Black Friday….

So today I took my 10 year old with me shopping at the ridiculous hour of 4:45am.  I had no mile long list, just 3 items I had spotted in those tempting Thanksgiving Day promising ad’s.    My bright-eyed little girl was up and ready before I was.  She announced to me as I came out of my room, “I’m ready, Mama, what’s our plan!”.  She stood before me in jeans and tennis shoes, sweat jacket, hair pulled into a ponytail and a ball cap sat securely on her head.  She was ready for the battle of the shopping frenzy that lie ahead!  As we drove through the dark morning hours toward the big blue and white Wal Mart sign that shown brightly in the dark before the dawn, she grew serious as she asked “Why is it called Black Friday, Mama?”  Before I could determine and easy way to explain the terms “in the red” and “in the black”, she held up her hands and said “Wait, I know, it’s because we’re shopping in the dark, right?  Will the stores be dark inside?  Will we be shopping in the dark inside the stores, too?”  I laughed, explained it in simple terms and then told her to stay close to me. 

We experienced only a modest success in finding a few items at great prices.  We stopped for breakfast and chatted about the strange actions of people fighting for $2.00 towels!  She laughed at the lady who had filled her basket with sheets and toasters.  She wondered how people could afford to buy such expensive items and why they would fight over silly items.

It has been a long day and I think that next year, we will not get up before the sun and go and race through a department store for good deals.  Instead, I think we’ll sleep in, enjoy the peaceful time off from school and work.  Life is too short to spend time fighting for material things. 



After the storm….

Have you ever noticed how wonderful it is outside after a storm?  Yesterday, after weathering a late season hurricane turned tropical storm….rain, rain, rain and WIND…..it was absolutely wonderful.  It was windy, but wonderful!  Work was called off, probably unnecessarily, but thankfully.  So I spent the day sleeping in (priorities), making pancakes for my girls, cleaning, running a couple of errands, preparing dinner and going to a meeting last night.  I love, love, love being home, managing my home and family without the weariness of working 8:00-5:00 hindering my motivation! “It’s for a season” I keep telling myself.

And today is just as beautiful….cool, crisp air, sunshine and lighter traffic because school is out!  The office is quiet, only the tap…tap…tap of my keyboard. 

Back to “after the storm”…..isn’t it funny that people often say “it’s the calm before the storm” when so many times in our lives there is no calm before the storm….usually there are so many little things nagging at us, tripping us up, depressing us, stressing us before the whole mess blows up!  I find that it’s more like “the calm AFTER the storm!”  I usually experience a crazy momentum of emotions leading up to a “storm”….stress, frustration, well you get the picture….then I am hit with hurricane force winds, slapped around like a rag doll, searching desperately for something strong and steady to hold onto for security, and then I grasp the strong, secure and faithful hand of my omnipotent God!  He pulls me forth, plants my feet on solid ground, smooths back my hair, wipes away my tears, dusts off my clothes, gives me a big hug and whispers in my ear “Remember, I’m in control”.  My heart slows to a normal rhythm, my breathing becomes regulated and I feel my whole body relax.  He is in control!  I’ve weathered yet another storm, tucked securely in His competent arms, listening and learning what I should or should not do.  The sun comes out, there air is crisp and everything feels brand new.

God is amazing, isn’t He!



The whole attitude of  “we have been doing church wrong” has me frustrated.  I just don’t get it.  I have prayed about, chewed on it, pondered it, read the Word, and read about 1/2 of Pagan Christianity….scanned The Organic Church and have come to a conclusion.  This world is full of all kinds of people…..and all kinds of  churches….in all kinds of locations & environments.  I think  whether it is house church or a church in a organized building, a church in a stoe front, a church in a block building in Africa, or an underground church, the problem is that people are hung up on the word church!  Shouldn’t we just say we are the church (Christians) and realize that God calls everyone to ministry in different ways….and that might be in an organized church or a church in your house in a neighborhood…..as long as people in both situations are sharing Jesus and the salvation & love He has to offer AND studying and living by God’s Word……I am glad people are being obedient and doing different ways of ministering to different groups of believers…..
But I feel that we all need to get our flesh out of the way and realize we are all on the same team, for goodness sakes.  Quit judging who is doing it right.  Just encourage and pray and assist each other in every way possible to harvest the fields!
Seems funny to me that the church (Christians) have made it this far, if we’ve been doing it wrong for the last 1,000  or so years!!!  You think it would have just died out because we were doing it all wrong!!! (sarcasm, sarcasm)
I think it makes Satan rub his little evil sweaty palms together in excitement when we silly Christians strain against each other in order to be righteously right about how God wants us to do anything.  He is winning when we judge and throw around opinions that divide us…..we must continue to unite, use any way possible and every opportunity possible to love others, invest in them, share Jesus and the salvation He has to offer…..not just “invite them to church.”  Let’s ALL be light in a dark world, salt that changes things and reach out to anyone and everyone.  If we love Jesus,  if we are broken before Him, if we desire to serve Him, if we surrender our own wills to His and if we choose obedience we will all be striving for the same thing and reaching people with whatever method God impresses on us!
It’s not about “who’s doing it right”, it’s about whether we’re doing it at all!  Share Jesus….share Jesus…..share Jesus…but first love.  Let’s stop getting bogged down in our opinions about junk and just listen to God’s prompting to speak truth to those we live next door to or stand in line with at Wal Mart….it won’t be easy or comfortable, but it will be rewarding because we listened and obeyed!