Wednesday, December 11, 2013

...And is Kind

 "Love suffers long and is kind"  1 Corinthians 13:4

I have heard the "love verses" millions of times, but this morning when I read it, this portion of the verse jumped out at me.  This is something that I needed to hear.  The translations I usually read have the words "longsuffering" or "patient" instead of "suffers long" and for some reason when I read this NKJV version, it spoke to me in a new way.  Love suffers.  The word suffer is not a pleasant one, it's meaning, of course, is to experience pain, illness, or injury.  Love will experience all of that for another, just as Jesus experienced pain and injury for you and me.  

However, there is another definition of the word that really cut deep: to submit or be forced to endure .  Not only does one experience pain for another, it is chosen.  And is kind. If you are human and have ever experienced pain, you know that while you are experiencing it, you are not kind.  Pain and suffering usually bring about rudeness and lashing out at loved ones around us.  When I am suffering a migraine, I do not want anyone to talk to me, be near me,...breathe too loud.  I am not a nice person when I am suffering.  

When my husband and I are going through hard times, the paycheck isn't exactly stretching the way we would both want it to and we are feeling stressed, we are feeling a whole different kind of pain.  At that moment we are to be KIND to each other.  You married folks know how completely easy it is to be kind to your spouse when you don't agree how the paycheck should be spent.  Right?!

For my unmarried friends, let me bring up another scenario.  Your car runs out of gas on a busy highway and none of your friends or family are answering their phones.  You have to walk half a mile and back to put gas in your car.  You are not happy.  When you finally get back home, ________ (fill in the blank with room mate, boyfriend, mom, ect.) says, "How was your day."  You want to lose it and give them a piece of your mind after feeling deserted all afternoon.  That is the exact moment you are to be KIND

These scenarios aren't even THAT bad.  Consider what so many of the Christian martyrs went through.  That is real suffering.  And we can barely get through our cushy little day being kind to each other.  What if you were in an arena filled with thousands of people who are cheering for the hungry lions to come and eat you.  Think you could be kind to anybody at that point? 

Love suffers LONG.  It not only endures pain, it will do it for a long time and yet still be kind.  That baffles my mind.  How can you do that? I am not the expert on this because I am still trying to figure it out myself.  I do know that a heart full of Jesus can give you the endurance to suffer long, to love, and be kind.  When my husband and I separated and the Lord brought us back together, we had gone through a world of suffering.  I felt Jesus put his arms around me and I knew that He would put my life back together.  My life isn't perfect and it hasn't been easy over the past couple of years, but I have so much peace about everything.  I can sit and enjoy his presence and it doesn't matter where I am or what has happened in my life.  That presence is what makes me able to endure any amount of suffering.  It is only with His strength that I can look past my suffering and have any ounce of kindness left.  I can't argue with a Bible scholar about the truths of the Bible, but I know that my experience with Jesus is true and no one can take that away from me.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thread of Life

I have been thinking a lot lately about hard times.  A couple of weeks ago my pastor preached a sermon about staying strong when you go through trials.   This is something in which I happen to have a lot of experience, but honestly, I am glad I have gone through everything that I have gone through.  God is weaving a unique story with each day of my life.  Throughout my life God has been the thread, the very fiber, woven into the months and years that make up the whole of who I am, and there is no other story exactly like mine.  And that, no one can take away from me.

Just like a tapestry on the wall of a castle can be intricate and beautiful, God only creates quality pieces of work.  There is no trash, no junk, in his kingdom.  The process of making a tapestry is long and tedious, seeming like each thread that joins its mates are not making a difference to the size of the tapestry.  One tiny thread doesn't seem to make a difference, but when combined with thousands of pieces, it creates pieces that can span an entire wall. Each day that has gone by in my life has seemed like a mundane piece of thread, but it is building up to something extraordinary.

The Lord takes such painstaking, mechanical, detailed attention to every fiber of who you are.  I have heard before that when our life seems hard, it is because we are just seeing a small piece of the larger picture.  I believe this.  In weaving, the weaver begins with a picture; a piece of artwork, a photograph, or drawing that will be transformed into a tapestry or fabric.  This is enlarged to the size that is needed for the piece, then is placed behind the loom so that it can be seen through the threads.  The Creator has a masterpiece in mind before your life begins, although instead of a two dimensional tapestry, He is creating a life.  Besides the fact that he created your physical body, which is amazing in itself, the Lord is sculpting an emotional, psychological, and spiritual dimension to you as well.  This goes well beyond the three dimension movies we watch in theaters.  There is so much that goes into who you are.  He has a picture of what he wants you to be right there in the loom of who you are.  However, He is not creating a piece of fabric, but a human who He graciously allows to make its own decisions.

A weaver may have hundreds of colors that go into a single piece of tapestry.  As he is working on it, he may have many of them attached and hanging from the loom while he goes back and forth to create a work of art.  Ten colors over here to create a butterfly, five next to that to create a flower, twenty-three on the left side to make the log cabin, and three shades of gray will make the smoke billowing from the chimney.  Add to that fifty different colors for the scene of the children playing in the field.  The weaver knows where each piece of thread needs to go.  He knows how much of each color and in what direction it should be woven.

At all times, the Lord has hundreds, thousands of threads attached to you just to keep you alive and breathing.  He is constantly creating and re-creating you, all while you are making decisions that could completely change the direction of your life.  But He has a plan for that, too.  He simply re-draws and re-plans the picture and begins His work again.  He is constantly working on you. The most beautiful of God's tapestries are the ones who submit to His will and allow the Weaver to just do His work.  They begin to ask Him what to do in their lives.  Sometimes He needs to undo some sections and re-do them because of bad decisions or things that happen that are out of their control.  Some tapestries need more re-doing than others.  But when the human tapestry submits to Him, they can know without a doubt that it will be absolutely breathtaking.

The hard times I mentioned earlier may just be some of the darker thread that is needed to highlight the brighter areas of the work.  How exciting would an art gallery be if the artist only used one color paint for all of his art? We need the good times and the bad to make us who we are.  Psalm 11:5 states, "The Lord tests the righteous," and James 1:2-4 says,"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." I think that these dark  times are refining us and removing our impurities.  If all you can see is darkness around you,  rest in the truth that God has a large view of your life, and he doesn't just see the dark time, but the entire picture.  He loves you and is creating something breathtaking in you.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Super Glue for my Broken Heart: Pain

Super Glue for my Broken Heart: Pain: I place my pain                           on a platter, And ice it like a cake. They eat it up and love it so  Cuz they don&#39...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Great Plank Removal

This past week, a friend of mine on my favorite social networking site posted something that caught my attention and really bothered me.  He was approached by a teenage kid asking for donations for a church trip.  The kid accepts the money then proceeds to lay into my friend for wearing a t-shirt of a rock band that wouldn't exactly be considered "churchy." Then he lectures my friend about listening to certain types of music and announces that he has stopped listening to non-Christian music.   I really wanted to comment on his post, but I had no idea how to respond to this.  I felt like no matter what I said, I would sound like a pious know-it-all or something like that.

Coincidentally I have been meditating on a verse for a few weeks that ties in perfectly with this little scenario.  Luke 6:41-42 talks about judging others:

41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

What I have been especially been focused on is the "plank."  I have been asking the Lord to reveal to me what planks I have in my own eyes.  I figure there are probably several in there that I can't even see.  According to Dake's Annotated Reference Bible, "plank" can be translated into the words "log, tree trunk, or telephone pole."  I find the last one to be a bit of a stretch considering there were no telephones at the time that Jesus walked the earth.  I assume Mr. Dake included that word merely to emphasize the huge size of the plank in question.  The one that makes the most sense to me is "tree trunk" and the more I think about it, the more I get it.  There is a reason Jesus used that scenario to describe the judgmental condition of mankind.  The most obvious thing that I see in this verse is that when you judge others, you are blind to your own afflictions.  What I gained from meditating on this is that I need to take a good hard look at myself and fix all the many things wrong with me before looking at others.  But then I pressed deeper and really thought about that plank, that tree trunk growing out of my eye that Jesus spoke about; and what I saw in my mind's eye was this: when you have a huge tree growing out of your eye, you not only are blind, you hurt others! If I have a huge tree growing out of my face, every where I turn I am bashing other people with it. Also, if you leave a tree alone, it will continue to grow larger and larger.  The more I focus on other people's problems and leave mine alone, my own problems will just get bigger.  And the more I try to "help" others while I refuse to get my own help, the more I will just keep bashing in the heads of those around me and keep pushing them away until I no longer have anyone who wants to get close to me.  Jesus commanded us to love others, not bash their heads in all the time.  When I let the Lord remove my afflictions, then I can lovingly help those around me with the things that are afflicting them.  

So as I meditated on this and asked the Lord to reveal my tree trunks, he very quickly showed me a huge one that was in my life and very swiftly removed it.  I knew it was there, but what I didn't know  how much it was affecting me.  It was very painful to remove this thing from my life because it involved a huge setback in my family's income, but I truly believe with all my heart that when God removes something from our lives he replaces it with huge blessings.  I can already say that He has provided everything my family needs and I know that He will continue to do so.  

I have to admit that God has really reached me with this verse that I have known since I was a kid. I have read and heard it so many times that I used to just tune it out. But it seems that the Lord has been re-teaching me a lot that I thought I already knew.   I used to be very judgmental.  Very.  Like to the point where I would read Bible verses or hear a sermon and think about all the people I knew who needed to hear THAT! But I was missing the point entirely.  Jesus speaks directly to ME and to YOU, he doesn't teach all of his lessons to give us an excuse to judge everyone else we know while we don't change a thing about ourselves.  The teenage boy who berated by friend may have felt in his heart that he should cut out certain music from his life so that God could speak to him.  He may have cut it from his life because his youth minister told him it was the only way he could go on the trip. I don't know the reason he stopped listening to certain types of music.  All I know is that he inappropriately judged my friend.  I hope and pray that this boy changes his ways and that the Lord removes the planks from his eyes so that he will stop bashing others.  I believe that the music that a person listens to is up to them. I believe that God looks at our hearts and I truly believe he would rather me listen to non Christian music because that is what I want to listen to rather than broadcasting that I listen to Christian music just to prove how great I am.  The whole point of listening to Christian music is to praise God and if a person does it with the point of showing off how great they are they are missing the point entirely.  They are praising themselves and not God.  I hope and pray that my friend who received the bashing doesn't think that all Christians just want to go out and bash anyone who doesn't have the same views as them. If you look hard enough you can find those special people who have a true relationship with the One Living God.  Christians are never going to be perfect, but there really are those who do want to love others.   Once you find people like that, never let them go!! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hello Again!

Hello again! I am back after taking a long break from blogging.  I started this blog because The Lord told me to.  I argued with Him, but He insisted.  I told Him that I hate blogs, that they are not for serious writers, and if I can't go to college and become a "real writer" then I am not going to waste my time blogging.  But He wouldn't let it go.  He kept pressing into my spirit that I start this blog so I finally broke down and started it; and I admit now that I really love it.  The few posts  I have already written, I poured my heart into and God has really blessed me through writing them.  At the beginning, things were going great with my new blog.

Then God told me to write what was on my heart about the gay and lesbian community in my post Rainbows.  I argued with Him about that too.  I don't like to write controversial things.  I don't like to rock the boat.  I like things to be simple and easy.  But again, He kept pressing me so I decided to write it and I was nervous the whole time writing it.  After I wrote it I was angry at God for making me write a post that was so out of my comfort zone and I just couldn't bring myself to write anything else for a while.  I didn't even log onto the blogger screen to check on things for months.   Well,  when I finally did get back onto my blogger screen and started looking around I realized that God apparently had a plan with that little post because Rainbows ended up getting the most hits out of all my posts.  And not just by a little, either, like 400% more than my other posts.  Someone even posted a link to it in an atheist forum which is where it received most of the hits. I think that is so crazy because that post had the most Bible verses than any of my other posts!  So apparently I struck a nerve with that one! Praise God! His word made it into places where it may not have otherwise gone and I hope that every single person who read it was able to get to know Jesus in a new and personal way.  I am saying all this to tell how awesome God is because I know that all this was not because of me.  If it would have been up to me, I would never even have started the blog in the first place.

 God's plans are not our plans! I read the story of Gideon to my kids from the book of Judges a couple of weeks ago and it really resonated with me.  All Gideon wanted was to bake bread for his family, but God had a much bigger plan for him! God used Gideon to lead an army of 300 men to conquer 3 entire nations.  When a person joins the US armed forces, it is not an easy life.  First there is boot camp where they go through intense training, then they go to war and have to sometimes live in horrible conditions and go through things they have never dreamed of doing.  But even with all the hardship, if they follow their general's orders they will achieve so much more it their lives.  Way more than if they had never joined in the first place.  If this is true in a natural army, how much more is this a truth in God's army? With Gideon, God equipped him after he was called. In fact, Gideon was very unprepared for a battle.  He was pretty much a nobody in the nation of Israel.  When God told him his plan for the nation, Gideon argued with God and told Him that he had the wrong guy.  Gideon was the smallest man in his family and his family was the smallest in the nation.  Not only that,  Gideon had such a small plan for his life: Grind wheat for his family without the Midianites taking it. That is all Gideon wanted to do. But God had so much more in store for him. God took a small man from a small family with a small plan and just like a tiny seed grows into a might tree, Gideon became a huge part of God's story in the Bible.  Gideon obeyed God and ended up leading an army to defeat the Midianites and eventually became the leader of Israel.   I think I really related to Gideon because I argued with God about my blog and I know that having a lot of people read a little blog is nothing compared to defeating 3 nations with 300 men like Gideon, but I like the idea that God can use a nobody like me, like Gideon, to do something big when we obey Him.  What is God telling YOU to do? Go do it!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


These are my personal notes on the New Testament book of Acts.  I have a hard time just reading books. I think I am by nature a writer in the most simplest way in that I have a very basic need to write things in order to understand them.  It is how I learn.  So any time I read the Bible or any other book that is a teaching book I have to write about it to really get it.  I usually do this in an actual journal, but the Lord has led me to share it, so here it is.  I hope that it helps you! I have started a new dedicated page here

Sunday, April 7, 2013


What I have to say may upset some people that I know. It may make some of you angry, but it is something that has really been on my heart lately and I have to share it.
I have not really been keeping up with current events lately. I really don't watch a lot of television simply because with enough noise produced by my 4 kids, I have been enjoying the silence. A few days ago I took my kiddos to get Happy Meals and there was a T.V. right behind us that was so obnoxiously loud that I couldn't help hearing the news show that was playing. The entire segment was devoted to talking about the gay marriage issue that is going on right now.  It got me thinking and I am upset about the actions of the church in general concerning homosexual people. I, myself am straight. I am married to my husband and we have four beautiful children. But over the years I have worked with men and women who were gay or lesbian and I have friends and relatives who are also homosexual. I love them dearly. I truly believe that for me the love that I feel for them was a conscious choice. I have grown up in church and I know how most people in the church as a whole feel about people of the homosexual persuasion. So I really had to dig deep into myself and discover my thoughts on the matter and to do that I turned to my Bible, but what I found may surprise you.
The cornerstone of my faith, Jesus Christ himself, spoke the most simple and profound statement found in Matthew 22:37-40
He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
"Love your neighbor as yourself." Hmm. What I don't see is, "Love your neighbor as yourself unless there is a rainbow flag flying outside their door.
Let's look at another one:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”John 13:34-35
And here's another:
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
"The one who does not love does not know God." Wow! If I choose not to love people for any reason then it says very clearly that I do not know God. The whole purpose for my faith is to have a relationship with God and I don't want to do anything that will keep me from that. God loves the lesbian woman just as much as he loves me. He loves the gay man just as much as he loves my pastor at church. He loves each of us! Now, I know what you church people are thinking... the same thing I wondered about when I did my research in the Bible to sort out my thoughts about the matter... "Are they sinners?"
Let's go back to God's word and see. There are some very good verses to learn what sin is.
Going back to the roots of Christianity, the most basic Jewish laws were the 10 commandments. To sum them up, I am going to paraphrase for the sake of time and space: Don't worship other gods, don't worship idols, don't take the Lord's name in vain, remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Don't murder, commit adultery, steal, lie, or get jealous of your neighbor's stuff. Well, there is nothing about homosexuality in the 10 commandments, but I will get back to this. So let's look a little harder.
In Romans 1 it says this:
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
So, yes, homosexuality is sin. But wait!! Listen to this! The verse goes on...
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
I don't know of a single church-goer who has not gossiped and I know plenty pew warmers that are arrogant and boastful. Or what about that bit about being disobedient to parents? Do you know of a single person who has lived their entire life without disobeying his or her parents? Has every human always put God first in every instance of their lives? If they have not, they are guilty of idolatry. Still not persuaded, my Christian brothers and sisters? I am about to go even deeper; in Matthew 19 Jesus talks about divorce:
8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.
So based on that verse if we are going to make laws based on sin, no divorced person should be allowed to remarry. I don't see people rallying for this, hurling insults at remarried people, telling them how dirty and sinful they are. Yet, right there in black and white Jesus himself says very plainly that He does not approve of this. From what we would think of as the smallest sin, to the really big ones that we think of as the worst, there is not one person on this green earth who is innocent of sin. Each and every one of us has committed at least one of the Ten Commandments or have done something on that list I provided earlier from Romans. I propose we have a rally against all who have disobeyed their parents, they don't deserve any laws that benefit them. What about everyone who has ever been jealous of someone else's stuff? What good benefits do they deserve? Let's make laws against them. Let's rally Washington and make laws against every sin listed in the Bible. Oh, wait, they tried that once for about a few thousand years before Jesus came and that didn't work. To God sin is sin is sin. It is all filth to Him and we ALL reek of it. So in the words of my savior, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone.
Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:10 “There is none righteous, not even one"(italics mine)
Is is my job to judge those people I have worked with, my friends, and my relatives?
Romans 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
That is a huge NO! If I judge, then I condemn myself. I sure don't want to be condemned! God loves each and every one of us despite our dirty sins. He loves us inside or out of the closet. I don't know of anyone who doesn't have at least one skeleton in theirs. We all have secrets and sins. I believe that if our leaders make laws and decisions based on what we deserve because of our sins then none of us really deserve any good benefits on this earth. I know I don't. It is my job to love the people God has put into my life no matter what lifestyle they choose. It is my job to shine the light of Christ to those around me.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
To the lesbian woman and the gay man reading this I say,"I am so sorry if people who call themselves 'Christians' have ever been mean or rude to you. That is not a true representation of what Jesus wanted. Not all people in the church are like that and I really question if those people really are followers of the one and only true God. Also, my friend, Jesus loves you!! He came and died on this earth to have a relationship with you and not to condemn you. It says so in John 3:16-17 If you were the only person on the earth, he would have done it just for you because He loves you. If you feel like you are missing something, if you need peace in your life, if you are living in chaos and missing a joy that you know is out there somewhere and you keep looking for it, it is Jesus. When you feel broken, He can make your life complete. I know because I have been in a place where I was broken and depressed and hopeless. I have watched my marriage fall apart and then watched Jesus build it back again in miraculous ways. He has a wonderful plan for your life. I don't know what it is, but he does so what I say to you, love, is seek Him and He will whisper into your heart His plan.
To the 'Christian' who has been hateful to anyone in the gay and lesbian community, I say,"Please stop! Show Christ's love to everyone around you no matter who they are. If you don't feel Christ's love, see the last 5 sentences of the above paragraph. It is for you too." If I have offended anyone, that was not my intention. If you have comments, please post them! I would be happy to get your opinion about what I have said. If you agree or have a different opinion, please post that too.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Lately I have been getting very restless. God has whispered a promise to my heart of something that He is going to do in my life and has confirmed that through other people whom He has whispered to as well. So now I am waiting for that thing to happen. Waiting... It is so hard to wait once I have gotten a promise from GOD! But I know that once it comes to pass it will be better than I can imagine. I keep wanting to force it and I have to keep reminding myself it is not going to happen on my time or in my way. It's all God!! I have absolutely no control over it at all whatsoever. None, NADA! I keep thinking of Abraham and Sarah waiting for the child that was promised to them. I can't imagine how it must feel to a woman who has never had a child to have to wait for a baby that had been promised to her by God! The thoughts of that sweet child must have consumed her horribly. Day in and day out she must have dreamed and daydreamed about holding that baby in her arms until she thought she would go crazy. No wonder she tried to rush God and figure out a way to make it happen in her own way. It must have seemed impossible for Sarah to have a baby at her age and her history reinforced this belief because her womb had never produced a child in all of her years. But her way was not God's way. Even though she got impatient and tried to rush God's plan a little, God was still faithful and came through on His promise.

When you plant a seed in the earth it takes time to grow. There is nothing you can do to make it grow faster once it's planted in the ground. You can water it and make sure it gets adequate sunlight so that it doesn't die, but you can't speed up the growing process. You just have to be patient. If you want to eat corn on the cob tonight for supper and you plant a seed this morning, I guarantee you will not be eating corn on the cob at suppertime, no matter how much you will it to happen. You can yell at the ground, poke at it, do a "growing dance," chant magic words, beg and plead, but you still will not be eating corn on the cob on your schedule. It will be weeks later when the plant has developed and grown into what it is supposed to be. My job is simply to water the plant and make sure it has adequate Sonlight and wait. God takes care of the rest.