Tag Archives: Bible

An invitation: come into the light

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An invitation: come into the light

Of the many Disney live-action remakes already launched or in the works, I’m most excited about Beauty and the Beast. I saw the movie with my parents, siblings and grandparents as a kid. I remember the treats my grandparents bought us to snack on at the theater, and I remember my dad remarking how brilliant the colors were on the big screen.

One of the scenes that impacted me most in the movie was when Belle asks the Beast to “come into the light,” as she intends to take her father’s place as the Beast’s prisoner, and she wants to see her captor. After the Beast reveals himself, Belle trembles, yet agrees, to fulfill the sentence.

I recently found myself extending a “come into the light” invitation to a dear friend of mine. She struggles with a very tough situation in her home life, and rather than bringing it into the open, she suffers silently. She fears letting people into her mess.

I can’t blame my friend for wanting to conceal her troubles – it’s HARD to let others see the truth behind the fake smile. But we weren’t created to live in isolation.

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 NLT)

We all have “beasts” in our lives – things that terrify us when we see them plainly. But what if we faced these monstrous situations together, in fellowship?

And just like Belle took the place of her father to pay his debt, there was a man who came into this world over 2,000 years ago to take the place of your sin, your mess. So, if you can’t quite muster up the courage to share your burdens with those around you, God is just a prayer away.

Please, come into the light.

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The “light” of delight

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The “light” of delight

A few weeks ago, we got a sizable snowstorm here in Pennsylvania. I’m a summer girl, so I’m not exactly thrilled about the white stuff, especially when it arrives in excess. But I have a curious toddler who loves the outdoors and seemingly all things weather, and he did enjoy watching the flakes fall. Yet, what seemed to REALLY catch his eye was a little moth on our front door (as pictured above). Every time we walked over to look at the snow, all he could do was smile, point and say “bug!” with great excitement, the kind you wish you could bottle up and save for a rainy day (but then again, he also loves rain).

That pure joy humans are able to experience is a gift, one I believe is inspired by God. I didn’t have to look hard to find a bit of biblical backup. Since kicking off my 2017 theme of “light,” I’ve been paying close attention to anything that has to do with light, especially Bible verses. I recently came across this one:

Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)

For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

I was drawn to the word delight in this verse – in part, because I may overuse that word on a daily basis, thanks to my mom who also says it quote often, but also because it has “light” in it. So I wondered, is there a connection? I turned to my Strong’s concordance (which uses the King James Version of the Bible) to check it out. King James uses the word “rejoice” in this instance and when I looked up the Hebrew word “siys,” I discovered one of its meanings was “to be bright, i.e. cheerful.” Ooh did this make ME smile, maybe even bigger than my son’s repeated response to that moth.

If you substitute that description back into the verse, envision God being bright. I believe this verse can mean that God lights up about us. HOW COOL IS THAT?! Experiencing this, either as the person “lighting up” or the person over whom another lights up, is just such a special feeling. Pulling up to my house after work and seeing my son banging on the door shouting “mama” with a devilish grin is one of the best things about my day. Spending time with a friend you haven’t seen in ages, discovering that carton of ice cream in the freezer you’d forgotten about, getting recognition at work for a project on which you worked really hard. In the midst of our daily chaos, God grants us things to light up about, just as He does when he looks at us in His limitless love.

So friends, what makes you light up? Please comment below and let’s multiply our joys!

P.S. Ladies, I’ve stumbled upon a cheap drugstore makeup treat that really adds some “light up” glow – E.L.F Sunkissed Glow Bronzer. As we look forward to getting that true sunkissed look in the coming summer months, use this to fake it for now!

Super human

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Yep, that space in the title is purposeful.

Unlike the space in “extra ordinary” that caused my grimace a few years back. While working as a live meeting PowerPoint operator in a previous career, I gently pointed out this error to the presenter, who insisted he was right and refused to change it…and it was ALL over his presentation! Like me, his peers did not agree with him and he looked foolish.

But this week, I do agree with the space. I am feeling SUPER human – not superhuman and endowed with magical powers, rather fully flawed, and perhaps a bit extra ordinary!

I spent my day Monday running errands with my dear husband and toddler. On our way out of a home improvement store, we saw a deal on a grill too good to pass up.  Well, after we got it home and all set up in our yard and ready to grill our lunch during our son’s nap time, we found out our sweet deal really was too good to be true. It was not a propane-powered grill, but rather a natural gas grill. Say WHAT?! I never even knew those existed. So back to the store it went, on our neighbor’s borrowed trailer, killing our relaxing afternoon and lunch. And dare I mention, our son never actually did take a nap?

My mom calls me in the middle of all this and listens to my sob story patiently before breaking the news that my Uncle John had passed away. His heart stopped, and mine felt like it did too, right in the middle of my first world problem rant. My perspective of the day changed dramatically after this exchange.

Later in the week, in the midst of a snow storm and frustrating attempt to work from home while watching aforementioned toddler, I get a text that my friend is in labor! How exciting, and yet stressful, as I have to figure out childcare for my son, as I was asked to join her in the delivery room (more on that in a future post!). My once again gracious husband stepped up, called out of his night shift job (and he’s the top guy on his shift) and took over so I could go be with my sweet friend. I got to experience life’s best gift, the gift of birth and new life. And it could not have happened at a better time.

You see, my friends, we face challenges every day. Sometimes we rise above them, like superheroes. Other days, we falter. We complain, we lose, we fail. And we need to be okay with both results, because of this world and its seasons:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-14)

Praise our Father in heaven for the little gifts He gives us each day. We live in a broken world, but not without the hope of a happily ever after on the other side.

So despite my failures and ups and downs this week, I embrace my super humanity because it helped me connect with many, many people today, especially as I watched a live feed of my beloved uncle’s funeral in FL. He touched so many lives! And to see a baby being born and all the joy that can possibly fill up a delivery room and the hearts of parents and grandparents who so longed for this baby girl!

We only get to do this life once. So let’s be super humans, being real and open and not minding our faults and failures. Let’s love each other and do life with each other in all these “time to” moments.