Friday, May 29, 2009

God at the Movies Part 4 - Taken!

Last weekend I rented "Taken" a suspenseful thriller starring Liam Neeson. I'd heard conflicting reports about this movie. One friend told me she loved it and its fast paced action. Another friend said it was creepy and too scary for her.

Fright movies I don't like. Why pay money to get scared when I can experience the same emotion by watching the news?

But for me, "Taken" was not scary. Suspenseful sure, scary no.

Liam Neeson plays a war vet with a 17-year-old daughter who travels to Paris and gets kidnapped for human trafficking. Horrible premise.

But then Enter the Angry Dad!

He's on the phone to his daughter when she gets taken. Neeson has a moment in which he talks to one of the kidnappers. He says, "I have a certain skill set that is a nightmare for people like you."

Boo-yah! He's off and we follow the action as he tracks down the bad guys, his fierce love propelling him to rescue his daughter.

The parallel to our Father God is obvious to me.

God's relentless and fierce love for us propels him to fight for us!

Deuteronomy 20:3-4 says:
He (the priest)shall say: "Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory."

Can you see it? The enemy attacks us and kidnaps our courage sweeping us off to a place where we dwell in fear and discouragement.

Enter our Angry Dad! He says to Satan: "I have a skill set that is a nightmare for YOU!"

And off our Father goes, fighting for us and rescuing us!

I love it! And I loved this movie. Definitely only for adults. But a great action packed thriller.

Boo-yah! (I've never used this phrase but it seemed to fit this movie! :0) )

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On Buying A Swimsuit. Seriously?

This is my favorite Hallmark Card. The name on the corner is Revilo. My sis-in-law Lory gave me this a couple of years ago and I laughed and laughed. The inside reads:

I think the ruffle really makes a difference, don't you?

Last Friday was D-Day - Time to buy a swimsuit. Please don’t be offended by the military analogy. No, I didn’t storm Normandy. And no I didn’t risk my life. But I still felt I was marching into war.

Me versus the entire clothing industry.

I posted a blurb on Facebook about the upcoming battle and was encouraged by many fellow swimsuit buyers who empathized. Off I went, armed with the well wishes of fellow fashion soldiers.

At least I knew the perfect store. Sure that particular mall was a bit of a drive, but it would be worth it. That store would have the perfect suit for me, just my size and style. Easy in. Easy out.

I arrived at mall. Went in, down corridor, up escalator. There it was. Or where it used to be.

Closed. Shut down. Gone.

NO! You’re kidding me? Seriously?

Okay, Lord, what next?

Next door was a “skinny store.” I am not a small woman and rarely go into skinny stores unless I see they are having a sale on socks or accessories. But this skinny store boasted a sign saying that they had my size in swimsuits. The sign included the tag line – “It’s an attitude, not a size.”

Well, okay! Now we were talking. I walked in and looked everywhere. Couldn’t find size anywhere. I asked salesperson. She looked at me with attitude, but not the nice kind. Then she sighed and walked me to the back of the store, far corner. Apparently my size was the equivalent of back of the bus fashion.

I took the bullet. This was war, right? But it was only a flesh wound. I looked at the one rack of 6 suits that this particular store had to sell. All 6 of the swimsuits were 2 piece suits. The top was a shirt, not a bikini but relatively short.

Really? Seriously? Did anyone want to see me or any woman my size in a 2 piece? Seriously? Well, I’d driven across Denver to this mall so I might as well try one on. Into the dressing room I went. Turned out that my size at a skinny store is well…skinny. The tag that said my size was obviously tampered with. It’s an attitude not a size? Only if the attitude is down right lying. By the time I left this establishment I felt exhausted and slightly bleeding from my flesh wound.

War is hell.

Down the corridor was a big woman store. I knew they’d have something for me, but I was also sure it would cost the same price as a new dish washer. But by this time, I was desperate.

I walked in and looked around. Couldn’t find the swimsuits, even in the back far corner. I asked salesperson. They didn’t sell them.

You’re kidding me? Seriously?

Lord, I know You’re with me. But seriously?

“Have you tried Wal Mart?” the salesperson asked.

I thanked her and left. Wal Mart? Either they would NOT have my size or they would and it would look like a potato sack with huge neon flowers on the front. No way.

But I had to go to Wal Mart anyway. Might as well take a peek.

The first ones I found in my size were one pieces with V neck lines that went down to the belly. Seriously? I mean really? I don’t get why big women (or any women for that matter) would want to wear a swimsuit showing off your chest all the way to the belly button. Come on! Isn’t the point of a swimsuit, I don’t know, maybe, SWIMMING? Does anyone really want to see that? Seriously? I’m not putting myself or anyone else down. I’m just stating the facts. Seriously!

I let out a discouraged sigh and glanced at the bikinis, yes, bikinis, in my size. Laughter bubbled up and came out. You’ve got to be kidding me!!!! Seriously?

And then I saw them. One piece suits in my size without V-necks. Little skirts or
ruffles at the bottom. Love those. :0)

Bingo. I tried on three and chose one. In the dressing room I broke out into Pentecostal worship and got saved again.

Exhausted, bloodied by war and scarred by the many mirror snapshots providing a slide show in my mind, I bought my suit and went to the car.

I glanced at my cell phone and noticed someone had left a message.

“Robbie this is Kay. Listen to me! You are beautiful! You are a beautiful woman! Do not listen to anyone or any nasty thoughts in the dressing rooms. You are beautiful and you are loved!”

I sat in my car and smiled and laughed. What a good friend. Nothing like a loved one’s words encouraging me and welcoming me back from war.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another marriage conversation: "You know whose fault this is?"

The Scene: Our home

The Players: My husband John and me

Background info: I voted for Obama. John didn't.

John calling to me from our bathroom: Robbie, did you pick up my prescriptions?

Me: Yes!

John: Where are they?

Me: On the bathroom counter in the bag.

(A few minutes pass)

John: Robbie, did you get all my medicine?

Me as I go to bathroom: Yes, they're in the bag.

John: My Atenolol is not in there.

Me: It's in those blue package things. They don't put them in the bottle anymore.

John: What? No.

Me: You have to punch them out.

John inspects new packaging: No. I don't like this at all.

Me: It's just different packaging. The pills are the same.

John: I don't like it! I don't like change.

Me laughing: Life is hard.

John: I am going to punch them out and put them in my old bottle.

Me laughing: Seriously?

John: Yes. I don't like change.

Me: Okay,honey. Whatever makes you happy.

John: You know why they did this don't you?

Me: Uh, no, I don't.

John. One word. Obama.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm Waiting...

My sister Karen sent this to me. Wonderful for where I am today. Maybe you too. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

God at the Movies Part 3 - Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire is the story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. How? By answering the million dollar question on India’s version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

Slumdog won the Academy Award for Best Picture last year. Great movie, but so gritty. It shows life in a slum and it is sad and realistic. But part of the charm of the movie is how one boy grew up in a slum and worked to get out of it. Rags to riches – literally.

I loved this movie but it would be hard to watch again. In order to get to the high of joy and victory, the movie explicitly shows pain and loss. But definitely watch it, but not with kids.

I see a tremendous metaphor in this movie.

God prepares us to do His will with the life experiences He gives us.

Jamal is not a genius. He didn’t even have much of an education. But he is able to answer so many questions in the game show because of specific life experiences. He happens to know who is on the American one hundred dollar bill because one single instance. One moment when he saw one.

In the same way, God prepares me and you for specific tasks, for specific ministry opportunities by giving you life experiences. God is more interested in our willingness than our skill set. So many times the words, “I can’t God” come out of our mouths when what God wants to hear is “I am willing God.” If we’re willing then God enables us. In fact He is already getting you and I ready for future opportunities by putting us in situations or circumstances.

In effect, the million dollar question can be a chance to serve a neighbor or take a risk.

God prepares us for those moments. We just have to be willing and ready.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Big Question

I am back from my time alone with Jesus at a cabin in the Piney woods. Such a gorgeous day yesterday and it seemed as if there were no people around for miles. Lovely day with my Lord. I am so blessed.

During our time together, I asked God what He wanted me to do with my writing.

Let me back up and tell you that although I have enjoyed some publishing success that I am very grateful for, the two times I've tried to get a book published I was only met with rejection. Over and over. It is discouraging and it makes me wonder if I am doing what I am supposed to do.

Every writer will tell you that they face this same dilemna. Is this worth it? Should I go get a job and earn extra money for great vacations or a bigger home?

So I took my sincere question to God.

But He didn't answer at first. All I heard was Him asking me another question.

A big one.

"Robbie, would you still write if you knew that you would never have a book published?"

Yikes. Immediately I countered with "Does that mean I'll never get a book published, God?"

Again a soft whisper in my heart. "Robbie, would you still write if you knew that you would never have a book published?"

I answered quickly. "Of course. I have to write."

And the Spirit of God overwhelmed me with "Then write. Wait on Me for accomplishment. Get busy on serving Me with your words."

So there it is. I still hope to have a book published. It's my dream. But I don't have any control over whether an editor and a publisher like my work. What I can do is discipline myself to work on my craft, write every day and leave the rest to Jesus.

Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do in word or in deed, do it with all your heart as to the Lord and not for publication." Wait. Sorry. The last part is supposed to say "not for men."

But you get my drift.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Off to 24 hours with Jesus in the Woods!

It is so important to hang out with Jesus. It is so wonderful to just be in His presence with no other distractions.

So I am off. In a few minutes, I am out the door and in my car headed for a cabin in the woods. I go to a place called Benet Pines Retreat Center. It's in the middle of tall pines and it's run by the sweetest nuns you've ever met.

I'll get there this morning and spend 24 hours with no phone, internet or TV. Just me and my precious Lord. If you've never done this, you should try it. Nothing, nothing, nothing replaces time alone with God. Takes practice to enjoy Him and hear Him. First time I did this I spent a couple of hours walking around and praying and reading my Bible and then I was like, "Okay. Done. What now?"

But after a few of these excursions, some good books on how to sit at the Father's feet and great advice from my brother Phil, I know each time I go will be different and wonderful and fulfilling. Especially since I don't go with expectations. I don't make an agenda that says I have to pray this long or read the Word this long. I just go and rest in His arms. The time goes by sweetly.

So pray for me that I will hear the Lord. I have questions for Him and I have a deep need to sit on His lap and feel His love engulf me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Please pray....

My writer friend Cheryl Barker writes a wonderful blog called Refreshing Spirits, Nourishing Souls. You can find it at

On Mothers Day, Cheryl's friend Amy Blagg was killed in a car crash along with her son. The funeral for Amy and Kyler is this morning. Amy was a loving woman who spent a lot of time serving Christ.

My heart breaks for Cheryl and for Amy's husband and remaining kids. Please say a prayer for them and go over to Cheryl's blog and leave her a note if you feel led.

Only our Father knows why. But He is faithful. He can't help but be faithful.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Me and My Man - A Typical Conversation! :0)

Me: John, tonight you take Noah to Cub Scouts.

John: Will you tape Heroes for me?

Me: Isn't it over for this season?

John: Oh, that's right. (Fake moaning) WHY?

Me: It's just a show, John.

John: WHY?

Me: Don't you think you're being a little dramatic?

John: WHY?

Me: All shows end, honey. In a couple weeks, Dancing with the Stars will end too.

John: That's because there is a God.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

God at the Movies - Part 2 - "Frost Nixon"

As the movie began, memory whisked me away to an elementary playground. My fellow conservative 10-year-olds marched with me, proud signs reading ‘Nixon for President.’ My first foray into politics included kicking sand on the shoes of the lowly 4th grade McGovern supporters.

I no longer march or kick sand. But I sat ready to enter the world of politics again. It didn’t take long for me to realize that “Frost Nixon” did not center on politics, but rather on a battle of wits between two men. The movie was interesting, but I am glad I didn’t spend money at a movie theater. Just rented it.

So was God in this film? Absolutely. Frost and Nixon, for all their differences dealt with the same issue many of us Christians deal with: Pride.

Nixon resigned from office but never admitted wrongdoing. Pride.

Frost interviewed Nixon to get a confession for ratings. This consumed him. Pride.

Neither were sympathetic characters to me. Pride is simply not attractive. It isn’t attractive to my Father in heaven when I am consumed with it either.

But then Frost asked the right questions with the right timing. Nixon humbled himself and admitted he had let everyone down. He confessed to his wrong doing.

For the first time since I was in 4th grade, Nixon appealed to me. Humility has a quality that draws us like a moth to a flame or a bee to honey. Humility smells sweet whereas Pride walks into a room with too much cologne, wanting to impress. Humility has the self control to sit quietly and listen, whereas Pride can’t wait to add his/her two cents to every conversation.

At the end of the movie, I didn’t care about Frost. He got what he wanted. So what? But I empathized with Nixon, a man who admitted that “My political career is over.”

Pride is sneaky and ubiquitous. Humility is to be sought and savored.

Yep, great lesson. In a movie, too.

Monday, May 11, 2009

God's Healing! Warning - Wound Pictures! :0)

My husband John suffered a serious head injury due to a motorcycle accident on December 28th - four and a half months ago. He spent 27 days in the hospital during which he develped a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs). He had a wound on his leg after accident that never really healed and instead got infected, so he had surgery on it, spending two more days in the hospital.

But the wound surgeon has officially declared John almost healed! Woo-hoo! God heals!

Here are two pictures - The wound then and the wound now.

Blessed be the name of the Lord for His goodness to us...Always!

The Before Picture:

This Morning:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!

This morning I asked Noah to go get something for me.

"Okay." He didn't move.

John spoke up. "Noah, you need to obey your mother immediately. Today is the one day out of the year that she could take you out and no court in the land would convict her."


Happy Mothers Day!!!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Joy of Silliness!

The Setting: My Toyota Camry

The Players:
Me the mom
Noah the boy
Noah, speaking for Scooby the dog

The Scene:
We are on the way back to school from Noah's 10 year old checkup with the doctor

Me: Noah I am so thankful you are healthy! Yay God!

Noah: Yep.

Me: You got a sticker from the basket in there?

Noah: Yep.

Me: I didn't know you still liked stickers.

Noah: This one is for Scooby - it's a picture of a cute girl dog.

Me: Oh Really?

Noah talking as Scooby: Hey I like you dog. You are cute and cuddly. I am interested!

Me laughing.

Noah talking as Scooby: So, what kind of meat do you like?

I continue to laugh.

Noah as Scooby: Chicken? Beef? We could get together at the park and I could fetch balls for you.

Me: Um, Scooby, you don't like to fetch balls.

Noah as Scooby: For her I would.

I see a teaching moment and I jump on it.

Me: Scooby (but I'm really talking to Noah) don't ever try to be someone you aren't for a girl. Just be yourself. Don't change for anyone.

Noah as Scooby: So you want me to keep pooping on the carpet?

So much for teachable moments. But I love the silly ones! :0)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

God at the Movies, Part 1 - The Soloist

For the next so many Tuesdays, I am going to blog about "God at the Movies."

Some of you may think that God doesn't ever go to movies. I disagree. I think that God not only goes, but is IN the movies.

See I believe that everything in Creation has His fingerprints on them. Unfortunately, much of His pure creation has been perverted, including us, by sin. And of course, most movies.

But if we use discernment, we can still see God's handiwork and His lessons up on the big screen. That's the aim of this series. I'm pointing out what I see.

This week: "The Soloist" a movie about a homeless celloist who has some kind of mental illness, and a Los Angeles journalist who first writes about this man and then befriends him. This movie is based on a true story.

I'm not going to lay out the entire plot but instead speak on a theme that I believe is straight from God's heart.

Helping Others. Period.

The journalist writes about the celloist. It makes a good story. But then he seeks to help him. But how? This is the crux of the movie to me. In order to help this homeless musical genius, the journalist naturally decides to give him shelter and a way out of his illness through drugs and therapy. But the celloist wants no part.

How many times do each of us seek to "help" someone else by making them into versions of ourselves? Shouldn't everyone want what I have? The best way to make sure someone else is happy is to make them follow Christ in the same way I do, right? If I really want to help my neighbor the first and best way is to get them to go to church with me, right? Not help them with their car trouble or childcare.

To truly help someone is to see a need and try to meet it. But only if that person wants to helped. Only if helping them is about THEM and not me.

Respecting another person's choices is a wonderful way to relinquish control. God guides us to do for others. Absolutely. And I think He also guides us to stop or shut up. Sometimes when we let go of making others into versions of who we are, we allow the Master Creator to step in and get busy molding.

In His image, not ours.

Monday, May 04, 2009

40 Random Things about Me.

I never do these things, but I went over to Moms The Word's blog - my friend Kay's Mom and I loved her answers so much, I thought I'd do it. So here it is. Random. Useless. But fun.

40 Random Things You Didn't Want to Know About Me

1. My uncle once: told me I was going to end up in Hollywood.
2. Never in my life: been to New York City – dying to go!
3. When I was five: I fell in love with Barry Belue. No idea what happened to him. It was all downhill after me, I’m sure.
4. High School was: a pit stop for my life.
5. I will never forget: the night Noah was born.
6. I once met: Jimmy Stewart – He said to my sister and me “Have a wonderful night!” This is extremely close to Have a WONDERFUL LIFE!” :0)
7. There’s this girl I know who: weighs her laundry to make sure the wash cycle is extremely effective.
8. Once, at a bar: I fell in love with the piano man. Nothing happened from it though.
9. By noon: I have accomplished most of the important tasks of day.
10. Snow: Just not used to it. Still!
11. If only I had: a new laptop.
12. Next time I go to church: I’ll sit up front like John wants to even though I have and will always be a back row church goer.
13. Terry Schiavo: I can never know until I’m in her family’s shoes.
14. What worries me most: future motorcycle rides…just kidding. I have become a practicer of taking my thoughts captive for Christ!
15. When I turn my head left: I see a Starbucks barista
16. When I turn my head right: I see a wall with paneling.
17. You know I’m lying when: I tell you I’m less than perfect. :0) ( I made you think about that, didn’t I?)
18. What I miss most about the eighties: John Denver, Footloose, Whitney before the drugs and Bobby.
19. If I was a character in Shakespeare, I’d be: Either Hamlet – such a drama queen or the Nurse from Romeo and Juliet – feisty.
20. By this time next year: I will still be on an incredible adventure for Jesus!
21. A better name for me would be: Insane. :0) or Bipolar Bear! :0)
22. I have a hard time understanding: how medical insurance really works!
23. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: study the flute and become a world renowned flautist!
24. You know I like you if: I nudge you. I only nudge people I truly enjoy. :0)
25. If I ever won an award, the first person I’d thank would be: All the little people I stepped on to make my way to the top. Oh and of course, the “Good Lord.”
26. Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferraro: idiot genius, musical genius, country genius and Geraldine Ferraro
27. Take my advice: Never pet a burning dog (John’s favorite answer to “Honey did you leave a tip?”
28. My ideal breakfast is: anything NOT COOKED by me. :0)
29. A song I love, but do not own is: The new Mandissa stuff.
30. If you visit my hometown, I suggest: Chuys Restaurant, of course. Toni’s is gone. 
31. Tulips, character flaws, microchips, & track stars: Each serve a valid purpose.
32. Why won’t people: slow down and chat!
33. If you spend the night at my house: be prepared for Scooby to attack you. (my puggle)
34. I’d stop my wedding for: Um…well…too late. Anyway, my wedding day was a fabulous day for me!
35. The world could do without: Celine Dion. Yes, Lory, I said it out loud. Again.
36. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: actually go on a reality show which is the ONLY place that would ask me to lick the belly of a cockroach.
37. My favorite blond is: me. Was that narcissistic? How about Beth Moore? Is that better?
38: Paper clips are more useful than: thong underwear. (This answer I stole from Moms The Word blog – I thought it was great.)
39. If I do anything well, it’s: laughing.
40. And by the way: Jesus loves you. Yep, you!