Moms’ Night Out

I’m not a movie critic.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  I rarely go to movies – I mean have you checked out the price of 2 tickets, popcorn and a Diet Coke lately?  (I have discovered a secret, though – at our theater ALL movies are $5 from 4:00 – 5:30.  Weird time?  Yep.  But I’ll do almost anything for a bargain…)

But last night I was invited to a private screening of a movie that will be released Mother’s Day weekend appropriately titled Moms’ Night Out.  I’m so grateful I got to see it last night because I realized I’ll probably be moving my daughter out of her dorm room on Mother’s Day weekend… which will most likely cause me to come close to losing my religion… Happy Mother’s Day to ME…

Anyway, as my friend Lori Fuller said, we who are living the Christian faith are hungering for movies we can take our families to and not have to worry about the language, the sexual situations and about a hundred other issues that most movies throw at you.  Been to a PG-13 movie lately?  Those would have been rated “R” back in my day (no, I’m not THAT old.  I had color TV, thank you.).  And as Rick Burgess says, we should support faith based movies, songs, etc. when they are good, not out of some sense of Christian religious obligation.

So that leads me back to Moms’ Night Out.  It’s good.  It’s REALLY good.  It’s VERY funny – I mean, anything starring Debra from Everybody Loves Raymond makes me laugh!  And you can take your whole family – dads included – without sweating over which four letter word is going to come out of someone’s mouth next.

And the message is one we all need to hear, whether you’re a mom, a dad, a sister, a nephew, a student, a businessman – the message is the same.  I won’t give it away, no spoiler alert here.  But in today’s hectic, chaotic world the message of the movie is one of which we all need to be reminded.

So I encourage you to support the movie the weekend it comes out, because if we don’t, we won’t get any more movies like this to enjoy.    Take your mom, your wife, your kids – take a neighbor or buy some group tickets and give them to people at work.  Here’s the trailer from the movie to peak your interest.  Share this blog with someone else who might need a lot of laughter and some Godly truth.  Go.  Laugh.  And know that everyone, everywhere needs a “Mom’s Night Out” occasionally!

Moms’ Night Out

mom

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

And if you like what you read, please share with others!  God told me to write for Him and my goal is to spread the gospel with a bit of humor and a lot of grace.

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Knuckleheaddedness

Have you ever been running late (well, yes, of course you have) and you are trying to get dressed in a hurry (yep, been there done that) and you race out the door, drive like a crazy person only to get to your meeting, appointment – whatever – and realize you are wearing 2 different shoes?

Come on, now – admit it – most every human out there has done that at least once in their lives.  Or maybe you had on 2 different socks, or 2 different earrings – you get the point.

So as you sit there in your car embarrassed and frustrated over you appearance and knuckleheaddedness (yep, I just made that word up but you can use it if you like) you think, “Why didn’t I get up just 10 minutes earlier so that I would have time to think and put on the same dang shoes?”

Recently some friends shared with me a great way to start each day spiritually – and that is to take a few minutes to put on the full armor of God before you walk out of the door.  And better yet, put it on before chaos permeates your morning routine like a forgotten, rotten Easter egg that can stink up your garage. (Not that I’ve ever experienced that…)

So what is the full armor of God? Read it in Ephesians 6:10-20 – those verses are awesome in describing the armor and why you need to put it on.  Here’s what our morning outfit should look like EVERY morning:

  • Helmet of salvation
  • Breastplate of righteousness
  • Belt of truth
  • Feet fitted with readiness to share the gospel of peace
  • Shield of faith
  • Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God)

One of my very smarts friend pointed out that the first 5 are all defensive pieces of armor.  We need those “so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes,” (v. 11) and so that we “can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (v. 16)

Armor

The last piece of armor – the Sword of the Spirit or the Word of God – is an offensive weapon.  Invoking Scripture is like lighting a fruity candle after you’ve fried a batch of catfish in your house.  (What?  You’ve never fried catfish?  Well that’s a whole different problem we’ll discuss another day.)  Like the sweet scent of a candle the Word of God permeates the area and spreads farther than we can imagine.

So don’t get spiritually dressed in a hurry.  Take a few minutes each day – even if it is just a quick prayer – that God will dress you in His full armor so that you can meet the enemy head on fully protected.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

And if you like what you read, please share with others!  God told me to write for Him and my goal is to spread the gospel with a bit of humor and a lot of grace.

Serve Your Man?

One of my most favorite TV shoes ever was “The Cosby Show.”  Cliff & Clair Huxtable’s approach to parenting was spot on and pretty much provided America with a weekly guide of how to deal with children of all ages.  From teaching Theo how far all his money would take him in the “real world” (what an eye-opener THAT was) to counseling Denise after she married a man in the navy with a toddler, the Huxtables could handle anything that came their way.

Any episode with Elvin in it was TV gold to me.   Maybe you will remember this exchange between Clair and her soon-to-be-son-in-law Elvin after Clair offers him and Cliff coffee, thus causing Elvin to respond with a look of surprise:

Elvin Tibideaux: I’m sorry, Mrs. Huxtable, I didn’t think you did that kind of thing.

Clair Huxtable: What kind of thing?

Elvin Tibideaux: You know… serve.

Clair Huxtable: Serve whom?

Elvin Tibideaux: [indicating Cliff] Serve him.

Clair Huxtable: [with a tense smile] Oh, serve *him*. As in “serve your man”?

Elvin Tibideaux: Well, yeah.

Clair Huxtable: [now visibly indignant] Let me tell you something, Elvin. You see, I am not “serving” Dr. Huxtable, okay?

Elvin Tibideaux: Okay.

Clair Huxtable: That’s the kind of thing that goes on in a restaurant. Now I am going to bring him a cup of coffee just like he brought me a cup of coffee this morning. And *that*, young man, is what marriage is made of: it is give-and-take fifty-fifty. And if you don’t get it together, and drop these macho attitudes, you are never gonna have anybody bringing you anything anywhere any place any time EVER.

[pauses, then smiles graciously]

Clair Huxtable: Now, what would you like in your coffee?

Elvin Tibideaux: [shaken] Maybe I can get *you* some coffee.

Clair Huxtable: Elvin, that’s alright. I don’t mind getting it. But thanks for offering.

[Clair takes the tray to the kitchen; Elvin slowly sits down and looks at Cliff, scared]

Cliff: Elvin?

Elvin Tibideaux: Yes, sir?

Cliff: When she brings the coffee back, if I were you, I wouldn’t drink it.

As funny as that is, Clair’s motive to “serve her man” is love.  Why do I serve others?  Simply put, it’s because I love Jesus.  He is the ultimate, complete example of what it means to serve others.  “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Matthew 20:27.28)  Clair offered to get Cliff coffee because she loved him and wanted to serve him, not because she had to serve him.  And when I serve others out of love for Jesus, it isn’t because I have to  – it’s because I want to.

So serve out of love – for Jesus, for others – even your possible-not-so-perfect-still-have-a lot-to-learn-dense-as-a-doorknob-future-son-in-law.

Blessings!
Leigh
You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

And if you like what you read, please share with others!  God told me to write for Him and my goal is to spread the gospel with a bit of humor and a lot of grace.  

The Transition

Last Tuesday was the final basketball game of the season.  Now some people may be celebrating the fact that they aren’t driving up and down I-85 two or three times a week while eating unhealthy meals from Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s and Mickey D’s, (yes I know they all have healthy choices but who wants a salad when you can have french fries?) but I’m a little out of sorts.

Just call me sports momma for a minute.  I enjoy watching my children compete in whatever sport they choose (and yes, people cheerleading IS A SPORT).  But it’s more than that.  When your child is on a team you typically get to know the other parents quite well because like I said – you are spending 2 or 3 nights a week with them.  They become your social network for a season as you share and rehash the games on the schedule.

And then all of a sudden the season is over and that door slams shut with a loud WHAM.  It’s not that I can’t continue to socialize with these friends – it’s that new sports take over and we are now going in different directions, the convenient social gathering of the various gyms no longer on our weekly schedule.

door

Now if you move from basketball to baseball, not a whole lot changes because you’ve got multiple games in a week.  But for me, basketball to golf – well that’s a whole different story.  My days are now WIDE OPEN – no social gathering on the golf course.  And if we did gather, we’d have to talk in a hushed voice so as not to disturb a player in their backswing… which is not exactly conducive to my social butterfly personality…

So my question this week has been, “What do I do with all this time, Lord?”  I mean, I could surf FB for hours on end, catch up on every little bit of laundry and ironing I have piled up and clean out every closet in the house.  (Which if you read my earlier post Hidden Treasures you know I’ve already started that activity.)  But what is the best use of my time?

I’m waiting on my answer from Jesus as to what to do with all this time because I can never get it back and I want to make the most of whatever time I have.  And quite frankly, I don’t sit well.  I’m used to being busy and on the go.  But we all go through different seasons in life, and this may be the one where I am to “Be still and know that I am God.”  (Psalm 46:10)  So for all you on-the-go-type-A people like me, don’t resist a season of rest – relish it.

Blessings!
Leigh

Today I will…

This weekend my husband and I attended our church’s marriage conference, Ignite 2014.  The guest speaker was Pastor Joe McGee, and can I just say, I wasn’t quite ready for him.  He spoke with a true southern drawl which you would think would be slow and deliberate, but it wasn’t.  He was the fastest talking southern man I’ve ever heard. And if you weren’t focused you would miss a nugget he would drop and taking notes reminded me of trying to keep up with my 12th grade biology teacher.  And, much like my biology teacher, absolutely no subject was off limits (it was a marriage conference, for heaven’s sake).

So many nuggets to share… but there’s one that applies to everyone, no matter your age, no matter if you are married or not.  Now picture a fast-talking large southern gentleman with a loud booming voice saying this:

When people ask you what you are doing today, tell them, “Oh I’m getting up and stormin’ the gates of hell.  Yep, I get up evry mornin’ and look for some hell to storm…It’s what I do…I look for problems and I fix ‘em… It’s what I do…”

armor

I laughed and laughed at that (OK, so maybe you had to be there) but his point was this – the devil should be panicked every time you wake up.  The enemy should say, “Dear God… she’s awake again…,” because he knows every time you get up you are going to go look for a problem to solve, a person that you can help, a need that you can meet.  You are going to get up, go storm the gates of hell and force him to retreat out of someone’s life.

Jesus is our example for life.  He set the example of serving, as written in the book of Matthew:  “…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…”  (Matthew 20:28)  And what is the result of serving?  “Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith for Christ Jesus.”  (1 Timothy 3:13)

Well sign me up for some excellent standing and great assurance in my faith in Jesus!  So that’s what I’m going to do today and every day – I’m going to put on the full armor of God and go storm some gates of hell and fix problems.  I’m going to freak the enemy out so much he has to retreat from my circle of influence.  Why?  Because it’s what Jesus did.

Lord, make me more like you.  Every single day.

Blessings!
Leigh

Danger Ahead

Pastor Robert Morris delivered a wonderful message entitled “Breaking the Spirit of Mammon” at church Sunday.  What is mammon you ask?  Mammon is the god of riches.  It’s the love of money.  The world loves mammon and will tell you that money will solve all your problems when in reality it just won’t.

So after the message I was feeling pretty good about our family’s stance on mammon.  Tithing? Check.  Offerings? Check.  Debt? None (except our house). And on and on down the financial checklist I created in my head.

I wish I had heard this in my head instead:  DANGER! WARNING! TROUBLE AHEAD!

 danger_keep_out_sign

Because just when I think I’ve got it going on in a certain area, that’s when the enemy likes to sneak his way into my thoughts like the one or two gray strands that sneak into my every-6-weeks-color-treated-hair (come on, ladies… you know what I’m saying…).

And this is what it sounded like in my head:  “Stay on top of your budget.  Don’t spend too much this month.  You need to save more.”  None of those statements sound bad.  Yet lying underneath those statements is an effort on the part of the enemy to break the trust I have with God in this area.  And if I break my trust with my provider, I rely more and more on me – who, I’ve learned over the years, doesn’t actually have all the answers.  (Gosh that’s so hard for a Type A, OCD planner to admit!)

What little lies is the enemy propagating in your head?  You better start recognizing them when they first hit you because if you don’t they will turn into full-fledged anxieties, stresses and labels, “for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14).  “Stay on top of your budget” can turn into “You can’t really handle money” which then labels me as a “Mismanager of Money.”  Cause that’s how the enemy gets you – one little lie at a time.

My personal example this week is money.  Satan knows it’s my weak spot (I’ve got a child in college – out of state college, for heaven’s sake) and will exploit my weakness any way he can.  What’s your weakness?  If you feel led, please share – your story may help someone else.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

Let Jesus use your weakness to make you strong.

Blessings for a wonderful weekend!
Leigh

The Standard

In the first installment of the series “Breaking the Rules,” Pastor Chris Hodges asked the question, “Will we change the standard or let God change us?” (Watch Breaking the Rules, Part 1 – Ancient Family for the full message.)

It’s an interesting question, especially in today’s world because the standards continue to change.  And unfortunately they aren’t getting higher.  Nope.  Society is all too happy to lower standards in an effort to excuse any and all behaviors.

Take television shows for example.  I guess you can blame the first sitcom on TV, Mary Kay and Johnny.  That was the first time a television show portrayed a husband and wife sleeping in the same bed, not in twin beds in the same room.  (Nope, it wasn’t Ricky and Lucy.  I had to look it up on Snopes.com.)

marykay

So the joke is on us today – can you even find a show where a married couple is sleeping with only each other – in their bed – in their home – without actually seeing their intimate moments?  I’m thinking Mary Kay and Johnny would be a breath of fresh air compared to all the junk that is on the 800 channels streaming into most homes.

So how did we get from twin beds to the blatant over-sexed TV shows today?  It’s the old “How to boil a frog” theory.  See if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water he’ll jump out, just like if my mother had gone from watching Mary Kay and Johnny to Sex in the City, she’d freak out.  But if you put a frog in room temperature water and slowly turn the heat up, he’ll boil to death.  And that’s exactly what has happened in our world over the last 60 or so years.

TV shows are just one example of how we have lowered our standards in an effort to satisfy our sin, our lust for the world.  But lower standards can be found all over the place – in education, in government and yes, in our faith.

Casting Crowns wrote a song entitled, “Slow Fade.”  The chorus rings so true:

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away

It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray

Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid

When you give yourself away

People never crumble in a day

It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

People never crumble in a day – it’s a slow fade.  We lower our standards a little at a time so as not to cause anyone to be alerted to the cumulative effect.  So what’s the solution? Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…” not the grotesque perversion the world offers, for the world will never satisfy you.  See the world may offer a moment of supposed gratification or pleasure, but true peace can only be found in Jesus.

So let’s raise our standards back to where they used to be.  Let’s focus on Jesus, not on what the world says the standards are, for the world is ever changing, ever shifting.  Don’t slowly fade into sin – set your standards high and then go with confidence knowing you have the power of Jesus to uphold them.

Blessings!
Leigh