Tag Archives: love

Rooted

“We like to stay put. But from the beginning God’s heart has been for us to, as He told Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28)…But again, humanity seems to crave a security that is rooted in the earth instead of in God alone.” – Naeem Fazal

The merry-go-round. I am thinking how rooted I’ve been for the past eight years, clinging to the earth as Naeem says on page 156 of Ex-Muslim.

Rooted to sameness, familiarity, and security, I have been entertaining a lot of fears–fears of trying something new; fears of disappointing people; fears of failing. But now, after a year of praying, I’m ready to be uprooted.

I’m ready to step off the merry-go-round.

Ways I Am Being Uprooted:
1. I am starting a new ministry in 2015.
2. I am seeking to further my education.
3. I am ready to live the life God has been training me to live.
4. I am ready to trust in Christ for my security.

Can life start anew at age forty? I am hungry again and eager to serve.

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Blow Off Steam Elsewhere

Companies have many names for departments whose sole job is to keep your business, like cancellation department, retention department, customer care department, or whatever. In other words, the guy who had the power to unbundle your package has no power to also cancel a service. 

That’s the job of the retention department. After you get put on hold again for an obscene amount of time, they offer you lots of freebies or discounted services; in other words, they want to keep your business so bad that they will break policy and waive fees, and even see about getting service to your house sooner than when you were first told. 

The question I have to ask these companies is this: If you thought my business so valuable, why didn’t you bend over backwards to help me in the first place?

Why did I have to wait four hours on a Saturday only to be told no one can get here for nearly a week? Why didn’t you offer to waive the fee for repair on our initial call? Why did I have to wait 30 minutes for the first person to unbundle my package and fifteen for someone who had the power to cut my service? That’s 45 minutes to hear a sales pitch about how I should stay with your company. Customer service just isn’t the same these days. 

But one thing won’t change with me: my reaction or response to the person on the phone. No matter what the company does, you need to treat the person on the phone as if you’ll see them the next day. The person on the phone is just a hired hand. He or she doesn’t have the power to change the company policy.

Be nice. 

Be calm. 

Don’t swear.

Then, hang up when you are done and go have a latte to blow off steam. 

Why You’ll Feel Grateful Someday For Hitting Rock Bottom

One day you will stop in your journey and pivot on your heels to look back at the place where you hit rock bottom. And you will smile, feeling grateful for that dark place in your life. You had to hit rock bottom in order to realize the wrong direction you were headed. Without that realization, you would have continued deeper into that hole never seeing the reality of your decisions and the impact of those decisions on your life, like credit card addiction.

How you got to that rock bottom place began with you as a child. The empty place in your soul remained unfulfilled so when you grew into an adult you sought to fill it by any means possible. Thankfully, you didn’t choose drug or alcohol addiction, but you loved that credit card and you spent money because it gave you that same feeling as eating a big meal on an empty stomach. The good feeling after buying clothes or decorative household items you didn’t need failed to last more than a few hours. Like any high, you looked to ease that ache in you with men. They fed you lines and you believed them. And some were just as messed up as you, not knowing what they wanted in their life.

You got those creditor calls and you cried. You stopped spending finally, but it was too late. The debt had sunk you to rock bottom. Only by the grace of God did you escape the horrific consequences that waited for you had you continued in making those bad decisions.  Now you can feel gratitude and look to a brighter future.

You know if you find yourself in that same place again it won’t be because you repeated your mistakes. Rather, it will be because of circumstances beyond your control. This time it won’t be rock bottom, but a simple pothole or bad stretch of road.

Looking back can be good, because it’s in looking back that you are able to see clearer the footsteps of God in your life.

When You Gossip…

Not everyone survives the initial cost of being the target of gossip.

Eventually, you might believe the false things said about you and walk away from church altogether without realizing the few people who did the talking are nothing like the many people who love well. I am blessed to know the many who love well, and they do exist, but gossip in its own way is a form of persecution.

Words can break a person. So when you speak, measure your words. It’s not easy and you won’t always be successful. The tongue is difficult to tame, and even the most likable person can give in to the temptation of gossip or not realize they have gossiped. Gossip divides. It does not build up.

So when you are tempted to talk, ask yourself these questions:

1: What is your motivation for talking against them, especially in a public place?

2: Do you wish them well and want them to succeed?

3: What would they say if they could hear you?

4: Are you prepared to be wrong?

5: Do you want them to walk away from Christian fellowship because of what you said?

6: Are you glad for their misfortune?

You take away a person’s ability to trust others in his or her church when you participate in gossip.

Why I Am Doing This

Today I am taking a break from #222Prayers, and instead posting something different. Look to next week for the continuation of this prayer series.

The Honduran Short Term Mission trip taught me how God works through fundraising. It’s stressful setting a high goal and spending time in prayer trying to raise money. I’ve seen God work in fundraising and other times how my efforts didn’t amount to any fruit. But what God wants to happen, nothing will stop!

So I’m stepping out in faith, and it almost feels like Indiana Jones when he stepped over the cliff. I’m squeezing my eyes shut and stepping into the unknown.

I’ve included a graphic below on how this new fundraising works.

First, go to http://www.bagthepeak.com to read about why supporting International Sports Federation (ISF) is so important. You’ll learn why they do what they do, and what the money you raise will go towards.

Did I say what the money YOU raise?

When you register to raise money for ISF, you share it on your social networks and with your friends and family. You can also give.

bagthepeakWe’re planning a celebration for ISF complete with a bluegrass gospel live band, coffee and dessert, and one of ISF’s people will be speaking to us about what’s happening in the ministry. I am excited for it.

www.bagthepeak.com

But I do need your help and it doesn’t matter where you live. Because everything is online, you can be a part of the story of missions right from your living room. We’ve got $10 donated towards our $7500 goal and 67 days in which to complete this fundraising walk of faith.

Will you help?

Pretty please…

Click here to see the ISF Facebook page.

What Sense of Community?

orphansMy sister-in-law wants to go on our next short term missions trip. Others have also expressed a tentative interest in missions. I laughed with my husband when we considered the selling points of a short term missions trip:

“Let’s tell people about Honduras and how they should go on a short term missions trip. Let’s tell them how depressed they will get for an entire month after coming home.”

My husband smiles. He laughs, too. Both of us felt depressed a month after arriving home; me longer than him. I live in a place where we frankly do poorly at community (among other things). People would much rather spend two seconds liking a status than having conversation over coffee on a Saturday afternoon.

The reliability of people in our area under 60 years of age is bad. Like David Jeremiah said: We are a generation where we like to keep all options open. This means not committing to anything–not church, not a party on a Saturday night, and not to coffee. Not even to a Bible study.

That’s what depressed me.

I spent nine days in a place ripe with love and companionship where people have 3 o’clock coffee in person to a place that is so busy, of people who fill their time and their kids time with stuff, that no one has time to make community. This place is so starved for community that small churches have formed in our area. Small groups are popular. So I have to wonder if we are making Sunday church convenient for our community time so we can still fill our hours with stuff during the week?  That’s the way it feels like anyway.

God used Honduras to change us; to change me. That’s why I began brainstorming how to be…different. I hope to launch my new website in January, 2015 where I will explain this “difference.”  God’s been calling me to something “different” for over a year now.

I’m listening now, God. Direct my steps. I want your will in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Stop Writing Blogs That Accuse The Church

Change happens through relationships,

Yes, I’m still thinking about Sunday’s Are The Worst. It bothered me that much. Even as I scan my old blogs and other blogs, I am wondering if we need to stop writing blogs that are general accusations against the church, and instead, be the friend and stop bad behavior on the spot? Be the pastor, and talk to the congregation member(s) who are behaving badly?

Do you know how many blogs are anti-church? I don’t know either, but over the years, I have read a lot of them. It’s exhausting watching the anti-church blogs garner all the media attention. I said to a friend the other day how we eat our own for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Who needs an atheist to talk against us?

We’re doing a pretty good job of that ourselves.

While I believe in blogging and social media, I also believe in measuring every word I write or speak. Sometimes, I fail, and for that I apologize and ask that you forgive me and keep me accountable. My goal is to build up the church, help them succeed, and to show them how to be a light on a hill in a world of constant night. In writing, we are taught to show and not tell our readers what is going on in the character’s world.

Let’s practice that rule in life. Tell about scripture, the wonders of Christ, of Heaven, but also show the fruit of that belief from observing others in action to our own actions. It’s not pride. It’s not building platform. It’s finding something good to write about and letting our voices meld with other voices to be louder than the negativity. Blogs that write against the church may have genuine reasons for doing so, perhaps out of frustration, or maybe an attempt to start change or a national discussion. But how has change happened in life?

Change happens through relationships, mentorship, and standing up and for something. It begins in your church, in your neighborhood, through intimate conversations in social media, and it’s never too late to shine a light.