Do You Have a Word—And An Audience?

words-old-letters

I check the pockets before I put my shorts in the washing machine. I pull out a business card. Oh yeah. Pastor Xavier gave it to me on a Saturday morning at Outdoor Church, inviting me to visit his own church some Sunday.

He’s 50. He’s been drug-free since his teen years when he tried weed, not knowing it was laced with PCP and heroin. It left him messed up for months.

He made a deal with God then. If God would fix him, he’d devote his life to him.

They’ve both kept their word so far.

On this Saturday, Pastor Xavier and I were also talking to John (his real name), my friend from King’s Banquet. John and I met two years ago and our spirits clicked.

John was sharing his own story. Pastor Xavier thought others should hear it, too.

John said he didn’t have a platform and Pastor Xavier said he could have one at his church. His church was flexible. It wasn’t so regimented that others couldn’t speak there.

John wouldn’t commit because he tries hard to be a man of his word, and he wasn’t sure when he could make it. His regular church counted on his presence.

We appreciated his honesty. A person of his word—with a word—is a valuable thing.

I don’t know if John ever made it to Pastor Xavier’s church or not.

I’ve since heard that John has cancer. Terminal. Only a few months left.

I don’t want him to leave us.

I hope I see him at least once more before he goes.

  • To hear his latest story.
  • To hear of his faith in God.
  • To hear what he hopes will happen next.

I take Pastor Xavier’s business card and read the words on it one more time.

Words. They matter.

Because underneath each word is a person.

And every person matters.

  • Whether it’s a pastor who speaks words to a seated congregation every Sunday.
  • Or a wandering homeless man dying of cancer who speaks words to whoever is willing to listen.
  • Or a friend or neighbor or family member in the room next door who has something to say and something to hear.

Everybody has a word. Everybody deserves an audience.

Speak one. Hear one. Be a witness.

* * *

Who has listened to you lately? Who needs you to hear them? Please share in the comments.

sharing with Anita, Kelly,
Terri, Lori, Barbie


Links, Books, and Other Things I Love – December 2016

Here are favorites from November and what I’m looking forward to in December. We share once a month at Leigh’s.

1 Second Everyday 


[If you can’t see the 1 Second Everyday video, click here]

~ * ~ * ~

Around the Web

• The Happiest People Don’t Let Their Minds Wander
A recent Harvard study says stray thoughts are directly related to unhappiness. Those with constantly wandering minds were less likely to be happy than those able to focus on the tasks at hand.

• How Burglars Break Into Homes
They asked 86 burglars how they broke into homes. Interesting comments on what they said were the biggest deterrents, what didn’t stop them, and how you can protect your home.

12 Different Gifts to Give This Year
Our friend Linda Stoll details creative and meaningful goodies for those on our shopping lists. My favorites are #4, 7, and 12.

• 2016 Word of the Year – “Xenophobia
From Dictionary.com: This year, some of the most prominent news stories have centered around fear of the “other.” Because our users’ interest in this overarching theme emerges so starkly for one specific word in our trending lookup data, xenophobia is Dictionary.com’s 2016 Word of the Year.

Definition: “fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers.”

2016-word-of-the-year-xenophobia

~ * ~ * ~

On Reading

• Top 20 Fiction Books of 2016 (so far)
I’ve only read one on this list, Underground Airlines, so I can’t vouch for it personally. But several of these look interesting.

• One Way To Bridge The Political Divide: Read The Book That’s Not For You
What we lack in diversity among friends, we can at least read about it.

books-post-election

Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild is about Tea Party conservatives in Louisiana. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is about what it means to be black in America.
Raquel Zaldivar/NPR

• 10 Books Every Christian Teenager Should Read by Tim Challies
Of the seven of these ten that I’ve read myself, I also recommend them. And not just for teens.

Ten Books I Recommend
I have read all ten of these books so I know they’re good.

books-i-recommend-2016-november-lisanotes

• Currently Reading

  1. The Sparrow
    by Mary Doria Russell
  2. Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging
    by Sebastian Junger
  3. Habit: The 95% of Behavior Marketers Ignore
    by Neale Martin
  4. Beauty Will Save the World: Rediscovering the Allure and Mystery of Christianity
    by Brian Zahnd
  5. The Great Spiritual Migration
    by Brian D. McLaren

~ * ~ * ~

Things I Love

 Meeting a Friend in Jail

julie-lisa-ashley-jail

Julie, Lisa, Ashley at Main Street Cafe

Well, not really in jail. And we weren’t handcuffed. When I was a child, this small building was both the town hall and the city jail. I never went inside. But now it’s a quaint Southern restaurant. And I’ll go in. I was blessed to meet my online friend Ashley (now my real life friend!), who was spending a few days with her good friend Julie, who happens to be one of my 4 Corner friends. Ashley is an amazing young wonder on fire for God. She’s in between mission trips to the Philippines.

Kali’s 23rd Birthday

kali-flowers-2016

If our daughter Kali had lived, she would have turned 23 years old this year. We never miss her any less with each passing year.

Marking Time

butler-high-school-rock-jeff

The main campus of our church has outgrown its facilities. So a local unused high school building will be turned into a new church building. We met there to see the plans a few weeks ago. Each family took an octagon and wrote the story of how they came into the church family. Then placed it on the timeline.  A beautiful testimony of God’s goodness through the years!

Warm Thanksgiving

2016-11-24-thanksgiving-jeff-lisa

We celebrated Thanksgiving Day with my in-laws, spending much of it outside. Unusually warm, this fall has been so pleasant for people like me who are always cold otherwise. But alas, it ends this week. Brrr….

~ * ~ * ~

On the Blog

5 Things I Learned at the Enneagram Conference
What number are you?

the-enneagram

• No Pride in Giving, No Shame in Taking
The line Saturday morning was long and talkative. When we have, we give. And when we need, we receive. There should be no pride or shame on either end.

• Scared of the Dark…Or the Light? 
When we create something, we often want to hide it. Why are we afraid of the light?

* * *

What was one of your highlights from November? What are you looking forward to in December? Please share in the comments.

previous Links and Books

sharing with LishaDawn, Deb, Laura,
Leigh, LyliValerie, CrystalLori


Ten Books I Recommend – November 2016

Here are ten great books I’ve recently finished that you might like, too. Every month we share our reading lists at Jennifer’s.

books-i-recommend-2016-november-lisanotes

Nonfiction

1. Pursuing Health in an Anxious Age
by Bob Cutillo MD

pursuing-health-in-an-anxious-age

A meaningful Christian book about our bodies in an age where we obsess about them or else treat them with abandon.

My book review here of Pursuing Health in an Anxious Age

2. The Bridge to Brilliance
How One Principal in a Tough Community Is Inspiring the World
by Nadia Lopez

the-bridge-to-brilliance

A hopeful story about a tough inner city school in Brooklyn, NY, and the principal there who is changing lives.

3. A Force for Good
The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World
by Daniel Goleman

a-force-for-good

Beautiful and practical advice from one of the world’s most compassionate people—the Dalai Lama—on how we can each make positive changes in our world, right where we are.

4. How to Be Here
A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living
by Rob Bell

how-to-be-here

God has us all here for a reason—this book encourages you to find that purpose and do something about it.

5. Stumbling on Happiness
by Daniel Todd Gilbert

stumbling-on-happiness

A most fascinating book on study after study about what really makes people happy—and what doesn’t.

6. Search Inside Yourself
by Chade-Meng Tan

search-inside-yourself

From one of Google’s earliest engineers, this is an inspiring look at how to be more mindful in our everyday lives.

7. Love Warrior
by Glennon Doyle Melton

love-warrior

An authentic and engrossing memoir about facing pain head-on instead of running from it.

Fiction

8. Before the Fall
by Noah Hawley

before-the-fall

Jeff and I both loved this mesmerizing novel about a small plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard and the story of the passengers’ lives before and after.

9. Underground Airlines
by Ben H. Winters

underground-airlines

What if the Civil War never happened, and the states actually did divide into basically two countries? This novel set in modern times gives a haunting look at what might have been.

10. The Crossover
by Kwame Alexander

the-crossover

This Newbery Medal winner is told in verse (and I liked it!) about a young basketball player, his twin brother, and their ex-professional basketball player father.

Reading Now

  • The Sparrow
    by Mary Doria Russell
  • Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging
    by Sebastian Junger
  • Habit: The 95% of Behavior Marketers Ignore
    by Neale Martin
  • Beauty Will Save the World: Rediscovering the Allure and Mystery of Christianity
    by Brian Zahnd
  • The Prophet
    by Kahlil Gibran
  • The Great Spiritual Migration
    by Brian D. McLaren

* * *

What are you reading this month? Please share here.

Whats-on-Your-Nightstand-at-_5-minut

My books on Goodreads
Previous reading lists

sharing with BarbieTerri,
JenniferKellyAnitaHolly


Pursuing Health in an Anxious Age – Book Review

“In this day and age, we may not fear the next comet (or do we?), but we do worry about something less rare: the report of an abnormal medical test.”
– Bob Cutillo

humpty-dumpty

She was in her car, waiting in the line for the handicapped. For those unable to stand in the long line wrapping around Manna House Monday night, the back dock was serving as a drive-through area to pick up the free Thanksgiving food.

She rolled her window down and we chatted. I asked if she needed prayers for anything because don’t we all?

Her answer woke me up.

Yes, she said. Health care. I’m scared. I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to get health care under the new President.

I listened to her. Because fear of pain and sickness is real. For all of us.

If there’s anything that can ruin our plans, it’s a breakdown of our body.

Pursuing Health in an Anxious Age

Although it wouldn’t have been helpful Monday night to tell my new friend about a book I’d just finished reading, I can tell you about it.

It’s Pursuing Health in an Anxious Age by Bob Cutillo, MD. It isn’t a long book (~200 pages), but it is a deep book.

pursuing-health-in-an-anxious-age

It offers important discussions on something we all care about: our bodies.

In the book, Cutillo addresses our need to feel in control of our bodies. We like to think: If I live right, take the right medicines, and trust in God enough, I’ll be fine.

But we all get sick anyway.

It shouldn’t surprise us. Cutillo reminds us we were created as dependent beings from the very beginning.

We have limits.

Our limitations are not out at the edge of our existence but at the center of our being. If our limits were at the boundaries, we could always push them farther and farther out, applying our reason and developing our technologies and solving the problems that limit us at the edges of our lives.

But that is not who we are and how we have been made; our limits lie at the middle of our creaturely existence and, if truth be told, we don’t like that.”

We don’t like the hurts we already have, and we’re often fearful about the unknown pain yet to come. If we’re old enough, we know how vulnerable our bodies are.

Body as Blessing

But we’re not left without hope.

“Because God came in a human body, a new perception of the body is offered.”

Our body is a gift and “intimately connected to our destiny.” Each of our bodies—even with their limits—has a direction and intentionality to carry out.

Our bodies may be vulnerable, but they are purposeful. We are more than our diseases.

“If the form of our body is not incidental but essential, the sooner we embrace our body, the sooner we embrace our destiny.”

And the ultimate physical death we each have to face? As believers in Jesus, we know death has been defanged.

“When we don’t ‘cling anxiously to life,’ we are freed to embrace it more fully.”

Health in Community

Cutillo’s concluding chapters are about living as community. We share this vulnerability of broken bodies with every other living being on the planet. He elaborates in the book on these three points:

  1. Seeing you depends on seeing me in you.
  2. My health depends on your health.
  3. The health of society depends on how it cares for its poorest members.

We may not enjoy bearing each other’s pains, but it is a godly mandate for everyone’s good.

“To permit the pain of another to come near because we know that we are likewise vulnerable is also a burden—but better to be burdened than buffered and blind.”

Stand Together

In the end, the best hope I could offer the scared woman in her car Monday night about future health care was that, regardless of what happens next, we would stand together, with God in our midst. She wouldn’t be alone. Together is always stronger.

This woman may or may not ever read Pursuing Health in an Anxious Age, but if you can and I can, perhaps we’ll stay motivated enough to keep the proper perspective, not only about our bodies, but about each other’s as well.

* * *

Related:

How do you handle physical pain? Have you already faced your fear of death? What happened? Please share in the comments.

My thanks to Crossway
for the review copy of this book

sharing with CharlotteDeb,
DawnHolleyRosilind


No Pride in Giving, No Shame in Taking

The line Saturday morning was long and jumbled and talkative.

Each person was waiting to receive their free teal bag. It contained a carefully-loaded gift of meat and vegetables and dessert, enough to cook a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner for their family this Thursday.

thanksgiving-bag-giving-taking

I walked through the crowd and said hello here and there, looking for someone who wanted to talk.

I saw a friend and stopped. We chatted about the autumn weather finally arriving.

Then she told me what she often tells me, “Thank you so much for what y’all are doing. It makes such a big difference to us.”

I gave my standard reply, “We’re just passing it along as God gives it. We’re glad to do it.”

And it’s true. God gives to us so we can enjoy giving to others.

But more is true.

I said it to her. I needed to hear it again myself. It is this:

None of us know when it will be our turn to be on the receiving end.

None of us are above it.

None of us are below it.

We like to think, “It’ll never be me.” After all, we plan and save and prepare for such surprises. I’ll always be on this side of the line, we think, never the other.

But if we’ve ever seen (or been) someone devastated by a job loss or a health catastrophe or a financial crumble, we know that, yes, it could be us.

And in many ways it has already been us, it is us now, and it will be us again.

Give and take is a dance. It’s an art form of rhythm and movement, of story and liturgy, of back and forth.

Sometimes we give.
Sometimes we take.

We’re not better people because we give.
We’re not worse people because we take.

We all do a little of both in every season of our lives, in various ways, and in differing degrees.

Let none of us think we’re always a giver. Or always a taker. We’re all some of both. Because that’s how God designed community to work.

If we participate in this dance with grace and partners and intention, it’s a beautiful waltz to behold.

Notice this Thanksgiving week how you dance back and forth between giving and receiving, between offering and accepting, between handing out and taking in.

And whichever side you fall on in this moment, say thanks. Thankful to be able to give. Thankful to be able to receive.

My friend and I ended our conversation in agreement:

When we have, we give.
And when we need, we receive.

There should be no pride or shame on either end.

Let’s be grateful in it all.

* * *

For November, I’ve been welcoming Song and Dance for Welcome,” my One Word for 2016. See the monthly welcoming practices here.

Related:

How will you give this week? How will you receive? Please share in the comments.

sharing with LishaKelly, Holly,
KellyLori, Terri


How to Love That Other Number on the Enneagram (All Nine Types)

“The Enneagram shows us that we can’t change the way other people see, but we can try to experience the world through their eyes and help them change what they do with what they see.”
– Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile

how-to-love-enneagram-number

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses helps you grow.

Knowing other peoples’ strengths and weaknesses helps, too.

What I’m learning about the Enneagram is it’s not just knowledge for ourselves. It’s also knowledge we can use to better love our friends, family, coworkers.

In their book on the Enneagram, The Road Back to You, Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile say that the Enneagram can be a tool for you to see how others are viewing the world.

“When you realize that your Loyalist Six husband views the world as a place filled with danger and uncertainty, and he in turn understands that when you get up in the morning you as a Performer Three feel an urgent need to compete and excel at everything you do, it’s amazing how much more compassion you can have for each other.

Everything isn’t so personal anymore. You understand that your loved one’s behavior is born out of a fractured vision of life.”
– Cron and Stabile

Ian and Suzanne gave helpful tips at the Know Your Number conference for dealing with each personality type. (See “5 Things I Learned at the Enneagram Conference” here.)

Think about the personalities in your circle of friends. You likely know at least one person from each type.

Here are the nine types.

the-enneagram

Then apply one of these tips below to better love that person in a way that makes sense to them. (You’ll find much more in the book, The Road Back to You, and on the podcast by the same name.)

How you can help someone who is a . . .

1 – Perfectionist

Because perfectionists always hear voices in their head about how to improve things, don’t interrupt them while they’re working. It doesn’t help to tell them something is good enough. Instead, ask how you can help them make it better.

2 – Helper

Twos wants to take care of everybody, even at their own expense. Help them understand they don’t have to do it all, just their one piece. And that you like them just as they are, even when they’re not helping.

3 – Achiever/Performer

Threes are competitive and success-driven. (Threes are revered in America, btw.) Don’t slow them down by talking in paragraphs to them. Communicate with them instead through bullet points.

4 – Individualist/Romantic

Fours are intense, have a wide emotional range, and are prone to melancholy. So don’t tell Fours to cheer up; they don’t think they’re sad. They’re just feeling what they feel. Don’t take their drama personally. (This is the least populated number on the Enneagram.)

5 – Investigator

Fives are drained by the world if they have to engage it too long. When you’re with them, don’t ramble. Get to the point. They are minimalists. They enjoy being with people, but not necessarily to “hang out.”

6 – Loyalist

Sixes know that life is uncertain and can’t be predicted. Remind Sixes that they need to trust their own experiences with God. Help them by exasperating the situation even worse. Listen to all their fears. (Half the world are Sixes.)

7 – Enthusiast

Sevens are adventurous and always ready for more fun. They also are most prone to addiction because they avoid pain and don’t know how to handle grief. Help them address all their emotions, not just the happy ones.

8 – Challenger

Eights are exceptional leaders and like to take control. They have more energy than any other number on the Enneagram. They like to know exactly where you stand, so always be straight-up with Eights. And challenge them if you disagree; they’ll respect you for it.

9 – Peacemaker

Nines will do almost anything to avoid conflict. They’re happy to just go along, so they can be slow decision makers. Learn to not rob them of making their own choices. Let them know their own preferences matter. (Nines make up the second largest group.)

Understanding that everyone sees life from a different lens can help us be more kind and patient with each other.

As we listen and learn, let’s do so with an attitude of gentleness and non-judgment, not forcing people to change, but giving them space to grow.

“It’s when we stop trying to change people and simply love them that they actually have a shot at transformation. The Enneagram is a tool that awakens our compassion for people just as they are, not the people we wish they would become so our lives would become easier.”
– Cron and Stabile

* * *

Related:

Can you spot the potential number of your spouse or friend? Please share in the comments.


5 Things I Learned at the Enneagram Conference

“Your personality is who you seem to be, but it is not who you are.”
– Ian Morgan Cron

the-enneagram

I’ve been learning about the Enneagram this year. It’s a personality typing system based on ancient wisdom for spiritual growth.

But it’s also based on oral tradition, not written, so when I got the opportunity to listen instead of just reading about it, I took it.

Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile, authors of The Road Back to You, are traveling the country giving weekend seminars called “Know Your Number.” I attended last month in Montgomery, Alabama. (I reviewed the book here, including the nine types.)

whatever-your-number

Jeff packed a gift in my suitcase before the seminar (I think he’s a 2, the Helper, yes?)

On Friday afternoon of the seminar, I thought my number was a 1, the Perfectionist. (I reload the dishwasher; I read all instruction manuals; I keep all my tax returns neatly filed for years).

But by Saturday night, I decided maybe I’m a 5 instead, The Investigator. (I need lots of time alone; I love gathering information—the internet is a dream come true; I’m happier texting on the phone rather than talking.)

Now what do I think? I’m still not sure which number I am.

But that’s okay. Ian and Suzanne said it can take awhile to figure out your number. The tests alone don’t determine it (actually they didn’t seem fond of the tests).

The point is: Keep learning, keep growing, and keep allowing God to lead the way.

5 Things I Learned at the Enneagram Conference

  1. What you don’t know can hurt you.

“What remains unconscious remains in control.” But the more we understand ourselves, the more we can cooperate with God in our transformation.

Discovering your Enneagram number can shorten the learning curve. Knowing yourself helps you better use your strengths, helps you monitor your reactions when you’re stressed, and helps you deal more positively with others.

  1. It’s about motivation, not just behavior.

Your personality number is determined more by what motivates you, not by how you behave. That’s why most online tests can be wrong as often as right—they don’t distinguish between motivation and behavior. You and I might perform the same action, but if I’m doing it out of pride and you’re doing it out of fear, we’re not coming from the same place, and thus may be different numbers. Keep digging to find your true number.

  1. We each are all nine numbers.

Taken as a whole, all nine numbers together give us a full-rounded view of God.

But individually, though we likely have some of each number in us, we click the most into one number. And we stay that same number for life, likely being set in it by the time we’re five years old.

  1. What you do with it counts.

This is important: We can’t change how we see the world.

But we can change what we do with what we see.

  1. Be kind to yourself.

Initially, we might not like what we discover about our number. Thinking of myself as either a 1 or a 5 doesn’t appeal to me. I see the negative traits in the profile and the negative traits in myself. And I don’t like those.

But it’s important to adopt a posture of lovingkindness to ourselves: “Healing and transformation can only happen in a climate of self-compassion.”

“Once you know your type you owe it to yourself and the people you love (or don’t love, for that matter) to become a kinder, more compassionate presence in the world.”

As John Calvin put it: “Without knowledge of self, there is no knowledge of God.” I wouldn’t phrase it that strongly, but I see some truth there.

As Ian and Suzanne told us, Christian voices throughout the centuries are united in this message for us—Wake up!

Waking up—becoming aware of who we are—helps us better know who God is, and knowing who God is helps us better know ourselves.

Regardless of our number.

* * *

Related:

Do you know your Enneagram number? Please share in the comments.



Does Your Soul Need Pampering? “7 Days of Soul Care”

god-longs-for-us-to-trust

Who needs pampering?

We all need pampering from time to time.

We know what that looks like physically: rest, good food, massages, pleasurable activities, no stress.

But how do we pamper our souls?

Dolly Lee has a brand new book available today about how to care for our souls, 7 Days of Soul Care.

Dolly walks us through a seven-day journey of personal stories, scriptures, journal questions, and prayers to help us better connect with God.

7-days-of-soul-care-dolly-lee

She says that through doing a series of small things, we allow God to do the extraordinary with our ordinary.

The seven days are centered around these themes:

  1. Know God, Know Yourself
  2. Embrace Your True Worth
  3. Know Jesus, Know God
  4. Discern Your Soul’s Condition
  5. What Trials Can Reveal
  6. Take Steps Toward God
  7. Rest and Play

At the back of her book, Dolly provides a great list of recommended resources on soul care, daily devotionals, and online resources.

Here are some of my favorite lines from 7 Days of Soul Care.

“When we engage with our extraordinary God in our ordinary, we become exceptional in the ordinary because his Spirit is with us and within us.”

~ * ~ * ~

Prayer is the fuel that drives the engine of lasting transformation because it connects us with God’s presence and power.”

~ * ~ * ~

“Slowly over the years, I sensed God’s love as a felt-experience and not merely an abstract theological concept. Our deepest truths are not merely propositional but also deeply felt and personal.”

~ * ~ * ~

“God doesn’t want us to feel worthy if we’re doing well or to feel unworthy when we’re not. In God’s eyes, our worth doesn’t go up and down like the stock market.”

~ * ~ * ~

“We have inherent worth apart from our appearance, or our behavior, or how another has treated us, because God created us in love for love.”

~ * ~ * ~

“Every act you do with our extraordinary God isn’t ordinary— it’s exceptional because it is infused with his holy presence.

* * *

How do you pamper your soul? Please share in the comments.

You can buy Dolly’s book here. She writes a beautiful blog here, Soul Stops, and is on Instagram @DollyMLee or #7DaysofSoulCare.

Dolly M. Lee

Dolly’s goal is to collect enough in royalties to donate $500 to International Justice Mission, an anti-slavery organization that protects the poor from violence.

Thanks for the advance copy of this book.


On Election Eve, You Are Elected

election-flag

There are times we feel vulnerable. Not quite comfortable. Not quite safe.

There are also spaces that make us feel that way. Unguarded. Wide open. Susceptible.

Maybe you don’t like to sit with your back to the wall. Or sleep with your head to the door.

On this night before electing the next President of the United States, we may feel like our backs are to the door. We can’t see around the corner. We don’t know what’s about to enter the room.

I’m reading Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. These paragraphs (taken from three different pages) speak of feeling vulnerable in a space.

Here Glennon is in a marriage counseling session with her husband Craig at the therapist’s office.

“I’m being swallowed up by a big black leather couch in Craig’s therapist’s chilly office. My knees don’t reach the cushion’s edge, so my legs stick straight like I’m a doll someone has propped up. I decide that if I can’t make my feet reach the floor, it’s best to pretend that I don’t want them to, anyway. I pull my legs up toward my chest and wrap my arms around them. I am my own shield.” page 123

~ * ~

“I shiver and pull my sweater tighter. For the first time I notice that both Craig and his therapist are wearing T-shirts and shorts. Why don’t men ever notice the cold? Why don’t they ever carry sweaters and curl up and make fists of their sleeves and wrap their arms around their legs? Why the hell are they so brazen and unfurled and warm and comfortable all the time?” page 126

~ * ~

“I push myself up and out of the chair. I pull off my sweater and hold it in my hand. I will my body not to shiver. I stand up, and the men’s eyes lift toward me in unison. I look down at the therapist first and I say, “You should get an adjustable chair in this office so female-size people can put their f—— feet on the ground.” page 129

I’ve felt that way. I’ve sat on couches where my feet don’t touch the floor, in chairs where I can’t reach the ground. It’s never comfortable.

And as we approach tomorrow’s voting results, we might feel this way, like we’re surrendering ground, unstable, susceptible.

But it’s not so.

Whether the results come back like we want them to or not, we will still be standing on Wednesday morning. On solid ground. Both feet.

Because we have already been elected. We’ve been chosen. God picked us.

  • 1 Peter 2:9 (CEV)
    “But you are God’s chosen and special people. You are a group of royal priests and a holy nation. God has brought you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Now you must tell all the wonderful things that he has done.”

As children of God, our ultimate security doesn’t rest on man-made governments. It doesn’t rest on amendments to constitutions. It doesn’t rest on agreements or mandates or policies.

Our safety rests on Love. We live in his kingdom, He is our world, and even death can’t pry us out of his hands.

He’s chosen us to be here at this time, in this place, for this reason. And regardless of who wears the man-made title of “leader,” we are God’s elect to fulfill God’s purposes.

So on this election eve, we need not fear. We’ve already been elected.

  • To show love.
  • To be merciful.
  • To give grace.

That is a victory for everyone.

  • Romans 8:31
    What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
  • Romans 8:32
    He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
  • Romans 8:33
    Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

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Is there a scripture that reminds you that your feet on on the Rock? Please share in the comments.


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