Joy

This is what joy looks like! For so much of my life, I’ve realized that I intentionally kept joy at arm’s length, believing that I didn’t deserve it. And, after all, is joy really all that important if you have everything else you need? Like a nice car and vacations and new house?

The answer is absolutely YES! You deserve JOY and the world is so much better when you let joy into your life.

Let go of what other people expect from you. Don’t let them hold you back.

Go for the gusto! Grab JOY and hang on!

That’s what I’m doing now and this is what joy looks like!

The pendulum of life

Some days it seems like we’re more down than up, or left than right. But I’m here to tell you that we have all the control we need to change our perspective!

You can choose to be a victim and wallow in self pity, or be grateful for the wide swinging pendulum arc that will eventually bring you back into balance.

And while you’re pondering that, enjoy this…

Glorious Day!

It’s gorgeous today.  Monday morning, sun is booming in a very big sky.  My cat, Risk, is chasing toys under my feet.  It’s now 8 AM on the dot.  I’ve been up for a couple of hours texting people and getting a jump on the day. 

Which phrase do you prefer?  C’est la vie or Carpe Diem?  That’s an easy one. 

A little less common, Bildungsroman.  This strange word means, “a book about someone’s spiritual development… perhaps a memoir would fit this characterization.  Speaking of memoir… Toby’s memoir draft is complete; pray we publish soon.

Victim to Victory

Yesterday, Toby and I attended a different church. 

From Liberty, Missouri we took I35 about 20 minutes, south of downtown KC. 

Here’s the deal with Pastor Lopez and Urgent Care for the Broken Hearted Church (UCC)… I’ve been in a few churches; none embraces the spirit of Christ’s mission more than UCC. 

First, Christ healed the sick.  He went to those parts of towns… and He loved them.  Lopez runs a small food pantry and loves on people. 

Yesterday, her message was about King David’s son, Amnon who raped his own half-sister, Tamar.  It’s a dirty, gritty, incestuous old testament story.  This is a tough story, in the bible and in life.  I’ve been to hundreds of church messages.  Until yesterday, nobody had addressed rape.  It’s not a comfortable narrative.  It’s too dark for children.   It’s too dark for almost anyone.  Rapists and victims want to hide and everyone else wants to pretend it doesn’t happen.  But a victim becomes a victor when she sees her assailant for what he is, weak. 

Pastor Lopez showed poise and courage to obey God’s agenda.  The gospel is multi-purposed as it speaks to the middle-class masses, but it also works hard for the hurting people at UCC.  Tamar’s story is too often the story of women and men and children sitting in the pews at UCC and elsewhere.  When Tamar’s story is your story, it suddenly becomes ok to talk about it.  I was a victim, but not today.  Are you, or someone you know, a victim? 

I strongly recommend all people to live your life boldly, take a Sunday morning to visit Urgent Care for the Broken-Hearted Church.  Go see for yourself.  Leave your egos and judgment at the curb. 

Two of Maybe Five

Toby and I stopped for lunch.  We noticed a finely dressed fellow as we left the restaurant.  He came to the passenger’s door with a huge smile and knocked gently.  “Knock and it will be opened.”  He’d been eavesdropping our conversation.  He invited us to church, so we went.  Sort of the same neighborhood.

This was an incredible experience.  Pastor Dan Tynch, I learned later, is originally from Chicago.  However, let’s begin at the beginning. 

There was a parking spot near the front door that was begging for me to park in it.  Not long after opening my car door, people emerged with smiles, we shook hands with four people before reaching the front door.   Again, inside the church, Toby and I were warmly greeted with shaking hands and strong smiles, from not only the staff but every last person.  Surely, we shook hands with 50 people or more.  I filled out a contact card while songs soared from the sanctuary. 

Pastor Tynch recognized us by name as visitors.  That we were visitors was obvious, as we were two of maybe five white folks.  His message from chapter three of the book of Daniel, was about Nebuchadnezzar’s humiliation before God when he couldn’t burn up the boys in the hood. 

Pastor Tynch has a very powerful skill to speak the Word.  His rhythmic tone was soft to crescendo, rising up and ebbing back for an hour.  Before all was told, all were drawn to the altar.  I was drawn to the power of the spirit. 

I met with the pastors in the green room for juice and cake. 

Again, be bold.  Check out Victory Outreach, you won’t be sorry.