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Monday, August 19, 2019

Big, Small, or House Church?

What's the best church: big, small, or house church?

Here's the answer: whatever one you prefer. Whichever one God has called you to. Now I know you have reasons and convictions why you think one of these is the best, and that's fine, but there is no room for rudeness. When we judge and bicker amongst ourselves we are not only hurting one another and tearing one another down, but others see the hurtfulness and don't want anything to do with Jesus. 

Is this one reason Christianity is dying in America? 
Because we can't show love?

"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." 1 John 4:11-12

Some of the differences we have are minor. Kind of like California going strawless.  Yes, I understand the reasoning, but there are so many bigger humanitarian needs. Christians, let us not fight over whether to have a drum in worship or whether you can wear hats. It's imperative to have your convictions and beliefs, but let's keep our eyes on the prize.

There are people who are... 
-starving
-dying
-being killed for their faith
-in slavery
-forced into sex-trafficking
-living without the hope Jesus brings!

BUT we're too busy bickering about insignificant points. We're not all the same, of course not, all of us are different, so it makes complete sense that our faith journey and churches will look different. 

Let's show love first!

Then in love and prayer God may show you how to lovingly correct. If all we do is correct and judge without showing love no change will come. Only hurt and continual dissension within the Church instead of unity that lets Jesus' love shine into the world.

I started writing this post last October, but never finished, because my desire is not to cause more hurt or tension. I understand how hard it is. I have been to conferences where I was writing about this topic and the very next speaker was difficult to listen to. I did not like her delivery or agree with her. But I hear God reminding me - don't be so quick to judge. Love first.

Let me leave you with a positive note...

Our church has been going through a difficult season. There were many weekends I didn't want to go, because it was so hard to see people hurting and leaving. But David was always excited to go and many weekends a guest speaker would be there. The message was good, but what always stuck with me was they said they were praying for us and their church was praying for us. 
Now their churches don't believe exactly what we do, but they saw people hurting and instead of condemning or gossiping they decided to show love. They prayed, and we've had churches all over Parker, Colorado, and the U.S. showing their love and praying for our hurting church. 

THAT is the Church!


Monday, July 1, 2019

The Open Casket & the Goldfish

Life is...The Open Casket & the Goldfish

This is a very different blog for me, but I thought sharing might help others with little kids as they navigate funerals.

Last December we went to a  funeral of a dear friend. It was an open casket. Now David had been to several funerals before but not seen this. In the past we were able to steer him away from seeing the body, but this time his very good friend said he wanted to show him his grandpa. So David took his hand and went up the aisle. I went with him. It seemed to go fine. The two, young boys stood silently for a while and then went back up the aisle into the lobby.

Then David came to me and said, "I thought you told me he was in heaven!" He was very upset.

I sat him on my lap and tried to explain that it was just his body that was here. That his soul was in heaven.

He seemed to take that for a while, but over the next weeks the questions came daily.
-What is a soul?
-Where is it?
-How does it get out?
-What happens to the body?

Such hard, deep questions for a five-year-old.

I felt like I was not getting through to him. I felt like I had broken him. He said he never wanted to see anything like that again. My heart was breaking as he was trying to figure out this part of life.

Finally I thought we had made progress. He seemed to understand that the body stays here, but the soul goes to heaven. He hadn't talked about it for a week, but then on the way home from skiing the questions came back.
This time it was...I don't want to die, because I don't want my body to explode when my soul leaves.

Oh, poor boy, No, it doesn't explode.

I tried to explain, but it wasn't getting through.

He asked, "Why do people have funerals? Why do they have open caskets?"

I tried to explain again, but it didn't help.

It was just him and I in the car driving on I-70. I prayed for words to reach a 5-year-old's heart.

A few minutes later it came to me.

I said, "Do you remember when your goldfish died? His body wasn't broken. He was still whole."
This seemed to be making sense to him.
I continued, "Remember before I buried him you wanted to say goodbye. You looked at your goldfish and told him you loved him and would miss him."
Yes, he did. I explained that it's the same for a funeral. It is a way for people to say goodbye.

For David this was the lightbulb. He understood and was able to move on. The questions were able to cease, and he had the answers he needed. For now.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

To Flip Off or Wave

Life is...To Flip Off or Wave

I was driving into town with Rachel and David. We merged from one road to another. The road has a merge lane, and in six years of driving I have only slowed down once to merge. But today I had to slam on my brakes, because the person in front of me was stopped - a dead stop - not moving - no cars coming. After a few seconds I decided to honk my horn. I wasn't sure if she was day dreaming or checking her phone. I meant it as a friendly honk, a 'Hey wake up' honk, but of course a horn honk is a horn honk.

Well, she did not take that honk well. She flipped me off and started driving. I was surprised by her gesture but tried to shake it off. As we were driving she decided one time flipping me off wasn't enough, so she did it again. My five-year-old saw it and asked what she was doing.

"She's just mad at me I said, but don't ever do that. It's not nice." 

Just a few miles down, the road turns from 2 lanes to 4 lanes. She gets into the left lane and starts accelerating and passing the other cars. Then she changes her mind, steps on the brake and goes so slow that she gets back in front of me in the right land, and then brings her speed WAY down, so far down that I realize she wants me to pass her.

And I want to. 
I'm just not sure what she is going to do. 
What is the point of this? 
Is she going to run my car off the road? 

After a little deliberation I decide to pass and get this weird scenario over with. I pass, and she just stares and flips me off for the 3rd time - holding her middle finger up the entire time. 

I have a split second choice to make. I knew I wasn't going to flip her off, but should I just ignore her? 

I decided to smile and wave. 

I don't know if that was the right decision, but I wanted to let her know, 
Yes, I see you & No, I'm not going to get mad. 

David asked, "Why is she doing that if it's mean?"

I wanted to say...
It's the world we live in.
People are crazy.
People are mean.
What is this world coming to?

It has been a while since that drive, and I can't stop thinking about that woman. But instead of thinking negatively about her and how could she do that? I have decided to pray for her. 

Clearly something was going on besides my horn honk. 
Maybe her kids were all screaming in the car.
Maybe she just received a diagnosis. 
Maybe she was just fired.
Maybe....

For myself, though I didn't mean to be rude by honking my horn, it was obviously misinterpreted. Maybe I'll use my horn even less.

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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Perfectionism

Life is...Perfectionism

It has been a long since I posted a blog. Yes, I have been very, very busy, but if I am honest I haven't written, because of my perfectionism.
I want the blog to be perfect - for example the layout and highlighting of my latest blogs annoys me. Why is it formatting that way?
But more importantly I want the content to be perfect - BUT IT CAN'T.
I am human. 
I will do my best. 
I will ask God for the right words.
I will pray that it is helpful to you.
But if it's not or you disagree, that's OK. We can disagree and still be friends or disagree and still be loving to one another. 

Is that too much to ask in our society? 
Disagreement with love?
There's your ? for the day.

-Thank you for sharing my blog.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Prostitute's Bed

 Life is...The Prostitute's Bed 
I had the opportunity to go on a short-term mission trip to India last year – I felt so bold showing and sharing about Jesus. We prayed out loud with people of different faiths in a county where evangelism is prohibited. We went in the slums and brothels, where we sat on the women’s beds where they make their living. We listened to their story, hugged them and prayed with them. We met with a man who used to own women and sold them in the brothel, and prayed with him.

I know I’m equipped, so what is holding me back from doing this every day?
One of the beauties of a short-term mission trip is the limited amount of time you have. It gives an urgency to speaking and sharing Jesus’s love. Yes, intellectually I know that we don’t have much time here on earth, but it’s hard to live in that mindset. 
So, I think the answer is being on short-term mission in every day life….I can say for the next 2 weeks I am going to work on showing God’s love to my neighbors. The following 2 weeks I’ll focus on showing love while doing errands. The next 2 weeks showing love at work, and ON and ON. This can easily keep me engaged and not growing complacent with God’s call to love others.

Another reason I find it so hard to love others around me is people are confusing, annoying, frustrating, complicated, & irritating. I know, that applies to me too! In a lot of ways it is easier to love someone I just met – it gets harder as I realize their strengths and weaknesses, and they get to know mine. It is easy to show God’s love for a moment – harder for a lifetime. Personally I get worn out and tired of dealing with people in this broken world. When I get discouraged I turn to God’s word. Here are some of my favorites.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” ~‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

My prayer is that I will be bold in sharing Jesus’s love EVERYWHERE I go.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Another Child


Life is…Another Child
My most viewed post by far has been about my miscarriage. It is something I think about every day – I don’t know that it’s in an obsessive way, just in a way of, I can’t forget about the baby we almost had.  I wanted to do something to remember and maybe finalize the grieving process – I wanted to sponsor a child, monthly giving, to a child that needs help. I picked a boy that was born on the day that our baby died.
People grieve and remember their miscarried babies in many ways. I pray this is a good way to continue the grieving and healing process.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

I Need Baby Jesus!


Life is...I Need Baby Jesus!
Since we started decorating and talking about Jesus being born at Christmas Rachel will not stop saying...
-I need Baby Jesus.
-I want to see Baby Jesus!
-Where is Baby Jesus?
-I can’t sleep without Baby Jesus.
-Here is Baby Jesus!

*She has been carrying around and sleeping with this little nativity. And showing it to all of us, all the time, so much so, that it is kind of annoying. She wants to read books about Baby Jesus, only watch shows about Baby Jesus.

+BUT what if I was a little more like Rachel? What if I couldn’t stop thinking and telling others about Jesus. What if I needed Him more?

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:1-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬  “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”