Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saving Lindsay Lohan

Earlier this week as I spun up my MSN homepage, I saw the mug shot of Lindsay Lohan. The look in her eyes made my heart drop. Oh, my dear, I thought with sudden tears pricking my eyes. I read the article which, after giving the details of her arrest, stated that jail may be her only salvation.

As a Christian you would think I would have some answers for her. Some pat Christian phrase that might reach in and rescue her.
But I don't.
I don't know if I'm jaded and tired of hearing the cliches of quick fixes, or if I've just seen too much. When I have seen God's hand working (or the times when He seems silent) it's rarely what I might have expected to believe He would do. The God I hear about and the God I see in action are often too very different Beings.

There is this one thing that I know: I have a love for her that wells up in me everytime I hear her name. I don't know this beautiful, young woman. I probably never will, but for some reason, God wants me involved. The only tool at my disposal is prayer.

So I am publically pledging to pray for her every day for the next few months (more if I feel I'm not finished). I don't know what to pray, I don't know how to heal and restore her, but God does. And all He is asking me to do is spill out a little of myself on her behalf.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

To My Friends...

I fail

I know the moment
when you discover my secret
That I am not enough
it cuts me
as it does you

I see my weakness
of time and forbearance and lifting wing
I know my lack better than you
I've lived with it time and time again
I see its shadow
casting o're your face, and his and his, and her's and her's...
how I wasn't there
how I turned away
toward some other need
be it mine or my closest ones
or some little thing like watered flowers and email tolls

I grieve
I will never be enough
I will never match up to the need
even in my small line of held hands
My choices are tick and time
Selfish and small

How great the gap
How little strength we are given for it
The ignored phone call
The closed face
I want to be all you thought me to be
But that person is vacant
strained and bleeding and bare

Need weighs like a mill-stone
Where is the Lord?
The Great I AM?
The Beginning and the End?
Where is the still, small voice?
The Prince of Peace?

I have failed so many
I have failed so many
Hear my lament
I have failed so many opportunities that You have given me
Forgive me
The need is so great

Come quickly
Oh, Knight in righteous armor
Oh, Glorious One, clothed in glory
Oh, Redeemer and Healer and Breath of Life
Come quickly

Come and rescue your Bride

Then I see a shadow
it's a Cross
His body slain upon it
nailed by the grasping and panting and wanting
He knew it all upon his frail frame
He took it all away
Up . . .Up . . . unto the right hand of the Father
How He bore it I cannot know
But He did
He bought us and carried us and knew us
He lived each of our lives and then brought them to an ending
an eternal beginning with His father
so that we might bask with Him
In that Light

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mistaken Identity

You move into a new home and see your neighbors for the first time. You wave, hoping to catch their eye and make a good first impression, but either they didn’t see or don’t care. Deflated, you turn away. Negative thoughts spring to mind. “They must be snobs. Great, now I won’t have any friends here.”
You go to the mall and see a pack of teenagers, skater dudes with emu haircuts and black clothes. They weave into your child, nearly knocking him down. You clamp your teeth together and give them a look. “Those kids are up to no good. Where are the parents?”
A new employee shows up to work that you’ve only known on email. He/she is vastly overweight. “Wow. No self-control there.” The thought rolls through your brain, effortlessly.
You see a woman in her 40’s squeezed into clothes too tight and young. You internally roll your eyes. “There’s a candidate for an Oprah makeover.”
Or, you attend the first meeting for a women’s Bible study and the leader is dressed in a frumpy jumper with her hair in a bun. “Oh great. This is going to fun.”

Most of us struggle with snap judgments like these, but Isaiah prophesied about Someone (Jesus) who would come and show us a different way to think.
2 "The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord-- 3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,” (Isa. 11:1-4)
Then Jesus gives us a directive as his followers:
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." (Luke 6:37)

My prayer is that Jesus will give me insight into the heart of a person, and then His love for them will overflow through me toward them. It takes years to really get to know someone and usually, after spending some time with them, we discover that first impressions are only an outward expression of a need, brokenness, a floundering identity, or just an expression of creativity. Even the people who look perfect on the outside have made a conscious decision to put that identity out there. In the old days, people dressed to express their class, their place in society. It’s not so different today, (think designer clothes and purses!) although today people are able to express their individuality, their personality too.

So next time you see a women bending over in her low-rise jeans sporting a tattoo on her lower back, I challenge us to retrain our immediate reaction and think instead, “I bet she’s a great person, adventurous and fun, someone God created in His own imagine,” and just give her a smile.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Beautiful Spirit

Have you ever had contact with someone on email or through the internet and wondered what they might be like in person? Will they be different? Will enough of their personality translate from the written to the verbal, the face-to-face with all its expression, body-language and connection that you recognize? Will they be as cool? As funny? As sweet . . .will they (and you) have that same voice that you've had online?

I think this is a common question in these days of email, texting and websites. Recently, I've experienced this anomaly over and over. It's so great to finally see their face, to meet the person behind the words. If you excel at the written word (like me) more than the verbal (I hate the phone), then you know that feeling of hoping not to disappoint.

Mary DeMuth does not disappoint.

While at ICRS, my husband and I were wandering down the aisles and I saw her. I whispered to Tony, "I think that's Mary DeMuth!"
"Go say hi."
"I'm not sure it's her."
Tony steered me around so that we could see her name badge.
Sure enough, it was her.
Oh great. I like to think of myself as an extrovert, but really, I'm plagued with doubts in social settings. Should I approach her?

She was leaning over a trash can (closed lid!) and looking over some notes. I was loathe to disturb her moment of thought. But, with Tony's encouragement (pushing me physically toward her, Ha!) I walked over and said, "Mary, hi, I'm Jamie Carie."

The name is still a bit rusty for me. It's my maiden name and not used until these books have been published. She looked up and smiled. We spoke and the fact that she remembered our few emails and my fewer posts on her WONDERFUL blog, floored me. Then we had a nice chat about her book and the experience at ICRS.

All of my nervous energy dissolved within her peaceful presence. I can say, first-hand, that she is as authentic in person as she is online.

This is no small thing.

This speaks of maturity and grace in the Lord, and a genuine love for God's people. She is truly one of those who has a grace and a peace about her. But an intensity too. Something that God gave her, some purpose that is being spilled forth into these books that she writes.

Her work is beautiful. Fiction, such as "Watching the Tree Limbs" which I had to read slowly, allowing God to do his work in my heart as I read it, and her non-fiction, this new book, Authentic Parenting in Postmodern Curlture are testamonies to her range of thought and artistry. Her face, like that one we see in her photo, is lovely. . . her spirit is beautiful. She is God's handmaiden for this time and this place and we can only soak in all that He has given her . . . for us.

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating on the Authentic Parenting Tour this week. For a complete listing of the blogs participating in the six week tour, visit here.
A Cup of Cold Water
Be a Barnabas
Christian Work at Home Moms
Dawn Morton Nelson
Deborah Gyapong
Dobsons 411
Eleanor Joyce
Good Word Editing
Preacher’s Daughter
Sky-High View
Spaghetti Pie
the law, books and life
The Master’s Artist
The Surrendered Scribe
Through My Window

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Wonderful
Time at ICRS!

Whew! Just returned from Atlanta and the International Christian Retail Show. What an amazing time! I met Mary DeMuth in person (see previous blog entry), Vicki Courtney, Leanna Ellis, Jerry Jenkins, and even Karen Kingsbury (a bus was tooling around Atlanta with her picture on the side!!). Vicky and I had dinner with the wonderful folks from CBD where I learned so much about the book business! Be looking for Snow Angel in their Fall 2007 catalog! Thank you guys!!

Thanks for everyone who turned out for the book signing. It was, once again, so much fun! My husband, bless his heart, was running around passing out Snow Angel cards and several women came up at the signing telling me how lucky I am to have such a wonderful guy! I agree! Thanks Tony.

Here's some photos - I hope to have some more in the next few days...

Giant Ads for Snow Angel and The Duchess and the Dragon!!

Thanks Jennifer!

Signing Books

We stayed at the beautiful Omni Hotel and
Mary Beth always sends me goodies!

The CBD folks, Vicki and I, and the lovely B&H Team!