“I don’t know what all the fuss is about. That movie’s overrated.”
My words became a frustrated howl as my friend and I left the theater.
We’d watched a new film with four and five star reviews. And over the short weeks since its debut, everywhere I turned people raved, applauded even, as the movie to go see.
I know these things can be subjective. Still, I didn’t understand the fanfare or hoopla for this one. At first, my friend defended the movie’s awesome-ness.
But finally a confession about the lead actor. “I’m his number one fan.” Then my friend admitted she’d seen better movies. But when we’re smitten and awestruck, our affections remain rock-solid.
Life offers a plethora of stuff to go crazy over. Misplaced affections steer us to overrate people and things. Besides movies, I’ll mention a few more scenarios perhaps you’ll relate to.
October 27, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Uncategorized
Do you have memories tied to an experience? Accidents, trauma, and even celebration often trigger a mental image and thoughts associated with the event. Here’s one of those events cemented in the recesses of my mind.
By Karen Friday
Southern gals know how to make gravy. It’s one of those unspoken prerequisites for coming of age in the south and getting married to a Southern guy.
Types of gravy come in the boatfuls—you’ve heard of the “gravy boat.” Red-eye gravy. Chocolate gravy. I’m referring to breakfast gravy, usually sausage-flavored, poured over piping-hot Southern biscuits.
For 20 years my husband, Mike, served as a youth pastor. He is now lead pastor of our church. Mike grew up on Southern gravy, as did I. Many of our pastor friends often discuss whether there is food in heaven and if it’s Southern favorites like pinto beans and cornbread . . . and gravy!
As a good Southern gal and pastor’s wife, I learned how to make gravy early on in our marriage. Over the years, I have made Southern gravy countless times, mostly on Saturdays.
October 20, 2016 at 8:30 am | Uncategorized
Reposting this article from last year. With present world events and the disarray in America, my soul aches for peace.
By Karen Friday
“I’m praying for you to have peace which surpasses all understanding.”
My heart meant well. I’d talked and prayed about this kind of peace umpteen times for friends and loved ones.
But it became my go-to thing to say. What a good pastor’s wife should say. For me it turned trite. Yet, I soon discovered it goes deeper and it’s more substantial than I’d imagined.
I stated the peace-words to Cory, a friend who faced surgery the next day.
The Best Available
As I sat in the surgical waiting room, I typed these thoughts on my phone. My husband, Cory’s pastor, was there beside me. While we waited, her family carried a hint of the anxious unknown.
I’ve read about this peace in the Bible. Honestly, I’ve never totally got it. I just knew that if it surpasses all understanding, it must be good. The best peace available.
October 13, 2016 at 10:44 am | Uncategorized
When our kids were young, teaching opportunities presented themselves around certain words. “Hell” was one of those words.
Like this example.
Megan and I curled up with a book on each end of the couch. Only five-years-old, Megan already loved books. One-year-old Caleb decided he would spend the afternoon exercising his legs. And have a little fun to boot.
Pulling up at my end, Caleb side-stepped the length of the couch and tapped Megan’s book. He made the trip back to me, tapped my book, then on to the other end.
It quickly became a game. Side-step. Tap book. Repeat.
I smiled at Caleb giving him that Momma-sees-you look. Megan continued to ignore her little brother until one too many book taps met her last nerve. And there wasn’t time to exchange greetings.
“Caleb, what the Hades do you want?!” Except she used the word that means the opposite place of heaven.
“Megan, that’s not nice…not at all. Where did you hear that word?”
Megan responded in a frustrated howl as if to make her Sunday School teacher proud. “The preacher says it all the time.”
Sunday School Lessons on Hell
Oh, you better believe another Sunday School lesson took place right there in our living room…on a weekday.
October 6, 2016 at 11:09 am | Uncategorized
I’m excited to introduce a guest writer today. I know you’ll enjoy Lori’s words and heart.
By Lori Roeleveld
No one should have to walk on eggshells around people who can walk on water. That’s what I think.
There are Christians who are sensitive to the Holy Spirit and then there are touchy religious people who take offense at every turn. Which we are, is largely up to us.
I once met with a group of writers who love writing but don’t follow Jesus. I learned from them and we enjoyed one another’s work. One night, we discussed a scene from one of my novels. An older writer asked why I didn’t have the veteran detective swear. I summarized the standards of Christian publishers for fiction. When I concluded, she looked at me with honest concern and asked, “Wow, exactly how fragile are you people?”
I agree with many of the standards we have for Christian writing – not for fear of offending anyone – but because I believe excellent writers can transcend trashy words, gratuitous gore, and blatant sex scenes. Christian writers, made in the image of God who is THE Word, should be the most excellent of all writers. No doubt.
September 29, 2016 at 8:30 am | Uncategorized
I spent the first fifteen years of my life wondering why the world didn’t make sense. So, I wished for fairy tales.
Surely everyone was mistaken. Adults, teachers, and story books—maybe they’re all wrong. Maybe fairy tales do exist. Oh, I wanted it be true.
Looking back, a state of emergency should have been declared on my young soul.
I wrestled with the daunting thought that true love and goodness would never make an appearance except in my dreams. Every fiber in me wanted to believe that one day they would show up and show up big.
But circumstances continued to relay contrary and sobering thoughts. It’s all a myth.
When good memories tear away like pieces plucked from your heart, you’re apprehensive.
I could not open myself up to be let down any longer. So, I constructed towering walls to protect my heart and affections. A fortress no one could penetrate. Committed to never be fooled again by hope in people who don’t deliver.
Dreaming of Fairy Tales
A handsome prince and a princess—a maiden lovely in form and beauty. The knight in shining armor. And a magical kingdom where wishes really do come true.
September 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Uncategorized
Is integrity possible on social media?
I absolutely get the whole First Amendment right to express our thoughts and opinion. And, we all have one—an opinion, that is, about most issues.
Whether you’re looking to put your best foot forward for prospective employers or find quality friends. Or maybe you value true integrity and character in the midst of a culture that’s gone half mad.
Social media is the biggest platform to showcase you.
But for Christ-followers, shouldn’t we make every effort to conduct our lives based on the example of Jesus?
Everything? Every heart motive—the deepest nook and cranny. And every jot and tittle of our written words.
“A jot is the name of the least letter of an alphabet or the smallest part of a piece of writing. A tittle, rather appropriately for a word which sounds like a combination of tiny and little, is smaller still. It refers to a small stroke or point in writing or printing.” (More origin at the Phrase Finder.)
The phrase is found in Scripture.
September 15, 2016 at 10:45 am | Uncategorized
Grief is not a state but a process—like a walk in a winding valley with a new prospect at every bend. ~ C. S. Lewis
I’m not an expert on grief.
Instead, I relay my personal experience in walking through the process of utter sorrow. A path of darkness I have trod. Or maybe it’s more truthful to say I kicked and screamed the whole way.
You see, I never wanted to learn how to deal with sorrow or grief. No one sets out to intentionally sign up for the class.
Still, sooner or later, we’re all enrolled. Sometimes sitting side by side trying to figure out how we go on. Wondering if there’s any hope that lies on the other side of the path. And do we really ever graduate with flying colors?
Today, I had another topic prepared to publish. A lighter and less dark topic. But in the early morning hours, I sensed God’s leading to change my plans.
Grief, a part of life.
A conversation. “But Lord. Just a few weeks ago I wrote about loss in my own life.” (God’s Love and Mercy Will Cease When Pigs Fly.)
He reminded me. That was then, this is now. There are new burdens My children carry.
September 8, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Uncategorized
By Mike and Karen Friday
Is marriage a mystery?
Mike, my husband and pastor, recently taught a series, My Happy Family. It included one of the most powerful messages I’ve ever heard on marriage.
And unless you have the marriage thing totally figured out—which is doubtful. I hope my favorite takeaways from the series and some of my own thoughts provide you with helpful insight.
Takeaway #1. Look for someone who is running to God.
September 1, 2016 at 9:39 am | Uncategorized
Purpose in Our Pain, by Dr. Michelle Bengston
I’m excited to welcome my friend and author, Michelle, as a guest writer today. Giveaway details about her new book will be announced at the end of this post.
Tears of Pain
The auditorium was alive with the worship of thousands of women who had come to receive a fresh encounter with God that weekend. Each hungry and in need of more of Him, but corporately their voices meshed into a beautiful chorus of symphonic praise that must have delighted His heart.
It was dark high up in the balcony where I was seated, save for the lights reflecting from the stage many levels below. I was ready to receive whatever He had for me that weekend at our church’s annual women’s conference. Snuggled in the midst of 5000 of my closest female friends, we were all ready for a fresh encounter with Him.
August 25, 2016 at 9:00 am | Uncategorized