Sunday, October 30, 2011

An honest look at Halloween Candy

Well, as you know tomorrow is the big day. The day that kids look forward almost as much as they do Christmas. Halloween! A night to dress up in costumes and beg your neighbors for candy. Now Halloween just happens to be one of my very favorite days of the year. Basically I just love to dress up, but the candy is great too! There are so many candies that come out just around this time of year. Candy corn, pumpkin shaped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Giant bags of assorted candy... Ok so really the normal candy just turns into something bigger and Halloween shaped. But what it really comes down to, is what kind of candy you get at Halloween.

You see, about a week ago, I was in the store and the couple behind me in line put quite a few bags of quality candy on the belt. Almond Joy's, Hershey's, Laffy Taffy, Snickers.... All the stuff that makes walking the streets in pre-winter temperatures worth it. Those are the houses that make your trek a valuable one. But there are some candies that make you wonder why you even bothered. You know the ones I'm talking about. The off brand, tastes kind of like real candy, but really leaves you completely unsatisfied. There are three main categories of these candies

Chocolates: This covers anything from bars to candy shell covered pieces. The off brand usually feels like and tastes like wax. The biggest offender: Sixlets they're supposed to be a competitor for M&M's but don't even come close. The only thing Sixlets are good for are to launch them through a straw at a sibling or unsuspecting passerby...

Chewy Candies: Whether it be taffy that takes you 3 hours to chew, or the gummy worms that you break a tooth on, you must beware of the offbrand chewy candies. The real problem here is you either feel like you're eating pure sugar, or you end up chewing on tree sap.

Waxy candy: I'm not talking about waxy tasting or feeling, I'm talking about straight up wax. Wax lips, bottles filled with colored water, or anything made out of wax is not an appropriate alternative to candy. Nobody wants to be searching through their bag of goods only to find wax. You can't eat it, and nobody wants to trade with you for something better so really wax items are a total fail!

So to those of you passing out candy this year, please make wise choices in your candy selections. You don't want to be labeled as "that house" ya know the one that each year the kids say "oh no it's the house with the horrible candy"And then you run the risk of being egged or toilet papered for years to come. Besides once your labeled, the only way to redeem yourself is if you pass out full sized candy bars.

Have a safe and super fun Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love Blinders~ A lesson in Hope

I'm wondering if I am walking around with love blinders on? Do I not see what is really going on, am I not actually seeing the truth? Am I so blinded? I feel like at this place in my life, I choose to see the good in a situation and in a person. But yet I am not blind to the bad and the possibilities of failure. Ok that just sounded confusing even to me as I'm writing it...

What I'm trying to get at, is am I so wrapped up in the hope that I have for a person that I am failing to see the wrong and the past? I know there is better, I know that this person can do better, and yet I know their past. But there is a burning hope inside of me that this time it will change. What if it doesn't? What if I'm left looking like a fool for defending a putting my trust in them? I keep going back to 1Corinthians 13:4-7... I know this is used a million times at every wedding ever and there are thousands of sermons preached on it every Sunday, but I think it deserves a good look....

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 "4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

I underlined a couple of points that really stick out to me... 
"It keeps no record of wrong"- We all mess up, in fact I'm probably the biggest screw up of all. But what does this mean for those of us who are called to love? I'm called to love ALL. Dang do I fail miserably at that! But what does it mean to keep no record of wrongs? Do we just love blindly and not learn from the past?? I think we are to learn from the past but still believe the best for the future because that is what Jesus does and we are called to love like Jesus.... 

"Always hopes, always perseveres"- Dang!! ALWAYS hopes... I think this is where my problem is right now. I am hoping for the best. But how often do we actually put hope in a person? (well except when their name is Hope) ;)

Hope: to expect with confidence

Hmm... So if we are always hoping for the best in a person, then we are expecting with confidence that the good is going to come. So am I being blinded by my love, or am I merely living out the call to love? 
I wish I had some insight, or word of encouragement, but I don't. I'm wrestling with this. Why? Well because this is a new road for me. God is teaching me to trust in others, and to love them wholly. With this comes the idea that we are called to place hope in others. We are to believe in them.... Even when they fail, so what you stand behind them, love them and continue to hope the best for them... 

Huh... A lot to process... 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pressed, not crushed

One of the greatest pieces of advice my dad ever gave me was "life just isn't fair sometimes". Why is this such a great piece of advice? Well because it's true!! Life just isn't fair. There are times when we are treated unjustly, trampled by our circumstances, and pressed to our breaking point. People let us down, accuse us, and make us feel inferior. While this is so unfortunate, it is something we have to deal with because we live in a fallen and broken world. The enemy is constantly on the prowl and seeking to destroy us, and we are in a fight for our lives against him. Paul said
 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." ~Ephesians 6:12   

And because this evil is present here on earth, it has the capability to hold people captive. It's through others that we experience the most oppression and pain. And all too often it's the people who are close to us, the ones we place trust in that hurt us the most. It stinks, plain and simple!! But there is hope! 

When you commit to follow Jesus with your whole life, you have someone who goes into these battles for you! You have the power to rebuke Satan and his attacks on you with the name of Jesus!! Woah!! And when you feel like you're at the point where you can't take anymore, remember what Paul said to the Corinthians 

"We are pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." ~ 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

Yeah life might have you in the final round it seems like the knock out is coming at any moment. But you have the life of Jesus in you! The most powerful name in all the universe, the name that can heal the sick, raise the dead, and drive out demons is the name that has given you life! So dangit reach out and use that power! Stand up against the enemy and break free from the bondage he has you in. Granted there will be more to breaking free than just this simple step, but ya know what, it takes you stepping up and boldly declaring freedom in the name of Jesus! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Silly conversations

I enjoy silly conversations. The kind when there are lots of giggles, and friendly teasing. These are the conversations that you stay up late with your girlfriends, and talk about everything! Especially when we start talking about boys... Oh man. But I love what these conversations turn into. 

We go from surface topics and end up in deep discussions about Christ. The idea of who God is, and His calling and will in our lives becomes a late night topic. We fight the onset of sleep, for the sake of our conversation. There comes a point when we begin to talk about our big dreams, and what we're excited to see God do. Of course there are fits of laughter, and moments when the giggling takes over. But it always slips right back into the moments of seriousness as we share our hearts with one another. 

This is another one of the reasons I am so in love with my savior! I believe that being able to enjoy the company of those He placed in our lives, and being able to laugh over silly things brings Him joy. But I believe that God delights in it when we bring Him into our conversations. When we take our dreaming and allow Him to direct it, the bigger the dreams become! The higher the heights we begin to try to climb. And when we make God the center of our conversations, they become beautiful life giving moments. 

So maybe, it's time for us to have more silly conversations! Maybe we need to allow the Spirit of God to lead us into fits of giggles. Then, we need to allow those conversations to turn to Jesus! And through these conversations, we can fall more in love with who Jesus is!