Month: March 2017

Mike Pence’s Dinner Rule

I’m sorry ladies. If you want to have dinner with the Vice President, you’ll have to accept his wife coming along. Can you believe that? Who does he think he is, after all? Step into the 21st century, man!

Many in the liberal media couldn’t wait to beat up on our Vice President for this seemingly shortsighted, non-progressive “rule”. Lately, I’m feeling so much like an entitled teenager, rolling my eyes at every stab people make at what seems like such antiquated thinking. Are these people really serious? This is not news, people, but it is good practice.

If you aren’t aware that you leave your wedding with a target on your back, then you need to wise up. Marriage is God’s thing. Our enemy doesn’t like God’s things and immediately will set out to destroy those things. If you step into your happily ever after without your guard up, every day, all the time, no second to waste… then you should expect the trouble that’s coming.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Marriages can flourish… within proper boundaries. Marriages can last a lifetime… if you stand your guard over them. You can have your happily ever after… but only after you do your due diligence.

Mike Pence shared one of his rules for marriage… I’ll share some of mine.

1.) We, too, do not have dinner with a member of the opposite sex alone. Or lunch, or breakfast, or coffee… I mean unless it’s each other… then alone is awesome.

2.) We do not get into a vehicle alone with a member of the opposite sex… to go across town or across the street.

3.) We do not meet for business alone in a room with the door shut with a member of the opposite sex. As a matter of fact, Matthew has had a window cut in his office door before, just for people to be able to see in at all times.

4.) We do not send private messages on social media to members of the opposite sex. I severely limit the members of the opposite sex that I friend on Facebook. You pretty much have to be related to me for me to accept your request if you are a man.

5.) We know where the other one is pretty much all the time. We share plans for the day. We have an app on our phones that shows us where everyone in our family is at any given time. (Find My Friends) We don’t make an obsessive habit of looking at it, but it’s there if we need it.

6.) I can look at his email and he can look at mine. I can open his snail mail, and he can open mine.

7.) I know all of his passwords, and he knows mine.

8.) I can pick up his phone and read anything on it I want, look at his photos, too. Same for him.

9.) I can look in his wallet, and he can look in my purse. God, help him if he does, but he can.

10.) We do not have close friendships with the opposite sex… apart from our spouse being close friends, too, with that person. 

I realize that some may find these things very restricting. I guess they are. But within these guardrails there is complete freedom. There is complete trust. There are no secret places or shady practices. There is no space where he cannot look into my life, and none closed off to me. We know the target on our backs and we are ever vigilant to ward off any attacks. There is no room to be lax or lazy. Flattery turns into compromise… lack of diligence into accusation. Loss of trust is the beginning of the end.

I happen to be very proud of our Vice President and his very public dinner rule. He has a lifelong marriage to show for the consistency and concern that he demonstrates. Take a look at the marriages of those who are throwing stones… ten to one they can’t hold a candle.

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet

Getting older isn’t for sissies, sister. I say this on the heels of someone I love turning forty. Like many of us, she is not completely embracing this adventure into a new decade. As one who has been there and done that, (forty, I mean) I can say in all sincerity, that forty really is fabulous. It’s true, there’s no denying the image in the mirror looking back at you is no longer that hot 25-year-old who once peered back at you, but hey, there are always tradeoffs.

On the eve of her fortieth birthday, she sent me a text that said,

“I’m not doing well with turning 50”

Then she said,

“40. Lol”

And finally,

“I guess that auto correct put it into perspective”

Yes, I thought, it does. You see, I’M actually the one turning fifty…

 In preparation for turning fifty (tomorrow!), I have been calling myself fifty for the last year just to get used to the idea. My best friend will always emphatically remind me that I am not fifty… YET!

I can’t say that I completely appreciate the folks who say that age is just a number. I can find merit in what they are trying to convey, but they want to assert that your age is irrelevant. I think it is relevant. With age comes a lot of things. Each year brings us experience and insight. We gain perspective and wisdom as we move through this life. That 25-year-old young woman who used to look back at me from my mirror was lacking in so many ways. She thought she had the world by the tail, but she was so naïve. She had no idea of the things she would experience and learn, and the ways she would grow and become.

There is a Facebook group that keeps a record of and memorializes classmates who have passed away since my high school graduation. Far too many have died way too young. They didn’t get to grow old with their spouses, see their kids grow up and get married, and they didn’t get to meet and love on their grandchildren.

Every day we exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen is a blessing, and to bemoan any single one because we are growing older is displaying an ungrateful heart. At least that’s what I tell myself on those days when I notice the wrinkles, sags, and bags, and aches and pains start to get me down.

I am determined to face this next decade with grace and class. To my younger friends, I can say with all confidence that the last decade has been fabulous. The forties have us stepping into a confidence in ourselves that we have not felt before. We have finally had enough life experiences to go boldly into each day knowing that we can likely face whatever is coming and know how to handle it well. Our relationships grow deeper and mean more to us because we finally begin to understand the things that truly matter in this life.

And here’s the kicker for us who believe and trust in Jesus. We are just passing through this place anyway. We hold so tightly to this world that we can sometimes forget that we will one day take off this aging, sickness prone, imperfect body in exchange for one that will know no time, no age, no pain and no leaky bladders! We will praise Jesus, worship the Father, and abide in the Holy Spirit for ten thousand years and find we have “no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we’ve first begun”. We trod through this life in a body not meant to last, and we get all upset when it begins to show signs of wear.

Not too long ago, I played a silly Facebook game that assigned an age to my profile picture. The age I got was 21. Now that’s funny. Facebook is such a liar.

No, Facebook, this is what FIFTY looks like!



Yesterday, I was in my garage repainting a few interior doors as Matthew and I get ready to sell our house. I was pondering our next steps when the next song from my iPhone started playing. It was Bachman Turner Overdrive’s song from 1974- You Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet. It is one of my classic favorites… despite the terrible grammar.

And as I listened to it in the light of turning 50, I couldn’t help but think, “That’s God’s message to me right now!” He’s done so much in and through me to date, but in that moment, I believe He was telling me, “You ain’t seen nothin yet!” And I believe Him.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

The Kindness Diaries is a show I found on Netflix recently. I liked the show’s premise. It’s about this English guy who hops on a motorcycle with no money and sets out to travel the globe depending only on the kindness of strangers for food, gas, and shelter. A few people turn him away, but by and large people are pretty helpful. 

So often when we stand back and look at the world from a distance, it looks bad. Terrible even. 

But when we zoom in close, it begins to look differently. 

People are still people and we are still image bearers of God. And while the media would love for us to appear angry and divided, mean-spirited and uncaring, what we find when we look up close is interesting. We find a world full of really wonderful, caring and kind people who, when presented with the opportunity, are more than willing to help their fellow humans, no matter their race, religion, political views, or whatever.

Sometimes in our laziness, we choose to sit back and be spoon fed our opinions. We decide to trust what those who appear to be out there and in the know about things to tell us how to feel, think, and behave. But we are often being handed a pile of twisted truths. 

Of course, there are real atrocities in the world. Evil is rampant, and the god of this world is doing what he does best, and he will keep right on working without vacation until Jesus comes back. You only need turn on the television to see those horrors in real time. We offer him free 24-hour coverage on our cable news networks. He is pushing and prodding his demented ideology upon many of us who are not paying attention, and people are suffering greatly because of it.

But when we look more closely at what’s going on, really, we don’t have to search too far to find kindness and love even in the most unlikely places.

The true God of this world calls upon us to love one another… unequivocally and without exception. But love almost always costs us something, so we tend to dole it out carefully and in measured amounts. We decide to give it only to those who we think deserve it, agree with us, or are like us. Our love is worth something, after all, and how could it be prudent to pass it out willy-nilly without first counting the cost?

Only that doesn’t make any sense in God’s economy. The cost counting time came when we decided to give our lives wholly and completely to Jesus. And even before that,  Jesus counted the cost when He decided to take our shameless sinning upon Himself, and pay that unfathomable debt. 

The cost for love has been paid already. The source of our love is God Himself who knows no boundary or limit, so there is no foundation for our decision to ration our love. We can love the unlovely without fear of then not having enough to love those we find easy to love.

Real life change cannot happen from a distance, and it cannot happen in the absence of love. No one ever changed a political view because we threw a rock at them. No one’s heart was moved toward Jesus because we hit them with clever biblical rhetoric. Change comes when we snuggle up close and show people love. Love can melt even the hardest of hearts, and it can open even the most cemented of minds. It’s the only thing that ever has made real and lasting change possible.

If we stand and watch at a distance, things look pretty bad. If we want to see the love, kindness, compassion, and selflessness we have to step in for a closer look. Those are at work through us because God is at work in us. 

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.” 1 John 4:7