The Bell Doesn’t Dismiss You

In High School, I had an English teacher whose classroom was right across from my mom’s class. Now my mom was an art teacher, and everything about her classroom epitomized art.

It was messy. It buzzed with the sound of laughter and conversation. The desks were not in a row. Artwork hung on the walls, clay footprints guided the way from the spinning wheel to the sink and my favorite….the box of paperclips, were all hooked together, making it impossible to grab just one.

Sounds fun right?!

Well, the English class across the hall was a completely different story. There students sat quietly at their desks in full attention. They raised their hand when they had a question. They did not leave their desks without permission. And the most important thing. The thing the teacher made clear on the first day of school: THE BELL DOES NOT DISMISS YOU. I DO.

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How Do We Unite?

Last night I had a crazy, awful dream that my oldest son Caleb died in my arms. He had been sick and while I was holding him he breathed his last. In agony I wept and wailed aloud, asking Jesus to restore him to life. “Please, Lord, please bring Caleb back to life.”

When I opened my eyes, I saw Caleb’s eyes open and roll around the room as if totally confused about where he was. He was alive!

I’ve pondered this dream all morning long. While I was doing my morning chores the song titled Forever by Kari Jobe played on my phone. The words struck a chord within me and caused my spirit to worship. The words say, “The ground began to shake, the stone was rolled away, His perfect love could not be overcome. Oh death, where is your sting? Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated!! Forever He is glorified. Forever He is lifted High. Forever He is risen, He is alive….He is alive!!”

That’s when it hit me. That is the message of the gospel. My dream is what Jesus has done for us – for me. I was dead. My ugliness and sin separated me from God, but when I called out to Him, He saved me. He reached down from on high and took hold of me. He drew me out of murky waters and restored me back to life.

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What if I Want to Die?

My whole childhood is filled with memories of Papa taking care of other people.  If someone wanted a custom table or cabinet built, they called my Papa. If their washing machine was overflowing or weed eater stopped working, they called my Papa. If someone needed a partner in a tennis match or a ride into town, he was the man. He could do, fix or make anything. 

Here are some examples just in my house.

When he landed in the hospital a year ago, he doted on every nurse that came in. “Is there anything I can do for you?” he would ask.

He was amazed at how they came in hourly to check on him and help him get comfortable. (Those of us staying with him weren’t that gracious with all the interruptions, however!) He insisted they didn’t need to keep checking on him. He was fine.

Right, because you go the hospital and get 6 units of blood when you’re fine, I thought.

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Hope in the Face of Tragedy

Yesterday I woke up to read about the tragic events in Orlando, Florida. My heart broke for the people involved.

Through out the day that sadness and compassion for the victims turned to utter frustration as the news reports put their spin on the ordeal, tweaking the facts to support their political view. Add to that some of my favorite writers turning this into a LGBT debate.

This shooting has opened Pandora’s Box on racism, sexism, gay issues and gun control.

Some say if we outlawed all guns we wouldn’t have this problem.

Some say this is the Christian’s chance to fully embrace the LGBT community and love on them in the name of Christ. They say Jesus would be on ground zero administering help anyway He could.

Some say this is why we should elect Trump or Hillary.

Everyone has an opinion on how we are supposed to react and respond to this tragedy, as if compassion needs to be politically correct.

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4 Ways to Avoid Ashley Madison Temptations

If the erogenous website Ashley Madison was a hurricane, it would be classified as a category 5 storm. Damaging winds have reportedly spread debris over all but three zip codes in the entire U.S.

For adrenaline pumping storm chasers this might sound like the storm of the year to track. But beware: travelling too close to these 155+ mile an hour winds leaves you liable to be sucked up in the raging vortex yourself. For we weren’t created to withstand that amount of force against us.

Just ask Josh Duggar.

The bottom line to me in this story is one Ashley Madison illustrates beautifully: Your sin will find you out.

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“Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!”

Said Patrick Henry, persuading the crowd of Virginians to enter the Revolutionary War.

We seem to be entering Revolutionary times again. There’s so much fuss  about what rights we have. American rights, Black, White, Male, Female, those who are confused somewhere in the middle, we all have rights, right? We all say we want this thing called Freedom. Liberty. Rights. But what does Freedom really mean anyway? And what does it really look like?

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Truth, This Generation’s 4 Letter Word: What Happens When We Ignore It

It happened last summer: I’d had it with the carpet. My son spilled a berry smoothie on it for the last time. Yes, it coordinated well with the beige paint I spilled on it a few months ago, but still, the carpet had to go and NOW. Maybe I was feeling a little too ambitious, but by the end of the day I was proud of the rolled up nasty, dirty carpet and linoleum strips that lined my driveway awaiting the dumpster.

The only thing that bothered me and my family now was the continual white bottomed feet and fine dusty floors that could never be swept enough. No, I didn’t have a plan when I ripped up all the flooring from the kitchen to the living room. I was hoping inspiration would come soon – I’d take it any minute…

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What Happens When We Blur the Lines: My Response the Bruce Jenner Saga

Everyone else has written about this topic, so I might as well join them.

I keep reading about how we who call ourselves Christians just need to love this man more. That we have no right to call what he’s done right or wrong. I keep reading that somehow by me not agreeing with his lifestyle choice, I’m judging him. We just need to love more. Love, love, love. It’ll solve everything.

I disagree.

Yes, we must love. It’s by our love that people will see Jesus.  But in this case, I see the issue being more about truth than love.

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Knock Knock Christians, Anybody Home?

I just read an article about James Dobson’s panel  discussing the events going on this week in the Supreme Court. I am outraged.

I’m not outraged that the highest court in the land is hearing a same-sex marriage case. I’m outraged at our response. The comments to this article and articles like it have left me scraping my jaw off the floor.

Here’s just a sample of what I mean:

 “It’s because of hateful leaders like Mr. Dobson that Christians will be hated. Drop the hate, leave the Old Testament behind and practice the teachings of Jesus and guarantee you will not be hated.”

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