Children and the Dangerous Battle On Sexuality and Gender Identity

Ok, I saw a liked post on my facebook earlier today that made me, well upset might be a correct word, but dismayed is probably more accurate. A little 5 year old boy was laughed at by his male classmates for wanting to dress like the pink power ranger for Halloween because he liked the sparkles and the pink color.

There are a couple things wrong with this picture. First, the classmates. They laughed because they’ve been conditioned by their parents and society that pink is a girl color, and boys don’t like sparkles. I’ll come back to this in a minute.

What really pissed me off was his mother’s reaction. Some may call it incredibly understanding and tolerant- I call it an appalling disdain for God’s design. She explained to him that kids are designated their gender at birth because they possess either a penis or a vagina. Ok, fine. But then she goes on to say that “if they are a girl inside, then it doesn’t matter and it is respectful to call her a girl from now on.”

This. Is. Appalling. And the reactions of his classmates comes from a similar vein. NEITHER are appreciative of God’s design. He made them male and female- it says so very specifically in Genesis.

God doesn’t care if a boy wears pink and likes glitter, no more than He cares if a girl wears jeans and a t-shirt with a dinosaur on it. He cares about the heart, not the outward appearance (for reference, Jesus condemns the Pharisees for being outwardly pious and religious yet inwardly evil). Yet our society perpetuates the ideology that boys mustn’t like pink or glitter otherwise they’re either:

1. Really a “girl” trapped in a boy’s body (God doesn’t make mistakes), or

2. He is gay/homosexual, because a heterosexual five year old cannot possibly like pink and sparkles (not only a false determination based upon a false assumption, but this is also assuming a five year old kid is already sexualized and able to determine his sexual preferences- he’s FIVE, for heaven’s sake! He’s interested in toys, cartoons, and crayons- not in what gender he prefers sexually!).

The sad part is that this boy will forever be told that he’s either a girl inside, or that he’s gay, and someday he will come to believe it, because everyone, including his OWN MOTHER, says so. His friends laugh because they think he’s somehow less of a man because he likes pink and sparkles. They treat him like he is gay. His mother tries to be accepting, but commits a similarly dangerous sin- she strongly implies that he is a girl inside because he likes pink and sparkles.

What if he just simply likes pink and glitter? Glitter is shiny, and the pink power ranger is an equal to the other colors of power rangers in ability and prowess and willingness to fight against evil. To a five year old boy, what is wrong with that? Yet he is treated differently by his classmates AND his mother because what? He likes pink and glitter? So?

If anyone has ever spent time in a kindergarten classroom, you will know that ALL KIDS LIKE GLITTER (and make a horrific mess out of glitter and glue that the teacher ruefully cleans up later 😉 And most five year olds are fairly indiscriminate in what colors they grab.

But children who have been bullied and told by all the grown ups in their short lives have had it pounded into their heads that boys can’t like pink. They can’t wear pink. In the store, parents steer their little boys away from the pink aisles and consoles and toward the ones with camo and blue and superheroes galore. They want sparkly shoes, and their parents yank them out of their hands and shove Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shoes into their hands. TV shows and cartoons are geared towards “girl shows” and “boy shows”.

Well, my girls love Littlest Pet Shop, Barbies, cars, trucks, Avengers (superheroes), think Captain America is their favorite superhero (and can name them all), likes Tolkien and Narnia (my eldest’s first read word was Narnia on a map on the wall in my room), and has a keen interest in both dance and gymnastics and rock climbing.

So are they asexual, because they like both girl and boy things? Or are they girls, or are they boys? If you cannot answer this question, or think my question is ludicrous, then you have understood the entire point of this post.

An interesting historical fact- 100 years ago, PINK was for BOYS, and BLUE was for GIRLS. I’m not joking- go look it up. The roles color had to play when selecting/making a layette has changed over time. Does that make ALL males/females reversed if they were born 100 years ago? By this logic, if all boys (or the majority of them) liked pink and wore pink in 1915, then by our logic today they must have been all gay and all “girls/boys inside” in contradiction of their sexual organs and DNA. Yet since we are here, and since artificial insemination/implantation technology didn’t exist back then, obviously the premise that chosen colors determine gender identity or sexual orientation is completely false.

Favorite color does NOT determine gender, nor does it determine sexual orientation. And trying to categorize children into sexual identity roles or sexual orientation is completely pointless because sex is not something that does or should come into their conscious awareness until puberty (with exception to natural curiosity questions about their own anatomy, which happens for ALL body parts not just sexual ones). If a child is aware of the gender identity or sexual orientation questions, then it is quite obvious they are goaded on by parents or others in their lives who ARE old enough to be aware of such matters. It is not natural for a child to think about these things, unless there is something or someone externally involved talking about it.

Perhaps, rather than justifying behaviors and attitudes that are a product of society and their drive to sexualize everything from pre-birth on and categorize people unfairly, and thus subject people to unhappy, sinful, misguided lives as a result, maybe we should simply say to these children that it’s ok to pick a favorite color, NO MATTER WHICH ONE IT IS, or like sparkles or trucks or dinosaurs or princesses or ballet shoes no matter their gender.

What this mother should have done was not tell her son that he’s a “girl” inside because he likes “girl” things, but simply say that he’s allowed to like the things he does and simply state it to the bullies and walk away. How much more powerful of an impact would it make to teach children how to treat other children with respect despite differences in interests and favorite colors, rather than either praising or condemning them for sexual behavior or identity if parents and other adults of influenced taught their children simply to accept that they just simply like pink and sparkles, and be able to combat bullies not with an attitude of fear or that somehow you’re a mistake, but rather by showing them that you are loved and cherished by God and that you are His perfect creation?

If we would stop shoehorning little boys and girls into gender and sexual orientation-based categories based upon their interests, then there would be a LOT less confusion, a lot less disrespect for God’s design, and a greater understanding that kids will like things, and it has nothing to do with sex or gender identity. I firmly believe that if a child is told often enough that he/she must be a girl/boy inside if they like girl/boy things, or that somehow he/she must be gay because they happen to like the things that are stereotypically things the other gender likes, eventually they will come to believe it and act according to that belief.

It is no different than children being taught that other races are inferior from an early age. Eventually, they will believe it, and become racists themselves. Children in Nazi Germany had nothing against Jewish people, but because all the adults in their lives kept telling them the Jews were bad and evil and responsible for every bad thing that ever happened to Germans, they grew to believe it.

Those born with an XY chromosomal pattern are boys, regardless of their interests. Those born with an XX chromosomal pattern are girls, no matter their interests. Period. Males and females are meant to engage in sexual activity after marriage, not male/male nor female/female. That is God’s design, it was in the beginning, and it is still now. But children’s minds are fragile, and societal messages directly influence how they grow up. If a boy is constantly told that he’s either a “she”, or that he’s gay, he will come to believe it, and he will act according to what society expects of him in that “she” or “gay” role. Same with girls. Sexuality and gender identity is taught, not “natural”, as proponents of sexually immoral behavior would tell us, just like racism is taught, not natural.

Stop sexualizing children or determining their sexual future based upon your own “tolerance” or “ideas of what a child should become”. They will grow up fast enough as is- there is no need to rush it.

Let kids be kids for a change.

Rant done.

God’s Temple

I want to be healthy.

I don’t need to be “thin”

I don’t need to be a size 4

I don’t need to be a 36-24-32

I don’t need to be 5’10” tall

I don’t need to be a super model with big hair.

I don’t need to be a “clown” covered in every popular piece of makeup

I don’t need these things in order to be beautiful.

I am already beautiful-because God made me and because God cleansed my impurities away with His blood.

And I want to exercise and eat a balanced healthy diet-because I want this body that He has given me to be healthy.

If we take such wonderful care of our homes, and our cars, and our jewelry, and our clothes, and our treasured items, then why can’t we take care of God’s temple that is our bodies?


Living Water

Living water.

What is living water? A Samaritan woman asked this very question.

John 4

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

4 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John — although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”


Living water-the Holy Spirit.

It is such a joy to me to feel His living water flowing all around me and in me. I have had a dry spell for far, far too long.

It is not that God wasn’t there. He always is here. But sometimes storms come, and when that happens He can feel very far even though He is near. My head knew that He was near, but my heart often felt like He had left. And the reason? I don’t think my heart was open.

I am a Christian. I have been since before I can remember. I have also rededicated several times. But that doesn’t mean I am not human. I still have dry spells. I still struggle. It will be never ending.

Let’s face it-the enemy doesn’t like it when we are close to Jesus. He tries EVERYTHING to tear us apart from God. And truthfully, sometimes he wins. I have never renounced God or my faith. But I have come into a worse scenario-I have become complacent. And that is far, far more dangerous.

Complacency is defined as


noun \kəm-ˈplā-sən(t)-sē\

: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies
: an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction
In the case that I am talking about, complacency is when we have not denied faith, but rather in our hearts go “life is good, I don’t need to focus on God every second of the day”.
As I mentioned-that is a dangerous road to be on. When Christians are complacent, they are not allowing God to take control but rather are seeking to keep everything in their own control, whether it can be controlled or not. They believe in God, but the personal relationship sometimes takes a backseat to life. It is only when we allow God to be actively involved in our lives that our hearts can be open to Him.
I am glad to say that my heart is open to Him again. I have given up complacency. I wish to have Him be number 1 again, and involved in my life. He has accepted the invitation and he has welcomed me back with open arms 😀
It won’t be easy-it never is. I wish I could say that I read my bible every day and spend time in lengthy prayer with my Savior. But there are days where I don’t read, where I am so tired I just say a quick prayer before bed, and don’t spend nearly enough time with Him. But I am striving to be better and to think about Him more. I desire to be completely in love with Him-to think on Him all the time, and to strive and seek Him with intense passion. To thirst and hunger for Him in ways that I never have before. To have Him satisfy the thirst that my soul has for Him.
I now have the living water again. I am done being thirsty.
In Christ,
Amanda Longpre’


The Value of Relationships

I have come to a very serious realization today.

A foolish man spouts words and actions but does not consider their impact. A wise man will seek counsel first, pray about it, think first and only then will words and actions come.

I am sorry to say that I have been a a foolish woman.

I have been quick to words and actions, slow to think, and listening? Well, let’s just say that I probably don’t even have ears at this point.

I have hurt those who are close to me. Not physically, but the kinds of hurt that will take much longer to heal and go far deeper than one realizes. I have forgotten what it means to be a friend. Any relationship takes work, and these truths apply to not only friendship, but other relationships as well-mother-daughter, husband-wife, friends, etc.

Thus, I will post about what it means to be a friend-by God’s standards:

1. My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,- James 1:19

2. because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.- James 1:20

3.Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.James 1:22

4. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

5. If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right. James 2:8

6. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:12-13

7. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. James 3:5

8. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13

And finally:

9. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17-18.


These are just a handful of scripture that highlights how to be a good friend/wife/mother, etc.I wish to strive to practice these truths as well as others. But the most important one of above is “love your neighbor as yourself”. If you do not like to be treated in a certain way, then be thoughtful about how you treat others. Just merely paying attention to how your words and actions affect others will help you to be a good friend.

Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

In Christ,





Called to Write

I don’t know why, but I feel called to write. I don’t know what yet, but I will allow God to lead my fingers and see what happens 🙂

I think it has something to do with patience-something I typically sorely lack lol 😉

Well, here goes: Lord, write through my fingers.

Two nights ago, we experienced a rather large thunderstorm. I was on track with my schedule-I had both my girls, my energetic three year old and my three month old, ready for bed. Both bathed (a pretty big feat sometimes) and with their jammies on and everything-all by ten minutes to 8. For someone who is chronically exhausted (don’t think its chronic fatigue yet-going to see a sleep specialist soon) this is a pretty good thing-usually its hard to get them all set and ready for bed by myself that quickly when their daddy is working the evening shift. Suddenly, I heard a loud thunder boom, then a snap crash crack and the power went out. It was out for an hour, then back on for fifteen minutes, then out again for twenty minutes or so then back on. The light flickered a couple of times after that, but it didn’t go out again (thankfully). But I couldn’t get both girls settled down til after ten pm because with the air conditioner off it was way too hot and muggy-still in the lower 90’s and about 70 percent humidity (and we don’t usually have humid air here so it was pretty miserable). By the time I got settled down from the stressful evening it was nearly midnight and nearly two am before I finally got to sleep. 

I experienced something during the power outage that I experience often- my incorrigible lack of patience. I kept calling the power company and I kept getting the same message- crews are en route to assess the problem and we will update our message as they respond back to us. Or something like that. It was as if I could magically turn the power back on if only I called enough, even though I never spoke to a real person (well I did-but I had called the wrong utility company for this particular issue, so as far as the electrical utility goes I never talked to a real person). I had to learn something-to give up control. The crews were en route and they were fixing the problem. My trying to get it on faster could not work because I wasn’t directly involved with the repair-and it drove me nuts. The heat probably did too, but that’s beside the point.

Perhaps this post isn’t about patience at all. Perhaps it is about control-when to have it and when to let go and allow God to be in control. It’s hard for us as humans-we seem to have this inherent insatiable need to be in control of our surroundings, our environment, and ourselves. I am not saying some measure of control isn’t needed-we ALL have to control our own actions and take responsibility for our own actions. But we need to learn to allow God to take control on things that we cannot (or should not) control.

I cannot control whether or not a power line is down (or whatever happened-I never did find out). I cannot control whether or not my girls will be settled down enough to sleep at the exact time the clock chimes 8 pm-tonight was a prime example of that. Both girls were in bed by 8:02, then my three month old decided her night time dinner wasn’t enough and ate four more times, tooted some good ones, and had a clean diaper and a warm blanket (since the ac makes it wonderfully cool in here), and she still wouldn’t settle down unless I was holding her. I had a warm bath waiting, and I had my laptop on a stand far enough away from the tub on a stand with a movie ready to go so I could watch it in the tub and take some time to rest and relax. Never did get to the movie, and my bath was lukewarm by the time I got to it-an hour and a half later. In hindsight it was good that it was cooler-its just simply too warm for a hot bath right now anyway.
I can’t control circumstances beyond my control. I have to relinquish them to God. And it ain’t easy for sure. And I am DEFINITELY not the only person in history who had to relinquish control-or who had it the worst. Look at the story of Job-he lost his family, his livelihood, everything he had worked for (and he was very wealthy so it is a pretty big loss), and he was left with nothing but sackcloth and ashes and huge boils all over his skin. He had done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to deserve this, yet he relinquished control to God. Oh yeah-he lamented. He asked why. He even got angry with God and he did not hold back in how he felt when he cried out to God. Yet he praised Him as well and he never rejected God. He never stopped trusting in God-he knew that God knew what He was doing. He relinquished control. He eventually passed the test (and Satan got knocked down a few pegs because he had told God that Job would surely reject Him if all his earthly possessions were taken away) and God blessed him with far more than he had had before. I guess it is about both patience and letting go. Job trusted God, he relinquished control to God, and he was patient in waiting on God. And God blessed him for it.
If placed in the same boat as Job, I honestly don’t know what I would do. I would love to think that my faith is strong enough that I would not falter, but I don’t know what I would have done. I have lived through or near tragedies-I went to the middle school that was right before Columbine High School in Colorado at the time that the famous shootings took place and if I had been one year older I would have been there at that high school that day. The story of Cassie Bernall stuck in my mind-she was told by the shooters to deny Christ, and she refused and was shot and killed. I swore to myself that I would never deny Christ, even if I was threatened with my life or that of my loved ones. But isn’t it true that to not relinquish control to God is the same thing as saying I don’t trust you to take care of me I can do it myself I don’t need you? Isn’t it true that to not relinquish control to God is the same as denying Him and his abilities to handle what you can’t? I heard a saying- God never gives you what He can’t handle.
Thus I pray the Serenity Prayer:
grant me the courage to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
In Christ,
Amanda Longpre’

The Beauty in Storms

A volcano erupts

It’s lava flows

The sky fills with ash like snow

Yet it is beautiful

A thunderstorm rolls by

It’s lightning flashes in the sky

Loud thunder cracks

Yet it is beautiful

A fire sweeps over a mountain

Tongues of flame licking at trees

The smell of smoke hanging in the air

Yet it is beautiful

A blizzard’s winds sweep the countryside

Large flakes blow sideways

Snow drifts everywhere

Yet it is beautiful

Rain falls and freezes

Trees crack and break under the weight

Ice coats and sparkles on everything

Yet it is beautiful

God is a mystery

His wrath and love is shown

His hands created these storms

Like them, He is not tame

But He is beautiful.

-Amanda Longpre’


A Wife of Noble Character

What is a wife of noble character? What should a wife and mother strive to be?

I do not see the need to expound on God’s word regarding this subject, for I feel that He has laid it out pretty clearly.

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


A wife of noble character. That is what I shall strive to be. It won’t be easy, but with God’s help I shall try.


When there is a storm, look to Jesus



What is a storm?

Is it merely a weather thing? Or is there more than one type of storm?


I have experienced a couple of storms this past week. We got about a foot of snow in less than two days, coupled with high winds. Driving was a pain before the roads were plowed, and on top of it all, I lost my cell phone in a snowy parking lot when I slipped and fell and before I realized it was missing the parking lot got plowed, so bye bye cell phone.

But there are other types of storms that we face. Emotional, financial, spiritual, etc. Sometimes, we experience them all at once. Other times, we only experience one or two.They aren’t fun, and they often leave us wondering, “Is there anyone who can help me during this storm? Why isn’t anyone there?”

We see news stories about storms. There are tv shows and news articles every other day that point to a huge storm and how someone defied the forces of nature and survived. But oftentimes, the worst storms we will ever experience are the hidden ones-the ones that are deep within ourselves.

Emotional storms happen when life seems utterly out of control. We feel as though nothing can work, and that everything seems to be going wrong. We feel feelings of sadness and despair. We feel a longing and desire to be loved, and yet we feel that there is no one who loves us. We feel that our lives are empty, a chasm of nothing and no way to fill it.

People have an inner need to be emotionally satisfied. That in itself is human nature. But we don’t often recognize how to fill that void. Some people look for it in romantic relationships. Others look for it in materialistic ways. Philosophers have been pondering how to fill that void for centuries. And yet, as a whole, we find that the more we try to fill that void with other things, the emptier that void feels. And the more despaired we become.

The same holds true to spiritual storms. Spiritual storms and emotional storms are pretty much the same thing. When we are in an emotional storm, we often end up in a spiritual storm as well. Humans have sought to fulfill that need with meaningless religions, with idols fashioned out of various things, and with idols that aren’t as apparent but are equally as harmful, such as addictions, pornography, money and materialism, etc.

We want to be rescued from our storms. And yet, in the midst of these storms, we turn to anything that we think can be a “lifeline” to safety-to satisfaction. We long to have something fill that void that is being torn up by the storms in our lives. But our “lifelines” keep breaking. We become that person who fell overboard and are desperately clutching our life preservers, but the waves keep crashing down until we cannot hold on anymore and slip back into the darkness of the cold, icy water. The rope keeps breaking, our fingers clutch, but become numb. Our strength is almost gone. We gasp for air as our hands keep slipping, slipping until we can hold on no more and are sucked into the tempest. We try to breathe, but without our life preservers, we sink and eventually drown. We are unable to save ourselves from the tempest, and our “lifelines” have failed us. 

But what if you were holding the wrong “lifeline”? What if the lifelines you sought were the ones that kept breaking and sinking? You are only human, and you only have so much strength. And even the strength that one has is not enough to weather the storm. Without a good lifeline, the storm will sweep you away.

We can hope and pray to whatever lifeline we have that the storm will stop, but sometimes it does not. Sometimes, there is a purpose to the storm that we are too small to see. Sometimes, storms just happen. But there is a lifeline that we can cling on to-the life preserver that will hold up, that won’t sink, and that won’t break. It does not rely on human strength, because human strength cannot battle the storm alone. The lifeline has to be strong enough to withstand the storm and not fail you.

The disciple Peter discovered very quickly why it is so important to choose the right lifeline in Matthew 14:22-32

Jesus Walks on the Water

 22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

   29 “Come,” he said.

   Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”


Peter walked out on the water toward Jesus, and as long as Jesus was his lifeline, he was safe. But the moment he let his doubts become his lifeline, he began to sink. It was only when he returned to Jesus, his right lifeline, that he was saved from the storm that continued to rage around him. When he kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to weather the storm. Not because he was strong enough, but because his lifeline was strong enough.

Sometimes Jesus calms the storm, like in Mark 4:35-40


Jesus Calms the Storm

 35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”


But there are times where Jesus chose to allow the storm to weather on. Sometimes it takes a storm for us to return our focus on Jesus and take it away from things that become more important to us than Him.

And it does not matter if Jesus calms the storm or allows the storm to weather on-if we turn to Jesus as our lifeline, we will be saved.

In Christ,


Amanda L.


Christmas-Jesus is the reason!


What comes to mind when you hear that word? Santa Claus, elves and reindeer? Presents? Shopping? Black Friday? Jesus?

In our culture, Christmas is celebrated with many traditions. Some are done by individual families, while others are considered widespread in our American society. Things like Christmas trees, Christmas lights, lawn decorations, and advertisements for the latest toys and gadgets pop up everywhere. Not to mention so much ribbon and wrapping paper that we could wrap the globe ten times over (ok that might be an exaggeration-maybe…).

You hear Christmas songs play on the radio. The advertisement section in the newspaper is bursting with flashy, catchy ads that make the actual news section seem incredibly small. You see mountains of toys in store areas that were once sporting goods or craft areas. Advertisement space on the television networks are worth millions. You see everything from Merry Christmas to Happy Hanukkah to even X-Mas trees on sale signs everywhere. From Thanksgiving to Christmas day (or for retail, it can start as early as July from what I have seen) our entire culture is swept up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations.

“Did you get your Christmas shopping done yet?”

“You better get the lights up before the snow comes so you don’t fall off the roof.”

“Did you write your letter to Santa Claus?”

“If we don’t get there early you won’t be able to sit in Santa’s lap.”

“Make sure to thaw the turkey soon enough.”

“When is the family flying in/driving/coming over?”

“We have to get all the lines memorized for the opening night of the Christmas play!”

“Oh my gosh, it’s Christmas eve and the cookies STILL aren’t done!”

Or, I am ashamed to say, my OWN words last year-“I just spent three hours in the Emergency Room with a cranky and very bored 18 month old with a double ear infection, its Christmas Eve, and I got my Christmas shopping done at the pharmacy at 9 pm while I was waiting for my daughter’s antibiotics.”

I know that people everywhere harp on the “Commercialization” of Christmas, and yet even those doing the harping often get sucked into it themselves.

I am no exception. I have been stressing about logistics. We live near both sides of the family and as such, since we feel that we would like to at least stop by both families on Thanksgiving and Christmas day, we usually try to make the majority of each day be with one or the other and switch off. Aka-one on Thanksgiving and the other on Christmas and the next year we switch. But I have been in knots trying to coordinate this year, because Christmas lands on a Sunday and as such church services are still being held and adding to the logistic problem.

After discussing and thinking and stressing about it to death, I finally hit a point tonight where, after all the talking and coordinating was done (I think) I paused, and I felt God pressing on my heart as if to say, “Really? THAT is what you are worrying about?”

It was then that I fully just stepped back and reevaluated my attitude. Hence, the reason for the creation of this blog, and what I hope will be able to be used for His glory for this Christmas and beyond.


I just wanted to remind everyone of the true meaning of Christmas.

It isn’t the presents, or the time spent with family, or the lights or the music or the tree or santa (especially santa) or the meal or the stockings or caroling or parties or volunteering in a soup kitchen or even that one day a year or 357th day a year you sit in church.

It isn’t about commercialization, or “happy holidays” or Black Friday.

It isn’t about the what am I getting, or even what am I giving.

It isn’t about any of those things.

Christmas is about God, and the wonderful, tiny yet larger than anything else Son that He sent us, Jesus. For those of you not familiar with the TRUE Christmas story, here it is-from the New International Version bible, taken from the book of Luke, chapters 1 and 2 from

Luke 1-2 (New International Version)


1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Mary’s Song

46And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

The Birth of John the Baptist

57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”

61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.

Zechariah’s Song

67His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn[c] of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit[d]; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[b]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[c]

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[e] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

If the only thing that I do on Christmas day is sit in a quiet place and read the Christmas story in Luke and the rest of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John-the first four books in the New Testament section of the Bible) and spend some time with the REAL reason for Christmas (aka time with God), then I will be happy.

Are the other things wrong? Except for Santa, no. But to worry so much about those things that Christmas becomes more about stress and less about Jesus-now that is wrong.

There is nothing wrong with cookies, presents, Christmas trees and stockings. There is nothing wrong with spending time with family. There is nothing wrong with serving at a soup kitchen or eating a home cooked meal or eating in a restaurant if you are unable to cook your dinner.

There is nothing wrong with those things. It is when those things become so important that they are thought of and put ahead of more than Jesus. The very name “Christmas” means “Christ’s birth”. (I tried looking it up on Google translator with little success but I believe it is Latin or something like that).

God gave us a gift that no one else can ever give-Jesus. He came to this earth to die for our sins and raise from the dead so that we would be able to spend eternity in heaven with God.  He is God’s son.

John 3:16-17

New International Version (NIV)

 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

So we need to stop worrying, fretting, stressing, etc. We need to stop placing all the “cultural” things of Christmas ahead of the REAL reason for the season.

God sent His son so that we wouldn’t spend eternity in Hell but rather in Heaven. That first Christmas, there was no tree, or Christmas lights, or turkey, or presents (yes, commercial nativity scenes portray the wise men as presenting the baby Jesus with gifts in the stable but the truth is they weren’t there until he was 2 years old and living in a house).

There was just an infant boy named Jesus lying in a manger in a stable with his parents watching over him, animals around him, lowly shepherds praising him, a huge star in the sky above him and a host of angels proclaiming that the Messiah has come.

And that is the greatest gift of all.