Five Things Friday: My Five Favorite TV Commercials

It’s true. I have always had a thing for a good television commercial. I’m a fan of anything that makes me laugh. Who can’t use a good laugh at some random point in their day? So, here are a couple of my faves. Hopefully, you will get a little chuckle out of them.

Happy Halloween!

1. Honestly, if Kenny Rogers is in it, then I’m going to be watching it. Anyone who knows me knows that I have quite the crush on him. And if anyone mentions his obvious plastic surgery or hints that said surgery in any way affects his awesomeness, I’m not sure that our friendship can continue.

2.  I realize this is an oldie but, seriously y’all. I still laugh every time it comes on. She sounds hideous.

3.  I really want to live next door to this woman. How fun would that be?

4.  Oh, Beatrice. You off-line oversharer, you. You can overshare with me any ol’ time.

5. Finally, in honor of Halloween and because it is just. stinkin’. hilarious.

So, what is your favorite commercial?

A Walk in the Wilderness

I hope you all are following along on my journey through the book of Luke. I refuse to call this a series because, for some reason, every time I attempt to do a series I fizzle out about week three. It’s just too much pressure. But, having said that, if you would like to read my posts from this non-series, just click on the Look at Luke category and catch up. I’m only on chapter 4, so it’s not too late!

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There is something about a wilderness that just seems heavy. Even the word itself seems to carry with it loneliness and IMG_0192struggle. If someone mentions a wilderness experience, it is normally not a pleasant time in his or her life. Often, if we are the ones finding ourselves wandering in the wilderness, we begin to ask two questions.

  • What did I do wrong?

We think wilderness equals punishment.

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness… - Luke 4:1

Jesus did nothing wrong. Not only did he do nothing wrong, he had done everything right. He had just returned from Jordan. What had taken place at Jordan?

Jesus also had been baptized and was praying…a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased. – Luke 3:21-22

Jesus was obedient, prayerful, full of the Spirit and God was pleased with him. My point is that, sometimes, the answer to the question, “What did I do wrong?” is “Absolutely nothing.” Life is hard, folks. There is no way around it. Trials and heartache will come. Disappointments and broken dreams will show up. There is, however, some good news. Mercy, aren’t you glad?

  • God, where are you?

Let’s look at that first verse, again.

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness… - Luke 4:1

Jesus did not go into the wilderness alone. We are told that he was full of the Holy Spirit. That word translated here as “full” means completely filled up and thoroughly permeated with the Holy Spirit. God was all over him, y’all! But that isn’t even the best part! Are you ready?

all i knowWhen Scripture says that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, that word translated as “led” means so much more than you think. The Greek word is agō and it means to lead by laying hold of or to attach to one’s self as an attendant.

God did not just point the way and wish him luck. Jesus was going into the wilderness but, by golly, God had his hand on him. I do not even let my children walk across the parking lot at the grocery store without having my hand on them. We are quite the sight – one mama with five children all trying to hold a hand or an elbow or a pocket. But that is the only way we are all going to make it safely through.

God knows that this world is a lot more dangerous and scary than the parking lot at Kroger. Do you think, even for a moment, that he would let you wander through a wilderness without laying his hands on you? Oh, no.

If you are navigating difficult territory or find yourself wandering in a wilderness, know two things.

One, wilderness is not always a punishment. {Yes, I know. Sometimes, it is. But, sometimes, it’s not.}

And, two, you do not have to wonder where God is during your wilderness experience. He has completely attached himself to you. When the enemy seems too close and the pain seems too much – God is all over you. 

When You Feel Covered in Ordinary

starSometimes, I look around and my life seems very ordinary. I get a little disillusioned because I thought my life would be somehow bigger. I had big dreams and big plans and I was going to do big things. And, yet, I feel very small in the grand scheme of things. While I know that I am completely surrounded by blessings {Like, seriously, I have blessings hanging off of every limb.}, I also worry that I somehow missed some holy assignment God had for me. Like, maybe, I’m here washing the same dishes and folding the same laundry day in and day out and, all the while, there is some “thing” out there that I am supposed to be doing. What if God had a job for me to do but I missed it because I had to change a diaper or it was nap time or it’s Friday and, sorry God, but that is my grocery shopping day? Does God even see me here covered in ordinary?

Then, I read this verse.

There were shepherds out in the field, keeping watching over their flock by night. - Luke 2:8

Read it, again. Nothing special, right? Exactly!

The shepherds were out in a field. Well, where else would shepherds be?

The shepherds were watching over their flock. Well, what else would shepherds be doing?

They were not hanging out in the city for fear they missed out on something. They were not trying to write a motivational book, build a small business, and gather a following on social media all while watching over their sheep. Those are all fine endeavors but it is also okay, for crying out loud, for a shepherd to just be a shepherd. I’m afraid that we have turned into a society where everyone thinks they have to be something more. I’m not talking about being lazy or lacking ambition. I’m simply saying that it is okay to be content where God has you in the moment. Before we focus on bigger things, what if we were just really diligent and faithful in the things God has us doing right now?

Because, here’s the thing. God loves to reward the faithful.

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them… – Luke 2:9

There they were doing their usual, every day, nothing out of the ordinary chores and God just showed up. He showed up, y’all! Right there, in the middle of all of their ordinary, God himself made an appearance. He invaded their ordinary with some of his holy. Do you think God just happened upon these particular shepherds? Maybe all of the really popular shepherds, the ones with big platforms and followings, were already booked that night? Of course not. I think he saw shepherds being faithful shepherds and it pleased him greatly to bless them with his presence.

Maybe you are feeling a little ordinary. Possibly, this morning, you’re getting ready to go to the same 9 to 5 that you go to every day. Or, it’s carpool time again. Today is just another day of doing what you do every other day and, sometimes, you feel a little lost in the lonely. You’re a little overwhelmed by the ordinary.

If that is you, can I just remind you of one thing?

When the angel appeared to the shepherds in the field, they were just doing what shepherds do. They were in a field watching sheep. But God invaded their ordinary and made it holy.

Whatever your “ordinary” is, just be faithful to it. Be obedient to what God has called you to do. Then, don’t be surprised when he shows up in your office, dorm room, factory or laundry room and invades your ordinary with a little holy.

You are so very loved.

Mom Talk Monday: Certainty

FenceI’ve been making my way through the book of Luke. I so wish we could all gather together with some coffee and chocolate and go through this gospel verse by verse. I’ll admit that I’ve always been partial to John’s gospel. For some reason, however, I felt led to study Luke. So, a couple weeks ago, I opened up my Bible and started reading and I was instantly hooked.

It seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. – Luke 1:3-4

Luke’s heart was to provide Theophilus and others with some certainty – some assurance – regarding the things they had been taught about Jesus. He sought to lay it all out for them – to recount the miracles and teachings and promises – so that they could know that they know that they know. I’m not gonna lie. I kinda love Luke.

That one verse holds my motivation for writing to you each week. Sure, I want to make you laugh. I mean, life is stinkin’ hard. So, if imagining me doing the army crawl under the bathroom stall at Chic-fil-a because my child couldn’t unlock the door makes you laugh, then I’m happy. {That totally happened by the way.} I don’t write to you each week because I have all of the answers. I would be a hypocrite to even pretend that was true. I can be a selfish spouse, a less than patient mom, an inconsistent Christ-follower and, some days, I am all of these things at the same time. Grace, y’all. I’m desperate for it.

I write to you because I want you to have some certainty concerning the things you have been taught. I want you to know that your Jesus loves you when you feel unlovable. He sees you when you feel invisible. He hears you when you think no one is listening. Too often, we view ourselves like the Samaritan woman.

How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria? – John 4:9

In those days, Jews viewed Samaritans as unclean. They were considered invisible. Unworthy. Untouchable.

How many of us look at ourselves the same way?

How is it that you, a holy Savior, would care about me, a broken woman?

A divorced woman?

A single mom?

A bitter woman?

An impatient mom?

A selfish spouse?

A fickle friend?

An inconsistent Christ-follower?

What label does the enemy try to make you wear? What does he whisper in your ear? It’s different for each of us but, I promise you, it’s always a lie.

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” – John 4:10

The woman was caught up in her labels and Jesus tells her, “it’s not about you.” If she knew who Christ was, it would have changed everything.

If you know the gift of God, Jesus Christ, it changes everything.

So, whatever this week holds for you, I want you to have some certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

God knows that bill is coming due.

God knows that you’re lonely.

God knows that you’ve messed up again.

God knows that you’re feeling insignificant or unworthy.

And he says, “that’s okay because it isn’t about you.”

Your Father adores you. He rejoices over you and calls you beloved. You are all things beautiful to Him. If you knew who it was that offers it to you, you would ask and he would fill you to overflowing with peace and joy and love.

You are loved, my friends. Whatever else happens this week, be certain of that.

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For When Your Heart Needs Proof

scripture doodleWhat do you do when times are difficult? When you’ve trusted until you’re tired and you’ve endured until you’re empty? What’s your response when well meaning folks toss Romans 8:28 your way like it’s a magic cure all for whatever ails you? Or, better yet, when they send you a pretty picture of a waterfall with some catchy cliche.

Go with what you know.

Fake it til you feel it.

What’s a person to do when you don’t know what to do?

If you’re Zechariah, you say, “Prove it.”

And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” – Luke 1:18

Prove it. Because what you’re saying does not match up with what I’m seeing.

Oh, it’s easy enough to judge him. But who hasn’t, at some point, yearned for just a little tangible reassurance.

When you’re trying to pay your bills from an empty bank account. If you could just prove it, Lord.

When you’re sitting next to someone you love and they’re fading fast. If you could just prove it, Lord.

When you feel completely alone in the midst of a crowd. If you could just prove it, Lord.

Sometimes, God chooses to offer a little proof. He does not have to do that. He does not “owe it to us.” His love for and commitment to us was heart sugar cookiesettled on the cross and, if he never did another thing, we can never question his devotion. God loves us and his son has the scars to prove it.

Yet, sometimes, he takes pity on us doubting Thomases. He hears our cries for proof and he shows up and let’s us touch the scars (John 21:24-27.) A healing takes place. A check shows up in the mail. And we feel better – for the moment.

Then, another trial comes. A period of darkness comes upon us. Suddenly, we need proof again. And the time after that and the time after that. We begin to place our faith in the proof. That isn’t faith at all.

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 21:29

As much as our hearts may long for proof, that is not where the blessing is found. The blessing is found when we believe that our God is a promise keeper. The blessing is for those who knew that God would provide even before the check came in the mail. The blessing is for those who believe God is good even as t hey say good-bye to someone they love. The blessing is for those who believe what God says and not the lies of this world.

“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from The Lord.” – Luke 1:45

I have been Thomas more often than I care to admit. Show me and, then, I’ll believe.

Zechariah and I would have gotten along really well. I hear what you’re saying, but I’m going to need some proof.

Who I long to be, however, is a woman who believed what the Lord has said. I long to be Mary, a young virgin girl told that she would give birth to the savior of the world who then says, “Alrighty then. So be it.” {That might be the Stacy paraphrase.} She didn’t doubt or question or demand proof that God could do what he said he was going to do. Scripture says that she was blessed because she believed the Lord was going to do what he said he would do.

Lord, let that be me. Some days, I’m just not there. But, mercy, how I want to be.