It’s FRIDAY & the Sex and the City movie comes out today!!! I already have my ticket and can hardly sit still in my seat. Tiffany even made me an awesome Carrie-like flower to wear to the premier! I’m going in style baby.
Unfortunately, this little HBO series from which I derive so much entertainment is somewhat controversial in church. Many call it “Smut in the City” and so I’m left with this dilemma…to watch or not to watch??
The characters are highly entertaining, the script is witty, the storyline is captivating, and the nudity is more comical than anything else. Maybe I am just trying to justify my little guilty pleasure – maybe you’re judging me right now! Who knows, but let’s just say, I’m going to see it and I’m sure I’m going to love it.
It’s so easy for me to look at people with addictions and judge them. It’s likely that we all have addictions that we need to break free from…some people’s addictions are just more visible.
Example: an addiction to drugs or alcohol outwardly hurts an individual alot more than an addiction to food or shopping. But inside….someone struggling with addiction to food or shopping could be hurting just as bad.
We overlook gluttony in the church and yet crucify the drug addicts and alcoholics. We are all addicted to something – yes, mine is food and shopping – yours might be video games and pornography.
An addiction is an addiction…whether you can hide it well or whether it’s tearing your family apart. I hate addictions and it’s time we break free from them – ALL OF THEM….the ugly addictions, the secret addictions, the “acceptable” addictions and the common addiction.
Just because some addictions have different consequences, that doesn’t make them more acceptable. Being a glutton doesn’t make you an unfit mother, but being a drug addict does – does that make gluttony more acceptable?
I guess the question is…do you believe that all sin is the same in God’s eyes?
If it’s the same in God’s eyes…is it the same in your eyes?
I’ll tell you what I think after I get some of your comments…
We were honored to have R.T. Kendall speak at our church yesterday. He gave a simple but impactful message yesterday: FORGIVE YOURSELF
Just as you should not come to worship God with unforgiveness in your heart towards other people…you cannot come to the throne with unforgiveness in your heart against yourself.
Everyday, I seem to beat myself up for something – I feel alot of guilt when I don’t do things right. I read alot of blogs of other people that also beat themselves up. The most impactful thing R.T. Kendall said was:
When you do not forgive yourself, you do not honor the blood that Jesus shed for you. You are telling Jesus that you have no confidence in his blood. You must trust that the blood is enough.
What a challenge – to just let myself off of the hook – POOF…just like that. Here is an interesting insight about forgiving yourself though:
Forgiving yourself does not justify your sin.
Well, I did it. I forgave myself yesterday. I forgave myself today too. I’m pretty sure I’m going to forgive myself tomorrow too. Do you need to forgive yourself?
Today is an exciting day. The promotions department at Zondervan contacted me to read and review some upcoming books on my blog. This is really unexpected. I’m so excited to dig in and let you guys know about some new releases. (I even received a manuscript today…how cool is that!?!?!)
I’m so honored to even be considered to do something like this. I love reading…I love writing…so let’s get ready to rumble!
This year has been filled with unexpected loss. Mark and I lost our first baby. Teresa lost her dad. Pastors Ben & Holly lost their jobs. We lost Pastors Ben & Holly. Steven Curtis Chapman lost his daughter.
There’s a difference between loss…and unexpected loss. The kind of loss that blindsides you right when life seems so perfect – too perfect maybe. Pastor Ben spoke with great boldness last night as he told us that he would no longer lead Catalyst. He spoke about the great people of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11. How did they become great people of faith – through unexpected loss and constant belief that God will still provide a way.
Mark wrote a song about our unexpected loss. Incidentally, he finished it the day Teresa’s dad passed away, and he played it for the first time when Pastor Ben shared his news and also the day that Steven Curtis Chapman’s daughter was killed.
When he played the song last night, people started weeping, shouting, clapping, and kneeling before God (this was before they even heard Pastor Ben’s news) – me included.
I am so amazed at my friends. My heart is so overwhelmed by their kindness, love, thoughtfulness and generosity. Here are some things my friends did for me this month:
- Tiffany (my best friend in the whole wide world), stayed up and watched countless hours of reality TV with me. She had already seen all of the shows, but I didn’t. So, she watched everything AGAIN…just for me
- Jonas gave Mark & I tremendous advice and wisdom on many issues
- Brie gave me her prized Guess purse! It is the most beautiful purse I’ve ever owned and she just gave it to me with no pretenses…out of pure love
- Kate & Dustin stayed out until midnight on a weekday talking with me and Mark about life…just talking and it was great
- Teresa let me vent and shared amazing Godly advice in a time of need for me.
- Mel skipped her dance class to come to my house for Cinco de Mayo…that was a huge sacrifice for her
- Josh took Mark to church so I could sleep in 20 more minutes on Sunday morning
- Hoshi helped me with the grocery shopping while I was home sick
- Sean encouraged me with my new song and he showed me his new song (it’s awesome by the way)
- Shelly listened to my stories of how I really found God at DU
As you can see, I’m so blessed. Take a look around you and treasure the people God has put in your life. Once I started thinking about this list, I could only think of one or two things. I almost overlooked some very impactful situations (I’m sure I still missed some), but the point is to not take for granted what God has given you. Even the most simple conversation or a friend listening to you is a blessing. I don’t know what I would do without these people in my life.
Pastor Aaron, the amazing leader of Elevate, held a “Why We Worship” class yesterday. We do one of these classes every month, and it’s the highlight of my month.
He said a few things that challenged me (deep in my heart) and shook my core:
- What we do on Sunday [worship leading from the stage], should just be an expression of how we live everyday.
- It is NOT okay to hate someone because they are unrighteous.
- A key to loving other people is that we don’t care if we are loved back.
- There’s NO justification for not loving people (not even if they are the crazy people at church that won’t shut up or the jerk that just cut you off while driving!)
Chew on that! Also read what happened at Jenni’s church yesterday…good stuff. I love when Jenni recaps stuff she reads and sermons she hears.
What did you get to chew on yesterday????