About Beth Ann

I'm into Christian Music and play acoustic guitar, sing on the choir and I am active in our local Via de Cristo movement.

Life Was Filled With Guns And Wars…

While we’re on Beginnings and Endings, I thought I’d bring up the very last ending, the Second Coming, ’cause Jesus is coming again.  That will be a beautiful ending and beginning for us, but not for others.

When I was a new christian back in the 70’s (I’m dating myself now), there were all sorts of debates about the Rapture going on that didn’t matter.  We were all concerned about how and when the Lord was going to return and what it was going to be like.  I’ve gotten past that now, because it doesn’t matter.  We have to be ready, every day for the Lord to return.  We have to live our lives as if in the next moment He will return.  We need to be about the Lord’s work every day.

This is a song that was a big christian hit back in the day…  I used to sing it with my guitar and usually a bunch of people would join me.  The video on this is from the 70’s, ’cause most of us grew up with Vietnam, war protests and political unrest.  It seemed like the Lord was going to show up any moment and that is the time when this song was written.

I Wish We’d All Been Ready by Larry Norman:

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Letters to an American Christian – Book Review

If you’ve ever wondered how Christians should navigate and react to political situations this is the book for you.  Bruce Riley Ashford, who is a Dean of Faculty at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, will help you through all the confusing rhetoric that is being spewed by politicians in Washington D.C.

The book is separated into three parts: A Christian View of Politics and Public Life, A Christian View on Hot-Button Issues and A Christian Hope for American Politics.  Each section has many chapters that are actually written like a letter to a political science undergraduate named Christian.  By writing in this format, Bruce Riley Ashford has kept the tone of the subject matter light and easy to read.   He covers many topics that are in the news today like abortion, gay rights and same sex marriage, free speech, religious liberty and Second Amendment rights, only to mention a few.

The first section, A Christian View of Politics and Public Life, explores the relationship between Christians and government and he also explains the separation of Church and State.  The second section goes over the top hot-button topics of the day that I listed above.  This section really helped me form and solidify my opinions on these topics.  Section three is about being a Christian Witness in the world and how to effect the culture around us.

I took a long time reading this book because I really wanted to soak in what the author was saying.  I can get very confused with all of the political rhetoric out there.  I’m interested in what happens in the “public square”, but back away when the yelling starts.  This book really helped me sort out the issues and learn how to, perhaps, join my voice with others.

I’m giving this book five stars.  If you are interested in the public forum, but can’t make sense of it all, and not sure where a christian should stand, this is the book for you.

 

Letters to an American Christian

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

Pet Peeve Rant

Beware, personal opinion rant coming up!!

For years I have noticed that the workers in my building will greet everyone they meet with a “Hi, How are you?”  and then they keep walking.  I just say Hello and also keep walking.  Why do they ask how I’m doing when they obviously don’t want to know?

The time when this would really, really bug me is when I was in the middle of caring for my husband.  I was “walking exhausted” all the time.  I lived on coffee.  In fact, I would drink a half a pot of coffee in the evening just to make it to bedtime.  During this time in my life I really wanted to stop these people and just lay into them and let them know how I felt.  But I didn’t.

Then there are the people that when you ask them how they are doing (and you really want to know) and they say they are “fine”.  What does that mean?  You look at this person and you can tell they are not “fine”, but that’s what they say?  What’s with that?  You are not “fine”.  You are feeling lousy, tired, beat-up, but yet you still say “fine”.  Please….

I’d like everyone who has the habit (because it is a habit!) of asking how everyone is doing and not really caring, to think about this.  If you don’t want to know how someone is doing, Don’t Ask!!  But if you do, take the time to stop and ask like you mean it.  That person may be having a really rough time.  If you ask how they are doing and they tell you about the rough time they are having, then you can listen.  Usually there isn’t a whole lot you can do to help them, but really listen, sympathize with them, pray with them.  Pray right there and then for them and then tell them you will regularly pray for them and then do it!

And to you all that are always “fine”?  Stop it.  Let others know that you are not fine.  If you  need to have someone listen to you, pray with you, then let others know.  I know that when I was in the midst of taking care of my husband that sometimes just talking to someone and praying with them would help.  It didn’t ease my situation, but it did help to lean on someones shoulder for a bit and unburden myself.

We in the body of Christ need to learn to trust and listen to each other and share our burdens.  So start a new habit today…  Ask someone how they are doing, and really mean it.

 

Who’s Got Your Back?

Robin“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:25-27

I’ve worked at some places that had “Team Building” exercises.  I hated one that came out (and I don’t know if they still do this), but you had to stand with your back to two or four people and just fall backwards and trust that they would catch you.  I never trusted the people behind me to catch me.  I couldn’t do this exercise.

But in my life I’ve learned to trust the Lord.  Now I figure trusting is just about the same as having faith.  They go hand in hand.  I looked up the differences between trust and faith, and there are differences.  According to http://www.differencebetween.com (yes, that’s a real website!) faith is used in the sense of ‘belief’ or ‘devotion’ and the word trust is used in the sense of ‘confidence’ and ‘reliance’.  Hummm, do you trust in your faith?  Or put another way, do you have confidence in your faith that the Lord will take care of you?

While I was the caregiver for my husband I found that I didn’t have confidence in my faith.  Why did my husband get sick?  Why did this happen?  I was terrified of being a single mom of two teen-aged sons without out a penny to put towards a funeral for my husband if he died.  Life just wasn’t supposed to happen this way.  But it did.

I read Matthew 6:25-27 and this verse held a whole new meaning for me.  I had faith in the Lord, but did I have the confidence that He would take care of my life?  At that time, the answer was no.  So I started to try to build my confidence in my faith.  The Lord helped by opening up my eyes and showing me all the little things in my life that He was taking care of.  As  my husband got worse, He brought people into our lives to show us that help was out there and they pointed me in the right direction.  We had in home aides so I could work and a chair lift so my husband could go up and down the steps.  These helps didn’t cost us a penny, but they were priceless.  As a result, my confidence got stronger.  Today, I know the Lord is looking out for me and has a plan.  I just have to listen to Him.

So, if you feel your confidence flagging, remember, God’s got this!!  He has your back.

Regrets

I have times when I think about all the things that I’ve been through and I wonder if I made different choices how my life would be.  Doing this actually just deepens my depression because I think that if I’d done things differently I would have a better life now.

This kind of thinking is not productive.  We can’t go back and change our life.  We can only start today and move in a different direction.  However, to look back at your life can do some good in your life.  When I look back now I can see how the Lord has sustained me over the years, even when I wasn’t praising Him or giving Him credit for that time.  He has brought me through some really difficult situations that definitely could have been much worse.

Go back and change things?  I know I wish I could.  But I wouldn’t be the person I am now without those experiences.  I think this is why when MercyMe released this song that it so, so spoke to me.  Don’t we all wish that we could just speak to that younger me and tell them what we’ve learned today?  But as this song points out, we are one of the redeemed.  From this time on we are are to put our pain and hurt at the base of the Cross.

 

Praise Him Now???

We’ve all had times that we get mad at God.  Accidents, death, loss of job; the list can be endless.  But we have to remember that God is sovereign, He is in control even when everything around us seems to be in chaos.

Almost thirty years ago my mother died and I got really mad at God.  It wasn’t that she had died, but the way she died.  For the six months before she died she was a vegetable.  Staring into space, no response from any stimulation.  It was heartbreaking.  She finally died of pneumonia, but by that time I was so mad at God for “doing that” to her.

Looking back now, I know that my getting mad at God didn’t change anything.  It isn’t like He’s going to apologize.  But during that time I learned that no matter  what happens, God is in control.

Recently, my family is going through some extremely tough decisions.  It’s breaking  hearts and causing some depression.  I’ve learned to remind my family that God is in control and He’s got this.  We need to praise Him, no matter what.

This is my “go to” song during times like these.  It sums up the feelings that you have during any crisis.  Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns just nails this.

All Life is Precious

jeremiah 1,15Today is Sanctity of Life Sunday and many people have spent the whole week in Washington, D.C. rallying for the right to life.

Personally, I don’t think that Roe vs. Wade will ever be overturned, that is just my opinion. But, I think that we, as a people, need to express our thoughts on life and make them known to those around us.  We need to let others know about how God created this earth and the people on it and as part of God’s creation, All Life is Precious.

It’s not just abortion.  There are issues with child and elder abuse, and assisted suicide.  None of these issues are new.  Abuse of all kinds have existed for years and years.  The sin in this world has tried to tear us apart in so many different ways.

Our thoughts must center on the belief that God is sovereign and that he has a plan.   Every life matters to him.  He knows each of us and what we are capable of  doing during our time on earth.

Each of us is called to live our lives with love and acceptance of all people.  Each person, each child has a life that God has called them to.  We can hate the sin that is prevalent in everyone’s life, but we must look beyond that to love all that God has created.  Anger and hate has no place in this discussion, just determination to show how God loves all of us and has created us to be who we are.

You were not a mistake and neither is any child that is conceived.  All of God’s children need to be brought up with love, although I know that in this world that may not be possible.  Sickness and pain permeates our existence, but God is in control and we should never try to take that control away from Him.  Instead, we should look to the Sovereign God for direction and help.