Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Out of Balance

Rick Warren comments in "The Purpose Driven Life" that God never gives us more than we can handle. If we're overloaded or overwhelmed, it may be due to the fact that we've taken on more than God intended. And then Pastor Rick gives some guidance in how to find what it is God does intend for us.

So, why am I overwhelmed? Certainly not because I didn't finish reading "The Purpose Driven Life". (or maybe it is...) I know if I just quit, gave up, stayed in bed tomorrow, that all the things on my plate would either get taken care of by someone else or would just sit there until they didn't matter anymore. So why do I get all stressed out about it?

Our entire staff took the Gallup StrengthsFinder Test about a year ago and I discovered (shocker) that one of my major strengths is RESPONSIBILITY. That means I feel like I have to get the job done, no matter what, because others are depending on me. And although this is a great strength in the eyes of my employer, it's a real negative when I feel that about everything set in front of me. It can't possibly be true that if I don't finish everything, the world will end and/or thousands even millions will die. I recognize that even if I do complete all these tasks, the world will still end and thousands even millions will die. Not soon, probably, but still...

So here I am struggling with my basic personality (God-given) and the knowledge that I can't possibly do everything and God has never intended for me to do everything. Now I just have to convince everyone else that this is true.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Why worry?

The Bible says again and again, "Fear not." Apparently that's because we have a tendency to fear a lot. I haven't had the easiest life, but it hasn't been filled with vast amounts of suffering, either. We're always on the edge financially, but God always seems to provide just enough. I do the math, and there's no way we're going to make it to the end of the month. But God's math seems to work better than mine, because the end of the month comes and we squeak by. Somehow we've managed to maintain our health, regardless of our poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. My thought there is God will keep us alive long enough to fulfill His plans for us, and that's it. We're still here, so we must have more to do yet. World issues, terrorists, natural disasters are all beyond our control, so I rarely even keep up with the news. The end of the Book tells us it gets worse before it gets better, so these should be encouraging signs of His return.

However, I still worry. I worry about making the rent payment next month; I worry about something happening to me or my husband; I worry about the direction our country is heading and wonder how long Christianity will be tolerated.

I recently noticed, though, that when I am regularly reading the Bible, my worrying is less. When I stop (for whatever reason, usually time management issues), my anxiety increases. Maybe it's all the reminders that God is in control that keep me in check (and the fear not's). Or just the "renewing of my mind" that keeps all that other stuff cleared from my head. Whatever the reason, I think it's cool, and I'm glad I've come to realize this.

I just wanted to share that. Anyway, I have some reading to go do.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

God give me the words

I know this sounds crazy, but I've officially inspired someone. My good friend, Leah, has become a blogger - http://leah-mytwocents.blogspot.com/index.html
- and she seems to have a lot more words built up than I do. But she has some very deep thoughts, so they take a few more words to explain. I'm already a subscriber and have greatly enjoyed her first few posts.

Speaking of words - I have greatly struggled over the past few years finding the right words to say to several friends contemplating divorce. I know - this is out of left field, but it's been heavy on my heart for a while.

I am often accused of being a legalist - but really I'm just a rule-keeper because rules make sense in my ordered brain, and if everyone followed the rules the world would be a great place! Like that whole thing in the garden - if they had just followed the rules, we wouldn't be in our current predicament. But, obviously, humans have difficulty keeping rules. (And I'm the first one to cut myself slack in the rule-keeping area - but everyone else should keep playing by the rules, ok?)

And marriage doesn't change the pattern. God is pretty clear about how husbands and wives should treat each other - but do we do it? Rarely! And if my husband isn't doing what he should, I immediately feel under no obligation to do what I should. And yet, our vows at the wedding didn't include any "if he does what he vows, then I vow to ..." Our vows were made to God in reference to the spouse He gave us. There is no "what about him?" It ain't about him - it's about me.

OK, I'm getting all my we's and him's and me's out of whack. Back to my point - what do you say to a godly woman or a godly man who is married to a supposed godly spouse who isn't behaving in a godly way? I've prayed with them and for them; I've recommended Christian counseling; I've spouted verses of what we are called to do and explained that God never promised us happiness in life - but pain, and yet we should have joy in all we do. I've encouraged these sufferers to stick with it, give it to God, pray it through.

And I've utterly failed them. I love them anyway, and try hard to keep judgment out of it, but the marriages haven't worked or are still stuck in the same pain, and I can't seem to help anyone. Anyone have any wise words for me to pass on? or breakthroughs? or anything?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Simon Peter

Mike did his presentation of "Simon Peter:I Witness" for Colony Christian Fellowship this morning. They are a church on the reservation right in the middle of Reno. The presentation was very well received. Special thanks to Pastor Bruce for inviting us over. Arlen did a great job with the music, too. We thoroughly enjoyed worshiping God with the congregation there. It is such a joy to meet others who are God's children and to be treated like family wherever we go.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Sorry, anchordown doesn't leave for Texas for another week or so. But you can still check them out now.

Speaking of corrections - why is it so hard for people to admit to mistakes and correct them? It seems to me like we often know we've screwed up, but we keep going forward like we meant to do that, and it just gets worse. (Listen, I'm speaking from experience here. A lot of my early twenties was spent doing this exact thing.) You would think mature, Christ-professing, Spirit-led people would recognize how much easier it is to fix a mistake or turn around and get on the right path when you do it earlier instead of later.

I also need to confess that I hate turning around! So when I make a wrong turn (I'm talking about driving here), I'll try to make 3 lefts to try to get where I need to be instead of pulling a u-turn. My husband says that's why I know how to get places on back roads - at one time those roads were a mistake that I would not admit. Of course, tonight when I started heading the wrong way to the Chinese place, my attempt to find another way failed in a neighborhood cul-de-sac, so I had to finally turn around. Does anyone else do this or is it just me?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Beautiful Day! Record breaking temperatures! And two weeks ago we were under bunches of snow. I love snow, and I love sun, and I love rain - as long as none of them hangs around for too long. I love variety!

I'm always looking for the next thing - the new thing - another place to go - a new and better way to see or do things - a new way of connecting. (Especially if it's free!)

Anyway, I just wanted to rejoice in the day God has given me today! Oh, and my friend's band anchordown has hit the road. They are on their way to Texas for some kind of band competition and playing at churches on the way there and back. Check out their schedule on http://www.myspace.com/anchordown and hear some of their tunes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


What if all the “responsible” people went on strike? I mean those people who see a chore that needs doing and do it; the people who work overtime and weekends without pay so that deadlines are met. They aren’t motivated by money; they don’t worry about getting their “me” time; they simply feel a sense of responsibility to get the job done. Of course, these people could never go on strike and stand by watching an event fail or a mess turn into a health/safety risk or a task sit undone. They are compelled to step in.

But what about the “irresponsible” people? How can they let things not happen or allow the "responsible" folk to always carry the load? Why do they see something that needs to get done and wonder who will do it without thinking of doing it themselves? If the “responsible” went on strike, the “irresponsible” would simply shrug and blame the strike for the failings, instead of stepping in and getting it done.

It seems to me that the “irresponsible” are almost always the ones who come up with the events and the tasks; they make the messes and assign chores. And yet, they rarely step in to actually do the work. And so the “responsible” continue on with the labor and grow bitter and burn out and drift away.

I know, I know –

“I shouldn’t compare myself to others.”

“You can’t work your way to heaven.”

“It isn’t my place to judge.”

“We are all given different gifts.”

"Sounds like bitterness..."

But it always seems like the “irresponsible” who say these things.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Super

People generally don't maintain their good work ethic for very long in unsupervised roles. Left to our own devices we tend to start serving self over anyone else. So, if it’s a job, we start thinking about how much we deserve to take off early or pocket this cash or “borrow” this stapler, or maybe we decide it’s too much of a bother to actually go do the physical inspection, we’ll just check mark this box on the form saying we did it, and do it for real next time, or the time after that. Even those with the highest levels of integrity can start to wander. And so the role of a supervisor is to protect the greater organization from employees slipping into bad habits of selfishness and to help the employees improve in their skills and performance.

As Christians, we should recognize that we are never unsupervised. So, even on the job, we must guard ourselves from that thought pattern that no one’s going to notice if we slack a little or cut corners. God is watching us. Not so he can squash us or throw down bolts of lightning, but to help and to guide us. The Holy Spirit is our direct supervisor – placed within us not to protect the “greater organization” but to protect us and to guide and correct us to be the best we can be – the people God made us to be. Our Supervisor is available 24/7 for encouragement, direction, training or just to listen. We should listen to Him, too, and seek Him out for guidance in all that we do.

Why don’t we do that?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Church

I am finding that my passion for THE Church is growing at a comparable rate to the growth of my frustration with individual churches. I so long for unified purpose among God's people, and so despise self-serving, separatist ministries. I want to be involved somehow in serving for His greater purpose and not a single ministry's purpose. But I work for a church, not the Church - or do I?

I recognize that I've become so negative about my church that I've lost sight of the fact that God has placed me here at this church for a purpose. Am I going to change everyone else's thinking? Am I called to lead the charge against silos and narrow mindedness from my desk beside the elevator room? Not likely. But I can do my part in keeping my focus on Him and not on me (and certainly not on "them"). By remembering that God has given me a heart for the Church and seeking to serve Him at this church in that context, perhaps I can get a handle on what He has for me.

When I got my first church job, my mother warned me about "feet of clay." Of course, I told her I knew that and my church was different. I've come to realize that my church isn't really different - it is still made up of humans with human weaknesses. I've also noticed that I am very ready to cut myself slack for my own failings, but am quick to judge when anyone else shows a less than Godly motivation. So apparently, God has some things to teach me yet. (I'm still here, aren't I?)

Friday, March 9, 2007

So, Anyway

I was recently encouraged to read some blogs, specifically about churches and technology. So, I tried it. Now I seek out blogs from my favorite teachers (i.e. Beth Moore), people who correspond with my husband and his ministry (Mike's ministry is ActofGraceRadio.net), plus my church and technology gurus (see Church Tech Matters), and I've even got RSS feeds for up-to-the-minute scores for my favorite sports teams (Nevada is beating Utah State as I write).
What's happened to me? I've become a vacuum for information. And now I want to post some of what I think is important. Will anyone care? I don't know. But it keeps my husband happy if I can use up words here instead of saying them out loud. I hope you come here and find something either inspiring or educational or thought-provoking - but not today. Today, I used up all my zealousness setting up the site. So, check back later.