Sunday, February 28, 2010

Can Christians drink?

Wow. This is a tough post to write. I'm writing this all for myself as I learn, grow, and wrestle this out with God. I'm simply letting my thoughts come straight from my ever-spinning mind and heart. First, let me tell you some of my story. Oh, Lord....please help me here. This is hard.

I grew up in a small town in Arkansas. This town is smaller than where I live now, but reminds me so much of it. When we moved here 10 years ago (wow!), there was a huge piece of my heart that loved it here because it reminded me of home.

For all of us, "home" comes with many emotions and memories. And, here is a very tiny glimpse into a part of my home.

Ok, here comes a gulp. I was introduced to alcohol at a young age. I remember it like it was yesterday. I could give you every detail, but I'm not. My parents might have had beer in the house growing up, but I don't remember it being a big deal. Alcohol was always around, but not in front of me very much at all. I also remember a few years while I was in elementary school that my mom and some other moms got together for a "Back to school Bloody Mary party." I truly didn't think much about that either. I can also say that I don't remember any conversations about "stay away from alcohol" or "don't drink and drive" that occurred in my presence either. I guess my memory is a bunch of nothing when it comes to people talking about alcohol in my home or at church. I was 15 when I took my first sip of alcohol. That is where I gulped again. I just typed that.

I grew up in the Methodist church in this wonderful Arkansas town and it's all I've ever known.
I just turned 40 and the church in Arkansas, Christ Methodist in Memphis, and our church here in town is all I've ever known in all these years of my life. It's the only denomination I've ever known.

Now....Let me also say that I'm a HUGE church junkie and if I find a really good pastor somewhere I'm hooked on their sermons and their church whether I've been there or not. Most times I've never darkened their doors, but I feel like I might as well have. I could be slightly obsessed I think. ;)

Well, my family has found ourselves visiting churches here in town and let me say....it's been interesting. I would love to write a post on the good, the bad, and the ugly from the eyes of a visitor. No one is asking so I probably shouldn't. But, when you have been faithful to one church for a very long time and find yourself in a season of wilderness and wondering you see things with a whole new set of eyes.

This past fall, we visited one church. That church was non-denominational. Now, we are visiting another one. This is a Baptist church. This is part of the visiting process....trying different things.....where do you fit in....what are you looking for...what is best for the entire family.

Honestly...I want a biblically solid church.

Last Wednesday night, my youngest son wanted to go to this church so we did. Just me and him.
I went to a Discovery type class for people interested in this church. Alcohol was not the point of this weeks lesson, but it did find it's way into a small piece of it.

So....here we go....alcohol in the Baptist church...remember, all I've ever known is Methodist. We are joked about as having the "Ten Suggestions" instead of the Ten Commandments. Ha ha ha ha. We are also known to be ok with alcohol. Please don't ask me why I say that or how I know that. What I do know is...I have never heard a sermon on it so my assumption is....it's ok.

Ok...back to the piece of the message last week that WON'T LEAVE ME ALONE. Bear with me.

The passage of scripture was from 1 Corinthians 8:1-13. One verse out of this passage says this.... Vs 9 "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak." Read that again. "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak." The pastor went on to share a personal story involving his family and a drunk driving incident that involved a family member. He also said that there probably wasn't a person in the room who had not had a bad experience involving alcohol.

This is unfortunately where I could tell you story after story after story that involves alcohol and my life. Since I have an addictive personality, it's by the grace of God my life was saved multiple times and that I am not a recovering addict of some kind. That in itself is a story to tell, but I won't right now.

Back to what the pastor was saying....He also told a story about a Sunday school class at this particular church that had a Christmas party and alcohol had been served. (Not here to judge, just stating the facts). They were playing some games and having a cocktail or two. However, one person was at this party and alcohol was a HUGE part of her past and she was surprised to say the least that this Sunday school class was serving alcohol at a church sponsored function.

Vs. 13"Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall."

This is where my heart was about to burst and I prayed in my head....."Oh sweet Lord...I have come so far and you have saved me time and time again years ago...I do not want to be a stumbling block to someone else and cause them to fall into sin."

The pastor when on to talk about being a parent. My husband and I are raising 3 boys. I remember someone giving me some advice once..."You don't want to shelter them from the world because they will go out into the world and have to digest a lot of worldly things. You don't want the world to hit them all at once and they freak out and can't handle it and become wild fools."

Is that real? Or is that my fear and imagination settling in?

So, as a parent, and in the words of this pastor, "We must protect our name and our character especially when it comes to raising our kids." I don't know that one of my children won't have a problem with alcohol but it won't be with me saying it's ok.

Does that make sense?

So...where am I with all this? I'm struggling. I don't have one bit of a problem if you like to have a glass of this or that. This is my personal journey that involves my messed up past and the work that Christ is doing in my life today as a wife, momma, and a woman who is ALL ABOUT SOME JESUS!!!

I'd love for you to chime in and say what you want....and please, let's encourage one another and not tear someone down. I'm simply trying to gain insight and wisdom.

I'll stop for now. I love each of you so much and value your opinions and thank God for where you are in your walk.

Keep after Him. He saves. He transforms. He redeems. He loves no matter what!!!!

Blessings~

Monday, February 22, 2010

I love my family but.....


We have been homeless when it comes to a church since late last summer. No need to hash that all out again, but the fact is....we are homeless and I don't like it.

We spent the fall visiting a church and then we decided around Christmas that we should visit somewhere else for a few months. Must keep it fair and all. Or keeping it fair and all might turn out to mean we still don't have a church again this summer.

Well, today's sermon was FABULOUS!!!! I mean the kind I'll remember for a long while. One tiny piece was this.....

In Fran's words this is how I heard it and applied it to my life....

"I love my family sooooooo very much. I mean don't we all? I'd do anything for my husband or kids. We hear parents say it all the time and once you become one you'll do anything for those kids. Yes, I'd walk through fire and take death for them if I had to. I sacrifice left and right for those kids. I'll go anywhere for those kids. I'll do whatever I can for those kids. My entire family is my life.........

However, they are NOT MY GOD."

Ouch. You can read these for yourself.

Again....I love my job....but, it's not my god.

I love my house....but, it's not my god.

I love my friends....but, they aren't my god.

I love to workout....but, it's not my god.

I love my church.....but, it's not my god.

I'm going to make sure that I don't put anyone or any thing above or before the one true God in my life.

Let's take a moment to evaluate where our heart is. I know I need to.

Mark 12: 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'f]"> 31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'g]"> There is no commandment greater than these."

Blessings~


Monday, February 15, 2010

Turning the big 4-0....and please don't judge.

Ok, so you want to know how I celebrated my big 4-0? You might be slightly surprised. I think I still am. Don't even know why I'm surprised, but I am.

Are you ready?

We went to a casino. Yep. That is correct. Please hear me out okay? There was a fun group of people going to a concert at one of the casinos and asked us and some other people to tag along and oh yeah...it's Fran's birthday so we can celebrate that too.

Ok...I'm good with this.

I took 40 billion stupid stupid stupid pictures and I really don't want to explain their badness so I'm just picking a few that aren't too bad.

This is a portion of us girl inside the concert joint place. I guess it was like a club, but not really. I don't know. There was a stage and all, but we had floor seats except there were no seats. You stood. What in the world is all this called?

Anyway...here we are. Had so much fun with everybody!

I love these people!!!! We spend a lot of time together during baseball season and have become the infamous two peas in a pod. Don't you love the folks who get your ridiculousness and still love you? Oh, and no I'm not talking about hubs on the far right. I see him all the time.

This is Gary Allen. I'll admit that I've never really heard of him. I only knew a couple of songs he sang. He is some country dude. He has an amazing story between him and his wife and the song had me crying. Nice. Don't cry when you turn 40....regardless of what is going on.

Don't you love looking at this darling couple sideways? No? Me neither. Not fixing it.

Don't ask. I'm not telling. Even if I did tell you....you'd roll your eyes and say "that's not funny at all Fran." My feelings would then be hurt.

Everyone needs a picture of themselves and some friends in a casino. The funny thing is...some "security person" told us you can't take pictures in the casino. WHAT???? We aren't taking pictures to steal something off the slot machines so we can strike it rich. Still a cute picture though huh? I wish you could have seen just how cute these two girls are. Adorable outfits!

And, last but not least...here is me and my man. We really had a fun time out of our element. I'm not sure when we will go back to casino land in Mississippi, but it was a sure fun way to ring in the big 4-0.
One big thing I'm seeing now that I'm a whole week into this 40 gig is this.....

I want to be very intentional in all that I do. I'm tired of wasting time in some areas of life. I really want to be effective and live this life for Christ. Because when it all comes down to it, I have only shot at this life and I don't want any regrets.

I trust and believe that He will provide me one heckuva ride and I'm holding on tight. I have a feeling the real fun and excitement is about to begin!!

Love you all so much. I thank God for having you in my life.

Blessings~

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

No explanation needed....this is awesome!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Help me. I'm confused. Maybe I'm just old.

Let me introduce to you Lady Gaga. You'll soon see her below. That is all I know about her. All I know is a weird name. Oh wait...she was born in 1986 and her name is Stephanie. Let me also say that my name is Fran and I was born in 1970. I'm quite a bit older than Miss Gaga. I guess maybe Madonna was the closest thing I had to a Gaga when I was in high school.

Let me also say that I'm not the creative type AT ALL. People who scrapbook and can paint on canvas and turn rooms around in a minute make me so very anxious to be around. I am the unequipped one. God clearly left that gene out of my pool and I'm ok with that. The world doesn't need a bunch of Fran's running around. Geesh.

But, I am having a hard time with the Gaga. Is this ok for her to dress like this? Am I just horribly old now? Have I become my mother? Please tell me no.

Now, I know Madonna wore some freakish things back in the day. I totally wanted to be her. Yes. Roll your eyes now. And, these might have been my favorite Madonna looks of all time.



Ok, so here is the first outfit of Miss Lady Gaga from last nights Grammy's. What is this? Anyone? Please? Help? She's in pain isn't she?


Ok, so what in the world is this outfit? Please explain to me. Or is it simply "art?" She does look scared to death and part of me feels sorry for her. But...hey! What about chick behind you? Don't you know she's ticked. I think it's quite clear that dude is totally staring. Don't blame ya man.

Again...slightly bizarre. I have nothing else.

And...then you have this one....all i can do is laugh. How hilarious is this one really? I can't help but think of what Robyn and I would side by side in the get up!!!!! Ohmywordabove this is great!

And then apparently there was a number with Lady Gaga and Elton John. I didn't see it. I read some stuff on twitter that kinda clued me in as to what people were saying. So, my question is.....

Do I just roll with it and the popularity of Gaga or do I think "what in the world is happening to society and the entertainment industry?" Or do I think it's all innocent expression of art? Or have we gone to far? Or am I 93?

Heck, I don't know what to make of all this. I wonder if my mom thought Madonna was just like this? I'm sure she did.

And, the next thing I wonder is.....be careful what you say about someone because someone WILL hear you and even possibly call you out on it. What if you said..."Lady Gaga (insert any name for that matter) is a fruitcake and has lost her mind!!" Someone might catch wind of your statement and then you have gone and lost your witness.

Geesh. The Grammy's and Pete Wilson's message on Sunday has messed with me.

Anyone dare help?

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

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