Saturday, August 25, 2012


"Then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud 
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." 
-Anais Nin

The time to bloom may come at the time of deepest hurt and pain... Yet the Master Gardener, our Heavenly Father, will grow us through that time to blossom one petal at a time. To fight His work and pridefully refuse growth will only cause pain and increasing heartache. Let Him open your heart petal by petal. Whatever risk comes with blossoming, comes through His hands, scarred with His Love for you.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

50 Shades of Christian Smut

One of my joys of being home and not currently working (although that time is almost past) has been my trips to the library where I spend hours pouring over the aisles of books. I also discovered that the Salvation Army generally has a good amount of books that look like they just came off the shelf at a Christian bookstore. I love reading. I always have. Losing myself in the pages of a book is one of my favorite ways to relax and unwind.

Something I have noticed recently is that most books out there, whether labeled "Christian" or not(in our library, these books have a little sticker of Jesus on the binding), are not edifying or encouraging to Christian woman. Time and time again I have brought home a book with the sticker of what they assume Jesus looked like on the binder, only to read the first few chapters and put it down in frustration. They often weave stories of love among everything else in the story until you realize it has become the main focus of the story. Many of them focus on the dissatisfaction a couple has in their marriage. They tell of adultery. They delve into lust, anger, and unrealistic happiness. There is a danger that both girls and women will look at these books and become unsatisfied with the relationship that they do have or become expectant of an unrealistically happy relationship someday. It's not safe, and it can help turn marriage into an idol.

While I was at a clinical rotation the talk of the lunch hour was about a popular series: Fify Shades of Grey. *gags* I heard over and over again how they couldn't read it without blushing and that they had to hide what they were reading from their children. For those that don't know, this book is composed primarily of  'pornography for women' and is considered to be one of the most erotic series ever written. I overheard conversations of how the book made these woman wish for something more "exciting" or "thrilling" in their love life. I've heard a lot of trash talk towards these books, and rightly so - they are horrible. However, I think most of us are a little too quick to judge. The 50 Shades series has caused as much impatience and frustration as many of the leading Christian series have, whether we are willing to admit it or not.

I had to ask myself. Was reading a book worth sacrificing my future relationship with my husband or my heart? Was I willing to give up God's idea of marriage for a few hundred pages of "Christian" romance? Was I okay with choosing someone's made-up story of love for the story of Love that God has already given us? I wasn't. When I saw the similarities, I had to give up the "Christian smut," as one of my friends calls it. I became much more cautious about what I took home and if I found myself going all bleary eyed over the pages... It had to be put down. It's not always easy, but I have noticed that within the last year I have lost my taste for these books. I have also noticed that my image of marriage has come more from the Love story that He has written between His Son and the Church.

My reading list has expanded since then. It includes books such as Revolution in World Missions (K.P. Yohannan), A Hunger for God (John Piper),  The Sacred Romance (Brent Curtis and John Eldredge), Faithful Woman and their Extraordinary God (Noel Piper), Tramp for the Lord (Corrie ten Boom), Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis), The Screwtape Letters (Lewis), as well as reading through the Bible. I come away from reading not only feeling relaxed, but challenged and more in love with Who my God is. No shade of smut is worth that.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

iPhone, or real life?

If I could do a compilation of Facebook posts from the last week or so, it would look something like this...

Headed to the Keweenaw. The last time I was up here was for graduation, surrounded by my favorite people. Now there is no school involved. Weird feeling.

First impressions are high when salt water taffy is involved.

Branded in Christ, growing old in the brand, and making a monument.

Praying, and needing coffee...

Someday, I want to hear the words "Well done." Shortly followed by "Come here, and give me a hug." To know our Father on that level would bring more joy than words can say.

Danced in Lake Superior in the moonlight.

Finished Numbers.

Asia. Muslims. Missions. The Church of Jesus Christ. I have learning to do.

'Revolution in World Missions' is a book worth reading.

Jam Pot cookies = delectable.

None of these actually were posted, because I was without cellphone signal and internet all week. It. Was. Marvelous. I had a week to do many other things. In a week without a cellphone, I read all of the book of Numbers. I attended chapel services twice a day. I went hiking above and below ground. I spent time with my family. We played the longest UNO game I have ever participated in. I prayed. Journaled. Saw friends. Made new ones. I learned about 2 Peter 1 and the missions field in Asia. As well as the missions field in the US. I stayed up late and got up early.

What could you do if you spent less time on your phone, computer, iPad, or other electronic device? What are you/am I missing by always having a phone glued to our ear or fingers? While in tune with FB, Twitter, texting, and Instagram, what are you not seeing that is right around you? Nothing irritates me more than realizing that someone can't set their phone down and walk away from it for a day. Or even a few hours.

As technology advances, it is easy to spend more time glued to it. Even with my phone, I can play games, surf the internet, write a blog post, take and edit pictures, check my email, as well as call and text. Lately, I've been working on keeping it on silent and checking it every few hours, as well as taking the games and social media apps off of it. Why? Because I realized that if we were like that with our Bibles, always checking them for clarification or new material, reading them, and unable to go somewhere without them, what would our world be like? I dare say, more God-glorifying than it is now.  And I'd rather tally the hours I spent reading His Word and Loving those He puts around me, than suffer from carpal tunnel someday due to too much thumb-action!