Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Good Book With A Crummy Title

My sister promised me I could read this book when she was done, so I absentmindedly asked, “Have you finished Killing Jesus?”  Nobody wants to answer that in the affirmative.  But she did finish and now I have too.  The book was great.  Spoiler alert: it has the same ending as the one you already know.  Sorry.  But the authors really did their homework and the history and political tidbits are fascinating.

I’m not sure how to tactfully write this.  The Roman rulers?  Were pervy.  Shame on them!  And ferocious.  Back then rulers killed people like they were getting points for creativity.  We are sneaking up on the Lenten season, when Jesus’ death is magnified, and I’m here to tell you this book magnifies the crud out of our Savior’s crucifixion.  It’s as gruesome and painful to read as it is important.  I’m telling you because I wish somebody would have warned me about the gory parts of the book.

If you’re going somewhere tropical and beach-y for Spring Break?  Take some Janet Evanovich.  But, if you want a historically accurate, thought-provoking book to pick up this Lent, pick up the aforementioned book.  The one with the crummy title.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I admit it!  Blogging has taken an absolute backseat in my bobsled now that the Olympics are on!  I can't get enough!  Let me just say these five words: Charlie White and Meryl Davis.  Eeeeee!  Could you just die?  His hair?  Her spriteliness?  It just makes me want to make up nonsense words like "spriteliness" I love them so!

Even as I obsess over the Olympics, there are things going on even more exciting.  And I'm not talking about my going to The Price is Right traveling show.  Even more exciting, if you can believe it.  Do you remember tiny Louisa?  From this post?  Friends, she went home from the hospital today.  And I can't even type about it without sobbing for joy.  This is an actual miracle from God's own hand.  A miracle.

Her doctors and nurses were skillful, no doubt.  She was in a fantastic hospital, for sure.  But I'm done short-changing God by mislabeling miracles.  It's not luck, or coincidence.  Christians, let's call these amazing events (big and small!) what they are!  Miracles. 

Here is more joy from a guy I've admired since I first saw his on-ice back flip.  If you ask me?  He's miraculous.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Olympics!!

The Winter Olympics start tomorrow!!!  Are you freaking out?  I've only seen about three minutes of back stories so far, and I'm already an emotional mess.  Thrilled and nervous for these athletes (and their parents!  Don't forget their parents!)  Let's pray they glorify God with every swishing ski and cut of the ice.

In honor of the most exciting competition in the world, I found some Bible verses to inspire the athletes in us:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (ESV)  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize?  So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.  They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.  But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Hebrews 12:1 (ESV)  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)  But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  you are serving the Lord Christ.

Hebrews 12:11 (ESV)  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Happily, these verses apply to you whether you're a figure skater or you just figure you may want to go skating! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Our Father

My Bible study group is studying the book of Ruth right now; we're at the beginning, when we know Naomi lost both her sons and her husband, and is returning humbly to Bethlehem.  She wasn't exactly chipper.  Consequently, the question was presented to my group, "How do you cope when life hands you something difficult?"  I, of course, put my anxiety on the shelf and pray about the situation, then continue to face the world with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.

Also, I have a bridge in Brooklyn you may be interested in.

Actually, I confided to my group (and now to you, entire Internet!) In times of difficulty I immediately assume I'm being punished.  I would never figure someone else is being disciplined by God when something goes wrong for them, only me!  So already my logic is faulty.  Also, there's that deep down belief I have that God is a loving God.  He doesn't punish us for things like enjoying a glorious day all alone: shopping slowly, eating by myself, and taking a nap (although I did get a horrible stomach flu that very night, so you can see why I would think I was being punished).

Luckily, I have this great technique (if you can call it that).  When I start to worry that God is unleashing His wrath on me, I remember, "He is my Father."  A parent.  A good and loving parent.  He works the same way I do but waaaaaay better.  My baby might think I'm horrible, and punishing her by taking a fist-sized gumball out of those chubby, little hands, when really I'm doing it for her safety.  We are little toddlers; where we see punishment, God sees the danger He is removing to keep us in one piece.  And if we are put in "time-out" by our Father it's because our behavior is unacceptable.  We wouldn't allow our two-year old continue yanking her sisters' hair, and God won't let us continue our destructive behavior either.  He loves us too much for that.