Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ya-Ya Sisterhood of the Traveling Underpants

Recently I was able to spend a weekend in Florida with all my sisters and my mom.   We had a great time in Florida, celebrating my baby sis’s 50th bday.

 (what happens on Marco Island, STAYS  on Marco Island:)

We absolutely have a ya-ya sisterhood.  Now that I think about it-- it is more blah blah.  We all talk at once and no one listens:)  Also there weren't any traveling underpants that I know of, but there were some that went missing….enough said.
Like everyone else, I am eternally grateful for my family,   but I don’t get to see my extended family much.  It takes effort to keep in touch, to be a part of each other’s lives, to keep each other updated. We hadn't all been together for over three years.   Keeping in touch with them is important to me, so I work at it, just like they do. 

Not just effort, It takes LOTS of effort.  

 It was pretty much an act of God to get all of us to Florida.  We are spread out across the USA from California to Iowa, to Chicago, to North Carolina. One of them still has junior high/high school age kids.

Lots of arranging and traveling had to happen. 

We won’t all be together again for awhile unless there is a wedding or a funeral.

OR we are intentional to do it... 

I am thankful for them.

Being thankful is good stuff.  I do a lot of that myself along with the rest of you this time of year.  

But sometimes I wonder, is that enough?

  Are we just a bunch of fat cats sitting around purring out our thankfulness, then yawning, and falling asleep like a good Garfield does after he eats a full tray of lasagna?

Are we lazy in our thankfulness?

It is pretty easy for many of us to be thankful.  We live in middle to upper class America, we own too much junk, and we are never hungry.  When we lived in Papua New Guinea, those kind folks gave much more to us than we ever gave them.  I am thankful for that time we had there where we lived a much simpler life.

It has occurred to me lately that being thankful is NOT enough. 

Our Jesus wants more.

 If you (or me) are truly thankful, DO SOMETHING.  

Put your thankfulness into ACTION.

Here is the short list for some Thanksgiving fun:)

1.Call that family member or friend you haven’t seen or heard from in years.  Let them know they are important to you. Intentionally plan to keep in touch.

2.Go help serve Thanksgiving dinner at a shelter,  or soup kitchen.  You will receive much more than you give.

3.Give half of your junk you own to Goodwill.  Somebody deserving will get it before the Holidays.  And not the crappy junk, the GOOD  junk.

4.Start supporting a missionary financially and prayerfully.

5.Volunteer to be a big brother or sister to a disabled kid.

6.Go visit some elderly friends at a nursing home.

The Ya-Ya Yeggy girls Sisterhood will get together sometime in the future, God willing. 

There might be underpants incidents, Grandma will probably loose her prosthetic breast 10 times.  We will laugh and giggle like a bunch of middle schoolers . 

I will be thankful for them again.

In the meantime, this Thanksgiving week,  I want to put hands and feet to my thankfulness.... 

How about you?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Smokin' ORDERLY Worship?

*scripture references and some of the applications in today’s blog were shared  by Pastor Bruce Powell , Siler Presbyterian Church,  from his smokin hot preaching series on the book of Nehemiah.  Thanks Bruce, YOU rock!

ORDERLY worship.  

Does that give you visions of boring old people falling asleep singing worn out hymns  they have known all their lives?   YAWN

If you really want to “worship”’  nowadays, you MUST have the best cutting edge praise band, leading everyone in the latest, most hip,  FABULOUS  contemporary tunes.

The louder the better. 

The more angst ridden the better.  

Fireworks are good 

It could go on for hours if the spirit leads. 

 Forget praying or preaching,  contemporary Christian music is where it is AT. 

Please don’t misunderstand me.

 I like contemporary worship.

 I like old hymns.

 I like Gregorian chants, 
 fer cryin out loud.

 All forms of worship are GREAT and usually God honoring. 

But when worship become a performance and a competition of the grooviest band you can find, it makes me want to say


 in a major way.

Well…..what about orderly worship?  In the OT book of Nehemiah, 12: 27-47.  That is EXACTLY what happened. I don’t have space or time to give you the entire story, but the short version  is this: 

Nehemiah came back to Israel from exile in Persia, got some other exileites to join him, and motivated and led the people to rebuild the wall of the Holy City Jerusalem.  Most of the book is about that, and the major problems and opposition they encountered. 

 In Ch 12, however, ROCK OUT  BABY!!! 

 The wall is built, and the most amazing, joyful ,awesome, WORSHIPFUL  celebration ensued. 

 BUT -  the service was also ORDERLY.  

 Allow me to give you some exerps to prove my point:

Nehemiah 12:27-47 (selected verses, NIV)
“At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem,  we brought the Levites to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres. The singers were also brought together…I had the leaders from Judah go up on top of the wall, I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks, one was to proceed on top of the wall to the right..as well as some priests with trumpets…along with others with musical instruments prescribed by David the man of God. .. The second choir proceeded in the opposite direction. I followed them on top of the wall, together with half the people.  The two choirs gave thanks, then took their places in the house of God…rejoicing because God had given them great joy.THE SOUND OF REJOICING IN JERUSALEM COULD BE HEARD FAR AWAY.”

HOLY  CATHAIR, Batman!  

 What an epic worship service of …..can I say Biblical proportions?     ( YUP- I can say that)  

 My imagination runs away with me, thinking what Hollywood could do with this description. Yet it was not a free for all- it happened in an orderly way.

It gives me visions of what worship might be like in Heaven...

Here are some things we all can learn about worship from this event in Scripture:

1.Worship in a corporate setting is orderly, not a free for all that no one really knows what is going on.  God’s Spirit can and does move in orderly worship.

2.That being said, making a joyful noise unto the Lord can be a guy in Papua New Guinea pounding his kanga drum, or my hunny who can’t carry a tune singing at the top of his lungs:)

3.Corporate worship is joyful and moving, (just like Nehemiah 12) whether it is hymns or a great praise band.  It can be quiet or it can be rockin:)    But it is NOT a performance, and it does not go on for 2 hours with no time for preaching or praying. 

4.Be respectful of those who prefer other forms of worship than you do.  Making fun of,or making disparaging remarks about another church’s style of worship is a sin.  Period.

5.Corporate worship is not an end all. Worship is highly important, and please go to a church where you can make a joyful noise joyfully  in the style you most enjoy.  But it is not the most important thing. Prayer, bible study, preaching, and living the way Jesus wants us to, are just as important.  Some might argue all of those things are forms of worship.

6.Worship is to be entered into humbly and with much prayer.  
  Worship with your whole heart.

There is much more to be said about worship, I have just scratched the surface, and I know some won’t agree with me.   That’s OK.  That is why God made chocolate and vanilla.

Scripture tells us we were put on this earth to Glorify God.           

 End of Story.

How we do that matters to our Jesus immensely. 

So be purposeful with your worship. It’s not a rock concert, and it’s not falling asleep singing hymns.

In closing I want to share my favorite worship song with you written by  Horatio Spafford.  Many of you know the history of this song.  This fine Christian man had lost a son at 4 years old, survived financial ruin after the Great Chicago Fires, and then got word that 4 of his daughters were drowned at sea. He penned this song  later while traveling by ship over the spot in the Atlantic where his daughters were lost.  His joy in worship is the deep inner joyful peace that comes from intimately knowing his Savior.  If you have never heard it, get out your hanky:)

And YUP it is a hymn:)

It is Well With my Soul
 My favorite verse:
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

click here:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tell ALL Sex?

I know.   The title of this blog just makes you say 

"what in the cathair", Denise Marie?

I have been avoiding writing this blog for about 5 months now, but it seems time. …

Is it ever OK to “tell all” about your sex life, your past indiscretions, your abuse suffered as a child? 

Is it OK to publish a book on this topic? 

 Is it Helpful ?  

 For You ?  

 For Others?

Recently I read a book published earlier this year by a popular 40ish pastor and his wife- doing just that.

 In their defense I do believe they felt they were HELPING the masses of people who struggle with their marriages,  sexually and otherwise. 

 Or it could be that they just wanted to make a buck? 

 I am not sure. Neither of them are professional counselors, they just told their story, in a very NAKED way.  (No pun intended:).   We were all able to voyeur into their private life ,  like a really really bad reality show.  Honey Boo Boo has nothing on them.  

Many famous Christian celebrities gave them accolades and congratulations for their transparent and brutally open work.   
What?  YIKES!  Really? 

In my estimation, the husband in this writing still blames his wife  for indiscretions before marriage, yet he did the same and seems ok with that….?  They give what they consider to be "sage" advice about oral sex, anal sex,  and other stuff....

 What in the cat hair is wrong with this picture?  


I am not writing a review of said piece of literature, but I would like to make a few comments about this type of thing.   

I have been married for 33 years now.  I have been married for 33 years to a professional who daily does marital counseling, and trains/supervises other counselors to do the same. I have talked/mentored with many young women about their marriages.


Marriage is awesome- but hard.  

It’s hard when you are first married, 

it’s hard when you are raising little kids, 

it’s hard when you are empty nesters,  

it’s hard when you get old.

Sometimes we all need help.

 Other people’s stories are sometimes helpful, mostly  NOT. 

If you are having some trouble in your marriage, sexually or in any other way, here is some advice from an old person:

1. DO NOT  read a tell all book by a fairly young couple who seem to have had a troubled marriage and will probably have MORE. Believe me it won’t be helpful.

2.DO NOT share the intimate details of your sex life with friends hoping to get answers.  The blind leading the blind never works.

3.DO find and older, wiser, person of the same sex to talk to confidentially.  They will help you discern if you need to see a professional.

4.DO  go see a professional if need be.  Life/marriage/raising kids/working/sex/etc etc etc are all FABULOUS  God given facets of YOUR story….  

 But sometimes they are overwhelming. 

And NEVER should they be regurgitated all over the world in an amateurish writing for public consumption.  

Just Sayin