Tutu Much Fun

Monday, January 14, 2013

"The Killer in Me is the Killer in You..."

  Child abuse...such tragic words to type/speak/think...or worse, be victim of. In my naive mind I want to believe that the words only exist in case a situation ever needed to be labeled as such, but sadly, I've read the statistics. And here I sit with glossy, puffed eyes and a deep sense of pain and call-to-action.

  My husband somehow, one day, stumbled onto the fact that Billy Corgan (front man of the Smashing Pumpkins) was a victim of child abuse and neglect. I, being a Pumpkins fan since the age of 13, was amazed that I never knew this horrible fact. I then chalked my ignorance up to Wikipedia's non-existence (really the Internet in general) during the time of my semi-obsession with the band...

  When we truly love a band we feel as though we 'know' them personally....or maybe that they know us personally...as we invite(d) their music into our poster-splattered bedrooms, or in our headphones (via a once cool Discman) we dance with their arrangements and feel alive thru their lyrics. Such was the case for me with the Pumpkins. I first heard of them in 6th grade from a red-haired boy named, Dennis. He told me of the 'coolest music video' he'd ever witnessed on MTV, called "Tonight, Tonight." I listened intently and then was looked at like an Amish (our neighbors), because I had never heard of the band. Of course I'd never heard of them!---I hardly knew of MTV!---I remember once, at the very young of 6 or 7, being able to watch New Kids on the Block during a televised concert, only to have the tube time cut short because Marky Mark (Donnie's brother, who I believed opened for NKOTB that night) was dancing incredibly provocative. I was very embarrassed by his pulsating hips and would never ask to watch MTV again, until the convo with Dennis....in which my pleads were responded to with a "No" so I was forced to spend the rest of my teenage life hiding my MTV/VH1 indulges. BUT(!!!!), one day, almost six months later, I saw the video. It was and remains today the most beautiful music video I've ever seen (I recently watched the movie "Hugo" and learned the back story to the video). I love(d) everything about it--I had to get the cd. (If you've never seen the music video bf search for it on YouTube...like RIGHT NOW! GO!)

  One Christmas "Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" (the album featuring 'Tonight, Tonight') was purchased for me by two dear friends at the cost of $25 (insanely high for two non-employed middle school girls! Im still grateful today that they loved me enough to buy a simple 2 disc set that meant so much to me.) I later bought the Adore album (twice), was given Machina, Siamese Dream and the Greatest Hits albums. Melon Collie and Adore remain my two favorites.

  So, here I am, knowing of Billy's childhood, 'loving' him for fifteen years (wow...I've now been listening to SP longer than I haven't...make sense?) and my eyes are open, in a different light, to the pain and anguish in his lyrics......and for the life of me I want nothing more than to travel back in time and 1) pound his step-mother into the ground 2) rescue him from his painful childhood and early adolescence, give him a 24 hour hug & pray over him....I'm still devastated that I didn't know....In 2005 Billy created an online blog titled; 'Confessions of Billy Corgan' He tells stories of his childhood, adolescence, and difficulties and triumphs within the band.
Here is a video from YouTube where he discusses the emotional effects his childhood abuse had on him:

  On his blog he also confesses that for over 20 years he suffered from sleep deprivation and insomnia as a result of the abuse. He would often times withdraw and become very anti-social.
I get sucked in every time I pull up the blog. It's inspiring, liberating & also incredibly sad to say the very least (there is some foul language used, so read with caution!!). Ever since I've been reading his entries, however, I feel like a traitor....loving the music that was inspired by such immense pain....then I remind myself that his music is the good that came from his years of pain. One thing is still unsettled within me though--I want him to know Jesus. Billy is a very 'spiritual' person, mature in thinking, and seems over all open minded, but he has no confessed religion.

  Child abuse is real. Neglect, sexual abuse, mental/emotional abuse...it's sadly all a reality. Billy's case is far from the norm--he used his painful past as a driving force to produce a successful future. He stopped the cycle. From what I've read so far of his blog, during his childhood, no one ever questioned him of his home life. How many children out there are suffering and just waiting for a caring adult to ask them if everything's alright? How many live right next door to us? How many are a part of our extended family? If their own parents won't stand up for them then who will???? It's up to YOU and ME! We are to be their saviors; their rescuers. Be alert! Look for signs! There are several online resources that will inform you on the signs of abuse (things as simple and obvious as children wearing out of season clothing) http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/childabuse_learnthefacts.htm
 Don't be afraid to ask. If it's a complete stranger in the mall, take action-do what you can on behalf of the child. If a parent is yelling at their kid and telling them to "Shut up!!" in public, imagine what goes on in the privacy of their homes?....Children are people too. They are just as important as adults and are worth fight for. Pray that God would open your eyes to children that are desperately searching for help. Maybe He's calling you and your spouse to become foster parents? Pray also that God would draw Billy, and other celebrities with a national platform, to Him and that they would respond rightly to His calling.

I leave you with a well-known song by the Smashing Pumpkins, titled "Disarm." Following the lyrics are Billy's explanation of the song's lyrics:

Disarm you with a smile
And cut you like you want me to
Cut that little child
Inside of me and such a part of you
Ooh, the years burn

I used to be a little boy
So old in my shoes
And what i choose is my choice
What's a boy supposed to do?
The killer in me is the killer in you
My love
I send this smile over to you

Disarm you with a smile
And leave you like they left me here
To wither in denial
The bitterness of one who's left alone
Ooh, the years burn
Ooh, the years burn, burn, burn

I used to be a little boy
So old in my shoes
And what I choose is my voice
What's a boy supposed to do?
The killer in me is the killer in you
My love
I send this smile over to you

The killer in me is the killer in you
Send this smile over to you
The killer in me is the killer in you
Send this smile over to you
The killer in me is the killer in you
Send this smile over to you

   Billy Corgan quoted:  "The reason I wrote Disarm was because, I didn't have the guts to kill my parents, so I thought I'd get back at them through song. And rather than have an angry, angry, angry violent song I'd thought I'd write something beautiful and make them realize what tender feelings I have in my heart, and make them feel really bad for treating me like s**t. Disarm's hard to talk about because people will say to me 'I listen to that song and I can't figure out what it's about.' It's about things that are beyond words. I think you can conjure up images and put together phrases, but it's a feeling beyond words and for me it has a lot to do with a sense of loss. Being an adult and looking back and romanticizing a childhood that never happened or went by so quickly in a naive state that you miss it."

....think of how differently his life (and the life of his fans) would have been, had he taken the road of anger and hatred and killed his parents....thank God that Billy chose music as an outlet to release his pain and frustration, and doing so sent beauty and closure out into the world.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Farewell Facebook!

This post has been in the making for some time now...my heart knew it was time, but until this past Sunday my head was telling me that I was being 'radical.' Radical....what's so wrong with that? Actually, I think I'm merely being smart; protective perhaps. I'm getting ahead of myself so let's start at the start (which is a very good place to start!~said someone, in some movie...). A month or two ago I noticed a nasty little habit I had acquired; in all honestly it has been years in the making, but I just now noticed it. I realized I was checking my Facebook (via my iPhone app) constantly...not occasionally, but CONSTANTLY...so annoying. All day long, during breaks, on the potty (yeah I went there--you know you do it too--or maybe you're still doing Words with Friends in the restroom?...anyway), in the car, first thing in the morning before I got out of bed--did you see the part where I spelled 'constantly' in all caps?? I was maybe checking FB for a combined hour each day. But unlike most folks, I was rarely checking in on old friends from school (unless they popped up in my feed), or trying to reconnect with distant relatives, which is why I created an account in the first place.  With every swipe to Unlock and tap to login, my narcissism grew. Ugh...it feels like word vomit admitting that...admitting how self-absorbed I was over a silly social network:
"I wonder how many people have 'liked' that picture I posted 10 minutes ago?"
"Did anyone think that status update was funny?"
"That is my best profile picture yet. Wonder who else will think so?"
"Ah!!--I can’t get over how beautiful our child is! Maybe just one more picture today!"

 ..and so on, and so on, and so on...At this point I’m hoping you all are thinking "Oh wow. I do that too!" and not "Whoa, this chick is crazy." Promise I’m not crazy. I’m simply a stay-at-home mom, who literally STAYS at home, as my husband and I share a vehicle in the winter (he drives a scooter in the warmer months), and sadly FB sometimes is the only 'adult interaction/adult conversation' that I get until he comes home each day. Of course I talk to girlfriends during the day, but most work, are in college, or have their own babies to take care of...plus it’s easier to parent, do laundry, wash clothes, and have a conversation when you can do it on your own terms (picking up your phone and going to your Facebook app). Anyway, I deleted the app from my phone. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it sucked...only for a day or two. But I felt free. Not to mention that I gained at least an hour of time each day, that would have been wasted on my narcissism...it still stings when I say that...my shoulders almost touch my ears as I wince at the word.

 Back to my "A-ha! moment" from this past Sunday. A lady in church, that I have the highest regard for; absolutely love her family, stood and gave a word about the Trojan Horse Mentality: "Accepting something into your life that looks good and well on the outside, but carries the potential to destroy on the inside" (not sure if this is an actual psychological/religious/philosophical term, but sounds good, eh?). The first thing that sprang from my spirit was "Facebook! It's my Trojan horse!" and then my mind automatically told me I was 'stupid and needed to listen to the prophetic word and dig deeper for its meaning, concerning me'...but my spirit wouldn't relent. So I listened to it. And I found truth. Now, if this, against great great odds, should somehow fall into the laps of the Facebook big-wigs let me cover myself by saying that Facebook, like any good thing, is good only if used with self-caution and limitations. These examples and guideline that I’m about to elaborate on could apply to a number of things.

 Do any of these apply to you?:

 ~You sit in front of your screen for 3+ hours a day. If so, odds are you are going to have some problems in your marriage, friendships, time management, etc. Be present with people that you are with. If you are on a date, sitting at the dinner table, out with friends, watching a movie with someone, having a conversation, etc. etc. etc. then everything about your phone should be off limits. This one is hard for me too =/

 ~You look up (stalk) people that you are angry at; former lovers; hopeful future lovers, etc. and you poison your mind with a paranoid soap opera, plagued by bitterness that whirls around unstable emotions.

 ~You, like me, you only check your notifications, or most current feed (15 ppl at most) and use Facebook for free business advertising (guilty...)

 ~You are unable to meet deadline, be productive, or drive safely. (Nothing makes me want to lose my religion and go crazy on someone more than to see a person texting/facebooking/instagramming/tweeting while driving!!!!!! I won’t go there...that would be an entire blog to itself with insurmountable statistics...)

Now, the healthy, ok, flip side to that is:

~You set a healthy time limit (on a sounding timer!) for Facebook (or any social media/internet browsing) and you log off when your timer goes off. (I MAKE myself do this for Pinterest!=) )

 ~You throw your self-parading aside and look for the hurt, lost, & confused and make a note to pray for certain individuals on a daily basis. (write down their names!)

 ~You limit yourself to only accepting friend request from actual FRIENDS, not acquaintances, but people you were very close to in school (this may be no more that 10-20 people) and you catch up and message on a weekly basis--you now can know their kids and pets by name and even start sending them a Christmas card =)

 **Of course these are just healthy and unhealthy examples that came to mind--I’m sure there's a dozen for each....oooooh!!!---just thought of the kicker for me if you start conversations with "Did you see on Facebook..." (Grrr....)

 All of this to say that I have chosen to delete my Facebook account, hopefully by this weekend (after I backup my pictures).  Nothing crazy has happened--there's no scandal, my marriage isn’t on the brink of ruin, I’m not punishing anyone, I just know it's my Trojan Horse and I see the damage it can cause if I continue to let it eat away my time, focus, energy and thoughts. Yes, it’s only an hour a day, but what else, who else, needs me during that hour? For my fellow Christians, let’s examine and see if Facebook (the internet in general, TV, college football, etc.) gets more of our time than God does. If we are Updating more than we are reading, praying and seeking His face, then it’s time to smash some idols. I, in no way, am trying to convince anyone to follow me in my "anti-conformist approach," I simply want to offer insight to my personal experience and maybe perhaps inspire you to take a step back and re-evaluate where your time is spent...what has your attention? What is your Trojan Horse? Remember, it's the little foxes that spoil the whole vine (Song of Solomon 2:15). 

 No, Facebook is not the devil, but the enemy is cunning enough to use it as a distraction--just as chocolate is not the devil, but too much of it can lead to obesity, which leads to health problems, gluttony, shorter life span, etc. (preaching to myself here!!!!!). All good things in moderation. I’ve made it known that I long for the day when the internet crashes and texting is obsolete so that we have to go back to phone calls, personal relationships, and face to face conversations--let it be Lord! In the meantime, I look forward to calling up my old gal pals (my only option now! :) ) and truly reconnecting like I should have 3 years ago.

I am happy to report that I will now be blogging more! That's where my heart is, matter-of-fact. I’ve always LOVED to write. Status Updates and Tweets have never quenched my true thirst to write 10 page account of my day =) If you would like to keep up with my family and I, you can find me here (hopefully twice a month) or on Instagram. If you wish to purchase Bohemibaby items, you can search my shop on Etsy. Thank you for your support in this.  I and look forward to increasing my volume of readers on here! God Bless! I leave you with a quote from the amazing C.S. Lewis:
  "Good and evil increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance." (C.S. Lewis)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Five Months Until Christmas!!!

Ive been asked by a few friends to post another blog, which excites me, humbles me, and scares me all at the same time =) Its so refreshing to blog...I grow ever SO tired of Facebook. So, here goes, for those who enjoy my rambling and thinking aloud =)

  I realized yesterday that today would mark 5 months until Christmas!!!! HOW EXCITING!!! "Exciting???!!! Are you mad?!" you may say, but I look forward to that time of year. I wish it were 2 weeks away! I always feel a sense of peace and safety in December, as though the world has turned nostalgic, and we are back in the 1950's, where everyone loves, gives, sacrifices, and crime is practically obsolete. Naive? Absolutely. I don't deny it. But I truly feel a peace on Earth the few weeks leading up to Christmas that I don't feel any other time of the year. I trust people more. I know it sounds weird...can anyone relate??? I'm sure there's a statistic somewhere out there that shows the national crime rate, for robbery, is up on Christmas Eve...blah, blah....for me, I will just continue believing that all those Grinchs' hearts are growing daily. So back to Christmas being 5 months away. Why do Americans, as a whole, dread this holiday so much? Why cant we look at it as a week to relax with our families, eat some home cooked food, and see much missed relatives?  Ill tell you my opinion, the answer: we give too much. "But Christmas is a season for giving!" Maybe...but shouldn't we give everyday? I'm not speaking of handing out the newest game console, or UGG(ly)  boots, or toys, Toys, TOYS(!!!). We should give of our time, our love, our kindness, our generosity, our money. Nothing annoys me more than to hear a Christian woman complain about the fast approaching Christmas season with self-induced agony & annoyance in her voice. Really? I just want to say, "Oh, I'm so sorry that your American gaze has distracted you from celebrating Christ' birth and turned you into a Black Friday snatchy-grabbing-mine!-mine! Monster who feels the need to keep up with what her neighbors are buying their kids." Christian or not, do you really want Christmas to be an annual materialistic holiday in your house???? It is your freedom of religion/from religion to choose how you celebrate it, but surely no one wants their kids to have a sense of entitlement every December 25th, and act as though you OWE it to them to max out your credit card. Who started this? Yes, the wisemen gave Jesus gifts, but who thought "Hey, lets keep this thing going!"? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that giving/getting presents is wrong. I LOVE to give gifts!!!! I love to watch the recipient's face light up as the open up their gift (that Ive probably told them all about, because I'm horrible at surprises). I love the feeling of knowing that I put down that necklace for myself, to buy someone else a special something. Those are good feeling. Right feelings (Oh, and I like getting gifts too--no saint here). If you start to feel stressed over your Christmas shopping then you're doing too much. Period. You should never feel taxed, stressed, or begrudged about giving. Ever. If you feel that way (especially now, 5 months before Christmas!), then I propose an examination...maybe two...First, examine your Christmas list--do you really need to buy your 2nd cousin's, fiance's, baby sister's new puppy a present? Simply put, NO. Our Christmas list includes: Enzlie, both sets of parents, a child/children in need & Granny. That's it. Sometimes we buy each other a little something, sometimes not. It's a rare Christmas when we buy for cousins, nieces/nephews or siblings. Its simply not in the budget and I refuse to feel overwhelmed and guilted-stricken to bestow a gift upon someone. If I cant give it with the right intentions, then I'm not giving it. That's not harsh, its simply how we CHOOSE to celebrate Christmas in our home. Luckily, mine & Tim's families are much more supportive of us buying a child-in-need a gift than giving one to their kids, who aren't needy. Maybe your family doesn't operate that way. Perhaps you have to begrudgingly give a gift..or 20...every year to 'keep the peace.' Here's where we take that second examination--examine your heart, and there you will find your reasons for exhausting yourself every year. What is your motive behind each gift? Is 'keeping peace' weightier than paying 29.75% interest for a solid 12 months before maxing out that credit card again? Is it really worth it? Why? Why, have we allowed Christmas to become a sales pitch? Marketing scam? A dreaded Holiday? What's Christmas to you? To your family? Again I will ask, what are you teaching your children? How do they view your busy-ness, your stress level, your obsession with perfection, your integrity, your views on giving and generosity? Twenty years from now do you want them frazzled and frayed each year-end, like they see you? Teach them now the virtue of giving. The joy of Giving is really a gift in itself. For every toy, game, article of clothing your kiddos pick out have them also pick one out for a needy class mate (and give it anonymously), or a child on the angel tree/Salvation Army tree. Our kids (MINE included!!!) get SO much throughout the year, why not make Christmas a time to give to those that truly need it, not those that expect it, or demand it. Maybe you could propose the idea that everyone's kids play dirty Santa together? A new extended-family tradition, eh? =) The way we response to the world's hustle and bustle is how our children will respond to it. Same goes for Black Friday shopping. I always loved it as a kid, and this past year was my LAST. I nearly was trampled over a set of 500 thread count sheets. I never pushed or shoved...that was the 'problem.' Ladies seriously have to leave their morals, integrity and standards out in the cold parking lot, in order to get everything that they 'have to have.' I get disgusted thinking about it. Is that Christ like? To barge, and push and yell and cat fight? Or, for the non-Christians, is that proper and right conduct, and is it socially acceptable? Its preposterous. Such a spirit of Greed...I urge you, save yourself the spike of adrenaline and cortisol and simply stay home. You can always shop online, and then meet up with the gals at Cracker Barrel afterwards =)

So in all this....HAPPY 5 MONTHS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Acts Chapter 16

**Facebook has been acting crazy lately, so Ive been unable to post my Acts notes for over a week now =(
I may start posting them on my blog site instead. Sorry for the inconvenience of this re-routing and for the long time span in bw post--wish I had thought about just blogging it earlier. Here we go!:

Acts Chapter 16

1) Ive noticed over and over again, in Acts, the celebration of household salvation. When someone, in biblical times, heard the Good News and accepted Its message & promise, they automatically went back to their home and told everyone--they were converts who became evangelist all in the same day!=) Entire households were being saved! What a glorious picture! Im sure we can all think of someone in our family that doesn't have a personal relationship with Jesus--keep praying for them!  Keep being a light! Show them Jesus' love! Believe in Him and His power & eagerness to save! He saved us, so why wouldn't/couldn't He save them? No one is too far for Him to reach! Have faith-your household will see salvation too!
2) Another occurance Ive noticed repeatedly in Acts is the ability of a mob to form in a matter of minutes (verse 22). It seems that everyone was on edge and ready for a fight. They would hear one thing said about someone, and instantly were ready to throw stones. Sadly, some in the Church today also posses a mob-mentality. We hear one little comment about someone, and instead of finding out if there's any truth to the statement, we join the 'mob' and are fully prepared to shun the person in question. What's more, is we look for other potential mob-members that we can invite to fuel our offense and cause. This small little flame can turn into a raging fire that results in church division, or belivers walking away from the Truth altogether. And lets not forget the unbelievers who are watching our every move--how do these actions speak to them? Mobs are comprised up of dramatic people--you know, the ones who "hate drama" but yet their day to day lives are filled with it? No, they dont hate drama-they love it. They seek it out; it engulfs their every decision, every response & attitude (I will try my best to refrain from going on and on about Soap Operas here and save that for another blog =)). Dont be a "mobster." Dont just believe what you're told-seek the truth yourself. "Let the one that has never sinned throw the first stone!"-John8:7
3) "Around midnight, Paul & Silas were praying and singing hymns to God" (verse 25)--WAIT--WHAT?! They were beaten severely with wooden rods, thrown in prison & were praising God??--crazy, right? Nope, they just knew who God is. They understood that He could come and help them if only they belived He was able. They truly understood what it meant to 'praise Him in the storm.' And again we see household salvation, thru the jailer! God allowed Paul & Silas to be beaten and thrown into jail so that the jailer and his household would be saved. We too often blame God for our unfortunate situtations instead of turning to Him and saying, "Ok God, I dont understand why everything seems to be caving in around me, but I do know that You are in control. Who is it that I can minister to in light of recent events? Who can I now relate with because of what Ive been through?" Wow...can we do that? Can we turn the focus off of us and place it on God's will & purpose? I am in NO means saying that we dont go through times of grief & sorrow--I know we do! Im merely suggesting that at that intersection of sorrow and self pity we take the road that leads to turning our situation over to God and asking for His help and guidance. Thats what He wants. He wants us to realize our need for Him. He's our Daddy & He loves to comfort His children.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

That Old Familiar Thing

This is a confession....one Im not proud of, but God receives glory when we confess our sins to one another.  Music is such a huge part of my life, it always has been, it's no wonder I married a musician =) But one of the first things God told me to release when He called me to follow Him, was secular music. Not a complete discard, but all the secular music I was listening to at the time was absolute garbage. I still cringe thinking of some of the lyrics that have passed through my lips innumerable times. I would sing along to such filthy, sexually promiscuous, murderous, envious, cursed words without thinking twice. No guilt, no conviction, no problem. I actually thought I was cool for knowing every lyric to every Tupac song (for example) and now I continually pray for the Lord to renew my mind and wipe out my memory of those words. I thought it was of perfect moral for men and women, in the entertainment industry, to use such violent lyrics in their songs, and suggestive themes to their music videos and then praise God for their success on their cd insert or at the receiving of an award. But James 3:10 tells us differently: "And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters this is not right!" Last week...everyday last week, actually, I was drawn to a past musician. No, not the likes of Tupac, Notorious BIG or even Outkast to name a few but something in me desired to hear an old favorite again. Just a well known jam band that was always a staple in my car rides, partying nights, and dates with Tim. But one song turned into a cd, and one cd turned into 4 cds. Before I knew it I had their cd in my car, and kitchen radio, and almost listened to their extensive catalog in one week. Their lyrics never spoke of 'the club;' never used degrading names for women, & never spoke of violence. BUT the lyrics in their songs took me back to my old familiar sin....and for a moment I was ok with that. I actually tolerated the presence of the enemy, luring me back to an old life. Wow , I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit just typing these words. The enemy was luring me back to an old life of sin, an easier life. A life where everyone knew my name, and I didnt feel lost in a crowd of hundreds, a life where I was the boss of my destiny (so I thought), a life of partying and drugs and putting flesh first. Satan was speaking in my ear reminding me of 'good' times & old 'friends.' "Wouldn't it be nice to go see them in concert again?" "They talk about wine alot, maybe Tim would let you keep some in the house, but just to cook with of course" "You know, you could listen to this cd in the car, & leave the baby home with Tim so you can ride around a smoke like old times and no one would ever have to know." Wheels in my head turned. I never followed threw on any of the thoughts but I hadn't thought like that in 3 years so why was I doing it now??? Where in the world were these desires coming from??? And then I realized--it was the music. Now to anyone reading this it may seem ludicrous, but music has such a strong effect on me, whether positive or negative. God knows this, this is why He told me to lay it down. The devil also knows this, which is why he pulled me back to it. With me, smell is not the strongest sense tied to my memory, its hearing. I can hear a song and think of all the places I was and people I was with when I last heard that song. And its never a good place or situation. Its unholy memories that Im ashamed of. I thank God that He reminded me of my first love with Him and the day I said 'yes' to follow Him and laying down all other lovers. And this little jam band was a BIG lover in my life. Again their lyrics would seem innocent to the masses but for me those sweetly sang words put ungodly desires in me, and I was compromising the vows I had made with God. I felt my heart being sold to another lover, one that does not love me in return. A lover that always left me empty handed. A lover that sent my emotions up and down with each track. But now my Lover is Jesus and His Word(s) are the lyrics to my life, the song in my heart, the balance to my emotions. He has saved me from a multitude of wickedness and for a few days I forgot that. Thank you God for pulling my heart back to you! We can never be comfortable in our sins nor should we be comfortable in remembrance of our old sins. A friend once told me that we are either getting closer to God or further away and there is no stand still! Wow!!!-her words set me free and they apply to me in my love of music--I can listen to the radio but it always returns void. I get no nourishment or life from it so I prefer to listen to worship music. God's word never returns void!  If something as simple as my choice of music keeps me close to God then by all means Kim Walker, sing on! (This is not to suggest, by any means, that music is to be our only outlet to God. We of course are to read the Word and Pray DAILY!) To me, popping in a worship cd, a sermon, or Misty Edwards' latest album changes my atmosphere-whether in my car, or home-the Holy Spirit feels welcome. So I can have 'church' while Im playing with Enzlie, folding laundry, and cooking dinner just by CHOOSING to feed my spirit with things of God and not with things of this earth. Honestly, which would you rather have your children singing along to-Kesha (however you spell it) or Lady Gaga's newest hit, or praises to the King?? Do you choose to let life or death fill the airwaves of your home and car? Because remember there is NO STAND STILL!!-its either foward or backward; life or death. Which do you choose for you? For your children? I choose LIFE! This week has been so much more productive for me, both in a homemaker sense and spiritually, because my household chooses life.
Psalm 199:1-3~
"Happy are the people of integrity, who follow the law of the Lord.
Happy are those who obey His decrees and search for Him with all their hearts.
They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Distraction Breeds Division

First of all let me attach a disclaimer to this blog: I in no way wish to offend anyone, or push an idea onto anyone with the words I am about to type. This particular blog is a semi-vent/opinion that I hope may enlighten my readers or if nothing more open a mind or two. Now we shall begin... :) I recieve a flyer from a local church in my mail once a month. Although I dont agree with all of its content, it definitely has a good story or two and an overall clear message of Christ. However, in the last two issues I noticed that the major feature in the flyer is not Christ at all, but a heavy push on that particular church's doctrine. Let me also say that the writer of this feature is well known for his articles in my small town, whether they be found in his church's newsletter or our city's newspaper. He is known for expressing his opinion. Thats great-I also like to share my opinions-who doesn't? But my father taught me a little saying about peoples' opinions, which I wont repeat, but it has stuck with me through the years. Opinions=great; shoving your doctrine down my throat in a monthly newsletter that I did not sign up for=not so great :( Again, let me pat them on the back and say 'well done' for their flyer at all. Most 'Christians' take a back seat to witnessing and wait around to catch their flight to Heaven. So the fact that a local church in my small town has the fundage to send a monthly newsletter out to thousands of people is definitely commendable in my book. However, I find it grossly disturbing that the writer chose only a 2x2in section to lead others to salvation through listed bible verses & an ENTIRE back page to cover HIS opinion of why musical instruments are 'biblically forbidden in church.' His argument is 'because they are not mentioned in the New Testament' (paraphased)...really wish I hadnt thrown it away so that I could give you exact quotes...So my biff is this--what's more important Sir, leading others to salvation through Jesus and helping them stay there (yes, I do not believe in 'once saved, always saved' but that is not this blog) or making sure 6,000 people know that you absolutely will never have need of an organ player???? The Word says that "every man should work out his own salvation with fear and trembling" (Ph. 2:12), not 'work out his denomination.' And since when are we instructed to read between the lines so much so that an entire ultra-conservative denomination is formed? Salvation is from God-it is essential; denomination is man-made. I confess, I go to a non-denominational church, so I am VERY for musical instruments, dance, flags, singing-all types of praise.Call me biast. Do I have to have music?-no. Do I believe our worship here on earth should be a reflection of the praise and worship that is happening in Heaven this very minute-yes.I also believe in baptismal, but opting to not be baptized is no more going to send you to Hell than having a musical band play during worship. If so, my husband would bust the gates wide open as he is our drummer. Being baptized is symbolic of drowning the old you and being reborn in Christ. You go in the water as one creature and out another. It is not essential to your salvation, but it is a public declaration of your faith in Christ. Married couples in uncivilized villages on the other side of the world probably dont have matching wedding band sets, but does that make them any less married? No, because the ring is symbolic and shows to others that you are taken. But, I will not push my idea of baptismal, or worship with music for that matter, because if I do that then I miss out on the opportunity to truly share Christ with some one. If I push my personal convictions, opinions, likes/dislikes onto a non-believer, or anyone, then Im pushing ME and not CHRIST. Selling myself to people is not why I am here. I am here to share Christ-His likes/dislikes, His truths found in His Word. When you focus solely on your denomination's doctrines then you place Christ in the background and push your way to the front. This is not right! The "flyer writer" claims that music should not be allowed in today's church because its not mentioned in the New Testament, therefore its lack of mention means it should be forbidden. Riddle me this, Sir, physical circumcision is not mentioned  in the New Testament (as being necessary), but was the Law of Moses in the Old Testament, so are all circumcised men cut off from salvation? If we read between the lines  then we can assume that any man being circumcised, since the age of the New Testament, is cut off from God because God demanded circumcision in the Old Testament, but doesnt mention it in the New Testament. Therefore, we can reason that since circumcision is not mentioned it is forbidden. Right? Are we suppose to make outlandish assumptions due to lack of mention???!!! Galatians 5:2 says "Take note! I, Paul, tell you that if you get circumcised, Christ will not benefit at all." Wow--heavy words! Christ will not benefit at all! As so, Christ does not benefit when we put our preferences in place of Him. He surely does not benefit when we attack other churches publically because we do not agree with their doctrines. He does not benefit when we as The Church argue amongst ourselves, and debate, and validate, and point fingers. This only shows non-believers that we have taken our eyes off of Him, therefore keeping their eyes from ever seeing Him. Non-believers dont see Jesus because we are too busy showing them ourselves. And what do they see? Seperation by denomination. Cliques. Disunity. Membership. Church is not an elite country club so stop acting like it! Dont you see that that is what the enemy wants?! Satan wishes to distract us from Gods purpose of being harvesters (Matthew 9:37-38). Distraction breeds division. Brothers and Sisters, let this be an awakening!--stop forcing your denomination down peoples' throat! Simply love Jesus, LIVE for Him and let them see Him in you by your good deeds. People dont see Jesus in your life because you do, or do not, have music in your services. They look for His evidence in your life the other 6 days of the week! I hope Ive made my message clear here. Its not to argue for music in church; its not about church service at all, its about using your drive and passion for the things that will benefit Christ. He benefits when the Kingdom advances. The Kingdom advances when souls are saved. Let our fire and passion go to seeing souls being saved!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

FREEdom for My Feet

When it comes to my husband & I, he is definitely more thrifty & budget conscious while I am more of a "you better buy it now or it may be gone" kinda gal. Luckily, Tim's good money making/spending decisions have impressed upon me during the 4 years of our marriage, but I admit that I'm not totally submissive with every swipe of my debit card as I should be. So it would have been a surprise to anyone when he suggested a few months ago that I buy a new pair of tennis shoes and I declined. Yes, it was quite shocking to me too :) I bought a pair of Nike Shocks just before we got married because I knew the opportunity to spend $120 again would practically be obsolete. I was always a New Balance girl in high school because it was what you were 'suppose' to wear. I'm incredibly rough on shoes, so much so that I have to buy a new pair every year. Tim kept teasing me that my Shocks were falling apart (they were perfectly intact, just in need of a washing) and I continued to stand up for the only shoe that had ever taken up property in my closet for more than twelve months. On a side note, I was once walking six miles a day for over a year in them, and now enjoy Zumba at least five times a week so I cant stress enough how much of a durable shoe Nikes truly are. Well worth EVERY penny! Isnt it funny how we 'need' new this and new that every year when we are still supported by mommy & daddy but as soon as we are married and pay for things on our own we are perfectly happy with 'stretching it' out for a few years? :) Now picture this, Enzlie is asleep, I pop in my Zumba dvd for my afternoon work out and half way through a Reggaetone Bounce the sole of my left shoe blows. Its literally flapping up and down like an old man's loose dentures! What was I to do??!! Call Tim and admit that he was right?? Sure Id get a new pair of shoes....but that meant having to say 'hey Honey guess what? You were totally right and I was totally wrong & I realize that I just got a new computer three days ago but now a need a $100 pair of shoes, mkay?' Yup, I felt guilty for not buying the dang things months ago when he had suggested it. So I called him. He especially enjoyed the part about him being right. I finished my workout in my socks then hopped on the internet to find some new Shocks before Enzlie woke up. Much to my surprise the price of Shocks have risen to $140! Yowza! Now that might not seem like much dough to some reading this but we live on one income so we go bananas for bargains. And boy did my sweet Jesus lead Tim to a whopper of a bargain! After checking out Fitness Line & Zappos online he stumbled onto 6pm.com (stop reading this RIGHT NOW and go browse their site!). Its an overstock, discounted, sister site to Zappos. Not discontinued mind you-what they have online is still available in stores there are just limited colors & sizes, hence the price reductions. While I was on Nike's website pricing Shocks I did a little researching on a new shoe, the Nike Free. It has a very flexible sole which makes it the most versatile shoe ever because you can train, run, walk, dance -anything-with this shoe. And hallelujah Jesus, 6pm.com has Nike Frees! The particular pair I pined for retail at $85 and I bought them shipping and all for only $49.95!!!! Yay!!! The best part is they were at my house, on my feet, and doing the Queta Mueva in less than two days!! I did not pay for advanced shipping. In fact they have a flat shipping rate of $6.95! My shoes are amazing! They are soooo easy to move and Zumba in. I wore them out of the house for the first time tonight and I seriously kept them on until bed time--they are that comfortable and believe me I enjoy lounging in socks or going barefoot but these shoes are so lightweight and flexible its the closest thing to socked feet. My Shocks will definitely be missed as they are the most faithful shoe to date that I have ever owned. Perhaps I will follow the notion of Ralphie's dad and bury them in the back yard while softly playing 'Taps.' So the moral of this blog, boys and girls, is this: 1)Nike Frees are amazing 2)You can buy them at 6.pm for dirt cheap. Happy shopping and happy exercising! Here is my exact pair below: