Sunday, February 15, 2015


Easter seems early this year. 😄

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent, which is a forty-day season many Christians use to prepare/renew their hearts for Christ. 

Traditionally people remove something from their lives (fast) and/or add something as a daily reminder to sharpen their focus on the True meaning of life (the Gospel of relationship and renewal). 

Giving up something (soda, chocolate, TV, unforgiveness, gossip, harsh words, or whatever piece of this world that may be taking up too much room in your heart) also helps people remember what Christ gave up so that we can have eternal life and be reconciled to Him.  (It could also reveal a 'serving two maters' mentality in your own heart.  Ouch! 😣. Sometimes this world is very comfortable and enticing!  Just the mental evaluation of what you could and could NOT live without for forty days can be revealing.)

Adding something (prayer, meditation, Bible reading, study, charity work, or even more vegetables, water, or exercise) for this time can help begin a lifelong devotion of welcoming the good of the Lord into the routine of life. 

I know some Christians reject observing Lent because of its Catholic origin or legalistic look. I'd like to encourage you to look at the practice with an open heart and mind. Look at your own life with honesty to see if you could use any excuse to come together with other believers for a period of time to remove the secular, invite the holy and submit yourself more consistently to the transforming love of the Spirit. Would observing Lent cause you harm?  Would it draw you closer to God Who loves you so unfathomably?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mean People

The concept that hurting people hurt people is not a new one.  I have read more than one devotion teaching this idea—I most remember Joyce Meyer and Max Lucado.  Even so, I think it bears repeating.  This morning I read two blogs here and here that touched on the topic and how it relates to body image.  Both of these bloggers were speaking more specifically about how the marketed ‘ideal body’ doesn’t buy the happiness it promises.  They did a terrific job on that topic and I recommend reading both posts.

I’d like to focus on one point both articles touched on that they used to help explain that all the hate for heavy people has to come from somewhere—and it ain’t happiness!

This is important: if you are fielding ugliness from others, ask yourself why.  Happy people are typically too busy being happy to go out of their way to dump a heap of hate on anyone.  This makes sense because, like I said, hate comes from somewhere.  How can anyone with enough hate to spare ever be happy?  They simply cannot.  Hate is corrosive, it destroys the holder.  Why is this important?  Because it can help you know how to react most effectively; it can save you from perpetuating the hate.

Knowing the mean person is actually injured cuts through the chaos and affords you two invaluable pieces of information.  First, the obvious: there is someone injured in front of you.  That dictates a far different reaction than that of being attacked.  You can respond with compassion, and maybe even a little first aid.  This totally changes the balance of the interaction and it puts you in charge, instead of putting you on the defensive.

That leads me to the other piece of info: the crap they spew isn’t true!  Yeah, baby!  Read that again.  The hate and condemnation isn’t true AND… listen up!  It isn’t even about you!  Hate destroys the hater.  You don’t have any obligation to pick up what they drop.  Imagine injured animals.  They can get pretty nasty, but a caregiver would never imagine taking the snarls and teeth gnashing personally; they merely signify need.

So, next time some troll comes after you—on the internet or in the flesh, remember to keep your head.  This hater is carrying around poison as a constant companion.  That is sad.  Be compassionate.  Be kind.  Be different.  Just as important, don’t own any of that poison.  Look at what is doing to the hater! Do you want to turn into that?  I don’t think so!