– Ignorance Is Bliss –

Let me rant a little bit, in the most loving way…
Ignorance is NOT bliss, it is a disservice to the community that you’re involved with. There is such a thing as a stupid question and I believe the demand to understand should be placed on us if we claim to be followers of Christ. I don’t sugar coat many things other than baked goods so please, if I haven’t offended you yet, follow me until the end with this one.

We are often told to be faithful with what is in our hands and to use what we are given, the weight that carries is outstanding – but the mantle should weigh heavy with us, we live in a generation with information at our fingertips and access to a lot of work that someone else had to labor over. We are blessed and FLOODED with facts, information and ‘life hacks’, but what are we contributing to those that we do life with?

We see generations filling up universities to seek understanding on theologies, science, law, public service, and many other topics that they willingly spend days and nights to absorb. WE as the body of Christ should be adding to ourselves because WE AS THE BODY of Christ are called to give of ourselves. How can we give useful, powerful and relevant thoughts if we are hiding safely behind, “oh, I didn’t know”.

I’m not saying you need to know everything in the world but turning up to your community with something to give and something to help grow others is a great place to start.

“For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes,
His eternal power and divine nature,
have been clearly seen,
being understood through His workmanship
[all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made],
so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him]
are without excuse and without defense.

For even though they knew God [as the Creator],
they did not honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation].
On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking
[godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations],
and their foolish heart was darkened.
Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
and exchanged the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God
for an image [worthless idols] in the shape of mortal man
and birds and four-footed animals and reptiles…
because [by choice] they exchanged the truth of God for a lie,
and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,
who is blessed forever! Amen.”
Romans 1:20-23; 25 (AMP)

I reckon, if a secular and broken generation can turn up and form an educated opinion about refugees, the election, war, trafficking, child soldiers, and come prepared for conversations in lectures and small group settings – we should all the more hold tightly to being an informed, dynamic, powerball of information and be a little more true to living life without excuse of unknowing. I don’t think we should be allowed that luxury.

“Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on listening, but do not understand;
Keep on looking, but do not comprehend.’
“Make the heart of this people insensitive,
Their ears dull,
And their eyes dim,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed.
Isaiah 6:9-10 (AMP)

I wish I could say this sweeter but hopefully you know my heart.

Make educated decisions and share that education – not to persuade others to decide with you but to allow them a little more information to chew on and to change the environment you live in. A passionate generation is a dangerous generation if the change they are seeking is based on feelings and “well this is how we’ve always done it.” Change things for the better but know what is worse and why it is worse.
Learn to converse without judgements and learn to listen with grace.

Pray that I do the same.

Quality, Quantity: Both and Neither

*Downtown Tulsa – Shades of Brown. Hot and fresh chai tea lattes in hand – you know, the ones that taste like Christmas if Christmas was a marshmallow. The background music is even farther away with the sounds of the kitchen staff yelling through the teatime rush and I am staring out the window trying to collect my thoughts*

Thing 1: “Whats going on Laina?”

Thing 2: “… I think sometimes my standard for myself is too high, or maybe that it’s just high enough and I don’t forgive myself well enough.” 

I’m sure from this point they break out into High School Musical-type song but I’m not songwriting today.

I was reminded again this week of my passion, which is funny enough because I continue to do what I love even when I don’t love it. I made a commitment to write every week (or every day and post once a week) and for the most part I’ve loved what it has taught me. It taught me that I CAN.

I missed two weeks ago and was frustrated with myself until last night. We had a masterclass for the Writers Guild in our creative community where Kylie Beach read to us her Letter To The Poets. Please do take a read, it’s beautiful.

As she read this letter I thought of my daily/weekly commitment and how sometimes I actually miss the mark. Sometimes I write a blog that I hate or feel isn’t my best work and I don’t want to publish it. Sometimes I post on Saturdays even though my goal is Fridays. Sometimes I post at midnight even though my goal is noon. Sometimes (only once in over a year) I actually don’t set the time out to post at all.

Occasionally though, I write a blog that I actually tell my friends in person about (with my real words) because I feel like G-d just might have put His seal of approval over it. But set aside all the good blogs, the bad ones and the ones I haven’t written to be judged yet and I still have a need inside of me to write my heart out.

“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred.
What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all.
We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits.
We are terrified, and we are brave.
Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege.
Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. Make space for all these paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul, and I promise—you can make anything.
So please calm down now and get back to work, okay?
The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.”
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert

What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. I could never post again and what G-d wants to accomplish though my writing will still happen if I continue to seek Him. But, I could continue to post every week and grow, learn discipline and correct my sometimes terrible grammar. I can read articles on what makes a great blog, how to edit, study literature and use all the tags on WordPress… But at the end of the day my prayer is that if any of what I write is what you need to read – that it finds you timely. And if anything I need to learn is something that you’re creating, that you’d be brave enough to create, share and discipline yourself in your craft. I promise – you can make anything.

*I’ve never read Big Magic before but this quote was shared last night as well…
I’ve attached a link to the book on Amazon for some birthday ideas, or some random gift ideas, or some
“Happy Friday” ideas. So. That’s that.

I’m Halfway Listening To What She Thinks She Knows

Hippie music to enjoy whilst reading my blog

– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5ASEfYFADs
­ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMd35tfCiXQ

I enjoy being someone who is readable (no pun intended). I have a lot of people who know me and know me very well. Of these people some of them still enjoy my company and having a laugh or two with me (and at me). The most confusing thing about me is when I’m speaking and don’t even know what I’m talking about, or the fact that I change my mind a lot. But I have decided something – people are allowed to change their minds. I’m a planner. I like my weekends filled with sunshine and my work-weeks packed to full. I like my work schedules a month in advance and my new posts to come out on Fridays. Because of this I often have a difficult time letting myself change things up. Once I have black ink to a calendar I rarely give myself the opportunity to cross it off and reschedule.

Something I’ve learned in the last 2-6 years is the fact that things change. Always.

It then becomes our opportunity to learn how to respond to such things happening because they WILL in fact happen. It used to cause me legitimate anxiety that found it’s home in my stomach when things didn’t go according to a neat schedule and while I still believe it is important to be timely, I have found the freedom of occasionally rescheduling a thing or two. Obviously commitments that are pressing aren’t things to be thrown onto a different date… but you get what I’m saying.

(Please get what I’m saying)

Sometimes, I really like to rant. I get super passionate about a lot of thoughts and things and sometimes I just need to say a lot of words around that subject. I love when I find people who will just smile at me and let me talk. I love when people get me.

Sometimes, I think I’m super sneaky or really good at hiding feelings. Guys and lady-faces, I SUCK at this. I’m a freaking open book and often people can guess what I’m going to say word for word based on the ridiculous smile that I have on my face. I’m not fooling anyone. Except myself. I trick myself into thinking that I’m fooling other people. But I’m not.

Sometimes, I really enjoy people I can just BE with. I love the ones who can be sitting across the room not having a consistent conversation flowing and still just being pleased that they are there. I enjoy company more than conversation and tend to feel like I know you a little better when you spend time with me. It’s like a collaborative investment and I think it’s beautiful.

Sometimes, I don’t have anything to say to G-d. My quiet times can be ironically quiet. I’m not entirely sure if I don’t try hard enough in these times and can occasionally feel guilty when I miss a day journaling. Then I realize: G-d gets me. He knows me WELL and I feel like occasionally laughs at me. He lets me change my mind and doesn’t hold it against me. He keeps my weekends full of sunshine (unless it rains) and reminds me to leave space on my calendar for dates with Him, even if all we are doing is sitting on opposite sides of the room and mutually investing time there.

He lets me rant.

When I think I have something to say He allows me to splurb and blab on and on until I’ve exhausted my passion and thought process to finally come to a conclusion. That I will likely second guess. And change.

He gets what I’m really saying when I actually talk to Him, and He isn’t ever fooled by my replies assuring Him that, “I’m fine”. I don’t think I truly realize how important His character is to me or how much I appreciate who He really is. Sometimes I let weeks go by and feel like I’ve learned nothing about Him and that I’ve gotten no better in my attempts to be a super person (whatever that means).

But as I allow life to change around me and take the turns that it will, I find that He allows ME to change. I love realizing just how much has changed and how much has healed.

I love that He gives me time, investment, love… and that HE GETS ME.

Spoiled Society : Literature

Coming from a book-nerd who is currently sitting in the resource center (bookstore) at church all I can think about as I read this again is how unbelievably blessed we are with the freedom of information we are surrounded with. We have been given much more knowledge and freedom of expression than we realize and it’s a shame that we don’t take more advantage of the literature we have access to. Please enjoy this #ThinkBackThursday


John 14.15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

And what does He command? Devotion

            “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your G-d.” Micah 6.8

G-d requires daily time spent with Him, in His word, seeking Him with all we are.

I have an NIV bible, I have an app on my iPhone with loads of versions of the Bible, it even plays audio. I can instantly read, listen to, and spend time in the Word of my heavenly father. And, guess what? When I do, no one is there telling me I can’t, no one is telling me I’ll lose my life if I study it. My family doesn’t threaten to abandon me; the government officials aren’t holding a gun to my head. The Bible is currently banned in North Korea and throughout time it has been banned in hundreds of areas and people groups. Americans, the people with arguably the most access to G-d’s Word, probably (collectively) know the least about the Bible. Correct me if I’m wrong – please – but list your 10 closest, most “G-dly” friends and think of how often they spend time studying and weeping over the Scriptures. I’ve been reading a book talking about the underground church in Asia and how pastors and people alike will join, cramming in one room and study for hours at a time. For them, this risks all they have.

But for them G-d’s Word is ENOUGH.

Sometimes I only put enough value in the Word of G-d to read one chapter – and even then I settle without understanding it. My G-d has commanded me to walk humbly with Him. Humility reminds me of lying down yourself and chasing after something that has NOTHING to do with you; with how busy you are, or how tired you are. I show my Savior that I love Him by following His commands, how do I know those unless I spend time reading them?

G-d, forgive me for embracing this spoiled societies view on “getting around to it” when millions of people go hungry for Your Word. Change my heart and grow my desire for Your Word. Give my mind new understanding and my soul steadfastness. G-d break off my “Christian cookie” and show me what it is to follow You.

I pledge allegiance to the Bible

G-d’s HOLY WORD

I will make it a lamp unto my feet

and a light unto my path

I will hide its words in my heart

that I might not sin against G-d