Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why should I doubt my arm?!?

Well, I guess that I will address the throwing soap to/at Rob Bell topic. Here goes....

Friday night my husband, myself and another couple had a double date night. We drove to Indy to attend the Rob Bell Drops Like Stars tour. My husband had already purchased tickets online for the two of us, so our friends did not sit with us. They are glad, .....because I embarrassed them. :/ Sorry guys. Please don't disown me.

I had already read the title book, and yes, I knew that the overall theme of the evening was "suffering", but that did not stop me from bringing along my crazy zany self.

Rob is a great speaker, and I consider him to have a pretty brilliant mind. He also, has a great sense of humor. I was counting on this "said humor" when my impulse created a "stunt".

Let me do a little walk through of the evening for you....

Early in the speech, Rob made reference to a very clever and creatively written college application. It was, HILARIOUS. Kudos to that guy. After reading the applicant's entry, Rob talked about the terms "in the box" & "outside the box" and he even went as far as saying that to people like the guy who filled out the application, the thought process is more like, "...There's a box?"

Ok, fast forward a while. We were told by Rob to look under our seats to find bars of soap. That's right, soap. (He was preparing to do a visual that explained using the process of elimination to discover something inside.) So, he said something along the lines of "everyone needs a bar of soap". Well, we were in row "K". I'm not so sure just how far that is back, but it seemed reasonable to think that it was close enough.... and as people were chattering away and passing out bars of soap, I was thinking back, to myself, about the "in the box" "outside the box" "..there's a box" from earlier. Putting that into action, I realized that Rob was on our side of the stage, and that HE didn't have a bar of soap. He had said that EVERYONE needed a bar, hadn't he? Hmmm.... So, among the chattering, I shouted out "Hey Rob, need a bar?" He asked, "Do I need a bar, ha ha, no, I'm good, thanks." and laughed..... The next part is a little foggy, but I know that at some point he asked me if I thought that I could make it to him, and I was sure that I could. He told me to go for it, and so, yes, I threw a bar of soap over the heads of several rows of people to Rob Bell, on stage, during a speech about suffering. It hit the stage just short of him and skidded all the way to the back curtain. He laughed again and gave me a little bow........At this point his original demonstration continued.....

Fast forward a liiiittle bit later. We were then told that there are index cards and pencils under our chairs for the next part.... Yes, I asked Rob if he wanted me to throw him a pencil as well. I am aware that this made me sound like an absolute lunatic. My way of thinking was that it would emphasize my humor and help me to look LESS like a crazy soap throwing person. You know, kind of smooth things over, so to speak. :/ Ugh....yeah. He made a comment about having protective eye wear & laughed. I told him that "I'm outside the box".

So, it was little more than 24 hours later that I saw something posted on the web about it. I read John Acuff's Stuff Christians Like blog. Ironically, his blog that day was asking people to submit questions for him to use in his upcoming interview with, none other than, you guessed it.... Mr. Rob Bell. There, about 2/3 of the way down on the comments section was an entry from a lady that asked what Rob was *really* thinking when the lady threw the bar of soap AT him on Friday night at Indy.... gulp. At him?!? It was TO him! Yikes! TO him!! :S It was also mentioned on his facebook page. :s

Oh crap. I AM a crazy soap throwing person. Oh dear. And my friends had teased me too! It must have been awful.... really bad. Oh my.... Gasp!

Now I was headed in a downward spiral from "sort of silly" to wearing a straight jacket at the loony bin. I could just picture it: No more soap demonstrations the Drops Like Stars tour, because of my display.... Rob's wife saying to him, "honey, I think you should take a break from touring. Your critics are mean, and now people are trying to hit you with soap"... People calling me crazy on web pages.... My picture posted by the doors at the Murat & all other future Rob Bell tour stops with the words "PUBLIC MENACE: NO ADMITTANCE" below it.... My facebook friends all block me, and my Twitter followers plummet from the whopping 8 down to 2....I would never be asked to speak to a church group again, because we all know that soap throwing lunatics have no place in leadership of any kind..... and no one would ever read my well intended devotional type blogs again..... :O

At this point flashbacks of the sign posted on the door came to me. The night was being taped for the Drops Like Stars video, and by attending, we gave consent to Rob Bell & company to use our image. Holy crap. Now I pictured the incident being played back in slow motion from the film. What's worse, we had even taken a picture of that post because we were bummed that we couldn't take our cameras inside. Yip, that's the pic that I posted at the start of the blog.

I felt totally embarrassed and misunderstood. I felt like.... like Spongebob Squarepants!Yes! That's it! I felt like Spongebob in the episode when he rips his pants: He has a good joke going, and he thrives off of the laughter. Making people laugh is a fuel to him. Eventually, he plans the biggest laugh of them all, but it goes terribly terribly wrong. He pretends to drown, and everyone is appalled. Yip, that was me. Me & Spongebob. That's the way we roll. We planned big, but didn't think things through.

Spongebob reconciled with his friends through a beach style rock song..... I think that if I tried this with Rob Bell, that I may end up with a protective order against me, so I'm going to just hope that he took it as humor. He did laugh, and say "there's a box?" in response to me :) I hope that everyone else also found humor in this whole thing. I have to tell you that I thought that my pastor was going to literally fall off of his seat laughing when we talked about it.

I posted lighthearted responses on those web pages, and received a complimentary note in my inbox last night. Apparently, someone at the show besides just me and my husband did interpret it as intended. *BIG siiiiigh of relief. ;)

*And just for the record, let it be known that the soap was thrown TO him, and not AT him. The man has enough critics out there without the people that find him insightful beating him up! ha ha

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holy cow! I'm a rockstar!

Or, I guess I could just be boring and say I feel awesome. Rock Stars probably don't feel AS awesome at times, in fact. Why? Because I did something today that I have never done in my life, and that I thought that I never would: I ran a mile.

Yes, that's right. I have joined the Dark Side. (That picture is me, not the Unibomber.) I could give you a list a mile long to prove to you that it's a God thing. Instead, I would like to share with you what I have come through in just a very short time.

I ran for the first time on November 25th. It was the following Sunday that I did it again after I confirmed my "accountability friend" aka, my trainer, aka my parole officer. :/ Anyway, since I spoke with her I haven't quit running. (except for the mandatory day off that she wisely requires me, which is once a week) Just call me Forrest, Forrest Gump.

Since I started:
optical migraine
another headache
cramps (sorry guys)
ouch, my knee hurts
colder, heavier rain
hey, now my other knee is stiff too :/
brrrrr! The windchill is killer! It's stinking coooold........ but I just ran a mile anyway!!!!!!

I list these things not to sound whiny, but to say: WOW! I am so proud of myself. God has changed something inside of me. I know that it sounds kind of funny, since it has not been very long, but it's true. I felt His nudge into the unknown, and heck ~the unliked, and I am so glad that I was brave enough to listen. If you put all of the obstacles that I listed on one side of a scale, they really add up. However, if you put this scripture on the other side of that scale, there is really no comparison.
Philippians 4:13 I can do ALL things through Him who strengthens me.

Sure, you have probably heard that verse before, but think about that for a minute. It is well known for a reason. Take it's meaning deeper in your own situation. What seems unlikely to happen in your life? What thing have you counted out of your realm of possibility just because you didn't think it was "you"? Anyone who knows me can verify that my becoming a runner is, well,... shocking. Absolutely shocking. I used to make jokes. Here are a two: "I ran 2nd base after I hit a double". "I tried running once, but the ice cubes kept falling out of my drink!" The truth is, I still hate it. I'm still pretty sure that it is from the devil. But, what I don't hate is how I feel right now..... or the second that I reach my front door, or when my son states, "Mommy, you were running." when I walk inside, or how my legs feel tighter already. And I really like how I feel knowing that this is God answering prayer for not just me, but for my husband as well. I owe more credit to his prayers on the subject than my own.

I joined the Biggest Loser League and they ask for personal goals. Mine are: 1: To honor God with this body that He gave me, 2: To be a good example for my children now, so that they don't have to figure this out at my age, & 3: To work out regularly and be in shape like my awesome husband.

I haven't really gone public with my "new me" yet. I have been back and forth on this blog topic for a few days, but a friend urged me to write it. I'm still an "in the closet" runner for the most part, and I don't claim for one second to have any of it figured out. I can tell you this though: Philippians 4:13 has proven to be true about running for me. In case you missed it, I ran a mile today! I didn't stop, and I didn't feel like I was going to die at the end either. It was less than 2 weeks ago that I could barely breathe after running for only 2 minutes. Yes, really.

It wasn't that I thought that it was impossible for me to run, because I believe that everything is possible with God. My problem was my complacency. I didn't CARE if it was possible or not. Complacency is a scary thing. It's comparable to being lukewarm.

Maybe it isn't an exercise issue for you. Maybe it's showing love to your family. Maybe it's fellowship. Maybe it's just being the blameless man or woman of God that He intends for you to be.... Whatever it is, be brave enough to trust Him. Care!
I love my family, and I intend to live for them, not slowly kill myself via neglect. Don't dare live one more day outside of God's intentions. I seem to remember reading something about abundant life somewhere... hmmm........ ;) Well, one thing is for sure: My life just got a whoooole lot more abundant!

*By the way, if you are one of my 5 blog readers, (haha) now would be a good time to "follow" my blog and show your support with encouraging comments. hee hee (click the "follow" button to the left side) Remember, I do still hate running, it's just that now, I know that it's going to be worth it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Joseph..... like me?

I have to say that the many years that I have enjoyed reading, studying, or hearing sermons or songs about the birth of Christ I never put a lot of thought into the Joseph part. Sure, a little, but not to the point of empathy. Not until a couple of years ago.

I was sitting in our living room full of Christmas Spirit. The radio was on in the background, and I was staring at our new sleeping baby and smiling while rubbing my stomach at the thought of the baby within. It was an amazing thing that happened to us and I realized how blessed I was. That is when the DJ announced the next song as "Joseph's Lullaby" by Mercy Me. The song wasn't new, but I had never sat down and listened to the lyrics before. This time I did. Now, granted I was teaming with pregnancy hormones, and still high on new baby emotions as well, but still... It was a God moment for me. A very emotional one at that.

If you aren't familiar with the lyrics to the song, let me fill you in. The title sort of says it all (obviously). The song is a lullaby to the newborn king from his earthly father Joseph. For the first time I sort of viewed Joseph as "a real person", or at least found something in common with him. He held this baby in his arms while his exhausted wife slept on straw. As he looked at the baby what must he have been thinking? I appreciate the view of the song writer. It gave me an image of Joseph as an adoptive parent with a huge task entrusted to him, and I honestly looked right over at the sleeping newborn in my living room and felt the same way. God chose and trusted Joseph to love and care for this baby and to bring Him up in a Godly home. To teach Him life skills and manors. to mold Him for His destiny. What a great responsibility! What an honor. In that moment I felt, almost "oneness" with Joseph. God had entrusted me with the same thing in that little girl who I had been chosen for. I no longer view Joseph as a kind man who followed God's command and supported Mary on her difficult journey. He was so much more. He was, for all human purposes, Jesus' father. I applaud Joseph & all others who adopt for being brave enough to listen when God chose him/them/YOU.

May God find you sitting and listening to whatever He has to share with you this oh so busy Christmas season.

I'm attaching the lyrics to the song and video below them, so you can listen as well.

Joseph's Lullaby, Bart Millard, Mercy Me
Go to sleep my Son
This manger for your bed
You have a long road before You
Rest Your little head

Can You feel the weight of Your glory?
Do You understand the price?
Does the Father guard Your heart for now
So You can sleep tonight?

Go to sleep my Son
Go and chase Your dreams
This world can wait for one more moment
Go and sleep in peace

I believe the glory of Heaven
Is lying in my arms tonight
Lord, I ask that He for just this moment
Simply be my child

Go to sleep my Son
Baby, close Your eyes
Soon enough You'll save the day
But for now, dear Child of mine
Oh my Jesus, Sleep tight