Category Archives: Uncategorized

good ≠ good

Tell me about a good TV series you like to watch.

Read any good books lately?

That was an awesome movie!

Have you heard that new song? It’s SO good!

Hey, I’ve got this really great game we should play…

These are all phrases I’ve seen, heard or spoken lately. But that word “good” doesn’t seem to mean what it once did.

Reading through the list, what first came to mind? What makes that song, that book, that show good? Does that match up with the traditional definition? Or even any of the definitions for good as listed on dictionary.com?

It seems to me that the word good, and many of its synonyms, has taken on a wholly different meaning in today’s society. We don’t really mean morally excellent, virtuous, or righteous. We might mean entertaining, riveting or thrilling.  But that movie with 67 expletives, 13 murders, numerous sex scenes and non-stop sexual innuendo? Surely you don’t mean to tell me it’s wholesome or redeeming. Please tell me how that card game designed to be “despicable and awkward” is pleasant, healthful, or beneficial. I don’t think you mean to tell me that music with the edgy sound and upbeat rhythms yet speaking of others in condescending, even hateful ways is beneficent or untainted.

Personally, I’m tired of people telling me everything under the sun is good, when I know full well that’s just not true. From a scriptural standpoint, those of us who believe in Christ are taught to flee immorality, to fix our thoughts on that which is true, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, etc. We are admonished to fix our eyes on JESUS, the author and perfecter of our faith. I can’t claim to consistently live that out, without error. I’m a work in progress. But I hope I can at least stick to the real meaning of words, and in so doing communicate with others in a helpful, transparent manner. Is it too much to ask others to do the same?

Perfect

“You are Perfect in all of Your ways”

Another line from one of those often-sung worship songs. But can I sing it with any real certainty, any real belief?

A friend of mine has a daughter who was born with a rare, deadly heart defect. And she is one of the most caring, genuine, transparent people I know. Watching her trust God through incredible hardship has been mind-blowing and faith-stretching for me. This recent post really had me!! Check it out for yourself:

https://heartforannie.wordpress.com/

My response to Christians who are boycotting ‘The Shack’ film. 

As a person who endeavors to walk in a manner worthy of my calling, I have been perplexed by all the “controversy” over The Shack – the title of the book, and now the movie, by William P. Young.

When I read the book several years ago, I found it cathartic. In fact, in reading it I was able to work through some hurts and hang-ups that I’d been carrying around with me for WAY too long.

I appreciate the perspective of blogger Crystal Olmos, as shared below.

Crystal Olmos

I was recently contacted by a precious woman from a marketing firm that works for Lionsgate films. She liked my mommy/lifestyle blog and also saw I was a Christ follower. She gave me VIP seats to attend the advance screening of The Shack and also allowed any of my followers to come for free as well!

I was really excited about this opportunity as I read the book years ago and really loved it. Unfortunately, my excitement was put at bay a little once I started seeing articles circulating around about how “anti-Christian” and “blasphemous” the book, and now film, was, in some Christian’s opinions.
Friends, can I just tell you… can I please just tell you… how wrong these people are.

I am a person who takes blaspheme against God and reverence towards Him VERY seriously. I will walk out of a theater with actors who are cursing His…

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What Was I Expecting?

“You are Perfect in all of Your ways”

Another line from one of those often-sung worship songs. But can I sing it with any real certainty, any real belief?

A friend of mine has a daughter who was born with a rare, deadly heart defect. And she is one of the most caring, genuine, transparent people I know. Watching her trust God through incredible hardship has been mind-blowing and faith-stretching for me. This recent post really had me struggling for composure.

heart for annie

“It hurts, Momma. My line hurts!” she whined, dragging her finger up and down, up and down the stretch of her 6-inch scar.

annies-line

“On the inside, Momma!”  She grabbed at her chest; I panicked and prayed. 

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Held

I know this. But do I always remember? Do I believe?

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief! – Mark 9:24

Living With Heart

A year ago, I received a call that no mother ever wants to take. My husband, John, and two older sons, Josiah and Tyler, had gone hiking for the weekend in Colorado. When John called sobbing in the middle of the day, I knew something must have gone horribly wrong.

The story slowly unfolded. They had just come down off a particularly steep area, when twelve year old Tyler lost his footing. Stumbling, he jumped into some snow to try to regain his footing, but that snow ended up being ice. After sliding 50 feet down the icy slope, he hit a field of rocks and went down another 50 feet in a rockslide. Partially covered in rocks, he couldn’t move. It took John 15 agonizing minutes to get to him. Because they couldn’t get back to the original trail and the cell phones had no coverage, they had to…

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Borderless

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders…”

This a quote from a song that has been popular in Christian circle for a while now. But what happens when our song becomes our reality?

I find myself in such a place. Life is inexplicable for me right now. Not where I thought I’d be. Disappointments and changes bring me to the point where I just don’t know where God is leading. I feel borderless, vulnerable. Like I’m walking down a rural, dry country road with nothing to hem me in. Unsure of where it will lead. And honestly, I don’t like it. But through this, I have the opportunity to trust. For my faith to be stretched. To seek the Lord and in Him find solace, comfort, peace.

And I think that’s the way He wants it. To find my value in Him alone, not my understanding of Him, not in myself or surroundings. To keep walking, keep seeking, keep trusting. And so I will.

Losing my song

The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
    He will quiet you by his love;
He will exult over you with loud singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

“I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
Psalm 104:33

Singing.

It’s been my deepest form of expression since…as long as I can remember. And in fact, even when I was still developing, I’m told that I did flips  in my Mother’s womb when she would sing. I sing when I’m excited, when I’m joyful, when I’m down, when I’m feeling hopeless. I just about always have a song on my heart, and it directly corresponds with what I want to communicate with God. Song is, you might even say, my prayer language.

Not that I don’t ever pray. I am in prayer all day long. And I journal a good bit too, though not as much as I’d like. But song is where me & Jesus just seem to communicate with each other most, and most intimately.

But this summer, I found myself in a real physical struggle to swallow anything that was not in liquid form. Because of this, I was referred to a Gastroenterologist who ran some tests and told me I have two different issues going on with my esophagus and then set me on path to correct those problems. And, pretty quickly things started getting better! What a relief to be able to sit down for a meal without fear of choking!

But something else happened. My voice changed. Quite rapidly, I started noticing difficulty hitting the high notes I was quite accustomed to singing without trouble. Then, it went from being difficult to impossible. And then I lost pitch control. Within a short time, I pretty much lost my singing voice. I mean, I have some ability to sing in a medium-ish range. But with the pitch control problems, it’s just not enjoyable to sing at all. In fact, it’s painful. Physically painful, but even more so, emotionally painful.

I feel as though I’m losing my way. Losing my voice. Losing my identity. Losing my song.

This must be a little like what Samson felt when he lost his strength and had his eyes gouged out. Personally, I’d rather have no strength and no sight than no voice, no song. Well, I’ve never really had any physical strength to speak of anyway, so maybe that’s not a great comparison.
I don’t know what it’s like to be able to pull 700 pound gates – frame, posts, and all – right out of the ground and carry them on my shoulders. But that was Samson’s gift. He must have felt so terribly isolated, abandoned, and alone when he lost that gift.

And now, I feel like I’ve lost my gift. And I wonder who cut my hair off. Okay, I’ve never had very long hair, but I wonder what I’ve done – or failed to do – that has brought this on.

Then a small voice inside of me says “maybe it’s just time to develop a new prayer language”.

So I find myself on a new journey. It hurts. I don’t like it. I just want my voice back. And maybe someday it will come back. But I know God has allowed this – even ordained it. So It will be okay. Even good. And I believe He will use it for good. He still loves me. He still desires me to seek Him earnestly and often.

I can learn a new song, even if I never sing again. I must. I will.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.
Psalm 43:5