Thursday, January 27, 2011


Stereotypes or prejudices exist where relationships don't.

I just read this from my friend's blog.  Her husband said this in response to her asking about the inevitable looks from others about their impending mixed race family.  I loved it.  It is so true.  It is beautiful.  

I wish I wasn't, but I have to admit that I am prejudiced.  I pre-judge others all too often.  I judge whether people are worthy of my kindness or grace, or rather my lack of.  I don't hear their stories or listen to their hardships.  I don't want to relate to them because I know that will require something from me that I am just not willing to give (rarely money).  I just assume people are where they are by choice.  I am reminded that we aren't the ones who choose where we are born.  Yes, we have some choices, but others are out of our hands.

Skin color
Genetic diseases
Income (yes, this can be out of our hands)

I could probably list so many more.  

I've recently had some of my ideas of what homeless people look like adjusted.  Around here, it's not the drunken older man with a beard.  The average homeless person is a nine year old child.  Nine.  Third grade.  

Do you think they have a choice in their lives to be there?  I'd be willing to bet they aren't getting a lot of good modeling in which to emulate either.

My first instinct is to be angry with the parents.  Unfortunately, many are unable to even know where to start to get out of their homelessness.  This is often a generational issue.  Unless we've been in their shoes, which most of us affluent Christians have not, we have no idea how hopeless that can be.  To have people presume your deficiencies just by how you look is something that is not bound by race.  Most homeless have jobs, are white, and have gotten to this point due to a medical issue, and secondly job losses (obviously different areas will have different demographics).

If we continue to snub our noses and keep our distance, there will continue to be hopelessness.  It's amazing what you learn when you take down the defenses and begin to relate to people.  You end up learning as much as you intend to teach, if not more.  

Now some people really are where they are because of the choices they have made.  I remember all the bad choices I've made and I am so thankful that the people around me didn't give up on me.  I am thankful for redemption.  What if we taught others what redemption looked like before we taught them what Jesus did for them?  What if we changed the stereotype of hypocritical Christians by reaching out and forming relationships with people?

These are just the things that have been in my head lately.  The blind spots that I didn't realize were there that have shown up.  It's interesting how one statement from someone can open a can of worms for me!  Thank you,  Mr Neill.  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Family Sick?

I am one of the most fortunate and blessed of all people on earth.  Above are some of the reasons why.  These are my siblings and spouses, all of whom I absolutely love.  I'm not homesick - I'm family sick!

My Mom took this picture this past Christmas, and we are all wearing Drawn From Water shirts that she gave us!  I love it!  Even though I look a bit beefy since I have the T over my sweater!!  I'm not vain or anything...

After spending some real time with family, I was reminded of how wonderful my family is and how much I value them.  We are not remotely perfect.  We all have our issues.  Despite it all, we love each other and mostly we are bound by our love of Christ.  I used to think this was normal.  I know now that it is extraordinary.  I wish I had more contact with it!

I've been moping about for the last week or so, bemoaning the fact that I now live 3500 miles (as the geese fly - you know crows don't go that far) away from this family cell.  My poor husband, who I love even more than all the others, has been having to put up with my short temper, lack of motivation, and general unpleasantness.  To him, I must apologize!

I will be getting better soon, I promise.  I know how fortunate I am to have family I love to visit and how it breaks my heart to leave them.  I am thankful. I am thankful for each moment that I have with them, and how it makes me more intentional about how I show my love for them.  This intentionality is something I hope I can continue into other relationships.  I think I'm getting tired of living on the surface.  It's not very fulfilling. doesn't look like I'll be moving anywhere soon, so instead holding back and staying where it is comfortable, it's time to be real.  I suppose this sounds a bit choppy, but I think this is my next step in obedience.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Scripture Memory


Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished.  And they recognized that they had been with Jesus."

Acts 4:13

Am I bold?  Do I astonish others?  Do people recognize that I have been with Jesus?
This is what is hope for myself for this year.  I want to disregard my lack of formal education, especially in spiritual matters, and realize that my pure commonness is exactly what God can use to magnify Himself!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Scripture Memory

Again this year I will be memorizing scripture along with Beth Moore.  It is a system that worked well for me and if you struggle with memorizing, I'd recommend you check out her blog!  It's a simple system of memorizing a verse/verses on the 1st and 15th of each month.

My first verse for this year is:

And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like noonday.  The lord will guide you always...

Isaiah 58:10-11a