Thursday, March 31, 2011

"If You Haven't Anything Nice to Say...

... Come sit by me." - Alice Roosevelt Longworth

I've heard the above quote paraphrased and added to many times but it quite honestly shocks me it was spoken by a prominent presidents daughter.  Then I read about her on wikipedia and am not as shocked as before...  Anyway, this preface has nothing to do with the blog of the day, I just thought the quote may be a good little opening thought.

Today my blog is taking a break from the usual story → moral → application flow... I want to explain something about myself and this blog only to make myself clear: not because anyone has necessarily been confused but because I feel the need to affirm my position.

I don't know everything!  That's right, a woman admitting (on record none the less) she does not know everything... Ha!  Seriously though, this is a journey for us all and none of us are there quite yet (and will not be until the final breath of life.)  I am not a perfect Christian; if you've been reading correctly you will see mostly I am admitting my wrongs and sharing what I've learned through my own experience... Trying to push you in the right direction without you having to learn "trial and error."

I will send you back to my very first post in 2009 All The Way (WOW! I've been blogging a while now... GO ME!) It tells you the first reason behind my decision to blog and not only to blog in general but to blog in the way I do with the subject content remaining somewhat faithful to one form... I've gone through my share of darkness in life, some caused by my own decisions and actions and some out of my control... I've felt many times like giving up on friends, family, work, myself and God... I've had many questions not only unanswered but, I felt, unaskable (yes, I did just invent my own word but I think you'll get it! ha!) I've needed a friend who would not judge and felt alone... I now write both to help myself (yes, I get help through blogging, there's something to be said about the power of putting the things you've learned and the steps you've taken pen to paper... It somehow solidifies your victories and helps you go deeper into the reasoning behind who you've become and who God is transforming you into) and to hopefully never let any of my readers (or people they know that they send my blog's way) go through the darkness feeling someone else hasn't already been there, never to give up on anyone in their lives including themselves because it's normal to feel but you must rule your emotions instead of allowing them to rule you, not to let anyone feel they have an "unaskable" question and last but not least to make sure everyone who ever reads my blog knows they are not completely alone and even when we can't see or feel God he is there, somewhere.

I know the last two blogs have been a bit soap-box like but I, like Paul, say "Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is..." Philippians 3:14 and sometimes you just have to speak passionately about things going on that simply are not right. (And, as stated above, I am learning through my own writing so I am passionate about the things God is currently dealing with my heart about) No, I'm not an expert but I am the only expert in all things considered "life and lessons of Suzie-K" and I plan to continue sharing in hope that, at least, some portion of my experience and life lessons may be applied to make one of your rough situations, decisions or questions a little bit smoother.

Oh, and, thank you all so much for reading my blogs faithfully!  I appreciate, love and pray for you all (even those of you I don't know) and I wish you much love and success in life!  One thing I would really appreciate is that you click follow and add yourself (I don't even mind if you stay anonymous, it is an option you know!)  I'm a little crazy about blog stats... To the point I check them most every day (yeh, I do) and I would like to know how many of you actually follow weekly other than just by saying "oh, yeh, I always have 3 from China and 2 from Hungary!"

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jar of Hearts

Who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collectin' a jar of hearts
Tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
... Who do you think you are?

The first time I heard this song was when it was first released (last year I believe) and Christina Perri performed it live on American Idol...  I was in the kitchen making something (a usual occurrence at my place: TV running and I in the kitchen listening... Apparently I haven't realized that's what radios are for...) but I thought I liked the bits and pieces of the vocals I heard.  I also thought "Christina Perri... Wonder if she's related to Katy" of course, previous to me knowing Katy changed her name for recording purposes. (P.S. I'm not a big fan.. In fact, I just had to google the spelling of her name, take that Katie! ha!)

After the American Idol performance I never heard of Christina Perri or her song again.. I actually wouldn't have remembered either existed until I heard the song was at work on (this is how we get music at work, WAY less commercials, skip option, pause option and you can remove genre and/or artists from the playlists... Snoop Dog - or is it Dawg haha - isn't exactly office appropriate) This time as I listened to the vocals I was completely annoyed, it seemed so whiny and depressing... I skipped the song after listening to less than half.  It may have been my mood that day or the weather that added to my frustration but all I could think was "wow, how could I have liked that song on American Idol..." 

The third time the song played I decided to force myself to "give it a chance" and listen through to the end before committing to a judgement... This time I actually listened to the lyrics instead of sound only; after that, I couldn't get those words out of my head.

Lately at work I've heard the song at least twice a day... Plus I've been thinking about the lyrics and humming them on my own time.  The other night I was almost asleep and what do you know, the song was playing in my mind getting louder and louder... The lyrics made me think of one thing, I'm sure it was not the intended meaning by the song writer... nevertheless, here it is: 

I'm sure none of us "Christians" mean to be "collectin' a jar of hearts" but let's face it, sometimes we do just that... We "run 'round leavin' scars" on people with our judgements and opinions (whether vocalized or not) and that is not okay!  Let me remind you, God does not want us passing judgement on others or hurting them, even stunting their growth by telling them what they should or should not be doing "at this stage in their walk with God!" Matthew 7:1, Luke 6:3, Matthew 18:10 all command us "JUDGE NOT" & "DESPISE NOT." In other words, leave that pastoring to the pastor and the judging to God. Stop leaving scars with your words, it's "tearing [God's] love apart." And "who do you think you are" to change the way someone looks at God because you can't act in a kind, loving manner and keep your mouth closed? (read a funny little twitter quote from @funnyoneliners  and @TFTenney : "The most reliable way to save face is to keep the bottom half of it tightly closed!" Funny but so TRUE!)

You can choose to be offended by what I've written today (if offence or defence is your initial reaction, I've learned through experience, that's probably not offencive at all it's just God talking to you through conviction... Easy to get them confused but always search yourself to see which it actually is) you can choose not to consider or apply anything from the words above to your life... But I will be considering and applying love in my own life because the Bible teaches us not continually applying love and consideration of our actions toward others will harm us as well as the people around "...the love of many shall wax cold." Matthew 24:12 in other words "You’re gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul."  So let love warm your soul and quicken your mind and let's make sure the lyrics this song are remembered but not spoken about our lives and actions toward each other.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Without Love

Two things the Bible makes clear from start to finish are that 1. God loves all of humanity and 2. we are to strive to be Christlike. So here it is... LOVE!

 "...Love others as well as you love yourself." Mark 12:30-3.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13:3-5

I know that's a pretty tall order and not easy for any of us... When we think of love we think it's an emotion, intention or decision of the mind... And although it can be all of those things something we often forget - most likely because it's easier to forget - is love is continuous action.  We have to decide not to keep score, to put up with the things that drive us nuts about each other, to always look for the best in others even if it's hard to find at times and if we get satisfaction because someone who once did us wrong is now having to grovel we have to repent of that and extend a hand of mercy.

I know this is a shorter blog but it doesn't have to be lengthy to be important...  So that's it, think on this and not to think only but apply, find the areas of love decisions you have trouble with and honestly work on them and change whatever you feel God is asking you to change to be more like Him and show His love through your own life!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Florida Excuses

Hi guys,

I just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you last Thursday and didn't forget to post but I was in Florida and the villa I was staying in... Or moved to after being kicked out of the first one (overbooking, long story) didn't have wifi.

Anyway, enough of excuses... There will be a new post this week for sure! 

I hope you all are doing well and have missed me! ha!

Much Love,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Drop the Beat

A couple of years ago I started learning a lesson (I am still working on it) that has changed the way I go about my daily life... Everyone that knows me personally understands that music is a HUGE part of my life... It's the one form of media I would choose if I could have only one, it's where a large portion of my help comes from (it's helped me through the hardest times in life when there is no one to talk to) and it's a large portion of where my personal ministry is spent. 

The Story:  Like many other people on Facebook I comment on shows I watch on my friends walls or in a status... One particular night I was on Facebook while watching American Idol... A couple of friends started some "wall talk" that ended up getting seven others on on the conversation (both people I know and friends of theirs I don't know were included.)  The live performance that night was "Right Round" by Flo Rida... A song which I had only heard a couple of times in stores to that point.  I decided to post on my (married) friend, Chad Haymon's, wall. I typed "you spin my head right round, right round!  Woo!" or something to that effect... Then I heard the next line in the performance... AAAAH! NOT WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAY!  I immediately wrote an explanation I hadn't listened to the whole song before and didn't realize why "you spin my head right round" had I realized what it was really about I would never have posted any part of that song... Embarrassing for me!

The Point:  We need to ALWAYS listen to the lyrics of a song the first time we hear it and pass judgement on whether or not we "like" the song based on what the lyrics promote... Not just to avoid the kind of embarrassment I suffered in my experience but to protect our hearts and minds.  We've all heard about subliminal advertising and why companies love commercial jingles: because even when you're not really paying attention your mind is absorbing processing and downloading the words as well as the beats in a song.  Of course it's not the beats that I'm worried about, I don't believe Jesus only likes songs with a banjo and therefor anything else must be Satan music! But I am worried about what I believe and what I stand against in my walk, talk and action not lining up with what I take in through my ears... 

The Opposite:  When I was younger I listened to DC talk (even Rachel Lampa now that I'm thinking about it) and some members my family hated it because of the sound or beat. I would get totally frustrated because the lyrics exalted Christ so my defence (and a good one I might add) would always be to quote them the lyrics and that usually settled it. In my process I'm realizing "drop the beat principal" should be followed the opposite way as well... Don't judge a person by the beats they prefer, if it exalts God leave 'em alone, eh. (Thought I'd put a little "Canadian" in there to relax ya!)

The Moral:  Forget about the sound or beat of the song (whether it's because you "like" it or "hate" it,) what do the lyrics speak?  Are they against the things you believe, stand up for, honor or uphold? I have, more than once, said I "liked a song" because of sound alone but if I listened to the lyrics would have been shocked and embarrassed and would never have "liked" the song in the first place... Seriously, it's not just a good beat anymore, some (if not most) lyrics are disgusting and degrading to women in general... Whether you're Christian or not they are repulsive and shouldn't be supported.  Listen, I'm not a feminist, I think those women who wanted to work full-time were nuts (vote yes, work booo! ha!) but the truth is I don't have the right to be angry at the eleven year old girls who are "letting it all hang out" and getting frisky in the back if I'm financially supporting the junk that encourages them to do just that. Another good gauge is music videos, I guarantee if you watched a video for most of the "good songs" that are out right now you would think twice before saying you like that artist or that song... The guys with the gold teeth and ugly faces having five beautiful women pretty much licking their face off in a video or the "lady" (and I use that term VERY loosely) artist you like so much that is just missing a pole (and maybe that's not even missing) will change your mind. In case you're still not convinced, try this question: would you want to be or better yet want your mother or daughter to be one of those video girls? I don't want my daughter (when I have one) growing up wanting to wear booty shorts and tassels to "cover" her body or for her to think she needs to let some guy "smack that" just get his attention (attention that is spread pretty thin in the first place between the other five girls he's makin') I want my daughter to know how to be an actual lady and that the guy she likes is only good enough to be on her cell phone if he's only interested in her and not interested in trying to get her morals to slip down to the floor.  

No thanks big pimp daddy I won't be dropping anything low anytime soon... And if I don't live that, like to hear or see girls acting like that I won't be giving my support, finance or approval by listening to it either! Can I get an amen?

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies! -Philippians 4:8

Drop the beat!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Come out, Come out Wherever you Are!

Where are you? Not where you are physically... At the mall, home or sitting in a porch swing at the cottage but where are you? I heard this question over and over in Jack Leaman's Sunday morning message (can be foung on and that one question prompted the writing of this blog:

I just watched 127 hours and the whole premise of the movie is hanging on the string of one fact: the man didn't tell anyone where he would be.  Whether because he was confident nothing would go wrong, just thought he would be able to handle any situation he may run into or just didn't think isn't so much the matter (really it was a mixture of all these things.) What matters is because of his choice to not talk to anyone about where he was, when he was leaving, for how long he would be gone or where he was going, once he was in trouble that couldn't be hanled on his own there was no hope of rescue.  

Drawing a parallel: if you're not willing to talk to someone about your plans, dreams, thoughts, next steps, where you're going in effect... What happens when (not if) you get into trouble you can't handle on your own? If you refuse to talk to someone about your life, plans, dreams, thoughts, etc. no one will know where you really are and you will have no hope of rescue.

Ever have a friend, seemingly over night, fall off track in their life whether off the track with God, with their future goals or financially? You wonder "wow, how did that happen? What happened!?"  I can venture a plausible answer... No one really knew where they were, no one really knew what their inward thoughts and intentions were or where they were headed... Maybe they looked great on the outside, knowing which mask to don for each occasion, but they had doubts and questionings inside that eventually overtook them.  It's sad, I agree, but it can be avoided... Talk to someone, tell them your doubts, questions, fears, plans, hopes and where you're going... You may not get all the answers in the immediate but you will receive encouragement, reassurance and strength! 

So, I leave you with this and PLEASE take some time to consider your own life...  When was the last time you answered God when he asked "where are you?" He asked Adam this question in Genesis 3:9 and asks us that very question daily.  God doesn't ask questions because He doesn't know the answer but so we become aware of the answer ourselves.  Do you even know where you are or have you just been wondering around so long you no longer know left from right? Where do you plan to go next? In the end of 127 hours the man lost a limb (we lose precious parts of our identity when we don't know where we are or where we are going in relation to God) and in order to survive he realized when he saw a family ahead he must find the strength and courage to speak... He cried out for help and was rescued!  Once you've taken time to consider your own life consult God, cry out to Him, pray, talk to Him, ask Him what He would like from you and for you to do (He will show you) and answer His question... "where are you?"  In relation to Him where are you? Is your heart close to His? Can you hear his heart beat? Or is he just a shadow in the distance?  Last, how can you get closer?

If you don't know the answer to the last question, read the bible (acts is a good book to start with) or find a Christian Leader to halp point you in the right direction and I am here, send me a message via comment on this post, i won't post it for all to see but if you give me your e-mail address or twitter name I will do my best to walk with you toward Him!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Searching for Shells

Hi honeys!

I'm going to be really honest here and probably break every writers rule possible.... But, I have no idea what to say to you guys today!  I'm tired and uninspired... Although, my poetry skills seem to be pouring out haha!  Really, if you are looking for a serious, deep and life altering blog this week keep going because this one is most likely not to take a serious turn with a life moral being laid out to challenge you at the end.

I suppose I'll just share what I am excited about... I've started the countdown to a vacation in the sun!  So excited! I'm going on a family trip to Florida for the first time!  Tanning lotion all ordered, flights booked and I think I'm going to even buy a new summer dress next week!  I'm not doing the Disney week or anything like that; just relaxing in the sun, shopping, Universal and some church! 

There is one thing I am really looking forward to... Going to a beach to search for sea shells!  Most people can't wait to swim in the ocean or lay in the sun but I just want a shell!  The thing is, I'm a bit of a 'fraidy cat... Scared of water creatures that could, sting, eat or just scare me.  I mean seriously, I'll be lucky to get in the water past my knees and the first jelly fish or eight legged starfish I see will have me out of the water faster than... a fish out of a boat (yeh, I don't know if anyone actually says that but really, I'm tired people! ha!)

More than being scared by a fish I really do not want to repeat my last beach experience! I was searching for sea shells up and down the shores of Parlee Beach before going to the airport to pick-up a friend. It was a gorgeous day, hot but there was a breeze to keep you from really feeling like you might melt but not strong enough that you had to worry about your skirt flying over your head either.  Finding shells wasn't going so well, there were only a few and none larger than a quarter.  I did see some clam shells that may have been OK for what I am looking for but they all had been chipped apart by sea gulls.  I decided if I got into the water I would be able to maybe see a shell on the ocean floor that a gull hadn't ruined yet... And, I was right!  There was a rather small but perfectly white clam shell, in fact it hadn't even been opened up.  Now, I am a blond but I am aware that means the little water creature is still in there, but I'm not really scared of the little ones (unless they are those hermit crabs that come out pinching, they are scary!)  Anyway, I also realize that the little water creatures in their shells know when they are being picked up and they never peek out of the shell!  So I picked the shell up and we journeyed down the beach to where my mother was sitting, waiting to see my treasure, I'm sure! ha!  Just as I walked up to her it happened; that same feeling as if a kitten were licking my hand, that rough but wet little tongue... Looking down, I opened my hand and to my horror it looked like a tongue but not a kitten tongue, oh no, it was too large for any kitten I've seen!  That silly clam came out of his shell and was licking me... Well, OK, he was just trying to escape but it looked like a tongue flailing around in my hand.  I screamed and jumped around for a second before coming to my senses and realizing I had an audience of approximately 100 beach going strangers starring at me wondering what was going on!  Hahah, I was embarrassed but just looked at mom and said "I WAS LICKED BY A CLAM!" 

PS.  No clams or any other water creature/animal were harmed in the making of this story.  I did throw him into the sand but did not step on him and after the shock wore off I did scoop him up quickly and put him back into the ocean water so he wouldn't get eaten by a gull or dry up! :o)