Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Found God In An Online Quiz...

I found a link to this quiz on The Broken Man's blog and had to give it a try. It's on the 7 Deadly Sins; these are my results:

Lust:Very Low

Discover Your Sins - Click Here

Now isn't that interesting... Considering that I'd be MUCH healthier if I lost about 50 lbs. not to mention I could stop taking blood pressure medine, I wasn't too surprised at the pitiful gluttony score. I also wasn't surprised by the "sloth" score - A sloth is actually my favorite animal... just because it IS so lazy. While I feel like I'm constantly busy, I could, happily, be a completely bum and couch potato all day long (which undoubtedly would raise the gluttony score even higher! LOL!). I also hate to put things away... another slothlike tendency!

The wrath score was surprising - I always considered "WRATH" to be BIG, YELLING, AGONIZING, ANGER - like a tornado of evil - and that's not me, fortunately. But I know myself - and I have lots of small, tiny, grumblings that probably, over time, could add up to a "wrathful feeling." I have a low tolerance for ineptness or stupidity, and in my mind, when I'm annoyed, I'm usually thinking "dumb*ss"... I only hope that I really am thinking it IN my mind and not muttering it aloud where kids could hear!

The greed score was probably accurate if not rated a little low. I'm a scrapbooker - digital now - but when I scrapped with paper, I HAD to have all of the latest toys, gadgets, and products. The Sizzix die-cutter with 4 alphabet sets and other assorted dies, a self-sharpening 12" cutter, the Wishblade personal die-cutter that connects with my laptop computer to cut out any title I desire, plus a ton of other little tools that filled my 5 (FIVE!) scrappin' bags. If someone asked for something, I could usually whip it out of one of my bags. I had too much. I still have too much. And I always wanted more.

Likewise with diaper bags. I have two kids. They are now 7 and 4. Over the course of their toddler years, I bought 17 (SEVENTEEN!!!) diaper bags. This one was too small... that one was too large... maybe a backpack would work... that one didn't have an insolated area... this one didn't have a place for my cell phone... etc. I've sold many at various garage sales, but our hall closet is still home to about 3 of them and the boys' closets still have another half-dozen stored! Who really needs 17 diaper bags?! :(

I also have been known to say that "sharing is an over-rated concept" (not Christian, I know... I'm a work-in-progress, remember?!). I can be very generous, but I can also be quite stingy when people want to borrow something of mine. If it's a dvd, cd, or scrappin' tool, I will invariably attach a label with my last name on it so there can be no mistaken it's ownership. I don't like to lose things - and probably over-compensate because of it!

I'm proud that envy and lust scored low. I find envy to be a useless cycle. I figure that if you want something bad enough, either work for it or make the appropriate choices so you can buy it/obtain it. Often if you save up for something long enough, you find that you no longer want to spend that much money on whatever anyway. And because I'm apparently greedy, chances are I already own it anyway... *sigh* As for lust, I'm married to my college sweetheart, a 6'7" beautiful man who is a wonderful Dad to our two children and who can still make me laugh. WHY in the world I look elsewhere?!

Which brings me to the big shocker... pride.
Wow... that was my worst fault? Really?

It's probably my pride that has me stumped on this one... Probably my pride that had this result coming out of left field for me... Probably my pride that is an undercurrent in all of the other areas too.

I remember in high school, I was in the highest tracks of classes. Not just "college-prep" - that was the 3rd highest in my high school - I was in I.B. (International Baccalaureate) and I remember feeling like that qualified me to be treated differently... better. I remember being stopped by a hallway security guard when I came late after a doctor's appointment. I had a note, but I distintly remember being annoyed that I would be stopped at all. Didn't he know who I was? I wasn't one of those hoods from the lower tracks - I was in I.B....

*sigh* What an obnoxious attitude to have!

The Bible says a lot about pride... here are some nuggets of wisdom:

In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.

Pride first, then the crash, but humility is precursor to honor.

Arrogance and pride—distinguishing marks in the wicked— are just plain sin.

Pride lands you flat on your face; humility prepares you for honors.


There are many other verses that come when you do a search for "pride" in the Bible... and unless they are talking about a "pride of lions," I'm not thinking I'm going to find many positive verses on the subject! There aren't any that say, "Please... Do be full-of-yourself - that, truly, is the way of the Lord," is there?!

I know this quiz was created by a human - and probably subject to a LOT of error... but I found the results revealed a lot about myself (and sadly, not in a good way!). Why don't you give it a try too... feel free to leave me a comment with how you do! It may give you something to think about and work on... helping you be a better Christian tomorrow that you were today. I know I've got stuff on my personal To-Do List now!

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

God and Pants... Part 3

Considering I wrote two different posts on my cursed pants / Jesus pants, it would stand to reason that I would take a moment to write about another pair of pants... The Traveling Pants. :)

In 2001, Ann Brashares wrote The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants. What a cute story!! Four girls stumble upon a pair of well-loved blue jeans in a thrift store - and amazingly enough it fits all of them perfectly: the tall athlete, the curvy tempermental, the willowy beauty, and the small-boned rebel. That it fits all of their vastly different heights and frames AND makes them feel beautiful is no less than a miracle.

In the premier novel and the 3 books that follow, the girls share the pants each summer - mailing them back and forth across the places where they visit. From summer camps to visits with relatives... from digs in Turkey to movie internships, the girls use the pants to keep in touch with each other and keep their friendship connected. And the pants are there through all of their summer experiences: the divorce and remarrying (to other people) of Carmen' s parents, Lena's first love... and loss, Bridget's coping from mistakes she made with her boyfriend, Tibby's grief at the death of her friend, Bailey, plus various other family, social, or school issues. The pants are a constant comfort to each of them.

In the final book, the pants are lost - mirroring the feelings of loss the girls are going though as their individual lives push them farther and farther apart from each other. However, the girls come to realize that the pants were only a symbol of their everlasting friendship, and that the jeans, specifically, didn't have to be physcially present for their friendship to endure.

Now think of our Lord... a one-size-fits-all God who is with us through our hard times and our good times. He's with us when we succeed and when we make mistakes. He will comfort us when we are hurt and celebrate with us when we are happy.

When you meet other Christians, you have something instantly in common. No matter your size or weight or style, your faith links you together.

When Jesus died on the cross, the apostles were "lost" at first. How could they go on? How could their Lord continue if he had been crucified? But like the traveling pants, Jesus lived on in the hearts and minds of those who believed in Him. Tibby, Carmen, Bridget, and Lena discovered that they didn't need the actual pair of pants to remain best friends - even as miles and miles might physically separate them. Likewise, we don't need the physical body of Jesus to be there for us to be covered by His love.

For the girls, believing in the power of the pants was enough.

For Christians, believing in Jesus is a power in and of itself.

If you were to re-read this series of books with the parallel of God & Pants in your mind as you read, I think you'll look at this "humorous, light, fluffy, summer read" in a whole new way. But that's the fun of this blog... finding God in everyday, ordinary places... and what's more "ordinary" than a novel?! :)

If you'd like to read Parts 1 and 2 of God & Pants, follow these links:
Part I
"I Found God In Some Cursed Pants"
Part 2
"Not Cursed After All... They're Jesus Pants!"

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Karaoke Tuesday: "I Believe" by ZOEGirl

When I first started listening to Christian contemporary music, there was one song that I played over and over: ZOEGirl's "I Believe." Our first son was only a year or less, and my husband and I would giggle at him through the rearview mirror on our Blazer because as soon as this song would come on, his eyes would brighten, and he'd start bopping back and forth to the music... not unlike those Saturday Night Live, obnoxious, date guys who bounce their heads to music while cruisin' for chicks! :)

This is such a great "I'm-a-new-Christian" song; here are the lyrics.

Can you remember a time in your Christian walk when things changed for you?

When you finally, finally! felt God inside your heart?
When God breathed His life into you, and you were forever changed?
Do you remember when you stopped feeling self-concious when you talked about your faith?
Do you remember feeling like you could "shout it from the mountains" because suddenly, your faith had meaning and you felt like you understood, for the first time, what it meant to be Christian?

Sometimes, it's hard to be a Christian. People stereotype you into one of the pop-culture caricatures or set you on a clay pedestal- and then are aggravated when you fail to meet their expectations. Tempations strike the Christian just as it does the non-Christian. Being Christian will not exclude you from hardship, persecution, troubles, grief, sorrow, or pain. But BELIEVING does ensure that you will always have someone walking alongside you regardless of whatever trials comes your way. You are never alone. You always have a friend. You always have someone on your side.

That is something to celebrate.
Being a Christian is something to celebrate.

So celebrate it. Take a moment and just revel in the miracle of Jesus Christ, your personal Savior. That is something to smile about!

:) Mags

Song: I Believe
Artist: ZOEGirl
Album: ZOEGirl
Here it on Last.FM
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Found God In Email...

Normally, when I get one of those forwarded "Christian emails" it is some type of SPAM: Either it says to forward this to 287 people if you love Jesus and a little boy with cancer and two heads will be healed or a random prayer request for a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend's-cousin's-adopted-daughter's-neice's-half-uncle. They usually are loaded with those little "forward arrows" because so many people don't actually take the time to clean up an email before they sent it on, and the text is disjointed and spread across several lines. This drives me crazy, and all of those types of emails end up in the delete folder...!


Everyone once in a while, I get a great Christian email that I actually want to share. This particular one came via my Scrappin'-With-Faith friend, Sharlotte:

One day God was looking down at Earth and saw all of the rascally behavior that was going on. So he called one of His angels and sent the angel to Earth for a time.

When he returned, he told God, 'Yes, it is bad on Earth: 95% are misbehaving and only 5% are not.

God thought for a moment and said, 'Maybe I had better send down a second angel to get another opinion.' So God called another angel and sent him to Earth for a time.

When the angel returned he went to God and said, 'Yes, it's true. The Earth is in decline; 95% are misbehaving, but 5% are being good.'

God was not pleased. So He decided to email the 5% that were good, because he wanted to encourage them, and give them a little something to help them keep going. Do you know what that e-mail said?








No? Yeah...well...I didn't get one either. :(

I wanted to share it not just because it said "rascally" which gave me a giggle considering so much of human behavior can be summed up as "horrifying," "stomach-turning," "pitiful," or "depraved," -- not merely rascally, but also because it struck me as simple, yet poignant.

So many of us are quick to point the finger that "the other guy" - we are sure that WE are doing all of the right things... WE are acting Christian... WE aren't doing anything wrong...

But we forget that God doesn't divide sin into neat piles of "good," "bad," and "ugly." He doesn't put the murders and molesters in a different category than the ones who "borrow" office supplies or who gossip about their freaky neighbor, or who lie, or who cheat. It is sooooooo hard for us to comprehend that idea because humans DO weigh sin. We are quick to separate ourselves from the "criminals" or the "undesirables" - thinking that our minor transgressions aren't nearly as bad.

Jesus talks about this in John Chapter 8 (NIV translation):

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery.

They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

"No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

No one was able to cast a stone at the woman because NO ONE was without some sin of their own. I did not get God's email because while I try to live my life in a Christian manner, I invariably screw up each and everyday. It might be "small" things... cursing, socially-acceptable-little-white-lies, watching garbage on TV... but it is sin nonetheless.

God knows this.
And He loves me just the same.

And because He loves me and all of my faults and sins, I am encouraged to try each day to think and behave just a little better than yesterday. In fact, I often end my prayers to Him with, "Thank you, Lord, for your blessings... and help me to be a better wife, mother, and Christian tomorrow than I was today."

How about you?

Did you get God's email? And what are you going to change in your life to make God proud of your choices?

Prayers for you this week... and your 2nd-cousin's-grandmother's-half-uncle's-step-son. *wink


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Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Found God In Google...

You just got to love Google...!

On the right-hand side of this blog is a Feedjit Widget that keeps a running tab of who is popping by the blog and in some cases how they arrived on this side. I love seeing the Google searches that bring people here. One from yesterday said this:

East Lansing, Michigan arrived from

When I followed the Google link I found this in the search box:
can i sync my blackberrys calendars to my boyfriends

I'm sure the searcher meant "Can I sync my Blackberry calendar to my boyfriend's Blackberry calendar" - but in just using the plural of boyfriend, it seems as if she is asking if she could sync her Blackberry to ALL of her boyfriends... and the result was God leading her to my Christian blog. :)

Here are some of the other Google searches from the last week that brought people to my blog:

karoake grace like rain

poem about homecoming with God

sweetly broken karaoke

in the gym i met son of god

jordan sparks "god loves ugly"

god & vegetables

laziness ignorance spelling

"to the cross i look" & "to the cross i cling" & "was bruised and crushed"

There were actually two searches for God & vegetables that brought people to my site in the last 5 days. Guess people will try anything to get their kids to eat those leafy greens! :) And I love that the last search listed above only had one result on the Google search... THIS blog! :)

This shows me that you never know how your words or actions will impact others.

Here I am just writing my random thoughts on finding God in everyday life to a small audience (anywhere from 9-20 people/day according to Stat Counter) hoping to make some sense of my place in this world, and some days, complete strangers might do a Google search and find their way to my story. Maybe something I type will impact them in a positive way... leading them close to God as they traverse their own faith path. Maybe something will spur a discussion with their families... or cause them to re-think some choice they've made.... or give them a good chuckle... or find them a new song for their iPod.

Regardless, my choices of what to write on this blog make small ripples that move outward affecting others. Similarly, this happens in our interactions with others day in and day out. With friends, aquantances, and even strangers, our words and behavior leave impressions.

And it's up to us to choose wisely the way we want be viewed by others and the messages we want to send.

Fortunately, when we live in a manner that is pleasing to God, our words and behaviors honor him. Like Simon Peter and Andrew, we do become "fishers of men:"

Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee,
Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew.
They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work.
Jesus said to them, "Come with me. I'll make a new kind of fisherman out of you.
I'll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass."
They didn't ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.
Matthew 4:18-20 (The Message)

I hope that in a small way, my words on The God Blog cast out into cyberspace like a net into the ocean... snaring individuals and giving them a few minutes to walk with God. I am honored to be used by Him - and so happy that God has chosen one of my favorite pasttimes (my computer!) to allow me to spread His message.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you'll be one of the ones listed under "returning visitors" in the future.


PS... Stat Counter cannot tell me "who" you are... just where you can from. If you enjoy posts on this blog, I love to read the comments that are posted. Just click below on the link that says "COMMENTS" and leave one. You can still remain "anonymous" when you do it - and I really love the feedback!! Thanks! :)
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Friday, August 22, 2008

I Found God At The Bus Stop...

You know - it goes against a parent's very nature...

Let's walk our 5-year old to the bus stop. Sling an oversized backpack stuffed with school supplies on their little backs - throwing them completely off-balance. Put them on a giant vehicle with no seatbelts (let alone the Federal-approved, safety-tested carseat that has been a constant since the child was born!), driven by a complete stranger to a school with only 1 adult per 25 kids!

Yet every September, parents of kindergarteners gather at the bus stop with their cameras in one hand and the small fingers of their child in the other... waiting tearfully... and sometimes fearfully for the big, yellow bus to come around the corner. And every September, those cameras capture the brave 5-year olds who climb that first enormous step onto the school bus and turn around to flash a smile at the proud parents waiting at the curb.

The parents brains are swimming with
How in the world did my baby grow up so fast?!
What if they can't find their classroom?
What if they are scared?
What if the teacher won't let them go to the bathroom?
What if they cry all day long?
What if a kid picks on them?
What if they pick on someone else?

We're proud to see our smallest kids start that long journey of "SCHOOL" - yet fearful because this is a journey that we, ourselves, have traveled. We know what lays ahead on this road... the fun times, the hard times, the studying, the games, the tests (both academic and social), the angst, and the joy. We've seen and done it all. Some of us wouldn't go back and repeat school life even if we were paid a million dollars... yet we still have to send what is most precious to us - our children - through this journey because we know how important it is and that it is a necessary step in their life.

Did you ever wonder if this is the way God feels when a new baby is born?

Everyone one of us is a precious child of God - loved by Him before we were ever born:

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.
Psalm 139:13-16 (The Message)
God has marvelous plans for each of His children - but He also know how hard it can be on Earth - He lived it through His own son, Jesus. Yet God still places His children here to go through the journey of life... knowing that sin will tempt them, that tragedy might strike them, that hardships will try them. But knowing all along that the amazing experiences each child will have on Earth will be worth the trip.
So when you make that long walk to the bus stop and give up your child to the journey of school, remember that God is with you AND with your son or daughter. He is walking alongside you both, holding your hands, guiding you, and loving you. Just like always.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Karaoke Tuesday: "Love Song" by Jason Morant

♥ Are you in love with your God?
Are you excited to share your good news with Him?
Do you run to Him in times of great sorrow or need?
Does your God see past your walls? Your insecurities? Your facades?
Does He see into the darkest corners of your heart..... and love you anyway?

Just when I think I've found my top three favorite songs, I'll hear another that just rocks my world. This is one of those songs: Love Song by Jason Morant.  Read the LYRICS HERE.

Who really knows you the best? Your spouse? Your mom or dad? Your best friend?
Aren't there secrets that you've kept hidden still? Thoughts you've buried? Things that make you feel guilty... or ashamed... or just loser?

God sees that, you know. God looks through your skin into your inner core. He knows you at your very best... He knows you at your very worst. And still... still... He loves you.


That is something to sing about.
That is what this song is about.

Last Sunday, our friend, Micah, sang this during Worship. It was amazing; rock on, Micah! I'm sure God was pleased to be honored. :)

Have you taken a moment to honor God as your closest friend? The one who sees through all of your pretenses, who knows you best, and who loves you alway?
If I was doing a "Casey Kasem long-distance dedication"... I'd dedicate this song to God. What about you?
Song: Love Song
Artist: Jason Morant
Album: Abandon
Hear this song on Last.FM.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Honor God With The Good!

It's easy to run to God with the problems or issues - but do we always remember to honor God with the good things? I'm taking a moment now...

I'm a digital crafter - and I create and sell my digital scrapbooking kits and embellishments through my digital crafting blog and website/store. I found out last week that my application to design for an outside scrap store was accepted!! Now digital scrapbookers can find my creations for sale at MooTwo Designs too! I'm a Moo Two girl!

When my application was approved, I remember sitting back in my den chair and taking a moment - just a quick one to shout out to God: "Do you see this? I was accepted! Thanks, God!" I was just thrilled to have someone like my creations enough to offer them through their store - and I wanted to share that news with God.

Have you take a moment to honor God with the good in your life? You know He gets lots and LOTS of prayer requests, lamentations, cursing, wailing, etc.... I bet He's appreciative when someone takes the time to just share the good news with Him. I'm sure you've got something good going on in your life that you could share with Him.

You know he's always listening!

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Karaoke Tuesday: "God Loves Ugly" by Jordan Sparks

I chose this song for Karaoke Tuesday before I actually even heard it sung. It started by a chance viewing of the title... then off to read the full lyrics - and that, actually was enough for me. But I'm playing it now as I type, and it is worthy to be here. Jordan Sparks does a great job with it. :)

Here are the lyrics.

Raise your hand if you are 100% happy with who you are...
what you look like...
how you behave...
where you live...
where you came from...
how you act...
what you think...

Anyone? Anyone?

I know I'm not! There are countless things I'd change about me if that fairy godmother came by waving her magic wand. I have lots of moments when I feel like I'm not good enough, pretty enough, strong enough, smart enough, witty enough, compassionate enough, clever enough... the list could go on and on.

I was a "kick-me kid" in elementary school. A year behind everyone in my class age-wise, a year ahead of everyone in my class brain-wise. Put that with an urge to be in charge (i.e. bossy) and a lacking of how to play the "social" game of school, and you've got a kid who really didn't find friends in school until about 9th grade. That's almost a decade of feeling out-of-the-loop and lonely during the "formative" years.... and that's hard to shake. Even now, nearly 20 years past high school, I find myself trying to be

BETTER all of the time.

I strive to be.... enough.

But miraculously, with all of my flaws, with all of my insecurities, God loves me.
Just as He loves you.

He Love Us.

Each of us.

All of us.

Flaws, and blemishes, and scars, and hurts, and angst, and wounds, and all.

You can take your dirtiest, darkest, ugliest, most embarrassing secret - and GOD STILL LOVES YOU.

God did not send His Son to earth in a limosine with a small, perkily-dressed Chiwuawua on his arm. He sent Jesus to a stable with animals. And when Jesus died, it was not a State Event with flags at half-mast and digital, televised coverage for the masses. Jesus died tired, in pain, betrayed, and alone. There cannot be any angst you have felt or will feel that will eclipse the pain and shame Jesus felt on the cross. He KNOWS your pain. He FEELS your pain with you. He LOVES you, regardless.

Thank God, He loves "ugly." Because sometimes, in me, there's a lot of "ugly" to love! :) But by letting go of my insecurities, my angst, my issues and giving them over to God, I have the opportunity for God to take that "ugly" and change it in to something beautiful.

And so can you.

I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
Romans, 8:39 ~ The Message
Have a blessed day,

Wanna listen? You can hear it here on Last.FM.
Title: God Love Ugly
Artist: Jordan Sparks
Album: Jordan Sparks


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Saturday, August 9, 2008

I Found God In A Brick Wall...

By now you've probably seen the coverage of Randy Pausch - author of The Last Lecture - who died recently after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer. This computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University first spoke in September 2007: a lecture entitled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. It's remarkable how Mr. Pausch remembered his dreams as he grew into adulthood and how many he could actually accomplish.

The lecture is fascinating - it has been turned into a best-selling book, you can listen to the lecture in it's entirely on YouTube, and you can read a transcript of the lecture as well.

There are many life-quotes spread throughout the lecture, but my favorite is about a brick wall:
"Brick walls are there for a reason.
The brick walls are not there to keep us out.
The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.
Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.
They’re there to stop the other people.”

I just love that idea - the idea that an obstacle in my path might have been placed there to give me a chance to prove that the prize on the other side is something I really, REALLY want. But I have to reconcile this idea with the one that I've written about before:

That God allows hardship in our lives to warn us we are on the wrong path.

Are the two mutually exclusive?

God wants us to be persistent - to never give up:
2 Chronicles 15:7 "But as for you, be strong and do not give up,
for your work will be rewarded."

But he also wants us to pay attention to the signs He provides when we are straying from the path He has set before us. So how do we discern which message to head? When does "persistence" make way for "get a clue?"

My first thought is that God would not use a brick wall... but something even sturdier - a reinforced, bullet-proof, steel wall of infinite height and density... or he will erect many brick walls - a stumbling of hurdles blocking our path. Of course, people are often stubborn and ignore the bright, blinking warning signs that God provides. I suppose it is easy to take the brick-wall-is-merely-there-to-get-you-motivated idea and run with it willy-nilly through all blockages in your path. Perhaps we need some method of discernment? Can you ask yourself if the prize on the other side of the wall is something that God might want for you? Can you know that your methods of getting over the wall won't hurt another person in your quest? Will your Christian life be better for achieving your goals?

I'm all about rules - following the big ones AND finding loopholes in the others that would allow me to circumvent them altogether. I'd be the first to glare at the brick wall before me and find the angle that would allow me to climb over it, dig under it, wrap around it, or bust through it. But the brick wall is there for a reason - either to inspire me to want to get past it, to warn me that the path ahead is lined with hardships, or to thwart me completely from making a BIG mistake.

I guess for each wall, I just have to figure out which! :)

Good luck scaling the walls in your life,
:) Mags

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Found God In Rain...

Please forgive the quietness on the God Blog - we were on vacation to Tennessee with our best friends for the last 5 days. It seems fairly impossible that there is still ANY place left on this earth without an Internet connection, but we managed to find one! And although I was yearning to check email, to blog, to make some digital scrap kits, or to just mindlessly web-surf, I was blocked by the angry, red, Intel Wireless icon blinking "NO WIRELESS CONNECTION." Of course, this was probably God's reminder that this was a family vacation, and I wasn't supposed to be spending it on the computer, anyway. :) We had a wonderful time: swimming on Lake Norris, tubing (WOW! What a rush!), hiking (Okay... that was my husband, his friend, and all of the kids... I don't really like "nature..."), or just lounging around laughing. We are blessed to have such good friends with whom we can spend a week and not kill each other (the kids whacking each other with pool cues doesn't count, does it?!) :)

But when we returned today, I was anxious to power-up the laptop and check email (846 emails!), check my groups, read comments from the blogs (Whoo-hoo...there were some!), and pop in to all of my favorite web spots! In a Christian scrapbooking group I belong to, someone posted a link to an amazing blog called Bring The Rain. I wasn't familiar with the group, Selah, but apparently the wife of one of the singers has started this blog about her family's journey through a pregnancy that would not result in a baby to raise on earth.

Now I've mentioned before that my sister-in-law & brother-in-law lost their beautiful baby daughter, Julia Ellen, after only 6 days of life. She was born in April 2006 with the genetic abnormality called Trisomy 18. The complications that arise from the extra chromosome at the 18th place makes the chance of even a baby surviving delivery a long shot. But our Julia persevered, and her parents at least had 6 days to meet her, and hold her, and sing to her, and know her.

It has been 2 years since we attended Julia's memorial; and in that time, I have seen my in-laws' faith and love of God grow stronger - even in the face of the greatest loss they could imagine - the loss of their child. I read somewhere that "pain of that kind of loss never goes away; rather that you slowly become strong enough to bear it." I think that strength comes from one slowly releasing the reigns of control and handing over all of their worries and concerns and wishes and dreams to God. From what I've read so far (and I'm only in "March!") Angie, the author of the Bring The Rain blog, has truly done this as well. For a woman who is writing about the impending death of her child, Audrey Caroline, she has found God working miracles already in Audrey's life... even if that life only exists within Angie's womb.

If you are facing something so huge that it seems to eclipse your ability to think, to plan, to reason, to be - then please stop by Angie's blog. It is a story of hope - not of death - and I think it will bring you perspective and comfort.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

I Found God In Grace...

The other day I was putting together a hasty lunch for my boys. It involved re-heating some leftover penne noodles from Carrabba's... quick, but one of my kids' favorite meals. They'll eat noodles anytime!!

As I passed out their plates, my youngest said, "Let's say grace to Momma because she made these yummy noodles!" Luke then proceeded to say our standard grace "God is great, God is good, Let us thank Him for our food" except for he subbed in "Mommy" instead of God. I had a moment of "Ack! Watch out for lightning!" But, I couldn't help but smile from ear to ear. Receiving a genuine, no-one-prodded-him-into-saying-it THANK YOU from one of my kids always makes me feel really, really good. :)

I figured that God would share in my pleasure - given that Luke was following the whole Honor-Thy-Mother part of His commandments. And I wondered if God is just as tickled when one of His own children gives Him an honest thank you.

So often we are shrieking out to God in desperation, in peril, in stress, in anger, in frustration, in sadness, or in some major meltdown when life has us overcome. Very rarely, I suspect, do we stop and say a simple THANK YOU to Him for the blessings He has given us.

The last two days have been trying in my house. My husband had to travel this week, and we're still trapped in the humid summer days with no-school-to-keep-them-occupied which means the kids are driving each other (and me!) crazy at every turn. I know I've asked God more than once to zap my kids with the MUTE Button or gift me with a short period of deafness so I could have some peace and quiet. (He's chosen not to grant those blessings *sigh*) But when my son offered his thanks for the simple act of serving noodles for lunch, a lot of my frustration from the day just melted. A "thank you" can soften the hardest of hearts... and turn around someone's day.

And of all the beings in this world, I'm sure that God would appreciate some thanks as well.

Thanks for reading this blog today,
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