Friday, August 24, 2012

Bars, Jesus and Beer 2


I turned 21 at the beginning of the summer, and I have learned a wealth of information from sitting and working in the bars.  I’ve also learned the power of a beer.  First, I shall speak of the almighty beer.

My first six-pack of age, I split with my older cousin.  We had always been close, but never anything more than surface level for the most part. 

As soon as we popped the first top, all vulnerability sprung loose and the tears began to flow.  She spoke from her heart and for the first time in her life, she realized that I wasn’t just a Christian, I was a human, and I loved people and their problems.  She realized that we were more alike than we thought, and that mistakes mean nothing in God’s eyes.

It doesn’t always work with liquor, but something about beer connects people.  It says, “Hey, there is no judgment here.  We’re just two people drinking beer.  Everything we say is one hundred percent accepted and connected.” 

That’s the power of beer.

It never fails.  Every single time I have a beer with someone, I learn a little bit about their deepest fears and greatest hopes.  Many times I don’t even have to mention Jesus before they start pouring out their beliefs and desires for the Lord.  They tell me the gifts they have that they don’t know how to use, and how their mother cut them deep right after Sunday morning church.

I think there is something magical underneath that old metal top.  It’s like the Holy Spirit fills the gap at the top of every bottle, just to ensure genuine honest conversation.  Quite honestly, I think they should put a warning label on each bottle.  Or maybe even use it as an advertising campaign. 

Want to really get to know your friends, try a crisp, refreshing bottle of Bud Light.  Guaranteed to bring spiritual revelation and human connections every time!

Then try putting this powerful little Jesus Juice bottle in a BAR!

Bars are what churches are supposed to be.  They are full of people who know they are broken.  They are full of people who are searching and hungry, not perfect.  Everyone is vulnerable and ready to be comforted.  
When you walk into a bar, you feel safe...in a weird way.  You feel loved by everyone inside.  As you pass through the doorway, people everywhere turn to see who you are.  They look at you, smile, nod their head in approval, and sometimes even holler out.  Then you get to the back where your friends are… 

“HEEEYYYY Buudddyyyyy!!!  WHAT’S UPPPPP???” They yell out with big fat grins and huge plans for you.  Then your best friend throws his arm around your neck and pulls you up a seat.  He tells you to wait right there while he buys you a fresh beer (on his tab of course.) 

While you are waiting for him, the other three guys at the table introduce themselves and instantly let you in on the running joke of the night.  They tell you how to play along and assume you are going to be their best buddy for the whole night, if not longer.

No one ever feels judged in bars.  No one ever feels judged with beer.  Put the two and you have the most awesome, vulnerable mission field ever heard of!

Story after story after story people pour out when they don’t feel judged.  I hear grown men say they wish they could be better fathers.  I hear women say they wish their mother’s understood.  Coworkers admit their deepest fears and everyone spills their opinion about the Jesus guy.

A lot of times when religion comes up, I hear hurt broken people.  They aren’t even angry at the church because they at least know they are sinners.  Yet the church people are angry because they don’t accept the fact that they too are sinners.  The openness sinners display towards everything, leaves room for a casual heart-felt conversation in the Spirit.

The bar and beer take away the judgment and stress of these conversations, while an understanding companion brings healing and love.  Tell me why this doesn’t happen more often in other places? ...especially church.

I always get the surprised face and excited comment, “You are so understanding for a Christian!  You don’t argue or judge.  That is so different.”

Tell me something people.  What’s wrong with this picture?

Again, I think Jesus would have been in a bar.

"..I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners."
Mark 2:17

(Please note, I'm not justifying drunkedness because that is obviously against the Bible's teachings, and I do have my views on drinking responsibily and biblically..this is just a post to share with you my perspective on bars vs. churches, and how the atmospheres of both should be flip-flopped.  Remember, this post is not labeled "to drink or not to drink."  That is not the topic here.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Burned by the Backburner

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Ladies. Another year is upon us.

Whether you are returning to school or starting up your stellar career, we wish you a rock’in, non-drama year.

Of course, with the new year starting, we thought we’d share one piece of humble advice.

AVOID THE BACKBURNER!


The Backburner: an umbrella term used to define relationship status.

You know how stoves have around 4 burners? And you always use the front ones but rarely the back ones? Well, in dating let’s just say you never want to be on the backburner.

The backburner can be incredibly useful or infuriating.


Scenario #1

You like a boy. He wears J. Crew button-ups and has really white teeth. But dang it you just aren’t feel’in it. WHY CAN’T YOU MAKE YOURSELF LIKE HIM?!? Dang. But maybe you just need to give it time. You’ll start to like him eventually…maybe. There are some other fellas who are slightly more flirty and you want to see where things will go with them. So what do you do?

You put him on the backburner.

How to put someone on the back burner
1)    Don’t say yes to every date. Maybe every other time.
2)    Respond to texts…an hour later.
3)    Go hang out but don’t commit to long term things like backpacking trips.
4)    Cuddle but don’t let them kiss you.

Be careful to not let the Backburner become the Fade Out.

Backburner=good and to your advantage. Keeps lots of fish on the line.
Fade Out=bad and gives you a sketchy reputation.

Scenario #2

You like a boy. He’s taken you out maybe twice and is showing a lot of interest. But he’s more complicated than a girl when it comes to figuring out what he wants. He doesn’t see you every weekend night so it’s safe to assume he’s taking out other girls. WHAT. THE. HECK. He’ll shoot you a text a couple times a week and always reminds you that he still needs to make you his famous chicken curry. Oooh he is like a slippery fish. What does he want?!?

How to stay off of the back burner
1)    Be proactive. If he flirts with you and keeps reminding you how you need to finish the summer bucket list you started together, make him give you a day he wants to do it. Say, “How about Saturday?” BOOM. Call him out.
2)    Don’t always be available. Nothing whisks you onto the front burner like competition.
3)    Confidence. Don’t let him think you are a wilting flower waiting for him to water you. Show him he needs you.

Avoid being put on the backburner at all costs. Unless you want to put him on the backburner as well and then you conveniently are each other’s “Plan B”, or as we like to say, your “Ramen Noodle dinner”.

Remember, you need to learn how to play the game better than they do.

Running out of burners,

Gert and Char

Bars, Jesus and Beer

I wrote this post about a week ago.  I felt strongly when I wrote it, but then got scared as I thought about posting it.  People will think I'm nuts.  I will totally be judged for posting this.  I can't let anyone see this God...  Then two days later my friend messaged me this video.  It was complete confirmation that I needed to share this on my blog.  The next few posts will be the essay I wrote last week. Comments welcomed.



Us Christians have it all wrong, ya know?

I’ve spent my summer really listening to people.  Teenagers, old folk, twenty-somethings.  They all tell me the same thing.  They are sick of religion and they have tattoos to prove it.  At the same time, they crave the raw, real relationship their Father gives them.  They want love.  They want the Lord.  They want renewed strength from Jesus.  They long for a glimpse of his hair and a feel of his robe.  They want all this with everything they have in them, but they have all come to the conclusion that church is not the way.
At all.

And I get it now, they’re right.  Really, really, right.

At church people feel judged.  They scrounge around for hours looking for some form of 90’s button up apparel that makes them look like their grandparents dressed them.  They comb their hair over and straighten their back, closing their teeth and hiding their crap.

Then they panic, sweat, and breathe heavy as they try to walk through the front doors of the church, the holy dwelling place of God’s people.

What will they think of me?  What will they say?  Will they accept me?  Am I dressed too formal?  Crap.  Why is he wearing jeans??!

Many of these people walk out in the middle of the sermon, never to return again.  Others barely make it to the pew before some smart Christian slips a lip.

Others suck it up, die on the inside, and resolve to thinking that’s all there is.  They hide their sin, week in and week out, and live sad lives wishing there was someone, anyone, who understood.

Funny.  When I think about it, people reacted the opposite way to Jesus.

They fled to his garments.  They wanted just a touch of his hand, a glimpse of his eyes, and a piece of his healing powers.  They wanted to watch him cast out demons, raise the dead, and heal the blind.  They clung to his love and powers like none other.  They DESIRED him.  They didn’t feel uncomfortable, judged, or stressed.  In fact, they came just as they were…dirty, beaten, and bleeding.  Addictions, imperfections, and shortcomings were widely welcomed.  They knew he wouldn’t care.  And you know what, he never turned a judgmental eye, never turned them away, never thought twice about their character or hair style.

"The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters,
but a man of understanding draws them out."
Proverbs 20:5


"While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and 'sinners' were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.

When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the 'sinners' and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners'?"  

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Mark 2:15-17

Monday, August 20, 2012

Something New.


Many of you have been asking why I haven't posted in a few months.  My answer to that is: "The book will be published at a later date."  God is doing great things in our nation right now, and I am amazed as I watch his hand at work.  Welcome back bloggers.  Here is my new post:


I’m living somewhere new now.

I’m living someone new now too.

It’s funny ya know, how you can be so sure of your life, when at that very second…God throws you into the curve ball of the abyss.  THEN you fully understand, that you will never fully understand
anything.

The past few months have been the greatest and craziest adventure of my life.  I’ve finally learned to trust God and dance like no one is watching.

I’ve lived my deepest dreams and faced some of my biggest fears.
I’ve laughed in the face of Satan and sat on the swing of an angel.

I’ve been held and rocked by God through it all, learning and laughing at his big jokes.
Hippies, hipsters, and nomads have kept my company and taught me many ways of the world.  When I say ways of the world, I mean ways of Jesus that we call the world.  Like the way your heart beats fast when you look at the mountains.  The way your hair falls free when you dip into the unknown, and the way your life begins when you finally let go.

Life with Jesus is just so much more beautiful.

Life with the Holy Spirit, that much more.

God is my hero, my provider, my minister.  He leads me through the green, the brown, and the blue.
Sometimes I stop and see who I have become.  It makes me giggle with joy.  Other times I shake my head in disbelief, asking God what the purpose is.  Either way, I am constantly reminded of Romans 8:28 and that brings me comfort.

You can’t put him in a box!

You can’t predict anything!

You can never be sure of your plans!
He is king!

He is Jehovah! Now and forever!  His plans are supreme!  Bite into them!! J


"See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you."
Isaiah 42:9

Monday, August 13, 2012

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together




 One weekend we went to dinner with six girls. We didn’t know it at the time but it ended up that 5 out of the 6 of the girls had just broken up with boyfriends.

Wow.

This scenario took us back to our high school days where we would make “break-up mixes” for our friends who had recently cut ties with their beau. We feel it is appropriate at this time to re-vamp those classic break-up mixes in order to meet the needs of so many grieving spinsters. We will make it easy for you to pin point the emotion you are feeling and the coordinating song (or songs) Enjoy.

1.      I’m Gonna Find Another You
John Mayer
I hope the next one looks like you and is nicer too.

2.     Talking to the Moon
Bruno Mars
                  Are you on the other side talking to me too?

3.     That Should Be Me
Justin Bieber.
What the heck you have a girlfriend already?!?

4.    All Over Now
Eric Hutchinson
This isn’t fun anymore.

5.     Ghost
Ingrid Michaelson
Do you remember when the walls fell?

6.     Gone
Kelly Clarkston
Sorry doesn’t cut it babe.


And our latest addition?


We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Taylor Swift
Not much explanation needed.




Rock it out ladies,

Charlotte and Gertrude




We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together lyrics


I remember when we broke up the first time saying this is it I’ve had enough cause like we haven’t seen each other in a month when you said you needed space what?
Then you come around again and say baby I miss you and I swear I’m gonna change
Trust me remember how that lasted for a day you say I hate you we break up you call me I love you

Pre Chorus
We called it off again last night but
this time I’m telling you I’m telling you

CHORUS
We are never ever ever getting back together we are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends my friends talk to me but we are never ever ever getting back together, like ever

I’m really gonna miss you picking fights
and me falling for it screaming that I’m right
And you hide away and find your piece of mind in some indie record that’s much cooler than mine

Pre Chorus
You called me up again tonight but
this time I’m telling you I’m telling you

CHORUS
We are never ever ever getting back together we are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends my friends talk to me but we are never ever ever getting back together


I used to think that we were forever ever and I used to say never say never

Ugh he called me up and he’s like ‘I still love you and I’m like ‘I’m just sick of it this is exhausting you know like, we are never getting back together like ever

CHORUS
We are never ever ever getting back together we are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends my friends talk to me but we are never ever ever getting back together but we are never ever ever ever getting back together,
 We are never ever getting back together you go talk to your friends my friends talk to me but we are never ever ever getting back together


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sold as a date...dang it.

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Well….

 I was sold.

As in for money.

A bunch of our girlfriends were at a service auction and someone decided it would be a good idea to sell us as dates.

If none of you have been to a silent auction before, let me explain.

Things are auctioned.

Silently.

AKA people walk around and put down their name and price they are willing to pay on pieces of paper, stating what they think the good, or in my case, pride, is worth. All night I avoided that frightful piece of paper that had my price tag on it.

The person who put us up for auction found the lucky winner who paid a whole $15 to be my date. I stood there, like a prized cow, while my new owner looked over me. The owner looked really confused and then started whispering to the auctioneer.

My new owner: “Wait a second…I thought that she would be taking ME on a date.”
Auctioneer: “No. You bought a date.”
My new owner: “Why would I pay for something then pay for it again?!”

The auctioneer and I looked on horrified as my not so tactful new owner said, “You know what I’m just gonna bag the whole thing” and walked out of the room.

So technically I was sold, but not bought.

Special moments as a Spinster,

Charlotte

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Keepin' it on the down low

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Allow us to quote a favorite movie of ours….
 “How did you get up here so fast?”
“Secret tunnels.”
-Nacho Libre

We ladies have a surplus of ‘secret tunnels’ where we exchange info in the blink of an eye.
Have you ever wondered why you can go to the grocery store and run into your aunt’s neighbor who asks about your date which occurred less than 18 hours ago? Have you ever been puzzled that your co-worker knows about your toe injury when you don’t remember ever mentioning it?
This network can be both a blessing and a curse….
These tunnels can be beneficial in the dating scene. You better believe that someone will know the guy you are going on a blind date with. 
Work this to your advantage. Ask around.

However, be weary of having too large of a mouth because what you say will be heard by at least 40 other people. Even if it didn’t directly come from your lips…
The world is big, but it can also be oh so small. So we send a warning to all spinsters, but specifically those who want to mess with the spinsters:   What you do and what you say will surge through the tunnels. It will seep through the vents or spread like wildfire.
Try to keep it contained ladies. The tunnels are our tools. There is a fiiiine line between blabbering and helpful tips.
Example: “Jenny, I heard you are making cookies for Roy. Just FYI, he is allergic to nuts.”
            Statements such as these can indeed save lives.
Example: “Did you see Ashley’s dress? Woof!”
            Don’t say this. She will know you said this and it will haunt your dreams.
Always trying to censor ourselves,
Char and Gertie