We need the Word of God. We need scripture, and we need to know what the Bible says. Because when it comes down to it, that's the only thing that is going to save you when the lies start pouring into your ears. Remembering what God says about your will always trump what the world says about you, but in order to see through the facade, we need to know the truth.
Since beginning my first semester of School of Ministry with my church, I’ve felt like a new person. I understand the Bible better than I ever have. I’ve learned more. I’ve grown more. I’ve loved more. At the base of it all, I’ve found that the Word of God is the greatest gift in my life. I hold the key to eternal life in my physical hands, and I can live on it.*
I walk into the bedroom that my 4 year old and 3 year old share, sit down in a cluttered rocking chair and quietly begin to cry.
Scattered blocks across the floor are fallen evidence of imaginary places and victorious conquests. Tossed costumes and strewn stuffed animals are affirmations of an exciting plot with a fantastic audience.
When I was a little girl, I had a toy purse shaped like a fluffy white cat.
It was my favorite toy. It made me feel so grown up like my mommy, carrying it in the crook of my arm. I filled it with little trinkets like broken sunglasses, forgotten pennies, and pretty rocks I found on the playground. With every somewhat worthless trinket I found, the heavier my little kitty became. My mom would warn me not to take it when we went out to run errands. She would say, “I don’t want your arm to get tired. I’ll end up carrying it for you,” and, “It’s better if you leave it here. There is nothing in that purse that you really need.”
I will not yield to being overwhelmed. When I do, I become paralyzed and ineffective. Being overwhelmed starts in my head and produces a full body affect of stress, anxiety, worry, fear, and panic in my days. What is the root of it?
There seems to be this misconception that everything done in the name of good intentions is a direct connection to God. Unfortunately, though this would make discernment a heck of a lot easier, understanding the will of God is a lot harder than saying yes to the thing that sounds the most “Christian-y.” But if it really were that easy, why would we need God?
True Story. It is February in Arkansas and nearly everything is in bloom. Daffodils have sprung, trees are covered in pink flowers, and the Bradford Pears have blossomed and are proudly emitting their unique stench.
Seriously, it astounds me every time I pass one that they can be so beautiful yet smell so bad.
Yesterday, we loaded up our family for a quick trip 30min. north to visit...
Yesterday, I woke up with the burning desire to sell my every possession, cancel the lease on my apartment, quit my job, and do something incredible. Needless to say, I got out of bed, threw on some clothes, and went to work. Anti-climactic, right? Yes, I am a bit less impulsive when it comes to major life decisions. But, if it’s any consolation, I did purge my over-stuffed closet quite a bit.
When I was in high school, math was never my friend. Let’s be honest here, outside of English, there weren’t many subjects with whom I was on good terms. Usually I would find my groove and figure things out, but there was one subject that always seemed to trip me up: math. Even to this day, I need a calculator to figure out my tip. My name is Rose Dudley, and I am a guesstimator.
... Some of you may have been following made. for a while now and to you I’d like to say that regardless of the season I find myself, or this business, in I intend to stick to the why and maintain the vision and the mission that I started out with. Others of you may have just recently started following along and maybe you have yet to hear the why behind this business. Please, let me tell you...
It is very seldom that I meet someone I just don’t get along with, and those moments of dissonance always seem to stick out in my memory like late-winter daffodils. Thus far, these experiences tend to bookmark my most uncomrotable yet rewarding spiritual growth spurts.
What are you passionate about and completely dedicated to? The easy answer may be work, but what do you have evidence of pouring yourself into?
I love the band OK GO. Although their song “The One Moment” came out in 2014, it has recently become somewhat of an anthem for me. The whole song is wonderful, as is their music video for it of course, and it’s one that I blare in the car (okay, minivan) on the reg.
I stress way too much. Today I was driving and while stopped at a light I noticed a tree with its bare branches and the lingering moisture of the fog clinging to its knobby chutes. As I sat there captivated, I realized that trees just do what they do. Once they’ve been planted, they just grow. They don’t worry about their shape, or fret in the direction that their branches take off. They bud when the weather is warm enough and bloom when their buds have grown enough.
DISCLAIMER: brace yourself because this is a touchy subject but one that has tugged at my heart a lot in the past few weeks. The only reason why I feel confident in sharing this testimony is because of the healing I’ve gone through to overcome the shame and guilt I felt for so long.
It doesn’t take much to get off course. Sometimes a single degree is enough to send you miles from your destination. As a kid, I was never any good at math. What frustrated me the most was my uncanny tendency to make a minute error early on in my calculations, resulting in answers that weren’t even options in the multiple choices.
In an orchestra, you have lots of musicians coming together to perform a certain piece of music. Not only are there many types of instruments included in an orchestral ensemble, but each instrument is represented by several musicians. Though it may initially seem excessive to have so many violins or so many trombones, etc., each one is absolutely necessary and without any one of them, the sound would not be as full or as complete.
With the vast expanse of a new year ahead, a list of resolutions is bound to be in tow. The subliminal messaging of TV ads and Facebook articles campaigning for “New Year New You” or preparation for bikini bods are more than abundant. Every year, my resolution list begins with one thing: lose weight. Even this year, I harbor a secret desire to be skinnier.
This week, an old friend from high school invited me to attend a local yoga class with her. Staving off the initial fear of making a complete idiot of myself as I force my little hamstrings to cooperate, I eagerly agreed to an opportunity to spend quality time in good company. As much as I wish I could call myself a yogi, I am easily the least flexible person on the planet, and my sense of hand-eye-coordination is essentially non-existent.
About two years ago, I decided to make a list. It included everything I hoped to find in a future husband. It included things like “an adventurous heart,” “makers hands and creative mind,” and “seeks God in all things.” All of these characteristics are good and genuinely desirable things. I was confident that God would give me this trumped up perfect man, and as time went on, the list grew. There were so many characteristics I wanted, though many times, I settled for much less.
When I was six, my parents weren’t paying attention, and I thought it might be a fabulous idea to eat an entire jar of peanut butter. By the end of the ordeal, I was covered head to toe. I promptly vomited and cried. I don’t think I ate peanut butter for the next four years of my life. The very sight of it made me gag.
At this very moment, as I sit pondering the words God leads my nimble fingers to write, there is a complete and total stranger staring at me from across the coffee shop, and I am utterly struggling to concentrate. I don’t know if I know him or if he thinks he knows me. Maybe he is just a friendly person, or maybe he is an artist trying to practice figure drawings, but he is frustrated because I keep fidgeting. He won’t be able to get my hands quite right. I could tell him that right now.
My mom has always been a Christian so when I was young, I attended Sunday school. I knew God existed, and I knew that there was heaven and hell. I thought God was like a headmaster, someone who was watching over us and created everything, that was about it. I did not know anything about Jesus, so for a very long time, the relationship between God and me was really distant.
There’s a clearing behind my grandmother’s pasture. It’s just past the old barn. At sunset, everything turns golden, and it resembles more of a dream than reality. I planned to be thrifty and buy mismatched wooden chairs and set them up next to a small alter of flowers. They would line the natural isle, an elongated hill caught between the thicket and a small lake.
You glance in the mirror while getting dressed for the day. You’re a bit rushed, so you didn’t put in as much effort as you’d like to. You catch yourself off guard, “Oh hey, I look kind of pretty today.” It doesn’t happen as often as it should, but your skin is relatively clear. Your hair is falling just right, and your eyes aren’t puffy at all. You allow yourself to bask in the peace of fleeting confidence.
This week, I witnessed the seamless flow of God’s will. When you are obedient to His direction, sometimes it’s like watching a Rube Goldberg machine. You know, one of those convoluted contraptions that seems perform a whole lot of unnecessary tasks just to accomplish a final goal.