Monthly Archives: August 2016

Dish by Dish

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Anne Lamott, wrote a witty book about the writing life called, Bird by Bird. She tells the story of how her brother had an assignment about birds due the next day, but he’d procrastinated, so he was overwhelmed. His father told him, “Just take it bird by bird, buddy, bird by bird.”IMG_7151

My young daughter stood in front of a heap of dishes in the sink and asked me, “How am I ever going to do all these?” I heard myself tell her, “Just take it dish by dish, baby girl. Dish by dish.”100_9780

As I walked away, I pondered how universal and cliché’ that concept truly is. It can be applied to virtually any task or goal. Rome wasn’t built in a day. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

We just have to start. If we simply focus on the next thing, rather than the whole avalanche behind it, we progress. Nike says “Just do it.” My mother says, “Just do something.” I say, “Do the next thing.”

Jesus is the King of calm. He didn’t run down to the river Jordan all rattled and bark at John to hurry up and baptize him because he had to get to the desert and deal with the devil already.IMG_6739

He didn’t spend three years stressing about the cross. He moved gracefully to the wilderness. He dealt with each temptation as it came. He addressed the devil with the Word. Verse by verse.

I homeschool year by year. I plan meals night by night. I write word by word. I even gain weight bite by bite by bite by bite.

Jesus didn’t borrow troubles from tomorrow. He knew each day had enough of its own. Instead, He prayed, and obeyed. He guarded His heart. He stayed busy doing good and going about His Father’s business. Mission by mission.

So I’m gonna try and do the same. He knows what’s best after all. Day by day. Task by task. Pray and obey. I will do the next thing and trust that He is growing me from glory to glory.beach pics (266)

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Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27

We all need help. Yesterday, m01-IMG_3709y dear friend needed mine. She was in a spot and needed my hands to help guide her own. All I had to do was shuffle paper and books and sort through piles. Box up, organize, delegate.

Because it wasn’t my stuff, it was easy, refreshing and inspiring to unbury her. She got relief and I got recharged. That was the most I’ve felt like the “body of Christ” in years. I’m tired of church hunting. I want to be the church.

Trying on churches is frustrating. It shouldn’t be so difficult to find a home base. Why can’t churches just teach the Word and leave man made religion out of it? Why can’t we 100_8979focus on Jesus and His finished work at the cross rather than mingling law and grace?

Why do so many churches focus on light shows and flashy music? Don’t get me wrong, I love good music. I don’t have a problem with lighting. But mostly, I want anointed music that glorifies Jesus, not sin focused boohooing about my failures and how desperate I am. I want to lift Him up, magnify His name, see Him in every element of the service.
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I don’t want Kung Fu taught to my kids in Sunday school. I don’t want them watching TV or getting so much candy that I have to fill their mouths with metal. They don’t need sugary bribes to memorize the Word or to remember to bring their Bibles. I don’t want them bullied while teenage assistants text, or chat in corners, instead or doing their job. Children don’t need jungle gyms or game rooms. Why do we think Sunday school needs to be a cross between Chuckie Cheese and a night club? They don’t. Jesus is more than enough.IMG_5753

Why must we sit in the service wishing they wouldn’t guilt trip us about serving and tithing? It’s not about works! Please dear Pastors, give us more Jesus, more Word, not judgment. Not condemnation. Don’t shame us into serving. Give us Jesus!

He is the one who motivates us to fund missions, work in the nursery or stock the food pantry. Seeing the loveliness of our Lord Jesus unveiled in the Old, and New Testaments, naturally results in good deeds. Understanding His lavish grace floods our souls with compassion and a desire to sow our time, love and money.

But please, don’t mix law and grace. Don’t teach grace one week just to nullify it the next by a lecture on the law. Jesus fulfilled the law. The law was given to show us our need for a Savior. It’s not about what we can do for Him. It’s about Him and what He did for us. I09-IMG_8693f we could live in victory by our own works, we wouldn’t need saving.

I want to plug into a church where Jesus is the main thing and we keep the main thing the main thing. I’ve had enough churchiness. I’ve had enough of worldliness. And I sure don’t need a worldly church. Or shame based sermons. Just give me Jesus. He is more than enough.

MORE THAN ENOUGH