Fit Bit, for your soul

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Here’s another kudos and hats-off to Hollywood (yes, I actually do like some of their stuff).  I’m remembering the movie that came out many years ago called Mr. Holland’s Opus, and if you haven’t seen it, do.  Without spoilers, the storyline chronicles the young would-be professional musician who opts to teach high school band class while he works away on his dream job.

And, akin to most of us, life happens.

But surprisingly, something else transpires in the midst those life events.  Through his decisions to put first things first, purposefully setting his priorities on other than himself, his life and career are enriched in ways he never imagined. 

There.  I’ll leave it at that, since it’s enough to get where I want to go next—

There has been a push in our recent culture telling us Continue reading “Fit Bit, for your soul”

Gettin’ a little crowded in there

babyrobins 4Don’t you think it’s about time for these guys to start finding their own food??  I don’t think mom and dad are going to be able to keep sustaining them (and themselves) much longer, and they’re outgrowing the nest by more than a bit.  Dependence is a comfortable thing, however, and self-sufficiency is hard work, and somewhat dangerous at times.  Just look at what happened to the Israelites during the prophet Samuel’s time—

Backstory: because of the enemy occupation, there were no blacksmiths allowed in Israel.  To sharpen anything, God’s (wayward) people had to go the non-Israelite smithies to simply file an axe or other daily implements.  (As if my kitchen knives weren’t dull enough…)  This was a really smart ploy of the enemy—they were basically in control of the weaponry, which decidedly put the people of Yahweh at an uncomfortable disadvantage.

“So on the day of the battle none of the people of Israel had a sword or spear, except for Saul and Jonathan.”

Unfortunately, our Enemy employs the same tactic today when I allow myself to become dependent on church leadership and the pastoral staff/worship team/Sunday school teachers for my personal spiritual sustenance and the responsibility I have for the effect of the Gospel in my family and community.

Okay, that was a run-on sentence, and back in high school my comp teacher, Mrs. Rose, used to give my red ink for that.  So I’ll break it down.

Point #1:  Any church philosophy that encourages the people to become solely dependent on the leadership team is from the enemy camp.

When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?  After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News.

Point #2: Church leadership is not to keep us in the nest, but to prepare us to fly on our own.  That doesn’t preclude church affiliation (mustn’t take the analogy too far) as it is obvious God expects us to keep up our teamwork and fellowship.  There is, however, a specific call for the church to BE the church, not merely GO to church.

“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” 

Even “dumb animals” like robins know when it’s time to grow up and feed themselves.

Or maybe they’re not so dumb after all…?

 

Samuel 13:22; I Corinthians 3: 4,5; Ephesian 4:11,12  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The divinity of a broken heart

wood 2As I write this, Christmas 2015 is only shortly behind us, after which (and possibly even before) Walmart already had shelves stocked with red and pink oversized heart-shaped boxes of Valentine chocolates.  (Not that you can ever have oversized boxes of chocolates, the more the merrier, I say.)   

It’s always fun to break open and tear off the wrapper to see what’s inside—all kinds of different, great-tasting goodies (well, okay, some just “different”) smothered in the dark stuff.  Of course, if you’re not brave enough to just dig in and surprise your tastebuds, you can always cop out and look at the “guide” on the top of the package.  Chocolate-covered dates?  I’ll pass.

I’m not sure when people started linking Continue reading “The divinity of a broken heart”

Ole’ Whazzisname

Check out Anthony Baker at the Recovering Legalist! He asked me to guest post on his site (hope that doesn’t deter you from visiting!) Thanks, Anthony!

The Recovering Legalist

May I Help You?

My husband has an incredible facial recognition center in his brain.  This man can see someone on the television and say, “Oh yeah, he was in that commercial a couple years ago.” Are you kidding me?!  I am continually amazed at this untapped gift that politicians would pay to have.  (Too bad we can’t translate that into some lucrative arrangement…)

So the story of when our firstborn was attending the college where her father works is still a fun one.  Bean (an affectionate nickname) walked into her dad’s office to visit with him and caught him in the middle of whatever project he was engaged in at the time.  Now, although Bob is excellent with facial recognition, his ability to multi-task leaves much to be desired.

Looking her in the face, Bob said something like, “May I help you?” and while his daughter stared back at…

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Words From Beyond

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Here is one for those of us who think that God still communicates in specifics to His own. And, man, do I need specifics!  Just how do I apply this Bible verse?  What am I supposed to say to this person in pain?  I’m worried, confused, or just plain bored.

Please, somebody tell me I’m not alone here.

This beautifully refreshing offering by Sibella at Arts and Rhymes encourages me in that conversation.  She is also a very talented visual artist.  Be sure and check out her site!

Words flow
Resembling
A whispering
Mountain stream
Or
Fly high
On the wing
Of a crying eagle

They tremble
On the rippling
Water surface
Or
Break darkness
With power
Of the light within

And somehow
You know
They were
Meant for you
Or
At least
You hope

And if not
You’re still glad
They were
At the right place
At the right time
In your sight
And that makes you
Happy
And you even
Smile 
A little
As you look up 
And say
Thank You

This Old Pipe

IMG_20150103_172451138I think someone once said that old houses have character.  Now we can get around the word old with synonyms like vintage, rustic, historic, quaint.  But no matter how you spell it, it still comes out O-L-D.  Roof, sidewalks, ceilings, electricity, oh, and let’s not forget the pipes.  Sometimes my vintage-rustic-quaint-historic old house likes to show its character in very inconvenient ways and without much warning.  Like a kitchen sink that refuses to drain—during Christmas dinner preparations.  Or a leaky roof when the snow decides Continue reading “This Old Pipe”

In Other Words…

NEW BOB

Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.”

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Buck Stops here

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280I’m from Indiana, and the debate is still open as to where the term “Hoosier” comes from.  No matter, since for more than a couple of decades we have lived in the “Show Me” state of Missouri, a mindset which suits me fairly well.

It’s not that I choose to be somewhat skeptical; it just comes naturally. 

One of the other things that Missouri has going for its reputation is Harry S. Truman.  This famous photograph is also something I can relate to:

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credit: wikipedia

That’s just one of many things I love about Harry.  And I’m not even a Democrat.

The opposite was true about our first parents (not that they were Democrats, either.)  Adam was probably pretty content hanging out in Eden, until some Continue reading “The Buck Stops here”

Superheroes, UNITE! (This means us.)

Underdog_(animated_TV_series)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The iconic Underdog character was birthed from the mind of W. Watts Biggers. I think he intuitively knew our American mindset in this area!

Bob is pretty fascinated with the superhero phenom in our culture.  At the time of this writing, we just returned last night from a date (yes, couples should still date after 36 years…) to the local theatre where we saw Captain America-Civil War.  No spoiler alert in case you’re one of the handful who hasn’t seen it, but as the title implies, it’s the flick in the interminable series where the supers duke it out against each other. 

I guess they haven’t read that part about “a house divided against itself…”

Anyway, as a society we congregate over these fantasies for several reasons, some more ominous than others.  In fact, a good blogging buddy of mine, Oneta at Sweet Aroma, left me this comment:

“And while we build supermen in the sky, on earth we live so far below what God has available for us.”

Good seg into this account about Continue reading “Superheroes, UNITE! (This means us.)”

Please and thank you…or not

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“And I didn’t even get a thank you note!”

‘Fess up.  How many times have you thought that, or some version of it?  You let someone cut in line in a traffic jam, and instead of them giving you a polite wave, the guy behind you gives you a not-so-polite one finger salute.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Just a little appreciation for the sacrifice, if you don’t mind.  At least, that’s what mom taught me back in the day.

Here’s another good one—you choose to start this tithing thing to your church, and end up getting a rejection notice from your insurance company about those impacted wisdom teeth you just had removed.  Now who you gonna aim your frustration at, hmmm??

And yet, for some wisdom beyond Continue reading “Please and thank you…or not”