I’m Ready

I’m ready. Want to come along? Settin’ out on a long trip to that place called Compassion.

Come along, to that place of passion with me. Leave all that intentionality.

Reroute from your nod and shoulder-shrug to a highway, no – a FREEway to tangible Love.

Complacency, have no place in me! Stop trying to invade my destiny.

You seep into the everyday. Like acid, slowly eat away at empathy and sacrifice,

God empty me of this crafty vice

That saps the oxygen from lungs, and soaks up light inside my eyes

Absorbs the voice inside my mouth and robs me of what love’s about

Til all I’m left with at the end of a day, The end of that year, the end of my life

Is me and my shallow thoughts of me, MY stuff, MY job, MY family

Compassion land is calling now and these seats are filling fast

Complacency, have no place in me; too many await me to act

I’m ready.

Want to come along?

Who Inspires You?

It’s a rare thing to find someone who inspires you. I mean really inspires you to be a better person.  Lately for me, it’s been Matt Chandler. Since Nov. ’09, when our local pastor told us about another pastor we’d probably enjoy listening to online, Ricky & I checked him out… & his honest, funny & applicable style has reeled us in weekly for new challenging messages.

But since the New Year, I’ve checked back to The Village Church site to listen for another reason: to get blog updates on how he’s dealing with the biggest trial of his life. On Thanksgiving morning ’09, he had a seizure & was shortly after, diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.

After much prayer, Matt & his family decided to fight this battle publicly instead of privately, so he’s giving updates to his congregation and online listeners & receiving much support.

His character is so admirable. His perspective is so refreshingly different. His selfless response to affliction is one like I’ve never seen…as close to how my Savior, Jesus would respond, as I’ve ever seen demonstrated by anyone.

To give you a more tangible idea of what I mean, I’ll leave you with a few videos of Matt Chandler’s updates ~ the 1st taken before his brain surgery to remove the tumor & the 2nd, obviously taken afterward.


Just curious… Who inspires YOU? and Why?

A Quote I Read Today

“God’s goal is not to make sure you’re happy.  Life is not about your being comfortable, happy, successful, and pain free.  It is about becoming the man or woman God has called you to be.  Life is not about you.  It’s about God.  He doesn’t exist to make us happy.  We exist to bring Him glory.”

what’s one thing you will do to take the focus off of yourself and bring God glory today?

shoes off, pt.2

in ancient times, people took their shoes off as a display of humility or selflessness.

pastor allen rigg of calvary austin spoke about this in a massage like 9 months ago, & it really stuck. he gave many examples, but i have a few of my own:

 “shoes-off”:

  • you’re running late, but you let another driver in front of you
  • you go out of your way to spend your last $3. at starbucks – for a tired friend
  • you say you’re sorry and actually ask for forgiveness

 “shoes-on”:

  • you write in a comment card at a restaurant, to tell managers about your crappy service (for the waiter’s own good, of course)
  • you disregard your commitment to your family so you can feel the fleeting confidence boost from flirting with a coworker
  • you find a way to revolve most conversations around you and your interests

***~~~~~~~~~~~~***~~~~~~~~~~~~***~~~~~~~~~~~

remove the shoes. remove the barrier. remove all pretences. relax. it’s a way of saying you can be who you  are in front of someone…toss the film & filth aside, say in a humble way, “here they are-  my nasty, calloused, rancid smellin’ feet!” or better yet, “could you rinse off, disinfect,  soften the hardest, dirtiest parts of me… separate me from the silt & sludge of this  world”.  ok, guess that means i’ve come full circle, back to reason 1 – getting  clean. 

Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, so, each one had to take his shoes off first, right? he even scrubbed & wiped the sweaty grime from the feet of the man who he knew would commit treason against him that very day, resulting in his brutal murder.

it’s been embarrassing, even downright shameful for me to be barefoot (literally and symbolically), but that’s ok. taking that step can mean letting go of the crud, but at the same time embracing how i was made – i’m his disciple too, reluctantly letting even Jesus serve me & wash me clean.

~ how does one do that? ~

~ what’s something you’ve done this week that was “shoes-on” ~

well, c’mon, let me hear ya!

raising the bar, pt.1 “a blameless worship team”

titus 1:6-9

An elder (overseer) must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife, and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious. For an elder must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money. Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught”

raise the bar

this specifically addresses elders, but let’s consider the possibility that it was written for a more general audience, ministers & leaders in the church. if i’m on a worship team, i’m not just an artist, i’m a minister, right? i stand on the same platform Continue reading

burn us up, shane and shane!

my favorite song right now? ‘burn us up‘, by shane and shane. lyrics from the latest album, “pages“, display honesty and transparency, continually bringing the listener back to the most important source, Jesus Christ.

‘burn us up’, when you learn & sing it yourself, provides a fresh way to express to God a higher level of brokenness, surrender & complete devotion. ironically, this song gives me chills, especially when the music dies out a bit 3/4 into it as they sing, “and even if you don’t… Continue reading

shoplift a heavy burden

it was a rush. my mind would go a hundred miles an hour (to keep up with my heart) as i walked the isles of the store. it could be any store…or house. it could be any thing. lipstick, underwear, a toy for my son, a ring, a birthday gift, a grape, a coke…you get the idea. my objective was to try & find a way to get out of that store without paying for it…without a soul noticing it was gone. it was kind of a ‘lets see how far i can push the limits’ game i played. the anxiety was actually exciting while i shopped. maybe since i never really went thru a drinkin’ & druggin’ phase, this was my version of a “high” i missed out on. the pinnacle was always at checkout. i thought if i got past checkout, i’d probably be safe…beyond suspicion. sometimes i’d use coy conversation & flattery to distract the cashier. i was dang good.

rolling cameras, electronic machines, magnetic strips, return policies ~ i thought i could beat them all. for example, if i got hungry, i’d head over to the protein bar section, open one up, eat it slowly while i ‘shopped’, as to not seem paranoid & then leave the wrapper on the bottom of the cart at check out. if they asked, i’d say, ‘oh, that’s just garbage’. a thief and a liar.

sometimes i’d be at home, bored w/an overdrawn bank account & have an intense desire to shop…or should i say, attain something new. once the urge got in my brain, it was like nothin’ could stop me. i’d take little items easy to hide in my purse. if i didn’t have the money (i read shoplifting rarely has to do with the lack of money), i’d think, ‘there’s got to be somethin’ around the house i can return. then w/that cash or credit, i can buy something else.’ i’d frantically search the house for items or search my purse for a good receipt & then look for an item listed on it. in essence, i used the socially acceptable & legal right to return things, so as to justify it. i’d take back all kinds of things i’d had for up to 9 months, clothes worn & washed countless times…i’d literally break things, un-stitch a hem to make it seem defective, even hot-glue a plastic price-tag loop back onto a garment so it looked never worn.

one time i even returned a dress jacket i gave to my husband for his birthday. it had a small rip in the armpit & i made it bigger, stating it was defective. originally i paid $29. @ fred meyer…& i got credit for it, but not before several cashiers looked at it with an ‘oh my god.’ examining me & then the botched receipt (another trick i was fond of ~ i’d make the purchase date illegible w/water stains or just just rip it). they had a small debate team meeting as i stood there with a long line of people behind me. yeah, it was embarrassing. am i really writing all this? my gosh, it still is. but at the time, all that was worth a $13. gift card to me so i could get something new. to this day i can’t believe it ‘worked’. in fact, to this day, i can’t believe i was never caught.

i watched a dr. phil called, ‘can’t stop stealing’. i completely related to this woman. only she’d been arrested 4 or 5 times & was still addicted. he basically used her kids’ innocence & the threat of prison to scare & shame her into accepting the gift of cognitive therapy he offered to pay for “in her own home town”.

it was far from a message of grace & forgiveness. now that’s a real gift.

i thought getting caught just one time would break me. the sheer humiliation of being hauled off in from of my toddler while he waits for his daddy to come for him…or the thought of being handcuffed in public…it still scares me. but that’s not what helped me stop. dr. phil’s guest made me feel less alone in my addiction, but that wasn’t it either.

i read that confessing something to God with your mouth – it cleanses & saves you. confessing it to someone close you can trust is what starts the healing process. i believed that. i finally told my husband last year, then later my mom, that i had struggled with this compulsion for several years. like food addicts who have to eat to live & are therefore continually faced w/temptation to overeat as they stand in front of their fridge, i had to shop for necessities & groceries weekly. the temptation was always there.

but after confessing to God & someone who could hold me immediately accountable, my urges to “lift” started…lifting. when i’m tempted to steal (yeah, i’m still tempted), i ask myself, ‘self, why!?! do u need that? what kind of example are u setting? would it be worth getting caught? do u think you’re more special or entitled than others who actually pay? get over your…self.’ or i’ll just say a simple prayer for the strength i need; recalling that there’s One who promises to supply all my needs, when i need them. sometimes i don’t do either, & end up taking something anyway. the last thing i can remember lifting was a birthday card that played ‘who let the dogs out’ when you opened it. angel had used it as entertainment while @ wal mart, even during self-check out. that was 3 or 4 months ago.

i’ve been thinkin’ about it lately. my reasons for doin’ it & for me, it comes down to three things ~ not trusting God nearly enough, refusing to die to my selfish desires, & clutching a perverted sense of self-entitlement.

today as i type this, i am nearly free of that issue. not because i tried hard, faithfully attended a 12-step klepto program, or was caught in the act. instead, thank God grace was poured out on me.

before it got worse, i was shown in my heart how confession & reliance {on strength greater than my own} can join forces to really change a person ~ from the inside out.