Bono and The Message. Worlds collide.

When I first found The Message version of the Bible, the whole thing came alive for me.

There are so many translations but this version, by Eugene Peterson, is my favorite.  My Bible actually has the NIV version next to the Message  so it’s the best of both worlds.  As you know, I love writing and reading and words so now I have the Amplified Bible too – just to see the different words for each passage.  We also have the ESV and the King James and a bunch of study Bibles and well, you get the point.

There is a lot of chatter out there on this topic.  I have no interest in debating with the scholars.  I just know that in reading the Message, it has felt like God was sitting with me in my living room.  It has felt like He is in my marriage and my parenting and my worry and my loneliness and my laughter.  No longer was this a book to sit on a shelf and never be opened.  This was a living, breathing, manual for life.  These words were leaping off the page into my heart and found me shouting yes! yes! like Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch.  Minus the crazy.

No these words are not crazy.  They are true.  They are not only for the past, they are for NOW.  These words are alive and transformative and centering.  These words scream “YOU ARE NOT ALONE”.  These words comfort and heal and give hope and usher in peace and bring tears and laughter and wonder.

Words are so important.

The other day I learned that the word “repent” can be translated as “return” and that pretty much changed my life. No joke. This feels like it needs a whole other blog post or maybe a book.  But if we just encouraged everyone to see the word “repent” – when Jesus says it, when the church says it – if we could replace that word with “return”, think of the difference.  It’s not repent because you are terrible and awful and horrible.  It’s return to Jesus and His path and the truth.  It’s not you are doomed and miserable- it’s not a scary, depressing word…it’s you’ve just wandered away…it’s time to return.  See? It’s hope and expectation and promise and reconciliation.

Amen?

One of our required reading books for Holy Yoga is written by Eugene Peterson and it’s a guide to reading scripture.  So he’s one of my favorites.  I picture him sitting down translating the entire Bible so more people can feel the Word come alive.  The work. The time. The commitment.  Thank you Eugene Peterson for your obedience.

One of my personal missions in life is to recognize the Word of God, the truth of God, the LOVE of God in today.  In the here and now.  In our conversations and our jobs and our parenting and our relationships and our art.   Music is big for me and this conversation between Bono and Eugene Peterson just blew me away.  It’s like all the worlds I love collided.

When I think of Bono, I can’t help but remember when a friend was at the U2 concert and she called me and just held the phone up and then screamed, “Bono is God!” into the phone.  It makes me laugh. Honestly, he’s pretty cool but not God.  I do love the way he worships on stage and the way he honors God with his music.

Looks like I’m not the only one inspired by The Message.  Enjoy this.

©  2016 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big YES™  All Rights Reserved

Trying a new thing – Great Big YES video!


Okay friends, bear with me…I just made a video.  I had something I wanted to “say” and I wasn’t sure I could write it down.  I wanted to just say it.  It has me thinking about the art of writing and the art of speaking and why sometimes speaking to me just feels more authentic.

Anyway, here’s the video.  Which I just watched and now, honestly… I’m considering podcasts…

©Sue Bidstrup, 2016  All Rights Reserved  Great Big Yes™

The Mirror Moment

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I don’t know anymore.

I hear them say the country is going to hell in a hand basket. And I think but God…

I listen to reports of protesting and fear and anger. People imagining a particular outcome is certain doom. And I think but God….

I hear of church corruption and abuse and people hurt by those they trusted for guidance. And I think but God…

I learn about sex trafficking and horrible dark crimes happening on the sunny streets near me. And I think but God…

We can wrap ourselves in anxiety and agree to be victims. We can get worked up and forget that we belong to each other. We can dehumanize others so we can easily hate and call it just. But God…

God says we are victorious. He says we are beloved. He assures us we are enough. He implores us to not be afraid. He tells us to be bold and courageous and kind.

Jesus teaches us to love our neighbor as ourself.

So first, love yourself. Call yourself worthy. Look in the mirror. Take a good long look and get right with that person. Hurt people hurt people. Heal your hurt. Invite the Lord in to minister to your heart. Get free.

Listen to the soft whisper of grace and dance in the cool breeze of freedom. Then don’t forget it. Return to the well for Living Water. Every day. Every minute. You will need it. Drench yourself in the Spirit of God. Stay free.

Remember that every single soul on earth needs that same mirror moment. Trump. Sanders. Clinton. Cruz. Rubio. Kasich. Just like you. And the supporters of all of them. They are not the devil. They are human. They need God. They long for Hope. They hunger for peace. Offer peace. And kindness and grace. Offer to others what you have been so freely given.

We can’t see God’s actual hand of protection and love and provision in these political discussions but we can see and hear YOU. How are you representing that soft whisper of grace and that cool breeze of freedom?

Don’t just talk about what you want. Be what you want. Show others what’s possible. No fear. Just love. We need you. Go ahead…Lead.

©2016 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes ™ All Rights Reserved