Monthly Archives: April 2011

Five Minute Friday: Marriage Advice for Will and Kate

For the first time, I’m participating in 5 Minute Friday, a blog carnival of sorts where I write for 5 minutes straight with no editing, revising or even really thinking about what I’m going to say.  It’s kinda like going on television without your makeup on, or worse case scenario, showing up on the first day of 7th grade with your zipper down.

So, this is me, raw and fresh faced writing from the cue

If I could, I would

START

If I could talk to Will and Kate, I would tell them that the wedding has absolutely nothing to do with the marriage.

This is the day you’ve made the decision of whom you’ll spend the rest of your life with.

But, it doesn’t determine HOW you’ll spend the rest of your life.

Remember that you’ve chosen this person to be your partner, your confidant, your rock in the storms.

But, no one is perfect.

There will come a time when one of you will fart in public, much to the horror of the other.

There will come a time when you will wonder if you’ve really made the right choice.

There will come a time when you realize that your child is exactly like your spouse and you’re not sure if you can live with 2 people that are polar opposites of you in every way.

::

To ensure happiness, think always of the other person first.

It’s not to say that your needs don’t matter, but to say that your needs aren’t what matter most.

Surround yourself with people who love you both for who you are and what you have yet to become-people who can see the good in both of you, people who see the good in you as a couple, and not only as individuals.

And, Will, Kate will need her bff, because you’re not a girl and you’ll never understand the inner workings of the mind of a girl.

And, Kate, he’ll need some guy time, too-but this has nothing to do with you or your lack of anything. 

Most of all, put God in the center and things will always turn out somehow.

Congratulations!

STOP

What’s your best marriage advice for Will and Kate?

Adele: Be Doers of the Word

There are two tell-tale signs that someone has made it to the top in pop culture:

1) appear as host and/or musical guest on Saturday Night Live

and

2) featured on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Adele can check both of these off of her to-do list, not to mention that she’s been in the Top 40 since the release of her latest album, 21,  8 weeks ago.  This also served to catapult her first album, 19, back into the charts. 

Don’t know who I’m talking about?

Grab a box of tissues, and watch this video of my fav song, “Someone Like You”.

On her site, Adele says she is actually crying in the last two verses of this song.

I believe it, because this song even brings me to tears if I close my eyes, shut out the world, and listen to it intently.

Labels

Someone asked me what kind of music Adele sings.

Itunes puts her in the category of R&B.

But, I don’t think that does her justice, what.so.ever.

She’s got soul, and it’s British soul.

There is something old, worn, and broken in her vibe.

I also like to say that her music is emotionally charged, but even that sounds like an understatement.

She makes music for hearts: broken hearts, mending hearts, lovers’ hearts, any heart with a beat.

Catharsis

Adele says that all of the songs on 21 are a reflection of a relationship that recently ended.

Writing these songs was her therapy, her avenue for understanding and processing the breakup.

Last week, Hailey Reinhart performed Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” on American Idol.

I really like Hailey; she also has a soulful, raspy, almost bluesy quality to her voice. 

But, she is NO Adele.

After I heard Hailey’s performance, I started thinking about what sets Adele apart from other artists.

It’s the reality in her voice.

The words are real to her because she has lived them.

It’s the fact that she sings about her personal experiences.

Her music is like witnessing someone’s breakthrough cathartic release.

Hearers and Doers

In the interview for her Rolling Stone cover, Adele says, “I don’t make music for eyes.  I make music for ears.”

That got me thinking about this little passage in James (1:23-27)

 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.  25But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Are you Hailey or Adele?

Do you hear the words of Christ and allow them to change your actions?

Is it something real, deep down in your soul?

Is Scripture made real in your life by the way you live?

Do you look to Scripture to challenge you, change you, show you the Truth?

Or do you simply sing the lyrics, and immediately forget what they mean?

Don’t be a Hailey. 

Be an Adele. 

You’ll sound so much more genuine, especially to those who don’t know what it all means.

And, you’ll be blessed through your doing and not just your hearing.

::

What tell-tale signs would say you’ve made it to the top?

Are you an Adele fan?  How would you describe her sound?

The Insulated Microcosm

On the heels of the Resurrection, I’m considering how my faith changes things, how it changes me.

Macro or Micro?

Once upon a time, I was concerned with world events, what was happening around the globe, the goings on outside of my little Keri bubble.

But, somewhere along the way I stopped caring about the macrocosm.

And, started focusing on the microcosm.

I don’t know when that change came.

It wasn’t because the macro ceased to exist.

It was because it ceased to exist in my consciousness.

Insulate and Isolate

In my suburban life, it’s easy to insulate and isolate myself from the macrocosm.

I also tend to make up excuses for my lack of awareness, saying things like “I just don’t have time to watch the news, read the paper, or listen to the radio.”

What that really means is that I just don’t want to think about it and my microcosm is much, much more important.

I figure I have enough problems of my own, why worry myself with problems I can’t fix?

When the earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit Japan, I was alert.  I was aware.

Yet, I chose to simply turn off the tv and tune out the tragedy.

Simply, because I could.

Simply, because I had the option.

True Religion

In James, we discover that

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27)

The Bible Knowledge Commentary expounds on this verse by saying

This is not a definition of religion but rather a contrast to mere acts of worship and ritualistic observances that are commonly called “religion”.  Again, the goal is a mature Christian walk and practical holiness.

Acts of worship and ritualistic observances…they just don’t cut it.

Those types of things are important.  In many ways, those are things that can help me stay grounded to the faith

But, what about the practical holiness and the mature Christian walk?

Actually walking out this thing we call Christianity?

For me, part of walking out my faith is loving others as He has loved me.

True religion is removing myself from the microcosm of Keri and entering the macrocosm of His Creation.

Free Them

In a couple of weeks, World Concern is holding a Free Them 5K Run/Walk to raise funds to combat modern day slavery.

It’s an opportunity for me and my family to take part in the macro and step out of the micro.

Honestly, the cause overwhelms me, the stats on human trafficking from the World Concern site are staggering:

  • Approximately 80% of human trafficking victims are women and girls and up to 50% are minors.  - U.S. State Department
  • The average age of entry for children victimized by the sex trade industry is 12 years. - U.S. Department of Justice
  • The global market for child trafficking is over $12 billion a year with more than 1.2 million child victims. - UNICEF
  • Surveys indicate that 30 to 35 per cent of all sex workers in the Mekong sub-region of Southeast Asia are between 12 and 17 years of age.  – UNICEF
  • The average cost of a slave today is $90, a historic low. – Kevin Bales, author of Ending Slavery

::

I’m also recognizing that the macro is not just the big problems of the world.

It’s also the real struggles and real needs of people in my state, my city, my neighborhood, and my circle of influence.

I can step out of myself to love on those people, too, and quit worrying so much about myself and my problems.

How do you stay aware of the macrocosm and not become overwhelmed, in despair, and downtrodden over the reality?

What ways do you exercise practical holiness and a mature Christian walk?

 

More details on Free Them 5K Fun Run/Walk

Making a differences, raising awareness and funds to combat modern-day slavery

Saturday, May 7, 8:30 registration, 9:30 race time

Crista Ministries Campus
19303 Fremont Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98133

$25 adults/$10 for ages 18 and under

  • T-shirt for race participants
  • Dogs welcome
  • Strollers/wagons welcome
  • Food booths, bouncy house, and inflatable slide!

Father, Let My Heart Be After You

Garden” is my favorite song by all my favorite band of all time, NeedtoBreathe.

It paints a picture of the heart of Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed.

::

It’s Maundy Thursday, Jesus and the disciples are at the Last Supper locale.

They’re enjoying a sweet time of fellowship, breaking bread and wine.

He knows that every moment in His life on earth has led to these last few days.

He even singles out Judas amongst the 12 as the one who will betray Him.

And, yet, knowing full well what is about to transpire, He makes time to be with those who loved Him and knew Him best.

He doesn’t focus on His despair.

He focuses on the moment.

He is fully present.

He lounges with them over the meal.

He even takes the time to wash their feet, a task for a servant.

::

Upon parting ways, Matthew tells us they sang  a song as they hiked up to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus went often to pray.

Parting in song seems like something you do when you’re happy-something you do when you’ve just left a fun party with all your pals, full of love, comraderie and peace.

Not something you would do on the night before you are about to be crucified.

He doesn’t allow His fear to become His focus, until He meets with the Father and sets it as His feet.

He leaves Peter, James and John and goes to pray alone to God.

He wrestles with anguish, distress, anxiety and fear in the Garden.

He begs the Father to take it from Him.

Won’t you take this cup from me

Cause fear has stolen all my sleep

If tomorrow means my death

I pray you’ll save their souls with it

Many say that He was likely experiencing the worst kind of anxiety attack possible, so severe that He is sweating drops like blood.

Yet, despite that fear, He submits to the will of the Father.

Father let My heart be after You

He feels dread over death.

He asks God to take it from Him.

And, the Father does not remove the cup.

Yet, Jesus willingly submits and steps out in obedience.

In this hour of doubt I see

That who I am is not just Me

So give Me strength to die to Myself

So Love will live to tell the tale

All of this, to teach me to respond to the will of the Father with open arms, and not fearful abandonment.

All of this, so I might be redeemed.

All of this, so that I would be strengthened through Him, molded to have a heart like His, and surrender my will to His purposes, saying

Let the songs I sing

Bring joy to You

Let the words I say profess my love

Let the notes I choose be Your favorite tune

Father let my heart be after You

  

Is there an area in your life where fear is preventing you from stepping out into His will for your life?

  

For Further Reflection

Lots of folks in the blogosphere have written some great stuff about Holy Week and the Resurrection.

Here are my favs for today:

In Your Words: Why did Judas betray Jesus?

In case you need a reminder, like I did:  it’s Holy Week, more specifically Maundy Thursday.

It’s the day of the Last Supper, the night in which Jesus was betrayed, by one of His own.

For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first.

This is true at least according to Katniss, main character of The Hunger Games trilogy, the latest teen scene literary craze.

Yep, I’m reading it.  Whatever my bff reads, I have to read, too.  This is part and parcel of our relationship, a catalyst for our convos

And, whether you would read it or not, I’ll be sure to post the pop parable, so stay tuned!

::

Do Katniss’ words apply to Jesus and Judas?

Did Jesus have any sense of trust or trusted relationship with Judas, the ultimate traitor?

Before he betrayed Christ, Judas wasn’t called a traitor.

He was a disciple.

An apostle.

One of the twelve.

Inside Jesus’ Circle of Trust.

Jesus specifically chose Judas, sought him out, brought him into the fold.

Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?  (John 6:70)

All along, He knew Judas would be the one who would ultimately betray him with a kiss, but He still granted him authority along with the rest of the apostles.

Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. (Matthew 10:1)

But, something went terribly wrong.

And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve.  (Luke 22:3)

The other disciples didn’t even pick up on this traitor in their midst. 

In John 13, Jesus tells them that one of them will betray Him.  He even gives them a signal as to which one of them it is, by offering Judas a piece of dipped bread

Even then, the disciples were clueless.  They thought Jesus was just telling Judas to get more food.  

Why did He even give them a sign if He knew they wouldn’t get it?

Did they get it in hindsight?

Why was it even necessary for Judas to identify Jesus?

He spoke to the multitudes.

Surely, there was another person who could have done the deed.

Maybe it had to be someone who could identify Him by all the time they had spent with Him, because of their shared experiences.

 ::

I don’t really know the answer to any of these questions.

This is simply my inner dialogue, brought about by something I read in a best seller

I’m no theologian. 

I’m no expert.

I just have lots of questions.

Do you have an answer to any of these questions?

If you can give the answer based on something you read in a best seller, you will get lots of brownie points. 

Or maybe 30 silver coins.