Monday, December 30, 2013

Body Language

What is it about men and their body language?

I’m sitting in a coffee shop, trying to hunker down and do some work. There are two men at the next table. One is turned sideways with his elbow propped on the back of his chair. His elbow extends to the back of the other comfy chair at my table.

There are only two comfy chairs in this establishment. Anyone really wanting a comfy chair might steer clear for fear they’ll be whacked in the back of the head.

I prefer the comfy chairs. Allows me to set my laptop on my actual lap. No worries about table height ergonomics.

I am more opposed to being whacked in the back of the head, however.

Men like to occupy as much space as possible. Stop and watch sometime. I’m not saying it’s right, wrong, or indifferent. It’s just a thing.

Women are taught to behave, act, and sit like ladies. Legs or ankles crossed. Arms close to the body. We aren’t told outright to occupy less space, that’s just the result.

I would imagine this gentleman doesn’t even realize he’s doing it. He probably would even adjust his position should anyone say “excuse me” and lay claim to what I am sure must be the last comfy chair on the planet.

Do I look OCD? J No offense to those who actually are, I just like order and organization.

And I try not to judge. Note that judging, in the evil connotation to which it has been relegated in modern society, is different from calling a spade a spade, calling truth truth, and having some discernment.

Interestingly, said space-occupying gentleman just got up and left. His companion stayed behind. What I could not see before from this angle (because of the space our guy was taking up?) is that the other gentleman is sitting with his little laptop and mouse. Looks like he’s working on something. Maybe surfing social media and just looking like he’s working, but he’s definitely focused on the screen.

Which makes one wonder … was super-space-occupying-man an interruption? Did he overstay his welcome? He sat there for a good half hour after I got here. Was it a planned meeting? I’m guessing not. Perhaps his turned-to-the-side body language was really a way of having one foot out the door, saying, “I’m not interrupting.” Was it a welcome interruption? I have no idea.

So. Deeper questions for today, as we approach the new year. As we make resolutions and/or set goals. In this season of renewal.

Are you where you want to be?

Are you just occupying space?

Are you hunkering down when you need to?

On the opposite end of the scale, though, are you allowing God to interrupt and redirect you when needed?

Our time on this earth is finite. What are you doing with yours?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Love God, Love People

Love God and love people. That’s what it comes down to.

Jesus threw those extra couple commandments out there not necessarily to trump anything that had come before, but to say, “Hey. Love. That’s what’s most important.”

Love never fails.

The devil has been working overtime lately to distract us from what’s important. Good grief, it’s like a Pharisees versus heretics versus insert-your-favorite-label-here extravaganza out there these days.

I like to kind of chill in December and refocus on what’s important … as much as possible, anyway. Typically I’m pretty busy in October / November with some love God / love people secret elfin missions, so my own holiday preparations get to wait until closer to Christmas. Decorating, shopping, baking, hanging with the inner circle, prepping for the new year … all good stuff that I like to do. And often I’ll end up eliminating several items on my wish list of activities – because they turn out to be not that important.

As I write this, I’m a little distracted because I’m prepping for routine allergy testing first of the week. That means no antihistamines for several days so the doc can get a true read. It’s been 72 hours since my last Zyrtec, and every cell in my body itches right now. The palms of my hands. The inside of my mouth. My eyeballs. My teeth. My Teeth Itch.

Soon I think I may start seeing sounds. Should be an interesting worship service in the morning. Maybe I should take a sketchbook with me and draw pictures of the music when I have a few minutes in the green room.

It probably doesn’t help matters that we’re experiencing torrential rain this weekend. Did I mention I’m allergic to mold? Discovered that one when I lived in Louisiana. Or Wheeze-iana as I like to call it.

Okay, enough whining about me and the color of an F#m7 chord.

Love God and love people.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
~ John 14:15 (NASB)

By the way, on the subject of current events … I have taught on 1 Corinthians 6. I recommend going King James with it. J After you read it, before you open your mouth, maybe contemplate this one, too …

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
~ Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)

So think of it like this. Love is the Christmas tree. Everything else hangs on it.

It doesn’t go away, it hangs on it.

And without the tree to hold it all together, you have a pile of ornaments.

Love God and love people.

Monday, December 2, 2013

You Are a Daughter of the King

Psssst. You. Yeah you.

You are a daughter of the king. Don’t forget it.

That boss who says you should consider a different career? He’s an idiot. Over time people will desert the company because he’s abusive and impossible to work for. And he definitely doesn’t have Jesus. Find someone of influence who does and ask them to help get you out of there.

And those people who think you need to be pigeonholed into a single career? That you owe some debt to society because of what you studied in school? Ignore their narrow minds. God’s will is the only one that matters.

Friends who profess to be Christians and attend church and read their bible will suddenly decide parts of that bible don’t apply to them. Yes, you are your brother’s keeper, but treat them with grace and don’t be holier-than-thou. It’s okay to distance yourself if you need to. They may assume your approval, but they’ll figure it out eventually. Let God work on them.

Free will is a …. well, you know.

And indeed it takes all kinds in this world.

You are a daughter of the king. Act like it.

When that lady wants everyone to “open up your heart chakra” and air your dirty laundry to complete strangers … stand your ground. Have a quiet discussion of faith, works, and karma with your new Hindu friend who is equally bothered by the suggested exercise. It’ll be better for both of you.

You’ve been given a sharp mind and an independent spirit. Use them for good.

Humility is important. Timidity … not so much.

Be consistent and practice what you preach. Perfection is not required, so don’t worry so much. That whole death and resurrection thing? That covered the gaps for you.

You are a daughter of the king.

Never stop learning new things. You’ll notice those who do, and they’ll seem old, really old. And stagnant. Regardless of their chronological age.

Remove the word “can’t” from your vocabulary.

Trust God.

People will be mean. People will take advantage. People will promise help and then disappear. People will try to tell you what you need to do and how you need to be. Unless their opinion is in line with God’s word and God’s will, it doesn’t matter. Change the rules and move on.

People will resent your growth and the changes you make. Let ‘em.

You are a daughter of the king.

Satan is tricky. The original trickster. He will trick you into questioning things you thought were true. He will lead you to believe that sin isn’t really sin. Pick a sin, any sin. It’ll be subtle. It may take you a while to notice or to realize why you don’t feel quite right about something. Once you do, be strong enough to tell him where to go.

Never give up. You are anything but ordinary.

You are a daughter of the king. Don’t forget it.