Tag Archives: faith

Religion?

Honor the tradition but expand the understanding. That’s what religions must do right now if they hope to be helpful to humans in the years ahead.

Neale Donald Walsch
Tomorrow’s God

My kids are growing up. 

This means many things.  Based on our dinner conversation tonight, one of the things it means is that they are beginning to question.  They are questioning everything. 

I see this as a good thing.

I remember my childhood priest told me (when I was in a questioning phase) that it’s okay to ask questions.  It’s good.  He made a point of telling us that he does not want us to “check our brains at the door”.  That worked for me.  He told me I was okay for asking.  I was not only okay but on the right path. 

I want my kids to know they are okay for asking and that through the questions, we find ourselves and we find God. 

I found a video of a young man that is extremely intriguing to me.  I don’t agree with everything he says but he has a heart for Jesus.  It is called “Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus”  If you have a minute, take a look at it, (click link below) it makes you think. 

Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus

I’ve also posted the Catholic response.  It too makes you think. 

Catholic response

I realize anyone with a camera can spout their beliefs on the internet.  I am not holding either of these videos up as the “end all, be all”.  I like the idea of the questioning.  I can relate. 

My daughter had some real questions about what she heard “Christians” think and stand for that didn’t sit well with her. 

Do not let others define what “Being a Christian” means to you. 

Seek Jesus. 

This isn’t about a church, a building, a philosophy, creeds, laws or big words you can’t pronounce.  This isn’t about politics.  This isn’t about shame or guilt or judgment or debt or death. 

This is about a relationship between you and Jesus.  This is about Love.  This is about Life.

Seek Jesus. 

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

Tebow is in the flow

picture from
http://www.9news.com/news/article/235462/72/Tebowing-becomes-officially-recognized-as-a-word
 
Sorry but I can’t help myself.  I need to write about Tebow again.  I’m captivated!
 

Tebow is in the flow. (Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.)

This is his time.We don’t know how long it will last but it’s thrilling and fascinating and inspiring.  Just sit back and watch and enjoy.  His message is positive.  He is filled with optimism and gratitude and generosity of spirit.  Grab the kids, pop some popcorn and turn on the Broncos. 

He has everyone talking and writing about him.   Which means they are talking and writing about faith and Jesus and witnessing and evangelizing and praying.  This is a really good thing.  This conversation is important.  Even if you don’t agree with what he believes in, he is authentic and his faith is real and you can feel it. 

This is about Tebow from an article written by Frank Bruni of the New York Times:

He reminds us that strength comes in many forms and some people have what can be described only as a gift for winning, which isn’t synonymous with any spreadsheet inventory of what it supposedly takes to win.

This gift usually involves hope, confidence and a special composure, all of which keep a person in the game long enough, with enough energy and stability, so that a fickle entity known as luck might break his or her way. For Tebow that state of mind comes from his particular relationship with his chosen God and is a matter of religion. For someone else it might be understood and experienced as the power of positive thinking, and is a matter of psychology. Either way it boils down to stubborn optimism and bequeaths a spark. A swagger.  An edge.

Click here for a link to a video essay by Bob Costas about Tebow.  http://video.nbcsports.msnbc.com/nbc-sports/45636229#null

Watching Tebow after the game last night, I was most struck by his generosity and his gratitude (and his smile).  He said his receivers “make me look better than I am”.  He thanked Jesus and complimented all of his teammates and did not take the credit.  He literally smiled the entire time.  You can tell he is really enjoying this!

Isn’t that half the battle?  It makes me wonder…is he enjoying himself because he’s winning or is he winning because he’s enjoying himself? Either way, it’s fun to watch.   

The truth is that “It’s all good”.  Until you believe that, you will be clawing and fighting your way to “winning” which will remain out of your reach as long as you are clawing and fighting. 

 Be positive. Smile. Thank God.  Thank others. Praise others. Hope for the best. Imagine yourself succeeding.  Expect the best of yourself and others. Trust. Hope. Believe.

It’s not difficult to figure out what to do but it’s very difficult to do it.  That’s why we are so drawn to him.  He is different and we can feel it.  His unbridled enthusiasm and sincerity are rare.  He’s showing us what faith in action looks like with his charities and his leadership and his testimony and his being

Thanks for the reminder Tim. Keep it up!  The whole world is watching. 

©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

Love and Marriage…Love and Marriage…

I figured I should write about marriage this week for two reasons.

  1. It’s my wedding anniversary this weekend. 
  2. In Bible study this week, we talked about when God created man and woman and how they were meant to fit together like a puzzle.  (Those are my words but it’s what I felt when I read the passage.)  

Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man.”  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

 – Genesis 2:22-24

 Sounds great.  Eden.  No shame (yet). United. One flesh.

No talk of kids and housework and bills to pay and jobs and disagreements and doubts and sin and annoyances and differences and tempers  and sickness and needs and desires and pain and histories and betrayals and forgiveness and tears and fears and the unknown.

God didn’t say “Marriage is hard work”. 

But my mom did.  She told me that early on and she was right. It’s like parenting- you don’t always know what you are getting into.  You may (who are we kidding, you absolutely will) need to get advice, pray, read some books and learn. 

Speaking of books…A friend asked me recently if I’ve heard of The Five Love Languages.  Are you kidding?  I love that book!

Some of my good friends will attest to the fact that when I first read it, I could not stop talking about it.  I needed to explain it to everyone and then we all had to tell which “love language” we spoke. 

This is a great book for married couples.  The premise is that we all speak different love languages.  In order to have a “more perfect union”, we need to know which language our partner speaks. 

There are five love languages.  They are:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

First, you take a test to find out what your primary love language is.  You can find the test and all the other information at www.5lovelanguages.com

Here’s what I propose…take the test.  Have your husband, wife or significant other take the test.  Discuss.  You may get a lot of eye rolling and complaining at first but it can be fun.  Really, I swear.  It’s not only good for marriage but can help you better understand friendship and parenting as well.

I realized my love language is Words of Affirmation.  This means if my husband buys me a fancy gift, I will not be as excited as if he tells me what a great wife (person, mother) I am.  This is good news for my husband!  Save your money and tell me how great I am!  Everyone is happy!

Some people would rather have their husbands do the dishes (acts of service) or go on a walk with them (quality time).  Knowing this information can prevent a lot of marital strife.  You know when your spouse gets you something or does something for you and they are all excited about it and you are irritated for some reason?  You know you should be happy with their effort but you feel they don’t understand you. They give you a gift and you are mad.  You go storming off and they’re thinking, “Whatever…I just bought you something…I guess I can’t do anything right!”

This is because you are speaking different love languages. 

Read the book, take the test.  No more excuses. 

Wedded bliss all over the place.    

And to Jeff…Happy Anniversary.  Thank you for 17 years of the good stuff…  love, laughter, support, encouragement, generosity, friendship, understanding, respect, growth, honesty, authenticity, dependability, adventure and fun.  I’m so glad we are on this journey together.  I can’t wait to see what’s next!

“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.”

— Goethe
 
©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
drawing by Mary Engelbreit