Grace and Frankie

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Not sure if any of you who follow my blog watch this show. Personally, I love it. I am a product of the TV generation. I grew up watching TV a lot. I still watch quite a few shows. However, I don’t just watch, I allow their stories to resonate with me and I seek applications in my own life. Watching a show to escape has its place. Watching a show to learn is why I watch Grace and Frankie.

Before I continue, this blog contains spoilers so don’t read on if you haven’t finished the current season. Also, if you haven’t watched this show, I will inform you that there is foul language in the show and a married gay couple. That said, read on.

I just finished the current season which ends with (SPOILER) Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) sitting on blue Adirondack chairs in front of their recently sold beach house. The scene sucked me in. They had gone through the wringer is this last episode. They escaped from their retirement home and returned to their real home on the beach only to find a SOLD sign. The moment they sat in the chairs they held hands and sighed. When I am in the midst of tough times, I just want to sit on the beach. How much more wonderful to sit on the beach with a best friend. They have one another.

Life is hard. It doesn’t get easier. It just keeps coming. Some months, or years, it just keeps throwing punches. If you have a friend to walk through it with, it’s manageable. Of course, our ultimate friend who gets us through all things is God. He is my rock. My fortress. My comforter. My healer. My friend. My all.

My friends on earth are “God in the flesh” to me. They are the ones who hold my hand as I sink into my chair on the beach and sigh. The ones who repeat truth to me over and over again (you are going to get through this, you aren’t alone, I’m here and so is God). Do you have these people in your life? Do you have at least one? We all need at least one.

In this show, they have other friends, and even grown kids, who are in their life. Yet their bond to one another, trumps them all. They had similar experiences which is why they were thrown together in the first place. You don’t always need that to bond. Shared experiences help though. One of my lifetime friends says we are friends with history. We can start in the middle and because we know the past, we can keep up.

I just wanted to encourage you today to take stock of your friendships. See if you have a Grace or a Frankie in your life. Someone who will hold your hand and sigh on the beach when life knocks you down. If not, find that friend today. Start by being vulnerable with someone already in your life. If the water is safe, keep treading in deeper and deeper. It’s worth the risk.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

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Pure Hearted: A Guest Blog

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My friends – I’m excited to send you a guest blog this week. Kathy Collard Miller, author of Pure Hearted that I blogged about last week, sent me a blog to send to you. I hope you enjoy her teaching this week. Thank you Kathy.

“Jesus, Do You Care?”

by Kathy Collard Miller

God is often glorified in the eyes of others when I stand strong emotionally; when I can face difficulties and trials with confidence in God’s sovereign strength.

But that strength is often blocked by by my desires demanding affirmation of my value, assurance I’m loved, and attention so that I’m not ignored. If I don’t direct my “wanting” to trusting God’s supply (and not others), I crumble emotionally.

That’s what happened to the disciples.

On that day, when evening had come, he [Jesus] said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:35-41

I can surely understand the disciples’ terror. Even though most of them were seasoned fishermen, this storm was obviously way beyond their comfort zone. They knew fishermen who had perished in storms like this. The boat was not just taking on water—it was “already filling.” As they looked around for help, what did they see? Jesus asleep on a cushion. The man who should have been the first to take care of them was completely oblivious to their need and fear.

I can only imagine how “they woke him.” Did they jostle him? The boat was already being jostled. Did they call to him? The sounds of the wind were already screaming. Did they grab him and shake him? That’s what I would have done. Out of terror.

Then the disciples reveal their underlying motive. “Teacher, don’t you care we are perishing? We thought we could depend upon you, yet obviously your own comfort—your sleep—is more important than us.”

How poignant, especially coming from men. Women are more prone to ask, “Please tell me you love me.” For these men to get in touch with their heart’s cry is astounding.

I think their question is often what our heart is crying out to know: do you care? We can be tempted to express it through emotional outbursts because we’re afraid we’ll hear, “No, I don’t care because you don’t deserve it.” I’ve been guilty of getting angry at Larry and only later realizing my heart was crying out, “Show me you love me! Maybe my anger, distress, or craziness will get your attention.”

After Jesus calms the storm and the danger is past, the disciples are filled with wonder and awe. They rightly ask, who is this who can calm the wind and sea? If they had asked that question at the beginning, they wouldn’t have become distressed. Because the answer is: “Even though Jesus seems to be asleep on a cushion, he hasn’t stopped loving us or caring for us because he is the powerful and omniscient God. We can trust whatever reason he is allowing this.”

When that is our attitude in the midst of the storms of life, God is glorified.

When have you asked Jesus, “Do you care?” He isn’t upset about your question but he does want you to hear him reply, “Child, I do care! Trust me. I know exactly what I’m doing and it’s for your good and my glory.”

 

A bit more on Kathy:

Kathy Collard Miller is an award-winning author of over 50 books that include Christian living topics, women’s Bible studies, and Bible commentaries. She is a speaker who has shared in 8 foreign countries and over 30 US states. Kathy and Larry have been married for 47 years and are the parents of 2 and grandparents of 2. They live in Southern California and often write and speak together. Visit her at www.KathyCollardMiller.com. She would love to hear from you.

 

This guest blog is adapted from Pure-Hearted: The Blessings of Living Out God’s Glory

Order Pure-Hearted at: http://amzn.to/2jzYdWi

www.facebook.com/KathyCollardMillerAuthor

Twitter: @KathyCMiller

Pinterest/Kathyspeak

 

A bit more on the content of Pure Hearted:

It is possible to have a purer passion for serving God and respond with greater godliness as a result.

Do you desire to bring glory to God yet wonder if your motives are muddied by fear, selfishness, and immaturity? Even when you’re empowered by the Lord to represent him well, do you wonder if your success has made it all about you?

Pure Hearted will inspire you to focus on desiring God’s glory and enjoy the benefits without guilt—benefits like seflessness, security, satisfaction, surrender, stability and self-control, along with others.

Filled with biblical principles, practical instruction, and motivational stories, Pure Hearted is written for women. Every chapter includes a profile of a biblical woman along with discussion questions for groups or individuals.

 

Dream Big! Pray Big!