Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Video Post: is a coffee date a date?

Church, circa 2008:
Him: Hey, I was wondering if maybe we could go get some coffee after church.
Me: [blink] Well, um... [blink, blink] uh, you know, I, um--no. I'm sorry.
Him: You don't drink coffee?
Me: I'm sorry. You see, the whole thing is a little serious for me. Like, I have a busy schedule and serve in youth ministry and if the kids saw me, blah, blah, blahblahblah [insert infinite blahs here]...

Somebody slap me. Hard.

There are, shall we say, uber sensitive Christians out there and I was (sometimes am) one of them. You know those people who ask for the seas to part, the heavens to open, and a divine voice to give us signs and wonders? Yes, Internet, that was/is/will be me.

I believe God can speak supernaturally if He so chooses. But the idea of dating in the Christian realm is complicated to say the least. If I'm completely honest with you, I suck at it. Like really, really suck at it. I'm the last one to answer the questions for this week, but there are my thoughts:
Here are some caveats and suggestions which are important in protecting your reputation and heart:
  • If someone is asking everyone and their mother out to coffee, they are a player. And you need your PhD*!
  • If someone keeps asking you out but has not or does not want to have the DTR, they are not interested in making the relationship serious.
  • If you know after one or two dates that you aren't interested in the other person, be honest. Don't waste your time and their money!
  • If someone keeps asking you out but likes keeping things at a shallow level, it's a serious case of DD*.
  • If this is just a coffee date to get to know someone, there is NO reason why you should be holding hands, kissing, or more. Like my grandmother would say, don't give away what men should work for.
  • Have at least TWO standards: 1. Does this person have a JOB? 2. Does this person love JESUS? If not, this person isn't ready to date. Period. The end.
Comments, additions, stones to throw?

**Edit to post: Tomorrow Matt will address some key questions to The Great Coffee Debate :)

*PhD=Player Hater Degree
*DTR=Defining The Relationship
*DD=Denial Dating

Thursday, January 28, 2010

borders in life...

Writing is like photography. Given a frame, you can omit anything if it's outside the frame. The background can be cropped out, the foreground can be highlighted. Essentially, you reveal what you want to reveal.

I have a frame in writing. My frame includes the pretty and excludes the ugly. My frame highlights the good and ignores the bad. My frame crops out secrets battles and highlights successes. Internet, if we're truly honest with each other, we all have frames in life.

Yesterday I was speaking to my sister (who ironically is a photographer) and listed a host of things I'm battling. Some serious, some hilarious. At the end of the conversation, she encouraged me to be real. Hello, this is what I preach about, right? Why don't you just be you, she encouraged. It's not a novel concept, but it's frightening.

I don't like the Me who is outside the frame. I like cropping out the secret food binges I've struggled with childhood. I like highlighting speaking events that I love, but hide the feeling of failure as I walk away from the podium. I like saying I live in Los Angeles, but will never discuss the financial toll this comes with. Why? Because being on the inside of the frame is clean, neat, and perfect.

But life is not lived in a frame. I'm not clean, neat, and perfect. I'm jacked up, messed up, and addicted to food. But I'm Me. And I will continue to believe the facade if don't write like I live. So this is me. Stripped, bare, and honest.

Pull down the borders and share what's outside the frame. At least you can comment in anonymity! Now the world knows that Oprah and I struggle with diets?!

What do you struggle with?

Photo credit: Jasmine Star who wrote a blog and posted this picture of us when we were twelve. I'm wear stripes which obviously adds 40 pounds. Obviously.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

100 word wednesday: street theologians...

Our goal should be to build clear, accurate, biblical theology of Life. But if your life is anything like mine, you don't live out your theology in some ivory-tower world of peaceful libraries and deep thoughts. No, we are street theologians, trying to exercise our faith in a world of brokenness.

I'm a sinner. You're a sinner. We are sinners.

The daily struggle with sin experienced by genuine Christians underscores the fact that while Christ certainly saved us, he does not transform us instantly into non-sinners. That process begins the moment we are converted, and continues throughout our life on earth, but it will only be finished when we leave this messed up world.

In doing Life we can aim for solid theological living, but acquiesce to the idea that we will falter. So be a street theologian! Keep it real. Walk with a spirit of a hustla' and the swagger of a college kid, because really, we're not perfect but aim to serve a God who is.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Retreats are as old as Christianity. From Jesus leaving into the desert to the early church fathers who removed themselves for a few days of prayer and penance, retreats have been part of Christian history.

Whether your church calls them a retreat, advance, recoup, getaway, or holiday, the premise should be the same: Creating moments away from everyday life to learn, see, and feel the presence of God.*

I've had the luxury of speaking at a number of retreats and I always LOVE meeting new people and connecting on a spiritual level. But I ain't gonna lie... I have a favorite. Yes, I am partial. But here's the good news: you can come!

If you're looking for a good women's retreat to attend, join up with my church as we head into Murrieta, California for a time in the desert [don't worry, we won't sleep in tents] to learn, listen, and love. Sandy McIntosh from Horizon Christian Fellowship, my pastor's wife, and myself will be speaking and teaching and you're invited! [It's fine! I already asked if you could come.]

For more information, click here or call the church office at (323) 724-8464 for more information. (Date: February 26-28 Cost: $165 Location: Murrieta Conference Center)

*An added benefit is to be surrounded by other woman who are there for the same reason... without husbands, minus children, sans textbooks and midterms! Holla'. And there's medicinal hot springs on site to soak in until you turn into a raisin.

Monday, January 25, 2010

silent worship...

God of wonders beyond our galaxy, you are holy, holy. The universe declares your majesty, you are holy, holy...

The words were audible and for all intents and purposes, no one knew they were empty. A long drive to church, a long walk from the parking spot, and a long line in the restroom wasn't the preparation I required for worshipping on Sunday morning. But alas, the 20something worship leaders wearing skinny jeans and v-neck shirts were rocking their scenester haircuts and singing a song that been sung one million and two times before. No offense Chris Tomlin, I've never liked it.

Until yesterday.

I saw a group of passionate movement from a section of the sanctuary. I stared. I stared at the woman who passionately swayed her arms. I stared at the way she moved her face and lipped each word as if she was shouting. But she was silent.

Early in the morning I will celebrate the light and as I stumble in through the darkness, I will call your name by night...

Those following her worshipped in silence, but they were far louder than my cavernous words. They expressively raised their hands from their mouths and silently shouted the lyric, as I stumble in the darkness, I will call your name by night. I was dumbfounded upon a realization. My empty words ceased. They could never call His name by night. Each lyric was silent worship to the Creator of Heaven and Earth signed louder than I could ever sing.

They were deaf.

God of wonders beyond our galaxy, you are holy, holy. Precious Lord reveal your heart to me, Father holy, holy...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Video Post: why are christians so ignorant...

Why Are Christians So Ignorant? from Bianca Juarez on Vimeo.

What can we do as Christians to educate ourselves? More importantly, what are you doing to educate yourself? Readers are leaders, share your booklists :)

For more infomration about Lumen and the amazing speakers who will be there, check out website and register for FREE. See you at Mariners on the 31st!

Please pray for Haiti. If it's the most you can do, it's the least you can do.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

steps, leaps, decisions, choices...

The pavement beneath my feet burned as I stood on the pool deck. I stared at the reflection of a five-year old and knew I'd never be the leaper. The one who recklessly flung into unknown waters was also the one who could suffer from cold-water shock, water displacement through the nostrils, and brain freeze.

If you're anything like the five-year old me, we were the ones who splashed the pavement we were standing on to cool it off and sit on the deck while we lightly dipped our feet into the pool. Then, after the water was temperate, we'd slowly wade in. Knees, waist, neck, final drop in the water.

I'm not a leaper. But that doesn't mean I don't take steps. People speak about spiritual matters as leaps of faith. And I sure there are those who dive head first into the pool of faith, leaping recklessly without fear. Then there are those who, at the cross-roads of decision making, suffer from analysis paralysis.

Peter was called by God on the Sea of Galilee in a tumultuous storm. Why did the Lord call Peter out of the boat and not the other disciples? There were eleven other disciples in the boat, yet only one asked. Perhaps God is calling you out to take a step in a tumultuous storm. How will you respond? In times of decision making, here's what we can learn from Pete:

1. Ask in prayer. The other disciples didn't ask; therefore, they were not invited by Christ to step out. Don't be afraid to ask. He may not always respond with the answer we hoped for, but He will respond.

2. Seek God's will. What did Peter ask for? He asked for Christ's Word: If it's you... tell me... He sought the Lord first. The goal in taking steps of faith is obedience to the will of our Lord. Faith is not a tool to achieve our own agenda. Peter wasn't making demands or claiming his "right" to walk on water. He was humbly asking for God to show Himself true.

3. Faith waits on the Lord. Peter isn't a leaper. I like him. He's normal. After Pete asked, he waited. Or as I like to say, waded :) The faith that walks on water is faith that waits on God until He answers. Many teachers love this vivid metaphor for believing God for great things. We love to hear about action, the excitement of taking leaps of faith. It's highly empowering, motivating, and inspiring. Yes, I want to take a leap of faith! I want to walk on water! I want to get out of the boat! But Peter didn't get out of the boat until the Lord responded. And, I might add, he didn't leap. He simply took a step.

So, are you sitting in a boat? Have you asked the Lord to call you? Are you at least taking a step? You might not be a leaper... but does it really matter? Just take one step. That's all you need you need to do before walking on water.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

a great man and one sentence...

Two hundred words of goodness spew from Seth Godin everyday. How someone could be so brilliant everyday is beyond me; but I'm grateful for his insight, intellectualism, and information. In a recent article he stated many people are being brainwashed into being average. Moved yet immobilized at the same time, I thought of Clare Booth Luce, the playwright, journalist, and Republican Member of Congress.

In 1962, Luce met with President Kennedy, who was, at the time, pursuing an ambitious agenda domestically and overseas. She worried about his thinly spread priorities. A great man, she advised him, is one sentence. President Lincoln's sentence was obvious: He preserved the union and freed the slaves. So was Franklin D. Roosevelt's: He lifted us out of a great depression and helped us win a world war. What, Luce challenged the young, impatient president, what do be his sentence?

What a powerful question--not just for great presidents, but for normal folks, too. What will our legacy be? How will our one sentence change history? As you prepare for another year (probably as tough and trying as last year), remember what Clare Booth Luce asked of a president: What's your sentence?

Please pray for Haiti. If that is all you can do, it's the most you can do!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

wonderfully made in san jose...

It still boggles my mind when people ask me questions about--well--me. I'm neurotic and boring and still believe Kid-n-Play is an acceptable dance form in public.

But I've established a relationship with the girls from Wonderfully Made and I'm speaking at their annual conference, so when they asked if I'd do an interview, I openly accepted. If you're in the San Jose area and would like to attend the conference on April 18th, visit the WM website for more information! Those girls are awesome.

Thanks for reading!

We love your blog! What's your favorite thing about blogging?

Well, I’ll be honest and say my favorite things are receiving comments from readers. I know it’s shameless to say, but I’m just keepin’ it real :) 
The only thing I could relate it to is yelling into a canyon and not hearing an echo. Sometimes the echo (even it doesn’t agree with me) is still good to hear ;)

Where do you get ideas for blog posts and where do you usually write them?

Life. I know, I know, it sounds cheesy, but I’m being honest. I’m a firm believer in a God who speaks supernaturally sometimes, but speaks subtly to us everyday. If we lean in, we can hear Him whisper to us. So whether I'm in my pajamas or blogging from Starbucks, I know He's speaking.

Tell us about your ministry.

I’m bi-vocational because I believe in the words and actions of Paul. At times churches blessed him and at other times he had to ability to preach the gospel for free. I’m totally stoked to work for an amazing church which believes in what I do and supports my ministry.

In The Name Of Love is a ministry to spread the love, grace, and truth of the gospel. I speak on theological, pragmatic, societal or emotional issues to anyone who will listen :) My heart most definitely is for Generation Y! This next wave of Christian leaders will control the ebb and flow of the Church. It’s important to teach solid biblical principles.

We can’t help but notice your fabulous style! What’s your shopping philosophy- any tips you want to share?

To read the full interview, click here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

serving size...

Sometimes I feel like I have to call the FDA and complain about serving sizes. I mean, who really sits down and measures out one tablespoon of hummus before they open the bag of pita chips? Who pours 1/4 cup of cereal for breakfast? Who rations out half of a can of soup? I wish I was excited about filling my palm of food and walking away feeling full. By alas, I'm not that girl.

I have a funny feeling, we don't have that same feeling when it comes to our time spent in prayer, time spent advising a friend, or time spent in daily devotion. We are completely content with the serving size. You know, the daily reading as we rush in the morning, the bible study we listen to on the way to work, the quick prayer before your lunch. But are serving sizes enough to fill our hearts, minds, and souls for the nourishment we need for the day?

I'm going to break all diet rules and jump off the weight-wagon when it comes to spiritual matters. Stop being content with serving sizes. Gorge, pig-out, stuff your heart with the goodness of God. Taste and see that God is good (Psalm 34:8). Then and only then will we be content and full of His love, hope, and joy.

What have you eaten today? Has it been enough to sustain you through the day? Remember, when it comes to spiritual matters, don't be a vegetarian! (See: Hebrews 5:14)

Remember to pray for Haiti. If it's the least we can do, it's the most we can do.

Friday, January 15, 2010

friday Video Post: compassion...

Things you can do:
1. Pray.
2. Contact your local church to partner in any way.
3. Financially contribute to Compassion International as they are onsite assisting with relief.

Love out loud,

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

real me campaign...

The real me.
The real me laughs loud, hugs hard, loves deep.
The real me is without makeup, without care, without consequence.
The real me is frightened and fearful and functioning under unwarranted grace.
The real me is simply complicated.
The real me appears in control, but knows chaos rules.
The real me strives for perfection, but fails believing the delusion.
The real me teaches about a faithful God, but wavers in faith of His promises.

The real me needs a friend, a savior, a redeemer.
The real me is broken and perferated and ugly and empty.
The real me desires to be accepted in spite of failures, known in spite of fear, loved in spite of me.
The real me believes there is a real you. I've spoken about keepin' it real many times before on the blog, but Mike Foster and the crew at People of the Second Chance have started the #RealMe campaign for Twitter and facebook sites. And it's rad. The challenge is to change all glamor shots and replace them with the real us. No pretenses, no photoshop, no StarShots. The real you. Go check out their site. It's rad.

So, the question remains: who is the real you?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

100 word wedneday: be a realist...

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 1 Timothy 1:15

Paul was a student of his heart. He paid attention to the desires and impulses that churned within. I don't think it's a stretch to say that he knew he was capable--given the right circumstances--of the worst of sins and vilest of motives.

Paul was a realist. He wanted to see God and himself truly. No hiding behind a facade of pleasantness or religiosity for him. When we take a look within, let's be realistic. What's lurking in the crevices of our shady heart? Be a realist.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I'm not going to lie. I feel his pain. Being the second-born twin ain't easy. It's an unstated competition every. single. day. Jacob and Esau wrestled in the womb and warred before entering earth. Jas and I wrestled on living room floors, in academic settings, and on athletic fields. It comes with the territory of being a twin. But through the years we've been partners in crime, change agents for good, and hustlers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She does it with a camera. I do it with my voice.

Several references in Genesis describe the different giftings Jacob and Esau possessed. One worked in the field. The other worked domestically. One worked closer to their father. One worked closer to their mother. One was hairy and smelled funny. One was smooth-skinned and smelled like Tide and hints of Downey. The dichotomy between them could've made a dynamic combination of biblical proportions. Instead the journey included pain, death, bitterness, and a limp.

Though not everyone is a twin, I'm sure we all struggled with a competitive spirit or jealousy or flat-out Hater Syndrome. (Don't lie, you know it's true.) Sometimes we're put in situations which cause us to focus on what we are NOT rather than what we ARE. I work in a faith-based sector, I'm close to my mom, and I'm not hairy like Jasmine.* If I focus on what God has called me to do, I don't have time to look at what I'm not good at or what I don't have. It's just that simple.

God puts people into our lives for specific purposes. Think of that one person who you're at odds with... now focus on how different you are... now try to imagine partnering with them on something, anything. How can you come together and be change agents for good?

The cool thing about Jacob and Esau is we know how the story ends. Yes, there is restitution, but it came at a cost. If both brothers were to partner in God's individual blessings, imagine what the biblical annals might have looked like! Instead of waring with our brothers and sisters in Christ, how can we partner with them? Here's a tip: start with looking at your faults before analyzing others. Thought? Comments? Stones to throw?

*I can only say this because she is on another continent at the moment and can't kick my butt. Yes, she still kicks my butt. But she's my bestest friend and I love with more than bootcamp workouts, Mama's arroz con gandules, and reading in bed.

Monday, January 11, 2010

be someone...

It was her eyes. Beautiful, brown, tired eyes. She greeted everyone who walked through the door, but few noticed her and less acknowledged her welcome into the hotel dining room.

I wondered how they would’ve treated her if she was their mother, aunt, or sister. But she was a practical adornment. An ornate key hook, an antique table, a face to clean tables when visitors complete a meal.

She scrurried from table to table to pickup dishes, wipe down tables, and put out clean settings. As she drew near to my table, she asked me if she could remove my plate. I tried making a joke about the mess I’d made. It was funny. But my humor was lost in translation; a courtesy laugh, tilted head, and slow nod proved it.

I asked her name. I asked where she was from. I invited her to be more than a key hook, coffee table or brown face. It was then I saw something in her eyes. Her beautiful, brown, tired eyes. At the table she spoke to me and her eyes danced with excitement as she told me where she was from in her native language. She smiled as she spoke about far away places I could see in her eyes. Her beautiful, brown, tired eyes.

Luz Maria and I had a moment in the dining area. She wasn’t a table server or door attendee. She was human. She was a mother, aunt, and sister. She recalled a funny story and lost me before the punch line because she was speaking too fast. I laughed a courtesy laugh, tilted my head, and nodded. Some things might be lost in translation, but loving like Christ is a language everyone speaks.

As we arose from the table, I remembered a quote from a book I read. Jesus’ method doesn’t require doing something, but being someone. Now I want to live it out.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Video Post: yoga and meditation...

Downward facing dog, inhale, she gently instructed in the most beautiful voice ever heard. Cobra, exhale, she sung as her body moved as if in water. The entire class moved in syncopation as if on her synchronized swimming team. If Barry White and Sade had a love-child, this is what she would sound like.

I, on the other hand, moved with the fluidity of a Pre-Andalusian beast and grunted like one too. It was like Mr. Snuffalupogus from Sesame Street trying to stretch to calming, instrumental music. Not cute. But I endured the class for four weeks as instructed by my chiropractor because of a running accident. My back was so tweaked, I couldn't sit down for more than an hour let alone exercise.

But towards the end of class, the singing Indian siren would encourage the class to meditate and "center" our bodies and minds on positive thoughts. Immediately I knew this was going down some New Age path of enlightenment, so I simply closed my eyes and began to pray. Meditate? Um, okay, I'll meditate on the blessings bestowed to be God. For that, my dear Indian sister, is a positive, centering thought to which I can meditate upon (Psalm 1:2).

Are there dangers in yoga and deep trances encouraged by some classes? Yes. Is there the potential to become mastered or confused by these practices? Yes. Are there alternatives to yoga? I'm glad you asked! Check out this article about Laurette Willis and her introduction to New Age philosophies and yoga. She also speaks about the danger of yoga and the ideologies behind it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

the list...

I don't do resolutions. It's just too much pressure and one more thing to add to my to-do list. Today, however, I was reading my daily devotions and I came across Genesis 18:14 and I realized, nothing is too hard for my God. I immediately grabbed my journal and wrote down my goals for 2010. Why? Because nothing is too hard for my Lord.

I'll revisist this list in December and my hope is to scratch a line through each of these goals. If we can be people who commit everyday to change the world, we'll leave the world a better place one day at a time.

The List:
1. Create world peace and end hunger.
*Or at least try to.
2. Be healthy, happy, and content with my weight.
*No more binges, wacky diets, four-hour workouts, or genetically modified foods.
3. Read two books a month.
*One book to strengthen my character, one book for mind-rotting entertainment.
4. Find an agent who believes in me.
*God bless you, Chad Cannon!
5. Create and produce curriculum for the summer series that's fantastically amazing and spiritually inspiring.
*Or even a small fraction of that :)
6. Be financially wise and frugal.
*In being financially wise, I'd like to sponsor a child in a third world country and help domestically by investing in a non-Christian family near me.
7. Be emotionally stable.
*I'm a dramatic ledge-walker. This is not cool.
8. Love out loud.
*Even people who don't wear deodorant or drive too slow on the freeway.
9. Live out loud.
*People should be able to see my faith and my Maker through my life... even when I don't use words.
10. Build a community of people who want to change the world one day at a time.
*Yes, this includes you.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

i'm sorry...

Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. James 4:10

I looked at him directly in the face and said, I'm sorry. But it was one of those, Oh, ya know, like maybe perhaps kindasorta I was a wee bit in the wrong. He looked at me with his deep blue eyes and tilted his head down in a You-don't-really-mean-that sort of way. He saw right through me. Helen Keller could've seen me?! It was that insincere.

Through patience, kindness, and love, I was able to express my mind, yet realize I was totally, completely, unabashedly wrong. By the end of the conversation I knew the importance of a sincere apology and felt like a schmuck for faking the funk from the beginning. I was fooling no one. Not even myself.

On the long drive home I began to think about the power of apology and the heavy weight it removes from relationships. If a sincere apology fixes so much*, why is it so difficult to do? It's quite simple. P-R-I-D-E.

Maybe all you good people in the blogosphere don't wrestle with this, but I hate being wrong. Like loathe it. But I'm in good company. Oh yes, Eve, Moses, Paul, Miriam and Bianca have eaten of the delicious fruit of deceitfulness of self and have paid the price. Broken relationships, angry fights, loss of friends or family simply because pride thwarted a healing apology.

Whether it's apologizing to the Creator of the world or the one you created, humble yourself for the sake of God. He will lift you up (Luke 14:11, 18:14, 1 Peter 5:6).

*I love research and I found a GREAT article in Psychology Today about the healing benefits of apologies. If you need to receive or give an apology, you should check it out :) You're welcome!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

je ne parle pas francais...

Freshman and sophomore year of high school Mrs. Shaggetz would cup my face in her hands and squeeze my cheeks to help me say, Je m'appelle Bianca. Je sui de California. Two years of French 1 and 2 and all I earned was a few phrases to help me find the restroom and how to perfectly say Je ne parle pas Francais. [Which, by the way, the good ol' I-don't-speak-French works well too.]

While staring at my lotion bottle the other morning, I remembered another lesson from Mrs. Shaggetz's French 2 class. In Latin based languages (Italian, Romanian, Spanish, French, et al), the noun comes before any other information. Basically, you know entirely from the beginning what the subject is about.

Mineral Body Lotion
Lait Mineral pour le Corps (lotion mineral for the body)

I laughed to myself because wouldn't it be great if God spoke a sentence to determine my life in French? You know, like He would tell me from the beginning why I was suppose to do something, who it was to be done for, and how it would be accomplished.

Opportunity amazing serve God's people. Provide everything I will. Trust me you must.

But noooooo, God speaks to me in English and the only thing He's told me is, You must trust me. Trust. Yes, that ambiguously faith-ridden word. Trust for a control freak is like a profane word. But Solomon clearly spoke to Dana* and to me in plain English when he wrote Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Though it may sound trite, simple, and boring, it's 100% true. Something happened yesterday which is case-in-point of God's blessings for following Him. I'll post about it at a later time, but after reading Ali share her story in the comments section yesterday, I thought it would be good to hear how God's blessed you for walking in His ways and acknowledging Him. This is your chalkboard. Write away!

*Dana posted her favorite verse in this post and I was blessed by it's simplicity.

Monday, January 4, 2010

clothes crisis, covenants, and comforters...

After a loud yell of frustration, my sister walked into my room and saw the mountain of clothes, shoes, and books which accumulated in my tirade. Her eyebrow raised, needing explanation as to why it looked like Hurricane Katrina had blown through my room. Look, I'm stressed out, okay? I'm late, I have a very important meeting this afternoon and I have nothing to wear. Nothing! To! Wear! It's a major Clothes Crisis!

She knows my antics and without saying a word, she pulled a teal cardigan from my clothes, grabbed a thin belt to wrap around my waist, changed my jewelry and with that I was ready for work. It was like Bippity Boppity Boo! [Minus the fairy godmother.]

Because I'm an emotional basket-case when I'm stressed, I gave her a hug and let out a squeal. She was not empathetic to my "Clothes Crisis" so she simply tapped my back as I squeezed her and told me I was late for work. Wait, I said. I have to make my bed! Dumbfounded and frustrated, she asked why I was making my bed rather than fighting traffic. Oh that's simple, Alex. A clean, well-made bed is my comfort. When everything is life, work, or my room is a mess, I always have my bed to look to as peace and solidarity. It's my symbol. I looked for the brass band to enter my room as I sang a Cabaret life lesson to my sister. She picked up her coffee and left the room mumbling words under her breath.

But I'm not the only one who needs reminders of peace. In Genesis 9 God reiterated the word covenant seven times in nine scriptures. The biblical word covenant means promise from God. God told Noah he would remember His covenant symbol (a rainbow) was a reminder to all living creatures on earth (9:17). Till this day, I remember God's promise to humanity when I see a rainbow.

When everything in life is chaotic, ugly, depressing, and messy, what do you hold on to? What are your reminders? If we don't have reference points (promises and covenants), we can get lost in the mess and forget the promises God has given us. Hold on to what the psalmist says, The promises of the Lord are pure, like silver refined in a furnace and purified seven times... God's way is perfect! The promise of the Lord has proved to be true. (Psalm 12:6; 18:30)


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