Tag Archives: Jesus

Expectations

Do what you do.

This is what a friend told me.  I told him that someone said I wasn’t “what she expected”.   She said she had been reading my blog and she expected something different. 

Here we go again with the expectations…

When I was in driver’s ed in high school, our teacher put the word ASSUME up on the board.  He then broke it up and said, when you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U and ME.  I’m sure many of you have heard that before but don’t you love it?  It’s true and easy to remember!

We all assume.  We think we know what someone will think about a topic because they are a woman or a man.  We think we can pigeonhole everyone who says they are Christian or Jewish or atheist.  We think we can determine what people think or what they will act like based on where they live or if they like the Cubs or the White Sox. (Really.)

Maybe that’s the lesson.  Maybe God introduces us to people who challenge our stereotypes and our assumptions.  Maybe we are supposed to surprise each other.  It’s definitely more fun that way! 

Think of how many times we hold ourselves back because that’s not what we “should” say.  That’s not what we “should” do.  Who says?  

I remember someone said to me once that she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be a Christian because then she’d have to stop having fun.  SAY WHAT???

I saw a lady with an awesome sticker on her motorcycle helmet.  It said, “I ride a motorcycle and I love Jesus.” 

My friend just introduced me to a blog you should checkout.  It’s called Parisienne Farmgirl and you can find it at  http://www.parisiennefarmgirl.com/

One of the things she writes in her bio is “Drop a cuss word and mention how much you love Jesus in the next sentence and I am prone to want to be your best friend.”  Ha!  I love this.  

I also love the song “Heart Like Mine” by Miranda Lambert.  She sings,

I ain’t the kind you take home to mama
I ain’t the kind to wear no ring
Somehow I always get stronger
When I’m on my second drink
 
Even though I hate to admit it
Sometimes I smoke cigarettes
The Christian folks say I should quit it
And I just smile and say “god bless”
 
Cause I heard Jesus he drank wine
And I bet we’d get along just fine
He could calm a storm and heal the blind
And I bet he’d understand a heart like mine

 

Amen, right? 

Here’s the song if you want to listen.  It’s good.  I think you’ll root for this girl.  She’s familiar.  She’s real. She’ll have you singing along in no time. 12 Heart Like Mine

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

Lent

Lent starts today.                          

In my church, this means lots of things.  There are lists of what you should do, how you should eat, and ways you should pray.  There are times you should go to church (many!) and times you should go to reconciliation.  The entire Lenten season should revolve around Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. 

Are you tired yet?

Every year I start Lent the same way I start the New Year.  With plans, with resolutions, with thoughts of how “good” I’m going to be.  Being “good” during Lent sometimes means being somber and quiet (and hungry!).  We “give up” something and we give by performing one of the Corporal Works of Mercy which include but are not limited to feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, and visiting the imprisoned.

These rituals and customs are beautiful.  They are steeped in history and scripture and they are a vital part of our own personal transformations.  However, I need to simplify this whole thing for myself this year. 

I read a daily reflection today that I want to share with you.  www.TheSpiritToday.com  This reflection gave me an idea. 

Maybe Jesus is asking us to let him into our desert.  We are asked to join him on his journey and he so desperately wants to be invited to join us on our journeys. 

I remember once when I was young a teacher asked me how I would behave at the dinner table if Jesus came to dinner.  What would I ask Him?  How would I act differently?  

This can be a fun, exciting question or it can instill fear in your heart!  Would He care if I can’t cook?  Would He think my kids are too messy?  Would He see the crumbs on the floor? Would He know our addictions and struggles?  Would He see all the ways we are not measuring up?  Would He see our fears and our doubts and our worries?

I can picture it now.  After the initial stage of awe and silence, He would say something funny to put us at ease.  He would tell stories and be kind to the children.  He would ask me to sit down and relax and be at peace.  We would pray together and share a meal and we would thank Him.  We would ask questions and He would guide us and forgive us. 

Doesn’t that sound nice? 

In order for us to understand Him, we join Him on his journey through the desert during Lent.  In order for Him to understand us, we ask Him to join us on our journeys, in our deserts, all the time.  

So this Lent, I’ll be inviting Him in.  Into my home (mess and noise included) and into my heart (mess and noise included).  I hope you do too…then we all will be truly transformed.

One minute

You know when something happens and you forget about everything else to focus on that one thing?  It could be bad news, like someone is sick or a child has an emergency or you yourself have a medical crisis or a host of other things.  Or, it could be something happy like you just found out you are expecting a baby, you have to give a speech, or you’ve won the lottery (don’t we all wish?). 

Well, the point is, for a period of time, your attention is laser focused.  You have the ability to shut all else out and focus on this one thing.  It’s amazing how our minds work. 

But usually, we are not in this state.  I know that I am usually trying to do many things and not doing any one thing 100%.  I mean, how much have we heard lately about people texting while driving! Scary!

I think this is what Jesus was referring to when he said , Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.           –Luke 10:27

We shouldn’t love God the way we tend to listen to the kids; half listening, half writing lists.  I heard a quote from a child that said, “Mommy, I want you to listen to me” and the mom said, “Oh honey, I’m listening” and the child said, “I want you to listen with your eyes.”

We shouldn’t love God sort of, sometimes, when it’s convenient.  We should always love Him.  We should be present for Him, pay attention, stop multitasking to thank Him.

HOW IS THIS HUMANLY POSSIBLE?

Who has time with Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, MySpace…the internet can be like the black hole for me.  I sit down for a “minute” and two hours later I’m still sitting there.  So that means I actually do have time to pray, read the Bible, go to church, whatever it is but I’d rather change my profile picture on Facebook????

I go for days being busy and wrapped up and hurried and then something makes me stop and think.  When I’m aware, I see how ridiculous this is but I keep doing it.  It’s kind of like food.  I mean, seriously, after Halloween, I was acting like I’ll never see another miniature candy bar again so I should hurry up and eat them ALL!  Even when I’m eating I’m hurrying…I’m not sure if that’s so no one sees me stealing their candy or if it’s because I know if I stop and bring awareness to what I’m doing, I’ll have to change. 

I remember learning about “soft addictions”.  These are things that you may be “addicted” to that don’t necessarily hurt you physically or cause harm to your family as drugs or alcohol may do but they steal your time, your attention, your mind.  They keep you from being aware.  They are an escape – a way of self medicating.  Some of these things may be (but are not limited to) over shopping, over eating, procrastinating, watching too much TV.  These things can keep us from living the life we were meant to live. 

So, here’s the challenge –let’s do this together.  I know I need it so maybe it could benefit all of us.  Put down the Diet Coke, the Starbucks, the water bottle…do NOT have food anywhere near you…put the cell phone away where you cannot hear the little “dings”…ARE YOU STARTING TO TWITCH?…Do not pick up any reading material…there should be no sounds (tv, radio, music) …now, when you are done reading this, turn off the computer…power down… No, actually turn it off…you can do it.  Now, for one minute, close your eyes, be still.  Just one minute.  You can do it.  It’s a start.  Ready?