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Anne

Religion and Philosophy Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally posted at Flowerdust.net}

Her name is Anne.

She has fallen victim to some bad curry.

Or maybe it was the pizza.

Either way.

She wears no makeup today.

She doesn’t fix her hair.

Her eyes are red because she’s been crying.

And her bed has been one of her two closest friends.

(I’ll let you guess what her other friend has been).

anne-in-india



Feeling Dusty?

Feeling Dusty?
Religion and Philosophy Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally published on Genesis Moments: A Writer’s Journey}

The speaker asked a piercing question that zeroed in on its intended target: my heart.

“Do I let the fragments and particles of the world collect on my soul?”

Starting with an analogy, he shared, “My wife wondered why her plant wasn’t growing right. She went to get advice from a gardener who told her that if she dusted the plant it would be able to get the light it needed and grow better.” Sure enough the trick worked.

He compared this dusty plant to our lives. Thought provoking questions followed.

By leaving unconfessed sin alone to accumulate, do I keep from receiving the light God has to share?

Do I dismiss the little things, thinking that they alone can not hurt my walk with God — only to turn around and find that a whole impermeable layer has formed?

Do we let the little hurts and ugly words add to that layer, adding them to our baggage rather than brushing them off and forgiving the source?

John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ ”

Shortly after this talk, I attended a garden party at a friend’s house. This friend has over 200 species from around the world planted and labeled with both botanical and common names…



Reality Church?

Religion and Philosophy Blog Nosh Magazine{Originally posted on Vintage Faith}

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So_happy_5The First Stage: We begin going to a church, exciting, thrilling, love Jesus, the church is exciting, all things new.

Content_2Second Stage: We begin getting involved, learn behind the scenes things, feel privileged to know the church staff and leaders more personally, we are totally excited.

Mellow_1Third Stage: We see things you start to question, the thrill of the big church meetings wanes, as it seems more and more predictable, the leaders seem more human now and not as special as first.

DoubtFourth Stage: We start to get tired of serving in ministry. It seems routine now and we only see it as fueling the big meeting that we don’t really like anymore. The leaders we once were in awe of now seem not only normal, but there is a suspicion of self-serving vs. serving the church in their motives. We lose excitement and wonder if church is even something we should be part of. We grow more disillusioned by the day.

Angry_1Fifth Stage: Total disillusionment, begin feeling bitter towards church leaders, and wonder why people don’t question things more…



Be generous. Always.

Be generous.  Always.

Religion and Philosophy Blog Nosh Magazine

{Originally posted on P E N S I E V E}

In its 15th and final season, hospital drama ER resurrected the dead: Anthony Edwards reprised his role as Dr. Mark Green last week in a series of flashbacks by Angela Bassett’s character, Cate Banfield.

When ER debuted in the Fall of ’94, I had an infant and a two-year-old, and I’m sure escaping into TV melodrama was a welcome respite from the “storms” my little ones ravaged. I remember lying on our sofa nursing my son–right side, left side, right side, left–through ER, the news and then late nights with Leno and Letterman.

During the episodes leading up to his death, Dr. Green takes his daughter to Hawaii, to teach her “important” life lessons–how to drive, how to surf…I really don’t recall much else.

Except a last admonishment to her, one that has haunted me in the ensuing years.

“Be generous. Always.”

It struck me as odd, then, that a parent’s dying words would speak to generosity. It was unsettling for some reason; I judged those words as somehow falling short. In my mind, as a believer, I felt like he should have offered some great spiritual insight, something with eternal value, something … more. Of course, I realized it was television after all, and the series had never before offered anything substantively spiritually enlightening; but still, I saw it as missed opportunity.



Perfecktion

Religion and Philosophy Blog Nosh Magazine

{Originally posted at One Thing}

When I used to daydream about becoming a mother, I wasn’t completely naive. I knew there was more to it than the highly-romantic Similac commercials made it out to be. After all, I had a mother myself, and although she made the job look like just about the Best Thing Going, I knew it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I knew it could be trying. I knew it could even be, at times, A Challenge.

When I got pregnant with my first child, I read articles that made motherhood sound like the ultimate self-help experience. Once you had children, the experts promised, you would hold yourself to a higher standard. You would want to model for your children the very best example, and therefore you would draw upon untapped levels of motherly goodness that you didn’t even know you had.

I have since learned the truth.

Motherhood is a Formal Enquiry, not “a challenge”. It is an Interrogation. Motherhood grabs you by the neck, slings you into a hard metal chair, angles a white hot light in your face and demands an accounting. It cross-examines you until you are no longer sure of who you are and can give no reasonable explanation for just what, exactly, you thought you were doing.

Did you think you were patient? What about the time you had to explain the concept of fractions to your fifth-grader for the eight-hundred and twenty-third time in three days? Thought you were pretty smart? Wait until you try to BS your way out of a moral dilemma and your teen calls your bluff. Think you’re Determined? Pit yourself against a 3 year old who decides overnight that elastic is Very, Very Bad In Every Way, But Most Especially On Pants. Were you strong? Resourceful? Brave? Think again.

It is the single most humbling experience possible to be confronted every day in every way with one’s inadequacies, but that, in a nutshell, has been my experience with parenthood.



A More Generous View

Religion and Philosophy Blog Nosh Magazine

{Originally published on Kingdom Grace}

In reading and conversations about the gospel, church, and culture, I have run across many terms that were unfamiliar to me. I produced these posters in an attempt to portray simply some of the terms that I have encountered while blogging about religion. They are a reflection of my perception and understanding of these terms.

The post is titled “A More Generous View” because the posters are intended to portray the generous grace of God rather than a strict and rigid view of religion. I hope that you will find them to be an encouragement to your faith journey.



Blind Men, Elephants…and Jesus??

Blog nosh religion philosophy Originally posted on PENSIEVE.

You would think becoming intimately acquainted with Jesus–getting to know Him, learning to love Him–is as simple as reading the Bible’s four gospels.

Until you read them back to back, and on the surface, see four portraits of the same man. Four very different portraits of the same man.

Because I never before read all four gospels in succession, a while back it occurred to me that immersing myself in these “biographies” would give me a clearer picture of Jesus. Rather than read them in the order they appear in Scripture (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), I read them John, Mark, Luke, Matthew; random, yes, but going from John to Mark paints a p.r.e.t.t.y. interesting picture.

(click title for more)