The Shame of CYA

Hey Friends,

As of today my three sons are all in school. Although summer is wonderful, by the end of July, we’re inevitably ready for more structure. When mid-August comes, we’re really ready. Of course there ain’t no ready like 2020 ready!

But happy as I am, as overcome with gratitude as I am, I’m also concerned that things will get derailed.

Let me tell you a story that I think helps illustrate part of my concern. A young mama recently told me she was going to talk to her pediatric pulmonologist about the risks of Covid-19 for her toddler. This child has experienced respiratory distress in response to mild childhood viruses. Now that more is known about Covid-19, it was probably the mama’s hope that the physician guidance might would be softened a bit. Strict, long-term isolation is difficult for anyone, including for this highly social toddler.

But what do you think the physician will say? The physician will be motivated by their own interests. After all, we live in a litigious society, and the physician is not the one experiencing any of the negative implications of the recommendation. The physician is being asked to make a myopic assessment of one hazard. In a sense it is understandable that the physician will counsel the parent to take extreme measures to isolate. It’s a simple application of CYA (cover your ass).

Of course life is too complicated to focus on just one factor, and while CYA may be somewhat understandable for physicians, it has no place in true leadership. Nevertheless, here we are: there ain’t no CYA like 2020 CYA. Policies based on CYA concerns are now ubiquitous, all singularly focused on the coronavirus, which for the majority of people under sixty is benign.

Meanwhile, you probably know that suicide and overdose numbers have skyrocketed. Yet websites with suicide/OD tickers aren’t popping up everywhere — instead we still have the Covid case number trackers, which by themselves are not very informative at all, and appear to be aimed primarily at alarming shallow and unquestioning cable news addicts. I’m so sick of it. I want those in authority and in the media to feel debilitating shame about the manipulation of the narrative and the many lives destroyed by their absurd and illogical policies. I almost wish there could be a class action lawsuit brought against the lockdowners for the lives lost in the name of CYA. It’s not science, and it’s not about saving lives. The lockdowns have been far more deadly than the virus itself for many demographics, and the long-term effects projected around the globe are terrifying. Obviously suicides and mental illness are harder to pin on policy than deaths from a virus, and that’s how they get away with it. But I see the blood on their hands, and I am increasingly optimistic Americans are waking up.

We need leaders who are strong and courageous, leaders who actually care about the flock they are leading. When you hear about a new policy or recommendation, ask yourself what role CYA is playing in it. Ask yourself if the person in charge is being honest about the impact as a whole, or merely myopically and often ineffectually mitigating the risk of Covid.

My back-to-school resolution is to daily walk barefoot on the treadmill while using the app “Pray As You Go.” And I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I’m two for two! Anyway, this morning the reading on the app was from Ezekiel.

As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. Ezekiel‬ ‭34:8-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Can I confess how often I read Ezekiel? Pretty much never. But this passage addresses exactly what’s been eating at me: Shepherds who feed themselves at the expense of the flock. It’s CYA for shepherds and God condemns it. How are your local health officials shepherding the flock? How about the school officials? How about your mayor or your governor? Are they strong and courageous, transparently acknowledging unintended consequences and the complexity of risk? Or are they still in the inexcusable myopic phase, acting as if Covid is the only risk that exists? I am praying all of them will be strong and courageous, and I am praying that the cowards who are in positions of authority will resign or be fired. And let’s be honest, if a predictable uptick in covid cases makes you panic then should you really be leading anyone or anything?

Heavenly Father, please remove the shepherds who do not care for the flock. Thank you for sending Jesus to be the one true shepherd, who not only didn’t put himself before the flock, but gave His very life so that I might have eternal life. Forgive me Lord for any cowardice or lack of trust, help me and mine to be strong and courageous. In Jesus Name, Amen.

With Love,

Kristie

P.S. Since the “Pray as You Go” segment ended before I was ready to be done walking, I scrolled through my music and oddly picked a Christmas song. It was exactly what I needed to hear, and I bet it’ll bless you too. May we never forget that Hope is Alive.

P.S.S. As always, these views are my solely my own and do not reflect those of anyone I may know in healthcare.

Jackson Five Friday: “Smiling’s My Favorite” ??

Hey Friends,

Hope you’ve had a lovely week. We dropped my son, Will, off at college. The drive away was awful. I am so sorry that I have failed miserably to be sympathetic to those who have gone before. It’s crushing and I’m sorry for anyone who has, or will ever, do it. And of course it has nothing to do with whether they’re ready or happy. Instead it’s just a deep and unmistakable line in the sand marking the end of a beloved era. I had been told it was hard, but I did not appreciate that the line isn’t drawn in the sand at all, but is drawn by a wickedly sharp and jagged dagger across your heart. Would an actual physical stabbing hurt worse than having my husband drive off with our son standing there and me half-dying in the passenger seat? Pshaw!

Letting go is hard. I struggle with it in a somewhat unusual way: in the car. I am not a timid driver, but if I am the passenger I pretty much act like death is imminent for half the ride. It’s weird because I have not been in a single accident with my husband or either of my driving sons. But there’s been some close calls, and I often hang on to the little handle above the passenger seat for dear life.

Last Friday we went out to lunch as a family. For school-required quarantine reasons, we knew it would be our last outing as the five of us. It was such a fun time, with a gorgeous view of the river and yummy food. When we left, I let Nate drive. A few minutes later we had this conversation.

Nate asked, “Why are you holding on?” At that moment he was in some very benign driving situation, where it was clear I had no cause for alarm whatsoever. I grinned at him from ear to ear.

“Holding on’s my favorite!” I answered and died laughing just like my mother would have, who always appreciated a good Elf reference.

But the truth is that holding on is my favorite. I struggle with not having a ton of compassion for healthy, under-sixty people who live in fear of COVID (the data doesn’t support being terrified), and I feel frustrated by the absurdity that there’s any option or has been any option other than to live with the virus. A man in Rome, Georgia who did not travel and did not attend some super-spreading funeral was diagnosed in the beginning of March with COVID-19, and anyone with a shred of honesty knew then that it was out of the bag, way out. If a random dude in small-town America, who did not travel, had this thing then we needed to understand the likelihood we were all getting it. The reasoned response would be to protect the old and infirm and have the rest of us face reality.

But here I am all chill about a virus (if it’s the Lord’s timing, it’s the Lord’s timing, and to die is gain anyway), but strap me in to that passenger seat and I turn into a weirdo gripped by fear?

There are differences. The risk for my sons is obviously much greater in the car than from COVID, but I don’t think that’s entirely the basis for my behavior. I think sometimes we just don’t make sense. People do things they know they shouldn’t. They even do things they intend not to do.

The Apostle Paul says it best:

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.” Romans‬ ‭7:15, 17-21 NIV‬‬

So much truth! When I want to let go, and trust that God has a plan, evil is right there with me, white knuckling my grip. I want to be reasoned and consistent, but I’m a sinner and I cannot carry it out. I need to pray daily for wisdom and for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

I hope that’s your daily prayer too!

With Love,

Kristie

P.S. As always these views are solely my own and do not reflect on anyone else who may or may not work in healthcare.

P.S.S. If you do not know what your irksome quirks are, are you really self-aware at all? And I always tell my boys when we talk about my many flaws that it is good for them to learn. It doesn’t matter how much you madly love someone, good relationships always require grace, lots of it.

Jackson Five Friday: Road Rash

Hey Friends,

Hope you’ve had a great week. Other than a little road rash incident on Monday — more on that later — I’ve had a fabulous week. I’m growing more and more optimistic about how our world is going. There are two keys to this optimism: (1) never for a single second turn on cable news; you can stay informed without being fed fear-inducing lies; and (2) actually talking to sentient human beings, preferably face-to-face. Praise the Lord they are so very different from the alleged humans on Twitter. I’m not saying that to be demeaning in any way. There are just a LOT of Twitter accounts that are not actual humans. Some are frauds created by pitiful, lonely souls who are trying to paint a certain narrative, and many many others are literal bots. If these are your inputs, you are almost guaranteed “low-grade depression,” or worse. Trash in, trash out.

It’s always unwise to be undiscerning about your mental diet, but you know what else is unwise? Trying to climb a steep grade with your hands tied behind your back. That’s essentially what I did on Monday. I took Nate and Sam to a nearby swimming hole where you can jump off rocks into crystal-clear water. I intended to jump too but didn’t, and so you might have thought I’d be injury-free. Nope. I found a way. From the jumping off point back up to the main hiking path is only 40 or so feet. But the grade is steep and the rocks are many. Nate led the way, I was in the middle and Sam brought up the rear.

Stupidly, I had not brought a drawstring bag, despite the fact we possess many of them. So as I was climbing I had my cell phone in one hand and our trash in the other. When I slipped I clung tightly to my stuff, and slid on the rocks down to an alarmed Sam behind me. So technically it’s not road rash, but rock rash. Either way it was utter idiocy.

But I was thinking about how this kind of inexplicable self-handicapping is pretty common. The Bible is full of wisdom and truth and yet many actively avoid it. Have you ever heard a speech where the speaker did intellectual backbends to share a piece of wisdom without attributing it to Jesus? On the one hand it’s amusing to watch people embrace truisms as fresh and new, when it is precisely what Jesus or Solomon said. But it is also heartbreaking that people have such easy access to Truth, and yet continually run from Him.

And it’s even more inexcusable when someone like me knows the way to peace and wisdom and still doesn’t begin each day in the Word of God.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17-18 ESV

Does that not sound wonderful? Pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, impartial and sincere? A million times yes! And you know what’s even better? God promises to answer our prayers for wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 ESV

You may not handicap yourself by climbing this uphill life with your hands full, but are you handicapping yourself by failing to ask for wisdom? I’m guilty on both counts. Fortunately, my road rash is a vivid reminder to do better.

So, friends, don’t handicap yourself. Spend time in God’s Word, ask Him for wisdom, and for heaven’s sake at least take a drawstring bag for the steep parts. We live in a fallen world, and the journey is uphill to the very end, why risk adding self-inflicted road rash to the mix? Instead, put yourself under the stream of God’s love and mercy. As Dallas Willard said, “Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning.” Choosing to abide is an act of the will and we can choose it every day.

Cheers to making every effort to abide!

With Love,

Kristie

Jackson Five Friday: “Church? NO!”

Hey Friends,

I hope you’ve had a fabulous week. I certainly did. My oldest son had his high school graduation last Saturday and it was the best high school graduation I’ve ever been to. It wasn’t the commencement speakers, or even the pomp and circumstance, it was just the group celebration of a milestone. With so much isolation, with so few social interactions, a true celebration meant all the more.

But the weekend kind of wiped me out and on Monday I wasn’t feeling 100%. I think I was just tired because by Tuesday I was fine, but we are now aware of every little cough, ache and sneeze, aren’t we? Have you done any panic sniffing? Maybe panic is a little strong but I’ve felt sweet relief to definitively smell various items, from a nearby candle, to a bottle of alcohol or a random grab from the spice cabinet.

But Monday night we did miss going to a sweet graduation event at our church. It was a send-off to the high school seniors where parents share a quick piece of wisdom for their graduate. I knew just what I wanted to say.

When Dub (that’s what we call him at home) was a baby, he had terrible separation anxiety. He’d cry if I left the room. If you happen to be in this stage now, do not worry a bit. I can assure you they grow out of it. A year or two later and he never experienced separation anxiety again. But the poor child did not want to go to church, so as soon as he had learned a few words, he would emphatically communicate his wishes.

At the time we went to church on Saturday nights. Somehow he knew —as a one-year-old —that it was Saturday. As soon as I’d strap him in to his car seat, he’d start saying, “Church? No!” and simultaneously using his chubby little hand to indicate “NO” by shaking his flat palm back and forth. By the time we pulled into the parking lot twenty minutes away, he would have repeated this stance 20, 30 or 40 times. Sometimes we would try the nursery anyway, and other times we’d just keep him with us. But never did we give in and just not go to church.

My grandfather, “Papa,” died before Dub was two-and-a-half, but this quickly became one of his favorite stories. Just like me, he thought it was both sweet and hilarious. My mom told me that even as Papa’s strength was ebbing in his last few days, he would look up at her and smile, “Church? No!” and shake his hand just like Dub.

What I wanted to tell Dub at the send-off dessert was no matter how much you may think, “Church? No!” you cannot give into that. Observing the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments, and it is also a means by which you are fed truth and community. My friend, don’t ever give up going to church. Yes, it’s a gathering of sinners, and people may rub you the wrong way, but Jesus came for the sick, and you are sick. It matters not if there’s a pandemic or it’s the Roaring 20’s, in this life, you will always be sick. You will always need the church. And the church will always need you.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:14-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Don’t be an infant tossed about. Seek and speak truth (a point also made by the headmaster at graduation last weekend) and do your part in the body of Christ. When you wake up tired on a Sunday morning, and you think to yourself, “Church? No!” get yourself there anyway. And if I ever slip out of the habit of regular church attendance, please, please remind me of this truth.

With Love,

Kristie

Jackson Five Friday: Uphill Both Directions

Hey Friends,

I hope you’ve had a great week. I have once again reached a Friday having accomplished close to nothing I had planned for the week. I’ll chalk it up to post-vacation blues, but I think part of it is just never having any time alone. The high-octane mode of cleaning, or insanely focused productivity, that I sometimes channel has been missing since March. It’s a phenomenon that requires an otherwise empty house.

Anyway, we’ve all heard the folksy claim that people used to have to walk miles to school, in the snow, uphill in both directions. And while that’s obviously an exaggeration, it does seem like people used to be hardier. I mean I feel like there’s an epidemic of wimping out. Obviously, attributing lack of productivity to post-vacation blues is the pinnacle of wimpiness. Thankfully I’ve come across a wonderful little poem that addresses this precise issue. It’s more than 150 years old and may or may not have been intended as a devotional, but can definitely be used as one. Take a minute and read it a few times.

Up-Hill

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place? 
   A roof for when the slow dark hours begin. 
May not the darkness hide it from my face? 
   You cannot miss that inn. 

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night? 
   Those who have gone before. 
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight? 
   They will not keep you standing at that door. 

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.

My friends, we need to toughen up! We need to embrace the truth that it is uphill, to the very end. Jesus told us we would have trouble and yet we act so surprised when troubles come. Where did this sense of entitlement to smooth sailing come from? Who started the myth that calm waters are anything but temporary? Harbors like the one pictured above are photo-worthy because they are so unusual.

Even though Rosetti’s poem is titled Up-Hill, there are at least four hopeful takeaways: (1) Others are on the journey, too; (2) The resting place cannot be missed; (3) The door is left open for you; and (4) There are beds for all who come.

What amazingly applicable words for today.

Jesus provides strength for the journey, a community to encourage you along the way, peace in all circumstances, and a bed in your forever home. Shouldn’t this all spur us on to be at least a little hardier?

And you want to hear some even better news? “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Can I get an Amen?

With Love,

Kristie

Lord Jesus help me to be grateful for the many gifts for the journey and for the eternal glory that outweighs momentary troubles. Help me to encourage others and not be at all surprised that it is uphill, all the way. Thank you for loving me and giving me Rossetti’s poem.

One Shot Away

Hey Friends,

I skipped posting on Friday because I was spending time with my favorite guys. Will and I played a Par-3 golf course with Sam while the older two played real golf nearby. Golf is an unexpected saving grace of COVID. Is there a better way to socially distance? My sons have too much time on their hands, but I’m thankful that some of that extra time has been devoted to being in God’s creation, while simultaneously having a competitive outlet.

At one point, Sam was rather dissatisfied with his initial shot. My sweet husband tried to encourage him.

“Sam, listen,” he said, “That’s the great thing about a par-3, you are always one shot away from being in a great position.”

When we were first married, my brother Craig was a golf pro at various clubs, and my parents lived in a beach-front condo. We lived SO large for poor twenty-somethings. Craig would set us up on the nicest courses in Florida. I’d only finish the hole if I was doing well — mostly I picked up. I am not and have never been a good golfer. We’d sometimes get to eat at the country club too, and days we didn’t golf, we’d alternate between hanging at the beach and Will reading on the balcony with my dad. They’d be out there for hours reading and talking and listening to the waves crashing on shore. They had such an easy, quiet friendship, and how incredible for me to observe the mutual respect between my two very favorite men.

We cherish those memories because they were the perfect escape from law school and residency, but all the more because by our seventh anniversary my dad and my brother Craig had both died. The blessing of having endured sudden and unexpected deaths of those you madly love is that you do not take life for granted. Experience proves that life is indeed a vapor.

But, even with quite a bit of golf over quite a few years, I’d never thought about the truth that Will shared with Sam on Friday. It’s true: on a par-3 you really are always one shot away from being in a great position. And that’s not just a maxim for golf, it’s true for life in general. We are always one decision away from committing or re-committing our lives to Christ. We are always one step away from repenting and turning to Our Creator and Lover of our souls. He is always at the door knocking. We are ever one decision away from answering.

Are you, right this minute, in a great position? Or do you need to repent? Do you need to turn off the fear-mongering cable news? Do you need to tell the Lord Jesus that you trust Him? Do you need to call someone and tell them you are sorry? Do you need to stop trying to control things that are out of your control? Do you need to relinquish your expectations of others? My friend, you are one shot away from being in a great position. Isn’t that such great news?

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

With Love,

Kristie

Jackson Five Friday: Warts

Hey Friends,

No, I don’t have any actual warts, that I know of anyway, but I am now old enough to have misshapen fingers. My pinky on my right hand has a wholly inexplicable and disturbingly large bulge. I think, much like my poor eyes, my hands are aging at an alarming rate. Oh well. To live is Christ, to die is gain! I so long to meet more people who truly live lives that reflect the Christ-followers’ truth that to die is gain.

Instead the media would have you believe death itself is brand spanking new, a 2020 phenomenon. I try to counter this by constantly reminding people around me that they can’t guarantee another breath. Recently I told a painter, here at my house for an estimate, “You could die on the way back down to your car.” He looked at me, somewhat befuddled and said, “Well, thanks.” It was actually a pretty humorous exchange. But it’s the truth: we need to be ever-ready to meet our Maker.

Another media fallacy is that there are people who have no warts. Here’s a conversation I recently had.

Other person: “I just really don’t like it when he does ‘x’”

Me: “Have you heard the phrase ‘warts and all’?”

Other person: “What?”

Me: “You are called to love him warts and all. No one on this earth is perfect. Every single person will disappoint you. Every person has flaws. You have flaws. Loving someone — loving him — means loving him warts and all.”

Love keeps no record of wrongs. But our culture keeps impeccable records, and it keeps them for decades, even centuries. This gotcha vibe begs the question: What ever happened to grace? Its absence is ruining both societies and relationships. How can there be such ignorance of the self-destruction?

Stop for a second and think about who in your life needs your love and affirmation, warts and all? Is there a single person in your life that’s NOT on that list? Spoiler alert: there’s not.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians‬ ‭4:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

May we be humble, gentle and patient with others this weekend. May we shut off the the fear-mongering, hate-inducing media, and instead make EVERY effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. May we love one another, warts and all.

With Love,

Kristie

Jackson Five Friday: The Secret to a Happy…

Hey Friends,

It’s looking like a spectacular weekend to celebrate July 4th. The festivities may be different, but you can be immensely grateful for your country even if you stay home and watch that repulsive hot dog eating contest, which my family never misses. Mercifully, I imagine it’s cancelled this year. Of course that may result in my guys wanting to re-do their own contest from last year. I filmed and my four guys tried to choke down the hot dogs. It gave us all a new appreciation for Joey Chestnut. They were so confident and their abilities proved pitiful.

The wonderful adage “a happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers,” actually applies to life in general. Forgiveness is a part of any good relationship, and forgiveness is always, always part of being happy. If you don’t forgive — if you refuse to extend grace — you are a miserable person. Governments are made up of people and will always be flawed. In fact, the complexities and distance from consequences means government is always more flawed.

Our 25th anniversary is coming up in December. In 25 years of marriage do you think maybe we’ve had a few instances to forgive? One time on a Mother’s Day card my son wrote that I’m the world’s best forgiver — I don’t even know what the sweet boy had been forgiven of, but it’s an incredible statement. I’ll never forget it. But one thing I know is: I love being happy. And I realized a long time ago that to be happy you need to forgive. To be a happy spouse you need to forgive. To be a happy friend, you must forgive. To be a happy parent, you’ve got to let it go. To be a happy citizen, you can recognize and even mourn grievances, but you are also called to forgive.

Can you personally recall the truth of this statement lived out in your life?

It is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11b NIV

We should all be able to point to a slew of examples. After all, the Bible also says:

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

With Love,

Kristie

Tell Me Some Good News

Friends,

I almost never post on a non-Friday but I always feel a little boost when I sit down and preach to myself on the blog. I feel like I could benefit from daily blogging these days. I need to feed myself the truth, even when I have no appetite for it.

Today I opened my eyes, reluctant to start another day. I feel so beat down by people — not disease, not unrest, not the gloomy weather we’ve been having, not the fact that I will surely die — just people. I don’t ever remember feeling so widely disappointed. The fear and hypocrisy just get to me sometimes. Truly, have fear and hypocrisy ever been so rampant? Even among professing Christians? It’s devastating.

This morning, as my husband was about to leave for work, I was awake but resolved to just go back to sleep.

“Tell me some good news,” I said, eyes barely open.

“Tell you some good news?” He repeated.

“Yes, please. Please just tell me some good news,” I said.

“Uhh,” he stammered, trying to think. But then, being a wise and wonderful man, he exclaimed: “He is Risen!”

I smiled. He is indeed risen. I hope you have someone in your life who can tell you the best news ever first thing in the morning. When you feel discouraged, turning your eyes to Jesus is always the answer. Jesus is the one Person incapable of disappointing me. And just as the old hymn says, “the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”

A corollary is that we shouldn’t expect anyone to meet our expectations. I fall into the pit of thinking people will act consistently, that they will be rational, that they will not be hypocritical, that they will not be filled with fear. But that’s 100% on me. Doing this is itself irrational and hypocritical. It is also giving others power over me they should never have. After all, my hope is in Christ alone.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Yes, because He is Risen, we know the hope. A glorious inheritance awaits. Isn’t that great news?

With Love,

Kristie

Jackson Five Friday: The Wisdom of Roy

Friends,

This week I met a guy who told me he walks every morning with a buddy. He said this buddy just complains nonstop about all that is going on in the world. Wisely this gentleman decided that they need to start their walk with listing five things they are thankful for. Gratitude is always the answer, and making a specific list always changes my perspective.

This wise new friend of mine was here to repair appliances. When he asked what my husband does, and I told him, he said, “Well, I know my number one for tomorrow morning: Thank God I’m not a hospital administrator during a pandemic.” So do let me know if you are local and need a charming, wise and reliable appliance repairman.

Anyway, yesterday would have been my parents, Roy and Judy’s, 61st wedding anniversary. I don’t know if weddings in 1959 all looked as magical as theirs, but the style and class coupled with their obvious joy made for great photographs. Sadly, my dad didn’t live to see the 21st century, but I can hear his commentary on much of it anyway.

One thing I know he’d say for sure: “Talk is cheap.” In fact, my inner Roy reiterates this on a daily basis. Has any society in the history of mankind been more prone to value statements over action? I don’t get it.

Our lives reveal who we are, not our statements. Twitter and social media in general have exacerbated the issue, but our calendars and bank statements remain reliable measures of what we truly believe. Listening is a lost art, while weighing in is the trend. Empty proclamations of goodness instead of soul-searching prayer. How did we get here?

The Bible doesn’t say, “Talk is cheap” exactly, but it does outline how we develop character.

And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5: 2b-5

Praying that as for me and mine, we will persevere, knowing that hope will never put us to shame.

With Love,

Kristie

P.S. If you think about the meaning of the word persevere, about all of its connotations, do any of them jive with mere statement making? I don’t think so. To persevere is an action. Talk is cheap.