Pagan Rituals

On my wedding day, I was talking to my childhood priest about the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” thing.  I asked him where it came from.  His response?  “Pagan ritual”. He said this with a chuckle and a twinkle in his eye.  Not with condemnation or fear or judgment.

He’s also the same guy that when I asked him about evolution vs. creation, he told me they are not mutually exclusive.  Recently, there has been a lot of talk on the internet about the Pope and his saying basically this same thing.  People are calling it “progressive” and “provocative”.  I don’t know, I guess I’m just wondering what’s so provocative about it?

This same childhood priest summed it up for me when I was a teenager.  I had exhausted him with my questions and my wondering and my eagerness to know…he looked right at me and with all seriousness said, “This is good. We really don’t want you to check your brain at the door.  Keep asking questions.”

There was no fear in his response.  There was no need to control.  He did not need to defend or condemn or throw stones.  I look back now and I’m so grateful.  I don’t know but it seems that he was so comfortable in his faith and in God that he did not fear the big questions.  Why would he?

However, this is not how all leaders and teachers and preachers and people roll.  I wonder sometimes when “Christians” are spouting out fear and judgment…what exactly are they afraid of?

Either we believe God is sovereign over all things or we don’t.

That’s it.

Now go love people.

P.S. It’s so much more fun to love people with a chuckle and a twinkle in your eye.

 

billy graham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On that same note…

As you know, I have been transformed by God through the ministry of Holy Yoga.  I love to share Holy Yoga with people because I have found freedom through Christ through Holy Yoga…freedom of body, mind and spirit. Of course, it’s not the only way…it’s not for everyone…but it’s one way and God has used it for His Glory! I love that quote that says, “A Christian is just one beggar telling another beggar where he found the bread.”  Amen?  When we find Jesus we find hope and joy and peace and love and acceptance and forgiveness…we cannot and should not keep that to ourselves!!

But here’s the thing.  Some people can’t get past the word, “yoga”.  They just can’t.  They say it’s evil, “Eastern”, Hindu, Buddhist, pagan…they don’t know what it is but they cannot believe that it can be holy.  They fear it.

What are they afraid of?

Either we believe God is sovereign over all things or we don’t.

This video is a great analogy.  If you just replace the “chinese food” with “yoga” it’s the same argument.  It’s meant to be funny obviously so I hope you chuckle. (I repeat…it’s meant to be sarcastic and funny. It’s okay to laugh.)

Also, Kirk Cameron is easy on the eyes. Always has been. :) You’re welcome.

 

The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.     -Psalm 24:1

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. -Romans 8:28 (The Voice)

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

Are you Willing?

lead me

 

Amen?

Or no?

Do we really want to say this? Do we really believe this? Because I just got moved to Austin. I say, “got moved” because that is how it feels. I feel God’s hand moving me. And my family. And my dog. And now I’m searching for a place to board the dog so we can go “home” to visit.

When will we stop calling it “home”?

Maybe it’s not a physical move.  Maybe God’s moving you internally.  Personally. Maybe relationally.

One of our big prayers at Holy Yoga is, “God, show me me.”  When we pray this, we have to be ready, right? I mean, who knows what He will show us? We can be sure that what He reveals, He will heal. So we enter in, unafraid.

Right?

Not so right.

It’s really scary to be revealed. We spend most of our lives trying to hide. Even in our bravado or our need to be relevant and fabulous…even when we are “out there” with our bold selves, even then…it’s sorta fake right?

We learn what is appropriate to reveal, we learn what society sees as acceptable weakness…we show the world our sometimes false humility as we admit our shortcomings…the ones we know aren’t “so bad” and then we pat ourselves on the back for being humble.  We stop there because going deeper is not polite and people are like, “keep that stuff to yourself” and “TMI” and we look around going…this is all just really fake and weird and my mask is starting to hurt…so we turn to God and ask Him, “What’s the deal here?” and He starts to show us…us.

The shallow, fake kind of revealing is not what God does.  It’s not the kind of unveiling that happens when we ask God…our creator…the One who knows every hair on our head…the only One who understands our every thought, need, whim, fault, sin…when we ask Him for revelation, it is SCARY.

And not.

Because He never leaves.

You know how with people, you can ask for truth and then become so defensive, you decide to sever the relationship?  It’s easier to walk away from the relationship than to face the truth.  So we leave.  And others leave.  Because it’s just too messy to stay.

God’s not like that.

He stays, waits, reveals, peels the layers back gently, speaks Truth, holds us, loves us, stays in the mess so He can save us from ourselves. He makes the scary safe.

In Yoga, there is so much that comes up for people because they are in a space of really listening and bringing awareness to their bodies and their minds and souls.  This is terrifying for some people because honestly, they may not be ready to be revealed or healed.  That’s why many people run from yoga.  They say they don’t sweat enough or they need more cardio or it’s not enough of a work out or they can’t be still that long or they are “bored”.  Sometimes those things are true and they should just go for a run.  Other times, I believe a lot of these arguments come from an unwillingness to go deep.  A fear of revelation of self.  The best thing about Holy Yoga is that when revelation of self comes, we have a Savior that guides us through it.  We don’t need to just “give it up” to the “universe”, we have a mighty conquering all powerful God who can take it.  He says, “Here it is…take a look…now give it back to me…I’ve got strong shoulders…I can handle it.”

We can lay it down friends. That’s why it’s no longer scary…We are not alone.

He initiates change in us.  Once he grabs ahold of our hearts, we can’t stay the same.  It’s not possible.

My friend, Clare, sent me this song when I found out I was moving and it just resonated with me so much.

(I want to share with you and found this video but it goes a little long for my tastes. If you need to cut it short, 3:00 is a good spot to end it.) 

 

Sometimes we don’t even know where we are going or what is happening but we know we are being called to something new…internally and sometimes externally…He is calling us to move.

Where is He leading you?

Will you go?

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

Go ahead, surprise me…

Since I’m a blogger, I really want to write about everything.  I experience things and when they are powerful or meaningful in some way, I want to share them. But lately I’ve started wondering if God intends some things to just be for me.  If He frowns upon me running to my computer to upload photos of everything to Facebook and Instagram.  This came to a head for me when I was singing along with the worship band in church and tears were streaming down my face and I thought, “I should take a picture of the band and share it on Great Big Yes!”

Ummm. No.

Maybe that’s the challenge.  If something happened but it’s not posted, did it really happen?

How are our kids going to know when it’s right to just sit in something…to just receive it…be it love or affection or a compliment or a holy spirit moment…how will they know what is sacred? private? not appropriate to share?

I struggle with that.  I’m hoping that my words bring you closer to God.  I’m hoping to share His Word with you and the hope and peace and joy that comes from the radical love of Jesus.  Nobody needs more Sue.  The whole world needs more Jesus.  So, I want to be part of that.  Bringing some Jesus to you.  The Grace and Mercy that He brings.  Healing. Freedom.

When we found out we were moving, I called a Holy Yoga sister and I told her.  I was crying and talking fast and worrying and anticipating and trying to control.  She listened so kindly and then said something that changed me forever.  She said, “You know this is not a surprise to God, right?”

Silence.

He goes before me.

Omniscient. Omnipotent. Omnipresent.

Now I think of all things through that lens.  Nothing is a surprise to God.

When my daughter came home and said she is joining a Bible Study, it was a surprise to me but not to Him.

When my husband met people at work for the first time and they told him they have “been praying for him and his family” this was a surprise to my husband because people just don’t say stuff like that in Chicago…but God…He knew.  He heard those prayers and He planned for those words to fall on my husband’s surprised but grateful heart.

When I was standing in that church weeping with the worship music, arms raised and heart open…He was not surprised.

With every box unpacked, each rental place (there have been 2), buying a home, selling a home, meeting new people, new schools, figuring it all out…through every single moment, He is not surprised.  He is present and aware. He goes before me and makes a path for me.  He protects me and provides for me.

He can be trusted.

But He can’t be surprised.

I find immense comfort in this.  I hope you do too.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

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