My Mundane Musings

Growing up I longed for the fast paced life of big city life and corporate America. Now I’m a stay at home mom of 4 in a small rural community! And I wouldn’t have it any other way! (At least for now).

Wild Goose Giveaway… August 19, 2008

Filed under: blog,books,church,friends,fun,internet — Rebekah Sanders @ 9:43 am

*Giveaway info at the end*

I’ve had the opportunity to read Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson already. It releases today via Amazon and all those other bookstores out there that I hear people use.

By the end of the first chapter, I was completely hooked. It’s a perfect book for those who feel like they are on a wild goose chase as they try and figure out this crazy ride called life and what God’s plans for them is. Because lately, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching. A lot of wondering what comes next and how I get to that point. Maybe another name for this book could have been “Like a Chicken With My Head Cut Off.”  But the reminder to pursue God through it all is such great truth and explained clearly in this book. Especially when people around you are telling you that you’re crazy. It’s a reminder to live out your faith in day to day life as you take risks and adventures along the way.

Here’s the summary from the back of the book – 

Most of us have no idea where we’re going most of the time. Perfect. 

“Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit–An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something….

Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: Adventure.” –from the introduction.

Mark Batterson may be one of the best communicators I’ve ever heard. He is able to paint a picture that is memorable and has so many one-liners that I’ve lost count. He inspires me as we continue this crazy journey in ministry and as he reaches out to those he pastors at National Community Church on Capitol Hill. AND he dared to dream that a church could open a coffeehouse on the Hill! And saw that through to what is now the largest – and one of those most popular – coffeehouses!

I’ve got a free copy of Wild Goose Chase to give away to one of y’all! No strings attached. Just leave a comment below. If you twitter or blog about this giveaway on your own site, come back and leave a second comment and you’ll get two entries! I’m picking the winner at 11pm CST on Sunday night so the book can go out first thing on Monday morning.

So, go leave me a comment!

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Sunday bulletin… July 20, 2008

Filed under: church,family,food,kids,life,marriage — Rebekah Sanders @ 8:55 pm
  • A lot of the same people in my life that were complaining about it being winter and too cold are now complaining that it’s too hot and they don’t want it to be summer anymore. Some people are just never happy.
  • You will NOT hear me complaining about the heat. I love the heat! Could do without the humidity, but even that doesn’t bother me all that much.
  • I cut up a fresh pineapple for the very first time in my life yesterday. I think I’d rather have fresh pineapple than any summertime melon.
  • Definitely allergic to Mop ‘N Glo. Rough morning with an asthma attack. Chip thought it would be ok if he opened the windows. It wasn’t. He mopped the rest of it up off the floor with another organic cleaner. He’s my hero!
  • My boys are home. Where they belong. I don’t like when they are gone.
  • Nephew jumped up like the big kids on our walk last night to hit the stop sign. Scraped his arm open and cut the walk short. He’s a pretty tough kids when he needs to be.
  • Kait was baptized this morning. Such a very precious moment to share with her. And it all happened on her PawPaw’s birthday.
  • Our anniversary is next Sunday. I love my husband so much that it’s hard to remember life before him and impossible to imagine it without him.
 

Forgiveness… June 18, 2008

Filed under: church,family,friends,life,news,profoundness — Rebekah Sanders @ 9:10 am

We’ve been through some tough times lately. Some people who we felt close to betrayed us. I know that seems like a harsh word, but that’s how I felt. People who we at one time considered some of our biggest fans, our friends, suddenly decided to start bad mouthing us. Well, I never heard about anything that was said about me personally, but I know they talked about my husband.

And the things they said. Oh, they were so unkind. Calling him arrogant. Accusing him of having a God complex. Of being a dictator who wanted things done his own way. Things so far from the truth that they could not have been more wrong.

And it made my blood boil. Really, really boil. At times, I wanted to go ring this person’s doorbell and kick them in the shins. *THAT* would give them something to talk about.

But the thing is – more than anything, I was hurt. Deep in my soul, these people who I trusted. Whom I looked up to even. For them to say these things. Things I looked at long and hard. Things I asked others about because I wanted to make sure there was no modicum of truth in them. I watched as my husband became defeated. Depressed even. It was an ugly, ugly time in our lives.

I never did ring the doorbell and kick them in the shins. I wanted to say something many, many times. But each time, God had me hold my tongue. I knew nothing good could come out of me being ugly back, so I was content to sit back and know that someday GOD would be their judge. Someday they would have to stand in front of God and give an account. I was going to let God vindicate me. And I would sit back and relish in the fact that God’s punishment for them would be far worse than anything I could bestow on them.

In May, we were at our denominational district council. It wasn’t really so much anything that was discussed at Council, but more that I had a LOT of time on my hands to sit and think and let my mind wander. During one business session, I was reading blogs and I don’t even really remember what it was about or who it was by. It was one of those wandering types of randomness that I so often encounter while online. But I remember reading Jesus words as he hung there on the cross. “Father, forgive them, for they know now what they do.” It was more a pondering moment in my heart than anything else. I definitely didn’t connect the two issues in my mind at that time.

On Tuesday night, we had an amazing service. I was thinking again of these people who had wronged us so many times. People I thought I had forgiven in my heart. I just couldn’t seem to move on from it though. I had forgiven, but I certainly wasn’t free from it all.

As I sat in that service that night, the very fact that they would be JUDGED because of something they did to hurt me and my family hit me like a ton of bricks. I literally remember feeling the realization slam into my chest like a ton of bricks. God was going to hold them accountable for their actions. LORD, HAVE MERCY! My spirit cried out within me. And I called out to God.

“Father, forgive them! They didn’t know what they were doing!!!”

And just like that – insert finger snap here – the floodgates of my soul opened and I heard the voice of God speak to me as clearly as I ever have before, “And that, daughter, is what forgiveness is all about!”

I’ve got a new perspective on forgiveness now. A new perspective on God’s love for me. For everyone. God doesn’t want to get even. He’s not out for vengeance. He’s in the business of love and mercy and forgiveness. And it’s only because He’s able to forgive that I’m able to be free!

 

On being a pastors wife… June 6, 2008

Filed under: church,entertainment,family,fun,marriage,music — Rebekah Sanders @ 3:28 pm

Now, my husband is so much better than most pastors about not using me or the kids as sermon material. He’s always very careful and when he refers to me when speaking, he almost always oks it with me before hand. He *never* airs our dirty laundry. Ever. And he calls me by name. When I hear a pastor using his wife as an illustration, I realize that they’ll say “my wife” before they put their foot in their mouth. When when they use their wives first name, it’s usually followed by something uplifting. There’s probably a lesson in that. Because I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve cringed as some pastor *thought* he was being funny by publically humiliating his wife.

Anyway, I saw this video several places in the last few weeks (most recently via PinkHairedGirl) and thought I’d share for all of you fellow pastors’ wives out there. Enjoy…

 

Oh be careful little mouth… May 22, 2008

Filed under: church,family,food,friends,life,profoundness — Rebekah Sanders @ 8:48 pm

Chip and I had a wonderful week in Springfield, IL at the Assemblies of God District Council. We had a much need break away from home by ourselves. We hadn’t been away from home overnight by ourselves since we flew to Texas last December.

Our lives have been rather crazy lately, so instead of finding someone to eat lunch with on Wednesday afternoon, we came home instead and stopped for lunch by ourselves at Steak & Shake. It was a wonderful lunch and we were able to talk about a lot of the things that God spoke into our lives this week. But that will require many, many more posts.

As we sat there eating our lunch, we couldn’t help but overhear two ladies sitting behind Chip. They weren’t exactly being quiet as they talked. And we couldn’t help but listen in when they started talking about someone we know. This person is someone we would count an “almost friend” – someone that we run in the same circles and share enough about our lives that we are more than acquaintances, but not quite friends. But then they started making comments about her dad – who is a friend of ours. It was kind of weird to have them talking about people we knew. Especially since he’s an area pastor.

But then – and oh, you knew there had to be a but – they skipped over to another church in town. A church pastored by friends of ours and began to talk about THAT church and called the pastor’s wife by name. It went from weird to weirder.

We continued our lunch and really weren’t trying to listen. These ladies were just that loud. When all of a sudden, they start talking about a church in Tuscola that is also pastored by a friend of ours. I could *not* believe my ears. We had just seen all three of these pastors *that day*! From the church in Tuscola, they moved to another denomination and began talking about the Church of God. Now, I don’t know the current pastor, but I do know people who have pastored that church before (both a former senior pastor and a former youth pastor). They were talking about how the services were too long and yada, yada, yada. It was just weird.

And THEN – oh yes, there is more – they started talking about how they had made all of these “new changes” (and they didn’t mean it in a good way) at the Assembly of God church in Mattoon. Yep. Friends with those pastors too – both the resigning one and the new senior pastor elect. Both of whom we’d seen at various times that week too.

It was one of those most ridiculous things I’ve ever experienced. I mean, the chances of us hearing someone talk about even one of those people are kind of remote. But to hear all of them talked about within the space of half an hour? It was nuts.

We left before they did. I was too gobsmacked to say anything to them, although in hindsight I kind of wish I would have. There is no telling how many more people’s names I would have recognized before they were done. I snapped a picture of them – if they show up at our church on Sunday, I think I’ll put out a “Gone Fishin'” sign.

But it taught me a valuable lesson. I need to make sure that I’m always conscious of the things that I’m talking about. Because I never know who might be listening. And I should always be mindful of Who is listening.

 

Customer Service… May 15, 2008

Filed under: church,internet,life,Nifty Stuff,profoundness — Rebekah Sanders @ 2:56 pm

Bad customer service bothers me. If I’m going to spend my money on your product or in your store or on your website, I want to be treated with respect. I’m not looking for a reason to be upset, so please don’t go out of your way to treat me like I’m second rate. I am your customer and I am always right! (Just ask my husband – he’ll tell you that at the very least I always *think* I’m right).

We were in a grocery store that we frequent recently. It was 2pm on Monday. Which meant that all of the older people were already home from their morning shopping. And all of the soccer moms had already left for home to put their groceries away so they could go pick their kids up from school. The store was DEAD! There was hardly anyone there at all. As we wandered up and down the aisles, we saw the same two men and that was it. One was an older gentleman who could barely walk and the other was obviously the guy who goes and takes this guy out from time to time. They were the ONLY people that we saw. Other than employees.

(I  do want to say that not ALL of this trip had bad customer service. When I asked someone where something was, not only did he tell me where he thought it was, but he also went to check. When it wasn’t there, he went and asked someone who did. He was eager to help. He raced all over that store and didn’t rest until I had actually located on the shelf exactly what it was I was looking for. That kind of service – the kind that goes above and beyond – is my favorite kind).

Anyway, we had done all of our shopping and Chip had taken one of the kids to the bathroom. Which is why I’ll never shop without him. I had stopped by the checkouts – not actually entering a lane – to look behind me to make sure I had all my kids. When I hear someone say, “Ma’am?”

I’m not old enough to be a ma’am. But I heard it again, “Ma’am? This is an express lane. 10 items or less.”

First, I’m not in your lane. Second, I know how to read and can see the bright pink sign at the beginning of your lane. And third, you are standing there doing NOTHING and there are three other people in the only other open lane.  And she’s standing there looking at me like I had better not even think about getting into the lane. Is she KIDDING me?

So, I go and stand behind the other people in the other lane and wait my turn. Because that’s always a lot of fun with three kids who want to grab every piece of candy on the shelf. Two people in front of me go – in which time I absolutely CERTAIN this cashier who is standing there doing NOTHING could have rung up my groceries and bagged them and loaded them in my car for me. The two other men in the store come up to the checkouts with maybe 15-20 items in their cart. She denies them too. They get in line behind me, the one guy looking like he’s spent after grocery shopping and the other clearly irritated that this woman is standing there doing NOTHING.

I’m half tempted to let them go in front of me, but I’ve already been standing there for 10 minutes waiting my turn. And the natives are getting restless. I’ve already started putting my groceries up – which I organize in my cart as I put them in because I used to bag groceries so I’m a bit picky about it all.

Mercifully, the front desk clerk calls someone else up to help with the checkouts. Even though there are probably three other people shopping in the ENTIRE STORE! And “Bob” (because the younger guy kept saying, “We’ll just have to wait a few more minutes, Bob. Are you ok, Bob? We did a lot of shopping, didn’t we, Bob?) gets to go first in the new line. Thank goodness.

I had a pleasant cashier and bagboy. They chatted with me WHILE THEY WORKED and smiled the whole time. They kept things moving and I felt like they valued my time.

But then, I kid you not, as I was paying for my groceries and they were finishing the bagging, a lady came and got in line behind me with a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread. Because even though the light was on, the express lane lady was NOWHERE TO BE FOUND!!! She worked so hard to make sure that her lane was available to such a specific group and when they were finally there, she was gone. I really, really hate when people use “rules and regulations” as a reason to not do their job.

I see a lot of parallels to the church in all of that. Or just to a Christian life for that fact. How’s your customer service? Are you willing to go out of your way and run all over to help out someone in need? Are you going to give service with a smile, with joy? Or are you going to use the “rules” to be an exclusive club that can only service a certain group? And will you be available to serve those you’re willing to reach?

So many Christians say they can’t do this and they can’t do that. They hide behind the rules. Only instead of 20 items or less, it’s 20 sins or less (because let’s face it, most Christians/churches who refuse to associate with sinners that struggle with things like porn or adultery or homosexuality or gambling or even *gasp* alcohol, are still more than willing to let the gossips, the slanders and the legalistic into their lives/churches). But when push comes to shove and those who are weary and worn and just run haggard show up at the door, they are of absolutely no help at all. Because when push comes to shove, they want little more than to warm a pew and be secure in their salvation but not a whole lot more. And they certainly don’t want to let anyone in who might do something or say something that would cause them to stumble (which is just such a huge cop out).

But then there are churches out there – of all sizes, not just mega-churches – who want nothing more than to serve Jesus. They want to introduce people to a very real Savior because they’ve had an encounter, because of someone with good “customer service”, and they think everyone should experience that kind of love and grace and mercy and freedom. And it is truly an amazing thing when the things of Jesus become viral. All because someone chose to love Jesus and love Him well.

 

Tackling Tuesday… April 29, 2008

Filed under: American Idol,church,entertainment,family,kids,life,news,shopping,television — Rebekah Sanders @ 11:15 am

There are two days left in April – if you count today – and I’m FREEZING! It’s 45 degrees outside. I thought we left Minnesota 10 years ago??? My body does not like to work when it’s this cold outside! I want to stay in, curled up under blankets and drinking coffee!

But, I don’t have time for that. My days are filling quickly. Thankfully Tuesdays are one of only two days a week that we don’t have to be on the ballfield. I’m currently at home and finishing up giving baths to the littlest two. Kait is taking my place at the church this morning and helping set stuff up for the rummage sale. She’s loving it and loving the attention of all the wonderful grandmas and grandpas over there. I’m sure they’re loading her up with cookies and snacks and I’ll be the one to pay for it later, but at least my sneez-y allergies aren’t bothering me this morning.

Elijah and I have to sit down and figure out the best week for him to go to camp. I’ve got loads of design stuff to do for the church. I need to refigure the signage for the rummage sale this weekend, start working on baccalaureate, tweak some other signage and sermon graphics and CALL MY GRAM because her birthday was 2 days ago and I still haven’t talked to her!

OH! And my new books have finally arrived. What I really want to do is sit down, snuggle in and start to digest Pop Goes The Church by Tim Stevens. Or I Became A Christian And All I Got Was This Lousy TShirt by Vince Antonucci (although this one has already made it’s way to Chip’s office so it may be a while before I see it again).

OH! And everything I have to do today must be done before dinner. Because after dinner, we have to go find a pair of cleats that fit Elijah’s ever-growing feet! Which are now as big as mine!!!! And I should probably sort through the assortment of cleats in the closet to see if we have any for Kait and Noah. I don’t want to go cleat shopping more than once!

All that before I come home tonight to blog about American Idol. At least *that* I can do from the comforts of my snuggly blanket!