Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
No, the title is NOT a mistake. Recently my son, Periwinkle, (names have been changed to protect the innocent) announced to his brothers that the reason the waitresses at a local restaurant were wearing "Save the Ta Tas" tee shirts is because it is Breast Awareness Month. That's right...cancer has nothing to do with it. So, dear readers, take a moment before this month is over to pause and become aware of your breasts. Or your lack of breasts. Go ahead...have a leisurely stroll down mammary lane. Now don't you feel truly inspired??
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
In my post this morning I declared that I would not share my political opinions. I am retracting that statement and I am asking you to please read this article before you go and vote. I am categorically and unapologetically opposed to abortion. Nothing anyone could ever say to me would change my mind. I am also pro-choice. I think a woman should have a right to choose and that choice should be made before she has sex.
I avoid all things political in this blog because I am highly opinionated on the subject and basically intolerant of opposing views in this one arena. Hey, at least I get points for honesty here, right? Anyhoo, since we are fast approaching the big election day I want to spare you any personal opinions and instead share with you the words of some of our founding fathers.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
One of my favorite leadership talks to give is that of self-leadership. You cannot effectively lead others until you are successfully managing yourself. Of great importance in this arena is building margin into your life. Margin is the extra time that you may need as you live this gloriously unpredictable life.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I think I have already mentioned that I have been reading Seth Godin's most recent book, Tribes, and it is really speaking to me where I am. One sentence in particular grabbed my attention. Seth says,
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
As I pray and talk to the Lord about His heart for women to lead strongly in His body, I go back to the handful of scriptures that have been misinterpreted and then used as institutional bars in the church to keep women safely imprisoned in the cage of the status quo. Sadly, many women have accepted these rules as a reflection of God's heart towards them. They assume that what they are allowed to do in the church is all that they were created for and that men were designed to carry the weight of real leadership. Some of the women I have talked to even seem relieved that they are limited because it is safer to hide behind man-made walls of limitation than to have to step out and lead where it might feel uncomfortable. This is understandable given the fact that it is all they have known their entire lives.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Ahhhh, the sweet consolation of things put in order. I realize that not everyone is a fan of order and some just may not know how to attain order much less maintain it. For me, order is part of my DNA...I crave it and I thrive in it. I have been told that this is indicative of a deep, dark, hidden issue and that I organize and straighten to compensate for those things over which I have no control. And to this I say, "WHAT????!!!!" I don't think that I need to tell you that the people who have said this to me were chronically messy, perhaps even terminally so. Now this is not a criticism of messies or adulation for neat freaks, but rather a confession that I find difficult circumstances easier to endure when my little world is in order. Of great comfort to me is the fact that I am married to a man who is just like me in this arena. In fact, he is worse, and I say this with great respect and admiration. His sock drawer is color-coded as are the clothes in his closet and once, I caught him alphabetizing the spice cabinet. I pointed out to him that alphabetizing spices might border on some sort of neurosis, but he did not think so.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Following God can be risky business. Sometimes the thrill of adventure is exhausting and I just want to take a little nap and pretend I'm not hanging out on a limb. Sloths eat, sleep, and even give birth while hanging from tree limbs and I have never understood that as "hanging" anywhere is not comfortable for me. But you do get used to the view and you even begin thinking, after a while, that you might just be hugging a small space forever. I reminded myself today that I am not a sloth, but a daughter with a destiny and that this "hanging" is not a permanent condition. Oftentimes I don't listen well to my own advice. I am great at giving pep-talks to others but I am not a good listener when I am the only one in the conversation. This is one of those times when I find myself yelling my own words in my own ears, hoping like crazy that they will penetrate my heart. I am reminded that when Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water, he was fine until he began looking at what was around him. Taking your eyes off of the face of God is never a good idea. Why do our eyes like to wander so? Why does the heart doubt what the head knows so well? When will I ever be like my friend, Jesus, who could sleep so peacefully in the middle of a raging storm? Someday. Someday.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Wouldn't it be interesting if you could have an exit interview with everyone you have encountered this past week? What would they say about their interaction with you? Were your words dazzling? Were your arguments convincing? Did you make your point with dizzying clarity?
I have been thinking that what we say really doesn’t matter. It is how we make people feel that matters. Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That might sound a little “touchy-feely”, but I find that in most of my dealings with people, it is what they walk away with that matters to them. Kind of like the aftertaste when you have something to eat or drink….it doesn’t really matter what you swallowed, your stomach doesn’t know the difference. But your mouth will register the aftertaste for quite some time and it is that by which you judge the meal or the drink. You leave a mark on each one you touch, a fingerprint on their soul. What does it look like? What will others see in your wake?
My wake could have been better this week. I would like to say that my fingerprints were lovely, but some of them were not. Tomorrow is a new day and I will purpose to think before I speak, listen much, and leave behind something remarkable on others.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Alright bloggy people...here are my thoughts for this week:
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I know, I know, the title is unforgivable, but I swear it really is the title of a book. Years ago I was at the home of a friend and on her bookshelf was a copy of this book which is now out of print. In true "beth" style, I cracked up laughing because, really, doesn't it sound like a line from a Saturday Night Live skit? "I'm Beth Taylor and I AM........the SEXUAL CHRISTIAN!"
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Humans are funny creatures. When life gets unpredictable, scary or disappointing, we reach for whatever will bring us comfort. For some of us that might be a favorite "comfort food" or even a comforting drink. If the drink happens to require proper ID, well that is a whole other level of comfort. Some folks reach for a familiar book or movie to bring them the comfort of escape. And me? Well, being the overachiever that I am, I reach for the "comfort combo". This usually consists of one of my three favorite chick flicks accompanied by something luscious and chocolatey. If this doesn't do the trick then I just have a little more chocolate and watch movie number two. I know, I know...I should reach for something spiritual, but honestly now, dark chocolate IS a deeply moving and religious experience. Really. So what do you do when you need a little comfort??
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I am holding my breath as I write this post. I have been blogging on this site for nearly a year and I have not yet written about the one issue in Christiandom that keeps me up at night. I am passionate about a number of things, but this one issue is the sum total of all that has consumed me for the past two decades. And this one thing is how the church limits women in leadership and how God wants to set them free.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Many of the bloggers I read have posted notes from each of the Catalyst speakers. Rather than do that, I am going to offer a tasty sampling of the high points (in my opinion, of course) from some of the speakers that truly spoke to my soul:
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wow...what a week...here goes...
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Woo hoo! I am away at Catalyst today!! My merciful friend, Tara, from Tarpon Springs gave me an extra ticket she had so I am in Atlanta at the conference with her and as happy as a hog in slop. I am not sure how much hogs really like slop but I am loving being here. It has been a few years since I have been and it is good to be back. There is an amazing line-up of speakers this year, such as Dave Ramsey, Seth Godin, Tim Sanders, Billy Graham, Craig Groeschel, Jim Collins, William Young (The Shack), and the list goes on. More later, my bloggy friends...
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I finished reading The Shack by William Young and I must say that it was most definitely one of the strangest books I have ever read. I love anything that is outside of the box and Young never even got close to the box in this story. I am not experienced at the art of reviewing books so please pardon the informality of my opinions here.
Monday, October 6, 2008
My heart is heavy tonight. I have been sitting here reading cards and letters (and crying my blasted eyes out) from so many of our wonderful friends at Christian Heritage Church whom we have had the privilege of pastoring and loving for the past four years. Never have we felt the sense of "belonging" that we feel here with these people, our people, and even as we leave and head into the next adventure, our hearts will always have a home here.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thoughts from the edge:
--Toilet paper update: because I know you care, we are STILL using up the last of the John Wayne toilet paper. But I dream of a place called Charmin...
--Our Christian Heritage Church annual ladies conference begins tonight. Can't wait to hear Lee Grady speak. If you cannot be here then get his books here.
--I am enjoying an interesting read right now called, "Is God On America's Side?" by Erwin Lutzer. It is very eye-opening. If you would like a copy, go here.
--I always thought waiting for your unborn child to arrive was nerve-wracking, but I think waiting for your house to sell in a sluggish economy may be worse, although easier on your back.
--It is a good idea to limit how many Raisinettes you eat at one time. However, eating too many is a great way to use up all that awful toilet paper you have sitting around. Hhhhmmmm...maybe I will slip some into the family's meatloaf tomorrow....
--Erwin McManus says, "When you are passionate about God, you can trust your passions." This is so very freeing, don't you think?
--I am swearing off Nyquil. I took some last night at bedtime and four hours later I was wide awake and wondering why I had dreamed that all of my teeth fell out. If I am going to drink alcohol-laden cold remedies, I want to sleep ALL night. And keep my teeth, thank you very much.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Transition is a funny thing. You are caught somewhere between enjoying the moment and wondering about the future. You feel as though you don't really belong anywhere as you hang over the abyss of change. It is much like that place between asleep and awake where you really aren't one or the other and all you feel is strange. I love to ride roller coasters and I was thinking how similar are the experiences of roller coaster riding and riding the winds of change. You know how you feel as you wait in line, questioning your sanity yet unable to turn back? And then comes the moment of no return when you are buckled in your seat with the safety harness in place and your stomach is doing flip flops as you are tempted to start screaming, "Get me off this contraption!!!!!" Well that is how I feel in times of transition...that odd mixture of thrilled but I could pee in my pants at any moment.
Oswald Chambers said, "The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty, consequently we do not make our nests anywhere." I think as His children we must be ready and willing to move, shift, or change in whatever capacity He desires. For some of us, this requires cardboard boxes and packing tape, but for all of us it requires soft, malleable hearts that are willing to let Him have His way in our lives. And the catch of our breath as we make the ascent to the top of a hill of His making is, I believe, music in His ears.