B-man...Superhero Sidekick

>> October 29, 2015

Every superhero needs a sidekick and that's exactly how I see Joseph, the Levite from Cyprus, A.K.A. (every sidekick should have an A.K.A. right?) Barnabas.  I mean seriously... the B-man had some major sidekickish skillz: Compassionate, encourager, mediator, mentor, companion, just to name a few.

I've completed a detailed study from the book of Acts* and  noticed how the main characters shine like a lighthouse on a stormy night in the age of the early church. Peter and Paul may be the famous Superheroes, but my man Barnabas, stands out in so many ways that I can't help but think... when I grow up, I want to be just like him.

Let me explain...

On the infamous day of the mighty wind and tongues of fire experience in the 2nd Chapter of Acts (now referred to as The Day of Pentecost), Superhero Peter led 3,000 people to Christ. Ka-Boom! We have an instant mega church! Now when
there is explosive growth like that it can create its own breed of problems. And just like any ministry in today's day and age, money is always a functioning need. Granted, they didn't have Public Utility bills, publicity or printing expenses. Nor did they have janitors, secretaries, youth pastors and worship leader salaries to pay, but they still needed to feed and shelter themselves.

Acts 2:44-47 tells us that all the believers were together, selling their "stuff" and providing for everyone's needs. They ate meals together, visited from house to house, and praised God for His favor among the people. The church grew and our sidekick B-man, among others, sold his land and brought the money to the disciples and gave it freely for the use of the church.

As with every good Superhero story, there is gonna be a villain or two. In chapter 8 of the book of Acts, in walks the early church's villain, Saul. (boooo!)

Acts 8:3 "As for Saul (booo) he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men AND women, committing them to prison." 
But God had a plan to turn our villain into a Superhero for Him. You can read that in the 9th chapter where Saul has the famous blinded by the Light experience which sets him on a different path and eventually his name is changed to Paul. The point I want to bring out in chapter 9 is where our sidekick steps up and convinces the other Superheroes that Saul is a legit Christ follower: he was baptized in water, began preaching, teaching and everything!
Acts 9:10 "But Barnabas (Yay!) took him (Saul) and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he (Saul) had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus."
Later in Acts 11 we find the Apostles trust the character of their sidekick enough to send him to investigate some strange thing happening...uncircumcised Gentiles were becoming Christ-followers. *GASP* B-man discovers it was an awesome thing happening in Antioch and he encourages them to continue on with the Lord. He reports back to the Apostles before he goes in search of Saul to co-pastor with him in Antioch for a year.

So, now we have Saul and Barnabas teaming up. Saul, the stronger personality, tends to step up as the superhero and B-man willingly serves as the sidekick. They take a missionary journey and include a relative of Barnabas named John Mark. Somewhere along the way John Mark goes back to Jerusalem. (Acts 13:13) But later, when the duo is sent out on another missionary venture, Barnabas wants to include John Mark again. Saul...(also called Paul for the first time in chapter 13) wants nothing to do with that plan.

This is where we see a great transition for our faithful sidekick. He now becomes a mighty mentor, elevating him, (in my view) to the status of a superhero. He chooses young John Mark as his new sidekick and Paul selects Silas and off they go, each pair their own way.

There may have been conflict between Barnabas and Paul over the worthiness or faithfulness of the younger man due to his previous actions, but the outcome is God ordained. The work of the Lord is multiplied as the two pairs head off in different directions, preaching the same message: The good news of Christ the Messiah.

Every superhero needs a sidekick. Everyone needs a Barnabas in his/her life. Someone who will see the best in us. Encourage us. Be a companion. A mentor. Be a co-laborer for Christ. Do you have a Barnabas that speaks into your life? Or maybe you have the B-man skillz I long so much to exemplify.

Whether you are the superhero or the sidekick, I encourage you to be active in the work of the Lord in your local congregation and community. Perhaps, like Barnabas with John Mark, there is someone you can invest into their lives by encouraging them towards success and help them to grow beyond their past failures.

Be a Superhero for Jesus!

* This was written to fulfill a requirement for a study I am doing on the book of Acts.


Take a Knee

>> June 9, 2015

I am a frequent visitor of the one mile path around Carlisle Lake. Often I am competing with the voice in my pocket... my runkeeper app on my phone. That voice tells me how long I've walked, how far I've gone and how fast I am moving. I find that I can be very competitive with myself...and the voice in my pocket.

Today I knew my heart wasn't into being competitive or fast or striving to break a personal record. I ignored the voice that reminded me I was nowhere near where I should be along the familiar trek. I needed to go slow and enjoy the peace and quiet. I didn't even "pray". (a.k.a. carry on a one sided conversation with God in my head.) I chose to be a sponge and absorb.

My heart sang with the birds.
My spirit danced with the dragonflies.
My soul fluttered free with the butterflies.
My entire being absorbed the presence of God.

I paused at the end of the lake to sit in the sunshine on the stone bench and listened to the sounds of nature. That's when a voice in my spirit spoke.




So I stared at the rough log bench that is literally spitting distance from the manufactured stone one (that my bum seemed to be firmly planted on) and contemplated what I heard. Of course I argued. 

"I'm in a public place."'

"No one is here but Me." 

I got up and knelt and let the Holy Spirit's presence wash over me. I whispered an old hymn: 

Search Me, O God.
And know my heart I today.
Try me, O Savior.
Know my thoughts I pray.
See if there be;
Some wicked way in me.
Cleanse me from every sin,
And set me free.

As I prayed and released unforgiveness, doubts and fears, God's words began to slip into my heart and confirm many things.

Who I once was. Who I am. Who I want to be. 
How He sees me. How He called me. How He made me.
What I am doing. What I am going to be doing. What I need to be doing.

I'm so thankful I didn't listen to the voice in my pocket urging the competitive nature in me to step it up. Instead, I listened to the Voice in my spirit, encouraging me to take a knee...and be set free.


My Alter Ego

>> April 1, 2015

I have the bug today. The procrastinator bug. As a matter of fact, today I declare... I AM THE PROCRASTINATOR WOMAN! *roar* *cough-cough*

I am quickly discovering this could be my super hero in the making. Perhaps I will develop a costume and don a cape. I will make a huge PW emblem so all will know when I wear it that on THAT day.... I am Procrastinator Woman.

I could see it now:

BREAKING NEWS: Procrastinator Woman strikes again!!!

Mild mannered, middle-aged Pastor's Wife trades her  blouse and slacks/skirts and honkin' huge NKJV Bible in for a dirty t-shirt, yoga pants and smart phone while contemplating all the things she could (or could not) do that will distract her from any important tasks.

Her sink is full of dirty dishes (there's a pic on her smart phone to prove it), her toilets need scrubbing (no pic necessary here, you get the visual), and her list of church-related responsibilities is somewhere among the ever growing pile on the end of the kitchen table. There is a stack of books she should read. Shoot...there's two stacks. Appropriately sorted. Fiction and non-fiction. (Both of course reflect her Christian faith openly.)

Her hair is in a greasy pony-tail, yesterday's mascara smudges remain under her eyes,and she is patiently waiting for her espresso machine to warm up so she can sip her iced latte and...well... procrastinate some more.

But alas...every super hero must hang up their cape and go about their daily business at hand. The phone has rang, a request has been made, and she rises from her comfortable spot in her reclining couch and completes the task in time for the friendly knock on the door. All the while trying not appear as frumpy and slobby as she feels.


I do believe the bug was a short lived illness. To which my husband will be thankful. This PW will attack the dishes (after her espresso machine does it's magic) and then see what happens from there.


My Country

>> June 7, 2014

It’s no secret that I love to sing. I like a wide variety of styles but my upbringing has limited my repertoire to mostly Christian music.  Which isn’t all bad.

It takes more than a catchy tune, snappy rhythm or a hook that will resound long after the tune is over to draw me in. I like a song with passion or purpose. True there are some fun silly songs out there. But if I were being honest, for me to desire to sing it with all I have in me, I need to be able to personalize it.

We often drive over 40 miles, passing many quality places of worship, to attend Cedar Park Church in Bothell. There are several things about CP that we enjoy but the main reason we choose to burn up the fuel? They still have a choir that sings three major productions a year: Christmas, Easter and Patriotic.  

Currently, we are preparing for Patriotic Sunday on June 29th.  I have found myself in deep thought evaluating my level of patriotism beyond being a native born American. It makes me think of the Chevrolet commercial from my childhood. I love the atmosphere of a baseball game, even a hot dog once in a while,
and of course I’m an apple pie girl. Shoot, I’d even drive a Chevy. I enjoy BBQs and fireworks on the Fourth of July, I feel a stir in my heart when I pass military cemeteries on Memorial Day, and I hold our military Vets in high esteem…but am I patriotic?

I’ve grumbled about our president. I hate to pay taxes. I'm ashamed at some of the atrocities in our nation and the hell-bent activism towards self-destruction all in the name of freedom.

I’ve recently wanted to bear arms (real guns, not my flabby bat-wings) just because I should be able to. I want every Christian child to not just BE free but to FEEL free when they pray for their food in public schools, read their Bible during their free time in class and say the name of Jesus with sincerity...not as a curse word.

In choir I have a new friend. Adrunodhaya (Aruna) is from India. As we sing songs together like This is My Country, or You’re a Grand Old Flag, it has stirred in me a fresh view of my country. Rightfully so, Aruna's heart leans towards India where her family is. Conversations indicate a twinge of awkwardness for her as we diligently learn our alto parts together. But for me it is a twinge of guilt.

The clincher in the program…for with our directors, there is always a clincher…we will be brought full circle from the fun diddy’s of Yankee Doodle, to the respected Arms Forces Medley, and focus our conclusion with great passion on excerpts like: For Thine is the Kingdom, If My People will Pray, and God Bless America.
This IS my country. Land of the free. Home of the brave.  And even though I don’t feel very free and I certainly don’t think I am particularly brave, my Mama taught me right and I do know how to obey.

Humble and pray. Heal and Bless. A familiar message of our obedience and His promises.

“If… My God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 MSG
Will you join me in obedience? Let's be activists, knee-bent towards preserving our freedom!

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~Psalm 77:6 "I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart,and my spirit makes diligent search."

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