Monday, October 28, 2013

Let Your Light Shine

As you might imagine I am an all or nothing kind of girl. I jump into the pool. I sell almost everything I own to go on the road. So it shouldn't come as a big surprise that when I decided to follow Jesus 15 years ago we chose to no longer celebrate Halloween. We shut down shop. Taught our kids why we didn't celebrate it and did what many Christians do. Shut the light off and pretended not to be home.

then one year a few weeks before the holiday I heard one of my kids explain to a friend that it *was the devils holiday* hmmm. Yeah.
note: this does not win people to Christ.
I cringed. Knowing full well this now sounded like a judgement.

for the record it is not.

It was a personal family conviction to choose not to celebrate. As a Christian family we decided very early we would no longer participate in that stuff ... And if you're curious why you can read a few of the reasons here:
( that's another post entirely)

That same year my husband came home & announced he didn't want to go dark on Halloween... He wanted to have a *House of Light!* He went onto explain what that meant.

Turn on every single light in your home
blare Christian music
give out the best & biggest candy you can afford
and tape invitations to church or AWANA

I thought he had gone crazy.

But we did it.
I have never regretted it.
In fact I have actually seen people come to Christ because of it! The Bible says we should be salt and Light. & not let our light hide under a bushel. That means on a night like Halloween get out of your comfort zone! But the biggest & best candy on your block! Have people text each other telling them yours is the house to go to.

and don't be afraid to invite people to church. It is the perfect time to share the gospel. They solicit themselves at your door!

& honestly if all we do is go dark how do people respond to us? I would like to encourage you if you are Christians to take a bigger step and ask all those kids dressed up to step into the light & share the love of Christ with them.

I don't think we will ever reach people telling them it's the devils holiday and shutting off all the lights. In fact I am fairly certain that won't ever leave a lasting positive impact.

Monday, October 21, 2013

make my vapor count

I am infatuated with cities.

the diversity
the momentum
the bright lights
the excitement
the desperate
the breath
the heartbeat
the beauty

we are in our nations capital. It is a fascinating city. One where government & history collide in a poetic ballet. If I chose to speak too quickly I could almost say out loud that I Could consider what life might be like in this metro area.

We took some time today to tour Arlington National Cemetery.

If you know me well... You know I deeply despise cemeteries. The dead are..well... Dead. & gone. Their eternal destination decided the moment they stepped foot in eternity.

But it was a good day.
A day we reflected on the fallen.
We understand the cost.
Having several friends that have lost their lives in service to their country. But there is something powerful about Arlington & the rows upon rows of gravestones that dot the land that reminded me that we are just a vapor. Our time on this earth is so very temporal.

The Bible tells us that.
James 4:14 "whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away"

these people of our past.... Their whole life is summed up by a dash between numbers on a gravestone... They don't care about the fantastic city lights, the hustle & bustle of Washington, they don't care that it was once General Robert E Lee's back yard they are buried in. They today are either in the presence of the Almighty God or they burn for all eternity in the lake of fire.

But I need to truly fall in love with people. The living ones. We need to take extra moments to talk to the guy making our pizza, or the woman in the bathroom ... Investing in people. The truth is if I am too busy to stop & take the time then why am I Doing what I am doing? If my life is a vapor... My vapor has to count before all my life is simply summed up by a dash.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


I don't even know where to begin.
Sunday mornings always seem to have some kind of hiccup. This morning was no exception. The cat came across the table flinging milk and cereal everywhere.... The 3 year old cried over wet pajamas. The kids grumbled about getting up... It was a fairly normal Sunday morning.

we had researched the church we would check out. We were praying for good worship & a good Bible believing message.

As we drove in they directed us to a parking space and then abruptly but somewhat jokingly told us to get out of the road or someone would hit us. I remarked how strange that would really be since we were at church to my husband.

As I walked in I was bumped into 6 different times by people needing to rush in past us. We were obviously one greeted us even once. So being that we are pretty comfortable in a church setting we hunted down a bathroom so the kids could stop before we went back out to the lobby to get a bulletin. While in the bathroom my 7yr old daughter asked where they would go during church. As I explained to her I didn't have any idea because no one yet talked to us a sweet girl who was also in the bathroom apologized and said she really hoped our time at this church wouldn't be hindered by our experience to that point. I really hoped so too.

As we walked back out no one even said hello. The greeter did not offer any one of us a bulletin, nor were we ever told where our kids could or should go ... To include my nursery aged children.

worship began. The music was good. A bunch of talented musicians. When worship ended my littlest guy (being just about 20 months got fussy) so I quickly exited to the foyer where an usher let me out.. Made sure I knew there was a screen to watch & offered me a seat. I chose to stand and hold my little guy knowing that if I sat down he would just use the opportunity to gain his freedom.

out comes the girl we met in the bathroom earlier. She came to just check on us. I thanked her for being "the only example of Christ a I had seen at this church all morning"
She thanked me & ducked back into service.

And then the usher who had opened the door to let me out of the sanctuary approached me. Why did I say that to her? He was a godly man. He read his bible. He was kind to people. He opened the door for me and yet somehow I was ungrateful ... He told me it was like I was throwing a knife at his heart.

part of me was appalled at his need to be recognized. The other part of me broke as I realized that if he had said this to an unbeliever in Christ or a very young Christian they might never come back to church again.

so I simply asked him why he would attack me like that? And I asked how he knew I wasn't searching for a church. I began to explain our on the road experience and was abruptly cut off by the woman who was clearly the main greeter for the day (she had all the bulletins as well).

She told me I had a problem. That how dare I say we were missed. That somehow I was looking for trouble. I introduced myself and told her surely it wasn't. In fact at this point I had tears in my eyes because in my heart I could only imagine God watching this play out. I suggested we start over. She asked..."so what exactly DO you do & WHO is your sending church?" I told her. She then told me we aren't REAL missionaries & that we are on the road for satan and that I had a REAL problem.

I knew at that point it was time to go. But Frank was still inside the church with 5 kids. She told me I was not allowed to go in & get them & that she was insistent that I leave immediately. I did but I went to tell Frank 1st. By this point I was in tears.

I wonder if Jesus himself walked into that church if they would even recognize Him.

God knew we were supposed to leave.
It just breaks my heart.

We don't search for perfect churches to attend. We truly know that the church is not perfect. But when the people within the church literally verbally attack a 1st time guest I guess I find that disturbing.

this is the first time I have ever felt persecuted by a body of Christ following believers.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

back on the road...

we seemed to have fallen off the planet after NY. We left September 20th a flurry of mixed emotions. After 8 years away saying goodbyes were hard. But we barely started this journey when we raced across the US to say goodbye to Frank's mom. And our timing... While hard was perfectly on time. I don't know why I am always surprised by that.

after NY we headed south through Pennsylvania. Currently we are in NJ visiting friends. If you are looking for more frequent updates you can follow Narrow Road Schoolers on Facebook. (that's us)

We are trying to get back into the groove of life on the road.

Currently this week is pretty wet.