Creation Interact

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Though I consider myself a very sociable person with the human side… I talk to my dogs a lot.  In fact, I have theological conversations if they are hanging around when I’m studying or I need an “audience” to practice a sermon.  Yes, I have asked both my dogs if they know Jesus. It gives me a nice laugh (especially their facial expression of “do you really have to ask me that…”)

So this got me thinking.  We as believers need to interact with God’s creation more.  Now I don’t necessarily mean talking to your dogs or fish or plants (even though there are tons of articles and philosophies about talking to plant life.) But I do mean going outside more, taking a moment to be thankful of the Creator that not only has created everything around but also given us as humans the responsibility to take care of it.  Sometimes I think as humans we take advantage of this.  We abuse our creation every day and sometimes don’t even take a second to acknowledge the blessings God has given use through His creation.

And that’s why I have dogs…that’s what my dogs remind me of.  They remind me of God.  They remind me to be thankful (they are rescues) and to be happy even for the smallest things of coming through the front door and being home among family.  To be happy about even the simplest food….and to enjoy EVERY toy!


A Slight of Hand, A Twist of Fate

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Tonight Shawn and I saw “Now You See Me“- a movie about 4 magicians who preform awe-inspiring tricks that end up getting attention of the FBI.  (on a movie review note–you should go see it.) As a courtesy I will not spoil any of the movie but it got me thinking.  About God & Magic. About the analogies and similarities and the people I know who love magic yet have the strongest faith in God. And when I get to thinking… I have started coming to my blog…

Some things to think about:
My brother, who is an amazing pastor, worked as a magician and still does the little tricks for his kids.
I have another friend who was is into magic yet is a strong believer in Christ.
Several fundamentalist shun magic stating it is affiliated with the devil.
Many people think of God as the Head Magician… “conning” people into believe some great giant trick.

So let’s look at some positives of magic & God/faith.
Magic is meant to entertain, deceive and to inspire curiosity.  According to the movie it gives people a little bit of hope beyond what they can see. (again, go see the movie…) In working with religion and God.  God is the source of faith, He is what is beyond what you can see.  And maybe not to entertain for financial gain, I would arguably says God is definitely here to inspire.  And (in a more blunt way) He is deceiving as the few things that we can see of Him are only a spark of what is to come–much like magic.
Another movie about magic, The Prestige, refers to 3 elements of an illusion–the pledge, the turn & the prestige.  It’s the presentation of something ordinary, the change of the ordinary object into something extraordinary and the final presentation of the extraordinary proof.  (See QuoteFromTheMovie)  God can do these three things… God creates the ordinary, makes it extraordinary and then spends His time presenting the prestige to the world…. this can apply to every human including the Son of Man, Jesus Christ.

Just remember though–magic has bad elements and can lead to a belief in hocus pocus spells or an imaginative reality that leads to emptiness or lack of stability.  Or even worse–bad spirituality (aka demons, “black…”)  Remember that God is alive, in control, created reality and has come down to be with those He loves the most-humanity-through Christ.  And remember that magic, though sometimes simply an illusion, can inspire that little bit of hope for a happier world through Him who Is.

Question Marks to the World

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On the way home today I saw a vehicle with “believe in coexistence” sticker.  It goes along with the “coexist” and “tolerance” stickers that I have seen on several vehicles.  And whenever I see these, I get this upset feeling that the platform that tries to push these titles are usually people looking for everyone to side with them.

Tolerance– tolerance is NOT the same as love. In face, love is much more powerful and engaging than tolerance.  Love thinks of the other, speaks truth and kindness and peace.  Not just acceptance and knowledge.  I remember one time in church my pastor stated ‘would you tolerate your spouse or your children?’ or would you say  so and so “I tolerate you”? I know I wouldn’t. I would not say to Shawn– “I tolerate you and your views.” So why would I want to be tolerant? I’d rather love… and so it gets me upset every time i see the sticker.

 Then there’s Co-Existence.  I’m not sure this describes this either.  this doesn’t talk about engagement or interaction.  It just talks about “existing.” I know i don’t want to just exist.  I want to be alive.  And I am thankful that my life comes from the Ultimately Living One but I will glad live with others who are living as well.  Not just existing.  I’d rather live in love than co-exist in tolerance.

Just something to think about … next time you’re driving 🙂

Little less than Perfect.

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Today I was reminded of a very important fact– that we as humans are not perfect.  We have issues,  problems, events that change the course of our lives.  And they cause us to make mistakes, act differently than typical– do crazy things.  Remember the time as a child you realized your parents didn’t know everything? I distinctly do…I was discussing with my brother the decisions my mother was making about her health and thought how illogical they sounded despite her ever-present to be “logical.” That’s when my brother indicated to me “you know, mom isn’t right about everything..”  Basically its another way of saying start thinking for yourself but its always a self-reflection sometimes.  Sorry to burst your bubble parents but I don’t think we’re ever called to portray perfected life…so why lay out an expectation for your kids that you can do no wrong? Anyways…
Today this fact caused me to ponder on the biblical view of those we are called to imitate in faith from Biblical-lore.  (Hebrews 11 if you need an example.) Hardly any of them were perfect. In fact, in a class about the prophets recently we discussed how Samson is included in the description of the faithful when he was self-centered and lacked maturity.  David,  despite his sleeping around, killing off husbands who didn’t do what he wanted and huge lack of responsibility– He is highly honored in the Jewish community, regarded as a king “after God’s own heart” and is constantly used in reference to Jesus (a.k.a Son of David) and in his lineage.  (listen to the older christmas songs…)
What does this tell us about God? (yes, everything is a theological question to me)
What does this tell us about who we are? And Who God is working/making/made us to be?
1) We are NOT perfect and we are therefore NOT God. 
2) God still accepts and loves us despite this reality. 
3) We can still be present before God despite our imperfection.
Think again back to Genesis (people should really spend more time in this book–its just JAMMED with things to learn) — even after Adam and Eve disobeyed God, God felt for them along with providing them with what they needed (clothing.)  And though He banished them from the Garden, it was the consequences of their actions.  
Advise?– Don’t let your perfections, either of you or your parents, let you down. 

Careful–you may become Domesticated…

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Since my marriage… I have been spending a lot of time pondering on what my role as a married woman should be.  I see so many women who have either left off the married part or disregarded their individuality that I know I wanted to make sure I confirmed my definition of who I am and learn to stick to it.  I also wanted to make sure I kept my own identity as Sara, child of God along with the title as “Mrs.” — its what I committed to when I married Shawn.  And until recently, I thought this meant NEVER (and i truly mean never) becoming the domesticated woman.  
However, over the last few weeks, things have started to “change” per se, and I have done things like laundry for both of us, cooked dinner frequently (Shawn had to remind me of this last night since we have spent the last week only going out twice and had not even paid for a meal gratefully.)  I have realized it is my nature, without dispute or anger, to want to do things around the house. By definition, i have truly become “helpful”for Shawn.  I know this will not last all the time, or forever, but in my vows I know I committed to at least put Shawn first, love him and walk through life with him. So it got me thinking…
God created woman to be the helper of man.  Not meaning man would do nothing and woman does everything (probably close to the modern picture above…) Just being helpful where I can.  For me, ironically, this meant sharing my love for cooking (i love doing anything in the kitchen, especially baking and love trying new things.) It also means taking care of myself (doing laundry is a necessity as we need clean clothes–and since both of us needed this I didn’t feel burdened to do this.) And as I said–last night Shawn mentioned I had cooked everything all day, that he appreicated that, and recommended that I just pick up something on the way home from dropping off my friends.  I thought–WOW! I’m so glad I married this guy (i’ve been saying this a lot, which is comforting to me since I was extremely nervous of making my life-long commitment to another human [God is easy–God is God.] 
I am called now to be a married woman, to help my husband where he needs and to still keep true to the identity and self that God has created me to be.  I am not called to be any less than this.  I am not called to slave away and fulfill my husband’s every wish without considering what I want.  I think this is what kind of picture Genesis was meant to provide.  That the couple together as one support each other, are equally joined who God created them to be, separate individuals joined as one to equally support and love one another in their journeys with God and with each other.  
Genesis 2:7-8;18-25  Then the LORD God formed man of adust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and bman became a living 1being.  8 And the LORD God planted a agarden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed…18-Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; aI will make him a helper 1suitable for him.”  19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the 1sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.  20 And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the 1sky, and to every beast of the field, but for 2Adam there was not found a helper 3suitable for him.  21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place.  22 And the LORD God 1fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.  23 And the man said,
aThis is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because 1she was taken out of Man.” 
24 For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.  25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

I pray that every married woman can at least strive to be the woman God created them to be.  And may the same be for their spouses who have the same demand from Genesis, from God. Yay for being married! — I pray that everyone who is married can keep this shout of joy within their hearts year-round. 


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Part Two!–here it is!

So I know it is a PURE coincidence that I want to post blog about divorce right after I just got married… It was also shocking to discover the verse I wanted to discuss in this blog was a part of my previous blog on marriage.  God working…who knows? 🙂 But I suddenly got this feeling that something productive needed to be said about the topic. Let me also preface this by saying that I have nothing but love and compassion for my friends who have sadly experienced the horror that can be divorce. I know it is never an easy process and for some not an easy decision given the circumstances.

Still… I think the Bible can provide a lot of insight on his subject. And definitely a lot of insight on what to do if a marriage has strayed.

One of my favorite chapters in Mark talks about divorce and what as Christians we are called to do. Mark 10: 1-12 states the following

At first this verse appears threatening and accusatory. However, look at where Jesus begins. He begins with reality–with truth.  With honesty.  A good quality and philosophy to have while married.  Then he continues with a reference to creation…To Genesis where God creates woman out of man and explains the beautiful connection that is marriage.  Finally, then Jesus points out that divorce is a sin against the one who the person was married to.  (just a reference, not an accusation.) However, if I was listening to Jesus, hearing the words of Genesis… i would be saddened and would feel the heart to the same conclusion that Jesus comes to describing divorce as adultery.  You don’t need to even be married to see this… just talk to the 50% of the population who has experienced divorce (Christian or not.) Pain. Separation. Anger. Hurt…. things opposite of being in a good relationship with another and reflectively with God.

So, I just wanted to say I pray that I always keep both these last blogs (on marriage and divorce) always present in my mind.  It is the biblical way of reminding me of my commitment to Shawn.  It is the truth and how the Lord calls us to reflect marriage.  And I pray that the divorce rate goes down… seriously…it does suck.

Homemade Deodorant

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So, being that i’m the home-making foodie… i decided after reading a friend’s blog (click here) that it may be time to try my shot at making some other items in the house. I know several people who make their own lip balm.  So decided I was going to start with making my own deodorant.

Here’s my experience:

First I got out all the ingredients. Typical baker fashion.  I mixed the powder together and realized that the coconut oil was really hard.  So knowing from some advice it doesn’t take much to get it melt a little…so I just let it sit and mixed the essential oil in.  [btw you can use your own combo of this… but I LOVE lime & mixed in eucalyptus lemon and it smells SOOO good i almost want to eat it (i wouldn’t though…)

So finally as the coconut oil was starting to “melt” i scrapped it & mixed it into the mix of the mason jar.  Realized next time mixing in bowl first & then moving to mason jar.  It’s crazy working through the opening.

But–i got it made & put it in the fridge to get it a little colder… so it hardens.  But I already used some 😉

here are the photos.

so one item made—& the trail will soon begin I have to find a way to keep it cool since the oil is a LOT funky.