Sometimes it’s best to just stay off the road :: Guest Post by Cody Hogden

There’s just something about a 75 mph impact that will change your perspective.

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On December 13, 2013, my wife and I were in a rather nasty automobile accident. Since that day, I’d say I’m a pretty cautious driver. Stopping. Looking both ways. Checking and double checking. It really has changed the way I drive.

A few weeks ago, our area of Texas experienced a bit of cold weather. Nothing major, but enough to close schools, businesses and bridges. I woke up as normal, got dressed to go to work, and began searching weather reports to prepare for my day. As I headed to work, I noticed the traffic was thin. And as I approached the towering Rainbow Bridge, I noticed barricades and policemen. Consequently, I turned around to make the long trip to work through Beaumont. As I’m driving away, I hit an icy patch of road. Whoa…whoa…whoa! Just enough slipping and sliding for me to decide to sit this one out. I’m headed home.

Over the weekend we began hearing the reports of another wintry storm moving into our area. This time, they were anticipating a little more ice. Monday was a pretty normal day, other than all the talk about “What are we going to do tomorrow?” “When’s it supposed to hit?” “Do they still want us to come in?” You know. Typical talk at work. Tuesday morning comes around and hey, the roads are clear. Looks like I’m headed to work. Yeah, but what about getting back home? The storm is moving in around 7 or 8am. Do I really want to be stuck in Port Arthur on the other side of the Bridge?

After making it to work, it all seemed calm and safe. The storm did roll in giving us freezing temperatures and sleet with a little snow. Now my only concern…getting home after work.

Over the course of the day, the weather (and roads) got worse. Then the caution came about 1:30pm, “The roads are getting bad, you all should head home.” Ugh…yay for getting off.  But I’m not looking forward to this drive.  Ya know?

Knowing that I must travel through Beaumont to get home, I plan my route on as many back roads as I can (which helped me avoid most traffic). Many overpasses were closed forcing traffic on the feeder roads. Then, I hit Interstate 10. As I gingerly proceed down the freeway, I see the 18 wheelers and other vehicles not traveling with the same caution as I’ve chosen to use. Ummm…hey, don’t you realize these roads are dangerous? I know most big rig drivers are experienced, more mature drivers.  But this is making me nervous.

Have you ever been in that situation? What is it that makes me think I too should be driving faster? Why do I feel this pressure when they’re on my bumper? Is there something wrong with me? Do they know something that I don’t know? Like, which lane doesn’t have ice? Or that this elevated bridge is safe to cross going 65?

As I drove home, thinking about what the others drivers thought about me, I wondered if this is similar to what Paul was thinking:

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall. (1 Corinthians 8:9-13)

Or even in Romans 14:14-15…

I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.

Hey, this isn’t about me telling you how to live your life.  I’m just thinking out loud here. After being in Youth and College ministry for a few years, I realize the “things” I do, affect others. Even in those “grey” areas. Those specific actions that God’s Word doesn’t specifically cover. I know. I know “Everything is permissible.”

However, not everything is helpful…not everything builds up.

Yes, you’re a mature believer. Praise the Lord. Just remember us weaker drivers. Those of us who’ve had our lives impacted by that which you’re participating. And those newbie’s out there.  I’d hate to see the wreck you cause because they’re unprepared to handle the roads at your speed.

Thinking about my day, if I didn’t have to go to work, I wouldn’t have driven at all. I really can’t think of any grey area of which we are obligated to engage.

So maybe it’s just best to stay off that road.


You can find more of Cody on Twitter and Facebook

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The remedy for regrets ::: Rejoice

As the ornaments were removed from the tree this Christmas and placed in their storage box until next year, a wave of regret rushed over my heart.  Promises to finish our Truth in a Tinsel ornaments were never kept.  Promises made two years ago.

The memories played through my mind.  My precious child, two years younger, intent on bringing God’s Word to life with his hand-crafted creations.

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caleb coloring Elizabeth

making crown

making Jesus name

I had a good excuse last Christmas.  We were living in an RV.  We didn’t have a tree.  As the ornaments were unveiled this year, the reality of undone business arose.  I assured Caleb we’d finish his ornaments this year.  Six weeks later, life moved on.  And, the ornaments were never even attempted.  I could feed you the excuse I was busy with Camden’s knee surgery.  Possibly, that will pardon me for my negligence.

But, what keeps the regrets from swelling in my soul? The place where peace yearns to defeat sorrow.  And the battle rages.

It’s not just about unfinished Christmas ornaments.

As both boys are now in public school, and I’m left to ponder all the what if’s of the fifteen years I had with my children at home, I find myself succumbing more to regrets than rejoicing.  Knowing this cannot be the best attitude, I attempt to shake them off.  However, like a magnet, they rise and cling to my heart.

My husband and children go through photo albums.  My family giggles and enjoys the memories.  I fake a grin.  My heart aches.

Can we just go back?  Might I have another chance?

In the midst of the turbulence, God’s ever gentle hand of mercy offers solace.  He reminds me to turn to His Truth in this season of change.  I walk into our bathroom and the Truth faces me from a plaque hanging there square on the wall.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

True. Noble. Just. Pure. Lovely. Good report. Virtue.

Worthy of praise.

Meditate.  Focus your thoughts.

Jesus name

And God speaks gently to my worried mind,

These. All of these times with your children. They were all gifts. Receive them.

Isn’t it just like the enemy to tempt us to grieve over what God intended to be a gift.

I cannot lie and tell you I was immediately relieved of the burdens.  But, gradually, as I depend on God’s Holy Spirit to disciple me, and I practice intentional thanks living, my thoughts rise from a lamenting pit to a refreshing mountain top.

From regretting to rejoicing.

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Stop questioning the coach and get in the game! {just a tip from a coach’s wife}

I need you to trust me.

I have heard these words many times the last few weeks.

From my husband, as parents and players question his coaching decisions.  Fathers and mothers find themselves free to offer guidance to the coach as to where to position their sons on the field and how often to put their boys in the game.  Players, in all their teenage genius, impulsively act on prideful self-sufficiency questioning their coach’s discernment and wisdom.

Forgetting (or not caring) that the coach has the team’s best interest in mind and has a game plan meticulously created after hours of intense analysis and scrutiny, the parents and players often act on emotion.  And self-trust.

My husband offers a challenge to each doubtful complainer.

I need you to trust me.

I ponder this truth.  And I wonder, “Is that me?”  Do I trust my Coach?  He has a well-designed game plan.  But, when it doesn’t surface to meet my expectations and when it doesn’t offer the experience I’d anticipated, I find myself a self-trusting complainer.  Questioning God’s positions and strategies.  Forgetting (or not caring) that the Coach has His team’s best interest in mind and has designed a course of action with a knowledge of which I’m unaware, I act on emotion.

And, there I am, again.  A doubtful skeptic.

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With this revelation fresh in my soul, I travel alone to Guatemala.  Knowing God has sent me to a particular place.  But not knowing why.

I need you to trust Me.

Awaking each morning to the lack of an itinerary but a surplus of uncertainty.

I need you to trust Me.

Stepping into rickety boats to cross dark waters with a hand-drawn map hoping for favor while doubting my destination.

I need you to trust Me.

Wandering through paths of wooded Mayan mountains aching to experience faith but fighting a more present fear.

I need you to trust Me.

Entering into unknowns void of enough words to communicate clearly in a foreign language.

I need you to trust Me.

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I was never forced to choose faith.

My heart has pondered the obvious alternatives.  My fears relentlessly chase my fidelity.  And, this doubtful skeptic questions the game plan.  I could quit the team before the next quarter and walk off the field.

But, I’d miss out.

As God coached me along the unknown paths, I found myself in a place I’d never imagined.  My game plan was shredded as His came to life.  And, now I find myself playing a position I had once only dreamed of being worthy to fill.  I am certainly unaware of how the events will unfold.  And, oh how I wish for my life to be pre-recorded on DVR so I could push play, skip through the fumbles and watch each touchdown on a big screen until the final quarter ends.

But, then I’d miss out.

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Because, by traveling with Christ as a trusting follower, what I have found to be true is an amazing communion with a faithful God.

One who loves me enough, even when questioning His discernment and filled with self-trust, to offer the challenge.

I need you to trust Me.

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Endure with Joy (lessons from the RV)

RV2

It has been a year since we have been displaced.

I used the term displaced loosely. I have friends in Guatemala who have no place to lay their heads or accumulate belongings.  They are displaced in the real sense of the word.

But, here in Texas among my circle of friends, selling a spacious home without a plan in place to permanently lay one’s head and moving into a travel trailer is called displaced.

We should be moving into a more permanent structure and out of the RV in the near future.  By near future, I mean 126.75 hours.  But, who is counting.  I’ve only been living in a 232 square foot box with a husband and two men-sized sons for 8765.808 hours.  Again, who’s counting.

As much as I am looking forward to an expanse of leg room, I am going to miss the constraint.  I know it sounds like I have lost touch with reality in the process of losing real estate.

However, it is during the times of personal discomfort that God presses out the superficial impurities of my soul.

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Endurance.

A vitality dwelling deep within awaiting its summons to bubble forth with tenacity and fortitude.

Yet, the God-kind of endurance is much different than the sort taught at self-help classes.  Sure, God provides the perseverance and courage that not only competes with, but champions, the world’s method of resolution.

When tapping into His provision of endurance, God adds a refreshing and unique benefit nothing in this world can offer.

Joy.

Understand, folks, that enduring with God is not a gritting of the teeth while managing a weighty hassle until light appears at the end of your tunnel.

Instead, God-infiltrated endurance is walking with the Light in HIS joy.

There is no hassle.  There is no burden.  There is joy acquired by resting in the sovereignty of my Lord, knowing I am spending time in an RV because it is a pit stop my Father planned.  And, He wouldn’t have planned it if He didn’t have a purpose.

May there be continual constraint in my life.

For it has been through thousands of hours in a cramped condition that God, through His grace, enlarged my territory of joy.

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Choose joy

It has been a while since I have last sat at the computer to post to the blog.  I apologize for my delay; however, I cannot say I am sorry for the reasons I have been away.

God has been working things in and out of my life.  Working out the bad and working in the good.  For the most part.  When I cooperate.  And, this has kept me busy.

We are still in our RV.  Can you believe we are approaching one year!  Don’t despair.  We are seeing an end to travel-trailer-living in the near future.  And I am still following the Lord into Guatemala.  (About every three to four months).  In fact, our family of four just returned from that beautiful country in Central America.

Each trip seems to change me.  I would love to think a difference is being made there by my visits; however, it is clear God is using my time spent in an underdeveloped country to change Cristal.

Today, I was reminded of the joy expressed by the children living in the orphanage.

Very little of the comforts we expect and classify as “needs” are provided to the residents of City of Children.  And, of those they do have, many North Americans would label them “insufficient.”

Yet, the children seem unbothered.

Expressions of joy dawn randomly on their young faces.  Even picturing their smiles now brings a grin to my own.

And I realize joy exists within.  Even when I don’t feel its presence.

Joy lives in my soul as God dwells in my life.

For Christ is joy.

So, if orphans living in third-world conditions can choose joy, why can’t we?

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Letting you in on a lil’ secret (only read if you’re ready for joy)

Maybe you are unfamiliar with the story of Pastor Saeed Abedini.  He is being held captive in a wicked, Iranian prison simply for his faith in Jesus Christ.  While the rest of us are occupied with what we’ll eat for supper (while we’re eating lunch), this man’s family is desperately praying and hoping for his release from the torturous and unbelievable conditions so that he can come home to the United States.

In the midst of the torture, Pastor Abedini recently wrote this letter to his wife.  And, in it, he shares a secret.

The secret to joy.

Chihuli blown glass chandelier by steve took it via flickr

Hello to my dear love and wife,

When I saw my family for the first time behind the glass walls, I could see my mom four meters away. As she approached me and saw my face, she broke down and could not get closer. She was crying. I understood what she felt because after weeks of being in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, I also got to see my face in the mirror of an elevator that was taking me to the prison hospital. I said hi to the person staring back at me because I did not recognize myself. My hair was shaven, under my eyes were swollen three times what they should have been, my face was swollen, and my beard had grown.

It was a few days ago when one of my family members, with weary eyes and after running around for 15 weeks in trying to get me out of prison, said that my dad says every single day that “this week I will get my son out of prison.” But this does not happen and he is not able to get me out of prison. In that instant I looked into the wrinkled and tired eyes of my dad. I could clearly see that he had ran around for months and he had no more strength left in him. It was very hard seeing my family in such a situation.

You, my wife, on the other side of the world, alone with the kids. Alone and worried. My family here in Iran, being interrogated, tired and under so much pressure.

With the loud voice of the prison guard, our visitation had ended and they put covers over our eyes and we returned to the dark room void of any natural sunlight.

I started praying for my family. My dear Naghmeh. You are the love of my life. I am always in love with you.

Dear Naghmeh, I have been stung so many times that I have become full of poison. This is an Iranian saying. A lot of people say that they have been stung by so many people that their whole being is full of poison like a poisonous snake. It means that we have been bitten by the snakes of this world so many times that, that all of the poison has collected in us and that we are like the poisonous snake. But if we sting anyone, we will die. This Iranian saying is full of spirit of revenge and unforgiveness and every time I would hear this in Iran, I would get very sick hearing it.

A few days ago they brought a young war veteran who was disabled in 80% of his body in my cell. He had been put in solitary confinement with his horrific condition. And this had made him very mad and he kept saying “why did they do this to me? I gave my whole life for their sake. See what they have done to me!!!” And when he would get very mad he would say “I will take my revenge!”

I spoke to this young man until 4 in the morning. I spent time with him and spoke to him to forgive.

When we don’t forgive, we drink the poison ourselves and then wait for the other person to die. And we take the knife that has hurt us and we stab ourselves with it again!

And this is the will of the evil one who wants to destroy us.

But when we forgive, we pour out the poison of the enemy and of the devil and we don’t let the poison stay in us and we don’t let the poison make us into poisonous snakes!

So that we don’t become like the person we despised and who persecuted and tortured us.

Maybe you ask, what is the secret of being so happy in such a hard situation?

Forgiveness and a change of attitude. When we forgive, we become free and we become messengers of peace and reconciliation and goodness. And whoever stings us, we can take into our embrace and love them. And in this dark and evil time, we can live full of love and full of peace and full of joy and shine like the stars! Glory be to His Name.

I forgave the prison doctor who did not listen to me and did not give me the medication that I needed. I forgave the interrogator who beat me. Every day when I would see the interrogator and for the last time when I saw him, I forgave him. I smiled at him and with respect shook his hand and I said my goodbye. The minute I forgave them and loved them, that second I was filled with unspeakable joy. I saw in the eyes of the interrogator that he had come to respect me and as he was leaving, he could not look behind him. Love is as strong as death.

We have to get rid of the poison in our body because if we don’t, we will die. We have to get rid of both poisons; first the poison of the snake that bit us and also the poison in us that was created by that bite. We can get rid of the first poison by forgiveness and we can get rid of the second poison by humility, by dying to ourselves, and allowing the band-aid of love and goodness to replace the empty place of the wound. So that we are not a tool of darkness and revenge, but that we can be light and love and a vessel of forgiveness and we can be transformed in the process.

Surely you have someone in your family, city, work or environment that have become like poisonous snake who have bitten you and tried to make you poisonous. So, forgive them and use the antidote of love and be Victorious!

One of the chances of forgiveness came when I was blindfolded and a guard was holding my hand guiding me. He asked “what are you here for? What is your crime?” I said “I am Christian Pastor.” All of the sudden he let go of my hand and said “so you are unclean! I will tell others not to defile themselves by touching you!” He would tell others not to get close to me. It really broke my heart. The nurse would also come to take care of us and provide us with treatment, but she said in front of others “in our religion we are not suppose to touch you, you are unclean. Baha’i (religion) and Christians are unclean!” She did not treat me and that night I could not sleep from the intense pain I had. According to the doctor’s instructions, they would not give me the pain medication that they would give other prisoners because I was unclean.

I could not fall sleep one night due to the pain when all of a sudden I could hear the sound of dirty sewer rats with their loud noises and screeches. It was around 4 in the morning. It sounded like laughter in a way.

Even though many would call me unclean and filthy and would not even want to pass by me and they had abandoned me and they were disgusted to touch me because they were afraid that they would also become unclean, but I knew that in the eyes of Jesus Christ, and in the eyes of my brothers and sisters, I am like the sewer rat, beautiful and loveable – not disgusting and unclean – and like the rats I can scream with joy within those prison walls and worship my Lord in joy and strength.

The Joy of the Lord is my strength. Amen.

Pastor Saeed Abedini Sends Troubling Letter Detailing Mistreatment in Prison

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A lesson of love from one who just lost

I “met” eight-year-old Daisy through Francis Chan.  I have followed her family’s story ever since that day.

And I have prayed for sweet Daisy.

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Now I am celebrating her short, yet vibrant, life well lived.  And praying for her parents.

Her mother, Kate, wrote a beautiful message of love we should all pause to absorb.

Early Saturday morning we had the privilege of witnessing Daisy’s departure from earth to a place outside of time and space where her joy is complete; heaven.

Our darling girl gave us kisses at midnight, with lips dry from thirst and hot with fever. Tiny and sweet, the words “that’s awesome” came from her tired body after letting us know she was having good dreams. She is safely home… Finally well.

I have refrained from giving details of her suffering over the last few weeks, as it was immense. Out of respect for her dignity and loveliness we have been keeping these painful moments sacred.

My final request to all who read this blog: love. Love your babies, your husbands, mothers, sisters.

Love each day like it’s your last.

All you mamas out there, you have been entrusted with the precious gift of a human life who depends on you.

Enjoy your gift.

Breathe in the scent of your child’s hair, breath. Let them cook with you and make a mess of the kitchen. Play hide and seek with them, build sand castles with them, take them on picnics, read to them! Listen to them, value and respect them, never shame them. Your words they will carry with them their whole life and you have the power to give them wings or stunt their growth. Motherhood can be tough but it’s worth it. It can be exhausting, boring, tedious, but never for long. You blink and they’re grown. It has been my honor and privilege to love Daisy these last 8 years.

I’m thankful for every minute; the joyful and the terrible alike.

I know The Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” (Psalm 16:8-11 NLT)

(Kate Merrick, mother of Daisy)

Daisy’s memorial will be streamed live tomorrow.  You can click here for more information or to join.

Let’s not live another day taking love for granted.

As Kate reminded us, enjoy your gift.

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Is your representation legit?

I was in a sorority in college.

Alpha Chi Omega.

Thankfully, for the most part, my sisters were modest, Christian young women aiming to be world changers.

I learned a lot through my experience with AXΩ.

One lesson that has carried over into adulthood is to remember who I’m representing.

Bearing the letters ΑXΩ was an honor and a privilege.

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A reputation was at stake.

Reverence was expected.

The AXΩ letters could only be worn by an inducted Alpha Chi Omega.

And, even then, wearing the letters came with a constant awareness of the letter-wearing rules.

Our dear, elder, alumni sponsor, Mrs. Hawthorne, made certain we were dressed appropriately when bearing AXΩ across our shirts.  We were also to never visit a questionable place (such as a bar or nightclub) while donning the letters.  Even on a key chain.  And, if one chose to drink an alcoholic beverage, it had best not be out of an AXΩ cup.  You’d never see a sister sporting her letters across the backside of her shorts.

The letters certainly deserved a higher place.

There was a high-standing heritage to be upheld.

A legacy going back over a century.

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I wonder why Christians don’t pay even more attention to the heritage we’re representing?

We bear the name of Christ as witnesses for our Lord.  All for His name’s sake.

Right?

And to what degree do we focus on keeping that Name holy and set apart?

As bearers of Christ, do we frequent places we shouldn’t?

Do we act or speak in ways that would bring question to His Name?

Those of us with Christian fish on the backs of our vehicles, how are we driving?

Do we uphold our high-standing Heritage as reverently as the AXΩ do theirs?

We aren’t simply representing a Greek organization filled with college gals.

We should be treasuring our association even more.

We are witnesses of a sure Testimony reaching back farther than just a century.

What would our Founder say of the way we’re representing His letters?

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Taking the weight off Camden (we all have a burdened buddy)

Camden and I are still arising at 4:30am several mornings a week to train at our local CrossFit.  In the year we’ve been at CFBC, I’ve learned about more than simply fitness.  In fact, I typically walk away (or limp away depending on how hard I worked that day) with a challenge to improve not only my physical performance, but mostly my daily walk in life. 

This week, we had a “partner WOD” (workout of the day).  While one partner executed the prescribed movements or lifts, the other partner held a heavy weight.  The weight would pass between partners and could never touch the ground (without a penalty).  At the beginning of the WOD, my partner held our weight inside the gym while I went outside to await the signal to begin the first leg of the challenge.

I was chatting with the guy next to me (Camden’s partner, Mitchel) about the conditions surrounding us. We were about to carry dumbbells down a bumpy residential street.  With very few streetlights.  In the dark.  And the weather was offering us a chilly morning.

I was considering my personal plight.

That’s when Mitchel offered his perspective.

My concern is getting back in there as fast as I can to get that weight off Camden.

I was meditating on my predicament and solely occupied with myself, forgetting Erin inside the gym holding our weighted plate.

Mitchel, however, was intent on relieving the burden Camden was bearing.  Forgetting about himself.

While one was gazing inward, another was focused outward.

getting huge by ericmcgregor via flickr

I began to consider the daily opportunities I’m missing in helping take the load off someone else.

Don’t we often (especially with our spouses or close friends) expect them to carry heavy loads?  And then complain if they drop the weight?

I want to be of a mindset that keeps me looking around, at my teammates in life, to see who needs to be relieved of the loads they’re bearing.

And then eagerly come alongside them.

Shouldering their burdens and sharing the work.

A life purposed to live outward.

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How I once ate a humble Girl Scout brownie (similar to eating humble pie)

As I spent time this morning in God’s Word, I was reminded of an opportunity for humbling when I was 10 years old.

It was a warm Texas summer, and I had packed my bags to set off for Girl Scout camp.  My mother reminded me to mind manners while there.  And my intentions were good.

Until one night by the campfire when a plate of delectable, chocolate brownies were presented to our group.  My eyes were captivated by the unveiling of scrumptious wonderfulness.  I was mesmerized by the thought of moist chocolate delighting my watering taste buds.

double chocolate walnut brownies by elena's pantry via flickr

I inconspicuously altered my location in the circle to a more favorable position.  For there was one colossal brownie calling my name, and I had to have it.

There ain’t no mountain high enough.
Ain’t no valley low enough.
Ain’t no river wide enough.
To keep me from getting to you.

I stayed the course and completed my mission.  The rich treat was mine.  And I savored every succulent morsel.

My ears perked when I heard our leader mention having enough dessert for everyone to have a second brownie.  However, the exhilaration of my heart fizzled quickly as her next sentence extinguished the flames of my flaring pride.

Everyone except Cristal.

Our troop leader explained there had been only one large brownie in the batch.  And only one eager scout could choose to snatch the tempting bait, leaving the smaller ones for the rest of her group.

That covetous brownie bandit was me.

I’d been caught.

brownie by elena's pantry via flickr

My prideful heart was exposed.  Embarrassment quickly took the reigns of my high horse, knocking my pompous swagger out of the saddle.  Shame and guilt flooded my soul.

Thirty years later, I can still feel the emotions surrounding that humbling episode.

I am thankful for the troop leader who was willing to teach a lesson to a high-minded Girl Scout.

Pride convinces us we deserve special treatment, recognition, or honor {and the largest brownie}.

Pride leads us to force our way into a situation {or reposition ourselves around the campfire} while humility waits.

(Priscilla Shirer, He Speaks to Me: Preparing to Hear from God)



I no longer hijack desserts from friends.  But I might hide in a closet to savor the last brownie instead of sharing.  I’m, obviously, a work in progress.

These photos of brownies are taken from Elena’s Pantry where I am able to find grain-free, sugar-free and dairy-free recipes for delectable chocolate brownies (and many other nom nom yummies).

Try them for yourself.  And be sure to share.

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