The Man Murdered is ALIVE!

Years and years ago when Passion of the Christ was released, I did not want to see it.  I am a christian.  I believe in Jesus Christ.  I believe he died upon the cross for my sins.  I believed it, but I did not want to see it.  I hide my eyes during violent scenes in movies.  I think about it for days.  I avoid the whole thing.  So, when I heard that the movie was intensely, above and beyond violent, I checked that off my “to do” list.

And then people kept talking about it, they wouldn’t shut up about it.  And I heard a man being interviewed on the radio.  He said that he did not like torturous, violent scenes.  Thank you.  My thoughts exactly.

He said that he had heard from friends how bloody the movie was and they could not get the scenes out of his head.  Thank you.  I don’t want to see it either.

And then the final blow.  He said that he realized that he needed that stuck in his head.  I tilt my head, confused.  Ummmm…say what?

He said that he needed to think every minute of every day of what Jesus did to save him from his sins.

And so, I saw the movie.

It was everything I expected.  It is not the kind of movie you watch while eating popcorn.  I wanted to hide my eyes for the, well, the whole entire movie, but the man’s words kept resonating in my ears.  I needed to see this.  I needed these pictures stuck in my head.

And so I watched.  With a sick stomach, I watched as Jesus was repeatedly whipped.  I watched with tears rolling down my cheeks as the nail pierced his body.  I watched as he hung in agony.

And I watched as he died.

And then I thought to myself, “OK.  I made it.  I got through the movie.”  And I wanted to get out of there.  But it kept going.

“He’s dead.  That was the most disturbing movie I’ve ever seen.  I get the point, he’s dead.  Let’s get out of here.”

And then the screen showed something that I was not expecting, it showed the empty tomb. The empty tomb!

HE IS ALIVE! I wanted to stand up and shout!  HE IS NOT DEAD!  HE IS ALIVE!  JESUS IS ALIVE!

All the hurt was washed away.  He was not bloody.  My stomach did not hurt anymore.  My sins are forgiven.  Jesus conquered death and he has the victory.  The movie is real.  It is a true story.  The debt is paid.  The slave is set free, the blind can see, the sick are healed, all the pains of childbirth are gone.  JESUS IS ALIVE!

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Comfort in Nothing

Six year old Caroline tossed and turned in bed. The closet light was left on, the closet light was always left on. I heard a sound. A creak of the floor in the hallway. Probably my older sister was doubtless still awake.  But what if it wasn’t?  What if it was someone coming …someone coming for ME?  

What if it was Nazis?  What if the Nazis were coming to take me to a camp, a torture camp?  Or what if it was Freddy Krueger and his knife nails?  I had never seen the movie, but I knew he was something to be feared. 

That pretty much summed it up. The fears of my six year old life, Nazis and Freddy Krueger. But I was scared, I was TERRIFIED!  

How?  How could I escape them?  When they did, as they surely would, come for me, how could I escape?  I was pretty sure climbing into the attic would do the trick, but there just wasn’t the time. And besides, how would I hide the ladder that was needed to reach those heights?  Maybe if I punched them in the nose?  I saw that once on an Oprah episode my mom was watching, punch them in the nose and break it. That would work for Freddy, but the Nazis, they traveled in groups. I just couldn’t break all those noses. 

And then there was a lightbulb, a bright light from heaven shone into my brilliant mind. 

As a child we had a “bucket,” a small wooden container that my parents kept extra change in. Occasionally, I could reach my little hands into that pot of gold and draw out fifty cents. Fifty glorious cents to buy an ice cream at school. 

And there was my answer. If those damn Nazis came for me, I would tell them, “If you let me go, I will tell you where our money is.”  

I saw their conniving faces taking the bait. I saw them chosing those glorious riches over me. I saw the success of my plan. And I rolled over and I fell asleep. 

A Very Unpopular Article

This article will not be liked, it will not be shared, there will be nothing but negative comments.  Politically correct is the name of the game, the only rules of society are:

1.  Do not dare to label right vs. wrong.

2.  Do not hurt anyone’s feelings.

3.  The greatest purpose in life is to love yourself.  No matter what.

4.  Anything goes.

5.  The only god is comfort.

And here is what it has led to.  The romantic movie of the year (and the top selling novel of 2012 and 2013) is Fifty Shades of F#!@ed Up.  “That is so romantic.  I wish I had a man that would chain my arms and tell me that if I moved, he would chain my legs, and if I screamed, he would gag me.”  ISIS is burning and beheading people and capturing children and the president of the United States wants to point out the crusades of centuries ago.  Sorry, I didn’t mean to get political on you.  Don’t talk about politics.  We can complain about the price of gas and groceries and EVERYTHING but don’t dare to tie that to the root of the cause:  politics.

And now everyone thinks I am a fanatic and I’ve lost followers and I’ve gone off the deep end.  I hope so!  Because if that is what is accepted in our society, I want no part of it!

I have long ago left the popularity club.  I could care less what in the hell anyone thinks about me!  Caroline, pick a side!  If you are going to argue conservative politics and morals, then don’t cuss, you won’t please anyone.  I am not here to fit into any club.

The blame falls on Christians!  Yes!  I blame Christians!  Since when did we give into the five rules of our culture?  When we wanted them for ourselves?  We don’t care to hear about ISIS, we stand in line to purchase our Fifty Shades of Grey Tickets, we send out kids to schools that teach them to do whatever the hell they want, we buy them iPads and anything they want to shut them up, we get an extra job to buy a nicer car instead of raising nicer children, who knows when the last time is we’ve actually read the Bible?  Oh, I guess I am getting labeled legalistic now.  Well, I’m not here to make friends, especially not Pharisees!

Why?  Why do I have to rant and rave and call out the sins of this world?  I have a daughter.  Period.  No longer can I raise her to serve and enjoy this world she is growing up in.  No.  Wake up parents!  Is this a world that we want our children to be comfortable in?  I don’t!  Quite unfortunately, I am preparing my daughter to be a Noah.  I am teaching her to stand firm in her faith when the world laughs at her for following her God.  I am teaching her to be a David and stand against Goliath when the world is a bunch of wimps.

Parents, want something more for your children than comfort in this sinning world that is racing toward Hell!  Teach them to love right and hate wrong.  Show them how to do what is right, when all the world is doing something else.  Be that example!  Want something more than happiness for your sons and daughters!  Happiness!  It has become the end goal of our entire culture!  But I want my daughter to be kind, I want her to serve others at her own sacrifice.  I want her to be healthy.  I want her to chose food that is good for her body and exercising, when sitting on the couch and eating candy would make her happy.  I want her to chose to read, and study, and help, and smile rather than looking out for her own comfort.

Why do I write this article?  Because I love my daughter too much to let her settle for the current offer!

I am published!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

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What the World Needs Now

Love sweet love, where are you love? Our culture is one chubby toddler standing in their crib crying out to Mommy. We demand one thing: LOVE.

But we have lost our innocence. Pop culture has become one raging hormone. Two fifteen year old kids sneaking out of the house together. They met in Math class. In an abandoned parking lot, he holds her hand for the first time, kisses her strawberry lipstick, and he can’t stop. She doesn’t want to, but this is the first time anyone has ever wanted her. Is this love? She wonders. She gives and gives. She gives it all. It doesn’t take long to realize she is pregnant. He is only fifteen. He is not ready to be a father. And the pop culture that lured us in, abandons us. What do we do now?

MTV, Victoria’s Secret, pop music, the majority of anything on the screen, it is the fifteen year old boy luring us into the parking lot. And we just want to be loved.

How dare I tell anyone premarital sex is wrong! How dare I set standards! How dare I even use the words right and wrong! Who am I to judge the contents of music and TV?

Yeah, you are right. I have a new term to describe myself, raging sinner. It is true. The only good news in my phrase is that I know it. I know I have messed up and I know I continue to struggle and I know the one who forgives and washes me clean and I know the one who is, who he himself is love.

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

Look at the stark contrast! This is the love the world needs!

THAT IS LOVE!

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LOVE. The meaning of life. Love is the reason we leave our family of origin and begin a life with someone new. Crowds line up, women scream, and billions are made on love songs. It sells. It forgives. Love brings us to our knees, makes us crazy, makes us whole. Is there anything that love can not do?!

A young teenager, he had a simple appearance, smiling, and nervous. I don’t turn on the evening news very much, but there it was on the wall of my living room, and there he was in my home. A local boy, an orphan. “I will help with the chores. I always make my bed. I listen in class. I am a really good basketball player. I always play in the Special Olympics.” The anchor asked him if he liked school, “Yes ma’am.” He smiled and did his very best to please and have good manners. There was one thing he wanted. He was willing to go on TV and plead to anyone that would give it to him. Love. Begging to be loved.

Who can tell us what love is? Why do we sell our souls to be loved? Why do our hearts ache for the unloved? Why do we connect? Why does the world search and spend and sacrifice all in the name of love?

Culture wants so badly to be loved and culture has no clue what love even is!

I hate chick flicks! Here is the setting for any modern day chick flick: Two people living separate lives. Almost always she is rude and self serving. This is supposed to be seen as successful and independent but she is concerned with no one other than herself. He is attracted to her. She is pretty. We get that. But they “fall in love” and have sex. “Happy ever after.” That is love. Or so we are told time and time again. It leaves us believing that the meaning of love is two attractive people having sex and being happy.

Love is about me. It is about a relationship that makes me happy, a person that has something to offer me, being turned on and giving into the heat of the moment. OR IS THERE SOMETHING MORE?

When James and I met, it was love at first sight. I wanted to be with him ALL THE TIME! Had I sacrificed, had I given anything? No, I was in love with the idea that someone would love me. I liked the qualities that I found in James. And I wanted to be with him. That is why I married James! I WANTED TO BE WITH HIM! I wanted to figure out this thing called life with James. I wanted to spend Christmases with James, wanted to wake up beside him, wanted to cry on his shoulder, to go on dates, and count up the anniversaries by his side. THAT WAS THE EASY PART! That worked for me!

What did not work for me? Spending money on what he wanted instead of what I had my heart set on. Spending hour after hour, time after time going through the forever decision making process that he always goes through every single time he makes a purchase. It didn’t work for me to get mad as hell at someone and have to lay down beside him at the end of the day. It did not work for me to discover that men and women are from two different planets and I did not understand what in the hell he was thinking most of the time. It did/does not work for me to discover that he is a messy person, while I am a perfectionist concerning our home. It did not work for me to have to work through something when it hurt deep in my heart and all I wanted to do was throw in the towel.

Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t work for James either! It didn’t work for him to spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars on medical bills. It didn’t work for him to wait months to see if his daughter inherited cancer from his wife. It didn’t work for him to work day after stressful day to use the money to buy canvases to hang on the wall and throw a birthday party for a bunch of little girls. It didn’t work for him for his wife to have to work through the emotions when he had already moved on from a disagreement. It didn’t work for him to spend Saturdays making repairs on a home when he would rather be at the shooting range. It did not work for him to paint the living room, just for a color change. And it most definitely did not work for him to sign someone else on to his checking account.

And THAT IS LOVE! It is awesome to hold hands with your husband of 12 years, while he whispers sweet secrets in your ear. It is great to get what I’ve been hoping for for my birthday. But I have felt the most loved when I have been a real bitch and James makes me coffee in the morning. I know I am loved when I am forgiven. I know love when it is not deserved and James choses to stay with me when he has better options.

Love is when it doesn’t work for me. Love is when it does not make me happy. Love is doing something for the one you love when you don’t want to, but it is the best for them. Love is time after time, choosing someone else above me. Love is when my heart does not feel it, making my actions do what is right when I do not want to.

God is love. What does that mean? Jesus had perfection. He was spending eternity in a place that is above and beyond anything we can ever begin to imagine. King of paradise island surrounded by servants and being a famous billionaire? Better than that! He was perfect. Never said anything mean, never did anything selfish. He had never messed up. And he chose to come to this screwed up, sinful world. He chose to let his accusers whip him and torture him and spit in his face. He chose to let them nail him on a cross, when just thinking a single thought, he could have released himself from all the agony and pain. He chose to die, to SAVE US!

THAT IS LOVE! He received no benefit, none of that worked for him! But it was the best for us.

And what did I do in return to thank Jesus? I complained. I wanted a bigger house and a newer car and a healthier body. I wanted more!

Why does he love me?! I do not know! And yet time after time, he forgives me and he loves me again and again!

THAT IS LOVE!

I am published!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

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Momma Bear Stands Up for Real Beauty

It literally disgusts me. Going about my business and then that creepy, skin crawling feeling of “that.” Turning my head and seeing some pervert eyeing me like I am something not human to be drooled over.

Men that see women, treat women, as nothing more than their looks, as objects. Pornography. A side note does not do justice to the evil of reducing women to an online or magazine or movie sexual object to be used and discarded. Scientifically, there is a direct relationship between pornography and sexual addiction, destruction of the family, sex trafficking, rape, and even murder.

But this article is not to address pornography and men.

Momma Bear sees the world through a new lens.

Memories of girl time. I was teaching my (then 6 year old) daughter to do what girls do best. Shop. Madison and I are strolling through the mall and enjoying our time together. Proudly holding her hand as we wander from store to store. Browsing through the animal books in Barnes and Noble. Oohing and ahhing over the puppy and kitty pictures. Picking out 3 new hair bows and letting her choose two. Waiting in line for an apple juice and a coffee and then sitting a while. Giggling and making plans for the rest of the day. I treasure moments with my little girl.

Shopping accomplished, we head through the department store to the exit to continue on our winter adventures. Giggling, talkative Madison turns silent. I follow her stare to a perfume advertisement of a woman dressed in a ribbon. Yes, only a ribbon loosely and barely covers her naked perfect body.

She has seen it. For the first time, part of her innocence is stolen. My six year old has seen PORNOGRAPHY!

I see her mind spinning. I see her thinking this woman is beautiful. I see her thinking, “perhaps this is how I am supposed to look.” I see her question her own self image.

Hell no! Momma Bear kicks in!

“Madison, look at that picture,” I point out what she is already looking at, “that ribbon would fall.”

“Follow me.” I take her little hand and guide her to another picture, not hard to find in the perfume/makeup section of the department store. “Look at that.” I point out a woman, dressed in a dress that barely covered her more than the woman dressed in a ribbon. This woman was smiling as she carried a large stack of presents with snow falling all around her. “What is she doing Madison?”

She studied the picture, “Walking in snow.”

“Where is her coat? Where are her mittens? Why is she wearing a short dress with no leggings? What do you think she would feel like?”

“Cold!”

“Madison, this picture is not real life. This picture was taken so that we look at it and think, ‘She is pretty. I want to be like her. I will buy this.’ Madison, I think she looks ridiculous. I think it is sad that she is using her body to sell things.”

And then I looked her pudgy little six year old body in the eyes and promised, “Madison, You are beautiful! These pictures are not real! I never ever want you to try to look like this!”

I saw the relief in her little six year old eyes as she proclaimed, “No one can wear a ribbon!”

She got it! Thank you Jesus!

My daughter plays sports, she eats healthy, she has a brilliant curious mind, she loves people, she loves animals. She was made beautiful inside and out and she is treasured by the God of the universe! How dare anyone try to tell her that she is not good enough!

 

I am published!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

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Sometimes I Want Everything I’ve Got

Sometimes vacation is over.  Sometimes there is a big mess to be cleaned up.  There are bills to be paid.  It rains and puddles form and it keeps on pouring.  Sometimes it is cold outside and I forgot my mittens.  Often it is late and I am tired and there are still things to be accomplished.  The laundry is never done.  Always books not read, projects not accomplished, and goals left incomplete.  Slow and dramatic the music plays.

But sometimes my girl and I go on a lunch date with new friends.  We linger and have coffee and gelato.  Then my girl and I head to see the new Annie.  We chat and compare because we have read the book and seen the original movie.  Every now and then there is already dinner cooking in the crockpot.  Sometimes, when things are simple, I see that I’ve got everything I ever wanted.  The movie isn’t over and we are already playing through the happily ever afters.  The beat is a happy melody and merry is my heart.

I AM PUBLISHED!  PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO PURCHASE!

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