Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thoughts about friendship from the land of blog

I did not write this although I wish I had. I just read this on someone's blog and thought it was great.

5 things I have learned about friendship

1) Health finds its level: If you are unhealthy and insecure in yourself, you will naturally attract people who are the same. Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” If two unhealthy people wallow in their struggles together, they might feel like they are supporting one another for awhile. It often turns into an up and down roller coaster. Sometimes loneliness helps up put things in perspective: God is our ultimate source of comfort and guidance and sometimes we need to “get healthy” in order to be a friend.

2) If you are in a one-sided friendship, it is not a friendship, it’s a ministry: I heard this at the MOPS meeting two years ago and it hit me over the head. I came back to the Proverbs verse. There are two irons are sharpening one another. Each is receiving while each one is giving. The speaker said we have to make a decision whether we want to continue this one sided friendship knowing it might stay this way forever. Can we handle it? Do we have time for it? Will our spouse or family members suffer as a result of our commitment to this person?

3) There are always two sides to every single story: I learned this one the hard way about four to five years ago when two people I respected were in conflict with one another. I felt pressured to take one side over the other. When conflict occurs, both sides have contributed in some way. We have all been around people who have nothing good to say about their friend, their family member, their in-law, etc. Proverbs 16:28 says it is best: A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.

4) The right thing to do is often the hardest: Admitting your faults, apologizing, owning up to wrongdoings, and sacrifice do not come naturally. It is easier to lie, backstab, attack, be passive/aggressive, gossip, pretend like nothing happened, be condescending, blame, dig up the past, argue, withdraw, and hold a grudge. This is one of my favorite verses: For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ - Galatians 1:10. It does not mean we need to stop caring about others and only focus on God. It means that we live to please God. Through coming to know God and seeking to please Him, he gives us the love and grace so we can love others. There is a tremendous amount of freedom in that. I do not have to try to be someone I am not or work tremendously hard so someone approves of me.

5) It is OK to let go and sometimes even neccessary: If a friendship is not bearing fruit, what is the purpose? If it is one sided, what is the point? If the person is only out for their own needs, what role are you playing? Obviously if you are being disrespected, why are you holding on? It's not the greatest movie when it comes to relationships but I love it in Jerry Maguire when Dorothy Boyd says, "Maybe relationships don't have to be so much work." If there is a lot drama, confrontations, arguing, false accusations, and physco babble, maybe it is time to move on or at least take a break.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I'm reading the book Uncommon by Tony Dungy...I know it's a book for men...I mean I know that now. I had heard so many people talk about it on the radio that I ordered it from Amazon. It was only after it came that I realized it was written for guys...but why should that stop me? I'm very impressed with this book so far. Have you ever read a book that just resonates with the way that you think and believe? I wanted to write out some of the "keys for developing your core" not only to share with the WWW but also remember them myself.

1. Remember that what you do when no one is watching matters.
2. The means matter as much as the ends, if not more.
3. Hang in there. Character is revealed through adversity.
4. Often we grow as much through the little things as we do through the big ones.
5. Truth is critical. Being truthful is too.
6. Don't rationalize your way around honesty.
7. Don't blow your own horn.
8. Don't be falsely modest; you have amazing gifts. Just recognize that others do too.
9. You are important, but not indispensable. The same goes for others. See yourself as a significant part of the process.
10. Be careful what you do with your resources, gifts, time and talents. You've been entrusted with them.
11. Some of the most rewarding times in life are when you have to stand alone, even if you are uncomfortable doing so.
12. Life is hard. Courage is essential.
13. Never give up. Never.

I'm especially challenged by 2 & 6... I think so often I can rationalize my way around honesty but I don't think I've ever really thought about it. So often I preserve the peace at all costs but then I need to realize and own that the means matter as much as the ends. This is a roadmap for life. I love it...but I am challenged by it. I hope to someday be able to own this list as one that I follow without exception.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My famous husband

Sunday, March 01, 2009

First uncompleted draft...purpose or position

Ok, so you have been asking what I've been thinking and writing about lately...well, this isn't finished, it's dry, it's long and it's incomplete...but I'm posting it cause you've been bugging me Laura!

There are times in life when we are forced to evaluate where we are, where we've been and where we are going. I am fascinated by motivation and why people make the choices they make; why I make the choices I make. Sometimes it's driven by a sense of purpose, sometimes it's driven by a sense of security, sometimes it's driven by what comes the easiest. It seems as if what drives a person's choices is unlimited however, I believe it really falls into two categories: Purpose or Position.

We start a project or a goal or a life choice rooted and clearly focused; excited by purpose and firmly plant our feet where we believe we should be. But like standing at the edge of the ocean while the tide changes, we can suddenly be surprised when we finally look down and realize our feet don't align with where they had originally been planted. The tide has either passed us up and we see our feet covered in sand and water and find ourselves standing knee deep in water surrounded by no one or the tide has gone out and we are left standing in the sand pretending we are still in the ocean.

Often our original starting point, our original motivation does not stay the same. So many times we find ourselves months or years or even decades into a life choice only to look back and realize that we are no longer on the same path we set out on. Something has changed, the road took a turn or our direction has subtly yet drastically changed. Somewhere in the work of it all, in the day to day decisions, in the small crisis' that demand our attention, in the monotony we will discover that we have swapped our original intent with something different. Although this swap was intended, it wasn't a stated goal or a set of prescribed steps; it was a gradual, slow, seemingly innocent series of choices that have resulted in our taking control of our own lives.

Now, taking control of our own lives seems like a lofty and well intentioned goal. Certainly Oprah and the current pop psychologist of the day would overwhelmingly approve of taking destiny into our own hands. Everywhere you turn you are told loudly or subtly that you are the keeper of your fortune, that you make are the only one who can make things happen in your own life. It is easy to buy into this philosophy because we love to control things. According to The Secret, if you don’t want “it” you don’t get “it” however, by believing hard enough “it” it will happen for you. This belief will grant you fortune, relationship, power or position. In this vein of thinking, everything is controlled by you for the good or the bad. At first glance it is incredibly attractive but deeper study will reveal that you are the keeper of your position and if your position is horrible then you are horrible.

As Christians, we openly reject books like The Secret. We laugh at the ideas presented and deem ourselves above such philosophy…more enlightened and protected from such ideas. It is my argument that this type of thinking can and does slowly grow into our seemingly iron clad Christianity and if we are not intentional about weeding it out it will overshadow our belief in God’s will for our lives until we have been overtaken by our own will for our lives while we shun God’s will. Again, it is intentional but it is not overt: the danger of this philosophy is it’s subtlety.

When does this happen? I believe it happens when we exchange position for purpose. We believe that God the Father places calls on our lives. As Christians, we seek to know His will for us. We spend many hours in prayer and conversation with others searching out where He wants us to be. We hear calls from God. We follow those calls to places we would not ordinarily go. We believe in his Sovereignty and in his personal involvement in our lives; like Moses who followed God’s call into Egypt or David who took his position of King, like John the Baptist who baptized those in the spirit, or Jesus who died on the cross.