My Blog

Olympic Ice Skating and Truth

Posted by on Feb 19, 2018 in Christ life, Stuff about Me, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’m not much of a sports fan, but I do love ice skating. Especially Olympic ice skating. These athletes are amazing – the spins and jumps and throws. On ice! I can barely stay upright when I’ve tried ice skating. I can’t even imagine the skill it takes to do what those guys do.

But as I watch, I am SO thankful for the commentators. Because I have no clue what the rules are. I can’t tell when the skaters make a mistake — unless they fall. Other than that, I don’t know when they double a triple or when the turn was under-rotated. It all looks amazing to me!Image result for ice skating pairs 2018

And it’s really fine that I need commentators for ice skating. There’s no need for me to learn all the rules of Olympic ice skating. I am quite content to depend on those former athletes and coaches to tell me what I’m seeing and what the skaters are doing.

However…I think we sometimes go into that mindset with Truth. We listen to pastors or teachers or godly friends, and we just go with whatever they say. Now, there’s nothing wrong with listening to pastors or teachers or friends (says the devo blogger!). In fact, it is critically important to be in community with other believers and to sit under godly pastors and teachers. But God has called us to also search for ourselves to know Truth. We should not just “sit back and listen”. God gives us an example of the Bereans in Acts 17 who were commended as being of “noble character” because they “examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

Image result for bereans in actsThese noble Christians had THE APOSTLE PAUL as their teacher, and they still tested what he taught to be sure it was true. And how did they test it? By examining the scriptures!

God doesn’t want us “watching” Truth the way I watch ice skating. We are to be active in our faith, passionate in our pursuit of Truth. We should be the commentators. We shouldn’t just bring out our Bibles on Sundays and leave them on the kitchen counter the rest of the week. We need to open God’s word, dig into it, study it, meditate on it, memorize it, pray it. This is the source of Truth! Be like the noble Bereans and examine the scriptures.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Policed

Posted by on Feb 12, 2018 in Christ life, Stuff about Me, Uncategorized | 0 comments

A couple years ago, a police officer knocked on our front door — in the middle of the night.

Dave and I were both sound asleep, and my first thought was that we were being robbed — obviously  I was sleep deprived. What robber knocks?? We warily approached the door, where a very nice cop was standing, her car in our driveway. Dave opened the door and the officer apologized for waking us.

“But,” she said. “Your garage door is open, and we have had some robberies in the area. I wanted to make sure you were all right and that you knew to shut and lock your garage.”

We thanked her and promptly obeyed, walking around the house to make sure no unsavory characters had made the same discovery the cop had made.

While we didn’t enjoy having our sleep disrupted, we were grateful. Who knows what that nice officer may have saved us from!

I thought about that incident for days, and I couldn’t help but compare that police officer to the Holy Spirit. Just like Dave and I left our house unprotected, sometimes we leave our minds and hearts unprotected — we put ourselves in situations where the door to sin is wide open. The temptation is right there. The Holy Spirit warns us – through a gentle reminder, the words of a friend or pastor, a passage of scripture that comes to mind– and we have to make a choice.

Sadly, I find that it was far easier to obey that cop than it is to obey the Holy Spirit. I didn’t argue with the officer. I didn’t justify why leaving the garage open would be all right. I didn’t say, “No one will come to MY house. I’m going back to bed.” I shut that garage! Then I locked the door to the garage. And, for good measure, Dave stuck the key in and set the deadbolt on the door to the garage. We even checked the other doors, just to be sure our house was safe from would-be robbers.

How sad that I care more for my house than my soul.

When the Holy Spirit warns me — “You need to forgive that person.”; “You shouldn’t be watching that show.”; “Respond with gentle words, not harsh ones.” — I rarely obey immediately. More often than I should, I ignore the warnings: I don’t forgive, I keep watching, I spit out a mean response. Then later, I reap the consequences. I ALWAYS regret not heeding the Spirit’s voice. Why do I refuse to listen?? When He is giving me help far greater than any police officer on the planet?

God used that officer for more than just a physical wake-up. It was a spiritual wake-up, as well. A reminder to heed His words, His warnings, to stay within His protection.

“Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” II Timothy 1:13-14

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Posted by on Feb 5, 2018 in Christ life, Stuff about Me, Uncategorized | 1 comment

I have been really convicted lately that I am thinking WAY more about the future than I am about the present. And by thinking, I mean worrying. Stressing. Obsessing.

It’s just so easy. The future is unknown. Scary. Exciting. Daunting. There are so many possibilities to consider. And I know I’m not aloneImage result for worrying about tomorrow. My students – especially the seniors – have the same struggle. Even worse, in some cases, because they are trying to decide on colleges and majors and life.

But Jesus Himself tells us not to worry about tomorrow because “each day has enough trouble of its own”(Mt. 6:34). And yet, what fills my mind? Tomorrow….and tomorrow…and tomorrow.

What God has been speaking to me about this is that, in all this worrying about tomorrows, I am missing out on the plans He has for me today. There have been people He has wanted me to serve and love, there have been good things He has wanted me to do, there have been lessons He has wanted me to learn, and I have missed them all.

Because my eyes were on tomorrow, I have missed so many todays.

So I am resolved to resist worries about tomorrow. To focus on today. No more missing out on God’s directions and blessings. No more stressing over what I cannot change and what may not really matter, anyway.

I am resolved to be present.

Dealing With Haters

Posted by on Jan 29, 2018 in Christ life, Recommended Reading, Stuff about Me | 2 comments

We’ve all been there – feeling rejected, ridiculed, hated. We’ve been called names, shunned,  lied about or lied to. And, as a result, we have been deeply hurt. Haters don’t just wound us,Image result for mean girls they shred us, leaving us feeling worthless and reluctant to ever trust anyone again.

Taylor Swift makes it sound easy, just “shake it off.” But it’s not quite that simple, is it?

First, know you’re not alone. Everyone, at every age, has experienced mistreatment from bullies of all kinds. This doesn’t make it right, but it does mean that you can find someone to talk to who understands. And you can find lots of people to help you through it.

Second, reject the lies that are filling your mind. Those are from the Enemy; they are not from God. Instead of dwelling on those lies, think about what is true…

Know Who Defines Your Worth

The Bible tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator whose love is so deep and so wide that nothing can separate us from Him. A God who sent His Son to earth to provide a means of salvation so we can spend eternity with Him. You are special, not because of who you are or what you can/cannot do, but because of WHOSE you are. We are sons and daughters of the King! Rest in that truth, my friends. Do not let anyone but the God who loved and made you define who you are.

Do What’s Right, No Matter What

Some of the worst hate is directed at us because we are doing what’s right. Jesus experienced just that, and he told us to expect the same. And as rough as our haters get with us, imagine how much worse it was for Jesus — His best friends abandoned Him. The people He came to save put Him to death. He spent years loving others, only to be hated so vehemently that He was publicly beaten and humiliated before being hung on that cross. And even then, as people spewed more hatred, mocked him, laughed at him, Jesus still loved. Still forgave. And that same Jesus is FOR us! So rather than focusing on the hate, let’s focus on this love. Let’s bask in it and seek to model it to others.

Haters are Often Hurt

The nastiest people are often deeply wounded themselves and so feel the need to wound others. They have been mistreated, abused, ridiculed, neglected…and they respond by building a wall around themselves to prevent further injuries. They lob their missiles from behind that wall, hoping to injure others because, as the saying goes, “misery loves company.” The last thing we need to do is retaliate. We can pray for those who persecute us. We can show them love and kindness, and we can share the grace that has been given to us by God. That is not easy – in fact, I think it’s the hardest act God asks of us. But, through His power, we CAN love  the unlovable.

The Toughest Commandment

Posted by on Jan 24, 2018 in Christ life, Stuff about Me, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Forgiveness is possibly the hardest of all the commands God gives us Christians. I prefer the easy stuff like “Do not kill.” I’ve got that. But forgive? Oh, man. That one is hard.

I have to be honest here – I can enjoy refusing forgiveness. I can delight stewing in anger andImage result for angry submerging myself in self-righteousness. “How DARE that person do/say that?” “She thinks I’m wrong? After what she has done?” I have spent days, weeks thinking of all the ways someone has wronged me. I find new reasons to stay angry in every look, email, even body language. Sometimes, I even bring others in. To “advise” me of course. I tell them how I have been wronged and wait for them to agree that I am SO right and that person is awful. So I add the sin of gossip to my sins of bitterness and anger.

You can see the problem here. First, I am miserable. Then, people around me are miserable. Worst of all, my relationship with God is affected because I am blatantly disregarding His word. In many ways. Even my health is affected – I don’t sleep as well, my head aches and stomach does strange things.

And many times, I refuse to forgive because the other person hasn’t asked for it, yet. They don’t think they have done anything wrong. How dare they!! Therefore, I MUST be angry and let them know it so they will see their wrong and seek my forgiveness.

But, as much as I have tried, there is nothing in the Bible that supports any of that. God doesn’t give me permission to hold onto anger and bitterness. He does not allow me to withhold forgiveness. Not for any reason.

There is joy in forgiveness. Freedom. Peace. It is hard, no doubt. And we can think of MANY reasons why we shouldn’t have to forgive. But those reasons are not from the Lord. Here’s what He has to say about it:

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” ~Col. 3:13

The WORST 4-Letter Word

Posted by on Jan 17, 2018 in Christ life, Stuff about Me, Uncategorized | 0 comments

There’s a new 4-letter word these days: a word that causes chaos in checkout lines and rages at red lights, a word whose very syllable makes us cringe in horror. We hear – or experience – this word and our entire day can be ruined. That word?

Move small children away from the screen….

 

 

 

 

 

WAIT.

Mmmm-hmmm.

We used to have wait for stuff all the time. I waited for “Wizard of Oz” to come on TV (once a year, at Christmas, right after “Sound of Music”). I waited for cartoons on Saturday mornings. I waited to get my film developed to see what my pictures looked like. Later, I waited for Dave to get off the phone so I could get online. Then I waited for the dial-up internet to pop up on my huge desk top computer.

Waiting was part of life for millennia.

Not anymore, though. We – and by “we”, I mean “I” – no longer accept waiting. Food should be fast. Information should be faster. Want to watch “Wizard of Oz”? Sure! On your tablet, your phone, or your TV? And waiting for pics? What?! It’s actually kind of sad that we have no more terrible pictures floating around. Unless someone screen shots a Snap Chat…

I am a big fan of technology (she types on her blog, attached to her social media sites…), but I recognize that we have lost something precious as we have gained all these cool gadgets. We have lost the discipline of patience. We have lost the gift of a gentle and quiet spirit. We are so desperately trying to keep up with all the things we don’t have to wait for that we no longer have the ability to enjoy the silence (what is that??).

Patience is a virtue, it is a gift, it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. And patience is developed by *gulp* waiting. So don’t see it as a bad word or an inconvenience – waiting is an opportunity for God to speak to you, to be real to you, to develop patience in you. It really isn’t a 4-letter word. Except that it is. But you know what I mean.

So hurry up….and wait!

Change

Posted by on Jan 11, 2018 in Christ life, Stuff about Me | 3 comments

I hate change. And I’m not being dramatic or hyperbolic. I hate it. Passionately.

And yet…it is part of life. There is always change. Sometimes it’s change we choose, sometimes it’s change that’s forced on us. Whatever it is, change comes, like waves on the shore. And while some folks just jump over the waves or surf on top of them, I get knocked down and feel like I’m drowning.

I am in the middle of all kinds of change right now. The most difficult is the one happening today: My oldest is leaving for 5 months to serve with  YWAM (Youth With a Mission) in Mexico. It’s a great thing – she has a passion for missions and ministry, a love for God’s word, and this opportunity allows her to pursue all of that. But it’s still hard. I have rarely been away from Emma, since that day in May 1998 when the pregnancy test announced she was on her way. She has been away from home before – at camp, or visiting family or friends. But she was away from home. This change means that, for the next few months, anyway, she is making her home somewhere else. Her closet is empty, her room is bare. I am going to bed tonight, and Emma won’t be home.  She will be settling into her new room in her new “home.” And as much as I have known that my kids are a gift, and my goal as a parent is to see them fulfill the purposes God has for them, the reality of that goal being reached is bittersweet. The waves of change are crashing.

There’s no easy way through this change, no easy way through any of it. I am not a surfer, I can’t ride the waves. Maybe someday I’ll figure out how to do that. But for now, all I can do is tread water. Breathe. Remind myself of what is true: Life brings changes, but Jesus never changes. With Emma, I can trust that God loves her even more than I do, and He is right beside her. With other changes, not quite as pleasant, I can trust that same God to walk beside me, hold me, deal with my weakness, and eventually bring me back onto shore.

To Be Honest…

Posted by on Jan 3, 2018 in Christ life, Stuff about Me, Uncategorized | 0 comments

This phrase has become very popular, tbh. And, yes, I know that every word that comes out of our mouths should be honest. And yet…it’s not. We’re not always honest. I’m not always honest.

I can blame growing up in the South or in theater, but I don’t always say what I really mean and I rarely share what I really think. If someone asks me, “How are you?” I answer, “Fine.” But the truth is that, most of last year, I was not fine. And that’s just for starters. I struggle to share my struggles. I want people to believe I’m great, we’re great, life is great. I want to be the “Super Christian” who rejoices in trials and sees every challenge as an opportunity for growth.Image result for to be honest

But here’s what I have learned: Wrapping myself up in the “I’m fine” cocoon is lonely. Isolating. And dangerous. When I keep my struggles to myself, they amplify. It’s like having a piece of gravel in your shoe. If you leave it in there, even though it’s small, it can push into your skin, make a home there. It becomes a painful infection. But if you just take it out when you first feel it, that gravel can have no effect on you whatsoever.

Sharing struggles is like that. Granted, the struggles don’t go away as easily as a piece of gravel. But their effects are minimized when we discuss them, honestly, with people who care. Paul tells us that when we we carry each other’s burdens, we fulfill the Law of Christ (Galatians 6). And most of us are great at being willing to carry other’s burdens. But the reverse…now that’s just hard. It takes humility and vulnerability, it risks rejection and exposure. And, certainly, we ought to be cautious about who we trust with our burdens. Sadly, some will take that honesty and use it as a club. And maybe that has happened to you, and so you hold tight in your cocoon so it won’t happen again. But that leaves you lonely, isolated, and infected.

This new year, make a commitment to be honest. Ask God for people you can share your burdens with. Seek to be someone with whom others can share their burdens. We are a body, a community. Our job is to love each other and help each other. We can’t be a true a community if we are all wrapped up in ourselves and our hurts and our fears. Break of out that, be free. And be honest.

Preparing for Battle

Posted by on Dec 27, 2017 in Christ life, Stuff about Me, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Sometimes, I repost blogs I’ve previously written. Usually, I just update them and don’t mention they’re a repost. This time, though, I am telling you because we are currently in the battle that I was preparing for here. And, I am happy to report, at least for now, that Thomas is listening to those lessons from the past!

From September 30, 2013

This is my son, Thomas. He is 10. He loves soccer, Big Macs, and potty humor.

ThomasHe does not, however, love girls.

Yet.

The other day, Thomas and I were talking, and we got on the subject of dating. I told him that someday, he was going to like girls. Really like them. “You’ll even want to kiss them.” I said.

His reply? “Now that’s just nasty!”

So I decided to write a blog about the conversation so I could remind him of it when the hormones begin to kick in.

Just kidding.

Kind of.

But it did give me an idea for this post. It reminded me that, though Thomas can’t imagine he’ll ever want to kiss girls, I know he will. Because I am older, I have lived longer, and I have observed the behavior of preteens and teens, I know what’s coming, even if he doesn’t. And my husband and I are trying to prepare Thomas for what’s coming, even if Thomas doesn’t see it and – most definitely – does not appreciate it.

I talk to Thomas about girls because, when those hormones hit and he sees some cute little girl across the schoolyard, I want him to be ready for the next thought that will come into his mind. And the one after that. I want him to battle thoughts that would dishonor God and disrespect that girl. I want him to control his impulses so that when God does bring “the one” into his life, he is ready for her.

God does the same thing for us. He teaches us through his word how to resist temptations, so that when we face them, we are ready. He teaches us through others – sometimes others who might be annoying or frustrating – to make us more patient. He teaches us through difficult circumstances so we can turn around and help others in the same situation. God brings us into and out of places for reasons that we don’t always see at the time, but reasons that are for our good, to help us become who he desires for us to become.

So listen to Him. The Heavenly Father knows best.

McGee Christmas Card

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017 in Christ life, Stuff about Me, Uncategorized | 1 comment

I have decided to go “paperless” this year with my Christmas card. (Because “paperless” sounds so much more respectable than “lazy”;))

Dave & Krista

This was a bittersweet year for us. We are raising our kids with the prayer they will be Christ-following adults who would leave the “nest” to serve Him. But now that the “nest leaving” is actually here, it’s tough! Exciting, yes, rewarding, certainly. But still tough. Also, as most of you know, 2017 brought in the unexpected, untimely, death of my mother. Having lost his mom four years ago, Dave well understood the range of emotions such a loss brings. He has been a great help as I navigate through this grief. Professionally, Dave and I love our jobs. Dave teaches high school Bible, and I teach high school English and Drama. We have great administrators, co-workers, and students, and we feel blessed to be here.

Emma

Emma graduated from high school in May. She takes her last final at San Diego Christian College tomorrow, and then she will take a semester off to pursue a desire God laid on her heart two years ago: Attending a five-month Discipleship Training School with YWAM in Ensenada, Mexico. There, she will learn more about God’s word, and she will be involved in compassion and outreach ministries in Central and South America. She plans to pursue a career as a Christian counselor, and so she will continue her education in the fall. She has been working at Panera for a year and a half and, along with saving up most of the money needed for YWAM, Emma also has quite a ministry among her co-workers.

Eliana

Ellie is a junior in high school. She loves volleyball, and was a captain on the Varsity volleyball team this year. She also plans to join the softball team in the spring. Along with being quite athletic, Ellie is a talented actress and singer. She was cast as the Stepmother in the spring musical, “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella”. She works at Panera, as well, and is saving up her money to visit family and friends in Florida this summer. Ellie is fiercely loyal, deeply compassionate, and diligent. Ellie’s love for God is evident to all who know her. She is also, to Dave’s delight, an excellent cook. I try and let her take over that job as often as possible!

Thomas

Thomas is a freshman in high school. He is also, as of a month or so ago, the tallest in the family. He started 2017 somewhere around 5″6″, and he is now just about 6′ tall. He plays goalie for his club soccer team, and he is starting on the school’s varsity soccer team, playing in the field. Thomas plays the guitar for the youth group’s worship band, having taught himself the instrument (thanks, You Tube!). In his free time, Thomas enjoys playing video games and annoying his sisters. Thomas is funny, gregarious, and kind. He keeps our hearts full and our pantry empty.