Monday, January 24, 2011

Why I don't wear crucifixes (or Hey, Jesus get down off of that cross)

You've probably seen them before, those big and overly ornate crosses in churches. You may even have one in your own home. Gilt with gold, maybe some semi precious stones and a good coat of lacquer to give it that sparkly sheen... And there's poor Jesus hanging on it, looking like He just lost His best friend. While they may be beautiful to look at (which even that is debatable in my opinion); since my conversion for lack of better term, they have always bothered me.

They don't bother me because I deny the miracle of His sacrifice for me. I find it completely amazing and quite often overwhelming that He would such a thing for little old me. Not because I am repulsed by the sight of an artists rendition of Him, though I do hate to think of Him suffering because of my mess ups. What I am bothered by is the idea of commemorating the myth that He stayed up there. HE DIDN'T!

He died an unnatural and painful death at the hands of His accusers on behalf of His creation, but He did not stay that way. That's the miracle of the crucifixion and resurrection. It is a fact that Jesus died. His heart stopped beating, His lungs stopped taking in air. But you can't keep a good man down. He lives! He walked the Earth following the brutal death He suffered.

I have often thought "Why don't we wear empty tombs on chains? Or maybe a rock symbolizing the stone that was rolled away." I have seen a flame on a necklace before, symbolizing the Holy Spirit and I really liked that!I do not have disdain for the cross. I have cross necklaces, and I wear them. But you will not find a graven image of Jesus on that cross around my neck. I consider it my personal reminder of His triumph over death. Just some food for thought.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snowpocalpyse Now

Holy moly, it has been a long couple of days completely iced in here in Georgia. And to top it all off, my mood suddenly went south, maybe for the winter. Do you ever have that happen? Where things are just trucking along and every thing's fine and then WHAM, grump city? I hate when that happens and I can't explain it. When I get irritable in traffic, it's understandable. If I feel frustrated waiting at the doctor's office, I get it. But now? Nothing is wrong, but my nerves get raw and any little thing can aggravate the crap out of me.

So how do you break that funk? How do you peek through the clouds that loom overhead and see the sun? No really, I'm looking for an answer here.

Well one thing I try to do is think about things to be thankful for. Let's try that.

Today I am thankful for my new Serendipity Bible I got at Lifeway. It is a Bible designed specifically for small groups. It contains discussion questions, reading plans, study lessons and lots more. A friend of mine suggested it and I am so glad I found it. I checked Books-A-Million, but they did not have it, nor could they even order it. I thought that was kind of strange being such a major business. However, the girl working suggested Lifeway and even offered to find the phone number for me which I thought was excellent customer service.

I am also thankful for my brother who I get to see Saturday!! I can't wait. This whole "him living in Florida" thing is tough. We have always been a close knit family. Although growing up I was the mean big sister and he was the annoying little brother, we actually like each other now. I am not digging seeing him only every couple of months. But alas, he and his lovely bride made the decision best for their family, so I will enjoy the time I get with them!

Aww, look a that. A little bit of rambling and I am in a better mood. And you came along for the ride. Most of my blogs I try to have a point, this one.... not so much! See ya later for now, maybe next time I'll have something important to say... or not... we'll see.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lord willin

If you ever met my Nana and spent any length of time talking to her, odds are you would have heard that phrase at least once. I always just thought it was a cute Southern way of saying "Maybe". I'd say "I'll see you for dinner". And her response was "Lord willin". But tonight I had a revelation, where most revelations happen for me... in the bathroom. I decided to begin reading James chapter 4 for next weeks small group discussion. I got all the way to verse 13-16 and BAM! God hit me upside the head (as He has been known to do) with a bit of wisdom from Nana. 

"13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. "

All those years, Nana would always say "Lord willin" when making plans for dinner, or family functions or even making the next phone call to check on me. For so long I really paid it no attention, But tonight I realized the importance of those two words. It was more than a catch phrase for her. It was a verbal reminder to herself that her life was in God's hands. It was a daily submission to His will for her life. She knew that the One who created her, had ordained all the days of her life and she understood the importance of not allowing her own plans to interfere with that. 

Those two simple words that always flew right under my radar, tonight suddenly had new meaning. I had always known my Nana to be a firm believer in the Lord. I knew that she and Jesus were BFFs. I asked her once what the most important day of her life was, she without hesitation answered "The day I accepted Christ". But I never understood the discipline she had of humbling herself to His will and the dedication that takes. 

My Nana has since passed away. And I haven't been able to hear her say that in over a year. But here's the cool part. Her life left an imprint on mine. And now, even after she has gone home, she is still teaching me to be the woman God wants me to be. She lived her life as an example that I will forever be grateful for. God used her words to lay a seed in my heart that tonight began to bloom. All I had to do was turn to His word. His Living Water sparked growth in that seed she planted that lay dormant until now. She lives on in my memories and Lord willin I will see her again!