Interesting insight…

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Before I start, Happy Friday…have a blessed weekend…and I am not writing this to stir up any controversy.

I hate conflict more than any one could possibly know…but I read this information in an email advertisement from Chico’s and I can’t shake it.

They have a new spokeswoman for one of their departments and she is a Yoga instructor.

Please hear me…I understand and have heard many dear Christians share that they find the stretches and such in this to be beneficial for many health reasons.

I also see it incorporated into schools, show choir workshops, etc etc….and I am not writing this to hack anyone off, believe me….we have more than enough fodder for division on a regular basis these days.

I just want to simply share the information that appears on an advertisement for clothing that I happened to read….

I don’t know how to copywrite an advertisement, but this is the excerpt and I have highlighted the phrasing that stood out to me as a follower of Christ.

Yoga is thought of as fitness, which is fine. Whatever gets somebody in the door is great, but I guarantee you once they’re in the door, they will get so much more. It does keep you in amazing shape and it keeps you healthy internally, but what it’s really doing is training the mind. The postures which are called ‘asana’ that we think of as yoga are not really the yoga. The yoga is the state of ‘nothing missing’….when the mind is not constantly chattering, or making up stories, or running after something that you want, or pushing away something that you don’t want. That’s what we call the ‘monkey mind’. The asana practice clears out the stories in the body. Your body is a roadmap. Every fear, every insecurity, every trauma, it’s all encoded in the body, and we just keep covering it up. When we get into a yoga class it’s possible for the whole world to open up for you, if you’re willing to take that next step and unlock in the body what is hidden and buried there, and in some ways, make friends with it.”       Colleen Saidman Yee, on Chico’s website.

You all can do with that as you decide between you and God, but for me…

the “whatever it takes to get people in the door…” line…creeps me out..and please, oh please, Church…let us NEVER adopt this mindset in drawing the lost to Jesus…

and then, my heart just beats so hard in my chest thinking how contrary so much of this is to the promises of God to regenerate me…

to take the old and make it new….

to use everything that was meant for evil done TO me and BY me; and work it for my good and His glory…

the call to bring my thoughts into obedience to Christ….

the command to “Be still and KNOW that I am God”….

to not make friends with the world…

and how He placed on His  own Son, all the sin OF all the world, and my own sin,  so that I, and anyone who receives Him as LORD and Savior…am/are forgiven and accepted as His child in the company of the Beloved.

It is clear in this article, that; at least for this particular practitioner, instructor and owner of studios, there is far more on the table than physical fitness.

I love your unseen, unknown faces and hearts too much to not urge you…

if you are participating in a class…or if your children are being asked to participate…and IF you are a believer…and IF the words of this one instructor’s quote at all trouble you…pray about it…ask questions…don’t blindly accept that the instructor is just viewing it as exercise.

Make wise decisions about the teaching you allow yourself to come under.

No judgment…no condemnation…just passing along what was openly shared on an ad from some clothing store…

I pray for each of us to have hearts that are so open and tender to the voice of our good Shepherd…who loves us and gave Himself for us.

Blessings dear ones…if you are still with me…and I hope to see you Monday <3

 

 

Thursday thoughts <3

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Today’s thoughts are about a time along ago before we had such a thing as internet email, texting, social media and 24 hour television programming. Yes, I am referring to those ancient times that made up my childhood.

Back in those days, summer would find Carl Lochner’s family in their home-away-from-home; a 31′ Airstream Trailer, loaded to the gills with all the conveniences of home in travel size.

We toured the USA, attended gatherings of other Airstream people and visited friends and family around the country.

Since we connected in-person, we didn’t need clever posts and hilarious Youtube clips.

No, we shared our corny material the old-fashioned way by having such devices on hand for visitors to our traveling micro-home; such as the “Hillbilly Weather Vane” which was a ribbon attached to a clothespin sporting the directions to hang it outside yer window; and a typed piece of paper that said something like, “If the ribbon is dry, it’s sunny; if it’s wet, it’s raining, and if it’s movin’ around, it’s windy”.

I will give you a minute to collect yerself from the laughter.

My dad also had a coaster-shaped cardboard with bold letters TUIT in the center.

It didn’t matter how many times you visited our trailer, my dad would hand that to you and tell you that you could get busy on whatever you were putting off, because now you have a round TUIT.

Get it.

Maybe it’s early, for all the times you say you will do it when you get AROUND TO IT.

All summer. Every year.

Explains me a little better, doesn’t it?

But I have been thinking about that round TUIT this week.

I have several places I could use one in my life. Maybe you do, too….

like getting around to…

finishing some projects I started

reading a couple of books I am halfway through

getting quiet enough with God about some things that I am sorting through that need His healing touch

taking time to address some areas in my heart and attitude that He has convicted me about through recent quiet times

forgiving some people ..

Oh, there are more, but I think you get the point.

I pray for you to receive a round TUIT today for the things you have been putting off.

Let God be your Round TUIT….as you finish well the race marked out for YOU <3

Oh the relief…

Last night I attended the monthly Crafts and Coffee event at church…

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although…

now that I think about it, I don’t think they were offering coffee…

ok…sorry…I’m back.

I was a little later, and I mean later than my usual five minutes, so everyone was already busy at work at the small tables in our cafe area when I arrived.

All that activity and creativity was like an adrenaline rush, so I moved around the various groups to admire the different projects and say hi to everyone.

There was a beautiful, three layered shawl emerging from one friend’s circular needles that I may possibly have coveted.

Mint green, rosy pink and magenta all knit into delicate lace ruffles…It was so pretty that I hovered long enough to develop a deep desire to craft one of those babies in the near future.

Then there was the little gal with her bead box open, fashioning her amazing earrings.

Oh that looked fun and I do have a box of beads and the tools to make jewelry, so the seed was planted to drag those out sometime soon as well.

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As my head was spinning with all the plans that were crowding in to an already overpacked to do list of incomplete projects, my eyes rested on the leader of our group as she sat at her spinning WHEEL.

Seriously.

The girl spins yarn…out of fiber she has dyed. Herself.

I asked her if she made the dye, and thank goodness for both of us she doesn’t, because I am not sure I could have handled much more amazement.

She sat there feeding what looked like colorful insulation into this brown, wheeled, gizmo…smiling and pedaling with her cute little feet, chatting with me as nimble fingers fed the fluff into the part that turned it into…I don’t know…yarn? thread?

And all of a sudden I realized the blessed peace of relief that I get when people talk about running a marathon.

Because I have absolutely no desire to do any of that, ever.

Not dye fiber.

Not spin fiber.

Not run a marathon.

Not even a half of desire to do a half of a marathon.

(The only thing I remotely might consider is raising alpacas and sheep FOR the fiber, because I am such a magnet for the animal kingdom…that I think I might actually have a knack for shepherding…plus…great blog material potential in ranching, I would think…)

And so I sank into a chair next to her, laughing and we talked about how great it is when you realize you really don’t care if you ever get good at something.

She acknowledged that she had done the same with the concept of improving her cooking repertoire and has peaceful contentment serving the meals she has mastered up to this point, thank you very much.

In this Pinterest driven, FaceBook….15 minutes of fame…so many great ideas, so little time world…isn’t it grand when we can eliminate some things off our list because we know…good on you if you can do it and I will just applaud you with absolutely no envy or sense of competition or drive to learn this skill; because I am happy to be a spectator in your arena!

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Hallelujah!

So what are your interests that draw you like a moth to a flame?

And what are those things that you love to watch in others, but are quite content to never ever feel pressured to learn?

Isn’t it wonderful that we can appreciate each others gifts and interests, whether they are mutual or wildly different?

AND………..

If you are interested in checking out a little more about my sweet and talented spinning friend, I received permission to share her new website with you….you will find her at ….

http://www.andreagrundendesigns.com/

God bless you all in whatever you love to do and cheers for those things you feel free to pass on!

See you tomorrow!

 

 

Maybe it needs to be said…or at least thought about…

I have had something stirring in my heart and so today’s is a little longer…less pictures…more words…but from my heart <3

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One of the realities of the concept that a group of people would all come together under one, real or implied, banner and share their collective ideas and options and opinions and then take a vote and whatever/whoever has the most votes wins is this…

somebody or, more likely, somebodies are not going to get their way.

Whether it is a family of five deciding where to go for dinner…or a committee at church deciding how to handle the latest surge in attendance….or a country deciding who will lead it.

Part of the group is going to be very happy….part of the group is going to be OK…and part of the group is going to be somewhere between disappointed and miserable.

Democracy is typically only great for the winning side of the majority vote.

One of the frustrating turn of events in this democracy, for those of us who use God’s Word as the standard for our moral, ethical and spiritual principles, is that we are quite aware that we are not the majority.

I would suppose we never were, but we lived in a cultural climate where we at least perceived we were.

During my most recent visit with the boys, Rachel suggested that the two older ones pick out a game to play with Lola.

A game.

As in one.

If you have ever dealt with children, you can pretty much imagine what happened at that point…

I could hear them all the way down the stairs and all the way back up, jostling to get to me first.

Graham chose a Wild Kratts game and Emmy chose Paw Patrol.

As Rachel and Joel faded off to another room, smiling smugly…I grabbed my spiritual whistle and emotional referee cap and entered in to the ensuing fray that included…

<3 Deciding which game to play first

<3 Deciding who gets to be which character first

<3 Deciding who gets to go first

<3 Deciding that Emmett, at three years old, has no idea how to play either game and made both games pretty much a living …you know….heck….

I found myself championing for peaceful negotiations, suggesting compromises and trying to enforce enough rules that the game made sense for Graham; while extending enough grace that Emmy could feel like he had participated without causing us to want to lock him in the garage.

It was an incredible workout for all of us…physically, emotionally and spiritually….but we got through it…stronger…mostly unharmed…and gaining more than we would have if we had all agreed on one game and played it without incident.

It wasn’t about the game at all…

not about gathering animal shields with the Wild Kratts …

nor bones with the Paw Patrol.

It was about us, working through it, figuring out how to get along while taking turns and making room for each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

I have to remind myself that as far as politics and laws and agendas go…there is no way we will ever…all of us…come to 100% agreement and be totally happy with how this country is run and managed.

Even if you were to force “agreement” on us, in our minds and hearts…we would still believe what we believe….

It’s what each of us do, in the context of this country’s “democracy” that matters.

For me, as a follower of Christ, it is how I choose to live and love and work and serve …. under the Authority of Christ by living under the authority of the nation in which He has placed me.

We live in confusing times and it is okay to be confused.

Much of what we are seeing and hearing doesn’t make sense because much is not grounded in truth or the Truth.

Truth like…

First of all then, I urge, that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men, for kings and for all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.   1 Timothy 2:1-3 Berean Study Bible

and from Paul, who was speaking under Roman rule…

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which is from God. The authorities that exist have been appointed by God. Consequently the one who resists authority is opposing what God has set in place, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  Romans 13:1-2   Berean Study Bible

and for the freedom we have in Christ…we are always free…no matter what government authority we are under…

Live in freedom, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Treat everyone with high regard: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.    1 Peter 2:16-17

and then there are the words of Jesus Himself to put these human games of politics and commerce…of kingdoms and democracies and the rise and fall of civilizations into proper perspective…

Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If it were; My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews. But now, My Kingdom is not of this realm.”  John 18:36

While we live out our daily lives in the United States of America, under whatever authority gets voted in by the most people…we wait for the coming of a Kingdom that is not of this world.

It sounds crazy to those who don’t know Him.

It is everything to us who do.

And it is our prayer for all to have the opportunity to receive Him as Lord and Savior, no matter where they live on this globe.

So while we wait: let’s wait well.

Let’s honor our King in the government under which we live; while we look, with anticipation, for His Return.

God bless each of you as you honor Him first and foremost in all things <3

In remembrance…

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One of our travels this summer was to Chattanooga, TN to attend an event for Russ’s work.

We were so blessed by the hospitality of the people and the beauty of that area of the country.

Chattanooga is one of Russ’s favorite cities to visit for his job and he drove me around to share with me this community he has come to know.

One of the places he pulled into was a rather small and unremarkable strip mall parking lot.

Like so many in our own town, it was a one story brick facility housing several random businesses with glass storefronts under their various signage.

Nothing really remarkable or worth remembering…

Except…

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A community remembering an event of senseless, violent terrorism that ripped open their hearts one morning….

There wasn’t any big news coverage this year outside of this community where they remembered and comforted and showed respect for those who died and those left to carry on.

All over this country there are cities that have faced the unthinkable…

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we are shaken around the country when it happens…

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But then we move on.

We must.

We cannot carry the full burden of every community that has suffered, but to me…this is a quality of America that I love dearly

That when one city suffers a blow, we all feel wounded…

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and express grief for our fellow citizens for the way the tragedy has impacted them…

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but another quality that is so precious is the quiet way that we carry on life as the spotlight moves on and the wounded are left to choose Hope.

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Go back to that picture of the plaque from Chattanooga…

maybe you just scanned it…

please take time to let the message resonate…

key in on these words….

“We did not riot. We prayed.”

“We did not lash out at easy targets for revenge. Instead, we invited each other into our lives, homes, places of worship.”

It is only through forgiveness and healing that our compassion for others will hold fast in these times of increasing violence.

To openly acknowledge that evil happened, but that we overcome evil with good.

In the words of the precious citizens of Chattanooga…

“…to respond to the unthinkable with the unbreakable”

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May our God, whose Name was called on for the very founding of this nation…founded by imperfect people who have an imperfect history….bless us and unite us under His Name to overcome evil with good <3