Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What's your bible?

bible (def.): any book, reference work, periodical, etc., accepted as authoritative, informative, or reliable

What bible do you read?  The barbecue bible?  The homeowners bible?  The football coaches bible?  The birdwatchers bible?  What book, reference work, or periodical do you accept as authoritative, informative, and reliable?  The New York Times?  People magazine?  Ladies Home Journal?

I love magazines.  I like that they have short articles that I can read quickly.  I like seeing pictures of places and people I will never see in person.  I like learning something new.  I usually read them when I'm waiting--waiting to get my haircut, waiting to see the doctor, waiting for my car to be finished.

(This summer I received a copy of a new magazine in the mail.  It said I was chosen to receive it because they knew I was "a woman of style and substance."  Later, I saw a friend of mine at the pool with the same magazine and I said, "Oh, you must be a woman of style and substance too!"  How did they know?)

This week I was reading the "Ladies Home Journal" and I realized how careful you have to be in what you accept as authoritative, informative, and reliable.  There is an article in the October issue that says, "'boyfriends with boundaries' can actually provide relief for harangued husbands: With other doting males filling in the gaps, their wives make fewer demands on them.  A woman who loves the company of men should be able to have more than one man love her back.  Another man's unswerving affection expands our ability to love and think and be happy... even if there is sexual chemistry, it doesn't mean that the sexual act will follow.  When selected wisely, trusty male pals are so precious that only a fool would ruin things by taking one to bed."  The author believes that every married woman needs a "cute, sensitive, slightly flirtatious guy best friend."

I have never heard worse marriage advice.  And although I can read that article and reject it as playing with fire and the worst thing I could do for my marriage, other people may not.   Another woman may read that as confirmation that it's okay to flirt with that guy at the office or to spend time alone with that neighbor down the street.  If her husband objects to her cute, sensitive and slightly flirtatious new friend, she can point to her Ladies Home Journal bible as proof that her boyfriend is good for her marriage.

Be on guard!  

Do not believe everything you read.  Romans 1:25(and the following verses) warn us what can happen when we exchange the truth of God for a lie.  God's Bible (with a capital B) is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105).  Judge what you read in magazines and newspapers according to the truth.  Truth is not what I say it is or what you say it is.  Truth is what God says it is.  My opinions change.  My knowledge changes.  My behavior changes.  My circumstances change.  But God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  (Hebrews 13:8) Do you need advice?  Don't rely on the wisdom of fools.  "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God?" (1 Cor 3:19)  Rely on the word of God.  Make the Bible your bible.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Don't Wait!

Don't wait.  There is only limited space available.  

Reserve your space before it's too late.

We saw this sign when we went to the cemetery to visit Anna's grave.  I thought it was funny so I stopped the car and took a picture.  We wondered if you were supposed to hurry up and die before all the good spots were gone.  As we were driving away Jacob said, "You have a good sense of humor Mom."  I told him that in life you can choose to laugh or cry.  If at all possible, I choose to laugh.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


We survived our first hurricane since moving to the East coast.  Being from the Midwest, we were used to tornadoes, but we never worried about hurricanes.  Both storms can be devastating, but they are different.  A tornado strikes quickly, with or without warning, and then is over in a matter of minutes.  The weatherman could often tell us the exact time that the tornado would  pass through our neighborhood.  This gave us enough time to grab the kids and hide under the stairs until the storm had passed.  A hurricane on the other hand, gives you lots of advance warning.  People talk about it for days before it hits.  This gives you plenty of time to prepare.  Time to buy batteries (if there are any left).  Time to buy SPAM and other canned goods.  (If that's what you like to eat.)  Time to fill up the bathtub with water so that you can flush your toilets.  (The kids kept asking, "Why are we doing this?" and I really didn't know other than someone told me that's what I was supposed to do to "be prepared".)  We had time to put away the lawn furniture and move the rabbit to the porch.  We had friends evacuate to our house from their house near the beach.  We waited.  Then the storm came in...slowly.  It started with a light rain.  I went for my run.  Then gradually the winds picked up and the rain came down heavier and heavier.  Then the trees started falling.  No one told me that we could be killed by trees falling on the house.  We don't have trees that big in Oklahoma.  No one told me that we should stay downstairs.  Now I know.  (Luckily our tree snapped in the middle instead of at the roots and it just brushed Will's window instead of landing inside his room where he was playing with three other boys.)
The wind and rain came in waves.  Just when we thought it was over, another band would hit and the storm would rage anew.  It lasted a long time.
Before the hurricane, there was no way to tell which trees would survive the storm and which trees would fall.   Some trees that appeared to be indestructible gave way at the roots and toppled over--crushing cars, power lines, houses, and unfortunately people.  Other trees swayed  and bent with the wind and stood straight again once the storm had passed.  Some, like ours,  were unwilling to bend and snapped in two.   There was no way to see how flexible a tree was or strong the roots were until they were tested by the storm.

Unfortunately, life is full of storms.  (In this world you will have tribulation [ie. storms] John 16:33)  Sometimes the storms will last a long time--chronic illness, a rebellious child, infertility, poverty, depression.  Often the storms come in waves--just when you think things have calmed down, another wave hits.  Jesus says that even though we are guaranteed to face storms in this world, we don't have to live in fear.  Be courageous for I have overcome the world!  He also says that we can have peace in Him.  I am realizing more and more how valuable peace is--not just peace in our nation, but peace in my home.  Jesus said, I leave you with a gift--peace of mind and heart.   The peace I give is a gift the world cannot give (John 14:27).  My peace does not come from a lack of storms in my life.  My peace comes from trusting the one who has already overcome this world.

Do you have peace of mind in the storms of life?  When the storms come, are you willing to bend?  Are your roots strong enough to sustain you?  Can you hang on even if the storm lasts a long time?  When your strength is tested, will you fall or will you stand?