I must have my head in the sand ’cause I hadn’t heard about this flick ’til a couple friends on Facebook asked if I’d blog about it. So I proceeded to have a convo with Greg Atkinson, friend, pastor & father of daughters, who I respect. Then I went to a movie-review site & did research (see review here). And, well, here we are. The movie? “Magic Mike.” The plot? A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money. The rating? Rated R for pervasive sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language & some drug use. I’m not sure if its a coincidence that not long after “Fifty Shades of Grey” has phenomenal success that this movie is released, but maybe? Is it possible that the adage, “sex-sells” is not just selling to men any more? I would love to see what you guys think. You can always comment anonymously. But let’s talk about this. What do you think? Should we advise chics to avoid this flick? Is it harmless? Is there a porn-target on the backs of women lately? I’ll disclose that I am not going to see this cause frankly, I don’t need “Magic Mike” when I have “Captivating Cuban” every day, all day, to myself. 😉
Two weeks ago, Pastor Kory & I (who couldn’t be any more opposite if we tried) did a book review & give away. Here we are again! This time, it’s “Love Powered Parenting” by Chaundal & Tom Holladay. After leadership, my next fav book genre is parenting. So I am really excited to review this with Kory!
KORY: I’m not a parent yet. No kids, no babies on the way, not even a wife. This is exactly why Love-Powered Parenting was a great read for me. I got the chance to read about Jesus centered parenting before I even step into the ring of fatherhood. Throughout the book I can constantly compare my experience as a child to the experience I one day want to give my child. As a young single with no kids it is awesome to get ahead of the game and start preparing to be the parent your future kids will be proud to have.
HEATHER: As a mama to two boys, I am always on the scout for a good parenting books. For two reasons this one is GOLD. One, I have had the chance of meeting & hanging with Chaundal. She was so nice to me when I was a nobody on our tour bus (that’s another post!) and she was just great fun. The other reason this book is gold is because of the fact that I was such a terrible kid, I can get insecure about my parenting. So I am eager for wise folk who have gone before me & done it right to help me get it right. Tom and Chaundal fit this bill. I can’t say enough about this book and these authors. Get it! 🙂
The 1st person to LEAVE A COMMENT with what church Tom & Chaundal serve at wins a free copy of this book. Good luck!
Today, I had my boys help me with something unusual. After purchasing toiletries, clothing, books & snacks, they helped me assemble a care package for someone in my family who is in rehab for drug & alcohol addiction. Addiction is tough. I have seen its manifestation in this family member’s life & I would describe it as hell on Earth. No doubt, my family member is lucky to be alive to even BE in rehab. But God’s mercy of not giving him what he does deserve & God’s grace of giving him what he doesn’t deserve stands as a powerful reminder of just how awesome & involved God is. If you have a loved one who is an addict… I get ya. Remember, prayer is not the least we can do for them–it is the greatest. Don’t give up on them. If they’re still breathing, God hasn’t.
I’ve been blogging for 5 years now. Sometimes people ask how I come up with content for five posts a week. It’s actually a pretty easy formula: prayer + pulse = post! ‘Though twitter & facebook are great for getting a pulse on people, sometimes, it helps to dig a little deeper & shoot a little straighter. Would you mind taking a minute & giving your opinion? Totally feel free to comment anonymously, too. Thanks in advance for taking the time. Without further ado….
- What is one of your goals for the next 5-10 years?
- What is our society’s biggest crisis?
- What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Again, thanks for taking a minute to opine! You’re awesome!
“But Mommy, why can’t I download that song?,” Andy asked as he sat in the rocking chair beside me. So as he rocked in his & I rocked in mine, we talked about it. And it was good. Because this time, I was able to go beyond “No,” and give him the opportunity to know, “why.” In parenting, we always have the executive privilege of exercising the, “No, period.” And I’ll admit, I exercise that privilege a lot! But if I am always saying, “No,” I may be exercising my right to do so, but I’m denying my kids their right to learn. Today’s moment (& tonight’s post) nudged me to pray for the patience to sometimes sit down & go beyond “No.” Not always…but sometimes…especially when there’s two rocking chairs on a warm summer day…
So I stepped up to the griddle & made pancakes for the fam. Now for whatever reason, I only had a box of gluten-free pancake mix at the house so I used that. They looked like pancakes, they smelled like pancakes, they required the same ingredients as pancakes, they griddled like pancakes. BUT, they didn’t taste like pancakes. Suffice it to say, I was disappointed. Alas, that is ’til I got an idea: I used to be like a gluten-free pancake. I looked like a Christian (wore tasteful attire & a cross necklace). I smelled like a Christian (always doused myself in perfume & chewed gum after a night of partying). I had the same ingredients as a Christian (went to church, owned a couple bibles, attended a Christian college, loved God). BUT, get close enough and you would’ve discovered I was gluten-free: everything was there…but something was missing. Maybe this is you. Maybe this is someone close to you. How did I resolve this? Well, for starters, I went to the store & bought REAL pancake mix. Oh, and how did I resolve my life? One morning, when I was 23, I had an epiphany: I would no longer LOOK Christian on the outside; I would BE Christian on the inside. I’ve been working at being a real pancake ever since, & I’ve had no regrets with the work its required. If you want the real pancake to stand up–YOU–ask the Master Chef to get involved in your life–and you will!
I was in middle school & my mom had just dropped me off to youth group. When I walked in, I noticed a strange setup on the stage: benches, basins with water, and towels. As our youth pastor shared the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, I sat there, unmoved and unimpressed. As part of his closing, he asked each of us to come forward and take turns washing each others’ feet. My pastor went first, washing the feet of a student seated in the front pew. At that moment, I got up and walked to the back of the sanctuary and crouched in the last pew. As the guitarist strummed sobering melodies, my peers engaged in this beautiful, sobering moment. But not me. Then, I went home unmoved by what I missed. Now, I realize how much I missed out. When you offer, have or are the best, can you still be humble? Jesus was. Jesus offered the best: eternal life, but he was humble enough to be sacrificed for it. Jesus had the best: a throne in Heaven, but he was humble enough to step down from it. Jesus was the best: sinless, but he was humble enough to wash the feet of sinners. There are many hard-to-be-humble moments in my life, perhaps you have some too. You know…something comes along that gives us a “one-up” on those around us, and it’s not that we take pride in it, it’s that we take pride too far. It was hard to be humble in that youth group service, but as I write this, it’s hard to be proud. With God, we can be just like His Son: confidently-humble. It’s called swagger. Get you some! 🙂
We are ALL created with personality. It’s a basket of goodies that God puts in each of us. But we are responsible for HOW we use that basket of goodies & the choice is ours. It has always been part of my personality to be a wild. But it’s been interesting to see its evolution over the years. When I was far from God, I didn’t use my wild for good. In choosing to use it for bad, it had me drink obnoxiously, run into oncoming traffic, drive intoxicated, dance provocatively, jump into cars with strangers, etc., etc. These days, I still have that wild in me–but I chose to use it for good. At Church by the Glades, I’ve had the privilege of being an Easter chicken, a crazy sports fan, a dog lookalike, a beach tourist (see pic), just to name a few! It has been so fun to use that part of my personality to help people laugh, cast vision & spread enthusiasm. And these days, ALL for God. God gave me the wild-trait, I want to give Him all the credit for everything I do with it. Whatever your personality, I hope you are choosing to use it for good. You’ll do yourself good, you’ll do God good & you’ll do the world a world-of-good too. 🙂
I remember when I was 16 I came home late from a night of partying. I went into the bathroom, locked the door & sat there, ticked off & totally overwhelmed. I mean, how was I suppose to maintain my freedom in Christ, at the same time, indulge in the freedoms of partying? In my immaturity, I guess I saw myself as having to make a choice – so I prayed. I actually asked God to leave my heart – I told him I didn’t want to be a Christian anymore. Thankfully, God will never answer that prayer with us. He promises He will never leave us & because He’s God, He’s incapable of breaking that promise. In Matthew 18:12-14, Jesus talked about a shepherd who has 100 sheep & one wanders off. The shepherd leaves the 99 just to rescue that one. You see, it’s a lamb’s nature to get lost, but its Gods nature to get the lamb back. I am here today because God rescued me when I got lost. Sometimes I wonder why. “Was I that important to you, God?” But in God’s die-hard love for every, single lamb–every lamb is worth rescuing, no lamb is worth leaving. When I was 16, I thought freedom was at the party. But its not. Freedom outside of God’s pasture is chancy & fleeting. Freedom with God in His pasture is unconditional & endless & you don’t have to go looking for it, its always right where you are.