WORD TO THE WISE:  Bursting, Orality, and Church Coffee

So…I have to be honest.  I’m a little ticked off right now.  You see…I just spent a good thirty minutes writing this post…and then God saw fit to have me lose it to the great wide internetal beyond.  I didn’t want to lose it.  I didn’t want to spend time writing it again. I liked what I wrote the first time.  But I did.  And it’s gone.  So here I am, writing it over again. If you don’t like it…feel free to not tell me.   Continue reading

WORD TO THE WISE: Thanksgiving, Santa, & I Am Second

Well…it has indeed been a while.  I haven’t written a Word to the Wise post in quite some time.  But now they’re back!  Sundays will bring with them copious amounts of coffee, church services, and my weirdly named three object blog posts.  Let’s get started this Sunday, November 27th with a lovely post about three things that have majorly affected my week. Continue reading

WORD TO THE WISE: Reading, Writing, Reading Again

2015/01/img_4579-0.jpg   Hello lovers of the light and the Lord.  Cravers of the good and the bad.  Especially the ugly.  Let’s grow wiser together.  But first…let’s read this post.

Reading

So if you’re school age, or within five years of finishing school you’ll be able to lament with me over reading.  Because you are (like me) in a time in your life when the word “reading” is synonymous with “involuntary”.  “Reading” a book means you could get something marvelous like “Les Miserables” or “Macbeth“.  But most likely, you’re going to have to suffer through “The Scarlet Letter” or even worse…”Don Quixote“.  So “reading” and “for fun” seems like some sort of sick joke.  But let me assure you, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I found that light this week.  The Lord has already assured me that this year, we will be working on my Love.  Meaning, my capacity to love like Him.  (I fail a lot.  But we’re going to work on it this year.)  ANYWAY…to prepare for a year of Love, I’ve been reading all the books in my library that say anything about love on the cover.  “Love Wins“, “Crazy Love“, “Love Does“…this is my reading list currently.  What I was working on this past week was finishing a new book by a man named Jon Weece.  The book is called “Jesus Prom“.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “But Maggie…that doesn’t say Love in the title!”  Well, if you’d just look at the subtitle…which is “Life gets fun when you Love people like God does”.  Isn’t that the truth!  Well, I got really wrapped up in finishing this book and realizing that suddenly…reading was fun for me!  I finished that book and decided I wanted to start another.  So Thursday, I read “Love Does” by Bob Goff.  No.  No grammatical error.  I read Goff’s 208 page book.  On Thursday.  Started it around 3:00 p.m. and finished around 3:00 a.m.  Surrounding myself with such good and wholesome words has really affected my week.  I’m so excited about reading more and more about Love in the coming weeks and sharing with you everything I learn

Writing

I’ve been told a lot recently that I should be writing more.  Most specifically, people have said I should be blogging.  (My blog auto-corrected “blogging” to…”brown”…)  ANYWAY.  I liked that idea.  I plan to write more here for/with you this year.  Hopefully, a schedule will emerge, but I’m not going to tell you what it is.  In the past, that has just served to make me feel somewhat like a failure for missing my own deadlines.  That in mind, I’m not going to set deadlines.  I’m just going to want to write.  Because I do.  So I will.

Reading Again

I finished a book Wednesday.  I Finished a whole book Thursday.  I’m reading a book with a friend.  I’m reading “Crazy Love” again to remember how crazy God’s Love really is.  And remind myself how crazy and reckless my Love should be.  My Love should need a helmet.  My Love should scare strangers.  My Love should like to lick flagpoles when it’s cold outside.  I want that kind of Love.  I want crazy Love.  I want reckless Love.  I want Love that lights things on fire and gets EVERYWHERE!!!

WORD TO THE WISE: Once Upon a Time, Perfection, and Vegan Recipes

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I really look forward to coming up with truly random and awkward titles for these posts.  I don’t know if you had figured that out yet.  But now you know.  And since I know the curiosity is eating you up like my dog eats potato chips…lets get right into it!

Once Upon a Time

I am currently involved in three Bible studies.  This first is a personal study on the book of Acts, the second is my Sunday School class’ study on Proverbs, and lastly is my women’s inductive Bible study on Colossians.  I am somewhat of a Bible hoarder (and by “somewhat” I mean to every extent!).  I have different translations & different footnotes.  So every week, I read the footnotes on Acts from six different Bibles, then my Warren Wiersbe commentary.  For my women’s study I read from J. Vernon McGee‘s “Thru the Bible”, Halley’s Bible Handbook, and then my six different Bibles.  One of the Bibles I look through, is “The Case for Christ” NIV Bible.  The footnotes were compiled by a man named Lee Strobel.  To kind of sum his story up, he was an atheist reporter who set out to disprove the Bible.  Now he’s the general editor of one.  Everything he found pointed toward truth and not away from it.  So, in reading about Colossians in this book last week…I came across something fascinating.  I was blessed with a college education at a liberal arts college.  I took religions courses and thoroughly enjoyed the skepticism.  If you are wise enough to know you’re strong in your faith, and in turn strong enough to listen to skeptics without falling…you sharpen that double edged sword.  I learned more about my self and my God learning about Buddhism and Hinduism than I did at church through my entire childhood.  But I digress.  As a liberal arts kid, I heard the term “the Christian myth” A LOT!  (That one did bother me a little bit.)  But a “myth” is a story.  And should this life end and I find out my faith was wrong…it sure is a good story!  Strobel addressed this in his footnotes.  He spoke of how many would have us believe that the story of a resurrection was just borrowed from local pagan religions of the day.  There is however, one big difference that he points out.  Those stories, other stories we’ve heard, real myths…they all begin the same: Once upon a time.  There is no basis of fact so there is no set timeline for the story.  And here the Bible stands up and proclaims itself!  We have names, we have times, we have cities, we have verifiable historical events recounted within the scripture.  Our Bible, our “Christian myth”, did not happen “once upon a time”.  Our faith story happened “once upon this time”.

Perfection

Okay.  If “Once Upon a Time” wasn’t intimidating enough…now let’s move on to perfection.  The thing that Jesus was.  The thing that we think we should be.  The thing everyone knows we’re not.  The thing Jesus wants least from us.  Perfection has been coming at me in all of my studies recently.  I don’t know if any of you have ever been overwhelmed by this or not, but I have a constant feeling of inadequacy.  This Bible I’m reading…it’s full of things I can’t do.  I try to…oh how I try!  But I fail.  Repeatedly.  Fantastically.  So what hope have I if I cannot uphold the commands Christ has given me?  On top of my Bible studies I’m also doing five daily devotionals.  The answer and the salve came this week in “Live Second“.  They discuss Paul and how he still sinned.  Paul sinned.  If he can’t do it I shouldn’t even TRY, right?  Wrong.  They answered this question in terms that finally clicked for my poor little mind.  “The mark of a follower of Jesus, of one who lives Second, is not perfection; it is the fight, the struggle to turn the tides of our desires toward the maker of our souls.”  Finally, clarification.  Oswald Chambers later last week would explain that we shouldn’t just fight to squash evil thoughts…but to replace them with holy thoughts.  Break the cycle.  And then sweet relief comes in Colossians 1:28.  “So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect  in their relationship to Christ.” (NLT)  That word perfect is the Greek teleios.  That word.  Means “mature”.  I wear tiaras, have a plastic minion on my desk, loved stuffed animals, and dress my dog up in a bow tie when I go out in public…but I can reach for maturity.  I wear a fragile temper, get angry, judge, use wrong language…and perfection scares me.  But the two are Biblically interchangeable and equally attainable.  Through Christ.

Vegan Recipes

Okay…this has been really heavy!  Time to lighten the mood a bit.  So, I live in my parent’s basement.  We’ve fixed it up real nice.  But one thing that I don’t have…is a microwave.  I have one…but every time it starts to warm something, it trips the breaker.  So for the past year or so, my microwave has just been a big fancy clock.  Well, my parents got it fixed for me last week.  So Sunday night, I had a little bit of milk that was getting ready to go out of date.  I also have a small pottery bowl I got for Christmas to make those mug cakes you see everywhere.  So…let’s make a mug cake.  What do we have grocery wise?  Nothing.  I have no eggs.  I have no cocoa powder.  I have milk…but I want to DRINK it.  No eggs…no milk.  Let’s google “5 ingredient vegan mug cake”.  And there it was.  I had every ingredient except one that I improvised myself and I enjoyed an ice cold glass of milk with a delectable chocolate mug cake.  This shows me two things: first of all, God truly delights in bringing me even the smallest joy.  Secondly…when in doubt: go vegan.

WORD TO THE WISE: Dog cake, Hymns, and Telepathy

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I must apologize to you for missing last week’s “word to the wise”.  I know your week suffered tremendously because of it.  But Paul tells us in Colossians that we should rejoice in suffering.  And that word can also be translated to laughter.  So laugh at your suffering and lets move on!

Dog Cake

I mentioned on my Facebook (which you should’ve already liked but if not…DO IT NOW) that this past Thursday was my dog’s birthday.  My little Lord Stewart Rigsby turned two/fourteen!  Now, you may be thinking, “Oh no.  She’s one of those people who make cake for their dogs.”  Well, I’ve never been that girl before.  But let me say some things on my behalf.  First, since as far back as I can remember I wanted an inside dog but my parents said no.  Then, in October of 2012, I posted on Facebook that I wanted a puppy.  A dear sweet family friend wrote me and said her mother had just rescued a puppy abandoned in a junkyard and asked if I was interested.  I was interested.  She sent me pictures…and the rest is history.  We picked him up two days later…and last Thursday he turned two/fourteen.  I took him to the dog park with my best friend and her two dogs (his best friends).  There are several lessons my dog has taught me.  First of all, I rescued him from the literal garbage.  Isn’t this the same thing God did for us?  Random fact, in biblical times there was a “landfill” near Jerusalem where trash constantly stayed ablaze.  The name of this fiery dumpster?  Hell.  God saved me from the junkyard and gave me a new home.  Secondly, God really really wants me to be happy!  I wanted an inside dog before I wanted a prince charming.  And God provided.  If the birds don’t harvest yet they eat…if the flowers don’t sew yet they’re robed…if God granted a puppy…how can we doubt He will give us the things we NEED?

Hymns

Last night, my mom and dad and I performed at a local church.  We put our program together with the help of a hymnal.  We did a few “folk songs” with the special Lowe flavor on them, but mostly we did hymns.  Gosh I love hymns!  Can you beat those sweet old words?  “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand!”  “Precious Lord, take my hand.  Lead me on, help me stand!  I am tired.  I am weak.  I am worn.”  “Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee: How great Thou art!  How great Thou art!”  I encourage you to listen to some hymns today.  But really listen!

Telepathy

First let me say this — I forgot why telepathy.  While I was writing this I TOTALLY forgot what telepathy was supposed to mean!  I prayed that I would remember, I shuffled about, and then (in an attempt to make something up) I remembered what it meant.  God is so good isn’t He?  Anyway…telepathy.  I am working through a devotional right now called “Live Second”.  It is a daily reading combined with weekly videos from the I Am Second campaign.  (An amazing thing if you haven’t checked it out, click here.)  Thursday’s scripture was from the book of Luke.  Chapter 22.  Jesus has been arrested.  I do not remember having ever heard verse sixty-three before.  “The men who were guarding Jesus made fun of Him as they beat Him.  They blindfolded Him and said to Him, ‘Tell us who hit you.'” (Luke 22:63-64 GW).  This broke my heart.  But the longer I thought…the more I realized.  He never spoke.  But He knew.  You know that feeling you get, when you know someone is watching you?  Can you imagine being a Roman guard, beating an innocent man…the Son of God, asking that question, and knowing with your whole being that behind that blindfold…His eyes were pointing at you.  He never said a word.  But He knew.  He never said a word.  But they all heard Him.  He never said a word.  And now we must.

WORD TO THE WISE: The Lone Ranger, Epaphroditus, and Benjamin Franklin

 

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A day late and a dollar short but at least it’s getting done!  Hope you have all had a beautiful week!  I’ve had a pretty good one myself.  Struggled ALL week with my sore throat and pitiful little voice…but I’m finally on the mend.  (Now that my shows are over.)  But that’s not why we’re here.  Let’s get into this week’s: Word to the Wise.

The Lone Ranger

I spent a couple of days with my little nephew this week.  #1 — he’s not my nephew.  But I’ll never have a nephew…so I call him my nephew.  #2 –he’s going into the 4th grade so…how’s that for “little”.  Anyway, I watched him Tuesday and his birthday was the week before so he really wanted to watch the movie he got for his birthday.  “The Lego Movie”.  If you haven’t seen it…I definitely recommend it.  Maybe it’s a little cheesy, but the lessons in it are good for all ages.  And it’s still pretty cute.  But I digress.  When I got home that night I really wanted to play with some Legos.  Unfortunately, when that same nephew got into Legos a few years ago…we gave him ALL of ours!  So I was sitting at the kitchen table with mom and dad bemoaning my lack of Legos (and their expensive nature at Wal-Mart), when my mom suddenly gasps, and walks away from the table.  As soon as she gasped…I knew what she thought of.  She was gone for a few minutes and then came back with a little plastic bag.  You see, one time, at Wal-Mart, she noticed some little Lego bags.  Inside each bag was a Lego character and some small thing for you to build.  The character in her small bag…was…The Lone Ranger.  So I built a little train-track pump cart and played with the Lone Ranger with pure joy in my heart.  After a few minutes though (as a Lone Ranger fan) I knew that it was going to be weird to have the Lone Ranger and no horse.  I need a horse.  Where will I ever find a white horse?  My family thinks they’re clever.  🙂  One year, for my birthday, I asked my aunt and uncle for a horse.  And that year, for my birthday, I got a large envelope with a Lego horse in it.  A white.  Lego.  Horse.  Isn’t that just like God?  We know He takes care of the big stuff…but isn’t it just like Him to remind us He loves us enough for our mom to have Legos and our uncle to have sent us a white horse two years earlier.  We didn’t know we’d need it then.  But God did.  I saw God this week…in Legos.

Epaphroditus

I’ve struggled with something a little bit this week.  I’ve just joined a new church and I’m getting involved with them.  So I’ve joined their women’s Bible study group.  We are currently going through the book of Colossians.  Last Monday was the first meeting I’ve been to.  We all talked about the book of Colossians and who wrote it and why and stuff.  I remember everyone in the group talking about how the pastor of the church at Colossae was a man named Epaphras.  And I remember talking about how Epaphras was the same man as Epaphroditus.  Then, this week I did my studying.  EVERYWHERE I read made sure to mention that Epaphras was in prison with Paul while Epaphroditus was delivering a letter to another church.  Learning this fact brought up an important question for me: when do we knit-pick?  As Christians, when should we correct someone on something they’re getting out of the Bible?  Obviously major theological issues need to be addressed.  But on the grand scheme of things…is it even important that Epaphras was not Epaphroditus…but some people think he was?  I will happily accept your comments…cause I’m still working on this one.

Benjamin Franklin

So this Sunday (past) I had TWO shows to play.  I played at Roaring River Baptist Church at 11:00 a.m. and at Piney Grove Baptist Church at 5:00 p.m.  I’ve always wished that I could do music for a living…but I’ve only recently given the Spirit enough room in my life to let me know that is also what He wants me to do.  But since I’m human…that makes me nervous.  I’ve been without a job (and therefore money) since February.  Making a living doing music and speaking and what have you is nerve wrecking!!!  But several of my devotionals have been encouraging me to just trust my powerful God.  So I decided to just do that.  Sunday, one of the churches took up a love offering.  When they announced that they were going to, I remember thinking to myself: “Hey…maybe I can stop and get something to eat on the way home!”  The pastor handed me an envelope and whispered the sum in my ear.  That’s not important.  I was nervous enough about writing this and someone thinking I’m all about money.  I’m not.  But the fear that I’ve been dealing with on trusting God to let my talents be my livelihood were crippling me.  When I got in the car and opened the envelope in awe of my great God, something took my breath away.  Benjamin Franklin.  I’m just a regular girl (both in looks and means), I had a rough voice Sunday because of hurting my throat the week before, I’m a little crazy and very loud.  But God had led someone to reach in their wallet, pull out a Benjamin Franklin…and drop it in the offering plate for that regular girl.  The money means nothing to me.  The fact that God is letting me know from the foundation that He will support me and provide for my every need…means everything.

I’m working on a new CD this week and pay attention for new music videos and information!  Love you all!

God Bless.