Saturday, August 30, 2014

Preaching to the Choir

"Sometimes I just wish we could say all the things that are easy to hear
Ignore the injustice we see and explain every unanswered prayer
But I'd rather speak honestly and wear a tattered heart on my sleeve
'Cause in the middle of my broken dreams, Redemption is here

"I don't have every answer in life
But I'm trusting You one day at a time
'Cause You can make a weak heart stay alive forever
this is where Heaven and Earth collide
I lift my hands and give my life
This is how my weary heart stays alive..."

Sanctus Real
“The Redeemer”

Usually said with tongue in cheek, the expression 'preaching to the choir' finds a home in the mouths of those who either think they already know everything or as a criticism toward the same. In either case, not a favorable connotation, right?
After thinking on it a while, though, I decided – preaching to the choir isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, whether they realize it or not, the choir is in just as much need of a good sermon as the next guy.
This is what I mean…
The expression ‘preaching to the choir’ implies that people already in church are cleaned up enough to be there, no improvement necessary.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to go to a church where the members are already perfected, or are pretending to be. Because I’m so… not.
Church is for the ailing, hurting, broken-hearted. Even with Jesus living in our hearts and the Holy Spirit tending our souls, we still struggle. We still need a safe place to heal, grow, detox from a fallen world, repent, adjust, be encouraged, learn, gain perspective.
It’s not that ‘church people’ are ignoring the ‘real’ stuff that happens in the world. It’s not that ‘church people’ have answers to all the hurt in the world. It’s not that ‘church people’ are acceptable and ‘non-church people’ are shunned.
While the government has done a bang-up job ‘separating’ religious/spiritual from secular, I feel like the church has done its part to contributing to the chasm. Yes, there IS a difference between saved and unsaved people. But JESUS is that difference, bottom line. Saved people still screw up. Saved people still make bad decisions. And saved people even act mean sometimes.
Yes, saved people are called to behave differently, and by all means, we should demonstrate salvation through our actions- love your neighbor! But on days when loving your neighbor doesn’t come as easily as you’d like, leaning on the Everlasting Arms reminds us that it’s not about us, it’s all about Him.
And THAT’S why preaching to the choir is okay with me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Not Just A Piece of Paper

I won’t waste time or space apologizing or making excuses for my absence. It will probably be more of the rule for a while here than an exception. That’s just the way life goes at the moment. Not a bad thing! Simply a change.
But today – the 18th anniversary of marriage to my Daniel – I felt like sharing a few thoughts if y’all will indulge me.
While the institution of marriage has been under constant attack for pretty much forever, one of the more popular disparages is the belief that marriage is just a piece of paper – an expensive legal document binding two individuals, so fragile that another expensive piece of paper can un-bind the two individuals just as easily.
Whether you believe in then necessity of that piece of paper or not (for the record – I DO believe in obtaining that piece of paper), belief systems lead to behavior and if one believes that marriage is just a piece of paper, then any relationship/marriage that one enters into has little hope of being treated any better than a mere piece of paper.
The serious truth is, marriage is much much more than a simple, flimsy, worthless piece of paper.
Marriage is…
A covenant.
A vow.
A promise.
A design.
A higher calling than any other relationship.
Hard work.
A miracle.
A state of doing – not just of being.
An active occupation, not a passive label.
A purpose.
A destiny.
It’s forgiveness…long suffering…patience…responsibility…sacrifice…
Living 1 Cor. 13 every second of every day.
A muscle to strengthen – one that atrophies and dies when ignored.
It’s a messy collaboration – like a dance meshing patterned choreography with ad lib free style creating one fluid motion of two individuals.

It’s all the excitement of mud wrestling – along with all the dirty slime.
It’s playing game after game in the Major Leagues, winning some – losing some, but not quitting because the goal is the World Series.
It’s family vacation – a maddening but memorable adventure that barely escapes attempted murder.
It takes the effort of a gladiator – life and death on the line.
Marriage is selflessness – a monumental task for us humans.
Marriage blends polar opposites – happiness and sadness, highs and lows, the good and the bad, bliss and misery – to accomplish a beautiful, unique, solid, miraculous goal.
It’s the ultimate vulnerability and the ultimate security.
A piece of paper doesn’t hold a candle to a marriage.
All of this and more for eighteen years – by the grace of God – with full-hearted gratitude – for as many years as the Lord will tarry – may the adventures of Dan and Lori go on and on.
Daniel Lundquist, I love you.
(photo by yours truly!)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Lasting Lines Friday - Answers!


1. Give me a scotch. I’m starving. - Iron Man (2008)
2. For lack of a better option, Dummy is still on fire safety. - Iron Man (2008)
3. Hogan, drive. Cheeseburger first. - Iron Man (2008)
4. I told you I don’t want to join your super secret boy band. - Iron Man 2 (2010)
5. You know what keeps going through my head? Where’s my sandwich? - Iron Man 3 (2013 – a.k.a. TODAY!!!!)

Lasting Lines Friday

Test your movie quote trivia here! Happy Weekending, Dry Ground friends!

1. Give me a scotch. I’m starving.
2. For lack of a better option, Dummy is still on fire safety.
3. Hogan, drive. Cheeseburger first.
4. I told you I don’t want to join your super secret boy band.
5. You know what keeps going through my head? Where’s my sandwich?

Today begins a summer full of movie-geek eye candy. That’s your only hint.
Answers later tonight.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cash Register Finger

You know those black levers that are in cash registers to keep the stacks of bills in each row orderly? Well, they’re useful, but they are also kinda annoying. Especially for a box office employee on a busy Friday or Saturday night. Transactions are done at a pretty quick pace. Not only speed, but frequency like when a group of teenagers meet up to go to the movies together, paying separately.
Teen: One for such-n-such movie.
Me: 8.75.
Teen hands over a $20.
Me: Out of 20. $11.25 is your change. Thank you.
Repeat – Repeat – Repeat – etc. etc. etc.
Each time, I hook my index finger around one of those black levers to put the bill in its place, then hook and lift another to get change – again, over and over and over.
Guess what? I have a sore index finger at the end of the night. Sometimes even a bruise!
Here’s the lesson I gain from that – anything you do repeatedly shows.
Whether it is something good or bad, whatever we do as a habit, on a regular basis, over and over – it’s going to show in our bodies, our attitudes, somewhere in our lives.
That goes for sins – hidden or otherwise. So don’t kid yourselves.
But it also means that making of habit of allowing God to reign in your life – guaranteed, it’ll show.
Happy Monday, Dry Ground friends!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Return of the Weekend Tune Up

Soap box thoughts tumble through my mind. Instead of venting, I'll just share this song. Listening to it, even now, I am centered in His peace. *bigsigh* I hope your weekend is peaceFULL, Dry Ground friends!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Psalm 32 - A Psalm of David
(FYI - after his most notorious fall and suffering some of the awful consequences)

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, "I will confess my rebellion to the Lord."
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of victory.

The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control."

Many sorrows come to the wicked,
but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

Happy Wednesday, Dry Ground friends!