Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Justice seems to be the topic of conversation lately. Steve Fredlund, of Our Response, says that justice is restoring "order". Seeing the poverty, the slavery, the goes on and's all outside the order this world was intended to know. Bob Goff, of Restore International, says that justice is the responsibility of "just us". It's not someone else's's ours. And, together, we CAN bring order back.

And I'm becoming more and more convinced...and sensing the urgency...that we can really make the world a better place. The richness of divine love tells me so...

One of the biggest obstacles to the full establishment of justice is the pettiness of our entitled culture. We'd prefer to bicker about everything...demand agreement...put people down for thinking differently...RATHER than change the world. I don't really bothers me. Why??...people continue to suffer because others have the right to live little stories based entirely on their rights to be arrogant bastards. (Oops...I get a little wound up...)

So, I stumbled on this song today. It's a call to get involved with returning justice to the 27 million men, women and children suffering in the human trafficking trade.

Crazy Parents

My Dad recently retired from being a Senior Pastor. (I can't even begin to tell you how happy my family is that he can be done.) Well, the two of them jetted off to Hawaii for a two-week vacation. It's a home-away-from-home for them. Well, my Mom texted me last night saying, "9 ziplines. 1 suspension bridge. We made it! Loved it!!!!!"

I'm pretty sure I'm sending them with better chaperones next time. ;)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Love's Pursuit

I have to remind myself that it's alright to step outside of the "boxes". You know...all of the "definite" assumptions in any of our belief or non-belief systems. Daring to ask questions...allowing one's self to venture into the mystery...and finding great Presence and great freedom there.

Death is one of those "boxes" for me. Specifically, the assumptions regarding a soul's final destination.

For some of the Christians that just gasped with horror...settle for one moment. ;)

* We don't know the exact moment a being leaves a body. Is it the exhale? Is it the final brain wave? Is it 6 nanoseconds after that exhale or brain wave???
* We don't know what happens in the final moments of natural life. The audience is excluded from the subconscious.
* We don't know the exact order of events a being experienced between "here" and "there". 

Yet, I know some that are quick to say "She didn't know Jesus, so when she died, she went to hell."

Wow...I just can't say such things. And thankfully, I know so many Jesus-followers who can't either...because here's what we do know...

* We know that Jesus loves every time. His earthly life, His death and His resurrected life serve that mission alone. 
* We know that through Him we are introduced to the good Father who pursues us, the "loves of His life", to the very end.
* We know the Father is the owner of time, and a split second is infused with eternity.
* We know that He is a gentleman who believes in the purest of introductions but will ultimately honor the desire for no relationship.

So...I'm not saying there's no place of separation...for why would God not honor an individual's choices? I just find it inappropriate to make any assumptions other than the fact that Love's pursuit can be trusted to honor the burning desire of the Father which would seem to want to give every person a fair and pure opportunity to exercise free will. We can trust His love to honor people in such ways. 

Because this is what His heart sings...

“Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.” Song of Solomon 2:10-13

So, does this mean we should no longer share Jesus' "love every time" love? NO! But...perhaps we can be a people that actually live in and trust in His love...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Art Show

I was able to attend the local Art Show today. Wow! I'm SO glad I went! One of my favorite things about art shows is when I get the opportunity to talk to the artists. So fascinating!!!! I'm enamored with them. They have an odd similarity though. They often use the word "just" to describe their work. I suppose it seems "simple" or "accidental" to them, but to me it's profound. Always is! They use their talents to capture magic. There's nothing "just" about that. :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Step Into Africa" Event

THIS is what World Vision is bringing to Cambridge!!!! Our Response and Steve Fredlund are hosting. It's going to be HUGE! It's going to be HEART-WRENCHING!! It's going to be GREAT!!! have to wait until September. Good things are worth the wait!! :)


Busy Morning

Ohhhh my! It's a sleepy, Saturday morning...and I'm on my way to a meeting-hopping extravaganza! Two particular passions, though, so it's cool. The first is for the World Vision event (Step Into Africa) that I blogged about earlier...which aims to help people see what life is like for others (particularly poverty and the AIDS crisis). The second is for Brighter Futures For Youth...which aims to help older teens and young adults in our community that are homeless and directionless.

It's fun to celebrate and support people stepping into their calling/passion to make a difference. Man, if we all did our part...lived outward the way we were meant to...this world would be an entirely different place.

There's hope all around!! :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Coming My Way

Wow! The lyrics of this song couldn't agree with my faith more! There are so many Christians that have their whole focus set on "later" (going to heaven) that they can't truly live "now". They can't enter into "today"...and all the opportunity, community, service, adventure and "changing the world" that they are MEANT to know. Jesus, while giving us the hope of "later", showed us how to LIVE with the hope present IN "now". Kudos to "The City Harmonic"!


Brennan Manning

I'm so excited for his new book, but this clip shows that his health is failing. I'm SO SAD!!! Brennan Manning has impacted my faith like no other...well, except the Trinity. I will be thankful for him and his honest journey with God for the rest of my days.


Step Into Africa

A local organization, Our Response, is partnered with World Vision to join our community with a community in Rwanda. Beyond that, there are a variety of events throughout the year to spread awareness and encourage World Vision partnership and child sponsorship. That's how I ended up finding my sponsored child, Gladys, from an HIV-impacted community in Uganda. Well, in September Our Response is hosting a World Vision event called "Step Into Africa" which highlights African poverty and the AIDS crisis. I'm SO excited to get on board!!!

Living in the Right Direction

When the going gets tough, one of the easiest ruts to fall into is living "inward". Because of the stress or challenge, we start to defend/protect self by considering everything in terms of "me" and what could make things even worse than the situation "me" is in right now. We triage life so that "me" is guarded. We look at everything and everyone through that grid. As such, we live inverted.

Obviously, self-nurturing is a good thing. We need to re-fuel. Making it the pattern, though, is not so appropriate. It places everything in the position of serving the need.

We were meant to live "outward"...

This is one of the reasons I value my relationship with God so much. If I'm willing, He is my constant filling in my inmost being. Whatever I need, He can be my abundant source and direction. The life that potentially flows outward from that FULL place is unfathomable. I can continue to step into my calling, and I can continue to sacrifice...all from a place of fullness. What a place of delight!

So...when the going gets tough, when I'm feeling ragged and rough around the edges...I need to step into the delightful discipline of receiving from Him. Anything less is...well, just that! I'm pretty sure the good Father's heart wants more for His kiddos than "less" or "just enough".

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Howling Wilderness

Oh my...I love when I stumble across a song that seems to capture an emotion in the music. Here's one! Wow!

Monday, February 20, 2012

God's Offer of Peace

I'm always so shocked to find that the English language fails us in providing the fullest meanings of Scriptures that the original Hebrew and Greek declared (well, and an understanding of context too). It happens so consistently that I wish I had a knack for learning languages and could just read it in the original script. Alas, I'm bound to study up.

Peace...boy, the English meaning of that word pales in comparison to the original form. "Shalom" has such a huge and beautiful meaning. "Wholeness, soundness, full health, tranquility, harmony"...all with God being the source of a limitless supply.

"I will extend peace to her like a river." Isaiah 66:12 Wow!!...He wants to extend wholeness, full emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health, and harmony like a river that never runs dry.

It's becoming my new prayer for myself and others. It pretty much says it all.

Prince of Peace

I was able to do another sermon at church on Sunday. It's a challenge I like to take on from time to time. Our church has been going through our month of 'Prayer and Feasting' and has been focusing on the theme verse "Be still and know that I am God". My own journey in this study has been to be a bit more specific by focusing on God as my Prince of Peace. With that, I've been doing some Lectio Divina on Scriptures regarding God as the source of peace. My sermon did much the same.

I have to say God is SO excited when our lives reveal that our hearts don't fully believe what our minds and mouths often say. (i.e. I know in my head that God is my Prince of Peace, but my life struggles say that it isn't necessarily so.) Why???'s an opportunity for us to actually meet Him in those deeper places and find that truth can become reality through our relational experience with Him.

Yep...I know it's true. :)

Here We Go

Well...watching a friend play with fire. Sigh...seeing the outcome on the horizon. It's not going to be good. Of course, there is the added ridiculous "encouragement" from others. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.


Haha!'s just that life feels like this sometimes. I was talking with my Mom today about how life sometimes feels like a glorified "first-born" moment. Who ELSE do I have to take care of, clean up after, validate...? And the thing is??? true "first-born" relationship to my NOTHING like every other area of my life-pie. Sigh...this is getting old.

Yep, I need Vegas.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Betty's Commercial

She still cracks me up!

The Right To Answers

I've been thinking about something Ben said in his sermon on Sunday. He was talking about how people need to let go of their "rights to answers". Think about all of the "why's" that stall us along the road of life. We pull off on the side waiting for...demanding...the answers, and meanwhile so much of life (and destiny) is passing by.

I'm not saying that wrestling with issues is bad at all. It's a great challenge to step into the questions that can bring out our best. some point we step out of adventure and into obsession. That excessive focus can start to skew how we see the world around us. The "right" clouds our view...

I'm also not saying that grief in inappropriate. True grief is key!!!...the final step being "acceptance" of the mystery. The right to answers, though, keeps us in denial or anger...not allowing peace to come our way. Letting go...

So...hmm...looking back and remembering...but also taking a moment to consider if I have any stalled places today...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Blog

Oh my...have I been here! I don't think I've broken things, but I've certainly lit my share of "memories" on fire!! Sent them packing in smoke!

Kill Bill and Broken Plates

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Oh...Whitney...So sad!

Oh my goodness! How terrible!! I always find it so odd when a complete stranger's death causes me grief. It's not because they don't matter in the scheme of things...I just realize how much their life actually overlapped into mine. When I look back, Whitney's songs are so much a part of my journey. Ugh. What a powerhouse!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ahhhh, some time away...

I'm going to relish every minute of it. :)

Not Just "Study"

I've been getting "into" some verses lately...doing Lectio Divina, specifically. It's when a person does a bit more than "heady" study of a passage. Instead, you bring it into yourself more.

Lectio Divina I like this article on it. Check it out!

I've been doing the practice with two verses.

John 15:4 "...make your home in Me just as I do in you..."

Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Great Quote

Open the eyes of your soul wide enough and you will see you are this very moment enveloped in the eternal flow of God's perfect triune love. - Greg Boyd

On Saying 'Goodbye''s the thing. There are consequences when the "consumer" mentality is applied to relationship-related areas of life. I see it in work and ministry ALL the time...and to be honest, it...hurts.

What in the world am I talking about? It's basically when people treat others as if they are commodities and/or services. Easy in...easy out. Meet my needs?...Here I am! Stop meeting my needs...where's the door? In some cases it's a necessary thing. Life changes, and it's time to move on. But I'm sorry...all too's a lifestyle of "me" that lacks that chooses gratification over community...warm fuzzy over challenge... that leaves real people with real hearts behind.

And the icing on the cake? some circumstances they don't even have the guts to say 'goodbye'.

I don't's been bugging me lately. I've lost some friends being a ministry-oriented gal. I never get used to it...and maybe that's ok. I guess it means that people mean something to me. But, it's hard to not be angry sometimes...bitter. Sigh.

Hopefully, this too shall pass... I'm sure it will. God's good like that.

Good Friend

Man, oh man...what a crazy season! So many of my kiddos have been struggling lately! Tough but good...but a lot of work! It's made my life a bit overwhelming...lots of convos but mostly just carrying their heart stuff.  "Stressed out" girl!!! So, God to the rescue! Through a friend. :) All I need is a "wide-open space" moment sometimes...a moment to be "me", to be "real" and to be able to see that there's more out there than all that feels suffocating. Thanks, Jody!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012


Ohhhhhh, yes! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie! Where will I be on April 6th??? In. Theaters. Why?...not only is this movie a heart-wrenching, romantic drama (Sigh.), but it's a Messianic movie for me. I <3 Jesus! He's a bit like (but so much better) than a "Jack" in my eyes. Geeeeet ready!!! Tears EVERYWHERE!!! :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Sledding Hill

Talk about a powerful moment. One that totally caught me off guard. I was playing with my nieces the other evening. Sledding was the mission. I, of course, was thinking we'd go on smaller hills as the girls are 7 and 4. When we arrived, though, our options were limited. Little snow meant only a few "choice" paths...on the big hills.

The girls shreaked "YAY!!"...and I let out an internal primal scream.

After much debating, I had a brilliant idea. I figured we could walk to the top and look down. Of course, I was assuming they'd be scared straight off the hill. Ohhhhh no. Not these fearless ones. The top just added to their passion.

"Let's go, Auntie!"


Well, the older one went first. I was a little nervous, but I knew she would be able to hold on for dear life and probably be just fine. When it came to the younger one, though, I was really nervous to let her go. She's the baby, you know...and I wasn't ready to let her grow up.

I went back and forth in my mind about whether I should let her go. I tried my best to make her think that it wasn't a great plan. Nope! She was determined. So after much analysis of real danger, I decided that I should let her try.

Ugh!! It was sooooo hard!!!! I literally teared up when I let the sled go...I knew she'd come back a "big girl".

And she did it!! She did just great! She squealed and giggled the whole way down. She was a sledding pro! The part of me that grieved was quickly met by the part of me that was SO proud of her.

As I've been thinking more about it, I've been realizing that it's a bit of a metaphor for life. It's just that I'm sometimes the one on the sled not sure if I should go or not....knowing that I'll be different if I do. But what a great ending too!!!...that sense of accomplishment and the personal growth will be worth the initial fear.

It won't be good enough to just sit at the top of the hill anymore... ;)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Soul Cravings Retreat

We are having a retreat at Lakeside on Saturday, February 18th from 9am-1pm. It is open to anyone! Please feel welcome!


Join us as we experience the kind of worshipful listening that makes both our struggles and joys places of intimate connection with the Lord. “You can easily lose a sense of God’s presence in your life by accident; but you are not likely to gain a sense of his presence by... accident – you have to be intentional”. What are the habits and the postures of the heart we can intentionally practice that connect our souls with direct, nourishing, and healing encounters with Jesus? Like young Samuel in the Old Testament, how do we become not just servants of God, but listening servants, whose eyes and ears are opened to God’s transforming presence in the highs and lows of daily living?

Speaker: Joel Warne

Joel Warne is the founder of Wellspring Life Re-sources, Inc. For over thirty years, he has led retreats, workshops, classes, and small groups at churches, conferences, and camps, probing pathways to intimacy with God. He is the author of Soul Craving: An invitation to the Feast that Satisfies


To register or for more information contact Lakeside Church at 763-689-3649 or email For driving directions go to

Retreat fee is $20 per person or $30 per couple (partial scholarships are available). Student Rate: $15. Beverages and snacks are provided.


I'm loving this song!!! Life feels like this sometimes...but it's ok to let it go!