Friday, June 17, 2011


This is something I wrote several years ago.

All too often, Christians go to church out of duty-or guilt
All too often, Christians know when to sit or stand
All too often, Christians know which words to repeat and when to repeat them
All too often, they don’t know why thy do it- or even what it means
All too often, Christians aren’t even Christians at all.

All too often, Christians are fed crumbs- 
just enough to satisfy them until the Next “church day”
All too often, Christians don’t know they are starving.
All too often, Christians don’t know there is a feast available
And if they do they don’t know where to find it.

Oh God! I’m tired of starving, tired of crumbs, tired of just getting by. 
God, give me depth, give me Your feast, fill me up today,
But make me hungry tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, 
never quench my hunger for You.
I’m tired of religion-give me a relationship.
I’m tired of empty-give me full.
I’m tired of shallow-give me deep.
I’m tired of meaningless words and babble-make my words joyful unto You.
I’m tired of tired- give me strength.
Father, I want Your feast-I’m tired of crumbs.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The things I wish I knew

You always hear people say things like, “if I knew then what I knew now.”  Well I was thinking back to when I was in high school and wondering what I know now that I didn’t know then. Here are some things I wish I knew in high school.

I wish I knew that I didn’t have to be like everyone else. I tried so hard to be like the popular kids that I didn’t have time to get to know me. I didn’t know anything about myself in high school, but I did know what I thought everyone else wanted of me. I have found out that to be cool is to be you. God made you to be you, not the popular kid. You cannot be like everyone else. The world would be awfully boring if we were all alike. Take some time and learn about yourself, ask God what He made you to be like and go with that. God knows you better than anyone and the Creator knows what His creation is meant to do.

I wish I knew that people don’t think about you as much as you think they do. I used to walk around the halls of Plant City High with this thought in my head, “what is so and so thinking about this Wal-Mart shirt that I have on?” “He just looked at me funny, do I have something in my nose?” When thinking back, he looked past me to his buddy at the end of the hall. Other kids aren’t thinking about you! They are too busy wondering about their Wal-Mart clothes and possible buggers hanging out of their own noses.  Care about what God thinks, that’s all that matters anyway. My life would have been much less stressful in high school had I realized this then. By the way, there is nothing wrong with wearing thrift store or Wal-Mart clothes.  Who is going to know anyway? Think about it, if they know you bought something at a thrift store or Wal-Mart then they must have been in those stores too, right? It is more important to use God’s money wisely than it is to impress people; which leads to my next point.

I wish I knew that you don’t have to impress your true friends. Do you want a really true, be there til the end thru thick and thin friend? Find someone that you don’t have to impress. Your true friends will like you for who you are.  I had several people in high school that I would have considered best friends. I’m going to use two of them as examples. One, “Jenny”, never really seemed to be happy with who I was. we listened to her music, watched her movies, ate her food. She didn’t seem to like who I was without her influence, it seemed she was trying to make me a “mini-Jenny”. She and I do not speak any more. We run into each other every now and then but since high school we’ve never had a real conversation and it’s rather awkward when we do run into each other. Jenny was not a real friend.  “Sandy” was another friend.  Sandy genuinely liked who I was. She did try to change me, but only when she saw I was doing something harmful to myself or unBiblical. She came to me in love and corrected, never made fun of me. Sandy and I are still friends. We lost contact with each other for many years. Last year we were able to meet up again and it was like no time had passed. We were able to connect like we did in high school. Sandy is a true friend. If they don’t like you for who you are, they are not worth it. Find your “Sandy” and make sure that person will NOT LET YOU DESTROY YOURSELF. Make sure he or she is a true God-lover and will correct you in Biblical love. The same goes for a boyfriend or girlfriend, don’t let them talk you into doing something that you are uncomfortable with.

I wish I knew that all parents are weird. It’s true, they are. Nick will think it when he’s a teenager. We don’t do it on purpose, we don’t try to make lives miserable, I promise. When it comes to your parents, just remember the above thoughts; you don’t have to impress your true friends and people aren’t thinking about you as much as you think. Everyone has parents. Everyone thinks at some time or another that their parents are weirdos.  You’ll age and your parent(s) will become some of your best friends.

I wish I knew that just because you aren’t invited everywhere, that doesn’t mean they don’t like you. There was a group of girls in my youth group that I desperately wanted to be accepted by. They were thin and pretty and smart and athletic and knew so much about God and the Bible. They would come to church on Sunday and talk about what they did on Friday or Saturday night together and I would be crushed. I was never invited to hang out with them so I thought they didn’t like me.  Fast forward to today. There are women at my church that I genuinely love but I don’t see them socially. Just because I don’t invite them out to lunch, or to coffee doesn’t mean I don’t like them. We are all designed differently, to get along with different people.  Those girls in my youth group, I never see now, we all live everywhere. I am friends with them on Facebook and I know that I can email them with a problem or prayer request and they’ll be there for me. They know they always have my ear if they need it, the same goes for the women at my church. There is one addendum to this, and it is equally important. There may be someone you know in school or your youth group that may not have any friends. Maybe he or she always sits alone. You may not click with this person, it doesn’t mean you don’t like them. Make an effort to ask them to go with you to lunch after church. Maybe your group of friends can sit at her table during lunch. And don’t worry about what your friends think, if they are true “Sandy friends”, they will go along with it. It doesn’t have to be everyday or ask her every time you go out, just once in a while. You never know what it could mean to someone.

Well, those are all the thoughts I have for now. You may think I’m a nerd. Well, go ahead and think it. I am telling you this in love. I am telling you this to hopefully keep you from the worry and stress and tears that I went thru. You have my ear, if you need it. You are in my prayers.

Samuel 16:7 “For the Lord does not see things the way man sees them. People look at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blessings and Money

I am realizing that it has once again been quite a while since I have written. Where does the time go? It hasn't felt like that long. With that said, I'm not really sure what I have to write about today. I think I'll tell you about how God spoke to me last night.

For the last 3 years or so my husband and I have struggled with employment and money. I don't think we are misusing the money God entrusts us with. We have no debt, we tithe and we've taken Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University... it's just that God doesn't give us much money to deal with. He's always given us enough to pay the bills. He doesn't give us much to go out to eat with and Christmas is more lean in our home than in most homes but we have always been able to pay our bills and we have always had filling meals on the table. Most months our bank account can only be described by the fishes and loaves story in the Bible.

Last night we discussed the finances and once again found ourselves paying what needed to be paid with only a few dollars left over and no money to repair our truck that has been sitting without a battery and with squealy brakes for the last few weeks. We thought for sure we would have the extra money to get this done with our last check. And Christian was telling me that his work was going to slow down with the summer.

I feel like we work our tails off and still have to deal with this. Frustrated I just looked up and said, "God, what do we have to do?" Almost immediately a verse popped into my head, "trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." It hit me that in our (the world's) understanding we need to know that we are going to pay our bills every month, we need to know how much money we are going to make every  month. God's ways are not our own. God knows how we are going to eat and keep the lights on.

Sometimes I wonder what we are doing wrong. We are properly using the things God gives us so shouldn't He give us more? That's what is in the Bible. The servant who was given money and invested it was praised and given more. The servant who hid the money afraid of doing wrong with it lost it.  Maybe the Bible isn't referring to money in that story, more likely they are referring to the gifts and talents God has given us. I mean, Jesus did EVERYTHING right, literally, yet He had no money, no home, no assets of any kind. Neither did Paul. So being blessed financially isn't linked to having faith. I guess alot of people associate being blessed with finances. I guess that is a product of this world.

When I stop to think about being blessed, no we don't have a lot of money but we have amazing things. My marriage to Christian should not be as awesome as it is. There are so many factors that should be contributing to a stressful marriage, only one being a very tight budget. We don't fight.  I have been in contact with several severely handicapped twins whose sibling passed away before birth. My son very well could not be healthy. We have been blessed with a landlord that takes care of us even tho we live in the middle of a section 8 neighborhood. We have been blessed with the knowledge to get ourselves out of debt. Funny, now that I think about it, we had money to pay our debts when we had them, you'd think that we'd have a little wiggle room now, but we still only have enough to get by. I could go on about our blessings.

Still, I wonder why God blesses some people with finances and not others. Why does God give some people health and others are always sick? Why do some married couples never fight and others are married 3 and 4 times? All these people are just as faithful as the other. Maybe this is something I'll look into and write about. Maybe I won't even find an answer, I heard somewhere that if we understood even a little of what God knows it would blow our minds, literally. I like that. I don't want to worship a being I completely understand, what would be the point? But maybe He might choose to give me some insight on this, we'll see.

Love you, brothers and sisters,

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Your thoughts are always welcome!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Whispers and Tug of War.

This is something I wrote about two years ago. I wrote it in two parts and I am publishing both parts in this blog entry.

Whispers Part I
Satan always seems to attack you when you are growing spiritually. He starts out whispering little lies into your ear. For most women, the lies are something like this.

"Your husband isn't attracted to you anymore. How could he be, you are not a good mom or housekeeper. You aren't sexy and you could stand to loose 20 pounds." She thinks to herself I could loose a few pounds and Satan grins as he takes his first foothold in your spiritual life.

The lies continue and they just get more and more personal and painful. And, each time you think you need improvement in those areas, the father of lies gains more and more.

The thing is- I know what is going on and I bite any way. I know I am being lied to. But I chose believe it. I can feel Satan hovering over my shoulder. He's saying "I know you told God you were going to purge over eating or drinking or (fill in the blank for yourself) but you work hard and no one appreciates it; so just treat yourself this time." And, if you don’t realize what is going on, your spiritual growth spurt ends and Satan wins. However, at this lie, I am done crying and thru with self pity. I noticed the way Christian looked at me an hour ago-and it was the same as our wedding day. Get behind me Satan; you are not going to win this one.

My prayer for you is strength and wisdom. James 1: 5-7 says “If you need wisdom ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But, when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave on the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord"

So believe that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. He will not, He CANNOT lie to you. Just ask Him for the Wisdom to discern His beautiful Truth from the ugly lies that Satan is so eager to whisper in your ear.

Tug of War, Part II

It feels like the lies keep coming. This time they aren't whispers, this scares me. Sometimes it feels like everything, including God is working against us. The lies this time include things like..."Why are you even serving this God? What has He done for you?" I feel like Job and everything around me is telling me to forget God and go on with my life. Sometimes I wonder if Christianity is real or if we, Christians, are as delusional as we think Muslims or Buddhists are.

Like I said, these are not whispers like before. Not some subtle attempt to win my loyalty. These are the desperate cries of a being in his last ditch effort to forever win my soul. So you must pose the question, how does one defeat the master of deceit?

A friend once told me that you know you are growing spiritually when you feel Satan trying to steal you back. She said that Satan tries so hard to win your life, if he senses you are growing in God he (Satan) will do everything in his power to gain your loyalty. So, you need to worry if you do NOT feel like the rope in a massive spiritual tug of war between God and Satan, that’s when you should worry.

Let me put it this way-live your life in a way that will always make the evil one worry that he is losing your allegiance. Give him something to worry about. If Satan is not worried about your soul then you should be.

Your sister in Christ,