An open letter to Pastor Andy Savage

This is Laura’s husband Chad writing this post, because what I’m about to say here won’t get deleted on this blog, unlike what may or may not happen if this were to only be posted on Facebook. I don’t think any introductory comments need to be made, because I think what I’m about to post will speak for itself.

An open letter to my friend Andy Savage:

You and I were in the same group at the same church more than 20 years ago during college. Our paths have crossed several times over the years, albeit mostly on Facebook. I can’t say we were close when we were in college, but when I saw your name in a New York Times story online on Monday evening, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I won’t pretend to understand the level of stress and temptation encountered by most people in full-time, vocational ministry. Neither do most of us see all of the skeletons in another person’s closet. I felt the Lord calling me into ministry in 1990, at the beginning of my freshman year at a Christian college. Over the next few years, through a program at my college I preached in churches around the state of Alabama several Sundays each semester. As I had decided to major in journalism, I also began writing articles about various aspects of Christian life. In 1999, the Lord gave me Jesusfreak.org to serve as a forum for the articles I had been writing. Three years later, He gave me Jesusfreak.com and Jesusfreak.net as well.

But as is far too common among so many people in ministry, pride crept in, and the sin I had struggled with for decades, an addiction to pornography, overtook my life and less than 10 years later sank the ministry that the Lord had given me. What was left of my online ministry became little more than my personal fiefdom, full of my own musings that I tried to pull together to say something about Christ, but the Lord’s blessing on my ministry was gone, a consequence of my sin. I kept those ministry sites online for several more years, waiting for the Lord to show me what He wanted me to do with them, and last night after reading the article about you, the Lord gave me an answer.

I know you’ve been in vocational ministry for some time, Andy, but your ministry is not YOUR ministry, just as my online ministry was not MINE. The ministry that the Lord puts us in is His. I don’t know if you’ve ever officiated any funerals, but it’s pretty obvious that giving CPR to a decaying corpse is futile. You can try all you want to revive that corpse, but without the Lord’s resurrection power, any ministry you’re a part of will fail. The answer that the Lord gave me last night about my ministry sites was that I should turn control and ownership of those sites to someone else, so I have done just that. I don’t know what’s going through your mind and your heart right now, but if you’re thinking that you need to remain where you are in the ministry you’ve been serving in because that’s where the Lord put you years ago and it would be a shame for your ministry to fade away, well, it’s not your ministry to hold on to.

I’m giving up control and ownership of the online ministry I’ve been associated with for almost 19 years, because the Lord told me to. Whatever you’re trying to hold on to without the Lord’s blessing will become a decaying, putrid corpse, and if you don’t let go of it, you may become so acclimated to the stench of decay that you eventually won’t notice it. But others will. My challenge to you, Andy, is to give up your ministry, give up your position, give up your control of things that aren’t yours in the first place, repent and seek the Lord, out of the spotlight, away from public attention, where nobody but God can see and hear you. And don’t move an inch until the Lord tells you to. This isn’t about Andy Savage. It’s about Christ.

Psalms 127:1 says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Unless and until you repent and do what the Lord commands you to do, any of your attempts at “ministry” will be in vain. Seek and listen to the Lord, and obey Him no matter how hard the things are that He will call you to do. If you don’t do those things, then nothing else you do will matter. I’m praying for you.


Blogger’s Note: If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, no matter how long it’s been, you are NOT alone! For help please visit: www.snapnetwork.org

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For Nita: On the Occasion of Your Homegoing…..

In the last 48 hours I’ve been reminded how much tears are healthy. They cleanse us. Wash away our grief, until the next memory or song comes on to remind us you are no longer here. 

And how much we miss you. 

During the last two years, I’ve prayed for you and your sweet family often. That somehow God would answer our prayers and would grant you a miracle this side of heaven. I also prayed for you specifically. That God would strengthen you and specifically that God would take away your fears. The fears of death and leaving your family behind. 

And 48 hours ago the weirdest thing happened. I realized I no longer needed to pray for you because at that moment you were standing amongst the brightest light that ever was. 

You were standing in front of your Heavenly Father, the One who made you, cared for you through the years, and held your hand as you took your last breath. 

The One who welcomed you home with the words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” 

Good night dear, sweet, wonderful Nita! We’ll see you in The Morning. 

Clutching at the Heels of the Disabled: Why You Should Be Wrestling With the Idea of “Handouts” in Healthcare

Just in case you haven’t cried today, here is an excellent article by Running Through Water on caring for adults with disabilities:

Running through Water

white-1184178_1280I read a story this morning in the news about a woman in Texas who stopped on the side of the road to chat with a homeless man.  Her curiosity got the best of her since she passed him in the exact same spot on the side of the road four times a day for three years. You can see it here.  He was very thin, unshaven, filthy.  We’ve all passed “him” on the side of the road, haven’t we?  Remember the Man-With-The-Golden-Voice several years ago who hung out by the highway and  became a media sensation?  I passed him…sometimes twice a day on the way to my child’s school.  There he was–all wild haired and looking strung out…and then there he was on Dr. Phil with a Cliff Huxtable sweater and a haircut.  A former radio announcer who succumbed to addiction.  We were all cheering him on–he had…

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Lulabelle Eats Asia Part 1: Mixed Crackers (Thailand)…….

So the other day I asked Chad to go out and get the strangest food he could so I could do some reviews for my blog. And by strange I mean stuff that I’m not used to eating–stuff that you don’t typically get in America.

After basically clearing out the entire Asian section of our grocery store, Chad came home with a large bundle of Asian treats for me to review. So for the next few days, with the exception of LAFF’s, we’ll be exploring interesting snack items from all over Asia!

Today’s item is called Mixed Crackers from Thailand:

Smell: Like fried chicken and there are even little round nugget-y things that straight up look like chicken nuggets….but the good kind you can get at a gourmet restaurant, not like the ones at McDonald’s.

Look: Among the nugget-y chicken things are wasabi pea bits, what appears to be rice sticks and these ADORABLE little cilindrical crackers that have TINY seaweed wrapped around it!! Like a tiny sushi roll.

Well done on presentation, Thailand! Now let’s eat it!

All the elements together make for a salty, slightly sweet and spicy with the chicken nugget thingys and the wasabi peas. Each serving is 120 calories and there are 3 servings in the tub. I ate the entire tub in one setting. #NewYearsResolutionDownTheDrain………

Mixed Crackers came in a metal can that had a pop top.  I was very impressed when I opened the tab to see a moisture packet thingy tucked on the top of the snack mix.

That’s definitely not a normal thing for snacks sold in the USA.

To sum up, this was a great snack that was not overly salty but filling. And I wouldn’t be opposed to purchasing it again. 🙂

photo-on-2017-01-08-at-23-05

PS: My sister-in-laws soap shop just added organic dog shampoo!! If you are a fur parent with a dog, check out her link: http://coloradomadesudz.com/store#!/Dog-Shampoo-Sudz/p/77992091/category=22069013

Also, she is considering making laundry soap available on her site. Here’s what I need from my Anxienistas–go to her shop and comment that you’d love to have laundry soap available for purchase from her. 

Thanks guys!! 🙂

FTC disclaimer: All products mentioned were purchased with our hard earned cash. This post was not sponsored.

*It should be noted that in my defense, my New Years Resolution wasn’t necessarily to eat healthier, but to exercise more. 😛 #LoopHoles

Lulabelle’s Gift Guide To Things You Can’t Believe Are a Thing But Might Be Tempted to Buy Anyway….

One week to go before Christmas and if you are a parent, grandparent/guardian of a child or children who are driving you crazy, there is still hope for their behavior to turn around. If they still believe in Santa, you can now put his phone number in your phone and threaten to call him and give him a bad report. Now back in the day all you had to do was put Santa Clause in your contacts and show your kid the entry. It didn’t matter that the actual number went to a random “**bong bong bong!** We’re sorry, your call cannot be completed as dialed…” nonsense. It would work like a charm.

Today’s kids are a bit more suspicious. This is why this time around when you dial this specific number, you actually get a message from Santa where you can leave your wishlist. Here are the digits: 951-262-3062.

The other night Chad and I attempted to finish our Christmas Gift List with a quick trip to the store. We weren’t successful in completing our list, but we did run across a few products that had us scratching our heads and wondering if we were getting Punk’d.

I’m still not sure. Here is the list of items………

Make Your Own Gross Poop!!: I saw this with my own eyeballs, but didn’t get a picture (I was apparently too much in shock), but you can find it here. This is essentially a kit where you can make fake poop as a prank. For some reason the kit includes fake corn kernels and tiny plastic flies.

Really when I saw this I thought to myself, why not just cut out the middle man and……Never mind! :-O

Movin’ on…….

Tom’s of Maine Deodorant 24 Hour Odor Protection-Apricot: Ok, this one I found (and actually used) a few months ago. Now, I’m not one to say that you can’t give toiletries as stocking stuffers. I will accept deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, Ex-Lax…..I mean, why not? You get it for Christmas then you don’t have to buy it.

Score!

So I purchased this deodorant several months ago when I ran out of my regular Arm and Hammer deodorant. I found out years ago that I’m allergic to antiperspirant, which is found in most women’s deodorant options. So I have to use men’s deodorant that doesn’t make me smell like a guy.

That severely limits what I can use.

I couldn’t find my regular deodorant one day so I picked up Tom’s of Main 24-Hour Odor Protection in Apricot. It smelled WONDERFUL, but there was one large drawback.

That 24 Hour Odor Protection claim?? Complete malarkey! It lasted at most an hour or two. Now I do admit that it may be my specific body chemistry that made this product fail, but we’ll never know because I used the entire tube and am not going to repurchase it.

That’ll show ’em. 😛

This last item I saw on YouTube a few months ago. And it’s probably the weirdest on the list:

Super Catnip Crazy Pants: I feel like I just translated into English some obscure item from Sanskrit or something. These are a pair of pants made out of crinkly material that your cat can crawl through. You can also wear them. No I’m not kidding.

All of these sentences are true. See for yourself : (Review starts at the 5:33 mark).

Of course you probably have a couple questions. Let me address them:

1. Why is there a cat toy in the shape of PANTS you can WEAR?? Yeah, I’m stumped.

Ok, you may have only had one question.

So that’s it! I hope this helps you whittle down your christmas lists.

Ho, ho, ho!!

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And this, boys and girls, is why we don’t have Super Catnip Crazy Pants! 😛

Grandpa Sommers

I know I normally write a funny post on Fridays. Today however I wanted to share something my cousin wrote to pay tribute to one of the sweetest people I ever knew; my grandpa Sommers. May this story of his life inspire you to live with purpose and without fear. You are loved. You matter. You have a Purpose.(Oh and PS: the chainsaw my grandpa had in his hand was running. Yep. Bada** 😉 )

Oh crap, it's tomorrow

My Grandpa Sommers fell out of a tree and died right before his 98th birthday. Yep, you read that correctly. HE FELL OUT OF A TREE AND DIED AT THE AGE OF 97. (With a chainsaw in hand, might I add.)

This happened in October 2010.

Now I could probably spend a good ten blog entries writing about my Grandpa Sommers, since he was an intriguing soul. He prepared people’s taxes in his home well into his 90s, and was a retired minister and farmer. He got up early and went to bed late. He sang beautifully. He was affectionate–not afraid to hold my hand or give tight hugs. He was soft spoken and only used rotary telephones. He answered the phone, “Sommers’ residence,” instead of saying a boring hello. He loved building things, gardening, and planning and completing projects around the home and outdoors.

He was thoughtful and frugal…

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