The Bacon of All Churches


The last day before Christmas break, my middle child came home needing to vent to me about a conversation that she had had with some of her third grade classmates. She explained how all of the kids at her table were making fun of our church. “Oh?” I said. She explained, “Some kids got to talking about how much fun they had at their church, and how much they like going there. I wanted to talk about my church too, so I told them how much I liked mine. One of my friends that we used to bring told the other kids that my church was the most boring of all, and we don’t have any fun. I got mad at her, because every time she has come Momma, she talks about how much fun she had.” She continued on with, “Then they ALL started calling my church boring, no fun, and stupid! It hurt my feelings for God, because I know that it makes Him probably super angry that anyone would call a church stupid!” Truth be told, I wanted to call up those kids’ parents, but really, they were all just kids, getting wrapped up in who’s is the best, and we all know how that goes. She and I then began to talk about how wonderful our congregation is and what “going to church” is all about, then she pretty much lost interest then went on to play with her kitty.

The more I sat and thought about this instance, the more I realized that we as adults tend to do this as well. We are drawn to congregations that offer the most, and the best for us. We choose congregations based on how well they entertain us on a Sunday morning, how well they entertain our kids, and how well they fit our schedule. I can’t tell you how many times I have been rejected with the phrase, “You’re church just doesn’t have what I want.” I once saw a Facebook status that proclaimed, “I have found the bacon of all churches! This place rocked my world this morning!” I find myself brainstorming at times to make worshiping with us sound more enticing when I find myself in a conversation about my congregation. I fiddle around with ways I can “sell” what we have to offer. The best pitch I can give is laid out before them then I get, “Oh yeah, you’re the ones that don’t have music, I will pass. I want more energy.” Because of all of the goodies that so many places have to offer, me inviting a soul in need of Jesus turns into a make-it-or-break-it chance to pitch why we have the best. I feel like a football scout trying to get a player to come join my team, instead of the other!

I want more energy. I want music. I want more entertainment for the kids. I want a show. I want to be moved. Why are we turning worship in to what we want?

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Turning off Autopilot


Have you ever been stuck on autopilot not really giving any thought to what is happening around you? Has your brain been focused on doing the same thing, the exact same way, every day and you find yourself completely forgetting how you got from A to B? What happens when circumstances shake you out of the routine? I have a serious issue with too much of my life being on autopilot. I find myself in situations, but not really “in” them. One morning, my son woke up with a temperature before school. I got everyone else ready, darted out the door, grabbed the neighbor kids I take to school, then went into autopilot. I dropped one set off at the elementary, dropped another off at the Jr High, then drove back to the house so I could take care of my son. I pulled into the driveway, turned the van off, and reached for the door handle. As my hand touched the handle, I heard a small, still voice come from the back seat, “Hey! You forgot about me!” I completely forgot that I had another kid to drop off! To make matters worse, the kid wasn’t even mine; he belonged to my neighbor who trusts me to responsibly get their child to school everyday! You see, my morning routine consists of three stops each morning. Two go to elementary, one goes to the Jr High, and two go to the Early Elementary, which is my last stop. My little neighbor kid had been completely forgotten, because my son was sick, throwing me off autopilot.

Routines are wonderful, and routines are not-so-wonderful. Routines help with finding stability in life, but if we are not careful, routines can cause us to forget what’s important. When a hiccup happens to our routine, it causes us to snap back into reality and open our eyes to the meaning of what we have made routine. As in the case with the forgotten kiddo in my backseat, a setback occurred, and I completely forgot my purpose as to why this kid was with me each morning.

This takes me back to the many times I make attending worship and Bible study just something I did, and not anything I experienced. “Church” was another checkmark on my daily checklist. Another destination scratched off. It was placed amongst my other routines and was checked off with little thought. Work, check. Pick up kids from daycare, check. Grocery shopping, check. Bible class on Wednesday, check. No emotion; complete autopilot had taken hold. Then a hiccup happened.

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Want to be a Female Preacher? The Battle for the Pulpit

I have been sitting here going over this again and again in my mind while prayerfully begging our God the Father to let these words reach open and tender hearts. I am afraid for us, dear sisters, because we are in the midst of fighting a mean battle that has taken root long ago in the garden of Eden. This battle has plagued society since the fall, and continues to blaze on. A YouTube video proclaims that the battle has been utterly defeated by a trailblazing teenage girl who thinks it is her calling, her ministry to become a pulpit preacher. I replayed the video over and over and over again, wondering why she felt like it was her battle to fight in the first place. I am not going to use the space I have in this article to go over the blatantly clear scriptural reasons why God’s creation has a brilliant and perfect design that is evident in His world, His people, and His church, but I am going to use this time to tell you sisters, and brothers, that we need to stand up for the wonderful calling and honor bestowed upon women of God.

I have had the opportunity to speak to many teenage girls about their amazing role as a woman. A lot of them have issues with taking the “back seat” in worship and in their life in general as a member of the female race. I hear things like, “I can sing twice as good as he can, and am far more capable of leading singing.”, “I say really good prayers, and I am very heart felt, I can do just as good as a job as they can.”, “I want to share the story of Christ so badly with other people, and I’m a really good speaker, I won state in Speech!”, and “Why do all the girl-centered classes have to be about modesty, teaching little kids, and homemaking? I want to learn how to teach people my age about Christ. The boys get to do this, why can’t I?” My answer to these girls has always been this:

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There’s an App For That: Help Wanted

Hello readers!  It’s Friday already, which means I have a new article out on the Start to Finish blog!   This one took me such a long time to write, because honestly, I was afraid of backlash :(  but then, I got over myself, and sat down and wrote it.

I’m so glad that I did, because while in the process of writing it, I was able to really focus on, and pray about what  I could continue to do to make this problem in the church better.  I was also able to discuss with others  about what I was writing and then wrote in their feelings and frustrations out as well.  So what’s the big plea?  Bible.  Class.  Teachers.  Wait!  Don’t go, you have to click on the link!  I wrote the article through my eyes as a young mom when my kiddos were small, as well as threw in other frustrations form others that helped me piece what I wanted to say together.  There is an issue in our congregations, brothers and sisters, and it needs to be addressed.  We are wading in a shallow pool of teachers, when it should be much, much, deeper.  So please, even if it is a problem in your congregation or not, click on the link and read it through the eyes of those it is hurting the most when there are so few people to take 13 weeks to teach a children’s Bible class.  Then, after you read it, share it.  It could just change one person’s mind, and for that,  God will be glorified.

Here is the link:

Raising Mom: Where it All Began

As soon as I left her room, I had to sit down to write out that moment before it left my memory.  She sat on her floor with one leg crossed beneath her and the other legs, knee bent up in the air.  You know, the way kids sit that looks so uncomfortable.  She had her books and folders and pens scattered all around her, working on her Algebra homework.  The hairbrush and blow dryer was strewn amongst her school work, and her nail polish kit was set off to the side. I slid myself down into the floor with my back against the wall, to blow dry my hair and catch up with her on the day.  She went through her homework, showing me a book report she did over Count the Stars, a book about WWII and concentration camps.  She got a little teary eyed explaining it; she has such a compassionate soul.  She then talked excitedly about the new book they were on, and how she was really getting the hang of algebraic expressions.  We talked about basketball, boys, and nail art, and laughed about hearing dad griping in the other room over the video game he was playing.  Her room smelled like her shampoo, fingernail polish remover, and had a slight smell of funky feet, but that was because I was sitting next to her gym bag.  I had to sit there and soak it all in.


This week has been very emotional for me, because I am hitting one of the many “firsts” that we all encounter as parents.  My first born is turning thirteen on Saturday.  Thirteen.  Over thirteen years ago I sat scared to death in a cold examination room with a Doctor who had just picked up the sound of a little heart beating wildly on the doppler machine.  I remember the cold chills I got when the Doctor said, “You are about three months along judging by the heart beat, and everything else you told me.  You can have an abortion anytime from now till late into your fifth month.”  This type of talk is a requirement when you have a seventeen year old child come in with a pregnancy. Fast forward to thirteen years later, and I was just sitting next to the most vibrant, compassionate, most gifted person I have ever had the privilege to know.
Having her is what gave me the amazing title of “mother”.   One of my greatest gifts came from my greatest faults.  I remember being at a youth rally several months before I got the news that I was to be a mother, trying my best to keep my emotions intact while we sang “Break My Heart”.   The speaker was talking about being a double agent, and how teens wear the masks of Christianity yet live double lives.  I don’t remember much from the lesson, but I do remember sinking down into the pew feeling as if the man was talking straight to me.  I had been begging God for a change in my life.  I was so tired.  I was looking for a way out, but had no idea where to start.  I prayed for Him to break my heart, just like the song said, terrified about what that would mean, but craving something better.   My prayer was answered, and my heart was shattered when my sin was exposed to the world.

“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver, I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10

After the shaming, heartbreak, and the whispers subsided, God began to put my heart back together His way.  He used the gift of motherhood to show me the relationship He wanted to have with me, and the love that I could experience as His child as I began to give this agape love to my own child.  While pregnant, I read through the Psalms and Isaiah to help me understand God’s love for a broken people, and to help understand where to go once broken. The day I had my baby girl I remember holding her for the first time and being in awe of the instant and overwhelming feeling of protection, pride, and a burning desire to love unconditionally.

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you.” Isaiah 54:10

That moment is what started my journey as an authentic child of God, and as a mother.  No more masks, no more games.  No more thinking only of myself.   God has blessed my husband and I with three beautiful children, and as the years fly by, He continues to use them to teach both of us about His grace, love, patience, provision, justice, mercy, and compassion.   Over the past thirteen years, God has been raising this mom to be His child.  I am forever thankful as my cup overflows with the joys of motherhood.
Sitting with my soon-to-be teen tonight as I reflected on who she is now, and who I was when I had her has reminded me that you can’t put a cap on a love that runs as deep as the love between a child and a parent. I look at her sweet face and am reminded so often of my heart breaking redemption.

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven because she loved much.” Luke 7:47

Thank you God, for choosing to bless me with this child, when I was so utterly undeserving. Thank you for sacrificing Your child, when I didn’t even realize I needed him yet .  Thank you for giving us three wonderful children to bring up in Your glory.  Help me continue to mirror who You are to them, and forgive me when I fail.  Thank you for continuing to raise this mom through the experiences of motherhood.  Each milestone celebrated, each lesson learned through parenting solidifies my desire for Your will for me.  I cannot put my heart’s desire to praise you into words, but I know that You know exactly how I feel, because you are my Father, and know me well.  Amen.

Veteran’s Day Tribute to Brotherly Love

*This entry was posted several years ago during our time at the VA hospital when Jake was going through his heart procedure.  

PicMonkey Collage

I know I sound crazy, but I like to sit in the VA waiting room. There are always people waiting for you to make eye contact and give them a friendly, “Hi, how are you?” so they can tell you ALL about what’s going on with them. Upon arriving for Jake’s appointment, we settled in the packed waiting room and found ourselves seated across from two men, probably in their late 70’s waiting for the eye doctor. One was very tall, and wore a plaid, pearl snap shirt, brown polyester pants, and cowboy boots. The other man was shorter, wearing a plaid pearl snap shirt, dark denim jeans, and cowboy boots. They BOTH had the exact same hair cut…flat tops. I could see their eyes light up as my little handsome man Zeek plopped down right in front of them and gave them a quick glance. They complimented him on his cowboy boots, asked him where he was from, and assured Jake and I that we better enjoy him as long as we could because time flies. They had been waiting in the waiting room for 2 hours by the time we arrived and told us to settle in for a long wait. I was thrilled (no really, I was). They told us that one of them was blind in the right eye, and the other was blind in the left, and that between the both of em, they could still navigate a vehicle pretty well relying on the others “good eye”. They would goof off and poke each other in the ribs, and both loved interacting with Zeek. I could tell they had been friends for a very long time, and they both genuinely cared for, and adored the other.


Watching them enjoying each other’s company, I wondered if they had served together. I imagined them as childhood friends growing up together, and enlisting in the Army together as young teens. I could see them going through Basic Training together, being stationed together…fighting a battle huddled in a cold dirty trench… together. I was not able to fill in these gaps, because surprisingly, Jake was in and out in 20 minutes, but 20 minutes was enough to see the deep friendship these men had.


It made me thankful for the people I call “friend” and thankful for the wonderful friends Jake had during his military career. I was so thankful that Jake was able to go on his first deployment with his childhood friends (they all enlisted together), and that they were all there together, supporting one another and protecting each other. I was even thankful for the crazy mischief they would get in to because I knew that it kept their spirits high. I am amazed at the deep relationships that form through the military. The way recruits are trained to love their fellow soldier more than themselves, doing everything in their power to keep their buddy safe, to leave no man behind.  I am completely incompetent to even write about this mysterious bond only known to those who serve together in the armed forces, but I want them to know that even though I can’t describe it, I can be thankful for it, because I see it, and know it is the backbone of your drive to serve.



Proverbs 17:17 states, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” God in His wisdom, developed this very special relationship for us to gain strength from another.   Another beautiful verse on friendship is written in Proverbs 18:24 which reads, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”


Thank you Veterans, for choosing to love, protect, and fight for your brother in arms. I am deeply appreciative for the brotherhood of the military, and for the brotherhood we have in Christ.  When we have a deep well of love flowing from within us, we can conquer anything in honor of that love. Thank you Veterans for this love for your fellow soldier, and for the countless people you choose to protect. May God continue to bless you, your families, and your brotherhood!


“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:13

There’s an App for That: New Entires!


I have two more articles on the Start2Finish blog that I would like to share with all of you!  I know that I haven’t been posting much on here lately, but the weekly deadline of my S2F blog is helping me keep the writing going.  I am in the midst of my busy season in photography, hence, not as much time to write on my personal blog right now :)


Anyways, I am always appreciative of your wonderful responses to my blog posts, and I appreciate all of you readers!  Click on the links below to catch up on the past two weeks of blog posts.  Be a blessing, today, and everyday!    A look at how we can be pros at not judging others, but are the toughest critics of ourselves.  If we believe it, we become it!  Are you too hard on yourself?  Forgiveness is vital to the spiritual growth and effectiveness of us all as Christians.  Even God Himself has to choose, each day, to forgive so He can continue to be a blessing to His people.