Church and Masks

This blog will seek to answer why wearing masks in church broke my heart and caused me to stay home, forsaking ‘to gather together’….AND why I’m going back NOW!…even with a mask, and even if it is just to get through the front doors (don’t send the mask police, I promise not to go to church or any other social event if I have ANY symptoms and I promise to wash my hands often and keep my distance from you if you are afraid I’m secretly carrying a virus that may or may not kill you but actually God is the one that has numbered your days, so its not really on me if you die from possible covid that may be secretly hiding in me) (yes that is the longest run on sentence since Paul in Ephesians)

Back to the thesis (this is a blog, not a masters degree, don’t be too serious): Masks worn at church OVER/ON TOP OF the proverbial masks you put on BEFORE you go to church, causes impersonal, superficial and Satan-honoring engagements.

***Yikes, did she just say “satan-honoroing”??? AS IF!!”***

The Enemy of God wants nothing more then for your face to be covered by the mask HE’S given you, not your cute one from Athleta or your handmade one from Aunt Ethel, but the one you wear because of the lies he’s sold you, about not being wanted, or good enough, or even worthy of stepping into a church. This enemy has told you that you better figure out how to let everyone know that you have your SH$! together and that you are “christian” enough and if you don’t smile and nod and act like you ‘got it goin’ on’ when you go to church, you may not be accepted and you definitely won’t be considered to teach in children’s church, let alone to be a deacon or deaconess! So, every Sunday morning you desperately seek how to look good, play the part and ‘do’ church. OH and Definitely, don’t let them see what happens in your mind or in you heart or behind closed doors. …..cause IF you do, Jesus might redeem it and then God would be glorified.

PLEASE don’t tell me that I’m the only “good” Christian out there that has been caught up in this?!

It’s OK, you don’t need to confess. I’ll confess for us all. It is true. You know it and I won’t let you remain in denial.

ANYWAY…..fast forward to 2020 when covid is allowed to wreck havoc on our world and the government tells you to ACTUALLY put on a freakin’ MASK. Cover your nose and mouth. PROTECT yourself from the germs!!! It’s the ONLY way to save yourself and others around you! Wash your hands, stay home alone, away from others and when you are with others. COVER YOUR FACE!!!

“AH…..YES!” wringing his hands together and saying “muah hahhaha” The Enemy whispers “Cover your filthy faces, they give to much away about your inner self, about the current state of your soul. COVER YOUR FACE!”

My friends, CHRISTMAS is important. I go to church on Christmas Eve and celebrate the birth of the ONE and ONLY perfect lamb. The Savior of my soul. God…..born human. Destined for crucifiction…….BUT willingly for ME, for YOU, for TO (can I say that?) FOR TO RECONCILE MY SIN and RESTORE ME to GOD! We go to church ON Christmas!

So… I know this is getting long…but hang with me….

……I dress up in my BEST, I go to church Christmas Eve, with my most beloved family, I accessorize with my favorite mask (cause lets be honest it’s a fashion statement now and here is yet one more thing to judge each other on), and I walk into church.

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE???? Is that Lena? Wait?, Heidi wouldn’t wear that dress! Who just smiled at me or was it a scowl, and waived.

That woman’s eyes looked desperate.

These children won’t look me in the eye!

LORD HELP US! What in the actual FORGOODNESSSAKE is this?

I DIED!

I was so disturbed. The church service was fine, Jesus was born and we celebrated and I pulled my mask down and I cried. Well, OK, I didn’t cry out loud, because I’m a “good” Christian girl and I know how to wear the mask that the enemy gave me…(isn’t that sad). But I did die inside.

And I mourned.

I mourned for the death of “one-anothering”. How can I “one-another” you if I can’t see your face (am I right? or stubborn? or limited?)

I mourned for the f-ing (sorry) win that Satan won with the masking of our people.

Please, I get it, its a horrible virus and it tends to “kill people” (God allowed of course). I understand people get more sick and that we are contagious BEFORE we get symptoms. I understand it’s a ‘thing”. But I am MORE saddened that it has dampened fellowship. I am MORE saddened that it took a year of LIFE-living from me. I am more so, so very disturbed that I can’t see your “fake mask” under your cloth mask and that YOU may be suffering alone. I am sooo soooo disturbed by that.

So if you take ANYTHING from this RANT (lets be honest I don’t know what a thesis is)….take this… I LOVE YOU!

I AM CONCERNED ABOUT YOU!

I KNOW THAT THE CLOTH MASK YOU WEAR, COVERS THE MASK THAT THE ENEMY GAVE YOU, THAT YOU WERE HOPING SOMEONE LIKE ME WOULD SEE AND RECOGNIZE, AND THAT GOD WOULD USE THEM TO RESCUE YOU AND DRAW YOU CLOSER TO CHRIST!

I KNOW.

And whereas I may not see you, or your enemy given mask at church, I AM partnered with the I AM, and I am, willing to wear a stinking cloth mask FOR CHRIST, and for YOU.

If you see me at church (I sit on the left back row of the sanctuary), and IF you might be willing to come pull your cloth mask down(or not) and just say I need someone to help me take the mask the ENEMY put on me, OFF….I WILL BE THERE FOR YOU!

I love you!

I am a mother

I am a mother.

And whereas I love this day that we have set aside to celebrate motherhood and don’t get me wrong I loved receiving my favorite bottle of wine and flowers for my kids, I have a little question for us to consider. Shouldn’t we really be celebrating The Giver of Life and the One who is actually responsible for making it possible to be a mom!

That’s what I celebrate today and that’s where my focus is and I hope you’d entertain letting that be your focus too! I think as our culture has commercialized Mother’s Day, it perhaps has done a disservice to our faith and walking in freedom and in partnership with Christ. You see, when we have any opportunity to have our focus turned to self or to have our desires tempted towards wanting others to notice us or to honor us, we get things flipped upside down and it feeds the idols of your heart.

So, moms soak up all the love, respect and admiration you receive today, but guard your heart and if for some reason you aren’t noticed or honored or respected today… don’t let that bring you down, don’t let that ruin you. Turn your eyes to the One and only Creator of all things, the One who gave you the gift of motherhood, the One that made it possible for you to bear children and to be a mother. He loves you. He’s proud of you. He made you to make those little ones in your life. And turn your eyes to those little ones…I can say being a mother of adult children has allowed me the perspective to look back and to cherish the blessings I was given through them. If you still have little ones that tax you all day long, if you have teenagers that press the limits, don’t grow weary, but turn your eyes back to the One and only Father, Creator, Sustainer, the One who gave you the blessing of children! Soak it in let your heart be full of the only One who should fill it!

And I say to the women who never bore children or raise children, you too are a mother. God created you to be nurturing, to nurture life, to raise other women in Christ. So don’t let our culture push you out of this day of remembrance. We are all mothers. We give life and love and nurture and support to countless people around us, and it’s because that’s what God created women to do. You are unique and you are unique because of the Creator. There is none like you and your value comes not from the fact that you are a mother, your value comes from being a child. A Child of God!

So, I guess this message is really not to mothers, or women it is to those who aren’t yet a child of God or who have not yet given Lordship over to Jesus Christ. This message is for YOU, because it’s your time. If you want to know what true love is and how it feels to walk in freedom and to be of importance to someone… look to Christ! He chose to pay your debt. Don’t worry we all have a debt to God. We’ve all fallen short of righteousness before God but for Christ. He made a way for you and I to be reconciled this Almighty God of the universe and He made the way because He genuinely loves you. I don’t care what you’ve done, how big or how little you think your sin is, and neither does Christ. Because before you were even formed, He chose to pay the debt for you! That is true love. He simply waits for you to turn to him and give him Lordship of your life so that you never have to be alone or feel unloved or discarded or not at peace ever again! Happy child of God day, My Friend!

Be at Peace!

The Lost Year

Hi!

I’m back. Or did I ever really go anywhere? To me it’s as if no time passed at all but also like a whole generation of time was passed over in the year 2020! What in the world happened to us? What happened to you?

Here is my flyover:

  • March 2020 I stayed home, mostly, and even did Church at home
  • April 2020 I hung out with friends secretively, which felt daring and helped move my sons family into a new home.
  • May 2020 I had a fun date in the back of the truck with my husband, played with my sweet grandson, saw some nice sunsets and we took a camping trip with friends (again, I felt rebellious because of covid).
  • June 2020 My brother, husband and I purchased a house in Tumalo and started a new company that will offer short-term rentals, long-term rentals and other fun things.
  • July 2020 I moved my office home as we renovated the new house in Tumalo to be my DBS “office”. Renovations are just now being completed….Brek worked hard and it looks amazing…hit me up if you want to rent it someitme:)
  • August 2020 My son married his beautiful bride and they announced grandson #2 would be arriving in January. Brek turned 49….I also turned 49 and soon we will be celebrating adulthood. We went crabbing and did a sunset dinner at Mt. Bachelor.
  • September 2020 Abby had her dear friend come visit, because covid kept her homebound her sophomore year and doing online school. Brek and I took off with some dear friends for a trip to SEDONA, AZ….highlight of 2020!
  • Wrapping up Summer 2020…we did CHURCH outside and that was FANTASTIC. When it moved inside I was sad.
  • October 2020 Brek hurt his neck and was in pain for a long time and then had a cortisone shot in November or December or sometime in 2020 and is mostly better today. Although last week was rough.
  • November 2020 I started knitting Christmas stockings and got all 3 done:)
  • December 2020 My Grandson turned 2 and I went to Christmas Eve service at church with a mask on and had a panic attack and my heart was broken and I’ll explain this all in a later blog. I never went back until last Sunday.
  • January 2021 Grandson #2 arrived and I fell in love again!
  • In mid December 2020…all of the constipation of 2020, hit the fan and I’ll spare you the details but it included an infection that wouldn’t heal and *unrelated* Shingles outbreak on my face, which is still not 100% resolved.

I guess I could say it was a typical year with ups and downs and side trails and normal stuff…..but we can’t kid ourselves, 2020 was different. Life is different. It probably won’t ever be the same. It’s most likely the end of days and Christ is on His way to get us! RIGHT?! Please tell me I’m not alone in the desperate hope that our Savior returns and makes this all reconciled and corrects all the wrongs!!

I can say for sure that I grew in my faith, this weird year of 2020. I didn’t just sit at home, pissed off at the government and frozen in time. I actually sought Christ, like I had all the other previous years. You see that is the ONE constant in my life. The ONE thing that actually makes sense. The ONE thing that brings any amount of sanity and purpose to my life, to the ridiculous covid thing. Jesus.

Suggestion, if your behind in the “Seek Jesus” department, seek to KNOW HIM! Read “Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers” by Dane Ortlund. I’m not yet done with it but I can tell you it would/should/will rock your understanding of Christ and probably change your relationship with Him.

So, did you loose a year? Did I loose a year? or did the ridiculousness (please don’t send me emails about your opinion of the things that transpired due to the pandemic that you agree or disagree with in regards to me calling it ridiculous) of the pandemic simply change your lens or did it cloud the year you lived? Do you think its a choice we made to allow it to muddle our experience? Sure, it was something that happened that we couldn’t avoidm but could we have lived it better? I think I could have. Now, as I sort out how to live out 2021 with better purpose and with better results, I WILL return to writing. I WILL do better.

Help me out here…what will you do better? How will your 2021 be different?