Saturday, February 27, 2010


You may read that title and think huh??? Yesterday, I was doing my Bible study on false gods by Kelly Minter. She was talking about how the Israelites had a hard time emotionally and intellectually leaving Egypt behind. They were at the border of the Promised Land the first time and Moses sent in the 12 spies. Joshua and Caleb, remembering God's promises and seeing the incredible bounty of the promised land, were very excited. The whole group dragged back giant fruit. The other ten, despite lugging those giant grapes all the way back to the camp, could only think about the other really big thing they saw - the giant people.

Several times in Scripture, there is reference to a race or group of people that apparently were way bigger than the average person. In common venacular maybe giants or just the equivalent of a whole country of Shaquille O'Neil's. Eitehr way, they looked rather intimidating.

So, on the edge of the Promised Land, the Israelites balked. Fear made them not want to go forward, to fight and defeat the giants so they could claim the Promised Land. It would be so easy for me to roll my eyes and to look down at them. After all, look at all the miracles God had performed for them. I mean, honestly - freed from Egypt and all the plagues and the Red Sea for goodness' sake! What was there to fear? God had promised them the land. He had led them here and had performed major, can't miss them miracles to get them there. So what were a few giants? The bigger they are, the harder they fall right?

Well, God hit me right between the eyes. I'm standing on the bank too. God has called me to write, yet all I can see are the giants in my path. A particularly large one knocked on my door this week. An article I had put out to a very large Christian publication had gone through several rounds of editors. The publication had gone through some major changes and I had worked with an editor, rewriting it even. It had been an eight month process. So, when I got the email stating they didn't want it - I was crushed. I felt like throwing in the towel. It was like that acceptance would have stamped me as a "real" writer and said that I could do it. Getting a rejection, well, it felt like the giant hadn't just knocked on my door, but had stepped on me too.

I threw myself a little pity party. It went on all week, as thing after thing interupted and disrupted my week - my oldest son was sick on Monday and then had to stay home again on Thursday. The times I had counted on to get things done were no longer existent. To top it off, Friday morning we had a school delay. I had a group that was coming in to talk to my students. Because of the delay, I had to cancel the group. So, instead of enjoying a morning sleeping in, I was frantically calling around to make sure the group didn't show up. I felt like I spent most mornings this week in a whirl of confusion and stress. Add to all this my husband being gone every night and I the giants seemed to be breathing down my neck!

It just seemed the obstacles to a writing career seemed too many and too much. But no matter how I felt, my goal this year is to live what I KNOW to be true. And the truth is, God has called me to write. God equips those He calls. He doesn't call you and then just leave you floundering on your own. I just need to take the next step - that step across the Jordan. I need to focus on the giant fruit, not the giant obstacles whether they come in the form of hurtful rejection or sick kids.

I'm going to claim my Promised Land and just let those giants try to get me!
~Blessings, Bronte

Monday, February 15, 2010


I don't know about you but I want to be in control. I want to feel like I have some say in what happens to me every day. While our choices do influence our futures, the truth is nobody can predict what will happen five minutes from now, never mind tomorrow or next week.

The other day, I talked about how "being healthy" had sneaked into my life as a false god - something I was putting my faith in instead of God. I have been thinking about that and why that is. The reason is control. I want control and many of the things I do like trying to be more organized or more healthy or more, well, fill in the blank is to control things, to have a say in what does and doesn't happen in my life.

Don't get me wrong, having a neat, organized house is a blessing. I find if my house gets too cluttered, my mind feels somewhat cluttered too. It's also a blessing to keep a grasp on your time so you aren't squeezed to the last little inth degree and burn yourself out. But the truth is I can have a perfectly organized house, use good time management skills, eat only healthy foods and work out the perfect number of minutes every day and then get in a car accident and die this afternoon. There are no guarantees.

I think this is why "being healthy" is such an easy functional god to have. In the past 18 months, at 7 people I know in real life and online have been diagnosed with cancer. For a few of them, it isn't looking too good. I find myself looking for reasons WHY they got it. Maybe they were overweight or smoked or drank too many diet cokes and the fake sugar did them in. I want to know the reason so I can avoid it. While our choices can affect our health, that isn't always the case. I found this out when I woman I know was diagnosed with not one but two types of cancer. The one type was easily contained, but the other one is very aggressive. They found spots on her liver so it isn't looking good. She just had twins less than a year ago after years of infertility. It's heartbreaking and I can hardly think of the situation without tearing up.

The thing is she was thin. She ran marathons. She worked at the hospital so my guess is that she got her yearly mammograms and took good care of herself. Yet, she got cancer and she might not make it. Her situation drove home to me that none of us knows. We can't control everything and ultimately our lives and what happens in them are in God's hands.

"Without faith, it is impossible to please God..." I will add without faith, it is impossible to live this life with its crazy twists and turns. I am just thankful that my God is as Psalms 103 says, "The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness." With a God like that, I can be at peace even without being in control.
~ Blessings, Bronte


I've been doing pretty well exercising and watching what I eat. In fact, I think I've lost not only a few pounds but some inches as well. However, since losing about 15 pounds since this summer, something strange has happened. I'm falling apart!

Everything you read tells you that once you lose weight you'll feel so great, but that has not been the case for me. My lower back went out. I have a pinched nerve in my neck/upper back at the moment. I had an endoscopy, colonoscopy and small bowel capsule. I've had h1n1 with walking pneumonia and a nasty case of the stomach flu. Makes me want to go eat a donut!

Right now I am doing this Bible study on false gods in our lives. Of course, I can usually recognize idols like watching too much tv or being on the computer too much. Those ones are fairly obvious. It's the more subtle ones that trip me up or hide in good intentions. The thing is many functional gods in our lives are derived from good things. Good things that have become a little too essential. I've been praying that God would reveal truth in my life - truth to see even the sneaky, not so obvious functional gods in my life.

So, imagine my surprise when my good intention of getting healthy was revealed as a god in my life. At first I was confused. I mean, taking care of myself by exercising and making good food choices is a good thing right? Getting to a weight that is appropriate for my height and build is also a good thing. I firmly believe that I need to be in good physical shape so I can do what God wants me to do. It's hard to fulfill your calling when you are lugging what amounts to a 3rd grader around with you all the time.

However, God showed me that my faith and hope had shifted from HIM, to being healthy. While it sounded good, being healthy and at my goal weight had become my promised land - it was where I would be happy and healthy and magically free from any threat of heart disease or cancer or any other scary health problem.

But the truth is there are no guarantees. It reminds of that guy I learned about in high school- Ponce de Leon. He found Florida but died unhappy because he desperately wanted to find the fountain of youth. His faith and hope were in something that wasn't reliable. Even if he had found this "fountain of youth", it would have disappointed and let him down.

It was a little scary to see how easily and slyly my focus had shifted from faith in God to faith in "being healthy." This doesn't mean that I am suddenly going to stop exercising or trying to make good food choices. But it does mean that I am going to stop stressing and obsessing about it all. God has the number of my days counted. He knows my future and what that will hold. Since I know He is good and He loves me more than I can possibly comprehend, I can relax and stop bowing down at the alter of "good health."