Tag Archives: Music

New podcast! 25 in the Rear View – Quarterly Review

 

Hi Friends! Can you believe this? I have recorded 25 episodes of the Great Big YES! podcast!! What??? I figured this monumental occasion required a review…a looking back.  So this one is just me talking, no guest, nothing fancy, just my heart and my gratitude. Also, some silly stories that may or may not have to do with anything. I’m just so grateful to y’all for listening in.  And HUGE shout out to the guests who willingly said YES! to sharing their stories.  I am forever changed by your courage and honesty.  It has been an honor.

I am taking April off from podcasting.  So I figure that is a great time for y’all to catch up on listening!! 🙂 I KNOW there are a million and one podcasts and more coming every day…you are thinking…I don’t have time for this!! My mom said (Hi Mom!) she waits until she has a good block of time to listen so some are in the que.  I get that.  I love a podcast on a walk or a long drive or on the treadmill or maybe in the kitchen if I’m cooking (like that ever happens) or doing dishes (every 3 days or so).  Or feel free to put your feet up, your headphones on and enjoy this one with your cup of coffee or your glass of wine.  Whatever suits you. 🙂

In April, I plan to read, write, listen, sing, dance, draw, study, soak, chill, laugh, celebrate, enjoy and exhale. Isn’t that a good plan? I’ll be traveling a little in real life and probably a lot in my head. I need some dreaming time. How about you? What are you dreaming about? It can’t always be go, go, go, create, create, create.  Sometimes you really need to soak in the world and it’s people and FEEL it. Ya know?

So picture me virtually hugging you.  Like, squishing you and thanking you and smiling so big because I CAN’T EVEN BELIEVE I HAVE A PODCAST. But it’s cool. No biggie. As a wise person once said, “Sue, calm down, act like you’ve been in the end zone before.” (I’m in Texas now so football references are all there is. Literally.)

Thanks for listening. Thanks for allowing these stories to change you.  Thanks for making room for the Great Big YES! in your life. I’ve got some ROCKIN’ people coming on in May so take this time to catch up and please join us when we are back.  Let me know what you think, what you want to hear, how God is meeting you here, if you would like to share your story, if you have an idea for a guest, whatever. FILL ME IN FRIENDS. I don’t want to be out here in podcast land like the lone ranger. I wish we could all have a roundtable discussion.  EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US. Would it end in song? In Holy Spirit tears? Dancing? What would be your favorite thing to talk about?

I love you. That’s all. I’m grateful. I’ve been changed. Who right now is thinking of Wicked? I am. I have definitely been changed for GOOD.

Praise God. Amen. xoxoxo

 

Lessons from the Bar

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

 

The other night I was at a bar, listening to a band. Even though I had never been to that venue before, the atmosphere was all too familiar.  The darkness. The loud music. The drunk people. The smoke. I went to the bathroom and there was a pack of women in there smoking pot. The whole place had a foggy feeling. Like a lost memory.

There was a woman there. I’ve thought about her a lot since that night. She was right in front of me with a man. He seemed to be her boyfriend, at least for the night. They were kissing and grinding and honestly, it was uncomfortable.  I didn’t know where to look. She was drinking and dancing and wasn’t wearing much. But she caught my eye a few times mid dance. It was like she was looking for approval. Her man didn’t seem all that interested which was surprising to me. She was a beautiful woman on the outside. Long hair, fit body, clear skin, big eyes. But there was something missing. She had that Kardashian look about her…a natural beauty with way too much make up and a self consciousness that bordered on awkward. She was trying too hard.  I felt sorry for her.

For us.

I saw myself in bars past. Dancing. On tables, in aisles, on stage. I smelled myself hungover and sorry. I remembered myself, sweaty and foggy and showing off. I was just having fun, I’d say. What a great night, we would recall. All my friends in the same boat. My throat scratchy and Sunday ruined. What’s the big deal?

When the hymn says “I was blind but now I see” I think of Romans 12:2. I was just doing what everyone else was doing. I wasn’t too over the top with my partying by comparison. It’s our culture, from high school, to college, to our 20’s and even into our 30’s and 40’s.   This is what everyone around me was doing. I wasn’t a bad person. And neither is she.

I’m so glad Jesus enters right into the debauchery. He is not surprised by us. He is not offended. He calls us to more. He transforms us if we let Him.

So much of Christianity is whitewashed clean. We go to church in our Sunday best and we volunteer and we do what’s expected of us, pretending we were always this way.  People on the outside look in and think they could never belong. They aren’t cleaned up and spit-shined enough. I dread the thought of all the pretending of church goers actually keeping others away from Jesus.

Here’s the thing…If Jesus came for anybody, He came for that woman in the bar. So eager to be seen. So desperate to be known. So hungry for approval.

I recognized her because she was me. I can’t forget her.  And I’m sure beyond a shadow of a doubt, Jesus hasn’t forgotten her either.

©2017, Sue Bidstrup, Great Big YES™, All Rights Reserved

 

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