Staging a Come Back

Yesterday I taught at a women’s event where the precious coordinator, Shannon, asked me if I had a biography to help her introduce me.  I’m totally fine with, “Hey, this is Lisa..” and let ‘er rip, tater chip.  But some people operate a little more efficiently than I and so I directed her to the “About” page on my website.

That’s when I realized I have not published on this blog since September 11, left a somewhat depressing last entry, and have not updated any “About” information in literally years.  Embarrassing.

If I were to have a title to last night’s message it would be something like, “Staging a Come Back”.  The gist had to do with renewal in our spiritual lives so that we aren’t living with our “glory days” behind us when relationship with God and vibrancy were at their peak.  As I told the women there, you don’t get a lesson from me unless it has first been directed at me.  The past couple of years have been ones of great transition.  Writing as well as public ministry has taken a backseat to the more private focus of the people in the four walls of my home.  I am now a part of the traditional workforce and I realize how spoiled I was for a very long time to be at home with my nose in a book and the zeal to then share thoughts and strings of words to those kind enough to read and talk back.  I’ve never gotten over missing the writing and missing you.

One of the points I shared last night is that sometimes our Come Backs are not necessarily to the same areas of calling that seem to have dwindled.  Sometimes they are a Call To sing a new song that God puts in our mouth based on our current experience.  One of the great joys of my past few months has been taking on the challenge of teaching our College/Career class at church.  These kids in their late teens/early 20’s who are continuing education and finding workplaces of their own obligate me to faithfulness in the call when I want to use the ‘I’m too busy’ cop out.  Lest you think that is a terrible thing to say, we would all do so well as to position ourselves so that we have no option but to keep using the gift with which we have been entrusted even when we don’t feel like it.  If you ever stop doing it, you will stop wanting to do it. And then it will be all the more difficult to ever want or do again. The lie we have bought in the midst of busy lives is that numbing our mind is restorative.  Numb your mind, and your heart will follow. And thus, we have churches full of passion-less people who are content with looking over the photo albums of their Times of Greatness and not even daring to hope those could come again.

Don’t misunderstand… I’m not talking about personal greatness.  I’m talking about those times when Christ has been most evident in us, His Glory most revealed, and those people within your homes and circles of influence the most affected.  You know those times of which I speak.  I wonder if there be any among you who needs a Come Back of her own?

I am not a fan of the New Year’s Resolution but I do like a start date.  A line in the sand that says I will not carry the baggage of back there with me over here.  So that’s more or less where I am in this moment.  Realizing that I need to do some things in order to want to do them again.  Stephen King described doing-until-you-feel-it best in his book, “On Writing”:

 “At the start of the road back I just tried to believe the people who said that things would get better if I gave them time to do so.  And I never stopped writing. Some of the stuff that came out was tentative and flat but at least it was there.  I buried those unhappy, lackluster pages in the bottom drawer of my desk and got on to the next project.  Little by little I found the beat again, and after that I found the joy again.  I came back to my family with gratitude and back to my work with relief – I came back to it the way folks come back to a summer cottage after a long winter, checking first to make sure nothing had been stolen or broken during the cold season.  Nothing had been. It was still all there, still all whole. Once the pipes were thawed out and the electricity turned back on, everything worked fine. “

For all of us, the gifts remain.  We just have to decide we are weary of the winter and muster the courage to turn on the lights and get on with it.  Finding the beat again sounds nice but knowing the Source of the Joy sounds even better.  It is my prayer for my own 2015.

I pray it for you too.

p.s.   Next, I may even work on updating my “About” page.    Not because I must but because I want to.

May We Never Forget

Remembering those whose lives were taken 13 years ago this somber day.  In my little neck of the woods, the skies are gray and drizzling. It is appropriate.

On September 11, 2001, I was pumping gas at Dodd’s Service Station when Mr. Dodd himself asked me if I had heard about the plane crashing into the World Trade Center. I had not so I walked into his office where the regulars were gathered around the television. In my naivete I  wondered how a pilot could have made such a horrible error when the second plane hit in front of our eyes and the realization of intention vs. accident began to sink in.  The ‘terrorist’ word was uttered and all innocence with it’s proclamation.  We were a nation under attack.

I broke the bewildered fellowship and drove to Chattanooga with lump in throat and legs shaking while listening to frantic newscasters speculate on what was happening and if it was over and where these people may strike next. I arrived at Sam’s Club, stepped out of the car and stood stunned and motionless with many others as the deafening engines of airplanes being grounded from every conceivable direction to the local airport felt like the end of the world. I fully expected a Boeing to land right on top of us and had that been the case, I don’t think I could have moved from that spot such was the shock.  That pause – that moment when time stopped and perfect strangers turned eyes to the sky and joined in fear and grief and sobs – remains one of the most surreal moments of my life.

For posterity’s sake….do you remember where you were that dreadful day? Feel free to share it here but more importantly, don’t ever let die those details nor fail to share them with your children. Our freedoms are a rare gift and will become rarer still if we fail to recount the cost.  Praying today those who lost loved ones feel the comfort of a God and nation who will never forget. Praying God will thwart the evil ones who sow this madness, that He would shine on them and turn them from their wickedness. And perhaps most of all, I pray He comes quickly and crushes the True Enemy under His beautiful feet.


A Weekend Football Throwback:                            Lights Out – 2009

I found this post quite accidentally and the timing of it lent itself to an edit and repost.  This took me right back to a fantastic time in Ider Hornet football and one I am looking forward to repeating.


Luke’s dad has a saying we all repeat often: “If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts it’d be Christmas every day.” I’ve had to remind myself of that more than once since our 35-13 loss in Friday night’s round three state play off game. I know everyone says it, but the score in no way reflected the intensity of the game in which we were leading 7-6 as late as the 4th quarter. The tide turned quickly and unfortunately we just didn’t catch any breaks. But, there’s no amount of replaying the game in our minds that will change the result so – all ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ aside – it is what it is. After 13 games in which we finished 11-2, it’s time to shut down the stadium lights on the 2009 season.

If I were a man, I would recap by quoting undecipherable statistics or by telling you what a “physical” team we have become or how we have finally learned how to “put four quarters together”. However, being a girl who just recently learned to appreciate the beauty of a perfectly-executed onside kick, I can only express my thoughts through the emotion of what it felt like to sit on the edge of those bleachers with my heart in my throat Friday after Friday. It may mean nothing to a group of teenage boys that there was a middle-aged preacher’s wife in the crowd who finally wanted to understand the game because of you and I’m not asking for it to. But, you guys who know me understand that just because you don’t care won’t keep me from telling you.

I’ve never known much about the history of our school’s football team save for overhearing the retelling of past golden days by the men of our community who were either members of those teams or a witness to them. I’ve learned much about the pride our town takes in past victory. It thoroughly amuses me to watch the faces of these guys as they remember old coaches and remarkable plays. With that said, would you players like to know what you have done for those guys? For our town?

You’ve given us fresh legend.

No one has to look back any further than a couple of weeks to have a new smile on their face over your accomplishments.   They don’t have to reach into past coaching eras because we have that man today who has led our team to the winningest season in school history.  These men are no longer recounting the plays of when they were on the winning team because now the pinnacle of their gameday pride is in their very own sons.    Boys, I hope your parents don’t mind sharing because I think I speak for our community when I say you are our sons as well.  Personally,  I couldn’t have been any more invested if my own kids were on that field.

No, I don’t have a child on the Varsity team yet, but I will.  Would you like to know what you’ve done for them – especially the one who served as your water boy?  Instead of talking about the jersey numbers of his favorite college players, he is talking about yours.  He wants to emulate you.   You didn’t ask to be some kid’s hero, but that doesn’t keep him from looking up to you and being proud that he was able to be a part of this history-making team in this small way. This mom thanks you for embracing him and being individuals I’m not afraid for him to esteem.

Seniors (and I’m especially talking to you, Casey, TD, and Dakota), I know it’s so hard walking off that field for the last time but as much as you have been a gift to this community, let the adoration of the crowds and the school spirit that you’ve fired be one that will be the stuff of the tales you tell someday.  More than that, keep your perspective.  God, not football, is life.

But I’m pretty certain He’s loved watching you, too.

We are so proud of you, boys! Thank you for a great run…You started fast, now FINISH STRONG!

A portion of the Game Three 90 yard Spirit Line:

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The Water Boy and Water Girl in Action:
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Update 2014:

Sam McKay has dreamed about playing on the big field since his tenure as water/ball boy and before.  Friday night he had his first Varsity start as a 9th Grader and to say he was living the dream is an understatement.  Our team is small but mighty and their underdog win calls to mind the awesome season of 2009.  Looking forward to watching this kid and his team brothers tear it up this fall!



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