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Hi! I'm Brooke an official 20 something living in the town that stole my heart Columbia, Missouri. I started this blog because best way to spread the light of Christ is to share it. Here it goes...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Deal With It.

My body has a “numb mode.” I can shut-off all emotion. Going numb is how I’ve handled car accidents, divorces, betrayals, disappointments and loss. Why do I cope this way? I don’t want to burden anyone else with my problems. So I keep telling myself, I can handle it. However, instead of dealing with these situations, I lock the door on the issue. Right now, the Lord is waiting patiently for me to let him into these locked rooms. Ones that I have kept tightly shut for years.

How do you cope with things? We all have our ways of “Keeping Calm and Carrying On.” Think back to a hard time in your life. How did you get through it? Did you lock God out?

Here are some suggestions on dealing:

Write it out – Some things hurt too much. Take your pen and write the words you can’t say. Be honest with God “I think this person’s intentions were…” “Lord why are you testing me in this way?” “ How can you love us, and hurt us?” Have you ever not been able to say something to a person, but can write a note or FB message? Same thing with prayer. No matter which form you take, He answers in the same way.

Tell someone
– First take it to God, then have someone else help you sort out your feelings. It is not a badge of honor that you don't need any help. Dealing with something well, does not mean doing it alone. If you aren't sharing what you are going through, the enemy will manipulate you. It puts him in a position to steal your hope.

Crying is not weakness – Cry it out. Jesus did. God helps those who are weak. The Lord gave us tears to help us express emotions that have no words. By refusing to cry you are hardening a part of yourself that the Lord installed in us speicfically for coping. When Joesph was mourning the death of his father he and the rest of the country took seventy days to do it! Resist the urge to skip the tears, and fast forward to, “I’m fine.”

All of us have been some tough times. To build community we need to share our struggles, and take time to help others with theirs. You have a choice to either carry past hurts your whole life leaving you bitter, and broken or you can give Jesus the keys to our locked rooms. Don't let these things become a breeding ground for insecurity, and distrust. Time can not heal all things, but God will if we let him in.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Erasing the Pain

This video by Tenth Avenue North is beautiful. Please watch it here. As a Christian I want to dispel the myth that we are out of touch with the pain of the world. Know that, we struggle with the same deep sins rooted in our hearts that you do. We understand why you want to numb pain with alcohol. We get why you are chasing that job promotion so you can finally feel valuable. Mostly we know that deep longing in your heart that just wants to be completely known and loved. That is the same longing every human has. The Lord made that heart. He certainly knows what it is struggling with.

Friends whatever your sin is put it on the board. Let God erase it. Certainly I can relate to some of those words in the video. Please don’t do what I did for so long and define yourself by sin. For years I built my identity on gossip, haughtiness, and exploiting my body. This was who I was. Then I met Jesus, and He showed me that these were the things that I was hiding behind. Let God show you who you truly are. From one sinner to another, I promise through Him “you are more…”

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

For Christina

On September 11, 2001 Christina Taylor was born. On Saturday January 8th 2011 she was killed by a bullet through her small chest in Arizona. In senseless shootings such as this Columbine, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, and multiple others the same question remains: Who is to blame? Surely, something has set countless murders off. So whose responsibility is it? The makers of our gun laws? The parents who raised the shooter? What about the old man who sells the gun, or the college girl at Walmart who helped him purchase the bullets? Maybe we should all blame the media for their sensational stories that promise some kind of sick glory to anyone who is able to pull the trigger.

All I can say is I know the only person guiltless is God himself. When things like this happen it is not a time to shout blame at God. But, realize how much we need him in this fallen world. Our Jesus is the King of Peace. Even upon his capture to be taken to the cross he tells his disciple who wounds in his defense to put down the sword.

For awhile I have considered whether or not to get my right to carry. After this most recent shooting I’ve decided to not act on that right. This brutality has to stop somewhere. I can’t speak to if it is right as a country to have freedom to carry a fire arm or not. I’m not sure what the long term effects could be if we take away the guns, or if the tragedies will continue to escalate if we keep them. The only thing I can do is put complete trust in my safety to the Lord as long as He has me here, and this means I will never have any need of a gun. By no means am I trying to start a political debate, or tell you what to do. This is just a step in my own life to stop blaming, and start taking responsibility for why parents keep losing their children, and loved ones. The Lord keeps reminding me that there are quite a few Is in responsibility. What are some ways in your own life you can make an impact on our violent culture? My heart breaks for Christina and the other victims’ families. Please join me for praying for everyone involved. Our Lord is a great comforter.

Note: As Christians we will have to make hard, and what some people may consider “dangerous" decisions for the sake of the gospel. This is what living in truth is, lining every part of our lives under Christ. GK Chesterton put it like this: " Jesus promised His disciples three things-that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble." I would love to pray with you or talk to you more about any of these issues. Please feel free to e-mail me at epplebrooke@yahoo.com or comment here on the blog.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting Direction

There are a lot of people blessed with a strong sense of orientation. I am not one of them. Knowing this I’ve adjusted to my lack of direction. I leave 15 minutes early when going anywhere new, because it is not a question of if I will get lost, it is when. After, a couple of U-turns and stopping at the local gas station to gain my bearings I arrive.

To me getting lost out on the road is no big deal. I know I will get there eventually. However, I am completely opposite in the journey of life. It makes me anxious to not know exactly what turn to take next. Slowly the Lord is opening my eyes telling me not to be afraid of wrong turns here’s why:

1. You never know who you’ll meet on the journey
2. Where He wants you is where you’ll be
3. They are how we learn the way

Now, instead of being independent and telling the Lord what I am going to do. He is teaching me to be dependent, and ask Him which way is best.

I know you wish I would send you a Garmin that told you the exact route to meeting your spouse, success, or happiness. We both know it won’t happen:)

Those things while blessings in life are not our destination. The kingdom is. Who knows the way better than our great Creator? Humble yourselves friends. Ask for direction. He is always happy to help. Forge ahead in faith and enjoy the ride <3