Friday, March 29, 2013

Pride and Prejudice

Oooooooohhhh my! I absolutely love this story. I went to watch my DVD this morning and found it was scratched beyond viewing capability. Knife to heart. Thankfully, people have placed clips online. Haha! Enjoy! (And now on to option #2...Matrix...hehe.)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Homeless Man

Had Rich Mullins on the mind today. This is a tribute to his life. Really great reminders. :)


Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Perhaps the author means this literally...haha...but I think it's far more powerful in terms of becoming who we are meant to be. Choose to get on the dance floor! Awaken your heart! :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Get the Message?

I forget that God writes a message to the world on each person. Some messages stay hidden. Some messages shine bright like the sun. Either way, He exercises great delight in the design, and I think He hopes that we will want to discover and release the words.

Well...I think God has been saying something to my heart lately. A message displayed in a life and totally removed from outcomes. A note about God's goodness.

Not "good" in the sense of behavior, compliance, safety...

No...I mean "good" in terms of honor, integrity, strength...

Perhaps I've been so focused on places where goodness has seemed to be lacking that I've forgotten that it's real. Life has a way of doing that. But it's there...His goodness is written all over the place.

Here's to getting the message!

Spring Fever

I can't take it anymore! I need to get outside. NOW!! I'm day-dreaming about flowers, trails, kites, geocaches, Duluth sunrises...on and on and on. Bring on Spring!!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Shall We Dance

I've been thinking about Jesus amazing His faithfulness is...blasting through the limitations of "me". How to describe my relationship to him...well, this is the closest I can get. I'm continually undone...


Never on the Wrong Side Again

Easter Listening

Ransomed Heart Ministries is doing a podcast series for Holy Week. Click on the link below for a daily tidbit. :)

Eldredge Easter Podcasts

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Authoritative Parenting

Getting ready for the class I'm co-teaching at church...Helping Our Kids Become Adults...and I've been collecting articles on "authoritative parenting". Yep...really interesting. It's the approach to kiddos that's more balanced than the extremes of "permissive" and "authoritarian". Just as an FYI...kiddos of the two extremes show really similar statistics for higher involvement in at-risk behaviors. Points to ponder... :)

Authoritative Parenting

Great Story Revisited

This trilogy made it right to my heart. Love it so much! What a fantastic super-trailer! :)


Friday, March 22, 2013

Our Strange Future...Wall-E

I can see this being our dismal future. ;)


Why Young Christians Leave Church

This is an interesting read. I've always found it odd how the surveyors offer out the "solution" in one or two easy steps. ;) Great information...but I bet things are a bit more complicated. Whatever...these are eye-opening. :)

6 Reasons Young Christians Leave Church

Thursday, March 21, 2013

When Kiddos Cry

One of the biggest challenges for me in working with kids is witnessing the sad challenges they have to face. Things that were completely out of their control...but utterly life-altering and heart-breaking. Things young hearts should never have to ask.

"I don't understand why my Mom had to die."

And I'm undone...

It's an experience I begin to understand with my Mom's cancer battle. Her diagnosis snapped my heart in two. Watching her cruel suffering ripped me open. If I would have lost her...I can't even imagine...

So, I understand the "why" questions. And...I understand that all the answers in the world can't wipe the tears away...

It's "presence" that helps. Presence from people who will listen, who will stay... (Great reminder from a friend! Thanks!) And ultimately...a place we must go if we want real peace...receiving "presence" from God. Sitting with Him (sometimes wrestling with Him), letting Him listen... With time, we find that He bestows a mysterious peace. Not the kind that numbs our love for our lost one. Peace that validates the love...honors the us permission to not have to understand everything. And then we find that one day we can breathe again.

He's just plain that good.

So...being the emotionally-wired girl that I am, it's a day of feeling her pain. I guess it puts me in a great place to pray though. Assignment of the day. :) If you could too, I'd so appreciate it!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Life List Cross-Off!!!

Oh my...WOW!!! Last night, I was given a fantastic gift!!! An experience from my Life List!!! I can die in peace. ;) I won't go into a ton of detail about it because it'll be a little outside the box for some and will distract from the point. The message???...Keep On Moving! This particular experience reminded me of a ton of "closed doors" from my past...reminders that those doors are sealed shut!!! AND...this girl ain't goin' back to 'em! :) :) :)

Breaking Free

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Let the Grid Go...

We all likely have our "people"...particular groups of "them" that shape the grid through which we see the world. Because of negative experiences with a few of "their kind", we build assumptions and apply liberally.

Not necessarily with accuracy...not necessarily with wisdom...

Oh, those grids.

Truly, there is a problem with some of the lenses through which we choose to see others. We construct them more from "reaction" than wise "response" to the tough things we experience. Walls of defense to insulate ourselves from further pain rather than true paths to healing.

So...what happens when our grid gets challenged? What happens when we meet a "them" that doesn't fit the grid rules and assumptions? Someone who's, well...good. Not perfect but genuinely good-hearted.

Oh my Lord...I'll tell ya what happens. You freak out!!! Yep!...scary!! In a good way though! We are offered a challenge to let the grid go.

It turns out the Father actually wants us to dare to see the world through His eyes. Bathed in His grace, exercising His wisdom...a freeing of our "free will" to make choices uninhibited by the influences of wounds and instead delighting in the ways of the Father.

Breaking those grid rules left and right. Haha! Oh dear...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Stop Making God "Safe"

My Uncle Tim shared this with me this morning from a ministry called "Open Doors" which serves the persecuted church. It's a powerful message for the American church.



Our Open Doors colleague, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, shares the following insight from his teaching, “Why I Need to Encounter the Persecuted Church.”

“Don’t let them make God safe!” These words of send-off for me at the Bombay airport were from an Indian Christian evangelist. He had a low opinion of western churches. After visiting them he confided, “They have managed to turn a dangerous God into a safe one…instead of a God that burns with fury against hypocrisy, idolatry and injustice, they have a God that turns a blind eye to all our faults, just keeps on loving us with a disinterested air, and seems not to care whether we stand out for him or not.”

The persecuted never let us forget that knowing God should bring chaos, not safety, because God’s gospel is so subversive. The life of the Indian evangelist proves this point. He used to work as a river guide in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi. It was his job to row tourists around the river especially at sunrise so they could take pictures of the morning sun shining on the giant rows of temple steps, called ghats that hugged the river bank. His employer insisted he provide sexual services for the tourists who hired the boat, and he soon became a male prostitute.

A few years later he received the gospel as a result of a chance encounter with a tourist. After becoming a Christian he said, “I felt relief that I did not have to behave that way again. Suddenly a whole new set of choices opened up for me. But I was apprehensive too—the choices that pleased God would not please anyone else.” His employer had him beaten by thugs. But he refused to return to work as a prostitute. He was sacked and immediately had to leave town.

At first he went back to his family, but they were not happy to see him. His mother wailed, “We sold you so you could look after us in our old age, and now you are following a bad god who has made you refuse to provide for us.”

He became convicted that he must return to Varanasi and work to free all the other sex slaves. He began setting up a bank so that low paid workers could borrow at reasonable rates of interest, and not have to go to loan sharks that kept them in financial slavery. He said, “Jesus Christ had given me freedom, and now I had to fight for the freedom of other people just like me. I had to. Jesus makes us pure and sacred, and it is not right that his children should be bought and sold and used like cattle.” He has survived two assassination attempts. His wife had acid thrown over her by thugs employed by the leaders of the prostitution rackets. This man is driven by a love for a God that is determined to set his children free.

God has been made far too safe when we can attend churches and never be roused to do something about the challenge of the poor, the needy, the persecuted. God wants us to stand up and out against sin. He promised us that following Him would get us into a fight. The fight will come to us if only we realize how subversive His gospel really is. Let the persecuted help.

Open Doors Ministry

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Culture Fair!!!

My students participated in our 2nd annual World Culture Fair today. They did such a great job!!!! Beyond all of the research and presentation of knowledge, students had to provide two "extras" that demonstrated the wonders of the samples, dances, costumes, manners, etc. It was SO fun!!

It's a huge commitment of mine that they understand that there's more to the world than their own country. ain't all about the good ol' US of A. And more than understanding that point, I want them to actually appreciate other cultures...and thus, other ways of seeing the world. Broadening the horizons, baby. And hopefully broadening their sense of impact!!

Good job!!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Will Exalt

My kiddos sang this for chapel today. Love it, Love it, Love it!!!!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Independence Has Its Drawbacks

Oh my goodness, I frustrate myself sometimes!! I have a really strong independent streak. Oh lordy, mixed with stubbornness. Don't get me wrong! Sometimes it's a huge asset. Other times...oh my...I can be a real pain in my own arse.

So...I have this weird habit of painting a room in my house after a break-up. Some sort of therapeutic activity to clear the head. Usually, though, it's some psycho, emotionally-driven choice of color. My dining room turned blood red after one. My bathroom turned midnight blue (i.e. almost black).


Well, over time, I've become accustomed to the red "pop" of color and actually like it. The bathroom, though, has been a nightmare. So very dark that doing hair and makeup has become an issue. was time for a change.

Now, paint is one thing. A nice purple-grey color. Everything else I did...or un-did...well, that's another story. I decided that it must not be too hard to change a ton of other things. Without thought that I may need some advice from the "experts", I ripped down towel racks and chair rail and on and on and on.

Why???...because I was sure that I could fix it all...BY MYSELF.

Wow...big mistake.

Cutting chair rail is not easy!! When a girl realizes she's afraid of's especially impossible! ;) Screwing in these weird fixtures that support towel racks...not easy either!! Shouldn't it be easier??? Apparently not if you want any weight-bearing capabilities!! No, you have to drill stuff and nail stuff and screw stuff... I like to call it...Daddie911 to the rescue. ;)

Yep, my Dad came over and cut stuff and nailed stuff...working with all the wrong materials that I purchased because I lacked the sense to ask anyone else...and I "assisted" (which means that I handed him tools and gave myself an internal lecture on being less stupid...).

Lesson learned???...oh, I wouldn't be surprised at another idiotic move on my part some day down the road. For now?????...I'll look into asking for help a bit more often...maybe. Ok, yes! Yes, I'll definitely try to possibly utilize others for wisdom and skill when I have absolutely less than 15% potential of figuring it out on my own. Ok...30%.

Lord, I'm hopeless. Hehe.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Knives, Feet and Thoughts

I have to laugh at myself...well, all the time. ;) I'm not the most logical person on the planet. Sure, I have my "Sarah" logic, but I find it can be a bit limited compared to normal logic. What can I say?...I'm more emotional than rational.

Well, my lack of logic has me thinking about another subject. Right Solutions, that is.

I've had this little, recurring problem of late involving myself and kitchen knives. On more than one occasion now I've set knives on the counter after cutting up veggies and the like but have placed them in such a position that my continued activity knocks them off the counter to the floor...where my sock-covered feet are!!! It has happened enough times that I actually began to ponder a potential solution.

Enter the "Sarah" logic...

I've been wondering if I should perhaps be wearing shoes while I work in the kitchen.

I was recounting this to a friend last night...actually listening to my fascinating logic as the words flew out of my mouth...and I got a terrible case of giggles.

Umm...Is that REALLY the right solution??? Hahahaha!

Perhaps placing said knives in a safe location after use would be more appropriate. took me a month to realize the better way... (And no one's shocked...)

It has me thinking though. When I look at my life and the bigger quandaries I I really using the right solution? Or just the easiest way? The temporary or surfacy fix? Is my solution actually creating more problems? What's really the right solution?

Hmm...something this girl has to consider.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Trust Issues

I'm guessing people can relate to this.

Trust Issues.

Sometimes because of a lack of stewardship on our part for our hearts...drastically unwise decisions. Other times because people fail us...trampling our hearts because of their own fallenness.

Do you ever wonder if you can set those battle scars aside to welcome all sorts of new relationships into your life? To not suspect ill intentions or using. To instead trust honorable character and generosity.

I don't think it's impossible. Goodness, this ever-hoping optimist has to believe it!! But's interesting how ready our self-protecting defenses become...even when there's no indication of threat...just new territory.


It's not my nature to stay under the boot of old wounds. Not anymore, that is. So, here's to wrestling through!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Venting Woes

Seriously!!!! It drives me bonkers when people shirk their responsibilities and commitments. It falls to other people to pick up the slack!!! And goodness...maybe they wanted to be with you in the commitment!!!

Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

But hey...glad you are freeing up your schedule! (rolls eyes)


OK...venting done. ;)

Fail and Stick Around

Monday, March 4, 2013

Kingdom People

I had an odd experience the other day while watching a documentary on the history of the English monarchy. (Yep, "nerdville" but I love it.) It was a story about how one of the kings united the people against the pompous noblemen to reclaim the country. The narrator made this odd statement, so I kept rewinding in case I was missing it.

"The battle would be the kingdom people versus the fact-cats."

What??? That made no sense. I finally turned on the subtitles and saw that I was totally messing it up.

All the while, though, I kept feeling this prompting in my heart...I was hearing it exactly how He wanted me to hear it.


"Kingdom People versus the Fact-Cats"

You know what??? There is SO much truth there!

Living as sons and daughters of the good Father, bearing the responsibilities of His kingdom, having access to all of the resources of heaven. Truth bathed in relationship...King and His People.

THAT reality...OR...a life spent making sure one has an ironclad belief system with all of the propositional truths in order... Security in the "facts" and formulas of things...

Two vastly different ways to live. One deep and wild. The other small and safe. One stepping out. The other holing up. One dancing in grace. The other suffocating in fear.

It's been a good reminder for me especially in the face of challenges to the heart. A moment to remember who He has made us to be. People who do hard things, who sacrifice because His love is that worth it, who believe in holiness absent of legalism, who bring the weight of who we are in Him to a precious world. Enormously challenging but unfathomably exciting all the same.

Here are some inspiring kingdom people. Beyond the issue of adoption, it's truth about kingdom living...

New Film Premiere - I Like Adoption. from on Vimeo.

How He Loves Us