Fool may be a little harsh for what I am, but... "if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck..it's a duck!"
My middle child, Aaron, has better labeled the phenomenon in our home as "Constant Ridiculousness" and he simply doesn't want any part of it.
"Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
only fools insist on quarreling"
Our constant "quarrels" aka ridiculousness come from two insanely competitive people (my husband and me) that draw their son into the middle of these "discussions" to help prove and win our own points.
Now, it would be one thing if it was a debate over something life changing or worthwhile, but ours tend to be over topics like "Which athlete best transcends their sport and is bigger than baseball?" The correct answer (of course) is simply, "any athlete that I have heard of because I don't follow sports, so even if no one else has heard of "said athlete" they must be bigger than the sport itself... this solid reasoning (in my own mind) stands firm, but not so much for my husband.
Hence, the call for Aaron to come in and settle the debates that we find ourselves in, tends to be pretty constant.
I could go on with examples... but suffice to say, these conversations and this "passionate ridiculousness" occurs on a daily basis. And at the end of the day, it truly does keeps us laughing.
But still, Aaron chooses to take the high ground and not even put his gloves in the ring. He chooses honor, while my husband and I choose to act a fool.
Either way, it is a choice.
Is our ridiculousness hurting anyone? No, but suppose it was about things that actually mattered.
What if it was a daily barrage of fights, nitpicking, complaints and quarrels? Those are the acts that become habitual, deliberate and detrimental to relationships, especially in a marriage.
The same way my son chooses to not be drawn into the crazy, we choose to be the crazy. We all have the ability to choose.
We have the ability to choose joy, to choose praise, to choose to encourage, to choose to listen instead of complain. We have the ability to avoid fights and quarrels and to set ourselves in a place marked for honor.
Next time you feel the urge to be drawn into the fight, remember, and remember quickly, to avoid it, to remove yourself and communicate in love from a place of honor that honors and respects those you care about... (and even those people that you don't much care for..yes, even them!)
Let's choose to NOT insist on quarraling. It does a body good! It does friendship good! It does a marriage good!
Love you in the Lord!
PS. Aaron Koehne is still one of THE most competitive AND silly people I know. Go figure!
There is a good chance that these wrestling matches with his older brother, Chris, started over the debate of who had a better haircut, cleaner room or bigger muscles. (True fact) LOL!
Someone asked me this past Sunday if I knew how many weekends I am gone a year. My response was "Hmmm, I don't know."
This question made me a bit curious, so this morning I sat down and looked at my calendar and tallied up all the concerts, events, and tours that I have had in the first 6 months of 2017.
It was eye opening. I think I have done a bit more traveling than I suspected. But, the thing that struck me most was this.... There were only 10 Sunday's in the past 6 months that I have NOT had a commitment to serve outside my home church. And of those 10 Sundays when I could be at my home church a few were spent at another church or my husband may have had a commitment to speak at a neighboring church besides our own.
I am thankful to have the opportunities and I am ALL IN to travel as the Lord sends me out. I embrace the journey and with my Pastor's blessing, I press on to serve the way God has designed me to. The people God has connected me with and the ability to sing and speak of His grace across the country overwhelm me!
The sad part for me is not sitting next to my best friend each Sunday. So how do we make it work, because for now, this is our reality as a married couple.
The main thing, above all, is that we fix our eyes on Christ first, seek Him, listen to Him and obey. We both work hard to keep a proper perspective that the traveling is simply a season in our life. It hasn't always been this way and it won't always remain. So while we are in it, we serve in this capacity with all of our heart, trusting God and continually seeking Him for such a time as this.
We talk, we share our schedules and our calendars. Any time that we are able to travel together, we do.
We work hard (and I mean it, we work hard because it is difficult) to guard our Yes's and deliver No's when necessary to the many requests that we both have that take us away from home and family.
The time we have with each other during the week, is precious to us, so date nights are a must! Finding things that we can do and enjoy together, like hiking and also making sure we do those things that fill us individually, like going to the gym, a relaxing round of golf (for Bob, not me) time in the Word and prayer keep us healthy together and healthy apart.
Time flies and we will never get back the moments apart, those Sundays in different churches, but, those moments in this season are filled with the opportunities that the Lord has given us to love, to serve and to encourage.
May we never grow weary, may we treasure the moments, seek first His kingdom and then watch everything else be added.
My favorite thing about the New Year is looking back. Looking back on all the 525,600 minutes, all those those moments that have happened, all that God has done and all that He has brought me through and all that He has accomplished. It's the beauty of hindsight. New Years's Eve gives me that chance each year.
This past year has been a journey through the Word of God. Reading through the Bible in a year, Digging deep into the character and faithfulness of God has been nothing short of life changing. I didn't want it to end, but then my husband said, "You know, you can read it again." I know, I know, he is a genius! That's why I married him on this day 21 years ago Dec. 31, 1993.
Well, in the last month of my daily readings, through prayer and meditation on His word, I knew God had something new in store for me. I prayed each day with anticipation of what it was. And true to His character, He revealed it to me.
To me, there is something overwhelming about God and His revelations to us... and that is our response. Now that it has been revealed, will I be obedient to what God has been equipping me to do over and throughout this past year?
The answer is simple. Yes.
Sometimes God asks us to do things are comfortable and right in our zone. Then there are those times when we are pushed way out of our comfort zone and into a place of complete and undeniable dependence on God to see us through and for courage to even dare to step out.
That is the place I am in. It's scary for me, but I know that for me not to move forward in His plan would mean complete disobedience on my part and that's just NOT where I want to be. The funny thing is, my place of discomfort may be your place of leisure and what seems like a simple instruction to me, may be the hardest step of faith you will ever take.
Whatever our marching orders, whatever our call, the beauty and intimacy we share in saying yes to God surpasses the heartache of running from His will, even when the run away may seem easier, especially when we can run and so easily forget what He asked us to do in the first place. God does not forget His plan for us. God is faithful.
So here I go, ready to jump into 2015 following His call and looking forward to the next 525,600 minutes, those moments that will lead me to, Dec. 31, 2015 (Lord willing) when I get to look back again.
"In daylights, in sunsets, In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?" RENT~Jonathan D. Larson
So the answer for me in How do I measure a year in the Life? It really would be in Love, the true love and the glory of God weaved in and throughout each day, the love of a Father who sent His son so that we could have eternal life with Him. May these seconds, these moments all point to Him,....all of it, even the sweet moments sippin' on a cup of coffee. May it all bring Him glory!
Happy New Year Friends!
May you hear His call, see His plan and follow with all your heart.
Christ was born for this!
And remember WE Are NOT Alone!
So these are a few of the titles that I carry, Worship Leader/Singer Songwriter/Public Speaker, and honestly I have very little clue about how to do any of them except that I know God has called me to glorify Him through these means.
My husband and I had a wonderful night sharing our testimony of God's healing in our marriage. I loved leading worship with my Celebrate Recovery family. I loved sharing a song of encouragement that I wrote and I loved standing next to my husband and telling our story. It all went well....really well....And I am always in shock when that happens. Let me explain that.....
As my husband and I talked on the way home, we both marveled at how there is really nothing that special about us, there is nothing extraordinary about my worship leading or our presentation when we give our testimony. Nothing, but the fact that we ask God to strip ourselves away and help us to present what we have without expectation and sit back and watch God's spirit move among His people.
As a worship leader and speaker there is, at times, a pressure to be on, having to be so spectacular and dynamic that you move people into an amazing experience of worship. What I KNOW to be true is that I have none of that.... all I have, by God's grace, is the ability to simply go before the Lord (with a microphone in hand and people watching me) and present what I have, as simple as it is, and leave it at that. Worship leading, singing, writing and speaking is simply an offering of being present, being honest, being transparent before the Lord SO THAT He can do what He does so perfectly.....Move the hearts of his people.
John the baptist had nothing great to offer physically (in fact, I'm sure people thought he was insane...and coincidentally there are times when people think I'm crazy too, but that's a different story), but He was present, submitting to the Father, testifying of the promise to come and the Spirit moved through him to prepare hearts.
The apostle Paul was spoken of like this.."For some say, 'His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.'" To which the apostles Paul says "such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present." II Corinthians 10:10
There was nothing spectacular about the Apostle Paul, yet I don't think anyone will argue the impact He had on the world and spreading the gospel.....so that had to be the power of God working through a humbled man present to be used by God.
This is what was said of Jesus..."He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire him." Isaiah 53:2. Jesus was simply present in the most powerful way. He, the perfect example of being present and submitting to the Father's will.
My encouragement from Christ is this. I don't have to be concerned with being spectacular, having the worlds best set, a full band, wearing just the right outfit to speak or worship lead in or a fog machine with amazing lighting (ok, the fog machine does hide wrinkles, just sayin...but, I'm not concerned). My concern is that I am humbly present before God, worshiping Him alone, speaking boldly the truth that He shares in His Word, trusting that as I put out my best and honest worship, that HE WILL show up and move the hearts of His people, because I am not the Holy Spirit, nor do I want to be.
Friends, I am NOTHING and I am happy with that. My prayer this night was that God would strip away everything that I am and the only thing left was only what resembled Christ.
God is faithful, God is amazing and He is amazing in and through us. That's the only reason people can look at us and say we are amazing, because of who is in us. "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" I John 4:4
May you be encouraged that God can and will use you no matter what. Come before Him and lay it all out and watch what He does with your offering and sacrifice. Sometimes you may be blessed to witness it, other times you may be blessed trusting that God is doing something EVEN IF you don't get to see it on this side of heaven.
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.