Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ted Dekker

Did you know Ted Dekker's new book is out? It is. And you should be reading it. Because it's creepy and wonderful and officially my book of the week. ENJOY!

Suicide by sugar

Question asked? Are you going to stop all this not eating sugar nonsense in the new year?

Answer? No. I'm not going to stop. I'm never eating or drinking sugar again. Ever. As far as I can tell at least.

In fact right this minute I'm reading Nancy Appleton's book Suicide by Sugar and I'm convinced all over again it's no good.

As always, my opinion only. You don't have to give up sugar. I won't be mad if you eat a whole carton of ice cream right in front of me and I won't condemn you for doing so. Ever. But for me? Well, sugar's not for me :) Not in 2009 and not in 2010 either.

The kind solace of Surrender

Solace: something that gives comfort, consolation, or relief

I would really like to write a lengthy post tonight about spiritual victories I've had recently. I'd love to write about the power of God to transform one life solely dedicated to Him and dependent on His leading. I'd LOVE to tell you how my life has perfectly portrayed Him as of late and how much He must love having me as His child. I could probably make some stuff up that would sound really good to go with it too, but, sigh, it wouldn't be true. None of it.

Don't get me wrong-God is working in my life. Painstakingly (for me) He is at work. But, I'm kind of a now person. I want to have it all together like right this minute and then I want to keep it together forever. It drives me absolutely nuts that I cannot achieve spiritual perfection and complete holiness this side of the pearly gates. Not that I'm anywhere close! I want some kind of a measuring device. "Today you are 80% holy. Maybe tomorrow you could try for 85." And the scary thing is....I WOULD! I'd be excellent at works theology. I like to work! Humanity! SO FRUSTRATING!!!!

Maybe it's that Sunday I had the best day I've had in forever. Maybe I'm just more aware of a lot of things. And maybe it's just that I've had a string of really dumb things happen this week all orchestrated by yours truly. Just today I cannot believe some of the stupid things I have heard come out of my mouth. Unbelievable. I don't know that I have the gift of helps, but I like to help and it's my prayer especially on the weekends that God would use me to help, not make things worse. And I swear at the end of the last 2 days, and I promise by the end of today it's like I can hear God saying, "I gave you the chance. That wasn't helpful!" ARGH!

I think if I were writing the Bible I would write this-"Dear Sheep. Don't be stupid. Don't say dumb stuff and don't do anything that hurts my name or my image or my people. I've given you everything you need to be just like me. Don't blow it. No really, don't." Love, Jesus

Ah, but the power of grace. God was not taken by surprise when Adam and Eve blew it and I certainly don't think He falls off His throne when I don't look, act, or talk like Him even a million times a day. That's not an excuse to act stupid, but I do think sometimes we have to offer ourselves the grace that He does. We cannot wallow in our stupidity or our sin. We have to ask God to forgive us for those moments when we act like we're made in image of anyone but Christ and thank him for new mercies every day.

Someone asked me the other day a question I asked not so long ago. "How do you know you're on track with the Lord?" I told her the only thing I knew to say. "When you do something or say something that you know has no resemblance to Christ and it hurts your heart." I told her I think it's really dangerous to have that same scenario and not care.

So if there's any redeeming value of late it's that I do care, a lot. It's breaking my heart that God did everything for me and I can't make it 24 hours without acting like a wayward disciple! And I'm praying the next time I do or say something that's completely ludicrous God would remind me of this feeling and stop me-PLEASE!

We can find our solace in Him by surrendering to Him. Our lives, our wills, our emotions, our words, our choices, our hearts, our hopes, our dreams, our fears, our discouragements, and our humanity. He has big enough shoulders and a mighty heart that encompasses every misstep we can dream of taking.

And He's with us on the journey. Not just here, but for all of eternity.

Lord, thank you that when we are nothing like you, you do not see us as we are, but what you've created us to be.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I'm not really very good at New Year's Resolutions. It seems daunting to decide on a random day to change everything starting immediately, but that's just me. I do try to focus on some specific things each year and this year my list is as follows:

-To be more responsible with my relationship with the Lord. To not just see Him as an accessory to some life I have planned, but to make my time with Him the first priority. And to find some solid accountability with fellow believers that will help me stick to my resolutions. To take the spiritual opportunities around me seriously and trust the Lord to meet my spiritual needs in His way even if it doesn't seem especially traditional.

-To take better care of this temple. Continue with no sugar, no flour, no fried food. Work out, eat well, sleep some and not just drink coffee :)

And that's it! Simple, to the point, and the most important things I can think of right now. I love the promise of a new year and thankful that we can begin again all the time with the Lord. New mercies to you every day and in the new year too.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Book Club

The book club resumes January 1st! Wanted to give you the heads up on our first 2 titles. As promised there will now be a fiction and non-fiction title each month. I may review them both as part of the Tuesday book review, but more than likely just the non-fiction. Feel free to read one or both or none! And be sure to get your comments into me by January 31st.

Just a reminder-the book club is not simply "Books Brenda loves." I really try to incorporate books that will attract the most people which is why we don't read Brennen Manning, Robert Benson and Henri Nouwen every month (BUT WE SHOULD!). Ha! So if you don't like this month check back. They are not all the same genre of books. I love to read books with people so this is a great way for me to read with some of my favorite "friends." Join us if you want to!

We are reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett for the fiction selection.

And we are reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis for the Non-fiction.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas 2009

I know it seems like the holidays come and go quickly every year, but for some reason this year they seem especially fast. I hate that you almost can't help but miss the reason for the season with all the chaos everywhere. I do however love that even people claiming to be atheists find themselves humming "Silent Night" this time of year. I know I usually have some cute top 10 list for the year or at least a cute picture of the pups for the Christmas card. Not this year. Fail on all counts! I've written exactly one Christmas card, I'm too tired to think of 10 interesting things that happened this year and the dogs don't honestly want to wear Santa hats I'm sure. So, you're stuck with me and just a regular Christmas letter. Ha!

I'm sure this year had some funny moments. I can almost guarantee it had some embarrassing ones. There were some hard moments and difficult circumstances. There were opportunities for rest and some sleepless nights. A balanced mix of joy and sorrow. You know-a regular life. But as I've thought back over this year in the past few days the resounding theme has been the faithfulness of God. I can't get past it and there's nothing else I'd rather write about. I would not be surprised if I will return to 2009 the rest of my life as a significant turning point with the Lord. And He for sure deserves all the credit.

I still stand in amazement at how things have unfolded. I can't really put my finger on why it suddenly became a panicked priority to get seriously back on track with the Lord at whatever cost, but it was. I can't explain why suddenly I had to go to church again. I can't explain why after not going to church for several years I just wanted to sit on the floor and cry when I couldn't be there. I don't know why I had to have a Bible Study at my house even if I was the only one who came. I don't know why it didn't matter what I had to do-I had to find Him.

The only thing I do know? He never let's go.

I just cannot believe what had to fall into place in order for me to stand spiritually where I am today (and not that I've arrived in any way!). That God has been reinstated into the forefront of my life is in itself a great gift from His gracious hand. It makes me want to cry that even when I felt so far removed from the body of Christ, He was putting people and circumstances into place that would line up perfectly when my heart was willing to surrender. I could give you 100 examples. I'll spare you, but trust me-it's amazing!

I'm thankful for:

-A church that I just about literally have to break my neck to get to on Sunday mornings and that there's nowhere else I'd rather be.

-People who love the Lord and are walking, talking examples of what it means to truly live for Him. People who are further down the road with the Lord. People who's lives are echoing, "He can be trusted." Not perfect people-just people in love with a perfect God.

-A year of many, many lessons most of which will continue into next year along with some new ones I'm sure.

-That God never, ever gives up on us. When we are His, he will forever call to us, He will forever draw us to Himself, and He will love us in the process.

This Christmas I could care less if I get one gift or one card or one Christmas hug even though I love all those things. I have already found everything I need and more in new and different ways this year. The true gift of Christmas started in a manger, hung on a cross and sits at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf. It's more than enough that He volunteered to be our Savior. May you experience His transforming love this season and make Him also Lord of your life.

Merry Christmas!
Brenda, Odyssey, Ella, and Shine

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thomas Nelson Blog-Jesus Lives

Sarah Young has been one of my favorites for a very long time. I love the way she brings Jesus into a conversation with her readers and makes you feel like He's speaking just to you. Just about everyone I know has read Jesus Calling more than once. I've gotten it as a gift more than once and each time read it from cover to cover. This year I'm giving Jesus Lives to almost everyone on my Christmas list. From beginning to end it radiates the heart of Christ to His creation whether joyful, hurting, or worshipping. It's been amazing to me how the devotion of the day so lines up with the circumstances of my life. I would and have recommended it to many friends and I will again. Great Book!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rock Star

I love probably more than anything else in life really deep spiritually meaningful conversations that I can just think about for days and days. I love the well timed moments of the Lord when just the right person will come along with just the right question and you know that the Lord is in the midst.

It has done my soul much good to have had at least 3 of these conversations in the past week. It wouldn't be fair to the people I have had them with to list details here and I certainly don't want all of cyberspace to know the deepest questions of my soul, but I'll just say they were some of the most spiritually satisfying moments of my life and I'm grateful for each one of them.

And it got me thinking. God is in the questions. In the middle of the night when sleep won't come because life is hazy and overwhelming God is near. When situations arise where words won't come because they'd never do it justice, God is in the silence. When life just makes us want to scream at the top of our lungs that it's not fair-God is louder than the anguished cries of our hearts. When we're afraid that we've missed our purpose, taken a wrong turn, or are more lost than we've ever felt before-God is the map that is forever pointing us back home to Him.

And maybe we're not called to be the Rock Star of our stories. Maybe we're called to be the stage hand in the story called A Life Redeemed starring the only One who could make it happen-Jesus Himself. And maybe stressing about every costume change and every minute of the play is taking our attention off the main performance. Believe me when I say I'm telling myself this today as much as you. THE STORY IS WRITTEN. The plot was laid down as finalized long before the foundation of the world. We are fulfilling our roles but the purposes of the Lord cannot be thwarted even by ourselves.

This has been my prayer for years: "Lord, please don't let me do anything that would make you have to find someone else to fulfill your call on my life." It scares me to death that God would reach the point of frustration in my disobedience that He would ultimately have no choice but to give up, not on me, but on what He planned for me to do. He cannot wait forever. What He has ordained to accomplish must be completed on the eternal continuum. I like to comfort myself by saying what little things I'm doing really don't make any difference, but I feel certain they do.

And I have a feeling when we get to Heaven we'll find that it wasn't the showstopping events that changed the course of all history. It was the 45 minutes we met someone for coffee and shared all that the Lord is doing when we don't have 5 minutes to spare that jump started some one's life with enough faith to take the next step. It's the moment of vulnerability shared that conquers our fear of failure and the insistence on perfection. It's the being out of control on occasion that reminds those around us that God really is in control. Human weakness is the perfect canvas for God's strength to shine through.

We very well may leave this Earth having the same questions we arrived with. I'm so thankful that if some things never ever make sense on this Earth, I still know the Answer. One day when all things are made known, and we see Him as He really is we'll know we could have trusted him in total faith every minute of our whole lives. Let's not wait until then. Let's let Him be the star of this show today.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Grown Up Christmas List

My family has always done Christmas well. We always knew the real meaning of the holidays but we also knew how to celebrate! There's nothing like a huge pile of gifts from people who are the absolute best at picking out the perfect present. We always spent Christmas at grandma's as a child and now we're spread out all over so it's not the same, but I still love the holidays. I love how everyone has traditions. We always had amazing food Christmas Eve and woke up early to open gifts followed by the best homemade cinnamon rolls. And I loved how you could just take the day to watch new movies, play with new toys and read new books. I always asked for lots of books and can remember the excitement over which one to read first! Yes, I'm a nerd :)

So what's on my Christmas list this year? This is the list that went to my mom who by the way is an excellent shopper. She's been known to take a list, go on-line, click click click and Christmas morning you have everything you asked for. LOVE THAT! Ha!

-The extra large bottles of Grace by Philosophy-body wash, perfume and lotion. I love philosophy. They have quotes on their bottles. Quotes! And it smells amazing. What's not to love. Hint: If you ever order any, go to the philosophy website and decide what you want and then go to QVC to order it. They have much better pricing and great gift packs.

-The movie Julie and Julia since I still haven't seen it! And I can't wait to own The Blind Side. If you haven't seen it run, don't walk to the theater. Awesome.

-John Mayer's new CD.

-The new red bake ware from Crate and Barrel. No, I don't cook but I like to be surrounded by cool kitchen stuff in case the mood ever strikes me. Ha!

-The new Nautical heels from Sperry. Tan snakeskin. Adorable and exactly what I think snakes should be made into-cute shoes. And the dark brown and light brown sperrys with brown laces. And the new 5 inch spike black heels with a pink bow from Kristin Davis. I heart shoes :)

-I'm getting a new DVR for the TV in my bedroom. I have a love hate relationship with TV and don't be surprised if by mid-January I'm cancelling it. I find TV overall a total waste of time, but I do like to listen to the news when I get ready. We'll see.

-Starbucks gift cards-shocking I know.

-a magic bullet to make smoothies and salsa

-Compendium journals-also my favorite

-Hue Pajamas

-Several books

-A Steam Mop

-A Vera Bradley area rug for my closet. Yes my closet is big enough to require an area rug. I built it just like that :)

And a partridge in a pear tree.

Unto Us

I'm so thankful to live in a time after Jesus came to save the world from sin. I love the Old Testament, but one - I'm not so big on killing animals for any reason and two - I don't do a great job of keeping up with my sin as it is. I suppose growing up in that culture we would have had a better understanding of traditions and sacrifices. Without Jesus as an intercessor they must have had great respect for the Lord. It is interesting to study, but I think it would have been awfully difficult to live.

And most of the Old Testament does not make me wish I had been there. I love the stories of Esther and Deborah and Jeremiah and David and on and on and on, but the circumstances surrounding what made them famous would not have been terribly enjoyable.

As the New Testament opens though, I really wish I had been there. And if I could have I think I would have chosen to be an occupant in the Inn where Joseph and Mary stopped to deliver the Savior into the world. I like to think the night would have just felt different. Maybe the stars were brighter. Maybe the air outside was filled with anticipation that something wonderful was about to happen. Maybe as Jesus came into the world and took His first breath on the planet He had come to save, the demons physically shuddered. He was here.

Maybe as the other occupants of the Inn went for the continental breakfast (?) the next morning they heard the soft whimper of a newborn baby and stopped to say hello. Did they see something eternal in his eyes? Sure he looked like any other baby, but was there something so different about Him that people stopped to ponder what it might be? Was Mary even then wondering how someone so human could protect, nurture and care for someone so divine?

I love this time of year. It's always slightly amusing to me to hear people who the rest of the year give no thought to Jesus worship Him with the songs they sing. I was sitting in Starbucks the other day where usually overhead is playing songs with weird messages, cussing and hopelessness and had to smile when Christ the Savior is Born came on. The guy at the next table over wearing a t-shirt depicting Buddha smoking marijuana was singing along! I loved it.

This is His season. This is when those of us who have loved Him all year stop to remember that the gift in the manger still lives within those of us who believe in Him. We worship Him as one who has come and is coming again. Bethlehem is as much a heart place as a geographical location. And it's a time for those who never give thought to Him the rest of the year to be confronted by His amazing beginning at every turn.

Unto us is born.......A Savior.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Love Me

I know so many people lately who are mourning the death of an infant. Those who have lost people they loved before their lives began. Some are celebrating significant anniversaries even this week which seems doubly unfair with the holidays around the corner. Some are preparing for new arrivals while still in mourning over those who have gone. It's a hard time of year for many people. I love this poem and praying it brings some small measure of comfort that our purpose is not limited to days on the Earth but by the impact we leave behind.

Love Me

Once upon a special day in Heaven up above, the tiniest souls sat at God's feet, surrounded by His love. ‘The time is coming, very soon’, God said, ‘Do not be scared. Your family awaits your arrival, now let us get prepared’.

And so God looked upon these souls, in mute consideration. He knew the life each one would live, He weighed each situation.

The souls chatted amongst themselves, and wondered who they'd be. They knew the day grew closer; soon, they'd meet their family.

How would you like to change the world?’ God asked each soul in fun. The chance to change a soul, a heart, is held by only one.

‘I'm going to make the world laugh’, one soul said with a smile, ‘for laughter heals a broken heart, and helps us through each trial’.

‘Then take with you the brightest smile, and share your laughter well’. The soul thanked God immensely, and down to earth he fell.

‘And I'll remind the world to sing’, a sweet little soul told the Lord. ‘I have the gift of a beautiful voice; I can hit every note and every chord’.

‘You’ll have the gift of music then, a voice, lovely and strong. Share your gift with others, and let them hear your song’.

‘I will show compassion’, the next little soul raised her hand. ‘Some people only need a friend, someone to understand’.

‘Compassion is a good thing’, God said with much delight. ‘To you, I will give mercy. You'll perceive wrong from right’.

And so each soul shared every thought, their plans, their hopes, their dreams. And God explained that life, it is, much harder than it seems.

And as each soul began to leave in a scurry of laughter and fun, Heaven became quiet and still, for left was only one.

‘Come sit with Me my little child’, God said with just a sigh. ‘Do you know how many you will touch, in a world left wondering why? Before your life comes to an end, you will know much strife, but you'll teach those who know you, to cherish the smallest things in life.

'And some may only know you through a simple photograph, they'll never hold you in their arms, or memorize your laugh. Some may only know you through the words they read each day, but you'll do something wonderful, you'll make them stop and pray’.

The tiniest soul raised her head up, to touch God's firm, strong hand. ‘Father, I am ready for the life that you have planned. And I will do the best I can without a word or deed. For you Lord, are the planter, and I will be Your seed’.

She could already hear many praying, and although they had not seen her face, they were praying for her safe arrival, they were asking for mercy and grace.

‘What talent do I leave with Lord? What gift do You impart?’
‘All that you will need’, God said, ‘I've placed within your heart’.

And so God kissed this tiny child, knowing all that she would be, and whispered as He watched her go...'You'll teach them . . . to love Me'.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Those of you who get the blog e-mailed automatically to you just got the unedited version. oops! Forgive the typo's! It's been corrected for those of you who read it at Wrong button :)


So, you wouldn't know it from looking at my day planner or peering into my life, but I really do love a good adventure. In my life in recent years I find an uninterrupted hour to read a book a luxury which is sad really. I used to dream of traveling to Figi by myself to explore the island and laying by the beach. I've always wanted to spend a month in solitude at an ashram in India to search for the meaning of life and develop a wonderful life map that I could follow to the letter. Strange but both true! And you never know. I might just do both one day.

I went to a Methodist college that really preferred that their students were........well, Methodist! And I went to the Methodist church. Twice. Nothing against the Methodist church, but it wasn't for me. Then I spent the next year at a Christian church which was like a motivational speech every Sunday. It was great as long as you didn't need a sermon about sin or anything in any way controversial. I always left feeling like I was better than I was and in some twisted way like Jesus didn't deserve me. Heaven help us!

So after my freshman year all of my friends continued to go to the feel better about yourself sermonette church and I just decided that wasn't going to work for me. I had promised myself one thing going into college and that was that I would not reject anything without researching it for myself. I cannot stand when people have opinions about things they know nothing about. I promised I would not adopt someone else's mindset as my own until I discovered it for myself.

Now I was saved at this point so it's not like I decided to try Buddhism for myself. I had good solid theology, but I was just fed up with the denominational borders with "do not cross" yellow tape. I believed and I still believe in The Body of Christ as a unified entity.

I flipped through the phone book and decided the first church that sounded interesting would be the one for me. Enter a 3 year experience of Bethel Harvest Church. Their byline in the phone book was "We're anointed to make you uncomfortable." PERFECT! I needed to get out of my comfort zone.

I'll tell you, looking back God was strategically working in my life at that time. I have always had a really hard time getting salvation from my head to my heart and the supernatural cannot just live in your head. I was at a place especially then that if Jesus didn't move into my heart for real we were going to be in big trouble.

Once I saw the ad in the phone book I knew two things-I knew I had to go at least once and I knew I had to go by myself. And I did. Looking back I think it's hilarious what we think things we know nothing about are going to be like. I think I jumped every time someone talked to me like I was expecting them to push me over! I was surprised at how normal the people were! We sang songs and the pastor preached and a bunch of people went to the alter for prayer and it was over. And I left in tears. I still cannot tell you exactly what it was but I knew in that moment like never before that Jesus was really real. It didn't matter that I was there by myself. It didn't matter what I dressed like or what shoes I was wearing. No one noticed. They had come to worship the living God and worship they did! It was SUCH a difference from the church I had been in for a year.

I came back to my dorm room and my roommate at the time said, "Where have you been?" I said, "church, why?" She said, "I don't know. You look peaceful." And I was. The next morning as we were getting ready she said, "spill it." I said, "spill what." "Church." I told her there was nothing to tell, but she insisted. So, I told her about the church and she said, "I'll go with you next Sunday." I didn't really think that was such a good idea. I wasn't so sure weird things weren't going to happen there, but she insisted and so we went together the next Sunday. And she left in tears. Eventually 8 of my friends and I went to Bethel Harvest Church for 3 years and I've never been the same.

Now, to be fair, the first Sunday may have been a little bit misleading. It definitely had it's moments of weirdness from there. It took a little getting used to finding myself smack dab in the middle of the gifts of the Spirit having grown up without much mention of them. But I really learned to appreciate the way other people worshipped. Especially toward the end of my time in Kentucky I had zero idea of what I was going to do or where I was going to go from there and I cannot tell you what a difference it made to my faith to have people there praying for me and with me great believing prayers. I hold those 3 years in my heart as some of the most important years of my faith journey.

Above everything else I respect the Lord. I have great holy fear for his power and position. I do not take for granted the dichotomy that he is Perfectly Holy and yet calls me His friend. I am on my very best day totally unworthy. And I believe in the church running decently and in order in accordance with scripture absolutely. But I also believe God is looking for true worshippers. People who are not ashamed to really love him whatever that looks like to you. I'm not really a weep at the alter kind of person, but I know people that are and I think that's wonderful. I've seen some amazing transformations come from time spent at the alter of the Lord and I've seen people go up there apparently for show and leave exactly the same.

I think some of charismatic tradition is a little too emotional. I think Jesus comes just as powerfully to the people wailing as he does for those whispering, "I need you now." He inhabits the praises of His people. But if you like to worship loudly I say go for it. If you like to worship quietly I say go for it. I have experienced both and I find them both amazingly comforting. I did not become a convert to the charismatic tradition necessarily by spending time there, but I did learn to appreciate that Jesus does not always come in the ways we expect him, but he always comes when we call.

I can't say that I didn't wonder to myself on several occasions, "What in the world was that?" I don't really understand all of what they do or how they do it. I think it would take a lot for me to get so caught up in the emotion of something that I'd fall on the floor. But, hey, whatever works for you! But I will tell you that the spirit filled sermons coming from the heart of a pastor that believed that Jesus was here to change you into his image-like now-were some of the most powerful I've ever heard and they changed my life forever. I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss that church every Sunday morning for years. I missed the connection of people that not only would pray with you but believe with you. Big prayers. Powerful prayers. Relocating from that church was very lonely for a long time. And even though I've moved on I still wish sometimes that I could just fly in for the worship every once in awhile.

I don't think it was God's intention for me to stay at that church for the rest of my life. My time there was immediately followed by a serious valley and spiritual drought. That time taught me that we cannot live in the emotion of God because you will find yourself feeling abandoned when you leave that environment. They also were important years in the formation of my faith and learning to trust God for what I know Him to be and not just for the feelings that accompany faith. But it certainly was nice sometimes when I felt spiritually weak to be surrounded by people so passionate about their faith.

I am now in a church with a group of people that I believe with all my heart truly love the Lord. It is not a charismatic church. The sermons are straight from the word of God and they are changing my life every time I'm there. I was stressed to the max walking into church this morning and I found the peace of God to be very real. In a hug, in a kind word and most importantly from the Word of God itself. It is a church founded and sustained on the truth of scripture, solid theology and guidance from the Bible. I feel as much at home there in this season of my life as I did at Bethel Harvest Church in college. For everything there is a season.

I don't remember there being a lot of emotion at church this morning. The singing was good. The message was powerful. The people were friendly. And ironically, I left with tears in my eyes so grateful to have spent time with the Lord. I loved Bethel Harvest Church and I love Covenant Baptist Church. Equally powerful. Equally life changing. People who equally are in love with their Savior. They may express themselves differently at times, but they are both filled to the brim with sinners acknowledging in whatever way they choose that they are in need of a Savior. I appreciate the different worship styles of people and am thankful that we live in a country with enough religious freedom that we can worship openly in whatever way we choose.

Those people today around the world huddled in a corner with a single torn page of scripture that had to be smuggled in at the risk of death have a lot to teach our spoiled country about denominational disagreements. I'm not saying charismatic people have it all right and I'm not saying baptists do everything right. But they don't have it all wrong either. We need to look deeper into the hearts of those worshipping and not strictly on the way their worship is expressed.