Favorite Pandora Stations

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Pandora is generally my first choice when it comes to listening to music.  I have almost thirty stations, but a few stand out as my favorites.

Favorite Pandora Stations

1. Tenth Avenue North.  By far my absolute favorite group.  I love almost all of their songs, from The Struggle to Healing Begins to You are More.

2.  David Nevue.  I forget where I first heard about his music, but I’m thankful for that blogger whoever it was.  Add his station if you want absolutely gorgeous and peaceful piano music.  (You can even download some of his sheet music at his site here!)  George Winston is another great station for peaceful piano.

3.  Disney Channel Stars.  Yes, I admit it.  I like Disney teen pop music. ;)

4.  Laura Story.  Her lyrics are amazing!

5.  Next I just have to say country music in general.  I have Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, and Rascal Flatts.

6.  For a kid’s station, I have enjoyed The B-I-B-L-E Radio.

One of the things I love about Pandora is that you can hear songs similar to your interests.  I like that I don’t have to type in specific songs I want to play….I can hear my specific favorite artists and then also be exposed to new music or perhaps other favorites.

Do you use Pandora?  What are your favorite stations?

-Bonnie

Book Review: I Tried Until I Almost Died

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I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with depression, discouragement, legalism, or living in the try-hard life.

It is obvious from start to finish that Sandra McCollom has experienced the anxiety and frustration she’s talking about.  She’s not just preaching.  So much of what she said put words into how I have felt…..”battle weary from trying to live the Christian life”….or at times doing all the right things “desperately trying to be worth something.”

legalism and grace

This book is about grace.  Grace is on every page.  Jesus is on every page.  The author shares some of her personal story in living in legalism and she talks about how God broke through those walls and opened her eyes to the truth of His grace.

From repeating truth to yourself to recognizing and receiving His grace right in the midst of temptation, Sandra gives practical and wisdom-filled advice on how to run into His arms of grace.

Only negatives to the book were a couple times where it seemed as if the author was hinting toward a prosperity gospel (ie, success in your business or financial life will come as you learn to rely on His grace)….and a few other places where Bible verses were taken out of context.  So, as always, read with a humble heart and discerning mind.

Overall, I am very thankful that I read this book!!!

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for this review.

-Bonnie

Judging Those Judgers

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You know what is weird to me?

It’s weird to me that the church is so anti-legalism and anti-judgmentalism……that they are judgmental about it.

I have always found that ironic.

Growing up, we frequently had people accusing us of legalism and judgmentalism.  Looking back, I can understand more of why they perceived it that way, although I still think that in many cases they were wrong.

What they were definitely wrong about though?  They were definitely wrong about a couple things

1. Lumping us all together.  Because our family as a unit did or practiced certain things, therefore all of our hearts were legalistic and we were judging all other people who did differently.  This doesn’t even make sense.  All people are unique individuals and all people are at different points in their walks with God.  Maybe we were all legalistic.  Maybe half of us were.  Maybe only one of us was.  Maybe none of us was.  To say that all of us were legalistic is a huge assumption.

2. Judging our hearts.  I have seen this so many times.  It hits me pretty hard because I have been personally attacked so many times.  It hurts a lot to be accused and it can be so hard to get false accusations out of your head and heart.  Judging the status of people’s hearts before God is going a bit far.

People assumed the motivation behind our choices.

People were upset at us for judging them.

People talked about us behind our backs and said painful things.

People wouldn’t even talk to us to ask why we did what we did.  They assumed.

In short…people judged us for our conservative choices.  Our whole family was a taboo.  My husband had a couple people telling him he should not marry me because of a few specific things.  That weren’t even true.  I thank God that the Pilot didn’t listen to them and instead got to know me and got to know the truth.

Did I have legalism in my life?  Yes.  But I think that the situations in which I was legalistic would surprise most people.  I still have people who have painted me into a box and refuse to see any other colors on the canvas.  Preconceived ideas and notions keep people from getting to know me.

Why are people labeled as judgmental and legalistic just for being conservative?

And why is it ok to judge people’s conservative choices?

And why is it ok to judge conservatives for judging you?

Judgmental Christians

I get that it is a complicated issue.  I get that a lot of times conservative choices can be legalistic.  (News flash: Choices made in the name of “Christian liberty” can also be legalistic!)  I get that there is a lot of baggage surrounding the whole issue.

But judgment isn’t the answer.  To accuse someone of legalism, especially without knowing the facts or the state of their heart, is judgmentalism.

If you are concerned about someone, by all means talk to them.  Please do not make accusations.  Do not talk behind their back.  Do not assume.

And please be careful casting the first stone.  Legalism comes in many forms, and so does judgmentalism.

Standards, conservative or not, come down to a person’s personal relationship with God.  We ought not judge “liberal” people or “conservative” people simply for making choices that are different from ours.

I understand this post could seem ironic.  I don’t intend to judge others in my comments about judging.  ;)  I merely hope to spark conversation or perhaps cause each of us to stop and think about our thoughts and words toward others.

Thoughts?

-Bonnie

 

Where is the Authenticity?

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One of the main things that I see lacking in today’s Christian church is authenticity.  Where is the authenticity in the community of believers?

We live in these bubbles, whether to protect ourselves or in some attempt to not reflect badly on our Savior, I don’t know.  But I have discovered that it is rare to truly live in community.

Community.  That’s a buzz word these days.  Typically I don’t like buzz words.  But sometimes they are golden.  This one is golden.

I don’t know how many times I have heard Christian pastors, speakers, and authors say things like, “Before I was a Christian, I did x, y, and z.  After I became a Christian, though, God changed my life and even though I might sin every now and then, my life is changed.”

Every now and then?  Is this for real right now?  Am I really the only Christian that consistently and habitually sins multiple times every day?  Somehow I don’t think so.

Where are the Christians who are real about their sins?

Where are the Christians who admit their struggles?

Where are the Christians who talk about their doubts and questions?

In honesty, the Christian culture today is not welcoming toward people who might want to be real and authentic.  You might get gawked at.  People might be so stunned they don’t know how to respond, so they just sit there quietly.  Someone might start dousing you with all the right Bible verses in order to fix you.

Where are the Christians who know how to listen?

Where are the Christians who know how to truly rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep?

Where are the Christians who walk alongside people instead of trying to fix them?

Community is about doing life together.  You can’t really do life with people that you don’t know anything about.  And you can’t do life with people if you are insulating yourself and not opening up to others.

It takes courage.  It is not easy opening up to people, not knowing how they will respond.  But we must practice authenticity.  Being the body of Christ means ministering to other’s needs and also allowing others to minister to your needs.

-Bonnie