Thursday, April 17, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Never allow someone to be your PRIORITY while allowing yourself to be their OPTION."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Sometimes I just want to be asked out on a date.
Even if it is *just* a date.

I want to dress up, put on some make up, be picked up, go to dinner in a quiet restaurant, sip some wine, have an intelligent and stimulating conversation, laugh, have the door opened for me, maybe a few slow dances, be dropped off and maybe even get a goodnight kiss on the cheek and a hug.

I don't want to pick the place, pick him up or pay the bill and have him walk me to the door only because he has some unreasonable expectations or wants (tries) to stick his tongue down my throat.

Do any men move slowly anymore?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Where is your focus?

Okay, so my thoughts are all over the place today. It’s been a week that has provoked a lot of deep thought. This may seem like one heck of a rabbit trail, but bear with me. Sunday, I went to church with a friend. At this church, there was a special speaker and he talked about a lot (most pastors love to talk and can get pretty long winded), but what struck me the most was the simple truth that we spend so much time focusing on our sins, our struggles that it’s all we can think about… Don’t do this, don’t do that. Rules. Regulations. Legalism. It’s like when you are on a diet, all you can think about is food. When you are trying to be a "good Christian" all you seem to notice are the temptations and your failures. Our perspective is all wrong. Instead of focusing on the sin, struggles, temptations, we should simply be focusing on God. The more we meditate on Him and WHO HE IS and his love and goodness, the more we want to be in His presence. It’s like we get tunnel vision and all we care about, all we can see is Him. The more our eyes are on Him, the more we start to change and become like Him. Sure, we’ll still fall from time to time – we will never achieve perfection – but we’ll notice that these sins and temptations that once consumed us are no longer such a struggle.

I was talking to another friend today who has recently gone through some pretty major failures. He is being judged, his character called into question and outright defamed. He hears and reads all these horrible, malicious, slanderous statements about himself and it’s really taking a toll on him. He just wants to put the past behind him and move on, but finds it impossible to do so because everywhere he turns his sins are being thrown back in his face. There is no grace, no mercy, no forgiveness from these people he once called friends, many of them Christians. He will never be able to undo what he has done, but he’ll also never be able to grow and change if he lets his shame keep him from accepting the grace and forgiveness that is freely offered by Christ – the One who already paid his debt IN FULL. He’ll never grow as long as other people and their opinions distract him. I told him to focus on God, to keep his eyes GLUED on God and not on his circumstances, not on his past and not on other people and what they think or say about him. He retorted that it’s easier said than done. Trust me - I know how hard it is. I have spent a lot of time training myself and choosing EVERY DAY to live my life for an audience of ONE.

Speaking of focus and distraction, I went to a church service Tuesday night and they had this human video. Most of you churched people know what that is, but for those who don’t, it’s kind of like a silent play – done to a song. I’ve always thought they were so cheesy, but this one really spoke to me. The "video" starts out with Jesus and a girl. They walk through life and He shows her things, opens her eyes to who He his – and she begins to trust Him and they dance. As they are dancing, a handsome man walks up with a rose in his mouth and steals her away on a dance of their own. She becomes so wrapped up in him that she doesn’t see Jesus trying to get her to come back or be included in that part of her life. Soon someone else walks by with this wad of cash in his hands and as she pushes the man with the rose away, she starts snatching up money and following the guy that’s handing it out. Then a gal walks by with a tape measure – measuring her, judging her, motioning that she’s too fat, her hair is all wrong so she follows her for a while. Then comes a guy with a bottle and offers it to this girl. They eat, drink and enjoy the high and then come the pills… The money is snatched away, leaving her with drink and pills that she quickly consumes. She is alone until someone else walks in and offers her a way out – suicide. She is at the end of herself, nothing to live for, she’s lost it all and is ready to pull the trigger. All the while, Jesus is crying, trying to her attention – but each person (temptation/distraction) that comes and goes in her life push Him farther and farther away. Somehow, she remembers Him and looks back. He holds His hands out and she jumps up and tries to get to Him, but the people who are standing between her and Jesus thrash on her. They block her from getting to Him, they throw her around, push her to the ground, beat up on her. When she calls out to Him, He jumps to her rescue – finally given her permission, he picks her up, brushes her off and embraces her… and they begin to dance again.

Wow! How many times are we distracted – by love, lust, family, careers, others opinions, substances, people, "friends?" Not all of these distractions are bad things, but it’s easy to put them before our relationship with Christ. How often do we push God out of our lives and only when we are at the end of our rope do we call out for Him? I am guilty – countless times over. It’s not usually as dramatic as this little production, but rather a gradual, subtle process. He’s a gentleman though – he will never force Himself on someone who doesn’t want Him in their life. But He’s always there – waiting patiently, wanting to be let back in – wanting to be our partner in this dance of life.


As a 20 something (30 next month) who was raised in the church and youth group, a friend’s blog kind of hit home today and brought on this thought process (thanks Jon). The church has ministries for children, youth, college age, young married, married with kids, over 40 singles, senior groups, Mothers of Preschoolers, Moms in Touch, Promise Keepers, recovery classes, etc. I’ve always thought that ministries directed toward the 22 - 35ish (especially single) age group are lacking. Maybe I feel that way because I’ve spent the last 4 years single and the last 3 1/2 years in small churches where I just don’t feel like I can find a "fit." That being said, I think part of it has something to do with the lack of interest by those in this age group. We’re a generation of lost souls who don’t even know we’re lost. We fill the voids in our lives with everything BUT God. We pursue relationships, careers, money, travel and experiences and can’t seem to find the time or use for church or God. We climb the corporate latter, only to find that we can never really reach the top. The more money we make, the more we spend and find ourselves increasingly in debt so we reach for that next rung thinking that we’ll find a position to help us make more money and get ahead. We spend so much time at work that we don’t feel we’ve balanced it well enough with a social life so to unwind, we start going out having a few drinks with the coworkers or friends. We hit coffee shops, bars, clubs, concerts and all sorts of other venues to escape the loneliness and quiet of an empty home – and call this having a social life. We want to enjoy life while we are young so we turn into a bunch of traveling addicts and thrill seekers, always chasing the next high. Then we get tired of not having anyone to share these experiences with and the thought of going home (or on vacation) alone again is not appealing so we look for substances to numb us or relationships to complete us. But where do we find like-minded people our own age? Finding someone at work is usually discouraged and besides, it seems most of them are married anyway. Some look at church, bars, events or online dating services with no luck. When we do find that certain someone, we expect physical intimacy to fill this big gaping hole in our lives, only to find that instead of feeling complete, we are left feeling even more empty and lost, thus causing the epidemic of short-lived and unfulfilling relationships and more sexual partners than we can remember. Yet, we still don’t see our need for God. We don’t realize that it’s a "God shaped hole" that nothing else can fill. We tell ourselves how much we love the freedom of our lifestyles, always busy, always succeeding, always on the go, always running from the subtle nagging thought that there has got to be more to life than this.

My question is not WHO is going to reach these people, but HOW do you reach a people that refuse to admit that they are lost?....