WORDS

lorihoose:

Found this today and love it! Words: They matter!

Originally posted on FLOOPTASTIC:

Words whispered on a starlit night,

Words aglow in luminous light,

Words that wipe away my tears,

Words that dispel my darkest fears,

Words that encourage the hardest mile,

Words that call forth heart’s smile,

Words where mysteries coyly peer,

Words that carry me away from here,

Words that take and words that give,

Words I dream and breath and live.

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Liars Gonna Lie

Dealing with liars leaves me conflicted.

Am I supposed to allow them to lie to me, unchallenged?

Am I supposed to confront them with their lies?

If I try to gently restore them to the truth, how exactly would I go about doing that?

I know I should pray for them.

I keep hearing I’m supposed to hate the sin, but love the sinner.  I’m working on that.  I sense that I need to separate my feelings about their behavior from any actions I take, but that’s HARD to do.

I’m  not gonna lie to you, I have a problem with liars.

I have a problem respecting liars.

I have a problem with being a liar sometimes. Ugh!

It’s true: I am not always completely honest with others.  Brutal honesty doesn’t appeal much to me.  In fact, I’m not sure that I ever want to develop a taste for that kind of interaction with others.

Does that make me a liar?  Hmmm…

I, like others, find social convention demands I interact with grace in public situations, which sometimes means I cannot be completely honest in my impressions of and sharing with others.  A good thing, I think.  Certainly I feel it is a blessing when they are not completely honest with me about every impression they have of me.  Heavens, who wants to hear every thought someone else has about them?  Scary!

Let me say pretty emphatically that I think telling lies as a means of shielding one’s self from consequences in life is wrong.  It’s sin to me.  But do I believe that in every case, all the time?

Think Corrie Ten Boom. Think the Hiding Place. Is it wrong to lie to those who would take the truth I would tell them and hurt others because of it?

So many variables, and so much danger in granting ourselves too much wiggle room!

I am of the Wesleyan persuasion regarding how I approach faith and sin. That means I define sin as a deliberate act of rebellion connected to a known principle, rule, or command from God.  I see sin as willful disobedience…akin to the plot the religious leaders entered into when they colluded with Judas to betray Jesus and then handed him over to the Roman government to be beaten, murdered, and removed from public view.  They knew what they did was deliberate, hateful, and wrong (sin), but they did it anyway, because they “needed to/wanted to/had to” maintain the status quo so as to shield their reputations and power bases.  Easter having just passed, this act of rebellion (sin) is fresh in my mind, and therefore easily called upon to make my point.

While doing research today, I found some interesting food for thought on the Wesleyan definition of sin.  Maybe you’d like to check it out, especially if you are not Wesleyan and have never understood how they handle sin inside the confines of their faith journeys.  The writer of that post is Keith Drury, a VIP in Wesleyan circles and someone who can pretty much be depended upon to understand the Wesleyan definition of sin and communicate it to the public in trustworthy ways.

My problem:  Determining what is deliberate deceit, and what is a subconscious behavior that is so deeply mired in denial that it is not readily understood as deliberate by the one who uses it to get along in life.

For instance: Someone regularly withholds information from others (friends, family, co-workers), in order to maintain control over these others, and/or avoid fights or anger levied at them when they make “promises” they are unable to later keep.  Is that deliberate sin, or a bad habit?

Or this:  Someone regularly omits information until the timing is right for them to reveal it.  They are looking for an advantage in their communications, but not in a conscious way.  They have learned to watch what they say and limit their comments to times when tempers are less likely to flare.  I can see how this pattern would develop when one lives with an abuser, addict, or an alcoholic.  I can easily see this as a habit developed unwittingly. Not deliberate.

I guess I believe some people have been so shaped by life and their interactions with others that they lie pretty easily, and without realizing how insidious a sin it is or how much it hurts others who trust them to tell the truth.

I could go on and on talking about this today, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that I have a hard enough time trying to figure out what I ought to say and when I ought to say it/share it/reveal it, to want to avoid investing massive amounts of my time dissecting others lies and trying to figure good motives for why they devise them.  When they lie to me, though, that’s different. Then, I am ready to dig in my heels and fight the good fight to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

To be certain, separating the dirty liars from the accidental or occasional liars is hard work, in my opinion.

I want to close this epic post with these words from The Bible, that I was led to consider after a conversation with a friend today.  I think this is relevant to my inner dialogue regarding lying.

“But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.  And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.”  Jude 1:20-23  [emphasis, mine. ljh]

When have you found it hard to hate the lies, but love the liars?  Do you ever withhold information in an unconscious way?  Under what circumstances do you think it would be right to consciously withhold “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”

Control Issues

…prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 1 Peter 1:13

Taking action while maintaining self-control is a tall order for this gal some days.

As I ponder the discipline that is self-control, I ask myself, “Where is the balance between action and self-control?”

It’s tempting to push and shove my way through life, and to think that the type of action Scripture is asking me to take, but I haven’t found that type of action very satisfying.

It leaves me feeling guilty…

…feeling like I’ve been overly harsh and unbending with others.  I don’t wanna be that girl!

Plus, being “pushy” doesn’t work all that well for me most days.  It used to, but I’ve changed. Or others have changed. Or life on this rock has changed.

No, God has definitely changed my heart and the way I interact with the world around me.

When I’m pushy these days, I get frustrated.

I get tired.

So if God doesn’t want that for me, and I don’t believe He does, then what action is the Scripture suggesting I take.

Personal action, to improve me.

Today, Scripture asks me to focus on me. Control myself.

That suggests CHANGE to me.  Yikes!

It’s a tall order, cuz let’s face it, I’m pretty sure I’m okay the way I am. [written tongue in cheek, of course.]

Sarcastic Inner Lori now speaks:  “Sure you are, Lori.

Nothing needs tweaking here.

Nothing needs to be improved upon in your life.

You’re the best of the best of the best! Hoorah!!!”

And then I hear that still, small voice that I imagine Elijah heard in the dessert.  It’s saying:

“Maybe, just maybe, and I’m not commanding anything here…
Maybe, you could work on compassion.
Maybe, you could try walking a mile in “their” shoes.
Maybe, you could surrender a lil bit of your security, in order to pursue an adventure with Me.
Maybe, you could trust Me just a lil bit more, and you a lil bit less.”

Maybe I could!

Where are you making an effort to “let go and let God” in your life? What drives you to self-protect? What would you most like to relinquish to God today? Why?

All I Need

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  2 Cor 9:8

What a promise–What a Grace!

Can it be?  Is it true?

God promises that I will have His grace today, covering me in this stretching-it-pretty-thin place of life.

All grace, He says.  All grace, so that I can tackle all things with grace, at all times. 

He says I will not be left wanting.

He says my every need will be met with grace.

He says I can do those good works he prepared for me to do before time began, gracefully.

He says I don’t have to slither on the ground, or be crushed down, or hide in the thicket.

He says I can be visible.

He says I can be triumphant.

He says His grace will make it happen.

I doubt…

…and then He does!

Strikes of lightning flash across the cobalt sky.

Thunder claps shake tiles, nearly free.

Rain cascades, drowning the earth with nutrients.

Grace!

Intact…

Strong…

Eternal!

He says that today I will not be left wanting. I will have His grace and all that goes with it.

Lightning flashes of grace.

Thunder claps of grace.

House rattling grace.

Triumphant grace!!!

Does it look like weakness?

Get your God glasses on, girl.

It is something ELSE!!!

Saving GRACE!!!

How is God speaking grace into your life today?  How are you overcoming because of Him?  How has He become your bridge to forever?  Do tell. 

Music Monday-Lord, I’m Ready Now

Are you ready?
Ready to quit holding onto spiritual poverty?
Ready to quit the blame game?
Ready to lift up holy hands?
Ready to turn the HARD in your life over to Him?

Are you ready, or do you need a lil more misery to seep into your existence before you can really let go of what’s holding you down, keeping you captive?

Are you ready?

Fortnight Fitness Challenge

I think I’m ready for another fitness challenge of my own making. This time, its one that involves exercise.

It’s beginning to look like spring in NEPA, so time to get outside and get my walk on. Despite the mud puddles and the deer ticks (yes, we have found one on our clothes already), I’m up for this challenge, mostly because it means I get to bring a significant other along with me on the walking trails.

000walking

May 2015 Fortnight Fitness Challenge

Here’s the specs for this fitness challenge…

The challenge: Walk 30-60 minutes each day

Duration:  two weeks

Starting Date:  May 1st

Stipulation:  You must have a walking partner with you to count.

Prize: TBD, will be announced before challenge begins.

I hope my partner for this challenge will most often be my hubs, but it could be any one who wants to move more in May. I will be posting to my facebook page the days when I will be walking in the valley and other locales.  When I do, consider yourself invited to join me for my walk.

If you want to be a part of this walking challenge, add a comment below.  I’ll post more info as the challenge start date approaches.

Together, we get better! 

Family

One of the things I learned early in life was to cherish family ties.

Like any family, members of our family fight from time to time.

We disagree.

We argue.

We get miffed with each other, but we also rejoice in each others company.

Hard times come…

Somehow we get through them.

We forgive.

We grow together.

We grow closer.

We stay close, because we are all we have in this world, save Jesus.

And that is enough.

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mini mes

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Aaron andMe

Family Photo spring 2014

our two janes

our two janes

Gibber Jabberer

Gibber Jabberer

My uncle draws this stuff

My uncle draws this stuff

family photo in our front yard

The Trout Family

The Trout Family

Family Photo

Family Photo