Personal Apathy

Today I am thinking about personal apathy. What if we, as Christians, did something different in our lives? Rather than hang out with our usual crowd on Sunday mornings, why not look around and get to know someone new? What if, after we ‘liked’ something a friend did or said, that we followed up on that relationship with something physical–a gift, a visit, or maybe a phone call or a text?

I came across Kyle Tennant’s book, Unfriend Yourself: Three Days to Detox, Discern, and Decide About Social Media, and I am tempted to read it. In the interview (that I can’t find again), he said something about social media making us relationally lazy.

What struck me was this:

“Without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, Kyle challenges the Christian to a God-honoring approach to social media involvement. Well researched and thought through, Unfriend Yourself avoids the emotional arguments and instead presents a provocative ‘must read’ for any students, young adults, and generations beyond who want to be responsible in approaching social media from a biblical worldview.” – Dr. Bob MacRae, Professor of Youth Ministry at Moody Bible Institute

I think it’s something I will put on my to-read list on Goodreads. Last year, I recognized my own apathy in regards to missions. Everyone has an area in their life where apathy reigns in silence. You may not know it, like I did not know my own apathy, and maybe it’s time to see.




Forbidden Questions

thepast1My friends and I were discussing the social gospel. I am friends with people who dive whole-heartily into social justice, but the homeless situation isn’t changing. The entitlement attitude is getting more aggressive.

Another friend says poverty is more than a physical lack. There’s poverty in spirit. Because I don’t serve with the homeless, I can’t write on that, but I will say this:

How come, when a Christian questions a ministry like that, people get offended, defensive, and even go so far as to boycott or call another Christian a non-Christian? These are forbidden questions one doesn’t ask unless among close friends in whispers. You risk people being mean to you because you asked. So people like us watch the problem get worse.

Some stories come out that encourage me, like a man looking for work to get out of his homelessness. I want to help that man. Or how people in a church help out a widow. Or how someone turns away from a lesbian lifestyle to live for Christ. Or how someone gets a free bike so he could get to his job.

What if everyone who gave financial help required the person asking for it to put in “community service,” like helping someone else with a physical need or assigning them to work so many hours in some kind of volunteer position?

So many beautiful places, like San Diego and Denver, are becoming a safety hazard and a garbage heap. Pan handlers dot the beach front in San Diego. Downtown Denver, with it’s beautiful architecture, has hundreds of homeless. The bathrooms in Balboa Park are filled with trash, chained shut and unusable. When people talk about banning homeless, it isn’t because they are cold-hearted, but the homeless have caused a situation. The laws and culture protect them. The charity programs and welfare have made the life ideal. Many refuse to leave that lifestyle.

There are needs out in our world, and I can’t help but wonder if we could change the work ethic in our country by allowing people to have this discussion and talk about possible solutions, instead of getting angry, shouting them to silence, and worsening the poverty situation. Of course, I’m not talking about the mentally challenged, and I’m not saying abandon someone entirely at all.

I like what Benjamin Franklin said (emphasis mine):

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

Share your thoughts and your stories. How can we change the work ethic in America? How can we fight poverty?

#222Prayers Thankful For New Things

According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible-KJV-Large Print, there are 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 prayers in the New Testament. I first heard about this reference (found here) during a prayer meeting. For the next several Sundays I will post a prayer in regards to each section of scripture mentioned until I have gone through all 222 prayers.

Read Ezra 7:27-28

Yesterday, my husband and I, and a group made our way up Mt. Humphreys in Northern Arizona during one of our bad weather days. I am thankful for what God did during this fundraiser and thank you for being a part of it. Please enjoy the pictures on this beautiful Sunday morning!








Please go to ISF and see this wonderful missions organization!

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Growing in The Waiting

Waiting is probably the hardest thing to do, and yet, it is what God throws my way each time. Whether it’s waiting at three red lights in a row, in line at the grocery store as a seventy-something year old woman searches for that dime because she doesn’t want change, or for the two people crossing the crosswalk to realize there’s a car waiting. The antidote to my impatience is waiting.

In the waiting, growth happens. I am reminded of the song, “I will worship while I’m waiting.”  I now sing that in my head every time I wait, turning my focus from the waiting and the irritation or wondering of it, to Jesus. Writers wait for a rejection or acceptance. People wait for word on that job promotion. Others are waiting for their current storm to pass.

Enjoy the music video of that song as you wait for whatever it is you are waiting to happen. May I pray for you?

Lord Jesus, Please help us grow in the waiting. Help us to see your footprints so we know what direction to go in this crazy world, and not be lulled into complacency. In Jesus Name, Amen.

It’s Not About Numbers

God is leading me to become a

Churches worry about numbers.

Bloggers worry about numbers.

It’s good to show that kind of growth, but our main concern and focus should be on the people we retain on our blog and in our church. That’s where I am at now. I am working on growing my platform, but in calling it a platform, I can forget the humanity of it. In fact, I don’t publish stories that are controversial if I am only publishing it to be controversial and to grow my numbers. I am focusing on you as a person.

In social media speak, you are my neighbor. I care about your problems.

In 2015, I will change from this blog to because blogging here at Life Upside Down is ending. That part of my life is done. I look at life upside down still, but I have grown, healed, and moved on. My intentions are still to help those that struggle, but my mission has changed.

I want to mobilize people to get online and befriend others. I want to educate people. I want to reach those who have been hurt by church and take their hand to help them walk back to real life church whether its a house church or a traditional church. I want to unite our Christian, Bible-only believing churches in solidarity. I want to teach them to forget about the color of the carpet, past hurts, and what kind of music might be playing, instead to focus on people and the message of Salvation, to grow as a Christian family.

So in 2015, you will find me at these three web addresses: (as I will continue to work on getting published)

Eventually, I would like to make Cataclysm Missions International a non-profit. I would like to work full time on all three websites so I can focus on my new mission more completely to educate and equip the believer while working at reaching the unbeliever with the message of Salvation.

But I need your help.

Non-profits don’t pay much in salary, and my husband and I live paycheck to paycheck with my current wage. Would you consider donating to my new mission?  Click here to learn more.


The Book Lacks Life

It’s important that editors, critique groups, and fellow writers help each other by pointing out when our dialogue and narrative are stiff and unemotional.

I read two books recently by a favorite author (who shall go unnamed), and it makes me wonder if something isn’t going on in her life. 

Her other books were always interesting and believable. Now her writing voice has changed. It’s like a man is writing it. Her writing voice is indistinguishable from the other books she wrote years ago. It’s like two different people have written the books.

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were famous for having various authors writing under the same pseudonym, but the tone never changed. The style remained the same so the publisher could pull off several authors sounding like one person. 

In this case, my favorite author is fast becoming my least favorite author. Usually, I have no problem naming an author when reviewing a book. Since I am not reviewing, I see no good from naming her as I want to remain sensitive to the author herself. If something is going on, I pray that she can work through it and return to her powerful writing. If the publisher is having someone else write under that name, I pray they read the reviews and stop messing with the author name. But there’s a lesson we can learn from this–editors, agents, and writers need to help each other write better by pointing out our flaws so we can improve. 

OH Deer!


The trail was single track, exactly the kind of trail to prepare me for Estrella Mountain in two weeks. The air felt moist as I practiced hitting the trail softly mid-foot, instead of hard–a bad habit I lapsed into that could hurt me later in my running hobby. Behind me, some city slickers yelled, their voices echoed throughout the forest.

I ran.

The trail is supposedly five miles and loops around Goldwater Lake, deep behind the dam. I ran fast, but I kept my eyes open, as part of the fun of trail running is the scenery. Like the squirrel that paused on a log to look over his shoulder at me.

As I ran deeper into the forest, the yelling began to fade and I heard something that caused me to pause on the trail. I stopped and listened, peering between the scraggly oak bushes. The smell of animal hit my nose. Somewhere leaves crunched and bushes shook near the bottom of the sloping hill.

With our area having the largest population of Mountain Lion, I listened and watched. Then, a brown face with overly large ears looked up at me, framed by an opening in the bushes. The doe and I stared at each other before it moved slowly away. It made me smile. I took off running again.

Above me, the clouds were dark gray and white, building as if for a storm. The trail zig-zagged, at times, coming back to the lake, and other times veering so far away I prayed the sign was correct in saying it looped. At 2.5 miles, I stopped again just as the trail dipped down into shadier and thicker areas. Not a single bird tweeted. The usual sounds of the forest were silent, giving way to the hum of a thousand bees.

I debated about whether to continue down this trail, but I feared encountering a nest of bees, or worse, killer bees. Killer Bees attack without provocation. In order to attempt to escape them, you have to run faster and in a zig-zag pattern. I am running on a single-track trail with a steep, rooted, and heavily brushed downhill on my right and an uphill, almost unclimbable mountain, to my left (not pictured below).


I listened again, but the hum was constant and unmistakable. At best, I thought, it could be a concentration of many different bees, like that one year at White Horse Lake when the fields and the camp grounds were covered with every variation except the killer kind. At worst, I could be running into a death trap with killer bees.

Reluctantly, I turned around and ran the trail back to the lake parking lot, disappointed. Still, running the trail gives me a different kind of thrill and energy.

When I am alone in the forest, I can think clearly. I have conversations with our Lord as my feet hit the dirt, as the dew-slicked blades of grass slap against my legs, and I love the smell of pines, animal, and the feel of getting back to Eden. The trail re-energizes me the way nothing else does, and helps me return to life.

Back at the car, I return to crazy deadlines, social media, and the general unfairness of life. Once again, I am connected like an umbilical cord to my phone, and time is getting away from me. I have errands yet to run, and I get into the car and drive back into the town. But when I got home, I saw and felt the gritty layer of dirt on my skin, and smiled.

What re-energizes you?

#222Prayers – Victory

According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible-KJV-Large Print, there are 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 prayers in the New Testament. I first heard about this reference (found here) during a prayer meeting. For the next several Sundays I will post a prayer in regards to each section of scripture mentioned until I have gone through all 222 prayers.

2 Chron 20:6-12

2 Chron 20:20-25


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Secrets Behind Fig Leaves

Adam and Eve tried to hide from the Lord behind fig leaves. Fig leaves eventually wither away leaving you naked, sin out in the open. The truth always finds a way out from behind the fig leaves we use to hide it.

The best relationships include telling the truth no matter how it hurts you or someone else. Lies divide until truth is forced out. Like Adam and Eve hiding in the garden, God knew where to find them. He knows where we hide. More importantly, He knows what we hide.

The great news about Jesus is how He allows U-turns. Just repent and He gives us fresh clothes from the dryer.

Reading: Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them by Liz Curtis Higgs

Reference Verses: Psalm 32:5, 1 John 1:9, Proverbs 28:13


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Why Social Media Shouldn’t be Your Own Paparazzi

Social Media tends to make everyone a celebrity. By definition, status means, “high standing, prestige.” So every day that people update their “status” on social media, some cleave to that kind of thinking. 

Born from this are the hundred selfies people post online, the carefully cropped photos, and the separation of private life from public life. I read an article on how social media was set up like a paparazzi so everyone could feel like a celebrity. If you study how the successful marketers like the Obama campaign managed their social media, you would be left breathless at the success of it. I see social media in a different light. 

What if every Bible-only believing online Christian paid attention to what they posted? What if we examined our profiles as if we were an unsaved secular person? What would our social media say about us? What if every Bible-only believing Christian united together and posted with purpose and forethought? 

Yes, we’d each have our different denominations, but every Bible-only believing Christian church could unite while maintaining their individual personalities. I propose we leave the scandals of church out of our media, stop bashing church leaders online and on the golf course, and keep accountability within each individual church, using social media instead to help propel the Gospel first.

I’m building a new movement.

Will you help me fund it? Will you join me? Let’s use social media to shine Christ’s light through us into a dark world. Study the successful campaign of the Billy Graham Crusades, and you’ll see the foundation in which they built their organization. 

Learn more by clicking on this

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