WHY I WRITE THIS BLOG

By Lisa Huddleston

When I first began this blog, I was just beginning to re-discover my nearly lost love of writing.  My children were growing up, heading off to college, and I was suddenly (for the first time in 20 years) finding myself with too much time on my hands.  I was also in the throes of a massive identity crisis.

I began with devotionals.  Carefully crafted:  scripture verse at the top in italics, a discussion of what the verse was saying, a short life application, and often a call to action.  It was a safe way to write.  I always did my utmost to support anything I said from scripture, and I rarely heard anything but positive comments.

My writing has changed as I have.  Now I write from my emotional heart–my “being self.”  Yes, I still strive to support my words from a Christian worldview.  Afterall, I am a Christian.  However I have stopped hiding behind the Bible.  Now when I have real struggles and need to explore less-than-popular opinions, I do.  And that has changed the feedback that I have received.

But that is real.  Christians struggle.  Christians even sin.  And I would rather read the words of a struggling believer than those of someone who thinks they have it all together.  (I know–I’ve never even been able to pretend to that!!)

Both when I began and now, writing is cathartic.  Mainly this blog is a way for me to process what is going on in my heart and head–to make sense of the pinballs that are bouncing around in me.  It is not primarily about the reader.  But … I do care about my reader.  I do not want to discourage.  I do not want to promote doubtful or sinful living.  Not at all!  But I believe that being honest allows us both–reader and writer–to deal better with life.  Just as writing helps me to get rid of the junk I feel, reading the writings of others who are struggling helps me to do the same thing.

I’m sure by now you can guess that I have received negative feedback from someone who has been reading this blog.  I respect that and even appreciate the honesty that my reader has extended.  But as with everything, readers have a choice about what they read just as writers have a choice about what they write.  Freedom.  If I have offended (or discouraged or depressed) you, dear reader, please unsubscribe.  I appreciate your freedom to choose.

However this is who I am learning to be.  Me.  A struggling, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing, follower stumbling forward in the path of Jesus Christ.  I fall, a lot, but I always get back up and keep on walking.  And that’s where (or who) I am.  Hope you get that and can keep walking that path with me.

Peace and grace, and thanks for reading.

REVELATION: I AM NOT GOD

By Lisa Huddleston

Like most of the hip Christians in Nashville, I have gotten myself a chronological Bible to study.  Oddly (or not), I have had it for some time and have not bothered to read it so this week I jumped right into the New Testament.  Ah–good place to start.  Balm for the soul in the Gospels.  But this morning the balm stung just a little.

Today’s reading included Peter’s declaration that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus’ prediction of his death, and the Transfiguration.  I happily read noting the similarities in the accounts as well as the literary differences.  I underlined and commented in the margins thoroughly enjoying my time in the Word and my familiarity with the stories.

Then I read, “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s … put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:33-34).  Wow!  That was just what my last post was about!  I get it, God.  And there it was again in Matthew 16 and Luke 9.  Okay, okay.  I repent of my selfish ambition.  Of all my self stuff.  I hear you, Lord. And I sort of patted myself on the back for being so in synch with the word.

Then I moved on to the Transfiguration accounts.  God said, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him” (Mark 9:7).  And, “This is my Son, my Chosen One.  Listen to him” (Luke 9:35).  And, “This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with him.  Listen to him” (Matt. 17:5).  Oh, yes, Lord.  I hear you loud and clear!  Help me to lay aside my selfishness and let me fully please you.

Listen to him.  He is my Chosen One.  I am fully pleased with him.  Lisa–I am fully pleased with HIM!

Yeah, I so missed the point.  I cannot fully please God and that is why he sent his Son.  Jesus can do what I never could on my own.  Epiphany!  He is God and I am not.  I am just as much a bumbler as poor old Peter was offering to build some shelters for the three shining figures on the mountain top!  And at least, Pete recognized the Messiah when he saw him!

Jesus is the Son of the living God, the Messiah sent from God, the beloved Son, and the Chosen One.  And I am not.

LIVING UNDECEIVED

By Lisa Huddleston

My pastor, Jim Thomas, is famous for his use of quotations.  He tries to use the shorter ones on Sunday and the small chapters on Tuesday evening during Bible study–although I do believe he overlaps this approach at times (and I love it).  This past Sunday, one quote in particular stood out.  I’m an Os Guinness fan having read and reread The Call so I was already tuned in to the author, but the words themselves spoke to my soul:  Repentance is the beginning of becoming undeceived.

I am always flirting around with the idea of reality.  Whose reality?  Mine?  Yours?  God’s?  Of course, God’s is the real reality; but, how do I know when I’ve arrived at it?  What is really real?

Am I really real when I feel paranoid and left out of the party?  Am I really real when I think I look good in leopard print jeans?  Am I really real when I tell myself “I hate you” and wish I could just disappear?  Am I really real when I spontaneously tell a stranger “I love you” as I help her take her diapers and formula to her car?  What is really real, and will the really real me, please, stand up?

Os Guinness suggests repentance is where I should begin.  Okay.  Good thought.  I repent of self-centeredness, of pride, of self-importance.  Great and wonderful places to begin.  Oh God, really open my eyes to reality.  Undeceive me of the deceivers lies.  Help me to repent and keep repenting–not in a narcissistic way, but in spirit and in truth.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord.  I want to see you.  I want to see you.

EATING GRACE

By Lisa Huddleston

We are eating from vineyards and olive groves that we did not plant (Joshua). That’s grace. God reached down to speak to us–lowly beings that He created to do his will. But unlike the angels, we had a choice. And so we chose to sin. And we still do.  Yet, God in His mercy, feeds us from vineyards and olive groves we did not plant.  And we still choose to sin!  Oh Lord, stop me. Cause me to want to serve you out of love.  And so I keep on keeping on.  Eating grace and sinning but wanting to do better.