October Media Picks

If you like your gospel with a little twang…

and you know what it’s like to have made such a mess of your life that the only arms left to fall into were His…

You’ll love this song! God of Second Chances by High Road

Listen here:

Speaking of second chances, Allyson Field feels like her life lacks meaning and purpose until one crazy Moms’ Night Out (think Adventures in Babysitting for overworked, stressed-out moms) reminds her of all of the blessings in her life and changes the course of her future.

Moms’ Night Out is a 2014 American faith-based comedy film directed by the Erwin Brothers, and written by Jon Erwin and Andrea Gyertson Nasfell. The film stars Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Trace Adkins, and Patricia Heaton as the buttoned-up pastor’s wife who has a secretly wild past. (You never know about us pastor’s wives, do you?!)

We watched this as a Ladies Night Out at the church when it came out, never knowing that six years later something as simple as a moms’ night out would be unfathomable. It’s almost as if you’re watching something from decades ago. Check it out, whether you watched it back then or missed it. It’s a little bit of nostalgic fun.

Books, books, books…I have a shelf of new books I’m perusing to find the perfect one for our Ladies Bible Study group. (It’s not just food and movies; we DO feast on the Word as well!)

eenie, meenie, miney, moe…

I will bring a few of my favorites to our next group so we can decide together, but there’s one book that has jumped out at me whether it’s used as our group study or I do an individual one:

So often we don’t even know our spiritual gifts or we don’t know how to them effectively. I often feel like I’m squandering away some of my spiritual gifts now that we are so much more isolated from one another. I know that through power and deep searching, the Lord will reveal ways for me to continue ministering even under these circumstances.

Did Paul stop ministering in prison? Of course not. In fact, he was writing letters that became part of the Bible you and I read today. Joseph used his gifts from a jail cell and was placed over the kingdom.

Never doubt that God can use you, no matter where you are…

Enjoy these picks and more on the Media page….

Unless you breathe out of your butt, you can’t live in your shell….

I knew I was in real trouble yesterday when I got off the phone with my friend. I’d called to get an update on a work situation I’d helped her with the day before and was glad to see that it had all worked out.

“See, I told you not to take it personally,” I’d said. “Sometimes it helps to get a perspective from someone who isn’t as close to the situation.”

If I’d have stopped there, there would’ve been no problem. But I continued. “Me, I don’t care what anyone thinks. They can get mad and get glad. I’m over caring what anyone thinks of me.”

Me thinks the lady doth protest too much should’ve been the dialogue in my head. But I was still buried so deep in my shell I actually believed it was true.

The next morning I climbed into a steaming hot bathtub filled with bubbles and settled in to drink my mug of ice cold Coke and finish the novel I’d been reading. After just a couple of pages, the character faced a loss that brought all my pent-up tears and fears to the surface.

I set the book down and just cried until I couldn’t tell where my tears stopped and the bathwater began. I knew at once that the plot was merely the catalyst for a cleansing the Lord knew I needed.

99% of anger people feel stems from a hurt or a fear. It’s merely a coping mechanism for grief. And grief doesn’t alway require a casket. You can grieve many things from wasted years to failed relationships. You build up these tough exteriors so that they don’t hurt as much but when you get deep down inside, the pain is still there.

That’s why we have to continually turn these things over to the Lord. If we don’t, they form roots in our souls, rotted vines that grow and ensnare the goodness within us.

But sometimes that feels impossible. you think, to let go means you don’t care. Or you can’t stop thinking, even obsessing, over it. After a loss, are you expected to just stand up, wash your hands, and move on as if nothing had happened?

Of course not.

But that’s what letting go and letting God feels like.

Some losses are permanent. Death brings a finality of grief.

Some losses may be temporary. This is the one I’m struggling with right now. A familial relationship that I’m not sure will ever be reconciled. Sometimes the open-ended grief is even harder. Is there hope? Should I accept it’s over? I tried honesty. I tried space. I tried heartfelt. I tried humor.

Then I tried to bury myself in a shell and pretend I didn’t care. I have friends who WANT a relationship with me. I have a good life, with or without her. It’s HER loss. But the truth is, it was MY loss. All of the pretending it didn’t matter was slapping a Flash Gordon band-aid over a massive gaping wound.

We can’t stop caring, or wanting things to be right, or even wishing our loved ones were still on earth with us. We can’t stop the sorrow, or the fears, or the regrets in life. All we can do is grab each situation or each thought as it comes by and ask the Lord to help us through it.

We aren’t turtles. We can’t bury our heads inside ourselves and we don’t breathe through our rear ends. We don’t need shells to protect us; we just need Jesus.

Are you helping….or harming?

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We all have them. Those people in our lives whose own lives are in a mess. They are our children, our grandchildren, our neighbors, our friends.

We are commanded to love them, to help them, to restore them to the faith….

But how much is too much? Where is the line between helping and enabling?

My husband preaches often on the Prodigal Son and how today he would never have come back home because some little old ladies would’ve been bringing him sandwiches while he was in the miry muck. Everyone laughs but it’s true. Sometimes we need to allow people to reach a place where they have no choice but to reach for God’s Hand.

When someone is in a deep hole and we extend our own hand, we can only pull them so far. Or worse, they pull us down as well. But God has the ability to not only pull them out of the hole, but to send them soaring in the sky.

I know because He did it with me.

It’s hard to know when to help and when to let go. A quick little guide: if you are helping out of guilt, manipulation, or because you just can’t stand to watch them suffer- it’s probably time to take a step back. If there’s a peace and an inward knowing of exactly what to do, it’s usually the Lord. Only by prayer (or even better, prayer and fasting) will you know for sure.

I once made a serious error in judgment that could’ve had a much worse outcome. It is a perfect illustration of what it’s like to love someone and try to protect them to the point of near death.

My husband and I were headed out of town for the night. We had two puppies still at home and the older dogs had been pretty aggressive with them. We didn’t want them to get hurt while we were gone so we put them inside a play fence in our den with their own food and water bowls.

When we got home the first thing I noticed was that the puppies were panting, looking like they were dying. It was then that I noticed their water bowl tipped on its side. I’m certain that within the first few minutes of our departure, these hyper puppies had knocked over that water bowl and were trapped, unable to get to the main water bowl, the refillable one that would’ve sustained them.

Would they have been in danger from the other dogs? Maybe. They wouldn’t have been killed but maybe chased a little. Run under the couch. Maybe run off from the food dish. But they would’ve have access to the water.

They wouldn’t have been in as much danger as they were from me trying to protect them. I almost killed them just because I was scared to let them take care of themselves.

We do this with our loved ones sometimes. We try so hard to protect them ourselves that we cut them off from their main water source- Jesus. He is the Living Water. Don’t let someone die of thirst because you’re giving them droplets from a shut-off water hose when they can have fountains of everlasting water.

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:14