Friday Tidings

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Posted 4/12/12 at 10:46 AM | Karen Farris

What Would Jesus Post?

Religion can be a tricky topic. Probably even more tricky than politics. Sometimes people's zealous Bible believing exuberance can be an absolute aversion to those they want to reach. Well intentioned words seem judgmental. I should know. My finger is experienced at pointing. My words have had the same bulls-eye effect.

Facebook has become one more platform for religious platitudes and preaching. It’s so easy to post those one-liners about how God will do this if you do that. Even though I think I have the right heart, I can actually be digging a deeper trench between me and those I am trying to help.

I am supposed to share how God is working in my life, but I’m not helping anyone if I make it seem like I’m attending a private party that requires an exclusive invitation that is hard to obtain. God invites you to join him anywhere, anytime. FULL POST

Posted 4/10/12 at 12:34 PM | Karen Farris

Wrong Place Right Time

I’d taken the bus across town transferred to another and then arrived an hour ahead of my appointment. The lines were always long and being late only made it worse. I knew the routine, even though I hated it.

I pushed open the double doors and scanned the sea of faces now staring at me. We seemed to check one another out, seeing if we really deserved food stamps. At least that’s what I was thinking. All the chairs were taken, so I leaned against the wall.

The huge clock above my head ticked annoyingly as I watched people file up to the cubicles to receive their monthly allotment. Children played on the floor while moms or dads thumbed through the old magazines. I had envisioned many things about college, but welfare hadn’t been one of them. Each month I pledged that I’d somehow make more money. FULL POST

Posted 4/4/12 at 4:05 PM | Karen Farris

Life's Pits

I was walking down a road and didn’t see a deep hole up ahead. I fell in and it took me awhile to see how to get out.

The next time I was on that same road, I remembered the huge pit. It hadn’t been fixed, and even though I knew it was there, I fell in again.

You’d think when I found myself on that same road I’d remember that stupid cavernous hole and avoid it. I could see it coming, but I got too close and fell to the bottom.

As I got older, the pits got deeper and the valleys of fear, disappointment, and hardship got even darker.

Isn’t life like this sometimes? Pits and valleys. Life is full of both and we all deal with them. But I was a lousy navigator—even when I knew where the pits were, I still didn’t see a better route. Climbing out of pits can leave us muddy, scratched and weary. Was life just going to be about being in the pits and the brief times in between? FULL POST

Posted 3/21/12 at 8:23 PM | Karen Farris

Spring Break

My ultimate spring break was my junior year in high school. I took an extra week (which meant taking my homework with me) and flew to Florida to stay with my aunt. She taught at the University of Florida so she had several of her students show me the sights. Did they ever. College students know how to do spring break.....

For me, spring break meant sleeping in, looking at the calendar and seeing the end in sight. Warmer days were coming without all the homework hassle. Spring break gave me just enough of a boost to get through the rest of the school year.

Hey students: Enjoy it, relish it, and savor your unfettered lives for the time that you have remaining. I hope spring break rejuvenates you. Keeping up with the heavier expectations is tough. In so many ways school will make the difference in what happens in your life after you graduate.

If I had one wish, it would be that each student could see the potential that’s inside them and find purpose in school. I know, school can sometimes be a drag---but it's an opportunity to explore. If only they could see that they hold a unique, essential piece in our nation’s puzzle. And we really need their piece to help make us whole. FULL POST

Posted 3/13/12 at 6:45 PM | Karen Farris

Fantasy Baseball

My husband was just a bit past forty when he donned a Major League baseball uniform and played on the Mariner's first Fantasy Baseball team. For the price of a vacation, Thom hit the practice fields all day while our family got a glimpse of the Big Show.

Hosted at the same Peoria, Arizona baseball complex where the Major Leaguers practiced, it felt more real than a fantasy. Coached by former big leaguers, it just added to the aura of fame and fortune.

We dined and slept in the same hotel as these legendary athletes, but none of them had the haughtiness one has come to expect from the elite.

Seeing our eight-year-old son’s admiration and love of baseball they took extra time to coach and encourage him. To this day, passion for sports still fuels many of his dreams. FULL POST

Posted 3/2/12 at 12:11 PM | Karen Farris

Beating the Odds

My visits to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance always give me a wake-up call for living.

Step inside and you’ll notice that life is no longer the same for many. Visible signs like hair loss and chemo ports in chests distinguish some.

Others bear weariness from months of treatment.

I take my seat next to the floor-to-ceiling windows and gaze out at Seattle’s Lake Union. I’ve been here enough to have seen every imaginable weather outside those amazing windows, but the view never fails to impress me. And I’m thankful for the medical care I’ve had.

When I met with my oncologist a few years back, she gave me three options. The first was a preemptive masectomy. The second was a five-year plan of preventative cancer treatment. Or #3 was to radically change myself. FULL POST

Posted 3/1/12 at 7:04 PM | Karen Farris

Split Second Accident

Several birthdays ago, my grandson got one of those little motorized cars. Soon after, I had him by myself for the day and I was letting him have fun learning how to drive it in our big indoor building.

Later that day, it was time to take him home and he asked to go “park” his car.

As I stood near the door, I watched him press the accelerator and race clear across the room. The next moments will forever be etched in slow motion in my mind. In the few seconds I had, I knew I couldn’t reach him in time.

He crashed his little car into our heavy, folded up ping-pong table. The bulky table momentarily teetered and then crashed down on top of him and his car. The last thing I saw were his little arms reaching above his head to try and protect himself.  A terribly loud crash was followed by absolute silence. All I could see was a huge wooden table covering the top of his little car.

With my heart beating fiercely, I ran to him, fearing he’d been crushed. I lifted the heavy table off the car and he was startled but uninjured. I shook with disbelief. I lifted him out and held him close as we looked at the broken table and his little car.

FULL POST

Posted 2/29/12 at 12:06 PM | Karen Farris

Lethal Habits

I’m honoring three anniversaries that I’d rather not. These anniversaries remind me about what I’ve lost and what alcohol took away much too soon. I’m not pointing fingers here, except at myself and what I didn’t do. Alcohol isn’t evil. But because of it, my innocent friend was killed on a lonely road by a drunk driver, leaving behind her devastated family. And I watched my parent’s alcohol-related diseases slowly kill them. Alcohol is part of my life. I just wish it wasn’t.

My parents were “functional” alcoholics. It didn’t cost them a day at work—but the price was paid in their home life and ultimately how long they lived. They worked hard in their careers and then alcohol gradually took their health and eventually their lives before they ever could enjoy retirement—or their grandkids.

Growing up around alcohol, l learned that life’s rough edges could be smoothed with a drink---or several. Alcohol can start out innocent enough but for some it’s quicksand. It would have been that way for me too, but I chose a different addiction: food. Take this from a former addict: we know how to hide it. But I couldn’t fool those who knew me best. FULL POST

Posted 2/28/12 at 11:14 AM | Karen Farris

Unfriended

I received an email from my old college friend and it hurt to read his words. He wants me to remember the memories but he’s severing our friendship. Why? Because in the ensuing years, I remained a Christian and he became an atheist.

He thoughtfully explained that religion has caused much of the world’s strife, malice, injustice and war. He hates religion and sees science as the only answer.

He cares deeply about the world's injustice, and I have dozens of examples of his mental brilliance. To him, a better world is one without God. His anger against those who believe in God stands between us. I've studied atheism, but now atheism has a new face. I just never imagined it would be his.

His email came the day before Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. I find it ironic that Lincoln shares his birthday with Charles Darwin—a renowned atheist. The God-honoring Lincoln believed that all men were equal and is best known for his Emancipation Proclamation—setting the slaves free. And yes, he led a war to do so. FULL POST

Posted 2/28/12 at 11:00 AM | Karen Farris

Smiles from the Heart

My nine-year old daughter was resting upstairs in the Children’s Hospital intensive care.

She’d had a successful heart surgery to repair a birth defect and would remain under close watch for the next week.

My husband and I were taking turns with our two-year-old son, so I decided to take him to one of the many hospital playrooms. Pushing open the door, the room looked empty—but then I noticed a bald child sitting at a table quietly stacking blocks.

My son quickly found a car and began pushing it over the floor, the tables, and windowsills making all the appropriate car noises. I looked over to the little boy and noticed that while he was little, he wasn’t that young. He didn’t seem to mind the interruption of a healthy, noisy two-year old.

The boy’s arms were bruised from the frequent the needle pokes of the cancer treatments. His pale skin was nearly translucent making it even easier to see the veins beneath his skin. FULL POST

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