Friday, March 14

What if?...(again)

I was thinking again, this morning, of what I want my life to look like and what steps I need to take to make these changes.   

Not to keep reposting old posts, but here is another post from my past that I remembered and wanted to share with you all.  I don't claim to have all the answers, but I do know that asking questions is a good place to start with change.

Click HERE to read the post in its entirety.

Below is the major portion of my blog:

A book that Abby lent us has definitely fueled our conversations. It is called Simple Spirituality. I highly recommend it to anyone who does not want to be “comfortable”; somebody who wants to be challenged in their spiritual walk and think more about how we as rich Christians should address our brothers and sister who live in poverty. 

A passage from Isaiah has also continually puzzled and challenged us. Here is the passage, from Isaiah 58:

2 Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. 

3 “Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice? Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers.

4 Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high.

5 Is this the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I choose:
To loose the bonds of injustice,
To undo the thongs of the yoke,
To let the oppressed go free,
And to break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, 
and bring the homeless poor into your house; 
when you see the naked, to cover them , 
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

What is God saying here? What does this look like in the 21st century? Is it possible that as Christians, God is asking us to do more than go to church once a week and give a tithe? We have been asking God to show us what this means. How do we “loose the bonds of injustice” or “break every yoke?” 

I started to imagine what this might look like. What if…

Instead of thinking that adoption is only for those who cannot have children, every Christian saw it as an alternative to abortion, a ministry, a way to personally affect someone for Jesus? Fact: If only 7% of the world’s Christians would adopt a child the orphanages of the world would be empty. Also see James 1:27

Instead of adorning our churches with fancy decorations, we gave the money to poorer churches for their needs, or even to homeless and starving families? James 2: 5,15,16,Romans 12:13

Instead of thoughtlessly piling our food on our plates and eating until we can hardly walk, we spent some time at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter…and learned what it means to be truly thankful? 1 Thessalonians 4: 18, Colossians 3:17

Instead of building a bubble around our family, we learned about persecuted Christians in other countries and taught our children to pray for them? Hebrews 13: 3

Instead of building big churches, we had only house churches, and the money we saved could be used to support our brothers and sisters in need? 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Instead of mothers competing against each other through their children, they became like true sisters, encouraging each other and praying for one another? Philippians 1:27, Ephesians 4:1-3, 1 John 4:20, I Peter 4:8, Titus 2:3-5, I Corinthians 10:24

Instead of tearing down masculinity and waffling on family issues, churches powerfully and practically supported the men and their marriages? 1 Peter 5: 1-3, James 5:16, Titus 2: 2, 6, Ephesians 5: 25-31

Instead of believing that war is the only option, we truly believed that Love overcomes all things? 1 John 4:4, 8 and 5: 3-5, 1 Corinthians 13:8,13, Romans 8:31,37

Instead of criticizing our leaders and fighting each other along political lines, we remember that our kingdom is not of this world and we pray for those in authority over us? 1 Peter 2:13, Romans 13:1,2

Instead of spending on our money on beautifying large houses in the suburbs, going on expensive vacations, making payments on luxurious vehicles and buying a new wardrobe every season, we lived more simply and directed the money towards people who don’t know where their next meal will come from? 1 Timothy 6:6-10, Colossians 3:2,3, James 2:14-17

Instead of thinking that evangelism is only the work of missionaries, we resolved to get to know our neighbors, our co-workers, and to walk alongside them and possibly even tell them about Jesus? I John 3: 18, James 4:12, 

What would this world look like? 

Sunday, March 9

A repost about Love

After writing my last blog, I was thinking of what is truly important in this life, and was reminded of a post I had written several years ago in 2009, concerning love, and what it might look like.

Here is the excerpt:

I heard God tell me, “It doesn’t matter if you attend a million-member church, or wear designer clothes. If you don’t have love, then you have nothing.” 
It doesn’t matter if I am a supermom and can bake all kinds of goodies, home school seven children and keep a nice garden…if I don’t have love, than I have nothing. 
It doesn’t matter if I move half-way across the world to become a missionary and minister to the poor….if I don’t love, than I have nothing. 
It doesn’t matter if I am a pastor or an amazing speaker and people want to read my books or blogs…if I don’t have love, I have nothing. 
It doesn’t matter if I have a business, serve on several committees and have appointments every night of the week….if I don’t have love, than I have nothing. 
It doesn’t matter if I’m a worship leader or travel the nations and lead healing and deliverance teams…if I don’t have love, I have nothing. 

God was telling me that none of my efforts really matter if I don’t love or have love. Like the Bible says, if I know and understand all mysteries, but have not love, I have nothing. If I have prophetic powers and have faith so as to move mountains but have not love, I have nothing. 

So of course I asked God, Well, what is love? And I only had to continue reading a few verses down to see that 

Love is patient, 
love is kind
love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude
Love does not insist on its own way
love is not irritable or resentful
Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
Love never fails

You can read the entire post HERE.

Saturday, March 8

if I had died....

What would my funeral have looked like?

What would people have said of me?

Would anyone have come to mourn?

Would there be a hole in people's lives because of my death?

It's been almost a month since I've written, but I've written in my head almost every night.  So many questions and what if's.

One of the many questions I've asked myself is what kind of legacy would I have left behind, had I died?

Facing death, in any form, sharpens one's perspective.  The important parts of life become VERY important, and the rest, well, they aren't even in the picture.

So now I ask myself, what kind of life do I want to live, from here on out?  Is it worthwhile?  Am I storing up treasure in heaven, or caught up in too many details of life here on earth to even think about the hereafter?

How easily are we swept along with all of life's little cares and problems!  But as I lay there dying, before my 4th surgery, as I felt the blood filling up in my belly and the nurse continually telling the doctor they couldn't find a blood pressure, and there was hardly any blood in my arteries, I didn't think about how messy my house was.  or how much money we have in the bank.  or how many committees I was on, or not on.  or how my hair looked.

All I thought about were my husband and my sons.  I prayed for them, and asked God to help them with my death and bring them another woman to look after them.

That was it.  Nothing else filled my mind.

I'm not saying we shouldn't keep our houses in some sort of decent shape, or lay on the couch all day thinking about heaven. Not at all! Only that, are these the sort of things that we are completely focused on?  Do we let our minds be inundated with minor details without any thoughts about the really important things?  Like enjoying the moment.  Spending time and making memories with loved ones. Telling your loved ones how much you love them.

These......these are eternal.

When I die, I don't want to be remembered for my immaculate house or gourmet meals.

I want people to talk about my compassionate nature.  My listening ears.  Wise advice.  and how people felt truly loved by me, for who they were.

and what are those things compared to a constantly clean floor?

I feel like God has given me a second chance, and I pray every day for the right focus.  the right vision.  So I can have an eternal legacy.

Tuesday, February 11

like a ping-pong ball

I almost died. 


I almost died.


these few and tiny words keep bouncing around my head like little marbles.  they are heavy and my mind reaches for them, trying to grasp them, examine them, understand them.  but it fails.

My mind knows that something monumental and scary and intense recently happened, but the whole of it is too large to wrap around.  

My logical side tells me, I'm okay.  Other people tell me, you're okay now. Everything is fine. 

then why does it not feel fine?

why am I overwhelmed by emotions that I can hardly name, or pinpoint?

why do i bounce around from numb, to anger, to frustration, to fear, to sadness, to grief?

this territory seems strangely familiar.  

i've been here before. 

that's right.  many of these feelings, these emotions, raged through my mind after my daughter died.  

it doesn't make sense.  this had a happy ending.  my daughter's story did not have a happy ending (I'm sure there are those who say that her being in heaven is happy but to be perfectly honest, I would be happier if she was here with me)

all these thoughts, feeling and emotions make me want to go into hiding.  i don't want to be overwhelmed.  i want my normal, be a wife/mom life back where i just had to deal with keeping the house in some sort of order and making sure we all had clean clothes and food to eat.  

laundry, food, normal conversation...they seem so peripheral now.  

like i'm on one side of a canyon and they are on the other.  far away and completely out of reach

last night, i this to be my lot in life?  to go from one trauma to the next?  just surviving, trying to make sense of things, trying to stop the onslaught of thoughts and emotions?  

i hear God whisper, you must be patient with yourself.  even when it is hard for others to understand where i am at, when it is hard for me to understand myself, i must wait...wait on Him.