Tag Archives: Jesus

so, what’s your story?

a hungry caterpillar...i began journaling in high school, ostensibly as a class assignment, however my love for words and the continuous flow of teen drama compelled me to continue writing beyond high school and through college. today, i journal in a specially selected notebook…the qualities of the chosen one include a spiral binding, heavy lined paper and a cool retro type cover illustration like the ones found here.

more recently, at least over the last couple of years, i have especially enjoyed blogging.  i feel like the blog format allows me some freedom to have a conversation…even if it is with myself…or to provide encouragement and a morsel of humor to a reader or two that happen to stumble upon”Out of the Mud.”

of course, the upside of blogging is that i can write about anything i want, on the other hand my posts tend to be sporadic and not particularly focused on any one subject area. it doesn’t take long for the astute observer to conclude i am hard pressed to remain focused on any one ‘thing’ for any significant amount of time. apparently, there is a term for people like me…a.d.d. or a.d.h.d….back in high school ‘airhead’ or ‘dingy blonde’ was fairly accurate… i suppose i could focus all my blog posts on a.d.d….complete with ‘how to’ and ’10 steps to…’ articles.

mostly, though, i write about my life as a ‘believer’ or ‘follower of Christ’ or the older, less hip term used to describe us Jesus Freaks: ‘born again Christian.’ terminology aside, i do have other interests, check my facebook info page…i have a plethora of interests, but seriously, i kind of get tired of reading/writing/talking about recipes, cool new kitchen kitche, decorating my house, all the accomplishments of my overachieving husband and kids, will ferrell’s latest movie and what not to wear.

i’m a thinker, i suppose, so i could examine and discuss the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, whether bailing out the banks is really a good idea, i could decry genocide in Rwanda, Sudan, or Congo…i could debate the ethics of late term abortion, discuss different treatments available for pre-, peri- and postmenopause, i could analyze the US Forest Service’s current policy on prescribed burns on Forest Service lands or hold a web forum  on parenting and disciplining our children…but–

each of these subjects would eventually lose my interest…unless the discussion, debate, forum or rant had the ‘aroma’ of Christ…then we’d need to brew more coffee and put another log on the fire. because, not only do i love to share my story…i love to hear yours…i think that is why social networks, blogs, etc intrigue me…

becomes a beautiful butterfly...as for me…what i truly love to share with those willing to read or listen is how one Person, the most historic figure ever to walk the earth drew me to Him and in a single moment i realized i am not a caterpillar, but a butterfly…

i love to share the moments i experience in my work as nurse…when i see the work of His hands in the birth of a new family. how it is only because of His spirit in me that i can look upon women and children with His eyes…people whom many would pass by on the street without giving them a second thought, those who live among us who are homeless, jobless, helpless, hopeless…and how this life we live, this very hard bumpy, crusty life is worth every bump and bruise…

in a world filled with contradiction, confusion and injustice, my friend Heather (@ especially heather) describes the One that gives me a hope and a future, One whose mercy is new every morning, Who gives me a joy from within that I cannot manufacture. it’s not about prosperity or the good life…it’s about a peace from within based upon grace at the Cross. it’s about the Greatest Story ever told.

Easter is only the beginning of the Story, will it be the beginning of your story? Everyone has one…will you tell your story to Him, to the One who gives hope and grace?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

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Filed under a new start, hope, i follow Jesus, joy

Advent Conspiracy…

There’s a conspiracy underway…and I don’t think it will end anytime soon.

I think we could agree we are all on a journey, searching…and it seems the holiday season exacerbates this searching feeling inside.

Unless the searching feeling has been satisfied. By the One who satisfies.

The One who satisfies came to us as a babe in a manger over 2000 years ago; today we celebrate His birth as Christmas. Maybe it’s me, but somewhere along the way celebrating Christ’s birth (aka Christmas) was hijacked by the searching monster. In the United States the “holiday season” begins at Halloween (or before), is punctuated by the Big Feast (aka Thanksgiving) in which we gorge ourselves on scandalous amounts of food and ends with the grand finale on Christmas Day. For many, Christmas Day has become a fest of consuming…of spending scandalous amounts of money on stuff we don’t really need in search of something we really do need. We make our lists, check them twice and head out to Wal*mart in search of…something.

Christ’s birth (aka Christmas) was meant to transform the world…not our credit rating. Why all this consuming during the holiday season? And it’s not just about buying gifts, either. There’s the new pots and pans to be purchased to cook all the extra food we are cooking, the new furniture for the people who are coming to visit…there’s the new clothes to buy for the parties we have to attend…there’s the wrapping paper and tape and ribbons to buy to wrap all the gifts we’ve purchased. And the $29.99 gallon of peanut oil to fry the $10.00 turkey. But you can use the oil over and over. Who fries food these days besides McDonald’s?

Now, I may be preaching to the choir…or maybe I’m just talking out loud to myself…you may have all this figured out. But way back in early October, I was shopping the local *big box discount store* for Halloween candy and I noticed Christmas décor and stuff in the aisle next to the princess and fairy costumes. The confused look on my face must have mirrored that on my children’s. “What’s the Christmas stuff for Mommy?” “Oh, it just wouldn’t be Halloween without a few Christmas decorations, would it, honey?” I decided I had had enough of the whole holiday consumer scene.

What if, as followers of Christ we would treat the holidays as the Holy Days they are? What if we would consider stopping the busyness…to slow down and listen to the One who satisfies? What if our transformed hearts would focus out on others, sharing the Hope that satisfies? This sounds great; you say…I want something different this year…but how?

Advent Conspiracy is a great place to start. Advent Conspiracy is an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by worshipping Jesus through compassion, not consumption. This page has some specific ideas for relational giving.

What Would Jesus Buy? is a secular docu-comedy about the commercialization of Christmas. It’s from producer Morgan Spurlock (“Super size Me”) and has received very positive reviews from Christianity Today and Beliefnet.com among others.

Catalyst Church in Kent, Ohio has taken the Advent Conspiracy to a new level…check out Christmas in Kent.org.

Rick McKinley’s blog (Imago Dei Community) is here…read The Baby is Coming and check out Imago Dei’s site.

Darryl at DashHouse.com has posted his column from Christian Week.

Here in my town three churches have formed Christmas on 84th Street…here’s the site for inspiration.

Inspiration for Celebrating Christ in Your Home:

What about Santa Claus? We began celebrating Saint Nicholas Day many years ago. Pastor Ralph Wilson at Joyful Heart Renewal Ministries has written a lovely article about Nicholas, find it here. Many of you may already know the story, I had never heard “the truth about Santa” until I was a Christ follower! For details on our family St. Nicholas celebration see Treasured Traditions.

And this link to Simpleliving.org is a wonderful Epiphany resource…a great way to signify the close of the Christmas season.

Joanne at The Simple Wife has an Advent Countdown with daily treasures to share with her children. The project page has the how-to. I love the simplicity and the message…this project reminds me of Resurrection Eggs…but that’s for another special Holy Day!

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Filed under the journey