Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Prayers for a Better Life: Garments of Praise



This mountain of clothes came to me slowly over time.

First, they arrived from a Greyhound bus from my older sister. She was passing down all the special clothes her girls wore.
Then my sister-in-law sent suitcases full of little girl clothes with family members. She was passing down all the special clothes her girls wore.
Surrounded by such abundant love, it was a year and a half before I had to purchase my first article of clothing for my daughter.

And the clothes kept arriving.
Because kids grow and they need special clothes that are filled with love.

These garments have been held close as I thanked the One who takes care of all my needs.
These garments have been washed and made clean reminding me of how God does that with my heart.
These garments have heard every prayer I've murmured over my babies, every supplication for their health, every whispered promise of trust for their future.

And today these garments were once again prayed over.
Garments of Praise, they are.
Garments filled with thankfulness for being so blessed and so loved. To have clothes and more importantly, to have someone to put into these clothes.

As I said "Amen," I wondered about the young mothers at the pregnancy crisis center who would be getting them.
Would there daughters take their first steps in the purple outfit or the soft pink jumper?
Would they gather their child in their arms and pause and give thanks that they had made the decision to keep their child?
Would these clothes once again become garments of praise for someone else?

I pray so.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The survey in which I cleverly link myself...moohahahaha!

Do you wear your seatbelt in the car? Yep!

How do you flush the toilet in public? How interesting that we are starting off with something so intimate. Ok, well....Listen when push comes to shove, I will use my foot to flush. If it's a really gross gas station bathroom. But generally, I will use a piece of toilet paper or my elbow to push the handle in the event that I'm not at a self-flushing toilet. I've used my hands, too. I'm not ashamed to admit that.

Name one thing you don't want to run out of? Vinegar. My chief household cleaning ingredient.

What famous person do you (or other people) think you resemble? I have been told numerous times that I look like Reese Witherspoon. I think Charlie Chaplin. But see for yourself and tell me what you think?

What is your favorite pizza topping? Pepperoni. Crispy pepperoni.

Do you crack your knuckles? Ugh, no.

What are your super powers? Well, I have several, as I've indicated here and here, because truly my real super power is collecting embarrassing moments...it may not save anyone's life, but I think we all can agree that funny is funny.

Peppermint or spearmint? Peppermint

Where are your car keys? Where they always are.

Whose answers to this questionnaire do you want to hear? Anyone who wants to participate

What's your most annoying habit? Interrupting people to finish their sentences for them. Grrr...sigh! Or being socially awkward like last time.

Where did you last go on vacation? I don't remember. No, for real, I don't.

What is your best physical feature?My smile

What CD is closest to you right now? Berenstein Bears Learn to Share

What 3 things can always be found in your refrigerator? Fruit, vegetables and sweet chicken chili sauce

What color are your bed sheets? Today they are green

Would you rather be a fish or a bird? I answer that here

Do you talk on your cell phone when you drive? I don't. Brace yourself, I don't own one and don't want to own one. I am dragging my heels on this as long as I can.

What song(s) do you sing most often in the shower? Depends if my toddler comes in, then it's, "Somebody get your brother! Somebody get your son! Somebody take this little guy away before I come undone!

If you could go back or forward in time,where would you go? Wow! What options! I love so many time periods in history. Ok, top three...Resurrection Sunday,the Day of Pentecost, and my childhood trip to Florida

What is your favorite Harrison Ford movie? Really, this is a question? How random.Um, I liked Regarding Henry best because his character changed so much.

What CD is in your stereo? Light of the Morning

What CD will be in your stereo in a few minutes? Nothing. Silence is my favourite song right now.

How many kids do you plan on having? Three. But we're open to adoption down the road.

If you could kiss anyone who would it be? Excuse me, while I go find my husband

What do you do when no one is watching? Dance, blog or eat some chocolate--sometimes all at once

If they made a movie about your life, what actor/actress would be you? Probably this woman as this character.

Coffee or Tea? Tea. Celestial Seasonings or Bengal Spice.

Favorite musician(s)/bands you've seen in concert? hahaha! It's been a while since I've seen anyone in concert. Hmmm, this guy was great.

Have you ever been in love? Yes, still am. His name is Jeep.

Do you talk to yourself? Why do you think I blog??? It merely disguises my dialogue to look as though I am talking to others.

Your turn!
1.Make a comment on one old post of mine
2. Link up and take this quiz on your blog and use it to feature old posts.
3. Include the spiel (at the bottom of this post) to invite new friends to join in!


Redeemed Diva is hosting a Past Posts blog survey. Join us as we recall some of our blog highlights through our random answers to life's probing questions! Click here to link up!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Flashback Friday: What's the secret code word?



On Friday nights after school we would cross the field and head over to my Grandma's house. We would eat her fresh baked bread, watch Sesame Street on channel nine and we would play the game Password to while away the hours waiting for my Aunt Edie to come home from work.

Aunt Edie is the funnest aunt around. Our family developed the moniker of 'Ed' for her and we all love to say, "Hey Ed!" At first it started because we were small and thought that it was funny calling my Aunt a man's name. After awhile, it became our family's codename for her.

Aunt Edie is so much fun. And everyone loves her.
Everyone.
Everyone knows how to have a good laugh with my aunt. So as a result, we kept the name 'Ed' for her. We wanted to have something special, something all to ourselves...because let's face it:Only adorable nieces and nephews can get away with calling you a man's name.
It was our password.
A word that said, "Everyone else may love you, but we love you best."

It's a lot better than Open Sesame, don't ya think?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cry Me a River to the Tune of Kumbaya

The first women's meeting I ever went to should have been entitled, "Kumbaya, my Lord."

I was nineteen and, of course, I knew everything.

It was my time to become one of the "women".
I was really excited about attending. I dressed up and did my hair and got ready to mix it up with the ladies. I made my first dessert...ever! (Yes, I was one of those nineteen year olds who knew everything...except how to cook).

And when I got there all the ladies turned out to be women in there 30's,40's and older.
I reasoned with myself that it was ok to be the youngest because, after all, I did know everything and maybe I could help these women out.

I spied one lady in her early thirties. She was running the sound board...off in the far corner. I scrambled next to her.
"Can I hang out with you back here?"
She gave me a pitying look. "You got dragged here, didn't you?"
I bit my lip. "Not exactly. I was just told that I was expected to be here. My deciding to come feels like I had some say in it."
She smiled and shrugged. "Well, at least the food will be good."
"It's dessert only, I thought."
Which, as I thought, was a waste of time for women in the their thirties and up to have a dessert only party since it will only invoke a conversation full of salacious oohing and ahhing over recipes and then the inevitable 'moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips' conversation.
Even though I knew this, I still made a cherry cream cheese/ heavy cream/ whipped cream/ enough cream to make your hips disappear completely kind of cake.
Which, as I came to understand, is what you do as a woman. You make incredible food, fill your face and then say you shouldn't have.
One could almost start saying "Fiddledeedee" as well, but I think that stopped sometime during the early 1900's.

Anyway, we came, we saw the food, we inhaled it and moved on.
Then came the sharing time.
Or as I liked to call it, 'the pull out your fingernails and pluck your eyelashes for fun' time.
As the first woman shared her story, I was thinking, "That's great, lady. I'm glad that happened to you....25 years ago. But what is God doing today?"
And then another lady started. "Well, it all started in 1978..."
That was twenty years ago!
I quickly did the math as I counted up the thirty women in the room.
30 women times 15 minutes of prattling on about things you all know about each other...I quickly realized that I was going to be here until my mid-thirties.

I didn't understand why a women's meeting was just everyone sitting around, sharing what God had done but no transparency as to what God was doing.
Why weren't we praying?
Why weren't we making a plan to help someone who needed it?
Why were sitting around just telling our troubles and filling our faces?

I know what you're thinking.
You're thinking, "This is the part where Diva learns that sometimes women just need to talk it out no matter how cyclical it sounds. This is when God shows up and bursts that prideful bubble that doesn't have an ear to hear or a heart to understand. This is where I need to grab some Kleenex because we're about to be dosed with a big load of Truth."

Well, in the words of my nineteen year old self, "Uh, you'd be wrong."

None of that happened.
In fact, after that one event, I have reluctantly gone to three other women events.

So I find that God's sense of humour is tickling me that my first speaking event is going to be at...

you guessed it...

a women's conference.

Somehow, there seems to be a ring of humble pie in here.

A cherry cream cheese/ heavy cream/ whipped cream/ enough cream to make your pride disappear completely kind of pie.

I'll let you know how it tastes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The pants are in the wash and so is my heart

I've been inspired by this post here.

When you want to whine that you don't have enough money to go on a family trip this year, remember that someone else is wishing they had a family to do anything with.

When you want to feel self-pity because you have to rock your teething baby to sleep and you are tired, remember that someone can't sleep because there's no baby to rock any more.

When you want to scream over losing an important piece of paper because of someone else, remember that there are children who can't scream for the innocence that is repeatedly lost at the hands of others.


Today while I was in church I was struck by the fact that I was being moody over little frustrations in my life. Little things that go unresolved...that picture frame still isn't up, the recycling that I forgot to take out, the little guy's diaper contents squished into my clean pants requiring a last minute change of clothes.

Then I looked to my right.
There was a lady holding a new baby girl. This lady buried her first daughter at the age of two. She was choking on a rubber ball that they had a hold of but couldn't dislodged. She died the next day taking her little laugh and sparkle with her.

On my left was our new friend who has came from Africa. We asked him to sit with us today. Was it only last month that we were so happy that he had located his wife whom he hadn't seen in three years. As a result of custom in his culture, his wife's parents had taken his son and wife away from him because they no longer approved of his marriage. And after three years of searching he found them last month.
Was it only last week that he phoned us crying to say that his four year old son had just died of malaria and that he would never see his son's eyes sparkle or hear his laugh again?

On my right and on my left are two people who have known great sorrow.
And yet...they smile as we sing about the cross.
As we sing of the hope we have through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The picture frame is still not hung.
The recycling sits where it is.
The pants are in the wash.

And I am humbled on my knees.
In prayer.
In earnest for the sorrows that my brothers and sisters carry and marvelling at the sufficiency of God's grace.



Thursday, March 18, 2010

A bee in my bonnet, and a crow in my craw

This post works best if we all imagine we are living in the late 1880's. A time when women would get together to sew quilt patches and exchange recipes. We're all sitting in a circle and the matronly gossipy old bitty says, "I keep everything. I don't get rid of anything."
The young, willowy just-come-of-age woman of the group says, "Oh, surely you don't mean that. You can't keep everything you've ever owned."
The ladies all exchange glances about the group.
"Oh, but I do. It seems to me that you might one day need something from one gadget or another."
"For shame," mutters the farmer's wife whose warm smile disappears as she says it.
"I beg your pardon?" says the old bitty looking over the edge of her glasses.
The farmer's wife puts down her sewing, squares her shoulders as she prepares to speak her mind. "I said, 'For shame.' "
Some of the ladies arch their eyebrows as others fidget with their needles.
"For heaven's sake, why do you think that?"
"Because you are not helping anybody but yourself by having all of that junk filling up your home."
A low murmur starts in the group, as the old bitty shifts in her chair, raising her chin with a challenge in her look.
"I wouldn't expect a farmer's wife to understand or to appreciate what is called valuable compared to," and she took a moment to give her a withering look as she pronounced the word, "junk."
A middle aged woman with greying hair clucked her tongue and sent a knowing look to the young mother who was knitting furiously as a result of the growing animosity.
The farmer's wife had dealt with stubborn bulls before and wasn't one to be moved by looks. She shrugged her shoulders and said, "Well, if it is truly valuable let the world know by holding it as a treasure in your home. And if it is not, then help someone else with it."
A few heads bobbed up and down in silent agreement.
The old bitty's jaw opened to speak and then closed, her mouth in a firm line. She finally settled back while muttering, "Well, I never..." and grumbling, "folks always needing charity..."
The group continued in silence for a while until the tea kettle whistled calling for a change in conversation.

Moral of the Story:
You don't need to keep your garage, basement and two extra closets filled with all that junk. Yes, I said it: Junk.
If it's really valuable, prove it. Display it, wear it, frame it, enjoy it. But don't hide it in an attic under three boxes and a wad of newspaper.
And the rest of the stuff: give it away. Stop being so selfish and holding onto this stuff.
How many immigrants coming to Canada could use your old dresser that is holding papers from 1986 and the clothes you promised you would fit into again?
How many young couples start out with nothing and could use your old coffee table that you are saving for that summer sunny day when you finally getting around to the well-intended DIY project?
How many not-for-profit organizations, new ministries or care groups need some furniture to just to get things going?
And all those old clothes that have been in your closets since the 90's--get rid of them!
You aren't ever going to use them.

If there is one thing I learned from my grandmother's death (and I learned a lot but this is one is a gem). No child loves to spend four weeks going through old newspapers that can't be donated to museums. Nobody loves to spend hours packing up the myriad of grocery bags you just had to keep because who knows when a food shortage could happen.
I love you Grandma, but for heaven's sakes, nobody needed the box of rusty nails you hung onto.

Hello people, we live in North America. Every Salvation Army has a shirt you can buy for 2 bucks to be your much needed painting shirt. Throw the 90's clothing away.

So...here and now. This is my position on hoarding and holding onto everything you own because one day you might need it:
Stop being selfish.

What? Did that get your knickers in a knot?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

SOS #3 Bull!

The continuing saga of Soap Opera Sayings played out in the little drama I like to call my life.
We're taking a look at how an early teenage obsession with soap operas has made it ...an interesting undoing of knots for the Lord to work out in my life.
--
I had just come back home from a painful experience in another city. It was the first time I had lived on my own. And albeit a short stay, it was life altering.
I didn't go into the situation with my eyes open...even though I was warned.
Numerous times.
I was young and thought myself invincible to these things.
I was wrong.
I came home closed and hardened. I was bitter and hurt and confused.
I didn't want to trust people or believe good about anyone again.

My sister, Ames, was a good listener.
But after three months of listening to me wallow she said, "Enough's enough. If you start one more sentence with, 'When I was in Wisconsin...' I'm going to have to drop kick you."
Then she proceeded to tell me that whenever I talked about Wisconsin, I looked to a faraway place in the sky and I acted as though a veil was lowered over my head that was made out of melancholy putridness.
I would insist that it was melancholy putridness and it deserved to have me behave in such a dramatic way.
To which she responded with an arched eyebrow.
Which is soap opera speak for one of three things:
1) What did you just say?
2) Does anyone know my next line? or
3)Are you trying to make me eat cow paddies and call it truth?

"Bull!" she said.
And my lower lip quivered.
Ames told me that I had to stop shutting everyone out and acting like no one mattered to me. She told me I was so focused on my own hurt that I couldn't see other people were walking equally as wounded.
"What's your problem? Why won't you let people in? And using your experience in Wisconsin doesn't count as an answer."
Well, I was desperate and really dumb, so I said:
"Everyone I get close to...dies."

Yep. I said that. Incredulously pathetic, non?

My sister gave me the look which is soap opera speak for one of three things:
1)I'm going to kidnap your baby
2)I'm going to cut the brake lines to your car or
3)I can't believe you just tried to play that card. That's incredulously pathetic.

"Who?"
"What?" I said.
"Who? Who is close to you that has died?"
I stared at my toes realizing how absolutely desperate and stupid my excuse sounded. "Um..."
"Who do you mean--Dad? We agreed we would never use his death as a crutch, so you wouldn't use him, right? and who else? Oh...right...Grandma. " She paused for effect. "Who was 92 when she passed away. 92, Al! Give me a break. And guess what? I lost those people too. But you can't see that because you are like a pig sitting in self-pity mud, just sniffing and snorting about how hurt you are. And the whole time you are doing that, you can't see that everyone who is close to you...me, Jess, Lors, and Mom aren't allowed in. Don't you see how stupid this is?"

It was then that I knew I had an opportunity, so I looked off into the distance which is soap opera speak for one of these things:
1) Give one of the most dramatic fights with my sister that would even rival this one
2)Start crying and go on about the so-called injustices of my past
3) I could open my eyes and see how stupid I was being and ask Jesus and my sister for their help

Any guess as to which one I chose?




Friday, March 12, 2010

Blame it on Milli Vanelli...they wrote a song about it...or did they?

Marion: "My god! Have I taught you nothing?"
Liza:"Yes mother, you have taught me nothing."


Another soap opera worldview I adopted in my past was blaming my mother.
Shock and awe! I know, I seem so innocent.
But then, so did Liza Colby.

At one point in life (and it was after my teen years), I blamed my mother for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

It wasn't really fair to her because:
1. She was a single parent and she should have only gotten 50% of the blame. But my dad had died and there was no one else to parentally blame (stay tuned to see how I used his death as a crutch)
2. It's never fair to blame your mother...only convenient because it's a universal truth that we all want to blame our mothers, hope that we aren't exactly like them but pray that we can make lasagna the same way they did
3. She did her best, not that I cared whenever I pulled out the "it's my mother's fault" card, but she did do her best

Marion:"The last innocent words you uttered were ga-ga-goo-goo!"
OK, so I admit to blaming my mother. I have had no halo above my head.
But why did I blame her.
Why does anyone blame?
I'll tell you the cause of pointing my finger at my Mom.

I blame Adam.

Yep. Adam was the one who started it all.
When God confronted him with his sin of disobedience, Adam said, "It was this woman you gave me."
And since Adam, the blame game has been going around.

I blamed my mom for all sorts of things.
Some of my favourite reasons were used to resolve the following issues:
1. I was being lazy ...because my mother never taught me to do anything
2. I was arrogant...because my mother told me I could do anything
3. I had temper tantrums...because my mother never stopped me from having them at an early age


Here's the thing.
In the above list, it doesn't matter what my Mom did do, didn't do or tried to do. I didn't care about my mother. I cared about covering my own failings. Mom's can be a convenient quilt at times to hide behind.
And in blaming her, I distanced myself from the potential of a close relationship with her.

Blame only does one thing...it hurts everyone.

As I mature in Christ, I have come to learn one thing.

I and I alone have sinned against God alone.
No one else will stand with me when I stand before my Maker.
Not even my mother.
No one else will be there to account for my deeds. It will be some serious one on one time with me and the Father.

God doesn't want me to cast blame. He wants me to surrender all the fear of my shame to His capable hands. All the shame that would say, "You won't love me God if I admit to this...so I will deny it."
He wants me to rest in His love.
Be secure there and know that His love is enough.
That what Jesus did for me on the cross is enough.
Love is enough.
Love is patient and kind...and never casts blame. It holds up the truth.

And the truth is: My mom did the best she could, I made a lot of mistakes, Jesus loved me enough to pay for those mistakes, I am forgiven. That's the whole truth.

Well, that and...I can't make lasagna like my mother.
But that's not my fault

...or is it?



Flashback Friday; Stop touching my bum!

My brother and I had a lot of fun teasing each other as teenagers.
My bro has an incredible sense of humour. It is ridiculously funny. And he's the only grown man I know who giggles. He giggles until he cries from laughing so hard. Because that's just how he is.

When we were teenagers, we liked to drive my mother crazy.
Particularly in the grocery store.
I think she used to call us, "Hooligans" but I'm not sure because we were too busy giggling to hear her.
One of our favourite tricks was to see how much we could embarrass each other and keep a straight face while doing it.

Point in case, the fateful time Jesse spotted me at the end of the grocery aisle and bellowed, "Good news, Allie! I found the ex-lax you were looking for. I didn't know what kind you wanted so I picked up regular and extra strength for you. Which one do you want?"
I would look at him at the end of the aisle. And then I'd look at the old man who was looking at me, the young couple who was still holding a can of soup yet staring at me and the other three people in the aisle who gave me their full attention to get my response.
And I, after being embarrassed beyond belief, would mumble something unintelligible.

Until...I would catch him with my mom in one aisle and call out, "Jess, come quick. The jock itch cream you need is on sale in aisle four. Quick, there's only three bottles left and I know you need lots."
To which, my mother would then race out of the aisle muttering something unintelligible while the other shoppers backed away from my brother in case what he supposedly had was catching.

My mother swore she would stop taking us shopping with her. Especially when we started in on the need for triple ply toilet paper and hemorrhoid creams.

It was all in fun. Truly, Mom, it was.

And then there was the time my mom did leave us in the car as she went grocery shopping. She made good on her threats.
But we managed to find a way to make our own mischief. You would think a 17 year old and a 14 year old would have something better to do.
But no. No, we did not.
It all started as the windows began to fog up. I was writing something crazy about my brother on the window and he said, "I'm going to unroll the windows a bit before someone thinks we're fogging up these windows for the wrong reason."
I threw something at his head.
And then it began...
My brother, ever mindful of doing things at the exact right moment, waited until a middle aged couple was walking past. And then...ever so loudly, in a defensive voice says, "Stop touching my bum!"
He quickly ducks down as the couple turn and look and see...me.
Me, myself and I.
My brother pokes his head up and says, "Stop it!"
The couple shakes there head and gives me a look before walking off.
I throw something at my brother's head.


Several years later, I was staying with an elderly couple.
They had a dog named Duke who ate all my chocolates but he wore a bandana around his neck and looked so cute that I would forgive him.
I was forever telling Gerry about my family and all the crazy things we would do. Gerry had a great sense of humour and would love the antics my brother and I got into. We would laugh and then he'd tell me stories about his family.

I worked at a TV studio that was across town and I had to ride the bus to get there. One day, Gerry offered to pick me up from work as he would be on that end of town that day. I was very grateful to escape the bus ride and eagerly accepted the offer.
Ah, a chance to get home early!
But wouldn't you know it...rush hour and an accident left Gerry and I stuck in the middle of downtown on the busiest street. We were wedged in between people and cars as we waited to make an exodus out of the traffic jam.
As we were at a complete stand still, Gerry tried to cheer me up about not getting home early. I wasn't having any of that-- I remained in a bit of a pout.
So, to my shock and awe, in the middle of this busy street, Gerry, my 69 year old friend, unrolls his window and yells...

you guessed it...

"Stop touching my bum!"

I think I threw something at his head.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

There's never been a man whose more alive

Brighter than the sun will shine
Flames of fire are in your eyes
Jesus, You are fairer than the sons of man

Your Father's words they dwell inside
No other man is more alive
Jesus, You are fairer than the sons of man

I can hear the angels singing
calling Glory, Glory to God in the Highest

There's a never been a man who's more alive


Listen to it here (1:07 is the chorus)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Convenient Memory Tricks

And now, as promised, my first series on my blog:
Soap Opera Sayings
Like sand through the hourglass so is the drama in my life.
(Cue music and cheesy sunset picture with an hourglass)

Celeste: What's your name?
Scottie: Scottie.
Celeste: Who are you?
Scottie: I don't know.
Celeste: So, you have amnesia?
Scottie: Maybe... what's amnesia?
Celeste: Loss of memory.
Scottie: I don't remember, but I'm pretty sure I do.
Celeste: Is there anything that you remember?
Scottie: My name... Scottie.
Celeste: What about your last name?
Scottie: Yeah... No... Where am I?

Growing up and watching soap operas can really mess a girl up. You can start to get addicted and lose sense of reality and fantasy. Suddenly, you look at your life the way your favourite star on daytime drama approaches hers. You envision yourself telling everyone off and leaving in a huff. And you imagine that you have uh-mazing hair that you can toss over your shoulder.

One ridiculous habit I adopted was that I would claim amnesia.
In my walk with the Lord, His Spirit would start to talk to me about things that were important to Him.
To do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly before Him.
And I would agree. I would say, "Yes, Jesus. I love you and I want to walk in your ways."

And then...something would happen.
Perhaps it was a movie that I shouldn't be watching.
Or perhaps it was gossiping about someone who wasn't living up to my standard of holiness.
Or perhaps it was remaining in unforgiveness towards someone who had wounded me.
Whatever came up, I conveniently came down with amnesia.

"What's that Jesus? You want me to walk pure and set apart to You? Living my life through Your grace? And you don't want me to put images in front of my eyes that tolerate the things you hate and despise? What? What's this about? There's a scripture in Proverbs 4:20-27 that tells me how you want me to walk with You? Ohhhhh...'cause I didn't remember that. I don't remember anything. I have amnesia.
What do you mean, Jesus, that I am walking in unforgiveness towards that person and I've locked myself in a prison?
I don't really remember any of that talk, Lord. I can't seem to recall it. I don't know if you know but I have amnesia.

But my amnesia is about as real as the capped teeth on a prima donna soap opera star's smile.

I know what He has written to me in His word. I know it because I have followed His command to write it on my heart and bind it on my forehead. His word convicts me and reminds me that I need the cross.
The wondrous cross.
The cross that took all my gossiping, and all my unforgiveness and all my sin and put an end to the power it can have in my life.
Jesus didn't claim amnesia as He hung on the cross. He didn't conveniently forget me or how my sin burned against the Father's holiness. Instead, He said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

Even when I did know that I was lying to God, denying that I had chosen to love myself more than Him, He cried, "Forgive them for they know not what they do."
Because I didn't know that lying to God, having convenient amnesia, was actually keeping me from the greatest love I could ever hope to know. I didn't know that my lying only showed my unbelief. It showed that I thought God would reject me and not accept me because of my sin.
I did not know or understand the power of the cross.

But I do now.
And I will never forget it.
The cross of Christ is where He remembered me in the midst of my sin, shed His blood and made atonement, where He forever proclaimed that I was remembered and now made worthy to stand before a Holy and Righteous God. My salvation was purchased, my life made new.

Thank you for the Cross, Jesus.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

S.O.S.

Welcome to my first series on my blog:

Soap Opera Sayings

Tragically, I grew up watching soap operas.
Horrible filth for the mind, I must say. It warped my brain on what real relationships looked like and horribly depicted men and women and conflict and drama for me. I didn't know there was a difference between reality and fiction for a LONG time.
Mind you, I L.O.V.E.D. the drama. LOVED it. I had the VCR record the shows while I was at school so that I could stay in the loop and scream on Friday when it was a cliffhanger ending and wonder how I would survive until Monday.
(insert hand to my forehead and fainting to the floor)
My sister bought Soap Opera Digest magazine and we were devoted to finding out what will happen next, what was going on behind the scenes and who was coming to the show soon.

I know you want to know what I watched so I will tell you.
I was a die hard Another World fan. I was all about the Jake/Vicki/Ryan triangle, the Cass/Kathleen/Frankie triangle and I dreaded the name Carl Hutchins.
I also loved All My Children--I remember Kelly Ripa when she was Hayley and had very big hair. I pretty much watched General Hospital because I loved Brenda and Sonny and the big talent show that they put on at the hospital every year.
For the record, I hated the show the Young an your d the Restless...because come on, how many weddings can you have at Catherine's house? Especially when character never even comes in contact Catherine.
How long does it take Victor to come back from the dead and reveal it to his family who are grieving in the office that he is alive (two weeks to walk down the hall, approach the door, turn the door knob and then slowly open the door to the shock and fainting antics of the bottle-blonde Nikki.) That show is the most drawn out thing ever. I also didn't like Cricket/Christine and all the airtime that she got--her pursed lip smile really made me want to change the channel. Though I never did.
Sigh.

I was thinking the other day about how much influence soap operas had on me and how much I bought into the lies it perpetuated and then how they started to show up in my life.
It's why God's Word tells us to guard our hearts and to be careful what we look at.
Remember Lot.
He set up a camp that was facing Sodom and Gomorrah.
And the next time we see him in the Bible, he is living in the middle of it. What you set your face to you end up being engrossed in. Then it becomes the way you think, and your thoughts determine your actions and then your character.
So, in my new series of confessions, I'll be talking about how Soap Opera Sayings and Principles dominated my life and then showed up in the way I treated others...and then I'll talk about how God has put things right in my life.

Grab the toe nail polish and get ready for the drama!
But you'll have to wait until Monday...dunh,dunh,dunh!
(Insert hand to your forehead and fainting to the floor here)