Thursday, February 25, 2010
Hmmmm....The other day I read a friend's post on Facebook. She (we'll call friend A) was at a restaurant enjoying the food and company of a friend (friend B.) Two posts later friend B (my friend, too) posted that she was enjoying eating at this restaurant conversing with her friend. (friend A)
To be honest with you, I don't get this. Can someone explain it to me? If you are enjoying conversation and food with a friend, why do you feel the need to tell everyone about the moment you are having? Doesn't it rob that moment? A little?
Maybe I'm just getting tired of social media. I hope not. I enjoy, truly enjoy, connecting with folks. But when I read a post like "I have so much to do and I need to get started," of course I think, Well then why are you on Facebook? I recently rejoined the Twitter world, telling myself it would be better if I just didn't follow a ton of people. But I chose to follow an author I enjoy. He tweets often, mostly with pictures of what he is doing, eating, feeling... I guess because he is famous people want to know those details. Right?
I have to confess my rant may be hypocritical. I mean, I am the one who chose to follow this guy. I often get on Facebook in order to procrastinate doing something I should do.
I wonder how Jesus would feel about Facebook and Twitter. I bet He'd love the social interaction, being a proponent of relationships. But would He understand the motivations behind the silliness? Well, He's God. Of course He would understand it. But would He engage in it, too?
I just can't imagine Jesus posting "I'm at a restaurant enjoying a good steak and a great conversation with Robbie."
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
(This post is a rewrite of one I did last year)
Do you dance with abandon? Or do you “keep it on the inside?”
Remember that Robin Williams line in The Birdcage? "You do an eclectic celebration of the dance! You do Fosse Fosse Fosse Fosse Fosse! You do Martha Graham Martha Graham Martha Graham, or Twyla Twyla Twyla, or Michael Kidde Michael Kidde Michael Kidde Michael Kidde, or Madonna Madonna Madonna Madonna... but you keep it all inside."
That's me. I love to dance, but my passion is on the inside. Oh, but if you could see me on the dance floor of my imagination you would be in awe. I have unbelievable moves! And ones that don't injure me either.
I guess it helps that I have this great dance teacher,God.
Is that sacrilegious? Is it making God smaller to ascribe an attribute to Him that we usually reserve for the Fred Astaires, the Paula Abduls or children? Absolutely not. Dancing is a universal joy. Of course, Elohim of joy dances!
So how does God dance? If I said He waltzes and doesn’t know the worm that would be putting Him in a box. God knows them all. And one of the joys of my life is that He wants me to dance with Him in every situation, no matter the style.
He just wants to be with us. He yearns for the intimacy of hanging with us.
Today God wants to dance with you. Right where you are. If you are miserable and crying, let Him hold you. Put your feet on His feet. If you are happy, try standing up and putting your nose in the air like Snoopy and do the Charlie Brown dance. Imagine Jesus right beside you. You just might end up laughing out loud. Or dancing with abandon…at least on the inside.
If you danced today with God, what kind of dance would you be doing?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Hebrews 4:12 says,
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
The word of God is pointed, sharp and cutting. In Ephesians 6 the Word of God is called the sword of the Spirit. It's a weapon.
But like any weapon, if it is used incorrectly it can be hurtful and damaging. Blood can gush out. Or tears.
A couple weeks ago I got versed. That's what I call it. I went to an old student's facebook page and he was talking about not watching Lost, the tv show. I happen to be a big Lost fan and so I commented on his post, "Oh come on over to the darkside. You'll love it." After my comment I put a little sideways smiley face - :0) - an email and facebook way to say "I'm kidding." No big deal, right? In fact, he commented in response to me, "It's all dark." Now I know this kid from way back and I know he's got a wicked sense of humor. Dry. Funny. So I chuckled.
The next girl who commented is someone I don't know. I will admit this and say hey, maybe she was joking. But I don't know her and there was no smiley face or LOL (laughing out loud) after her comment. She said, "And you know we shouldn't have fellowship with the darkness."
What? I read this and said aloud to John, "I got versed!"
She was referring to 2 Corinthians 2:16 when Paul is talking about being unequally yoked with unbelievers.
Have you ever been versed? Like that? I think that's like taking a dagger and tossing it into a crowd. Scriptures are for teaching and convicting, but not like that. Not willy-nilly. Not to judge someone you've never met. I think the best use of the Scripture is when we allow the Spirit to use it to convict ourselves. Or when we use it with others who have our permission, be it in a church setting or a Bible study. Yep, I'm not all that excited about street corner preachers, but if God wants to use them, He's not gonna ask my permission. :0)
Scripture is used inappropriately and out of context all the time. I'm sure I've done this. But I hope I don't "verse" others. If I do, tell me. John told me he hates it when Christians verse each other with Romans 8:28, "All things work together for good." Say someone has a tragedy, and some well meaning? but ignorant Christian recites Romans 8:28. Not wise in most situations. It's like saying "This is God's will" after someone dies. Maybe it is true literally, but it's the last thing the grieved want or need to hear.
So I'm ranting a little bit. But brothers and sisters in Christ, watch how you use our Lord's words. Make sure love is behind your comments. Don't make someone leave you and say, "I got versed!"
And by the way, Lost is on tonight. If you think I'm fellowshipping with the darkness by watching it, keep that little judgement to yourselves. :0)
Friday, February 12, 2010
My thin place came through a dream. Real. Startling. Life-changing.
I am swimming in a pool of clear blue water. The sensation of the sun’s warmth and the water’s chill fill me with contentment. This is my favorite place in the world.
I begin to feel oozing and stickiness around my legs and my torso. In an instant, the pool is filled with black tar. I’m stuck. The stench is nauseating.
God’s voice resounds. “Robbie, do you know what this is?”
I know immediately.
My husband’s addiction to pornography has ripped our home apart. We are trying to recover, but no amount of counseling or prayer can take away the anger. Anger has moved into our home, a roommate that sits with us at meals, lies in the middle of our bed and casts a spell of silence in our car.
It is unfair. I am a Godly woman who does not deserve to be paying for his mistakes.
“Yes, God, I know. This tar is John’s sin and I am stuck in the middle of it.”
“No, Robbie. It is your sin. It is all yours. But I can help you out of it.”
I see a hand at the side of pool.
“Let me help you.”
I wake up sweating. Conviction from the Holy Spirit dampens my skin and squeezes my heart.
That was the beginning of recovery for me. My thin place became the genesis of a discovery of self, forgiveness and hope. Seven years later, my husband and I swim in the waters of grace.
This post was written in response to a challenge by Mary DeMuth. Mary's new memoir, Thin Places, has just released. In this spiritual memoir, Mary reflects on the "thin places" of her life; places where she was acutely aware of God's presence.
This challenge I participated in is also a contest to win a Kindle. You’ve got until midnight tonight to submit your entry.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
You are here.
You sit among the ladies grouped together at three tables. Their red hats and bright purple pins, lovely accents to their silver hair. They eat their spinach salads and yeast rolls telling stories of earlier days. Chasing children and lovers lost. One woman talks about her mother of 94 years who got married last month. Another chats about taking care of Oprah’s dogs while she vacationed in Aspen. Bragging about grandchildren peppers the conversation and seasons it with laughter. I feel You smile. You love these ladies.
Father, You are here.
You walk with the teenager server and her practiced smile. She pours tea delicately, carefully. Her quick attention to the needs of her customers delights You. As thoughts of young love or plans with friends cross her face, You gently remind her of her duties. You smile as You see her two little boys, yet to be born. Her service today will help her serve them. You know this. You are with her.
You are here.
You are with me. I sit at a table for two sipping ginger peach hot tea in a charming tea cup painted in tiny yellow roses and olive leaves. The joy of being a girl, sipping water from a goblet and resting in Your love overwhelms me. I can almost see You sitting across from me. You are smiling.
And the phone rings.
“Hi Noah, what’s up?”
“Remember the sucker sale?”
“Oh, that’s right. I was going to give you a dollar, wasn’t I?”
“When is it?”
“In fifteen minutes.”
“I’ll come by.”
And God, You are with my boy.
And You smile.
Is He with you? Look around. Feel His smile.