Thursday, February 09, 2012

New year, New Location

My blog has a new home:

Thanks for continuing to share in my journey, friends.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

We are Nashville

Some ways to Help the Nashville Area:

You can also donate $10 to Flood Relief in the area by Texting 'REDCROSS' to 90999.

In case you haven't heard what's going on in Nashville, because we aren't looting and such, here are a few links:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jennifer Knapp on Jennifer Knapp

excerpt from JKnapp's recent interview with Christianity Today: "if you remove the social problem that homosexuality brings to the church—and the debate as to whether or not it should be called a "struggle," because there are proponents on both sides—you remove the notion that I am living my life with a great deal of joy. It never occurred to me that I was in something that should be labeled as a "struggle." The struggle I've had has been with the church, acknowledging me as a human being, trying to live the spiritual life that I've been called to, in whatever ramshackled, broken, frustrated way that I've always approached my faith. I still consider my hope to be a whole human being, to be a person of love and grace. So it's difficult for me to say that I've struggled within myself, because I haven't. I've struggled with other people. I've struggled with what that means in my own faith. I have struggled with how that perception of me will affect the way I feel about myself."

You can read the whole article here

My friend, David Dollar, shares his thoughts here:  Clouds in My Coffee

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I grabbed a hanger to hang up a shirt, as I was putting away my laundry Sunday afternoon, not thinking anything about it at first.  Then I stopped, realizing it was a hanger that Nannie had crocheted for me many years ago.  I sighed, remembering Mom telling me about Nannie seeing one of those crocheted hangers just a few years ago and her ooohing and ahhhing about how pretty it was and asking who made it.  Mom had to tell her that she made those for us, and Nannie said, "I did?" 

She hasn't remembered much for a while now.  Nannie has suffered from Alzheimer's (dementia) for several years now and has been in a Nursing Home.  Her short term memory was the first thing to go.  She'd remember you as you were 5-10 years ago instead of current and you might have to remind her who you are.  I remember visiting her on one of her good days once. After a while she squinted her eyes, took a long look at me, and said, "I don't remember your hair being so dark, Jill!"  I chuckled a good bit, because my hair was about 50-75% gray until I started coloring it about 3 years ago.  We had a good laugh about that and then she tried to sing along with her favorite CD again, old Gospel hymns like "Keep Me Safe, Til the Storm Passes By" and "Beulah Land."  Her frail body and clouded mind strained to find the words so familiar to her.  Her spirit wanted to belt out those songs so much, she managed to hum the tune as she rocked back and forth, her heart crying out the words written on it, hidden by the clouds of dementia.

I know she is singing with The Choir today, right next to Grandaddy, who went on before her 21 years ago.  She's singing all her favorites, and as Mom said Sunday when she called to tell me the news, Nannie remembers all the words now.  She's re-telling all those dreadful, embarrassing childhood stories about me to the Angels and Prophets now, just like she did every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas or other family gatherings.  It's always the same ones, "Just My Size!" "I Brought My Bucket!" "La-La-La-Wucky" and the "Tuesday Roller/Smell-fume" one...yes, my eyes rolled back in my head every time the words "Remember when Jill..."

Today, I won't be rolling my eyes.  Today, I will remember fondly and laugh with you, Nannie.  I will hold the hands and shoulders and backs of my family as we celebrate your Homegoing service.  We will cry because we miss you.  We will rejoice because now you are whole, you are healed, you are home; and we are a little bit jealous...

2 Corinthians 5:6-9
"Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord--for we walk by faith, not by sight--we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.  Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him."

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Slave to None, Servant of All

I had a great lunch today with a friend I hadn't seen since college.  It never ceases to amaze me that, after swapping the "how did you get here from there" stories,  you can just pick right back up as if no time has passed.  

She's a few weeks into her second trimester with her first child and she shared an interesting observation.  She said that now she understands why humans have such a long gestation's to give you the time you need, time to come to terms with and grieve over the loss of your own freedom.  

Yeah, I let that soak in as I was driving back.  It's true.  You're giving up your life for this kid on the way.  You will never again have the freedom you did before.  Every decision you make for YEARS will directly affect this new life.  I think it's easy to recognize the obligation of responsibility parents assume when they choose to bring a child into the world.  What I see now more than ever, is the sacrifice.  Parents (good parents, I dare say) give up their rights to serve themselves and agree to serve in the best interest of their child.  Even when it means they may suffer some, they always choose what serves their child's best interest.

Then I thought about Christ, how he chose to be a servant.  Jesus wasn't even a parent, yet he chose to be a servant, to everyone.  He was Lord of All, subject to none, and yet he chose to serve.  All the power and sovereign authority of God, the Father, and he still chose to serve.  He gave up all the rights to himself, and served everyone.  

Jesus was the original Servolutionary.  He was slave to none, and servant of all.  

As we leave another year, another decade, and begin this new year of 2010, may we all be so bold.  May we be bold enough to serve each other, to serve others we don't know, to meet a need just because it needs meeting.  


Monday, December 21, 2009


A while back I signed up to be a part of a blog tour for Mark Batterson's new book, Primal.  I'm not far into the book and I can already see things I've heard our own senior pastor, Mike Glenn, say but with a fresh spin on it.  This is a good thing to me because A) I like Mike and his style of teaching, B) These fresh spins are obviously good things, reiterating truths I need to sink deeper and C) Two teachers, one in Tennessee and one in Washington, D.C., teaching the same thing serve as confirmation for each other.

Some of the common teachings I am hearing in Mark's book are:

  • we have forgotten how inconvenient it is to follow in the footsteps of Christ
  • we are the ones who complicate Christianity
  • Christians are more known for what we're against than what we're for
  • most of us know what we believe but not why we  believe it
  • people don't wanna hear what you have to say until you meet their needs first (compassion before truth)
  • what comes out when you get squeezed? (reactions reveal what's in your heart) toothpaste comes out of a tube of toothpaste, does Jesus come out of you?
I enjoyed reading the short history of the beginnings of World Vision, a cause near and dear to my heart.  Mark poses the question to us: "What will kill you if you don't do it?"  He dares us to consider what our true passion, or compassion as he says, is.   He dares us to search this out, because once you know, "You can't not do something about it."

I flipped towards the end of the book to read a bit there (quite Mike-like for those of you who know him) and read a section entitled "Beyond Reasonableness."  Quite appropriate for me, for those of you who know me.  I'm usually a logic girl.  I like things to make sense.  However, I am finding lately that it is when things make the least human sense that they make the most God-sense, if you will.  In this section of Primal, Mark quotes Yann Martel saying, "I was sick to death of reasonableness."  Feels quite freeing to agree with that statement.  Mark goes on to pose that so many of us limit God to our senses and our logic, naturalism and rationalism.  He says, "As a result, our soul shrinks to the size of our senses, our mind shrinks to the size of our logic."  Then, he poses a question to ponder, "Do you have any God ideas that are being held ransom to reasonableness?"

Sick to death of reasonableness, indeed.  I definitely look forward to reading the rest of this book.  I am challenged to have fresh faith unhindered by the constrictions of logic, sense, and other things that may have been built on top but are unnecessary (see ch. 1 for that reference!), things that are hiding the true, primal nature of my faith that yearns to shine through.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

help my unbelief

I soooo want to be able to live in complete trust and faith above any circumstances that come, as I have been being challenged to do.  I want to rest completely in Jesus' grip knowing that whatever comes, He is able and He is sovereign and nothing else matters.

Today, I am not that girl.  Today, I am like the man we talked about this morning in Mark 9 who brings his boy to Jesus to be healed.  He believes, yet his son has been afflicted from childhood and no one, not even the disciples, have been able to heal him.  He pleads with Jesus, "If you can..." and Jesus laughs (I believe) and replies "If I can? All things are possible to him who believes."  The father cries, "I do believe, help my unbelief!"

I am this man today.  The twelve inches between my head and my heart seem so far apart. I hear Jesus saying in that "Are you kidding me?" tone of Mark 9, 'don't you remember all I've brought you through?  Do you not remember how I've provided before?'  

I do remember.   Indeed You are faithful.  What I know in my heart conflicts with what I see in my head.  Jesus, I need your eyes to color how I see my circumstances.  Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.

Come, every soul by sin oppressed, there's mercy with the Lord;
and he will surely give you rest, by trusting in his Word.
Only trust him, only trust him, only trust him now.
He will save you, he will save you, he will save you now.

Pass me not, O gentle Savior, Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.

Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry,
While on others Thou are calling, Do not pass me by.

Let me at a throne of mercy Find a sweet relief;
Kneeling there in deep contrition, Help my unbelief.

Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry,
While on others Thou are calling, Do not pass me by.