Sunday, May 25, 2008

Public Restrooms

Happy Memorial Day!

I have had many thoughts running through my brain this week. Shocker, I know. Two ideas keep popping up to me: How we issue kindness and how little we focus on God. 

I have noticed something in the people around me (myself included). We judge others according to our strengths. Let me illustrate with kindness: Let's say I am really good at being kind to my family and I judge you because you are not kind to your family... even though I am unkind to, say, poor people. Or I judge you because of how you raise your kids... only comparing that to the strengths I have in my child rearing. The fact of the matter is that we are all unkind. We are just unkind to different people like in-laws, extended family, people at church, people at work, etc.  The point I am making is that 
we need to extend grace to one another as we wade through this adventure of Christianity. 

How do you extend grace and truth without condemning?You can share points and model them. Don't judge others by how you live your life. This goes both ways. Don't let others opinions of you rob you of help, encouragement, and change. If you abuse your children, get help. If you are committing adultery, get help. If you are gossiping, get help. Don't let someone's opinion rob you of blessing. I have personally found that people will find something to talk about. Even if you live a flawless life. The carnality
 of gossip will create conflict. That is it's nature. Pursue Christ and His good opinion. May others be challenged by your life. 

Truly turn your focus to Christ. I think part of our stifled growth is because we filter God through the window of self. We 
relate God to our human weaknesses and attempt to apply Him like salve to a wound. The objective is to look away from self. Look away from how the things that other people do affect you. Look full on His wonderful face. The powerful secret is that the more you look at Him, the less you focus on you. The less you focus on you, the more you look like Him. 

Don't settle for a third party relationship. Rekindle your love relationship with God. Start a friendship. God doesn't have any grandchildren. He is more than books about Him. He is a the Word become flesh.
Be grateful. I hate public restrooms. As I stepped into one this past week I wanted to vomit. In that moment God reminded me of a story that I read about a man and his family who lived in a public toilet and were evicted. They were fighting to get to live in the bathroom again. People live in public restrooms. People are grateful to live in public restrooms. Be grateful. 

It's not popular to share truth. People won't like you. I can guarantee it. They will be offended by your confidence in Christ. They will pick you apart. If you truly love people, you will not stroke their ego for the sake of truth. Truth balanced by love. Be careful that you share truth in humility. May the Lord give you an accurate view of self and pour out a humble spirit on your heart.

Pictures from The Children's Museum at Baylor University.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


"Better is a poor man
who walks in his integrity

than he who is perverse
in speech and is a fool."

Proverbs 19:1

                                   A son 
was born in the night. Prince Caspian escapes with his life being hunted by an army. He grabs the shofar his teacher gave him and he blows the horn. I cried from that point on. No, it was not a tear jerking movie. There is just something about a battle cry and God's people rallying that gets to me. I think because it is so rare a thing. I have scarce seen our army gather to fight. Really, I am not sure that I have. Sure, a few soldiers gather here and there and speak of war, but people who really want to do battle are something of an enigma.
"I had accepted the fact that winter is what is really true." - John Eldredge  Below: River Baptism on Sunday
"It's time for our friends to wake up!" - Aslan

It's hard to do ministry. It's hard to fight. It's hard to have honor in our day in time. My buzz word in prayer this year is "integrity." It keeps coming up to me. Integrity in battle. Where do you find an example of that? 

If you look introspectively, what area of your heart and mind do you begin to examine and pray over to become a person of integrity?

"By this all men shall know you are my disciples,                                                                                     if you love one another." - John 13:35

Integrity begins with your heart toward other believers. I think that means that we call others to integrity. I think I must be bent on perfecting this technique to my personal detriment and God's glory. Several people are mad or not talking to me at the moment because I have asked them to step up to the higher standard that God has placed in front of them. Will you live it?

A virtuous friendship tells you when they feel you are in the wrong. This friend does not cut eyes at you when you share deep mistakes in your life. They tell you the problems they have with you and if they think you are in error. They do not make faces and then tell other people your problems. Neither should you.
That's integrity to me. If you are in Christ and making slanderous or gossipy remarks about people, ask God why you have this flesh eating bitterness welling up and over into the lives of others. Do you have close friends who build up or tear down others?

I love what Neil McClendon says, " if you aren't under a blessing, then you're under a curse." If you are in Christ and willingly and constantly slander others (including sharing things for the sake of "prayer"), you are not under a blessing.

I want you to be under a blessing. Since judgment is such a rampant thing in the body of Christ, I am asking you to pray for everyone you know to be delivered from it. Everyone I know has it. 

When it is all said and done, humble your heart and walk on with the integrity of knowing that you have build up the house of God and not torn it down for your own glory. 

On a funny note:
Celebrity Watch!

On Saturday night, I was privileged to go out and celebrate the birthday of Marla Rice (infamous worship leader). We spent our evening at Hula Hut. 

As we are sitting and waiting over an hour to get our table...who strolls past us but Kate Hudson!
I stared at her with my mouth open for a minute wondering if I knew her. Then I hear Jen, fabulously hysterical, "That's Kate Hudson!" Oh.

A few minutes later I saw a tiny little man who I thought looked like Lance Armstrong. He smiled at me when he walked in. I thought it could not be him because he was a tiny little guy. It was him. He is a tiny little guy. Who knew? He looks tall on his bike. I didn't run over to take their pic, but I knew someone had to and I found these on someone else's blog. I especially like the one where you can't even tell it's her.

That is my celebrity watch for the week. Included also are pictures of our waiter "Crawdaddy" who reminded me of my brother. I loved him. He sounded just like Matthew McConaughey.

in·teg·ri·ty     [in-teg-ri-tee] 
1.adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2.the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
3.a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Writers Do Write

Last week I was informed by a pastor that writers write and he was wondering why I only posted a video last week. I really have no point in telling you this except to say, "Here, Smarty Pants, read this." I am completely kidding.

Writers do write. I read once that Donald Miller spent a whole day thinking about buying something from Home Depot. I guess we get time off. Time off seems like a joke to Denbigh and I. Four short weeks ago we were presented with a full price offer on our house. Immediately we were on the road leading worship and what have you. We came home and started pulling things out from every recess of our home and packing it up. Three days we stopped and went to our church's yearly Family Camp. Back to packing. Moving. Putting in bids on a house. Realizing we are going to be homeless. Moving into storage. Moving a baby grand piano. Moving. Twenty hours spent on a ladder doing italian plaster the buyer requested. All packed. All moved. Get back in the car. Drive to Grapevine and attend the Creative Marriage conference for people in ministry. Deep breath. It's Mother's Day. I am a mother. My mom is a mother. Sleep.

During the past three weeks God has awakened a stirring in my spirit that has lain dormant far too long. I have learned more than I honestly could have wanted to learn first hand. We had shriveled up. We had lain empty. We have tasted of the stream in the desert and we have emerged. The best and most glorious lay ahead on this narrow road. Stay tuned.

Pictures from T bar M Family Camp and the Gaylord Texan.

The Creative Marriage Conference was such a blessing. It was amazing and affirming to be around people who share our heart and our struggles for/with the people of God. Every place we go we continually hear stories from pastors who are in deep need for sabbatical. God keeps confirming for us to press on towards the vision of Gomer's House.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tired Beyond Words

I am exhausted from moving and truly amaze myself that I can compose a sentence. 
Enjoy this clip Eric Perucca sent.

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