Peculiar People

>> March 24, 2016

Doctrine is a scary word that brings about a myriad of thoughts, emotions and reactions. Some may yawn, or roll their eyes. Others might want to run and hide or grab their Bibles to prepare for a Biblical based argument to defend one’s own “doctrines.”  While doctrine can cause division among denominations, if a body of believers doesn’t have some form of creed, code or guidelines, things could get scary fast.

I was born and raised in the Assemblies of God denomination. That statement alone often times causes other Christians to walk a wide path around me. Maybe they are afraid I will spontaneously shout out in an unknown tongue, or swing from a chandelier. I could possibly feel the need to jump a pew or roll around on the ground like a crazy dog with an itch on their back. I will say, I’ve never swung from a chandelier but I’ve often wondered if a suspended light fixture would hold the weight of someone dangling from one.

When I was growing up, our church services could get a bit lively. I didn’t really know any different. I thought all churches were like mine. Doesn’t every pastor desire (with passion and conviction) to see people saved from their sin and encourage people to come to the altar to confess their sins and accept the gift of salvation? Doesn’t everybody feel the need to reach their hands towards their Abba Daddy to be lifted up as they sing? If the truth of a song or the emphasis of a message stirs your heart, don’t we all shed a tear here and there? Don't others shout an “amen” when the preacher says something you whole heartedly agree with? Do we ask the leaders of the church to pray for our sickness just to let them know we have an ailment, or do we truly believe there is healing in the power of Jesus name? Even though Christians have been waiting for the return of Christ since the day He ascended into heaven, don’t we all believe He will still return like He promised? 

Can’t we gather in one accord with fellow believers and pray until we receive the Promise of the Father that Jesus talked about in Acts 1:4? So, if I choose to grab hold of Acts 2:4 and firmly believe if the grassroots church in Peter’s day was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues, that it can happen today as well, my fellow believers might think me odd or doctrinally unsound?

Paul says in Romans 1:16: 
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jews first and also for the Greek.”

I am not ashamed. Nope. Not ashamed of God. Not ashamed of Jesus. And I’m not ashamed of the Holy Spirit.

We used to joke that 1 Peter 2:9 was referring to the “Full Gospel” churches.
“You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

As I study towards my ministerial credentials I am reminded that doctrine is a scary word for a set of beliefs. Discussing doctrine is even scarier. But studying the Word is required to have a better understanding of the core beliefs that were indoctrinated into my young heart and mind.

And after studying, I stand tall and proclaim with boldness that I am a peculiar person



>> January 30, 2016

I thought I would post a short story I wrote about 7 years ago.I re-worked it a little bit. A few special true life memories of my grandfather are mixed in with this piece of fiction. I hope you enjoy it. 

I spun and watched myself in the mirror. I like my new dress. Mom let me choose what I wanted. It’s yellow with a border of pink flowers and tiny green leaves along the hem-line. I especially like the shiny satin sash Mom ties into a perfect bow in the back. It makes my tan look dark and the gold flecks in my hazel eyes sparkle when I wear it. I think Grandpa will like it.

I stick out among my family in the front row of the church. Everyone else is dressed in dull dark colors. My feet don’t quite touch the ground, so I swing my legs back and forth, admiring my new sandals on the upswing.

People are sad and I hear a lot of nose blowing goin’ on. We sang hymns. I don’t know why, it’s not Sunday. Some old people stand and take turns saying nice things about my grandpa. They tell funny stories and remind us what a hard worker he was.

Grandpa lived in a muckledunberry world ‘cuz he was colorblind. Mostly all he saw were different shades of yellowy-browns. That’s why he called it muckledunberry.

Sometimes I’d sit on his lap while he watched baseball. I’d ask him, “Grandpa, what color are my eyes?”

He’d say, “Muckledunberry.”  Then he’d steal my nose. I’d just giggle even though I was getting too old for that joke.

On the way to town, he always stopped at the single blinking yellow light at the bottom of the hill. I’d say, “You can keep going, Grandpa, its yellow. Blinking yellow means go very carefully."

“All lights look the same to me, Sweetie. I have to stop at all of them just to be sure.”

I gave up. I couldn’t convince him to roll on through the intersection.

Last year Grandpa got sick. Mom said he got cancer in his pancreas. I don't know what a pancreas is but I know cancer is bad. She said I can’t climb around on his lap anymore, ‘cuz it probably hurts him, but Grandpa would never tell me that. I’d sit at his feet and lean my back against his chair. He’d pat my head and run his fingers through my summer blonde hair. Sometimes, he’d scoot over and let me sit in the chair with him and we’d cuddle. I’d always be real careful. He sure got quiet after he caught cancer.

After a few months, I noticed his skin started looking sort of yellowy. Not too long after that his eyeballs weren’t white anymore. They were sad and matched the color of his skin. He tried to smile, but I knew he didn’t feel like smilin’ too much.

When I realized how sick Grandpa was I asked Mom, “Does grandpa know his eyes are yellow now, bein’ he’s color blind and all?” Mom said she didn’t know but told me not to ask him.

Pastor asked if anyone else wanted to say something. I raised my hand and waited to be called on like in school. He told me I could stand up by him so everybody could see me. 

“My grandpa was color blind. He couldn’t tell what color tomatoes or watermelons were. He didn’t know when his grass needed watered or that I have gold flecks in my eyes. He said most colors blended together into one brownish-yellow mess. Muckledunberry is what he called it. That’s not a real color. Not even in the biggest box of crayons, you won’t find a muckledunberry.” Everyone laughed when I said that.

“I picked this dress at the store to wear special for today. It’s bright yellow, not muckledunberry like he’s use to.” I pulled the hem of my dress up a little bit and pointed at the flowers. “It has pink and green in it and Mom said it makes the gold flecks in my eyes sparkle.”

 “I learned in Sunday School that when we go to heaven we aren’t sick no more. That means Grandpa’s cancer is all gone now. So, I think his colorblindness is gone, too. Today Grandpa is walking on the streets of gold. I think that’s pretty cool.”

Mom sniffed and blew her nose and then she winked at me.

 “I chose this dress so Grandpa can look down from heaven and see me in full color.” I spun around to show off my dress and people giggled. “And now,” I looked up at Pastor and smiled big, “he knows what color my eyes really are.”


Stay Just As You Are?

>> January 21, 2016

Years ago, I used to drive by a church sign that always had the same phrase on it: COME AS YOU ARE. I suppose it may have been taken from the mid 90’s praise chorus Come Just As You Are, but today I pondered the phrase. I even wondered if they still had the same phrase on their reader board since the mid 90’s.

Sunday, during the preservice prayer time, the Lord gave me a word to share prior to leading worship. I quickly jotted it down and read it to our congregation in obedience. Today, I used what the Lord whispered to me and expanded on it to write a short poem. 

(Disclaimer: I do not consider myself to be a "poet".)

Come just as you are
Accepted with all your scars
Come hungry and hurting
Leave satisfied and whole
Come lost and longing
Leave with peace in your soul

Come angry and confused
Leave with all tensions diffused
Come weak and weary
Leave bolstered and cheery
Come as a seeker of things above
Leave with a heart filled with hope and love

Come; bring your lifestyle of despair
Spend time on your knees in warfare
Come and meet with Jesus
For He is the One who can free us
Come just as you are, indeed
 But leave as a new creation, set free

You see, Jesus loves you just as you are. This is true. But we need to understand that we can’t truly live for Jesus and stay in that “just as you are” condition. He loves us enough to help us grow beyond our “just as you are” mindset. 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: Old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Almost three decades have passed since I first saw this phrase on that church reader board and it is still there today. I hope and pray that over the years as people enter through their church doors just as they are that they have left  a little bit different every week. 

And I pray that for our church as well.



>> January 14, 2016

I'm not a New Year's resolution maker. At least not publicly. I think it is the fear of failure that stops me from blurting out any resolutions. Besides, I take more of a hopes and goals angle at the beginning of the year than the popular resolution route.

I mean seriously...everyone wants to lose the terrible ten that tends to stick to our hips and thighs when the happy holidays are said and done. We want to read the Bible more, cut our caffeine intake (well not me..just sayin'), eliminate sugar, exercise more, devote more and digress less.

We want the new year to mean something. To matter more. To hold hope that somehow it will be better than the year we just said good-bye to.

My son, Jacob (now 28 yrs old)
sporting a Seahawks shirt in the 80's.
Yup..I'm a REAL fan.
Anybody that knows me even a little bit, knows that I'm a big Seahawks fan. I have been for years. If you watch ANY football at all, Russell Wilson is no stranger to you. One of the things about the man behind the #3 jersey is his positive attitude. He always focuses on a perky catch phrase to motivate himself. Last year his mantra was No Time to Sleep and this year's has been What's Next? He drills these into his head and heart and all across social media the hashtag phenomenon picks them up.

There's power in drilling a simple positive thought into our heart and mind. Because of Russell Wilson's catchy sayings, for my diet/fitness goal I've begun to tell myself: Work harder. Eat smarter.

As a pastor's wife, women in our church look to me for leadership. If I am floundering along in life without goals or purpose, it will have a ripple affect on the people I minister to. That's a lot of pressure! So to sum up my 2016 goals and thoughts, I've decided to go with a hugs and kisses method.

To start, I need to HUG by remaining Humble Unto God. (See what I did there? Yeah...I'm awesome like that. :P) Basically, if I can keep from being stuck on trying to do things in my own strength, and humbly let God direct me, that's a great way to operate in 2016.

Second, is the familiar KISS acronym: Keep It Simple Sister. I'm a woman. (duh) And women have a tendency to make things complicated. So my take on this KISS, is to follow my gut instinct and not overthink everything.

My next HUG is to live each and every day with Heartfelt Uber Gratitude. It can be too easy to put on that fake smile, phony concern or give the expected reaction while someone is talking to me. But if I intentionally live my life with Heartfelt Uber Gratitude, genuine care and concern will bubble out of me like a wellspring of pure joy.

My final KISS comes directly from watching the movie War Room: Kneeling Intentionally Saves Souls. We live in a tiny rental home and our closet space is less than desirable...way less. There is no way I can clean out a closet to make a War Room, but I can still post sticky notes on a wall-space and kneel intentionally to do some battle for the souls God places on my uberly grateful heart.

Recently I told someone that I only had one goal for be more structured. Being more structured will fix all my other issues (at least I hope so). I truly am ADD so being organized is rough stuff for me. Anyone else feel my pain? So how can I be more structured? Well... Ima gonna give it a humongous hugs and kisses effort.

Humble             Keep         Heartfelt          Kneeling
Unto                  It               Uber                  Intentionally
God                   Simple      Gratitude          Saves
                           Sister                                   Souls

Here's to a New Year!

Copyright 2008-2016 All rights reserved
~Psalm 77:6 "I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart,and my spirit makes diligent search."

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009 * © customized by Mari @

Back to TOP