#ALineHasBeenDrawn

hashtagsoflife

So. We all know the story of when the woman caught in adultery (yes, key word is CAUGHT, hence the expression ‘caught in the act’), was dragged to the streets by the people who were sure Jesus would agree she should be stoned to death for her sin. I mean, after all there was NO doubt – she was ‘caught in the act’. (How would you like to have been her; caught in ANY secret act you would NOT want exposed to the world.)  I am guessing if she was caught in adultery, she was naked. Let’s just say it like it was. The people dragged her through the streets like their prize they had won – look at us! Look what we found! Jesus, You can’t deny her wickedness. So, there lies the adulterous woman face down in the dirt, in her sin, in her shame, in her reproach…

View original post 920 more words

Advertisements

#IChooseJoy

It always starts with a choice. Choices begins when your mom says to you (at an age when you’re  beginning to understand such questions)  – “It’s up to you. If you behave  yourself, we can go in the store. If not, we can just go home.” ( I am sure I said that to my kids upon occasion…) Do you want your blankie? Do you want more juice? How about when you finally got to pick out your own clothes – or voice what kind what kind of sandwich you wanted for lunch – or say if you wanted a kitty or a puppy. There is one choice X a million in those formative years.

Then the choices graduated to BIGGER issues. Ah, the teen year choices  – SO many it makes a teen’s head spin, which IS why we need to walk them through this time with some grace and mercy – it is like the whole world has appeared on their doorstep demanding – WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO? There is one choice X a million in those years

Fast forward past childhood and teenage years, into adult hood and all the moments and seasons and circumstances that hurl at you without warning and unexpected – CHOICES come with every food group, every bill, every child, every vacation, every belief you follow, every single item placed within your home, and on and on. There is one choice X a million in those years.

So you find yourself on the OTHER side of critical life changing choices. Maybe you now only answer to your self. Maybe on the other side of marriage, is now widowhood. Maybe now on the other side of parenthood, is now an empty nest. Maybe on the other side of happiness, is…..wait. Other side? There is another side to happiness? Yes. Happiness comes from the outside of your life – things that make you happy ~ they can be big or small ~ such as a vacation on a cruise ship can make you happy just as well as a bowl of pine  cones or a favorite coffee creamer. The other side of happiness is NOT based on things, and is not contingent on tangible things or even your feelings.

The other side of happiness is JOY. And it IS a choice. Hit song – “Happy” ~~~WHY is this SO popular?  BECAUSE WE ALL JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY.  The irony of this is – I can have a big house and find no satisfaction. I can have a ton of friends, and still feel alone. I can have all the ‘toys’, power, fame, bank accounts, and prime vacation spots and STILL be depressed. Happiness is fleeting. That is why you see people who you think SHOULD be happy, and they are not. The definition of HAPPY is:  pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness,  enjoyment, satisfaction. See the word JOY? It IS part of being happy; truly happy. Joy itself means: delight, gladness, triumph, ecstasy, exuberance, euphoria, bliss, rejoicing. The two go together. But ONE is a choice. So, choose JOY. Embrace life….NOT only allowing things to determine your level of delight…joy is an INSIDE thing. It is that peace in the storm thing…it is what holds you together when by all means you should be falling apart. It is MORE than a feel-good fleeting moment that ends when that Pumpkin Latte is gone.

Do I always feel happy? Nope. But in its absence, I can still have joy. I can still have an inner glow in my soul that assures me All Is Well. JOY is a matter of the heart. It is NOT determined by outside forces and if you protect it, it can NOT be stolen by outside forces. After the house is gone, the car is gone, the mate is gone, the family is gone and even the family pet is gone – we can STILL rejoice. joy imageThis is my ONE choice  in these years – after all is said, and done, and gone, I still choose JOY.

#UnconditionalLove

We hear the words ‘unconditional love’ and most of us can think of someone we feel that way about, or many people.  It simply means – “love with no limits.”  It is boundless, limitless, and sometimes without rhyme or reason. It just means that we love someone – no matter what. Period. Nothing they could do could make us love them more, or less. This applies to parental love, to God’s love, and hopefully we can all learn to feel this way about every one. Everyone? Yes. What a world it would be, if we all loved each other without conditions.

It is one of the greatest challenges in this life, to learn to love your neighbor as yourself. Generally we have expectations, and check lists, and we call judgments on people as if we have some right of authority over another human being. We may not say it with our mouths,  but our actions say “I will love you if…..” or “I will love you when…”. You don’t have to agree with someone, to love them without conditions. How messed up are WE as human beings, and yet God loves us with an unconditional love. While we are STILL broken and lost and screwed up, He loves us. He doesn’t start loving us AFTER we get our acts together. He loves us way before we even consider getting our act together. Maybe it is His love that is the reason we CAN get it together. Just a thought…

Lavish love on someone today. For no reason. And asking nothing in return. Real love doesn’t need an audience – doesn’t have an agenda –   I Corinthians chapter 13 –  “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not LOVE, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not LOVE, I am nothing…” To love someone you don’t agree with or don’t understand, is definitely a prime example of loving unconditionally. “You do not have to change, for me to love you. You don’t have to be like me, for me to love you. You don’t have to agree with me, for me to love you.” . I never want to tell someone I love them, and end that phrase with the word ‘but’….There is NO ‘but’ in unconditional love.love never fails

 “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)

Next time you get out your check list on another human being, don’t. Love like Jesus. Whatever else needs to happen, is up to Him and out of your hands anyways. He just told us to LOVE. In fact, that was the last commandment He left us. Must have been utmost on His mind. ~

#LoveNeverFails

#ALineHasBeenDrawn

So. We all know the story of when the woman caught in adultery (yes, key word is CAUGHT, hence the expression ‘caught in the act’), was dragged to the streets by the people who were sure Jesus would agree she should be stoned to death for her sin. I mean, after all there was NO doubt – she was ‘caught in the act’. (How would you like to have been her; caught in ANY secret act you would NOT want exposed to the world.)  I am guessing if she was caught in adultery, she was naked. Let’s just say it like it was. The people dragged her through the streets like their prize they had won – look at us! Look what we found! Jesus, You can’t deny her wickedness. So, there lies the adulterous woman face down in the dirt, in her sin, in her shame, in her reproach. There cries the angry mob, calling on Jesus to take a stand against her sin, her shame, and her reproach. And what did He do? THIS is so important that we do NOT miss one small detail of this scenario. He drew a line in the sand, between the woman and her judges. Can you imagine how smug they each felt, as they KNEW the penalty for her sin and they KNEW there was no way out for her; she had no excuse. I can only imagine their hardened faces and hardened hearts. Jesus took His time drawing that line in the sand – maybe He was hoping some of them would get the point before He had to set them straight. Oh. Wait. Set THEM straight? What about the woman caught in sin? After He drew the line, it separated Him and the woman, from everybody else. Two sides. Jesus looked at the crowd and said, “You without sin, cast the first stone.” Oh my. The silence must have been thick enough to cut with a knife, or they were all muttering their little religious spiels under their breath – BUT – One by one they all had to hang their heads and leave, as each one realized the impact of Jesus’ words. Maybe their sins were NOT public knowledge and were hidden from view, but sin is sin. Not ONE of them threw a stone at the woman. After they all were gone, Jesus turned to the woman still face down in the dirt, still in her shame and reproach, and still fearing the worst. He said, “Woman, where are thine accusers?” She answered, “There are none.” Stop right here before we go further. THIS is where we miss something very important. HE HAD STOOD UP FOR HER WHILE SHE WAS STILL YET GUILTY. He had stood on the side of the broken. Jesus answers her and says, “Neither do I condemn thee…”. Wait. What? She was caught in the act, and Jesus does not condone sin of course. He said whatttt? “Neither do I condemn thee…”. Before we finish what He said, you have to understand what happened between those words, and the next five words He said.  He finished by saying, “Go and sin no more.” How could that be possible? How could an adulterous woman lift herself up from the dirt and be on her way, naked and shamed and guilty? What have we missed in this whole scenario? LOVE. For Jesus to tell her He did NOT condemn her was His expression of unconditional love for her in the present condition that she was in. IF He had NOT shown her love, she could NOT have possibly had any reason to go and sin no more! The love He showed her, constrained her to rise and change her ways, change her life.  People will NEVER come to Jesus; much less change their ways, if we do NOT love them. IT IS NEVER OUR JOB TO JUDGE. Jesus proved that in that story, right? He could have kicked her to the curb; after all she was caught in the act of adultery. He could have said – yes, she deserves stoned – kill her. He could have sent her away, groveling in the dirt and banished her from His sight. I mean, after all – He was God in the flesh. He had the power to judge her. So, He did NOT condemn her. What does condemn mean? It means: to pronounce to be guilty. She WAS guilty, correct? He had the power to judge her in her sin, correct? He did not. First He showed her love, and then He said go and sin no more. Without the love, she could never have changed on her own, or wanted to. Next time you go to cast a judgment on someone, because they are ‘caught in the act’ and guilty of something, you need to understand it will NEVER be YOUR call to do that. Ever. What IS your call is to love like Jesus. Real love heals the broken, binds up wounds, looks past the sin and into the heart, and real love looks like Jesus. Love is the only thing that can break the power of sin, the power of delusion, the power of seduction, the power of darkness that keeps people bound. Your judgments will only shine light on your life, not theirs. You start judging someone, and you might as well ask God to tweet about you!

This is my favorite Bible story because more than anywhere else in the whole Bible, THIS is where I feel like I can make it. THIS is where I clearly understand the unconditional love of God. THIS is where I find hope for the hopeless. All of us, in our own way have been that woman. We have been left to die on the side of the road, driven out by those who could have saved us but instead cast us into the dirt to die. If I had a choice, I would rather be that woman, than the people on the other side of the line Jesus drew in the sand.  I would rather be standing on the side WITH Jesus, who stood by the broken, the shamed, the reproached – and offered a way to find redemption and restoration and life and hope and purpose. My Jesus loves the brokendraw the line. And last time I checked, we are ALL those!

#WhichSideAreYouStandingOn #StandWhereJesusStands

#BookendsBeginningsAndEndings

hashtagsoflife

I am pretty sure that at least once in my life I have owned a set of bookends. Bookends by definition are: “A support for the end of a row of books to keep them upright, often one of a pair, and are positioned at the end or on either side of (something).” If the bookends are NOT sturdy, the more books you place between them, they all will eventually all tip over and fall to the floor. (Having a flashback to that actually happening!)

The older I get, and am able to have a bird’s eye view of my many past years of time, I have come to recognize the bookends in my life. Beginnings and endings. They will NEVER look like anyone else’s, and we can NOT compare. They are parts/moments/memories/seasons/people that are mine and mine alone.

~Maybe it is a friend you had as a child, who is still…

View original post 245 more words

#365ReasonsNOTToGiveUp

I don’t know about you, but when I do something – I generally have to stand back AFTER and ask myself why I did it. It is not a bad idea ever, to examine our motives. We can deceive ourselves. After I hit the word PUBLISH for my first full-length book, I had to ask myself why I did it. It is my sharing of my heart – my real and raw and flawed moments and seasons of many years gone by. I just wrote a book and shared my grief of losing my husband to cancer. I just told you I got mad at God. I just exposed I have been tempted. I let you know I have failed X a million. Why? Because NO matter what circumstances I found myself in, I always chose NOT to give up. And if THAT helps anyone, I would do it again.

I didn’t keep at it because I had all the answers – I STILL don’t. I didn’t see my husband get healed from cancer. I couldn’t keep my house from burning down. What I learned I COULD do, was to keep moving forward. Sometimes that was crawling, or being dragged by a friend….SO why did I write this book? For a book club? To be on a talk show? No. Though that’d be awesome….of course. I wrote it for YOU. And YOU. And You…because we ALL walk this same journey called LIFE. It is filled with the unexpected and detours and pitfalls. We can’t stop that – But we CAN choose to embrace the bad with the good, and find a way for the sorrows and joys to co-exist. My book is about survival, choices, tears, grief, sorrow, failures, mistakes, detours and wrong turns – coupled with stories of friendship, family (lots of personal stories about the people who have made me who I am), love, laughter, giant moths, lost teeth, dandelion seeds, christmas fruit cakes, faith, purpose and above all else – HOPE. I’d love you to purchase it and upload it to your Kindle, and leave me a review so I can know if anyone was helped 🙂 I want you  to be encouraged on a daily basis NOT to give up. For any reason. And to know that there is ALWAYS a day AFTER the worst day of your life.

If you read it, and you are helped, pass it on to someone else…let’s all work together at bringing hope back into a very dark world.~

~Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the .free kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.  httpsCorine-Channell---BOOK-COVER

#ChristmasInJulyNotWhatYouThink

Because I still believe it is worth waiting for  ‘happily ever after’ – as well as the smaller things like homemade bread and fresh brewed coffee. (Who wants half-baked bread and half-brewed coffee?)  Because I still believe it’s empowering to be the only one standing waving your flag about something you believe in.  Because love is just SO much better waited on.  Because Christmas is NOT in July……

‘Sleeping together’ is an oxymoron kind of expression. Right there in that very expression, can be seen the careless misconception of the whole experience. Giving yourself away sexually should be represented by much more than the climb into a bed. I realize so much of this topic will fall to opinion, personal conviction, and morals. I also think to NEVER discuss it, makes for lack of knowledge and understanding. It can also be as simple as not knowing if there is another choice to make.

Sex. The word itself causes an immediate reaction when said. It either perks up your ears or you cringe. Some people are afraid of it, others don’t understand it, and even more think it is a free for all. It is meant to be the ultimate expression between two people who love each other. Sadly so much of its value is lost in its distribution process. Here’s a little for you, a little for you, a lot for you…and so on. What if just for a moment, you stop and consider sex as a GIFT? Let’s take it from the angle of one of our favorite holidays – Christmas!

Aside from the heart of what Christmas is about, what is the pull and the appeal of the holiday? Why do people have countdowns of how many Fridays till Christmas, IF it wasn’t so special? Why do we start thinking and planning, in utter anticipation of a day yet months away? We start saving our money for gifts for our loved ones. Christmas is NEVER about making a list for yourself – okay, it IS when you believe in Santa. However, for an adult – we make lists of what we will give to someone else. Why? Gifts are a reflection of our love. What is more satisfying than the look of joy on a child’s face that just got the much-wished-for toy? Oh the sheer fun of the preparation and the shopping and the secrets and the fun of hiding that special gift till the BIG day. What if SEX could be viewed from this perspective? What if your one true love was the ULTIMATE Christmas gift?

Let’s remember that Christmas where you peeked or even unwrapped one of your gifts under the tree, or that you found stashed in your parent’s closet. (Oh please – I am NOT the only one who did this.) You were SO excited – YES! They got me what I wanted! Woohoo! Then your excitement was quickly downplayed by the fact you had to wrap it back up, put it back under the tree, and wait till Christmas morning. Sure, you’d still be excited, it would still be special, it would still be what you wanted, BUT the thrill of the wait is gone. The not knowing and the mystery of sex is what it is all about! Someone waits to give you their most prized possession. IF you are truly looking for your one true love, let’s assume he or she is out there looking for YOU. Match made in Christmas heaven! It is so much more about love and less about lust, in the real deal. You can go to the dollar store for cheap trinkets any time of the year, but if you want to present a meaningful gift it has to come with a price. Too often sex is brought to just the surface level of what it actually is.

christmas-morningEveryone has an opinion and is entitled to it. It however is NOT the worst idea, to scope out the landscape before you take a journey. Right? (Map it out so you don’t go down a dead end…) The ‘majority rules’ does NOT mean the majority is right. Guess what? If one sheep jumps off a cliff, others WILL follow. That is a TRUE statement. So when it comes to morals….does the majority rule in what is perceived as right or wrong? When you say morals THAT is another word that makes people cringe. It is basically just a code of ethics. Whether you look at sex in a positive light, a negative light, or in no light at all – it will always come down to what do YOU think is okay or not. It is good to take your time and see what your options are. Do you HAVE to have sex on a first date? Should you? Should you open your Christmas gifts in July? Would you enjoy if your parents had bought you gifts, threw them in your room in September and said – “Here, this is what you wanted. Wrap it up yourself.” (BAM! Killjoy!) Figure it out for yourself. What does sex mean/represent to you? If it is something you view as special, precious, and to be cherished   – then treat it as such. If your one true love is special, precious, and to be cherished – treat him or her as such.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to feel the thrill of the wait? Some things are so much better when waited on. Think about homemade bread – who wants it half-baked? Who would rather have a half-brewed cup of coffee? (Not I, coffee addict that I am.) Let’s go to the movies but leave before the riveting ending! (THAT’S a great plan!) Oh, and the list could go on and on for the things that are SO much better if we would wait on them. The joy is in the preparation, the anticipation, and the expectation of the final unveiling. The top of the waiting list would be Christmas, only to be followed in a close second – by sex. Whatever you decide, just know there is ALWAYS a choice.

~Just for an extra bonus here, there is NOTHING cooler than how you feel when you can NOT be moved to do what you really do NOT want to do. It feels like the guy in Titanic at the helm of the ship with the wind blowing in his hair – “I’m the King of the WORLD!”~