Monthly Archives: June 2015

Get a Rope

Okay so today I embarrassed myself.

Well, that is nothing new.  I mean come on….. it is me we are talking about.

It was kinda funny though.  See Mark and I were walking along the River Walk here in New Orleans.  We saw these beautiful palm trees with ropes tied to them.

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We walked passed them several times.  And well, curiosity got the best of me.  I wanted to know why they were being tied down.  I spot a man trimming some bushes back a few feet away from us.  I quickly spouted, “I’m going to ask this guy why they are tied down.”

I marched right up to him and said, “Excuse me sir.  Could you help me with something?”  She stood up and looked at me.  Her name tag clearly said “Linda.” Still, I didn’t catch on until she spoke.

I could have crawled right up under that sidewalk right there.  I tried to keep composure and blow it off as tactfully as I could.  I know my face was every shade of red and it isn’t a sunburn.

In spite of my clear lack of tact and sight, she quickly answered my burning question.

Those palm trees are young and need the support to stand tall against the wind, gravity and any other form of force.  The ropes help build strength and soon they will be removed once they are old enough to weather the winds without them.

Ever feel tied down??  Man, have I lately.  My days are tied down to my job.  My money is tied down to the bakery.  My life is completely tied down with the bakery.  The weight of it pulls me on me every day.

But what if I look at it this way.  God gave me the opportunity for having this bakery.  Maybe He has tied me down to strengthen me?  Maybe it is there weighing me down or anchoring me to stand tall against any wind life blows at me.  Maybe I am tied to it to learn that I need God’s strength and help to weather every storm that rolls in…..

Look at what you are tied down to….. Do you see God there in anyway?  Is He teaching you a lesson in strength, courage, or to the fact that you need to be tied to Him to stand upright?  Wonder if we looked at all the things in our lives that seem to tie us down and I mean really look….. deep into the heart of it…… just wonder if God is there instructing?!?!?!?!

 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25

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Unique

Mark and I walked around New Orleans yesterday.  Like 9 miles worth  We have been in awe with the uniqueness of this place everyone calls Nawlins.

Street performers.

Jazz music.

Architecture .

The street artists.

The tarot card and palm readings.

All very interesting.  To say the least.

When we visited the Louisiana State Museum, I noticed the rich history here wasn’t much different than the rich history of Arkansas. Farming, slave trade, and the Civil War were pretty much the same.

I am not saying that there isn’t any uniqueness in New Orleans or in Arkansas.  What I discovered is people are the same everywhere.  Yes, our culture may be different but people live their lives the same.

Haven’t you ever noticed that the people in Biblical times have the same problems and lifestyles as we do now?  Upper class, lower class, servants, masters, murderers, rapists, plotters, manipulators, and yes, even the bachelorette  show…… ummmm Queen Esther’s story.

So why did those stories stand out in the Bible?  or in New Orleans’ museum?  It was the Younisqueness of those people.  Being Younique helps you stand out.  Right?  Didn’t Jesus begin his ministry with Younique people?  They each lead lives that stood out in their own way.  Peter a fisherman.  Matthew a tax collector.  Luke a doctor.  Their passion and hearts made their everyday lives and ministry Younique.

Have you ever stopped and thought about your own youniqueness?  What talents do you have that could be used to service God’s ministry?  What passions do you have that can change the world?

Ever consider when Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light [younqiueness] shine before men, so that they may see your good works [youniqueness] and give glory to your Father in heaven.”,  that he might have meant your younique talents and passions?  We are supposed to stand out in a crowd.  We are told not to conform to the world but to live differently.  Right?

Think about it.

 

It's Time

Denying it is so much easier.

Ignoring it has the same result.

Am I ill?  No.  Well, maybe in the head but that can be argued for another time.

I have questioned God with this decision ever since I heard.  The Arkansas Conference followed God’s instruction to send our Pastor and family elsewhere.

But, I can’t just send him off without some kind of personal acknowledgement.  See, in the four years he and his family have been with us, healing changed me.

Yes, healing.  I am not the same person I was 4 years ago.  Brother Stephen and his sweet wife, Leila have played an important role in that healing.

I was a wreck 4 years ago.  Bitter filled.  Wanting revenge.  Angry like no bird could imagine to be.  Ready to explode or implode….. both of which are extremely unhealthy.  My rage turned to behavior I am so embarrassed to admit having……

I thought my spirit was crushed and damaged forever.  I didn’t have strength nor the will to even attend church anymore.  Leila befriended me and listened to my story.  She didn’t judge.  She didn’t do anything more than listen as I unraveled the hurt, betrayal and distrust in my role as a member of our church.

She listened.

Meanwhile, Brother Stephen taught.  He encouraged me to dig deeper than I ever had.  He stretched my thinking to a whole other level.  He never once told me what to do but let me figure out the mess I had managed to create on my own.

Outside of blogging, I had pretty much left ministry.  Well, let’s be honest.  I might have been blogging but the ministry had left my heart.  I was going through the motions.  I didn’t believe half the words I was typing.

But as Stephen taught, my heart began to listen.  I followed a path that God laid before me.  The Bakery.  If it wasn’t for Stephen and Leila’s example of being obedient and teachable moments, I would have ignored God and continued to do what I had been doing…… creating a mess.

Now, the time has come for me to say farewell to two people that has taught me so much.  As much as I hate it.  I understand that obedience is the key no matter if we don’t get why it has to happen.  That’s part of being a Christ follower.  We have to follow.

A new chapter is about to begin for all of us.

Stephen.  Leila.  May God bless you both.  Thank you so much for everything you have done in service with me/for me and our church family.  It has been an honor.  And the biggest blessing ever.