Blogus Interruptus

I used to blog all the time. Then it all pretty much stopped when I moved to Alaska, life changed, and I got a day job...on top of my web design business. Now that I've quit my design business, I just might have some time here and there to blog about life again. We shall see....

Does God Care Who Wins An NFL Football Game?

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Those who know me, may not believe me…but I actually do know that who wins and who loses is BIGGER than the game itself!  I’ve been on Facebook and texting back and forth with a lot of Seahawk fans and I LOVE smack talk!  It’s partly what makes football so fun..for me anyway!  But as all the smack talk has been going down this week, I’ve also been having deeper thoughts about the outcome.

You see, God knows the number of the hairs on each of our heads!  He cares about the details!  So some people may say that God doesn’t care who wins a football game, but I would say that they are wrong.  MILLIONS of people, not just the players get invested in these teams and these games.  Sunday will come and go.  There will be a winner and there will be a loser.  Based on that result, I personally will either be elated or totally bummed out.  If my team loses I will get to see my Seahawk freinds and smirk just a little bit.  If they lose…I will get to endure many many comments, but I will hold my head high because I’m NINER FAITHFUL!  But you see…in the end for me, it’s just a game.

However there will be stories we will never know of that are a direct result of the games winner or loser.  People will already be drinking too much because it’s game day.  Someone who is celebrating or drowning their sorrows may have one too many and get behind the wheel and change a life forever.  Another might have too many drinks once again and return home to a family who fears the sound of him walking through the door, and their fear will become reality once again.

Then there are the deal makers. You know the ones who make a deal with God that if their team wins they will go to Church for the first time in years!  And what if they actually go…and the message actually penetrates their heart!  Speaking of deals there will be those who are wagering on this game.  Someone may lose this months rent, and it might be final straw for their spouse who decides to leave them once and for all because they can’t take living with an addict any longer!

We just don’t know….we have NO IDEA how the wins and the loses will effect lives.  Real lives.  Real families.  But…. GOD KNOWS!  He sees so clearly how it will go for every single person of those millions who are invested.  He is able to determine the short-term and long-term benefits and repercussions.  He sees which outcome will ultimately be more for His glory and not the glory of the team or it’s fans.

So as much as I want my Niners to beat the Seahawks and go on to win another Super Bowl ring…. I ultimately pray that God would be glorified through the outcome of the games. Win or lose, deep down I will be at peace with the outcome, because He is in control.  He is sovereign.  And he does care!

Unexpected Community

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Last week I got to live out a lifelong dream and go to a home game for the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park (affectionately referred to as “The Stick”). While I was there I of course got to experience the game itself and all that comes with it. Ultimately I got to experience the agony of defeat…but that is another story! One thing I did experience was something a bit unexpected considering I was surrounded by strangers…community!

If you read my previous post you can see that I’ve been searching for community in a home church since we moved to Alaska 3 years ago. It has been an elusive feeling in the pews, and suddenly here I was in a stadium filled with THOUSANDS of people I did not know and there it was smack in my face…community!

People who were sitting around us were ticket season holders who go to the games all the time. The older couple sitting in front of us had the routine down pat, binoculars and all. The gentleman of that couple has been going to games since the very early days of the Niners back in the late 40′s and early 50′s. There weren’t a lot of opportunities to celebrate during the game (we lost 10-9) but I still got to observe relative strangers talking to one another, high-fiving each other (even hugging) and participating in traditions in unison with excitement and emotion. That older couple often turned around to talk to us and make comments and so did the people sitting behind us. I did the same right back to them. None of us knew each other…but we all had a common love (the Niners) and a common goal (to win) and that seemed to make us feel like we were friends who could openly discuss what we were witnessing. It was FUN! My husband always teases me because when I talk about the Niners I always say “we”. Well, the “we” wasn’t just on the field, I was sitting amongst them….in community.

As we drove back to my aunt and uncles house that night I reflected on what I had experienced and I became perplexed. How was it so easy to find community there, but so difficult to find it in church or anywhere else for that matter. I mean let’s get real. How often do we sit on an airplane TOUCHING the person next to us, but never speak a word to them? How often do you go to church and sit in a pew next to someone you don’t know and only say hello when the pastor up front directs you to say hello and shake hands. Don’t we have a common love (God) and common goal (growth, knowledge and community) at church? We do! Yet so many of us walk in and walk out allowing ourselves to be completely alone…allowing OTHERS to be completely alone.

It seems like at church we should be turning around after and communing to those around us. Shaking hands. Talking about the sermon. Getting to know each other.

I’m a newbie these days, but for YEARS I was a core member of a church, and I have to say I pretty much sucked at going out of my way to meet someone new and make someone feel at home. So, I won’t belabor the point anymore because I think you probably get it. It’s a challenge. A challenge to myself to open myself up to the community around me everyday in every situation. A challenge to you to do the same as well. Because you just never know where you will find it, and we all know where we SHOULD be finding it!

Searching for Community

I am struggling with finding community. With finding a church home.

We have lived here in Alaska for nearly 3 years now. In that time we spent 7 solid months at one church and a year and a half at another. The rest has been spent searching. As we have been searching, God has definitely been humbling me. You see, I used to carry quite an attitude about “church hoppers”. It was an easy attitude to have because my church had always felt like home and I had no comprehension of how people could so easily come and go. Prior to moving I had been very blessed to have had personal friendships with my pastors…Which meant that I knew, trusted, and respected the character of the men who stood at the front and taught me about God’s word and how to apply it to my life. Here in Alaska, that is no longer the case because I know none of them.

In Washington my family attended church where I did, and pretty much all my friendships and social activities revolved around that community of believers. Here so far we have spent time at two of the largest churches in town and have walked away without that sense of community and it has been disappointing and challenging.

I long for it again. Sure we have a bit of community through the school and that is good. It is very good. But In the end I am just not ok with church simply being the place we go to on Sunday.

In my life I KNOW that through my church community my relationship with God was challenged and nurtured. It grew in unexpected and wonderful ways. When times got really hard I would wonder how on earth people made it through times like it without a church community like mine, and I was so thankful for what I had.

I still am thankful. Thankful for the experience of that community and that it pushes me now even from 1500 miles away. Because I know what church community can be, and I am not willing to settle for warming a pew on Sunday and never really knowing people or allowing myself to be known. As Christians I believe we are called to be a part of a church community and not to foresake that.

Please be in prayer for Me and my family as we truly are seeking to find a church God wants us to call home. We desire to honor Him with our choices and we pray that through the process our children will be blessed as well. It hasn’t been easy on them either. I desire so deeply to find a place where we are all comfortable calling it home and we can finally put down some roots and begin to grow.

Family Hike on Winner Creek

Todd’s parents were in town this week and so we decided to take them and head up to Alyeska lodge in Girdwood. We got there and we we’re all hungry so we decided to have lunch. Eating first meant that we got a little bit of a late start heading out on our hike. We bundled up and hit the Winner Creek Trail.

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Even though it is fall and all the leaves are gone it was still a beautiful hike. I would really love to take my family there again in the middle of summer.

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Because of our late start we didn’t get to go all the way to the hand tram, but we did make it to a bridge that overlooked a beautiful rushing pool of water.

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At that point we turned around because we wanted to make it back to the lodge before it got too dark. As we came out of the woods the lit up lodge looked beautiful set against the mountains in the background.

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Winner Creek just might have to be a hike that we do at different times throughout the year. I bet it looks uniquely beautiful each and every time. Hopefully next time I’ll be in better shape, and two days later I won’t be walking around taking each and every step thinking, “darn hike!”

ouch…truth hurts!

Ok so we don’t live too far from the grocery store. Today I needed a few things and it is a gorgeous day so I decided to ride my bike to the store. Ummmm….I’m ridiculously out of shape. I had to stop several times. It was pathetic. Riding a bike as a kid was so easy!! Looks like I need to work out more and work out harder, cuz this girl aint getting any younger!