Christians Are Canceling Christmas

It’s the oddest thing to me in the whole entire world. There are Christians wanting to cancel church on Christmas because it falls on a Sunday this year. You see, it will interfere with the gift exchange. It will interfere with the Christmas Eve hangover, it will interfere with the Christmas breakfast tradition. Canceling Christmas must be done! It’s inconvenient for MMMMMEEEEEE.


It’s not Christmas we want to cancel. It’s the bride of Christ we want to cancel. We don’t want to gather corporately on a Sunday because of Christmas.

We want the commercial exchange without the holy interaction.


Okay, now it makes total sense! I get it! Push Jesus to the side so we can have our holiday.

Funny thing is that is exactly what the Pharisees did. Jesus came to save the world that was lost, but it was lost on them. They weren’t interested in a Messiah, they were interested in a tradition. Jesus’ timing has never been convenient. Nope, nothing convenient about it, but it was necessary.

Christianity started on the day Jesus arrived on the scene. We have decided to celebrate that moment on December 25. Only this year, it falls on a day we reserve for church service. So church service will have to wait because gifts are more important than the giver.

Maybe I will stand alone but I will be at church on Sunday morning, December 25, 2011 even if it is Christ’s Mass.

Happy Birthday Casey

Today my daughter, Cassandra Allyse, turns 26! Where did the time go? I love her just because she is. Long gone are the days of the little girl who didn’t want to have pigtails because she didn’t want pigs on her. So instead she decided to rename the pigtails do to “two ponytails on the side”. She also gave herself the name Casey Lulu. And now everyone knows where Lulu the Wonder dog got her name. It was out of the response of a mother who longed for her Lulu and created a substitute.

She lives life on her terms. She wonderful, amazing, hard working and brilliant. Love you with all my heart Caseylulu!

Not Bone Of My Bone

I have struggled with step-parenting. That is true and well documented. However, we really need to change our minds about how we speak of our children.

While out with Lauren, my stepdaughter, a man we both know, asked me, “I haven’t seen your kids in awhile. How are they doing?” I smiled, knowing what he meant but not wanting to feed this thinking, I answered, “One is standing right behind me.” I heard Lauren snicker. The man persisted, “No, I mean your real kids.” I answered, “She looks pretty real to me. Are you talking about my two oldest? They are fine. Working and living in Los Angeles.”

People who are reading this today, my request is this: please don’t distinguish between a biological and an adopted child. My step-children may not be bone of my bone but they are certainly children of my heart. Maybe it’s incomprehensible that a stepmother would love her children, since fairy tales tell us otherwise, but I do. So please think before you speak. I know most people do not think about what they are saying and I’m sure it wasn’t meant as a slam but what if you were Lauren hearing this conversation? What if I had responded in a different way? Would that have hurt her heart? Let’s just be a little more careful with our words.


In God’s economy timing is everything. A day is like 1000 years, a 1000 years like a day. We live submitted to a God who lives outside of time. He’s never early, never late but simply on time, every time.

However we slice it up though, this isn’t the mode of operation for Americans. We want it fast and we want it now. Patience is a virtue, is a saying we’ve heard, but it’s a virtue no one neither wants nor practices.

So it is not surprising when we don’t have the patience while we are waiting for our babies to be born. The nine months it takes to incubate a baby in a mother’s womb is just too long. We speed the process up to meet our own needs. Doctors are inducing labor to make the date agree with the whim of the parents. Whatever happened to the baby who comes when it comes? 10 days early? Fine, we used to say. 10 days late? Okay, we’ll deal with it. Not anymore. We want things the way we want them.

I read an article about elective induction that said that we elect to induce due to busy schedules or convenience. Wow! If you think you are busy during your pregnancy just wait for the next 18 years. If it’s a convenience issue for some, life is about to get really, really tough and ugly.

I understand a medical induction when the baby or the mother are at risk. Of course we must allow for things that go astray. Thank God that there is medicine that takes care of this and that advancement in medicine has come so far that babies have a chance to survive. I believe we wait on God as long as mom and baby are fine. I believe he has a clearer picture on why he chose the date of birth. Maybe he knows something we don’t.

I just wonder what will happen to this up and coming generation that was rushed through their life due to a busy schedule or inconvenience? Lord, let us slow down just a bit and enjoy the miracle of giving birth in the timing the child was created for. I know those last weeks are long and uncomfortable. I remember the feeling of not being able to lie down, or sit up, walk or bend down to do laundry. I will tell you that through that the whole process of inconvenience it has brought me some really beautiful kids and that I enjoyed raising them. It is such a gift. There are times it will seem endless. Have patience! It will all pay off in the end.

1,000 Little Blessings Chapter 3

Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

There is something about being content. Content is a big word. describes it like this:

1.satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.

Seems simple enough but so hard to live for some of us. Content? How to be content when there is always one more hill to climb or one more thing to do? And yet, it is exactly where I find myself in my life right now. I don’t need any thing right now. I want to spend time with my family, I want to spend time writing, I want to spend time at my job but I lack nothing right now, not even the fear of the Lord because I have that as well.

Here are my blessings for today:

1. A day off. It’s after 10 am I am in pajamas still reading and writing. What a gift!

2. I had a friend say a song reminded her of me. It was a song about giving of yourself. What a blessing to have a friend who thinks more highly of you than you do. That is pretty cool.

3. I’m feeling so much better after being hit with a cold last week. Thank God that the worst has passed. You never know how much you take breathing for granted until you can’t catch your breath.

4. I cut my hair off. After suffering through a bad perm/color and my hair being dry and frizzy for MONTHS, I finally just conceded and cut it off. It feels soft and healthy now. No worries it will grow back.

5. I’m grateful for praise reports that are coming in with our new bible study! Beth Moore challenged us to get on our face before God and the posture and the prayer are causing a stir! Love God for it!

6. It’s Wednesday at this writing, and tonight Modern Family and Revenge come on. I enjoy both shows. Meanwhile, I am blessed to have laundry to do. It’s odd I know, but the smell of clean clothes and the smell of bleach bring me comfort. Then folded laundry always looks complete somehow. I know it’s strange.

7. Only 10 more days until the sugar fast is OVER. Just in time for a piece of pumpkin cheesecake! Hooray for willpower and Hooray for pumpkin cheesecake.

8. I’m grateful for Oolong tea. It’s hard to find this type of tea but I love it. I found some at a little tea place and bought a box. Drinking a hot cup is just the ticket! Whoever discovered Oolong tea, my hats off to you!

9. Boot season! Yes!

10. I am blessed to have met Jesus. To be blessed with the knowledge and security he brings to my life is unparalleled. Things become less important and matters of the heart become the motivation. I can’t miss saying thanks every day of my life for this relationship.


I was sitting with my husband having lunch yesterday when a thought occurred to me that just warmed my heart and made me thankful to God. This past Sunday my son, Anthony, preached the word to the church. He spoke on the relationship we have with God and the obligation we have to each other. The Sunday before son # 2, Charles, preached to the church at youth day. He spoke on humility before God and how we needed to stay pliable before him.

I had simply taken this for granted until the moment God gave me the realization of the blessing he had bestowed on us. Our children pay a high price for what we do, as families in ministry can attest. Ministry is what we do and there aren’t on and off hours for it. Sure, we have great discussions abut the bible and our faith. but we have great arguments about what other kids are allowed to do versus ours. Funny, our kids think we don’t allow certain things because we are a “ministry family”. They don’t understand that we don’t allow certain things because we’re strict parents.

In this moment of clarity the Lord made me realize that despite the guilt I carry, the kids are okay. They know the word of God, they are growing up in the faith that we have taught them and they will, no doubt about it, surpass all that we have done and do even greater still. God has kept his hand firmly on them. God has directed their path even when we felt we were failing at juggling all the balls in the air.

All this to say that the realization was not that the kids were on the platform preaching and that is what made it good. What made it good was their understanding of the word and how it fits in their lives. To see them talk about their struggles and triumphs is what made it good. Somehow we did something right or at least we were carried by abounding grace.

Our daughters haven’t hit the platform (yet). They may or may not but I’m secure in the knowledge that they know God, they love him, and they serve him. That is all I need to feel that life is good!


I was sent this article written by musician, singer/songwriter, Jason Gray. I thought it was profound and wanted to share it with all of you!

The Sound of Our Breathing
Jason Gray

Take a breath and breathe it out. Do it again, slowly, and try to mean it. Breathing – of all things maybe we take it most for granted. Do we ever wonder why we are built this way, this soft machine of ours always pumping oxygen in and out?

In sadness, we breathe heavy sighs. In joy, our lungs feel almost like they will burst. In fear, we hold our breath and have to be told to breathe slowly to help us calm down. When we’re about to do something hard, we take a deep breath to find our courage. When I think about it, breathing looks almost like a kind of praying.

I heard a teaching not long ago about the moment when Moses had the nerve to ask God what His name is. God was gracious enough to answer, and the name He gave is recorded in the original Hebrew as YHWH.

Over time, we’ve arbitrarily added an “a” and an “e” in there to get YaHWeH, presumably because we have a preference for vowels. But scholars have noted that the letters YHWH represent breathing sounds, aspirated consonants that in the Hebrew alphabet would be transliterated like this:
Yod, rhymes with “rode,” which we transliterate “Y”
He, rhymes with “say,” which we transliterate “H”
Vav, like “lava,” which we transliterate “V” or “W”
He rhymes with “say,” which we transliterate “H”.

A wonderful question rises to excite the imagination: what if the name of God is the sound of breathing?

This is a beautiful thought to me, especially considering that for centuries there have been those who have insisted that the name of God is so holy that we dare not speak it because of how unworthy we are. How generous of God to choose to give Himself a name that we can’t help but speak every moment we’re alive. All of us, always, everywhere, waking, sleeping, with the name of God on our lips.

In his Nooma video, Breathe, Rob Bell (a pastor whose obvious gifts of curiosity and a knack for asking provocative questions can get him into trouble) wonders what this means in key moments like when a baby is born – newly arrived on planet Earth, must they take their first breath, or rather speak the name of God, if they are to be alive here? On our deathbed, do we breathe our last breath? Or is it that we cease to be alive when the name of God is no longer on our lips?
The most ironic of his questions is also the most beautiful: he wonders about the moment when an atheist friend looks across the table at you and says, “There. is. no. God.” And of course, what you hear is “Yod. He. Vav. He.”

There are few better illustrations of both God’s largesse as well as his humility, his omnipresence as well as his singular intimate presence within each of us.

Breathe in. Breathe out. “He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs…the word that saves is right here, as near as the tongue in your mouth…” (Romans 8:28, 10:8 The Message)