Did God Really Say?

Hi Friends,

Happy Friday, almost.  Hope your week and your summer are going swimmingly.

I’ve been thinking this week about way back in the Garden of Eden when Satan asked Eve, “Did God really say?”  The subject of course was whether God had told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge or they would surely die. But it’s such a conniving question.  Did God really say?  It plants doubt, it plays on prideful inclinations. Underlying “Did God really say?” is a subtle suggestion that God is not really all-wise or all-good, He must not have things figured out or He wouldn’t say x or wouldn’t say y.  Because in our humanness, in our advanced state of civilization, x or y just doesn’t make sense.  Can’t you just hear the modern culture crying out, “Did God really say x, or y or z?”  The blank can be filled in with myriad examples.  The rationalizations range from pitiful to hilarious and bend logic and Scripture with abandon.

But it’s the same old trick, century after century after century.

For me personally too.  Year after year.  It’s the same old questions, “Did God really say that gluttony was wrong?”  Or “Did God really say that the greedy stir up conflict and bring ruin to their households?” (Proverbs 28:25 and Proverbs 29:4).  It matters not what sin I’m currently falling into, there’s a voice telling me, “Are you kidding?  That’s not a big deal!  Look around.  Nothing to worry about.  You are human after all.  You really think God cares about this little thing?”

But if we know the Bible, we know what God really said.  Eve knew what He really said too. That’s why it’s sin.

For the last few years (four or five I think now), I’ve taken a break from social media and blogging for the month of August.  It helps me be more present in the moment, and also helps me realize how prone I am to fill up little moments with mindless tidbits.  And one thing I know God really said was “Be still and know that I am God.”

This year I think July will be a better fit for my social media fast because of how our schedules are shaking out.  So until August I bid you farewell.  May you listen hard for the still small voice of God, know the enemy is constantly prodding you with, “Did God really say,” and may you crack open God’s Word and learn what He really said.

And I’d love it if you’d pray for me, that I’d spend these next 31 days being stiller and getting to know my Lord and Savior more deeply than ever.

With Love,

Kristie

God and Baseball

Hi Friends,

It’s been a while, but isn’t summer just a surprisingly hectic time?  Lots of fun, but truly what liar coined the phrase, “lazy days of summer?”  I’d like to have a word with them. 

This morning Nate and I attended the 8:10 service at church, which strikes me as a pretty ungodly hour on a Sunday but he and I were headed back to his baseball tournament, where he was served another mighty piece of humble pie.  

You may or may not know that baseball is an incredibly mental game. Hitting is mental. Pitching is mental. Even fielding the ball requires mental toughness.  You gotta tell yourself over and over and over again, “I got this. I’m gonna watch the bat crush this ball. I’m going to fire this ball right past him, low in the zone. I’m gonna make this play.  I’m gunning this guy out.”  You choose to believe.  It’s a choice. You reject the negative. You remind yourself of what’s come before: a lot of hard work. You perform well when you have the confidence that you can, that you will. 

Baseball is really a lot like faith.  You can drench yourself in God’s word.  You can pray fervently.  You can be part of life-giving fellowship. You can praise the Name of the Lord God Almighty. You can do His work day in and day out. You can put in the work spiritually but at some level it’s just like baseball: You gotta choose to believe. You have got to remind yourself of His faithfulness. You’ve got to choose to believe His promises.  You have got to remember how He’s delivered you. 

We have choices.  We can believe and obey. Or we can doubt and flounder. 

Two things come to mind that should inform our decision-making. 

The first is a C.S. Lewis quote: “Obedience is the key to all doors; feelings come (or don’t come) and go as God pleases. We can’t produce them at will, and mustn’t try.”  

The second is that fundamental verse from the Gospel of Mark.  A father seeking healing for his son humbly told Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). 

‭‭May we acknowledge that faith, just like baseball, sometimes requires choosing to believe.  May we choose to trust God’s promises, trust He loves us, and live in that freedom every day. We may not ever bat 1000 this side of heaven, but I bet we hit it out of the park more than we can humanly explain.  

Blessings on your Sunday. I hope it’s restful and lovely and full of faith!  And maybe a little baseball can be thrown in too. 

With Love,

Kristie 

Stop and Drop

Friends,

I’m sure you’ve heard of stop, drop and roll — it was the ubiquitous fire safety mantra for generations, although I’m not sure if it is still being used.  And you may have heard of stop, drop and read.  This is a newer twist and is used for young kids to implement more reading time, and oh by golly a little silencio for mama.  But I am implementing a new manifestation of stop and drop, and it’s not give me 30 (sit-ups, push-ups, et) although that might be a good idea too.  No my new one is this: Stop, Drop and Thank.  When the summer grumpies get the best of someone in your household, make them sit down and write out a few things — 3, 5, 10 — for which they are grateful.  Gratitude is a powerful, perspective-changing force.  The only real guideline is that they must be specific.  My grumpy boy today tried to use “family” as one of his — nope, unacceptable, sweet as it may sound.  Being general doesn’t engender gratitude like being sincerely detailed will.

It’s all biblical anyway, just as Paul said, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18).

Have a great weekend.  I’m starting my list of 5 right now.

Love to YOU,

Kristie

A Bunch of Olafs


Friends, 

We are nine days into summer vacation here in Tennessee and I have to tell you, I’ve had an epiphany: I’m exactly like Frozen’s Olaf and I bet you are too. I think we’re all a bunch of Olafs. 

Olaf dreams of summer.  The idea of it just tickles his sweet little heart.  The problem, of course, is that Olaf is a snowman. Yet naive Olaf winsomely breaks into song at the mere mention of summer. 

A drink in my hand, my snow up against the burning sand, probably getting gorgeously tanned in SUMMER! 

But just like Olaf I have huge misconceptions about summer.  Every dang year I buy into the lie that it’s going to be blissfully relaxing, that my children will laugh themselves silly all the live-long day, that we’ll have time for daytrips galore, that we’ll eat the freshest, healthiest foods, that Will and I will toast fruity drinks while we grill on the back patio.  And how I’ll write, write, write. 

I also disturbingly forget, and I can’t explain how, that just like Olaf I melt in the heat.  At a baseball game last weekend, I contemplated walking to the car with my folding chair pulled firmly to my behind. How I hated revealing to the crowd just how much I was sweating by actually getting up from my chair! 

So nine days in and I’ve realized summer is a hot, busy mess. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it. I love it so much, but I shouldn’t let myself be lulled into thinking it’s something that it’s not.  These are the first words I’ve written, despite grandiose plans and ideas.  I’m pretty sure I’ve heard more bickering than laughter from my boys.  I’ve spent way more time shuttling to sporting events than chilling poolside. We haven’t grilled out once. 

And horror of horrors my boys go back to school in mid-August!  I want to these days — even if I’m sweaty and they’re arguing and I’m getting very little done –to also be full of memories, to be days where they know they have my full attention. 

One of the most important verses in the Bible, especially in the modern era of distraction, has got to be this one: “Teach me to number my days aright that I may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12. 

Lord, please, please help me to number my days aright, this summer and always.  

And Happy Summer to you too, fellow Olafs!!

With Love, 

Kristie