Sunday, January 31, 2016

God knows...

For some reason as I left Walmart today, I looked up at the exit sign, and my mind does that a lot while in Walmart. But today I thought about something that happened about 13 years ago. 

It happened on a regular trip to the store. My son was about three or four and he was walking alongside me chattering like a little magpie, probably about some toy he wanted to look at once we were in the store. He held my hand as we crossed the parking lot, stopping to make sure the way was clear to cross. Pretty typical day.

We entered the lobby area and I released his hand long enough to grab a buggy. For once, the buggy didn't stick...not even a little. I grabbed it and started for the entrance. What occurred next happened so quickly I'm still not sure what took place. There was a roar and all of a sudden a van was driving through the doors and into the lobby. It hit a metal trash can that went flying and as I swirled around all I could do was yell for my son. I pictured him somewhere underneath the van or crushed between the van and the wall. The panic that followed as I called his name and desperately searched for him still makes my chest tighten. 

A woman just inside the doors caught me and let me know he was standing inside the entrance. My little fellow was standing in front of a display of flowers and sobbing with fright. I have no idea how he got there...but he was safe and that was all that mattered. I scooped him up and held him and thought I'd never let go. I tried to remain calm so he would feel safe...but I so wanted to cry with him and never let him go.

We later found out that the woman in the van had some sort of seizure. She was going to be okay. The store has since moved those big concrete pillars to better secure the doors. Story over, but not for me. 

That day I realized that I couldn't protect my son...not even when I was standing right there. I was going to have to learn to fully turn him over to God and trust. 

Maybe the reason I thought about that incident today was because once again I am having to trust God with my son. This week he will "sign" with a school and in just a few short months he will be off to college. I've prayed that God would direct Levi to the school where he would be guided on the path that He has for him. It wasn't the school we thought he'd be going to, but I have peace that it is where God will guide him on the next step of his journey. 

And once again, I'm realizing I am at a loss as to how to protect Levi or help him. I want to scoop him up and hug him...of course this is NOT something he wants me to do. I want to hold him just one more time and let him know it will be okay, or maybe have him tell me that...again, not something he wants me to do. All I can do is trust, trust that all I have taught him has found good soil. Trust that God has a plan for him that is greater than what even I can imagine and that God will direct him.

It's all more than a bit overwhelming...letting go, not knowing what lies ahead. That's when the second part of today's story comes into play. Just before I got to my car with all these thoughts running through my head, I saw a sweet smiling lady with a shirt that simply said, "But God..."

I don't know what the future holds, but God knows...and that is enough.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Walking backwards...

Revisiting a post from a couple of years ago.

I looked up at the clock and realized it was time for my students to return from activity...which meant I needed to step outside my room and make sure they weren't getting "lost" as they walked down the hall. I looked down at the sea of hormones in tennis shoes making their way toward me and that's when I saw him. That familiar blue jacket of one our students. He was at the front, moving my way - backwards. Deep in conversation, he was oblivious to the fact that he was headed directly into the watchful gaze of a teacher...

I called out to him. "Hey, buddy. God made your eyes and your feet face in the same direction for a reason - so you could watch where you are going!"

We both laughed and he turned around as I just shook my head in amazement of these silly kids.

I didn't really think about it again...that is until I was reading the book, God Loves Broken People by Sheila Walsh. 

At the end of the first chapter, this passage jumped out at me. "God says to you and me, "It's time for something new in your life. I open up new roads before you. I want to fill the desert of your soul with living water and satisfy your thirst with heaven's swift, cool brooks. Don't dwell on the past, and refuse to camp in the tragedies of your history or family background. Leave it all behind! And then come to Me, for I have something brand-new in mind for you.
So with one hand firmly gripping the Word of God, and the other hand reaching for the fresh future God is busily at work preparing for us, let us walk together on this journey into God's best..."

As I read this, my young blue-jacketed friend flashed back into my mind.

I had to wonder if I am doing just like my little friend. Am I walking backward, looking at the mistakes and regrets of my past and forgetting to look forward to where God is leading?

Keep in mind, I am almost 54 years old, (make that 57 now), so there's a whole lot of "past" I could focus on...and realistically, not QUITE as much future. But I'm supposed to focus FORWARD?

For some reason, all this brought a verse to mind. 
Acts 2:17 -“In the Last Days,” God says,
“I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people:
Your sons will prophesy,  also your daughters;
Your young men will see visions,  your old men dream dreams."

Dream dreams? You mean God wants to give dreams to us "old guys" too? Dreams of what the future will bring? I mean, aren't we too old for dreams? When we were young we had lots of dreams, but our dreams never really came true. Instead we got reality. Is it possible that our dreams were for a time yet to come?

Like my crazy random thoughts are known to do, they wandered back to a church service years ago. I sat on the second row and listened as the missionary Jewell Matheny spoke. She told of when she was younger and knew she had a call from God, yet there were babies that needed her. How was she supposed to serve when she was up to her elbows in dirty diapers and runny noses? She cried out to God - when would her time come?

Those who know this wonderful family know that Jewell Matheny DID do some amazing things. First she raised a family that loves and serves God and she served alongside her husband as a pastor's wife and as a missionary. Then, after her husband's death, when many would think of retiring, God gave her a dream. She followed that dream and is now known as Mama Jewell to so many in Africa. As one African pastor said, "Africa will never be the same thanks to Mama Matheny!" 

The point of all this? God has a plan for each of us. It's not just for the young...but even for the "old" - we can still dream dreams. We've got to stop walking backward and looking at the past. God made our feet and our eyes point in the same direction for a we can watch where we are going. And as long as we are going with God - the journey is for a hope and a future.

"Never let your memories be greater than your dreams." - Doug Ivester

*Note: The next day when I got to school, I was looking forward to finding my little blue-jacketed friend so that I could give him a hug...only to discover the day before was his last day. He had moved. I was almost overwhelmed to the point of tears when I realized that God had "put a spotlight" on my young friend so that I could see....and not forget to pray as he moves forward into what God has prepared for him.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

So you had a bad day...

Remember that song that was used on American Idol a few years ago? That song, and the message of this blog that I wrote a few years ago came to mind this morning. No, I haven't been having a bad day, and I truly hope today won't be one either...but perhaps this is to remind me, or someone else today....we win! So You Had a Bad Day song, listen here...

It had been one of those days. If it could go wrong, it seemed like it had. It wasn't just the everyday little things either. I was getting hit with things that had me standing there with my mouth wide open wanting to say, "You've GOT to be kidding!" By the end of the day, I wanted to cry - just sit down and cry! No, I wanted to sit down, cry and QUIT! It just didn't seem like it was worth trying. To be honest I was just plain worn out.

As I headed back to my room, I noticed the door of another teacher who I knew prayed for her fellow teachers each week. I peeked my head in just to ask if she'd remember me in her prayers this week. I got a lot more. Not only did she pray with me then, but she shared something that God had revealed to her - that anger can hinder our prayers. Anger, frustration, hurt - they could all keep me from being able to pray for the situation. I knew what she said was true and I left with it on my mind, but to be honest I was still reeling from the blows of the day. I still wanted to just give up.

When I got home, I told my husband all that had happened and then I sat down to my favorite unwind activity - checking facebook. It seemed that a lot of my friends were having days a lot like mine - one even called it an "epic fail."  Yep, that pretty much described it. I stared at the screen and I knew what my status would be - "No weapon formed against me shall prosper. Sure glad I've got God's promise on that."

I sat and just looked at my status. Something about that word, 'formed', caught my eye. The weapons used against me today to discourage me weren't just picked at random - they wereformed. It was as if the enemy knew exactly what shape the weapon should be to inflict the most damage. He knew which buttons to push to cause my discouragement to mount. He took the time to form a weapon against me. Why? Because if he was able to succeed in getting me to get discouraged and quit, I wouldn't be able to accomplish that which God had placed me there for. He wanted me to give up...and to be honest, it almost worked!

I looked up the word "formed" and it means, among other things: to construct or frame; compose; to place in order; arrange; organize; shape; fashion. My enemy took the time to compose, organize, shape and fashion the attack against me in such a way that it would hit my most vulnerable areas. It's a good thing that I know that when and where I am weakest, my Father is strong - otherwise those weapons might have had more power to destroy! The worst part of that would have been that the mission God gave me might have been left incomplete. So that's why the devil is so intent on making me angry, frustrated and discouraged! He wants me to give up on what I know God has told me to do! Knowing that all this was an attempt to not only defeat me but to make me give up on the mission God has put in front of me - well, that just makes me mad!

I don't know what your day has been like. Maybe it's been great, or maybe like me you feel like you've been sucker-punched in the gut and you're still feeling a little bit dazed. There is good have an advocate that is standing before the Father with an answer to refute every lie the enemy uses to try condemn you. Our problem is that we listen to the accuser more than we listen to our Advocate! We actually help him form the weapons he wants to use against us! I don't know about you, but I'm tired of feeding him ammunition! 

I truly hope your day was one filled with sunshine and lollipops, but just in case it wasn't, I want to leave you with some words of encouragement from Isaiah 54:17. "no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD."

The Lord has declared it and that's good enough for me. Today will not defeat me, it will become just another battle won for the Lord!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Rainfall and potholes....

The other day, as I was on my way to school, I passed a spot in the road that I've learned to avoid because of a persistent pothole. As I carefully slowed in anticipation, I thought about the fact that this pothole has been "repaired" many times, but after every heavy rain, it appears once more. Once again, those 'random thoughts' started turning in my head.

That pothole shows up after every heavy rain. Maybe the problem isn't the rain, maybe the rain is simply revealing an ongoing structural problem that is simply being given a bandaid to try and repair it. That's a lot like our lives. Rain doesn't cause the problems, it simply reveals them. The Bible says it rains on the just and the unjust alike, the difference is how that rain effects them. Life is going to have problems, but often we blame what is happening to us on the problem when in fact it is a "structural defect" within us that is simply being revealed.

Perhaps my problem isn't lack of funds; perhaps it is how I have set up my lifestyle. Perhaps the problem isn't my health; perhaps it's the choices I've made or my lack of self discipline. Perhaps my problem isn't that grouchy person I have to work or go to school with, (or even live with); perhaps it is my low self esteem or lack of patience or selfishness (how dare they ruin my day!) Perhaps the problem isn't my teacher or boss; perhaps it is what kind of student or worker I have shown myself to be. Perhaps the problem isn't what the person said or did; perhaps it's my anger. You get the picture.

This analogy can go into many different realms. Perhaps the problem with anything isn't what we perceive it to be. Perhaps it is simply revealing an area we truly need to make changes to in ourselves or our nation. Since I can't seem to do much about the nation, (see earlier blog about no one asking me!) then I guess it's up to me to make the changes in me.

If I don't like the way my kids act, I might need to look at my behavior toward them and others. (They do learn from me, especially that which I wish they didn't!) If I don't like the way my neighborhood is, perhaps I need to look and see if I'm making a difference there. If I don't like the way things are done at my job, perhaps I need to look at what part I might play in the problem, whether in attitude or action. If I don't like the way my government is doing things, perhaps I need to look at what I am doing to make a difference in that area. Now, I realize there are areas that "hit us" that we had nothing to do with! We can't control those things - only our reactions to them. Maybe the reason for our storm isn't so much for us, as to help someone around us see how we go about weathering what life throws at us. Maybe they need to watch us "fix the potholes" so they will know how to accomplish the same in their own lives.

I find that when I see something that "somebody" needs to fix, I almost immediately hear in my spirit - "So - aren't you somebody?..."  

We all have "potholes" in our lives. It's up to us to take the time and effort (and sometimes painful expense - metaphorical and sometimes actual) and fix it. Putting another patch on it may seem to work for a while, but rest assured, it will rain again. If I don't want to constantly have to avoid that pothole, I'm gonna have to do something about it. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some potholes to start filling....

Ephesians 2:10b TEV 
"God has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do"

Matthew 5:13-16The Message (MSG)

13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
This is an updated version of a post from 2009...still applies to my life today!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Have you been audacious today???

This random thought began this morning as I watched a video clip from Living Waters Ministry. It was a short segment right at the very end and a man was saying "For God so loved the world that He gave His only forgotten Son..." 

Wait. Did I hear that right? Did he just say "only FORGOTTEN Son"? How could it be that someone would misquote probably one of the most well known verses from the Bible? Then it hit me - that's the way some people treat Jesus, they just forget about Him.

I continued to browse through my morning emails and drink my coffee, thinking all the while about what I had just seen. Then another e-mail caught my eye. Well, to be honest, I almost passed over it because I saw the title and THOUGHT I knew the passage it was talking about....Oh, I know that one already. I'm so glad I went back for a second look at the blog from titled "Walking Around in the Skin of the Mat Carriers." (for complete article, click here) 

In that article, Mark D. Roberts looked at the life of the men who carried the paralyzed man to Jesus and ultimately lowered him through the roof. (Luke 5:17-26) One particular phrase caught my eye and resonated in my spirit...Mark notes that in verse 20 of the passage, Jesus saw "their faith". (Emphasis mine.) To quote from the article, "What he actually saw, of course, was their audacious act of breaking into a house and lowering a man on a mat. Faith took the form of bold action. It involved taking big risks."

That's when it hit me. I want to live a life of audacious faith. I want to live my life in such a way that people can SEE my faith....not just hearing words but seeing me live in such a way that they can't help but see Jesus. In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, I want to "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words."

In case you wonder what audacious means, I looked it up! The dictionary defines it as"extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless." That's who I want to be - someone who is bold, daring, and fearless in living out my faith! Then maybe people will be able to "see my faith" and remember Jesus - the one I'm living for. I've even gone so far as to make a little post-it note sign for my desk. It says, "Have you been audacious today?"

So how about it? Are you ready to tackle life in a world that has "forgotten" the Son? Are you willing to be audacious in your faith? Are you willing to stand out? Join me in this adventure and let's see just how amazing life can be.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Best friends....

Today I was sitting on my front porch - we can do that in January in South Mississippi, one of the many reasons I love living here. 

When I sit on this front porch, I am flooded with memories of the days right after Katrina. We spent a lot of time on our porch in those days since it was summer and we had no power...I also have a lot of really good memories of friends like Cathy and Dave and Honey and Dave - no, not the same Daves, and it's not a prerequisite that you have to be married to someone named Dave to live in our neighborhood, personally I have a "Dale"...

Anyway, all this got me to thinking about today's topic - friends.

When you think of friend, what comes to mind? Secrets, laughter, memories, adventure..

I am blessed with a number of friends and they have been there for me,  not just in times of trouble, but also in times of fun. Some of my fondest memories of laughter include these sweet ladies...(Memories of laughter with my "navigator" and I  were on our way to visit our other dear friend and we got lost because we were in deep conversation immediately comes to mind.)

I love my friends - friends have this wonderful way of accepting  us for who we are and while they don't try to change us, they do nudge us out of our comfort zone every once in a while and show us there is more...

Friends aren't just for hard times, they are also there for good times to share and multiply the joy! What is a party without friends? Good times are so much more fun when they are there to share them with you.

Well, all this got me thinking about my very best friend, Jesus. Jesus is so much more than just my 'heavenly boss" which is how some seem to see him. He is far more than just someone to go to when I get in a tight. He is there in bad times AND good. In fact, he multiplies my joy! He is my FRIEND!

But honestly, I forget sometimes that Jesus is my friend. Just like in the days after the power came back on following Katrina, we all started to get busy again and we spent less and less time together. Oh, we were still friends, but somehow things just weren't quite the same.

Today I want to focus once again on spending TIME with my friend, Jesus.

Proverbs 18:24 (MSG)

Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.

For those who like the video version, you can click the link below.

Video version of today's blog.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Stuck in reruns....

Welcome to my very first attempt at a video blog. Feel free to comment...we'll see if this becomes a "regular" thing. 

(Hmmm, thinking maybe I should have gotten a bit more "dressed up" for my first video.)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

En + courage =

I am a grammar geek, I admit it. I love words. Maybe that's why today during my run my mind wandered into the area of words, specifically the word "encourage."

I have always considered that one of my main purposes in life is to encourage, but I also figured it was one of those "also ran" kind of callings. Everyone likes to be encouraged, but it's not one of those amazing talents like teaching or preaching or singing. It's just, well...encouragement. That is, until I thought about it today.

The word "encourage" is made up of the word "courage" and the prefix "en". (Didn't know you were going to get an English lesson today, did you!) The word courage is a noun that means the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. There are few things I can think of that we need today more than courage.

The prefix "en" means to cause (a person or thing) to be in "the place, condition or state named by the stem." It can also mean "to cause to be in," or "on all sides, completely" as in enclose. So when you add the prefix "en" to the word "courage," you are saying "to be in the place or state of courage; to cause to be in courage; and to be on all sides, completely surrounded by courage." I'm beginning to think encouraging others is pretty important!

There's a lot of verses about courage and encouragement in the Bible. Here's just a few:

1 Thessalonians 5:11 
God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.

Psalm 10:17
You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; You encourage them, and You listen to their cry.

1 Thessalonians 5:13 -15 (MSG)
Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other's nerves you don't snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out. 
(I really like that part about "WHEN you get on each other's nerves"....let's me know it's normal, and I'm not necessarily less spiritual when it happens!)

And how about this one!
Proverbs 29:10
Murderers hate honest people; moral folks encourage them.

It would seem that helping others have courage is pretty important. But it's not just others we are to encourage, we are to encourage ourselves! During one of David's most difficult times, he encouraged himself in the Lord...

1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV)
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

When those around you have no courage to give, you have to encourage YOURSELF in the Lord.

I am blessed to have a lot of encouragers in my life (and a few who seem to be the kryptonite of courage!)  

As the world seems to in some ways be spiraling out of control, we have never had a greater need of courage. So how about it? All you who think you really don't have any gift other than encouraging, are you ready to get busy? Your gift is needed. Let's put the "en" to the "courage" and shine.

The difference in a goal and a resolution...

By now, many have relegated their New Year's Resolutions to the trash along with their Christmas wrapping paper and boxes. Some haven't completely trashed them, they just given it a try and when it didn't work figured they'd try again next year, so they packed their resolutions away with the ornaments and decorations. A few hardy individuals are hanging on for all they are worth, barely holding on but determined that this will be the year of success. Then there are those of us who have decided that resolutions are an exercise in futility and given up on making them all together.

This year, I did not make any resolutions...instead, I made a goal, and so far I'm seeing a big difference. That could be because of the difference in me, or it is more likely due to the difference in resolutions and goals. 

I've read plenty of articles on making good resolutions, but somehow I still always fail to keep my resolutions. Envisioning success, writing them down, making them measurable...nothing seemed to help. Perhaps this is because resolutions tend to carry with them a "DO or DON'T" mindset. If I vow to do something and then don't, I've blown it. If I vow to NOT do something and then do it, I've blown it again. There are just too many opportunities to fail. Goals on the other hand are different.

With a goal, if I don't reach it, I don't stop. I just keep trying. I talked to my students about this. Many of them play soccer or basketball and I asked them, if they were playing and missed the goal, would they just give up? Of course, the answer is try again....and again.....and again....and, well, you get the picture. Goals carry in them the idea that if you don't reach your goal the first time, you keep on trying. Resolutions carry the idea of either you do or don't; one slip up and it's over.

With a resolution, if you don't accomplish it, you've failed. With a goal, I can see myself getting closer and closer to the target, even when I fail. It's a process, a learning and retraining process. It's so much easier to see that I am making progress with a goal. I may still miss the mark by a mile, but at least I'm closer than I was when I started...even if it's only by the tiniest fraction of an inch! The fact that I am even looking at the goal is progress, because it means I have a target to work toward. You've heard it said, those who aim at nothing hit it every time. I'm tired of hitting nothing.

This year, I have a couple of goals. I've put a calendar up to help me see how I'm doing toward reaching those goals. I've also made myself accountable in other ways....but the point is, even on days I do very little, I'm still doing SOMETHING toward getting closer to the mark. 

Even if you haven't made a goal for this year, the year is young and there is plenty of year left! Make a goal. Think about it...the decisions you make today can make a difference in the year, the decade...even in your life! If somehow you wind up reading this article with very little year left - I still encourage you to make a goal. Make use of the time you have and get closer to the goal than you were before you started. There is no time like the present.

The difference in a resolution and a goal - it's never too late to work on getting closer to our goals. Join with me and we'll  make a difference in our tomorrows. I like the way Paul, the author of Philippians put it:

Philippians 3: 12-16 (Message translation)
"I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. 

So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it."

This is actually a repost from 2010...some goals I've hit, some I haven't and I needed this reminder to refocus and try again!

Friday, January 1, 2016

You better not!

Today I am washing a load of clothes, possibly two! While any other day of the year that might seem like no big deal, it is New Year's Day and according to my mother washing clothes today is something you do NOT do! She's probably rolling over in her grave or fussing at me from heaven right now. But what ya gonna do? They were dirty and part of one of those loads contains a uniform that will be worn today and needed again tomorrow! Washing had to be done.

You see, according to my mom, you will cry as many tears during that year as you use water to wash clothes on New Year's Day. I'm pretty sure she was just trying to not have to wash clothes at least one day out of the year, but I've decided that if she was right, perhaps the tears I cry will simply be tears of joy. 

I seem to have a lot of superstitions that rule my life. Some were passed down, like having to eat black eyed peas and cabbage on New Year's Day, and some I have brought on my totally un-natural aversion to the number 6, but that is another story. 

Life is filled with a lot of different things passed down from one generation to the next. Some are really good - like faith. I am watching War Room today because one of the things I want to pass down to my children is true faith. Some other things are just...

Perhaps you have heard the story of the woman who cooked roast just the way her mother had done. She began by cutting off both ends, just like mama had done. One day her mother was there watching her prepare the meal and she happened to ask why her daughter was doing that. "Why, because it's the way YOU always did it." "Darlin," her mother replied, "that was because I didn't have a roasting pan big enough to fit it all in!" Sometimes we do things because we really don't understand at all.

Back to washing clothes. If I go by the superstition, I will either have to deal with dirty clothes or stay up past midnight to deal with things. Sometimes you've just got to do what needs to be done, no matter what tradition says. Maybe it's time to let go and just do what needs to be done, and I'm not just talking about laundry!

How about it? What "crazy" traditions do you have that have been passed down in YOUR family? Take time to comment...don't leave me out here with my crazy ideas all by myself!

Colossians 2:8-10The Message (MSG)

8-10 Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.