You can’t just change the narrative…

Our church homecoming is tomorrow. This means I’ve been doing a lot of cooking, cleaning, and then cooking some more. We’ve also had revival services in the evenings leading up to homecoming.

Boy, do we need it!

Because on a little break from my cooking today, I logged on to Yahoo news just to see what the rest of the world was doing. And I’ve deduced that they are going nuts.

Apparently the okay sign is now secretly a white supremacy sign and (gasp) one of the Kar-Jenners posed with the offensive finger gesture.

Come on!

First of all, I know which finger is offensive and it isn’t the thumb and the forefinger making an O.

So if I stick my pinkie up and tell everyone that it means it’s going to rain today and enough people agree, does that make it so? Who has the right to change the meaning of symbols and signs?

They are doing the same thing with the Word of God. God’s Word is never changing. You can’t decide that you want a verse to mean something else because you don’t agree with it. The Bible is of no private interpretation.

You can’t just change the meanings and then accuse someone because they don’t follow YOUR narrative.

Okay?

Gear Up: Hope

It’s Sunday night! Time to gear up for a new week. As always, the best way to do that is to PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:10-18) but we also will focus on ONE area to strengthen our walk with the Lord. Just one focus to help us grow a faith that cannot fade with the demands of life and the pressures of this world. This week we will focus on HOPE!

When my daughter lay dying in the hospital, there was a general motto in the PICU: Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. I adopted that motto and lived it for another decade. One day I was sharing this philosophy with a gentleman I can only assume God put in my path because he didn’t mince words. “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard. So, you mean to tell me that you get yourself all worked up over stuff that may never happen?” At first taken aback, I allowed his words to settle.

Was her death any easier because I allowed it to rattle around in my head as a possibility first? Not at all. Did I waste time preparing for her death instead of cherishing every moment of her life? Absolutely.

And what’s worse, I was still robbing myself of life by keeping this same attitude.

Preparing for the worst doesn’t make things easier. Holding on to hope- that hope that is found in Christ Jesus- is what gives us life.

Let go of your tightly wound fears this week and open up your heart to HOPE.

OCTOBER: MEDIA THAT MOVED ME

For my October picks, I decided to go look for NEW songs and books instead of sharing the ones I already treasure.

We can always learn and grow, and it’s great to make a little room for something (or someone) new.

(Note: The exception to this rule is holiday dinners. Families want to eat the same meal with the same sides made the same way. They do NOT like it, for example, when you try a new recipe that use Ritz crackers in place of french-fried onions for the green bean casserole. They will remind you of this as you plan the holiday grocery list for twelve more years.)

I listened to seven new Christian songs before I found THE ONE. This one came out in 2018 but if I’ve heard it before it didn’t quite move me like it did today. This is exactly what I needed to hear. I almost skipped over “I Will Fear No More” by The Afters because I used to have crippling fear, especially at night, and I’d overcome it.

But then I heard the lyrics. And I was reminded that fear is the opposite of faith.

I have a few areas of my life that could use a faith boost right now.

“You are greater than the battle raging in my mind…” Wow. I think we can all relate to that.

“Even though I’m in the storm, the storm is not in me…” How easy is it to let that storm in? It tornado-twists our minds, our stomachs, our hearts…

This incredible song reminds us that NOTHING can overpower the Lord in your life.

 

For my October movie I was privileged to attend an advance screening of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” last night.

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I’ll have to admit that I had mixed feelings about posting it on my ministry blog. Ultimately, I decided to leave it here because the page is Media that Moved ME and it did move me. But this attempt by Affirm Films falls a little short of the standard set for movies in ministry use.

For personal viewing, it’s a good movie. A little weird but I embrace the abnormal. (A few unnecessary bad words ruin its chances to be shown in schools and churches. And while it is a feel-good movie, there is no mention of Christ or salvation.)

Tom Hanks brings the kindhearted Mr. Rogers to life on the big screen as only the versatile actor can. Focusing on the transformation of  journalist Lloyd Vogel through his relationship with Rogers, the movie is based on the true life Esquire article “Can You Say…Hero?” by Tom Junod.

A funny thing happened while Lloyd was discovering the value of his life through Mr. Rogers’ eyes: I discovered mine. I’ll admit, the day had been a bit of a pity party for me. Relationships, publishing, weight loss….nothing was going the way I wanted it to and I’d just had a 45-minute therapy session with my two dogs as I told them my life had no purpose or value whatsoever. (I know… I can be a tad melodramatic at times.)

Then Mr. Rogers came to life before my eyes and in his slow, soft way, I truly believed that he thought my life had value. And if Mr. Rogers (through a man named Tom Hanks) believed in me, I could believe in myself.

It sounds crazy, but I left the movie feeling so much better about life. Thank you, Mr. Rogers, for leaving such a legacy that affects people even to this day.

MY BOOK PICK

This past month I picked up several biographies to read. I normally prefer fiction but once a year, I read non-fiction. It started when we first moved to Jackson, MS around 2010. I liked to visit a neighborhood library and they had a big non-fiction section when you first walked through the doors. I was intrigued at the glossy photos staring at me from the covers of each book. Occasionally I’d read about someone historical but mostly I stuck with pop culture. It didn’t matter that I was basically reading a novel-length TMZ article, I consider ALL non-fiction to be educational!

I read several but the one that stood out to me was “50 Things that Aren’t My Fault” by the cartoon strip Cathy’s creator, Cathy Guisewite. It doesn’t necessarily go with my normal list of inspirational books, but it was inspirational for me because I find great comfort in reading about someone’s idiosyncrasies that mirror my own. From lamenting the 19.99 monthly contribution to the local gym (it’s only called a membership when you actually GO) to becoming trapped in an obviously mislabeled sports bra, I was laughing uproariously with her and feeling a lot less alone in the world.

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Check these three out or tell me about some of your favorites this month!