26 March 2009

Time on my hands

This week has given me more downtime than I usually have. The upside has been listening to several new audio books, the downside has been reading email I probably would have just deleted in normal circumstances. If nothing else, I will no longer feel even a twinge of remorse in deleting emails sent encouraging me to "honor God" "show you love Jesus" or any other "Christian" label.

If this week has done nothing else it has reaffirmed to me just how right Rob Bell was when he said "Christian is a great noun and a poor adjective." -Velvet Elvis, Repainting the Christian Faith.

It seems many wish to qualify their ideas by using the word "Christian" as an adjective. According to the American Heritage Dictionary when the word is used as an adjective it means: relating to or characteristic of Christianity. As a noun the definition is: One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus.

I will admit I have long held a distaste for labeling things Christian. From music to businesses, to books to read, I could never understand the need or even the desire to limit God by labeling only certain things as belonging to Him. He is the creator of the world. Everything already is His. I can find truth and encouragement from many sources. They do not have to be a product of a Christian manufacturer or publisher. A poem which celebrates the beauty of the earth, regardless of the writer's spiritual state, celebrates God. For how can you honor the beauty of the object and not honor He who created it? Many times a song has touched my heart or opened my eyes to a life lesson. Most often God has used a "secular" song. Is there even such a thing? God created the songwriter. He created the musicians. Their work would not be here to reach me if not for Him

I am a Christian. Everything I do falls under the teachings of Jesus. I take those teachings with me everywhere. They go with me when I go to work, to the grocery store, when I pump gas, when I chat with the mailman and when I go to church. They are no more important in the latter than they are in the former. Everywhere I go and everything I do is done because of how Jesus is teaching me to live my life.

Deleting from this day on with no guilt,


24 March 2009

Twitter Hazards

Just a little helpful hint to recall while twittering. A dear friend recently fell into a ditch when she was walking the park and texting.

Twitter with care,


17 March 2009

Wearing the green

In the morning I will put on my green shirt and go to work. I will remember that St. Patrick dedicated his life to loving those who had enslaved him. He made the right choice, not the easy choice. Hate is easy, love takes courage. I need to be as courageous as he. As I am wearing my green shirt, I pray that it will remind me to love those I find it difficult to love.

Wanting to wear the green in my heart every day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day,


15 March 2009

Happy Birthday Mum!

There is one person on this earth who knows all my secrets and loves me anyway. That person is my mother. She is my confessor, best friend, guidance counselor and sounding board all rolled into one. She comforts, consoles and corrects always using the gentleness of her heart.

I look at her and am able to see how God loves me.
All of my life she has been there for me.
When I was headed down a wrong path,
when I didn't listen to her,
and when I came back shamed,
her welcome was never withheld,
her forgiveness never faked,
her love never ceasing.
I look at my mother and realize,
this side of heaven
she's the clearest vision
I will have of the face of God!

Thanks Mum ! Thanks God for giving me such a mum!



10 March 2009

Practicing what I preach

It's never easy for me to admit when I have failed. I have failed again and it took me a while to even figure out where I had gone wrong.

Nights are hard now, finding enough relief from pain to sleep is the main goal of every night. Several times in the last few weeks I have been able to fall asleep only to be awakened by loud music being blared by either neighboring apartments or cars blasting tunes. I have felt angry, frustrated and helpless to do anything about the situation. Last night it happened again. I lay there feeling angrier and angrier. I knew I was going to have trouble falling back to sleep. When I can't sleep I usually spend the time praying. I feel then at least the time awake is put to good use.

Last night I shifted around until I was fairly comfortable and started to pray. Well, I guess it would be more accurate to say I tried to pray. I knew my heart wasn't in it so I tried to figure out what was wrong. I was still feeling anger at those who had woken me from a hard won sleep.

In a moment of clarity I realized I wasn't even trying to love my neighbor at that point. I was holding on to bitter feelings and even worse, I felt justified to do so. It is not as though I don't feel they bear the blame for being rude, but that does not negate my need to forgive them. Whether they seek my forgiveness or not, I am bound by God's command to do so. As I was laying there asking God to give me the desire to forgive them I realized something else I had forgotten. I forgot that the person who woke me is a creation of God's. He has God's fingerprints all over Him and that is reason enough for me to love him.

Thankfully God forgives much better than I do and He gifted me with the desire to forgive the ones I felt had offended me. Right now there is someone outside blasting their bass. It is reminding me that God loves me even when I fail and He will give me whatever I need to share His love with others.

Glad to know that falling short never takes me out of His love,


06 March 2009

Flat on my face

When I first read this cartoon it made me think of how many times when danger is near it is important to prostrate yourself on the ground. In a fire you are taught to crawl along the ground where the air is freshest. If you catch on fire you are to stop drop and roll. When you feel faint you are to lie down.

I experienced a variation of this saving yourself by falling on your face these past couple of weeks. I developed shingles on top of everything else I have going on. The first thing I thought when I saw the rash was "Dear God, how do I cope with this too?" So I did what I have learned is the best thing to do in any situation. I fell flat on my face and begged God for the grace and courage to get through the next few weeks. I fall on my face often enough now that frankly the floor is becoming my second home.

The best gift has been the people who are willing to join me on the floor. I called several hard praying friends and they went to work. I love friends who don't just say they will pray for you, but will stop whatever they are doing and pray right there with you. There is such power and glory in two of God's children praying together. Face to face or over the phone, there is no better gift than someone who will go to God with you. I am so blessed to have people in my life who don't only claim to know Christ, but who instead show they know Christ!

Grateful for a God who sends me comfort on the floor,