the distractions we had built up.  I can feel the spirit pulling me home when it’s time and calling me to serve where I am needed and no more- nothing to leave my people distraught or without as we go through a critical time of growth.

This space is us, it’s the roots of where we will help our babes feel safe and make memories with their friends. We are working every day to cast aside anything that will give them from completely fulfilling their God-given stories and have our eyes open that there is much in this world coming up against us, but that there are also beautiful stories in this world and, as a dear friend says, ‘the good news out there is really good.’

I hope you’re taking the time to be the good news you were created to be.  I hope I am too, for that matter 😉

 

Stop Pretending

Saturday morning I sat in a beautiful park overlooking Charleston harbor amongst beautiful oaks, homes and sunlight and prayer.  Just after sunrise we started the day with prayer for our fair city, and we wept and read, and it was amazing.

What did I get out it, you ask? (If you didn’t ask, I’m going to ramble anyway.)

I sat looking at that beautiful harbor and those fantastic larger-than-life antebellum abodes, and all i could think about was slavery. What was it like to be a woman and see all of those ships filing into the harbor, and to know your own lifestyle was tended to by people who had no choice but to do the work for you. How would I just ignore that pain?

Standing on a piazza then, looking out on the busy harbor, how did they live with the lie it was all fine?

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

-James 2:14-17

God said to me in that moment that I would have ignored it.  I would have looked away from the devastating human condition all around us.  Just like the way we look the other way when there is someone begging for food beside us at the red light- the way anyone ignores the family rift at Thanksgiving dinner, the way we don’t talk to that friend with the substance problem about what’s going on, the way we don’t know what to say to the friend whose marriages is falling apart so we say nothing at all.

At what point does our imitation ignorance of a situation make us culpable in it? If we ignore the Spirit’s telling us to move, at what point does He give up on using us?

Our savior literally DIED for us and our crappy decisions and we can’t even ask each other real questions for fear of making someone uncomfortable.  We also have no idea how to call for help ourselves when our marriages are falling apart right up until someone walks out the door. We would rather die than face the real problems or confess our sins to the Creator who can truly save us.

So, just like those antebellum women, we get up and dress and put on a smile and ignore the wailing and gnashing of teeth happening outside our doors.

Keep Him Pure, People

rrThis morning, I sat in awe of God’s presence and looked out to the ocean and prayed with other women over this city and the fathers of it.

I was so moved by the scripture and the prayer and the presence of the Spirit, and the weight of the honesty of it all.  As we all walked back to our cars, I noticed these gentlemen.  Standing on the battery positioned between the confederate memorial and Ft. Sumter the stood in silent.  They weren’t shouting, they weren’t angry, they just stood in silence. I didn’t sense hostility in their nature, yet the symbols they had chosen provoked such horrendous emotions to seemingly all around.

If you want to sense electricity in the air, this is the town and this is the time. We sat in unified prayer and reference to our Holy Father across denominations and ages praying for our city to be healed.

In the distance, we saw this .

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A mile or two away, a block from where I sit and write this, people are gathering in peaceful assembly for a unity march through Charleston. In the shadow of Emanuel AME, people cry out to lay down our personal agendas, but no one can seem to figure out how to do it completely.

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Though the stories are varied, we all want unity, and we all want respect and we all want to honor things and people we feel need honoring.  We all have experienced, in this little space of ours, inexplicable pain from the different sins committed by others in our community, and, quite honestly, our forefathers. The problem is, if they aren’t biblical, then they carry weight when compared to our faith.

In looking at those flags this morning, I hurt.  I wasn’t angry or wanting to shout.  I wanted to understand, because these men started right.  They put the symbol of our faith first on the top of that pole, but then they took that message of love and truth that God has given us through the Bible, and tied it to a belief of their own- a political piece, a symbol for a defunct nation made by men who chose to rebel from authority of the government under which they served.

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.    

-1 Corinthians 8:9

But then God reminded me that there were easy targets in the blame game, and there were harder ones, too.  How often do we take our God and tie Him to something completely non-biblical to justify it?

Fiery ginger that I am, I am frequently moved to scream by the rants of the day from people.  My walk of recent as God works on this project that is me, is that I have to sit and listen, because it is super easy to start ranting as well, tie it to a ‘God spoke this to me’ and tell myself thats ok.  The truth is it’s the worst, and the truth is many times we don’t even realize it.

You see those men were trying to gain awareness to something that for some reason or hurt they’ve experienced think that flag they are waving matters.  Tying one of the symbols of our faith to it, however, perverts it.  It doesn’t make the flag seem more peaceful, it creates the potential for someone to not want to know anymore about our faith because seeing that is enough for them to not ask questions and turn away from it completely.

We have been called to more, so if we truly believe in everything that top flag symbolizes, it would never occur to us to fly the flag that is placed beneath it, whether it’s the flag of a nonexistent nation, the flag of hatred toward someone who wronged you, the flag of judgement to someone you have decided is wrong.  I was no better than them as I drove away.  I ached to try to talk them through their mistake, but decided it would in poorly or in vain- another calling and opportunity missed. God says we are all the same with these hangups we have. They’re human.  Some are just less socially acceptable than others.

 

 

 

What is this healing of which you speak?

So I managed to slice the tip of my thumb off in fantastic fashion last weekend as I prepped a cheese tray for a dinner party at my home that had already begun.  In true Magyver (no idea how to spell that, but you get the gist) fashion, my husband went all field med on me and before I knew it, I was rinsed out, super glued and electrical taped back together so the party could continue. Yes, garage items are way better than actual medical supplies in this house, guys, because look at the great double duty they pull! I can’t talk because I’ve broken a toe, drilled into my hand and now lost a fingerprint all during events, and we didn’t stop the show.  You ask why I feel like I have something to prove, and I say ‘that’s a layer to the onion I haven’t reached yet!’ but I digress.

So back to the thumb thing.  A piece of me was damaged and broken and honestly completely gone.  I honestly wasn’t sure what things were going to look like going forward on my poor fat thumb (especially since all the sudden my fingerprint is coming between me and the easy unlock on my stupid iPhone).

Today, I’m changing the bandage and what do I see, new skin appearing- fingerprint and all! Some medical journal gobblety goop I referenced to be sure I’m not dumb said “in most cases, because of the engrained imprinting in the deeper skin layers, once exposure to the abrasive, caustic or hot conditions cease, the fingerprints will grow back.” That is fascinating to me!  I was amazed to see it but there it was, and to be sure I checked and science agreed!

The cooler thing about it, is in that moment, God spoke to me.  He used it to show me what I have been struggling to put into words.  You see, the entire world is telling us we are defined by our scars, our victimizations, our poor choices.  I read a bio for a very popular author and speaker the other day.  In it she wrote in depth about her struggles, her addiction, her pain, and how she was defined by all of that negative and now she wore all of that with pride, unashamed. Sounds great and good for her right?

My counterpoint is this: It is not beauty that endears, it_s love that makes us see beauty.

There may still be a scar when it heals, but that fingerprint, that original creation that makes us HIS, that makes us created with specific skills and gifts for a specific purpose is still there.

God says we were fully formed  from DAY 1.  He made our souls, selected our traits, gave us our gifts, and put that beautiful person inside that tiny little body, so as we grew and were still small, the world would see all of it begin to shine through and no matter what the world threw at us, the sin, the dust that dulled our shine, we will NEVER be something different at our core than what He created.

We have to CHOOSE to believe that God is bigger than everything, that the bad things that keep happening, the monsters that keep coming or the ones we’ve chased, are proof that He is with us always and He is loving us through.

What are the consequences?

The consequences are Satan wins. He won every time anxiety closed me into a ball and I couldn’t be around people or show them hospitality, because I was too afraid to move. Are you going to let Him win over you?  He would love to come in and bind every one of those amazing things God put in you to show his love and light to the world.  It’s your choice whether you do it or not.

Getting back

Who did people describe us as when we were five? What was that beautiful little creature known to be then- before life got hard and we knew too much.  Ask yourself that question. Heck, ask your mama that question, if you feel like it’s been too long since you’ve seen that shining person He created in you.

Whatever those qualities are, consider the sin, whether you committed or someone else, that bound you up, rendered you useless or neutralized for the kingdom. What I’m finding as I work through the pressure points that trigger my panic, is that every single thing was perfectly designed to bind up a gift from God when He created me.  Run the test on yourself and see what you find.  For me, it has been amazing to look at each piece and see it as a planned attack on me.  It allows me to separate myself from it and see it for the lie that it is.  My Father is there beside me and that potential divorce, bankruptcy or even worse, is an outside force coming at us to render us useless, and knowing that is the first step to beating it.  It’s the step towards recovering and protecting who He told us to be.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. -John 17:15

We are here. We are supposed to be in the world, but we are not ‘of’ the world.  Christ wanted us protected from the evil one. He wanted us to remain who we were to be the true lights God envisioned us to be.

I believe that there is true healing.  I believe it’s from good.  I don’t believe we are to wear our sin and the victimizations put upon us as our badges.  We are not to be named by the world.  We are to take what the world throws at us as the attacks they are and love anyway, praise anyway, serve anyway.  That is our call.

Proverbs 31- Not for Weenies

Have you ever heard someone talk about the Proverbs 31 woman and thought ‘I could never be her’?  I always thought it meant being a meek and sweet woman who kind of baked and cleaned the house and was ok with whatever her husband said.  

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Well fast forward a bit, and God has really convicted me about who He made me to be.  None of it is meek or mild.  He needs forces in the world.  If you are a woman on the verge sometimes, like me, then He made you that way to drive the change He needs to glorify Him.  We have a purpose!

Our walk comes with precision.  We have great people like husbands and those who came before us to guide us in addition to His word, and what better word than the proverbs 31 woman.  Once I started digging in, I learned she is a serious force to be reckoned with and she does not stop moving.  Everything she does is efficient and effective and her whole world is blessed by it.  Who wouldn’t want to do that?!  That’s exactly why we get so fired up, isn’t it?  We want to change things, to win the battles and to make it all worth while.  That is the Proverbs 31 woman, so if you are like me, and have long fallen asleep when thinking about the religious view of a woman, read it for yourself and be fired up today!

Here it is verse by verse, with what God laid on my heart in reading it with new eyes:

31 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!

   Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!

3 Do not spend your strength[a] on women,

   your vigor on those who ruin kings.

-We have to be careful as firestarters not to become dangerous women or road blocks to God’s work.

4 It is not for kings, Lemuel—

   it is not for kings to drink wine,

   not for rulers to crave beer,

5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,

   and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.

6 Let beer be for those who are perishing,

   wine for those who are in anguish!

7 Let them drink and forget their poverty

   and remember their misery no more.

-We are not called to sloth.

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,

   for the rights of all who are destitute.

9 Speak up and judge fairly;

   defend the rights of the poor and needy.

-We are called to protect the innocent and go to the aid of others.

 

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

This is an acrostic of the Hebrew alphabet, so this is the A to Z, if you will of who we were created to be!

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?

   She is worth far more than rubies.

-We are called to have noble character, strong in our values

11 Her husband has full confidence in her

   and lacks nothing of value.

-He has full confidence in her. We SHOW UP. We are present and trustworthy.

12 She brings him good, not harm,

   all the days of her life.

-We can be trusted to do our part.  It says we ‘bring good.’ We have to make the good happen.

13 She selects wool and flax

   and works with eager hands.

-These items are not delivered to her. We go out and bring in what is good, what is a comforting. We are excited to go out and do.

14 She is like the merchant ships,

   bringing her food from afar.

-Women of noble character go out into the field. They do what it takes to feed others and take care of the needs of their houses. The merchant ships piece of this is critical to understanding what we are called to do.  Merchant Ships are not pirates, taking whatever they want, and they do not do it alone. Merchant Ships go out into foreign lands, they build relationships with those they don’t know and they used their skills to obtain the things they needed.  We, like the merchant ships, must go out and use our gifts to care for our families and to change the lives of those in need. We are not called to go out and take it or scream until it is handed to us. Merchant Ships also spread their culture and belief system through their relational trade.

15 She gets up while it is still night;

   she provides food for her family

   and portions for her female servants.

-So many scripture references about God’s feelings on being idle.  This is no different. Prov. 6:6-11 God just goes off on laziness. As Christ following women, we rise to help others rise above. We provide through our work and we must begin early to ensure everything is tended to.  If we all sat out, would it make a point that the world needed us.  But at what cost to our children, our husbands and everyone around us we serve does that selfish move the needle.  Pray for the hearts of the offenders, the users, the abusers, and the nonbelievers to broken open wide for Christ so that they are personally convicted to change their outlooks and actions. Pray they commit to a savior versus complying with mob.  We are called to rise and rise above!

 

16 She considers a field and buys it;

   out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

-We contemplate the ramifications of our actions and what God has called us to do. We use our earnings to do things- what is in our reserves. We do not make decisions that will put a strain on our houses.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;

   her arms are strong for her tasks.

-We stick with a task and follow through.  Women of noble character do not give up or walk out on their commitments.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,

   and her lamp does not go out at night.

-Women of character trust God will provide and use God’s word to be the lamp into her feet.  We use His word as our only guiding light in the darkness around us.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff

   and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

-We are above no menial task and we set the example with our work ethic.

20 She opens her arms to the poor

   and extends her hands to the needy.

-We labor not only to provide for our own families, but we also work to personally provide for those in need.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;

   for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

We trust God’s plan. We will be provided for and warm. Not only will our families be warm, but dressed in the color of warmth, delighting in it.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;

   she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

-We make our own way, and God blesses us for our hard work.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,

   where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

-We are properly positioned in our homes.  Our husbands are proud of who we are and they feel empowered and supported by our strength.  We are the Esthers.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,

   and supplies the merchants with sashes.

We produce a good product to share with the world.  Whatever our work, it is exceptional, and worthy of sharing. We make ourselves indispensable.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;

   she can laugh at the days to come.

My FAVE verse- a reminder of what God gives us to move through this life in proper placement. Being clothed in strength and dignity.  We NEVER part with them. He is with us and we are living in His word and empowered by that. We can experience joy because we have a peace that surpasses all understanding. We do not walk angry or downtrodden, because we make our own way.  We get up every day and know that His plan will prevail in our lives.

26 She speaks with wisdom,

   and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

We think things through.  We speak carefully and we are guided by God’s word. Our message is constant and clear.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household

   and does not eat the bread of idleness.

We are constantly revisiting the word and looking for new ways to help our families.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;

   her husband also, and he praises her:

We are honored by our families, because we honor our families.

29 “Many women do noble things,

   but you surpass them all.”

  We are honored for our hard work by our families.

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

   but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

We can only be true to who we were created to be if we fear God.  All else false away with our submission to His will, and under His authority are we truly made whole and noble.

31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,

   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Our hard work will pay off.  We must be prepared to run the long race as we will be blessed either in this life or the next for continuing to move forward. When we see our heavenly father’s face and hear the words ‘well done’

WHY?!

So…. ummm… here goes.

It has recently come to my attention that we are walking around in the matrix.  Just when you try to find contact info to get me some help, hear me out.

I believe we were created with purpose in mind.  With plans to prosper and love and add joy to the world.  We are all so different, but “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)  With that in mind, WHY are so many of us walking around making ourselves something we aren’t?

The Psalmist doesn’t stop there.  He goes on, and here is the part where we are accountable to not using that with which we’ve been gifted. “your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” God doesn’t make mistakes, so why do we think there is a mold we must fit, a certain way to act? Why do we squander our gifts?

Feeling myself walk through this process, the past few years have been wrought with waves of anxiety- sometimes envisioning the worst case scenario in what should have been the most joyous of times. Each time the enemy came to me and whispered these fears to me, I may not have let him overtake me completely, but he slowly stole who I was piece by piece.

You see, I’m realizing my true gifts now- hospitality.  Here are the things about hospitality: it sounds really fun, but they come with a lot of frustration on the side.  Hospitality is all about making others feel welcome, connecting with them, inviting them into your circle. Have you ever walked into a room and instantly were drawn in, warm, welcomed? Everything about that experience encompasses hospitality.

Exercising your gifts is not a hard thing to do.  It becomes harder because the enemy is always waiting to stop you. Using your spiritual gifts means more defeat for him.  Every time it gets tough, or someone says something to belittle the importance of what you are doing (in some cases it’s that voice in your own head), you have to know it is Satan trying to stop you from furthering the kingdom,  from helping your fellow man, from sharing truth and Love as you are called to do.

When I quit using my gifts, I actually thought I was becoming more of what I should be.  We humans have a pesky problem of conforming.  Even as believers, we think we should behave a certain way to be a good Christian or to be the right wife and mother. By trying to calm the fire within, I became confused, unsure and unable to further the kingdom in the ways God planned. Any time I think I have it figured out, I challenge myself to read this passage and ask, “are you sure?”

Proverbs 16

1To humans belong the plans of the heart,
    but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.

All a person’s ways seem pure to them,
    but motives are weighed by the Lord.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.

We are equipped and called to do more and be more.  The tools, however, come with precision.  Just like we have to train to use tools when building a project, we have to walk with precision in our gifts.

To be hospitable, but to tell the hard truth when challenged to do it, is hard, but we are accountable to the steps we are called to take but do not.  We are accountable for actions we don’t take when we should and we have to have a controlled burn as He pours His spirit into us or we may just take the whole place down around us.  So go, light your own fire, but let it be a blaze for Love and truth.

 

 

 

The Beauty of the Uprising

I cried yesterday.  I sat in a little sandwich shop having lunch with my family in Charleston, SC, and I looked at a television screen and found myself weeping. My three year old excitedly asked if the Gamecocks were about to play when he saw my stare and the large crowds.

As I responded no, it hit me- my son saw me moved and assumed it was over sports! I’ve clearly been doing something wrong.

Because of various views backed by the marches (I’m not getting into it because those causes and opinions are not where my focus lies today), I chose to ignore yesterday and treat things as a normal day. I had no place in them but I was thankful to see we seem to be alive and awake again as humans. I was thankful because in that moment, watching my babies eat lunch, God said ‘STOP.’

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

-Rev 3:15-16

That verse has come crashing over me since that moment. Stop pretending that you are okay and that everyone is living to the fullest and it will all be wonderful because it can never be on this Earth. I watched these women and men passionately crying out for their causes, for their voices, and I had chosen to go appliance shopping instead of following my own convictions and spending that time raising my hands in praise and prayer to the One over all creation; prayer that He would take it all into His hands and reign over us; that we would drop our causes and turn to the cross, because through Him all will be properly positioned.

In that moment, God said, “You have spent so long dancing  within the lines of earthly love and social acceptance that you believe you’ve gone as far as you can in this, but I’ve equipped you and so many believers for more and it is time that you answer the call.

The beauty of the palpable energy in the air right now is this: we cannot sit on the shore safely from the waves any longer. No matter you’re feeling, your occupation, your upbringing, it is nearly impossible to be lukewarm.

Silence in this moment puts everything at risk.  As beautiful women of God, if there was ever a time to rise up in fierce faith, the time is now.  We must put on those fabulous gowns of armor (I mean, a gown just sounds so much more comfortable for a fight, being able to tie it up or spin around in it) and go out into our own battlefields. Our children and the world’s knowledge of our faith depends on it.

I know now just how unpopular my thoughts may seem, but I no longer am afraid.  For the sake of my relationships that may be sacrificed, I want them to know I Love them enough to risk everything to tell you about my God and the beautiful peace that surpasses all understanding. While the world is full of fear, confusion and anger, He is steadfast and loving and reminds us that these moments are barely noticeable in the span of eternity.

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I believe in the Bible and everything in it. I unapologetically accept it and know that in doing so, I am condemning myself for my sin.  I also know that redemption is available to all who believe, and if I don’t speak now about my faith while the world is crying out, I don’t know what it would take for me to do so, and then I would truly be lukewarm.

We are all down in the tranches battling for our causes, when we only need to turn our eyes upward to the cross.

No Peace or Know Peace?

It’s the holidays.  We have visions of cookie baking, present wrapping and hanging ornaments on the tree. Real life isn’t the vision though, and before you know it, the baby’s first Christmas ornament is broken, the cookies are burnt and you’re ordering pizza and praying for bedtime.

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The question is, does this ruin it all for you or become an embraceable story- a funny memory and a reminder that Jesus is the only constant and true North star this season.

I know I have totes found 50 ways to fill my days to the max in a season where reflection and peaceful joy should prevail.

1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

What could be more peaceful than that?  If you believe in the constant presence of a living God and his Son saving us all, then the rest begins to move into the back seat where it belongs.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

 

 

Election Smellection

Who loves election season?! Yeah, crickets.  I am soooo over it.  I can’t even fine the best vine videos or pics of people’s kids on Facebook, through all of the whining and personal jabbing about politics.

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I will give some street cred to the people who are trying to put some above bar thought out there and analysis on the whole situation, but let’s face it, I’m not going to Facebook to connect on a deeper intellectual level, so I’m prob not going to list it in the sources of my next great political thesis.

That all being said, it’s super tough to know what is right as a believer when it comes to politics. That whole WWJD situation tends to fly out the window when the mud starts slinging- especially if you have a candidate who you feel is the clear choice.

What a beautiful mess that Satan has created by taking something designed to help, unify and protect God’s people, government, and turned it into the exact opposite (just like he does with everything).  We find ourselves this election a people divided, angry, personally offended.

All of that aside, what does the Bible actually say about civil government?

Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens   Exodus 18:21

You may read that and have a specific candidate in mind.  You may read that and think, ‘CRAP! Now I have no one.’ No matter what you think, our job as His people is to pray and uplift our leader and trust God’s hand on it.

Look at Kings in the old testament, all the kings, if you will. In the whole of the Old Testament there is an ebb and flow of man doing well obeying God and then getting smacked back down to the reality of how small he was because he would begin to think he could do it on his own. This happened again and again and again, and they never learned. Why, because they were people! We know better than to put so much faith into people, and we have to be the ones who remember that, that everyone is flawed and we all fall short.

What we can do now is pray for our leaders, pray for God’s hand on who our leader becomes and pray for the heart of that leader.  Pray that our new leader speaks and believes in truth, and pray that for all levels of your government.

What will I do? For whom will my ballot be cast?  At this moment, I honestly don’t know, but I do know I am praying for clear direction, and for my shallow kid picture viewing to stop being interrupted so much by all the rants 😉

Give Like There’s No One Else

Recently, I was in a meeting and a charity came up someone had heard about in another town. The concept was simple and it was an event completely structured for the group at the table.  We were all well-equipped and excited about the idea. Keep in mind, in this meeting we were trying to select a new charitable activity for the group.

1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Someone suggested we host a similar event here.  The head of the meeting immediately shot it down, and said “we’ll just wait until that group comes here to do one.”  No one batted an eyelash.  I chimed in questioning why we would wait on a simple idea we could handle that would help many, and I was told they knew the way to do it, so when they started doing things here, then we could get involved. Wait. WHAT?

This logic is everywhere and it’s KILLING me.  The following just occurred and it is apparently normal logic?!

  1. We saw a need
  2. We had the tools to address said need
  3. We had people excited to help and a clear plan of action
  4. We chose to ignore the need because we expect an organization to eventually address it for us and maybe we can help?!

Am I being punked?  We were given everything we needed to help, but chose to wait for someone else to come along and do it.

It’s easy to not give and to hide your gifts when you don’t have to connect with your service.  How hungry would the world be if we all put a face and name on it.  Would you could a meal for 8 instead of 4 every night, if you knew their names and they lived next door?  You would figure that out, but we don’t want to share the pain, the discomfort.

I see so many political posts about wanting more government programs to fix this problem and that problem.  My question is “what are YOU waiting for?”  If you feel so passionately that a group or issue should be helped, how are you personally connecting to the problem, pouring your time or assets in to fixing it and actively looking for solutions?

Don’t bury your talent.  Don’t be that sad wasted gift.  Sitting in that room in that moment, it couldn’t have been clearer that I would, from that day forward. be incessantly hounded by serving where I could.  I pray the same for you 😀