Picture Perfect Christian Expectations

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

The Pastor certainly wasn’t friendly or cheerful. Didn’t look me in the eye, or even notice me when I walked by – though I was the only person in the entire open lobby! It wasn’t what I expected from someone in leadership. It was a Southern Baptist Church, but they turned the lights low, didn’t sing any hymns, and baptized people in Tshirts rather than robes. It wasn’t what I expected from that denomination. Her spiked heels, brightly dyed hair and perfect makeup seemed over the top, and yet, she skillfully delivered Biblical truth with such love and passion that the room full of teen girls was captivated the entire hour. It wasn’t what I expected from someone so put-together as her. The small church nestled in the heart of town seemed so conservative with their hymns, choir, and organ. Yet their old fashioned ways were set aside to allow a woman to teach Sunday School. It wasn’t what I expected to encounter there. The teacher wore jeans and a Tshirt on the stage, knowing the program would be televised, and he even used questionable language that could be considered cursing, and yet the glory of God filled that church … Read More

Prepare for Impact

Rosalynn LasleyFaithLeave a Comment

impact

Each of us have someone in the past, as well as in the present that have made an impact in our lives.  Some have had (or are currently having) an impact in small ways, some in large ways.  Some have impacted our lives in positive ways, and some in negative.  Some have impacted our lives in ways we had never imagined, and some in ways we will never ever forget.  Chances are that as you read this you’ve started mentally recalling a list of people who have previously and are currently impacting your life. But what about you? What about the impact you have in the lives of others? When you realize that you have a sphere of influence yourself, and you are currently impacting others around you it is both a powerful, and sobering thought.    What would other folks say your impact has been in their life?  Would you be surprised? Proud? Embarrassed? Ashamed? There may be some of us who would feel proud of the times where we made a positive difference in the lives of someone else. We might recall the times where we have given our all, in hopes it would make a difference.  There … Read More

Missing Gracie

Jewel ZymurgyTrialsLeave a Comment

I sit here in utter silence… Nothing in the way of distraction… Nothing keeping me away from listening to my heart… When I walk into the living room area I can still smell her scent on the blankets. In the quiet, my heart breaks for a surprising loss. I feel the emptiness of what used to be around me engulf my thoughts…and I miss her. I didn’t feel good…I felt wrecked. Broken enough to feel like the pain in my heart made me bow down physically, dragging myself as if there was an intense weight pulling me to the floor. To be honest, I didn’t even care to straighten myself up to stand tall. There was no want to look good and appear strong for anyone else. I felt lost and disconnected. My first inclination was to pull myself away from those people in my life who had been visual reminders of Jesus—and I definitely wanted to…though I know it is my pattern to pull away from others…so the harder thing for me was to reach out and not be alone. God help me to run to you. Psalm 55:22 – Cast your cares on the Lord and he will … Read More

How To Be Perfect—-ly Content

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

Every day, we hear subliminal messages about how we fall short. Everyone has a list of all the things we must do to succeed in life. If we don’t do all those things, we must be failing, right??? The internet is full of articles written by “experts” who claim to have more ways for you to strive to be perfect… 10 Things You Must Do with Your Child Today (Tomorrow Is Too Late!) 5 Things Healthy Couples Must Do (Those Who Only Do 4 Are Doomed for Misery) 54 Books Your Child Must Read (Or You Will Ruin Them Forever) 93 Foods That Are Killing You (Stop Eating Them or You Will Die Next Week) The “experts” are full of new information to save you from yourself. With each new article we read, we feel more like failures. Today, I was reading through a study guide for Vicki Courtney’s book, Move On. Vicki was talking about the pressure our culture places on us to appear perfect and flawless. We must have a perfectly decorated and organized home…just ask Pinterest. We must have beautiful children who pose for perfect pictures on dream vacations…just ask Facebook. In the middle of maintaining a … Read More

Lose YOUR Expectations

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

Today, over one hundred women will gather at the “Unchained” retreat hosted by Alaska Christian Women’s Ministry. Vicky Courtney will talk to us about breaking free from our expectations. In preparation, I have been thinking about how my expectations have caused issues in my life… Several years ago, we took a Spring break vacation to the Oregon coast. It was a six or seven hour drive from where we lived. I was itching to get out of town so we could start our vacation. (Although, I’m not sure how much vacation happens on a road trip with kids aged 3 months, 4 years, and 7 years!!) The night before we left, my husband reminded me that we were on VACATION and that he wanted to sleep in and get on the road at a leisurely pace. This rubbed my ”git-‘er-done” mindset the wrong way. In my mind, vacation didn’t start until we were out of town. In his mind, vacation started the night before when he got off work. When my husband voiced his expectations, it gave me the chance to get my expectations readjusted. There was nothing wrong with getting on road leisurely. There was nothing wrong with getting … Read More