February 23, 2011

barefooted justice

Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right
As a girl born and raised in the Constitution State I feel that I have a genetic predisposition to love rules.  I like knowing where I stand and what I need to do…and what I can expect others to do.  The problem is that in a broken world, communication breaks down and rules are more of a fluid concept to most people.  The rules only apply when convenient or personally beneficial….I must confess that I’ve been known to craft a few loop holes myself every once in a while.  Loop holes, exceptions, special cases, appeals, and the like have become so much a part of the regulatory culture that we live in, it has become difficult to find what real rules apply.  It seems the Pharisees had this same problem in Jesus’ time.  Spending more time on their made up rules that they felt that could follow than they did on God’s perfect law.  I think that is why we make some many superfluous rules and laws…we like to feel we measure up  and the more rules we can claim to follow the less the more we can numb the sting of non-compliance with the rules that really matter.
All of this baggage aside, what does God require? Perfection.
Plain and simple, complete obedience…I couldn’t do it and so Jesus did it for me.  In response to that perfection God calls me to love Him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others as I love myself.  He calls me to seek justice, love mercy and to walk humbly before Him.  He calls me to seek the welfare of others before my own.   After quite a bit of prayer and thinking this week I think it boils down to the fact that doing anything less than loving God in all that I say do, and think; and loving and treating every other human being as an individual created in the image of God, is doing injustice.  It’s a high standard that I fail in every day, but this is what God is calling me to do.  I pray that He would work in my heart, to strengthen the muscles I need to do this better…that I would learn to love well – for that is justice.
Walking barefoot and joining up with the community at  Imperfect Prose

February 16, 2011

my confessions

I have to confess that I do not feel like I could do justice to "justice" tonight...to be honest life has been kicking my butt a bit lately I don't feel up to doing much of anything right now.  Nothing major going on, just a lot of little things piling up to make daily life oh so incredibly daily.  The latest in my misadventures and stumbling blocks has been the fact that my apartment now looks like a scene from ET

A water problem due to weather damage to my building manifested itself as a few stains on my ceiling and a patch of soaking wet carpet. I understand that it was necessary to get at the root problem but I really was not prepared for a plastic wall and a kitchen blocked by furniture last night.  After I got over the shock and started moving furniture to get around I was brave and ventured across the plastic curtain and took some pictures

Sometimes life is like snow beaten building.  Little issues, small sins, minor stumbling blocks can pop up when least expected and will grow moldy and gross if not dealt with.  But usually that "dealing with" requires some pretty big digging because the problem is deeper and much more wide spread than originally thought.  No matter how costly, inconvenient, or hard that clean up has to be...it is always better than mold spores and bug infestations.

thanks for listening and letting me take a bit of a break from my barefooted adventures.  Lord willing I'll be back in action next week.

joining up with Emily and others at Imperfect Prose

February 9, 2011

is it possible to be nobly barefooted?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,

Noble was harder to find than truth.
I have two pictures in my mind...one is noble-clean and holy in a world full of mud, integrity never wavering, never stopping to their level....
the other is noble-love covered in mud and blood and tears...bearing burdens, selling all it has in order to give, loving those who can't love back, serving those who least deserve...

Noble one of those words that I think I know until i must define it.
Dictionary.com had this to say about noble
1.distinguished by rank or title.
2.pertaining to persons so distinguished.
3.of, belonging to, or constituting a hereditary class that has special social or political status in a country or state; of or pertaining to tharistocracy.
4.of an exalted moral or mental character or excellence; lofty: a noble thought.
5.admirable in dignity of conception, manner of expression, execution, or composition: a noble poem.
6.very impressive or imposing in appearance; stately; magnificent: a noble monument.
7.of an admirably high quality; notably superior; excellent.
8.famous; illustrious; renowned.

Words like exalted moral character, distinguished, magnificent, superior, illustrious all put this noble just out of reach in my everyday life it seems.  Both of my pictures are longings and yet seem other from the life I have lived so far.
but like always, when all hope seems lost Jesus reminds me
that he who would be first should be last, that she who would lead needs to serve,
it really is that simple.
A living for others...loving God and loving man in their rightful places is what He requires of me.
Then I realize,
Noble is a label given, not a label claimed.  
It comes when others who were loved and served look back and see the heart of God instead of human hands.
It comes when a world that is hurting recognizes something higher and holier reaching out to sooth and heal.
Noble is others recognizing divine work through human actions and not knowing what else to call it.  This is the life I want...to be a jar of clay.

Linking up with Emily and other jars of clay at imperfect prose

February 8, 2011

A Wild Woman

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this but I LOVE cookbooks.  They call my name from used bookstores and barnes and noble shelves alike; all saying, "take me home."
Instead of trying to figure out this mania, I've decided to just go with it.
One of my favorite finds is  Sweets: A collection of soul food desserts and memories by Patty Pinner.  It combines my love of delicious simple wholesome recipes well made with my love of stories well told, and just generally makes me happy whenever I look at it.
This past Saturday I was looking for a recipe for cookies to bring to a church lunch the next day and found one...I also found a description of who I want to be when I grow up :)
It made me laugh out loud and so I felt the need to share it, first with some ladies at church, and now with you all.  So here it goes:
"Every family has a wild woman: a woman who talk loud and saucy and throws her head way back when she laughs; a woman who smooths the seat of her dress in a seductive manner when she walks, seemingly unaware of the folks straining to catch a glimpse; one who may be well past her prime but is obviously still having sex with her husband, and obviously still enjoying it.  Cud'n John's wife, Florence, was our family's wild woman.  A cross between Eartha Kitt and Moms Mabley, Cud'n Florence was a purring kitten one minute and a court jester the next.  She could mimic mannerisms and tell jokes with the precision of a professional comedian.  She kept us-including Big Mama, who didn't tolerate too much foolishness-laughing.
There were all kinds of rumors about the way Cud'n John, My My's first cousin on her mama's side, a dapper, street smart man in his own right, met Cud'n Florence-there was some real speculation where Cud'n Florence's past was concerned.  But all the women in my family loved her anyway.  They praised her for the way she kept herself up, and marveled over how neat and clean she kept her house, right down to her chest of drawers, where every bra and every panty was neatly folded the way they are on the display tables in boutiques.  And they admired her for the glorious and eclectic was she lived her life-shopping trips to Chicago with the girls, civic club meetings, Friday night card games, and hosting Sunday afternoon church socials.
Cud'n Florence might have been our family's wild woman, but now that I am older and things make more sense, I understand that she was way more than just our family's wild wmoan.  Cud'n Florence was also a model, of sorts, for the women in my family.  When Cud'n Florence came to town-she and Cud'n Joh lived in a lovely old home in Detroit-all the women, inclduing Big Mama, gathered around her.  Her loud laughter, her sauciness, her accounts of her latest adventures and investments, and the sexy way she put her hand on her hip when she took a glass of ice water to Cud'n John mesmerized us.  In Cud'n Florence, young and old, we saw our feminine possibilities.  In her we witnessed an older woman who still flaunted her feminine curves, one who was full of joy, full of seasoned feminine grace, aware of it, proud of it, and overflowing with love."

I especially love that last sentence...that's what I want to be when I grow up,  an older woman who still flaunted her feminine curves, one who was full of joy, full of seasoned feminine grace, aware of it, proud of it, and overflowing with love.
 Here's to you wild women out there, keep doing what you're doing!

ps- in case you haven't guessed, I highly recommend the book, lot's of really good recipes, beautiful stories about the author's family, and fun family photos.

February 2, 2011

TRUTHfully barefoot

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true

This is what I know to be true:
  • Jesus loves me
  • I am a sinner saved by grace, walking and learning to be more like Him
  • I am washed in blood and God remembers my sins no more
  • I am adopted into the family of God
  • I am not my own
  • God is sovereign
  • God is bigger than the boogie man (He's bigger than godzilla or the monsters on TV)
  • This world is broken and sore with sin
  • This world is not my home
  • Though I stand on Jordan's stormy banks, I'm bound for a better land
  • God provides for His people, He is enough
  • I am blessed beyond measure with family and friends who love me, a roof over my head, food in my pantry, a job that uses my gifts and pays my bills
  • I am called to love God and love people
  • I am called to be a good steward of the gifts given to me

One thing I learned this week, it is not enough just to say yes to truth, but I also must just as passionately say no to lies.
Doubts, fears, guilt, despair, jealousy, worry all have no place in this holy place of barefooted communion.
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

What do you know to be true?

Adding my voice to Imperfect Prose