Category: FAITH

Jesus on the big screen

Why Jesus shouldn’t be on the big screen

(I wrote this post a few years ago when the movie “Son of God” was playing. I was scroslling through some old posts and after I read it, I still felt the same way. I like what I wrote so I decided to post it again.)

Majesty

Majesty

Long post warning!

OK, here’s where I get into trouble. A lot of you are not going to like what I say.  But I promised to be honest. This is about as honest as it gets. It is not my intent to discourage anyone from seeing the movie, the Son of God,  but just to get people to think before they jump on board. If you’ve seen the movie, then please read no further. I don’t want to rain on your parade.  Continue reading “Why Jesus shouldn’t be on the big screen”

god hiding 2

What to do when God seems to hide

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 I don’t know about you but I find life pretty messy a lot of the time. The perplexities, the questions, the downright confusion. I have a hard time understanding where God is at times. It’s like he’s hiding.

Do you ever feel that way?

god hiding 2

When really good people get seriously ill, I think, “Why him?”, “Why her?” Shouldn’t cancer be reserved for murderers, rapist, terrorists, etc? (Yes, I know how that sounds coming from someone who’s a Christian. I’m just saying what a lot of people think.)

And yet many of these people would be the first to tell you of their faith and why they still believe God loves them.

This prayer from tworiversblog.com says it all:

“God, sometimes it is so easy to believe and sometimes… I know You are good. I KNOW IT, but sometimes… it just gets so hard to see it. You love me. You want the best for me far more than I even want it for myself. Sometimes I just don’t know how You are working good through the mess this life sometimes tosses me. In those times, as I seek understanding, help me to never lose faith.”

We put on a good front, but when no one is around, when it’s just us with our thoughts:

We doubt.

We question.

So if that’s you today, be assured.

God knows.

God understands.

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

 

 

God bless and have a good day.

cabin bedroom

How we decided about the new addition

Seeing as I’ve been writing about decision-making, I thought maybe I would share with you how we arrived at our decision to add-on to teeny-tiny-red-cabin.

First of all, the cabin is really small with no separate bedroom, just an alcove. So if my husband wants to go fishing or hunting really early, I usually wake-up and then he feels bad. Also, if someone spends the night and they sleep on the futon, we are all in the same room.

Plus, it might be better for resale. So the decision to add on a bedroom just made common-sense.

Then, of course, there is the cost. This required more thought. We had been considering this for a couple of years and had been praying about it. We both trusted that were it not in God’s plan, He would make it clear. In no way, does this addition impact our financial commitment to our church. We wouldn’t even consider it if it did.

When we finally found a contractor who communicated with us, we saw it as a heads-up from God. So far it continues to be a heads-up.  This was not a quick decision.  And even when we’re sure of God’s leading, things can happen. For example, suppose we run into problems with the addition? Does that mean we made a mistake? Does running into a problem means we didn’t hear God clearly?

If you think that, then consider Moses’s leading the Israelites out of Egypt. If he took every detour as a sign he’d heard God wrong, he would’ve surely given up.

Running into difficulties doesn’t automatically mean we’ve made a wrong decision.

It can, of course, but it’s not a “given”. And it may mean, that the decision was right but that there is some fine-tuning to be done. That’s how I’m going to be looking at this construction project.

Am I nervous about it?

Yep.

Will there be some quick decisions we may need to make?

Yep.

But if God has truly been behind this decision, there will be an overall peace.

With my mother’s health, I made a lot of decisions, quick decisions. Did I make some wrong ones?  I only know that every day I prayed for God’s wisdom for whatever decisions I needed to make concerning her. So even though some of those decisions seemed spontaneous, they really weren’t.

I will keep you up-to-date on the process. I plan on taking lots of pictures. It’s exciting but I’m nervous, too, having never done this before.

I hope you have a great day today and God bless.

victory

How to triumph over the really tough times.

Why am I so tired? Why do I feel so deflated?

Oh, yea, now I remember.

The fatigue I am feeling after the loss of my mom is overwhelming. It’s been one week.

My brother and I have lived on such high alert these past months, that to have that pressure gone, to longer be so hyper vigilant seems like a void. It’s like our balloon was full all the time and now the air has been let out.

Whew!

deflated balloon

THE BATTLES

We went from having to constantly remind her she needed her hearing aids, to finding her hearing aids as she was constantly losing them. She was very stubborn, no, very, very, stubborn and strong-willed. There were days I had to actually leave her house because I was shouting so much to get her to hear me. After about thirty minutes, it comes across like you’re mad, even if you’re not. So there’s that.

Then there were the battles over the walker. Try and make someone do something they don’t want to do. That’s very stressful.  So for months, we were holding our breath and worrying as we watched her stumble and sway. And, of course, she did fall.

Then there were the GI bleeds and the hospitalizations.

There were the battles over her eating. Prior to all this, we went through a time when she wasn’t eating at all. We tried everything. Buying her everything we thought she would like. I cooked her favorite foods. Eventually, we got past that.

Then there was trying to get her used to the home care we brought in to help her. She couldn’t’ be left alone at all for the last months as there was too great a danger of falling. It was like pulling teeth to having her accept the home care we were insisting on. Finally, the women became “friends” to her. And eventually, they were there almost twenty-four hours a day.

Then there was her memory. Most of the time, it was gone. So she couldn’t remember falling-ever. When we showed her the broken arm with a cast, she still didn’t believe us. When she broke her fingers a few weeks after breaking her wrist, she couldn’t remember even falling the first time. She thought we were lying to her. So there was that.

It was hard. We both felt great stress all the time trying to do our best for her.

We were a team and we were determined to keep her in her home. But it took a toll on us.

THE VICTORY

victory

And here’s the important part. We would both do it all over again. It’s amazing the strength God gives when we have none left. Right up until the end.

No matter what you’re struggling with, God will open a path to get through it.

1 Corinthians 10:13New International Version (NIV)1

No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

(1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.)

But here’s the thing. God requires our cooperation.

For every struggle we had with my mom, I was actively pursuing options. I took books out of the library. I searched the web. I called her doctor time and again to try something new. I talked to other people. I reached out in as many ways as I could think of. I can’t think of a single idea I came up with that wasn’t the result of hard work on my part along with a lot of prayer and direction from God.

Something would pop into my head and I would know God was leading and so I would buckle down and do whatever I had to do.

BUT FIRST, THE QUESTION

question mark

 

Jesus once asked a blind mind sitting by a pool, “What do you want me to do?”

“I want to be healed”. (paraphrased)

Jesus healed him but the blind man (Bartimaeus) had to ask. I often imagined I was being asked that question.

“What do you want”.

“I want ………………………..”

For every step of my mom’s journey, I asked God, not for healing, but for direction and wisdom.

And every step of the way, he answered.

God bless and have a good day.

 

fear

Do we have to “feel” brave to “be” brave?

Three Vietnam war POW’s (prisoners of war), were being interviewed. They were asked this question, “How would you define courage?” Here’s what one of them said.

“Courage is fear that has been prayed”.

Isn’t that great?

I think sometimes followers of Christ think they must feel brave before they act brave.

Do you think Peter necessarily felt brave when he stepped out of the boat?

Did Abram feel brave before he left his homeland for places unknown?

Did Daniel feel brave before he defied the king’s orders and challenged the diet the king wanted him to eat?

Did Esther feel brave when she agreed to Mordecai’s plan?

And yet I can’t recall God recording that they “felt” anything before they acted. Instead, they are commended for their faith, not their bravery.

The truth is we are all human. Truly brave people almost always act from fear first. It’s what precedes true courage. I can’t think of any person I have read about or any person I know who’s done something courageous that didn’t feel fear first.

I don’t think I’ve done a lot of what a person would label as brave.

Except I can remember a time when I was so scared of something I was practically sick with fear. It’s when we were on vacation. We had the opportunity to take a boat tour with a few other couples and do some snorkeling.

Now you should know I can’t swim. I used to but when I was pretty young my friends and I were swimming in a lake near our house. We had swum across this lake many times. But this time the lake was a little shallow and the weeds were nearer the surface than usual. I got tangled up in the weeds and nearly drowned. I never swam after that.

So when we got to the part of the ocean where we would snorkel, I really never thought I would do it anyway. I figured my husband and everyone else would, but I had no intention of jumping into water over my head. But my husband encouraged me and the boat’s captain said that with my snorkels and a swimming vest, I couldn’t possibly drown. To this day, I don’t know how they convinced me. But all of a sudden I was equipped with all my gear and standing on the bow of the boat. I was shaking, I was so afraid.

But I jumped in.

It took a few seconds before I realized I was, in fact, not going to drown. Seeing the tropical fish and the coral was the most incredible experience I have ever had. I couldn’t hear a thing because my ears were covered with water so in total silence I swam around looking below me at all the beauty the ocean contained. Fish of all colors and shapes swam under me darting in and out of gorgeous coral. I stayed closed to my husband and we must have swum a couple of hours.

When I get scared now about something, I think of what I did that day. I think about how frightened I was and how I realized that fear is not such a bad thing. That sometimes:

fear is what cause faith to flourish.

Don’t be afraid of fear. Instead be afraid of letting fear stop you. Peter, Abram, Daniel, and Esther were people just like you and me. Their stories are great not because of how they ended but because of how they began.

I think sometimes we get too caught up with a story’s end and not enough with all the fears that had to be overcome.

So the next time you are afraid of something, don’t chastise yourself. Just keep moving and eventually the fear goes away as you find one little success after another.

Jump into your ocean just like I did. Your most incredible experience might well lie beneath the surface of your fear.

God bless and have a good day.

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