Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's gonna be a great day...

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I had lunch last Friday with a friend, who told me that her brother's father in law, whom I'll just call George, had just been diagnosed with advanced cancer and given approximately one month before the disease claims him.

I don't know George, but my friend said that he is a wonderful, godly man who has been an incredible mentor for her brother.

Then she said that, just after hearing the news, George took his wife by the hand, looked into her eyes and said, 'From here on, no matter what happens, every day is going to be a great day.'

That was a huge challenge to me.  In one moment, I saw what a whiney wimp I am so much of the time, letting petty aggravations harass me and keep me from making the day great.

How much time do I waste fretting over the darkness, when I am commanded to be a light?

When will I get it through my head that, really, every day IS a great day...no matter what?

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it - Ps 118:24

Thursday, September 13, 2012

On Judgment

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I was saddened today to hear of a pastor in another city stepping down from his position due to a moral failure.

It happens.  People are people; we all  have weaknesses and blindspots and an amazing capacity for self-deception, so that we are able to pretend to the point of convincing ourselves that we don't see the train coming.

We have seen it near by; I watched as it was walked through; repentance walked out and the whole situation redeemed.  It is possible.

When all of that broke, I remember hearing a little warning in my spirit. "When you judge someone for something, you open the door to the enemy to attack you in that area."


Josh McDowell has said that the most quoted verse in the Bible is 'Judge not'.  (Matt. 7:1a).  But we don't often finish the verse...'that ye be not judged' (KJ)   '...unless you want the same treatment' (Message).

I looked up the word that is translated 'judge' in that verse; it is krino in the Greek, and it means to distinguish, i.e., decide (mentally or judicially); by imp. to try, condemn, punish  

Our concept of judging often is 'to pronounce error'.  While it may seem to be the same, it is not.

If someone is driving 30 miles an hour over the speed limit, to state that they are breaking the law is not judging.  It is stating a fact.  It is comparing an action to an impartial, objective standard and finding difference, based on facts.

Judging would be to make a decision about character based on the observation; i.e. 'What a horrid person that is to be endangering others in that way!  Who does he think he is!' ...when in fact, the person may be driving over the speed limit because someone is hollering into their Blue Tooth, 'I can't get the bleeding to stop!' or 'The contractions are just three minutes apart now!' or some other such thing.    It's still true that they're breaking the law, but the moral judgements would be totally in error.

If an objective standard is broken, it's broken.  It is not judging to state the obvious in that case.  But what we must guard ourselves against is  assuming that which only God can know for sure.  Motives, attitudes,  intentions...these are not things you and I can know.  But we often make those assumptions based on observed actions...deciding someone is haughty because they did not speak when we expected it;  assuming, as Job's friends did, that a misfortune in someone's life is a result of their own secret sin;  expecting that all (fill in the people group) will (fill in a negative expectation).

I could go on.  We see/hear it all the time.  Couched as opinion, or even experience, it is not even recognized as judgmental.  But what doors do such things open?

Conversely, looking at the objective Word and pointing out that it clearly displays an action as against God's standard is not being judgmental.  Arbitrarily deciding that God's standard doesn't apply, for one reason or another, does not actually invalidate the standard.  It is still His standard.  It still applies to everyone.  It doesn't change with the times.  And that is not my opinion...it's what He says.  To dismiss that standard as 'judgmental'  doesn't just open doors...it's like walking out from the shelter on a stormy day.

And folks who do that do not need judgment, they need compassion.  How else can we bring them back into a place of protection from the storm?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


You all know where you were.  Probably without trying, you can be back in that moment and feel it all fresh.

In my feedburner this morning there were a couple of amazing stories that have come out of that time; one was listed more than once.

If I find more such articles today, I'll come back and link them here, too.  Because I can't say it better than it is said already; you won't be sorry if you click through...

Tragedy and Triumph

Ordinary Heros, Extraordinary Results  (be sure to watch the video about the boatlift..)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Step up the Game

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Another amazing weekend of going after God at our annual women's conference has come and gone;  so much to process. 

But I came away with a clear message for myself...it is time to step up the game, to put a demand on the anointing.  To dare to dare.

While I'm not exactly sure what that is going to mean in the long run, I do know that it is time I turned a corner and quit just declaring that I'm just 'hanging on' to the blogging process and begin to pursue it like it is part of my call.

Because it is.

Back to the verse that started the whole Friday Faithful Faves series, Genesis 12:1...

The LORD had said to Abram,"Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you." 

It's time for me to get out of my comfort zone and head out into whatever it is HE will show me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hodgepodging 9/5/12

It's been a long time since I participated in one of the random questions memes; after Linda retired from hosting the Random Dozen, I kinda fell out of the routine.

But a while ago I discovered that Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond has been hosting a weekly random questions meme; I've been reading along but haven't plunged in yet.

But, since I've been trying so hard just to keep a toe in the blogging water, so to speak, I decided I'd give it a go this week.  Assigned writing is good discipline...right?  Anyway, you can check out the link-up list here and see who is participating this week....

1. In your opinion what's the most important job in the world? Oh, and parenting is a given so besides parenting, what's the most important job in the world?
Teaching.  Whether you're paid to do it or not; regardless of the subject.  If there were no teaching, no sharing of one's knowledge and experience, we would be doomed to keep learning the same stuff by making the same mistakes over and over again. 

2. Share a favorite or not so favorite memory from a childhood birthday.
The earliest birthday I remember was my 3rd birthday; there was a family party at my Grandmother's.  I wore a little outfit with red shorts and a shirt with sylized fish on it (my birthday is in July).  My sister and I both got dolls; I got a Casper the Friendly Ghost jack-in-the box that scared the beegeebers out of me.  My grandmother made a 'doll cake'...a skirt-shaped cake with a doll stuck in the top.  For a long time I didn't think that was a real memory, until I ran across a photo of me, in a shirt w/stylized fish on it,  making a horrid face at the Casper jack in the box...

3. Peanut butter-crunchy or smooth?
Smooth.  There's something wrong with the concept of crunchy butter.

4. William Butler Yeats is credited as saying, "Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing." Your thoughts?
Hm.  I'm not terribly sure that I agree with the Esteemed Mister Yeats here;  if you think about the times of growth being times of trial and hardship, then I would not necessarily agree that I am happy when I am growing.  Growing hurts quite a bit at times.  Happiness is contentment with godliness; knowing that we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.  Happiness is the quiet after the storm, the realization of the joy  on the other side of the pain that the trial made possible.  Maybe we're happy after we've grown?

5. What's something that makes you cringe?
Currently,  I am cringing when I see/read emails, blog posts, facebook posts, etc that are passed along by folks who are on the same side of the political fence as I am but that do not reflect sound judgment or mercy or even a minimal pursuit of the facts.  There's enough documented stuff to argue the point; passing along rumors, half-truths and outright falsehoods not only adds decibels to the already overloud political harangue, but also robs everyone on 'our' side of the fence of credibility, so that the real arguments go unheard and unanswered. 

6. Name a song that always puts you in a good mood?
About any praise and worship...that has been key in turning around very bleak periods of my life...but, just for fun, and because I think this is what the question is really asking...'Good Vibrations' by the Beach Boys.  ;-)

7. The answer is yes. What's the question?
Would I like to have a week off to stay home and see if I can make order out of chaos?

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Our annual Women's Conference is this weekend; I need the taking-apart-and-putting-back-together that usually happens at the Women's Conference.  Even though I expect it's going to be somewhat painful at the time...I never enjoy seeing the ugly and dealing with it... but it will bring joy after.  Right?