L is for…

Today is fabulous. It’s 70 degrees outside AND I’m in a dress and flip-flops. Seriously… LOVING TODAY.

There is also a little something else that makes me love today. I LOVE Valentine’s Day… a lot. With that said, I also know that today can be hard for a lot of people. Today can serve as a reminder of negative circumstances for those who have been widowed, abandoned, abused, or for people who just feel lonely (single and married folks alike).

In light of that, I want share a few encouraging things that I love about “love.”

One of the most overused passages in the Bible on this topic is 1 Corinthians 13. Although it might be overused, it’s still a great passage. In summary, the first part speaks to the importance of love “if you don’t have love, you have nothing.” And the final part tells us what love should look like “Love is patient, Love is kind… always trusts, always, hopes, always perseveres, etc.” Read it here.

In the world we live in, love is defined in a self-fulfilling sort of way. We love things that make us happy and when they stop making us happy, we stop loving them. Many of us have been hurt by this sort of love. Yet the love described in this passage is a love of a different kind; it’s the complete opposite!  It’s a self-sacrificing love without condition. It’s a love that isn’t easily angered and delights in truth. It is an unfailing love that will never disappoint. It’s a redeeming love that will one day make all things right again. It’s the love that God offers us through salvation that this passage is talking about – not some flighty feeling.

My favorite verse in this section is vs. 13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.” I just love that.

If this Valentine’s Day you are struggling with being joyful in your life and you’re feeling especially unloved today… Know that there is a love that will never fail. Read through 1 Corinthians 13 and remind yourself of this truth. If you’re a Christian, this love directly applies and covers you. Rest in that truth and knowledge.

Today we don’t just celebrate the beauty of loving romantic relationships. We celebrate the love we have in Christ and the display of that love in our friendships and families.

To each and every one of you… Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ps. The photo is one I found off of google and LOVED… it’s shot by Pink Sherbert Photography and you can check it out here

Christian Discrimination – The New Tolerance

In a day and age when tolerance is in, why is it that Christianity seems to be the one religion that people cannot tolerate? A few weeks ago I posted an article about a man not being hired at the University of Kentucky based on his religion alone. Just two weeks ago the professor was paid by UK to drop the case for $125,000 (you can read more about the initial lawsuit here and the settlement here). Whether we want to admit it or not, Christian discrimination is in and it’s only going to get worse with time.

Here’s the thing, I’m not worried about it.

In the New Testament, the early church faced persecution for what they believed and there are many believers today who are locked up, beaten, and killed for believing in Jesus Christ.  Persecution is a part of our heritage, even though we western believers don’t like to admit it.

Those of us in the West haven’t really had to work out our beliefs enough in the absence of persecution. It’s been easy to be a Christian and an American. For many years, the two things were one in the same. Yet that day is gone and those of us who are active believers must actually live out our faith wisely and without fear. I love the passage in Acts 5 when the believers were being persecuted and one of their persecutors, Gamaliel the Pharisee, wisely agreed to let them go and stated, “Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” This was stated thousands of years ago, and yet it still stands.

My one hold up is that in a world of tolerance, why is it that we seem to be the targeted religion? In my opinion it can be summed up in one word: ignorance. People who don’t truly understand Christianity only grasp at the extremes and stereotype an entire religion. It is slightly ironic seeing as most of these people label themselves as “tolerant individuals who are fighting for the acceptance of all peoples.” Typically these tolerant individuals fight against stereotypes, yet they eagerly embrace the stereotyping and intolerance of a religious system. Agree to disagree isn’t allowed. Mocking Christianity in the workplace or media is widely accepted, yet if someone were to take the same approach to homosexuality or Judaism, these same individuals would be in uproar.

I’m not pointing fingers. It happens on both sides. There are many Christians in the South who categorize all Muslims as violent and fanatical. Ignorance. Or Christians who still find racial jokes funny. Ignorance. It’s really quite un-Christian. So… are there crazy Christians among us? Yes, we’ll sadly admit it. (Anyone heard of the Dove World Outreach Center or Westboro Baptist?) There are crazies in every religion or non-religious group, but it seems like our society as a whole is starting a value system of “tolerance” that really is quite intolerant of our religious freedom.

I can’t offer a solution to this future problem, but I do agree with Gamaliel: this religion – Christianity – isn’t going away for it is of God, not man. It’s faced persecution in many countries, and yet it still thrives. So although persecution and discrimination may come, fellow believer stay true to Scriptures. Be faithful students of the Word and find encouragement in your local church.

Just food for thought on this Friday… On a lighter note, I’m going to see the Lion King tomorrow night on Broadway!!! EEEEK, I can hardly wait.

Much love.

Whirlwind Wedding Weekend

Well this is it. It’s Friday.

I’m pretty excited because today marks the start of the wedding festivities of Nikki Tart and Buddy Hyatt (aka. Buddy Love). Rehearsal tonight, wedding tomorrow, flight to Turkey tomorrow night! Whew! Plus the wedding is in Edenton, NC – one of the cutest little towns on the water – and I can’t wait!! It’s going to be a good weekend.

After the wedding, Ben is rushing me back to Raleigh to catch an 8:30pm flight to Turkey. I’m pretty excited to be going, but am sad to be leaving Ben behind. It’ll be the first long separation since we’ve been married (No worries folks, I’ve left plenty of homemade dishes in the freezer for him so he’s not going to starve).

BUT, even though I’m sad to be leaving him, I’m pumped for the opportunity to go to Turkey. These weeks when I get to travel for work are definitely favorites. I’ll be working, but I enjoy the type of work I’ll be doing, plus over the weekend I’m going to visit a friend and do a little sightseeing.  Needless to say, I’ll keep you updated. I’m stealing Ben’s camera and will hopefully have some fun shots.

Next time I’ll write… I’ll be on the other side of the pond. See you then!

Much love – B

My NYRs

It’s that time of year: New Year’s Resolutions.

Sometimes my personality decides to be contrary so I skip things like making resolutions I will most likely never keep, but this year I’ve had a change of heart.

Over the past few years I’ve come to appreciate the distinct moments in life that cause one to stop, reflect, and redirect. A few years ago I lost a dear friend in a car accident. She was young, vibrant, and she loved the Lord; I remember those moments of grief as times of refinery. I did weird things: I chopped my hair off, I bought I violin, I started taking lessons, I went to Kenya, I tried to train myself to look at people differently.  I evaluated my life, where I was going, and I made changes accordingly.

Funerals, Weddings, Babies, etc. are all great markers that cause us to stop and re-evaluate priorities, goals, failures, etc. This year, for me, I’d stick New Years in that category as well. So in honor of my reflections these past few days I wanted to share my top ten resolutions.

I am resolved to:

1. Train for my marathon diligently (wooot May 1st)
2. Read through the Bible in a Year
3. Learn how to sew well (Thanks to my hubs for the sewing machine)
4. Eat healthily and exercise in order to treat my body well.
5. Learn to long for the second coming more.
6. Read books consistently vs. sporadically
7. Sharpen my writing skills by writing at least 3x’s a week
8. Try to look for the good things in people rather than being critical. Then try to communicate those good things to them or others.
9. Stop focusing on the future (I tend to over-plan), and appreciate the present more.
10. Learn something new everyday.

Some of these things are measurable, others not as much. But my goal isn’t to accomplish these things so I can cross off my list, rather it’s to change and grow. If in 12 months I’ve accomplished 8 of these things, then GREAT! I’m striving for all, but I know I’m not perfect.

Anyways, those are mine… I would love to hear some of yours!

Much love,

Brit

I’m BACK!!!!!!!!!!

Ok yall, sorry for the long hiatus. I got a little TOO caught up on resting/slacking during the break. Seriously though, it was fabulous. I should have blogged throughout it so I could update you thoroughly, but alas, I didn’t.

So in light of my lack of writing here is a quick recap of the greatest break thus far.

1. First Christmas with the Salmon’s = awesome. They even added crab legs to their Christmas Eve menu in light of the Donald family’s Christmas Eve tradition. 🙂 I had such a great time spending a whole week with them!

2. I got a sewing machine from Ben for Christmas!! I’m pretty excited about tapping into my extremely hidden, totally buried creative side. I tried to make a pillow last night and well, let’s just say that I won’t be opening a store on Etsy any time soon. BUT I will keep you updated with pictures for your entertainment.

3. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal: AMAZING. The Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey Ride was by far a favorite of mine (that and Dragon Challenge – formerly known as the dueling dragons). We had Butterbeer (no worries SEBTS, it’s a child’s beverage), perused through Honeydukes and Zonkos, and completely familiarized ourselves with the world of Hogsmeade. It was grand.

3. State beat West Viriginia. It was cold, but oh so much fun to witness State beating West Virginia. Seeing as it was my first Bowl game, I now feel like a semi-real Wolfpack fan. I mean, I don’t know how real one can be without receiving a degree from the university they’re cheering for, but I’m awfully close.

4. We got our LifeStage full video for Christmas!!! Matt Davis and the LifeStage team is AMAZING. Even though they usually take 6 months, they busted ours out in 3 so Ma Salmon could surprise us! We watched both Kelly & Jeremy’s and our own on Christmas Eve with the family. It was amazing!

5. Thanks to the gift I got Ben, I’m now conspiring on how I would break him out of prison if he ever was framed and wrongfully convicted of a crime: thank you Prison Break DVD set. And yes, we did spend quite a bit of time ALL DAY Saturday watching it. Seriously, we only took a dinner break to eat with friends and watch a movie… and then we were back on the couch again. I think I watched more TV in that one day than I did the entire Fall semester.

6. Road trip to/from Orlando with the Salmon crew: Hysterical. I now feel officially inducted into the Salmon family.

Ok, I think that’s a fair review of the highlights. Overall it was a great first Christmas as a Salmon. I’ll be better this week at writing… although it’s going to be another whirlwind of a week. 🙂 Nikki gets married & I leave for Central Asia on Saturday. More details will follow later…

Much Love and Happy New Year!

Brit

Happy Eve of Christmas Eve! :)

YES. Today is the day.

What day you ask? Today is the day that after I clock out of work, I don’t have to come back for over a week! No offense to my office folks, I do adore you… but I also adore sleeping, hanging out with family, and reading Harry Potter books.

So what’s the Salmon schedule, you ask? (Well, perhaps you didn’t ask, but it’s my blog so i’m going to tell you anyways…)

Tonight we leave for Rose Hill, NC, Home of the World’s Largest Frying Pan. Just in case you didn’t believe me, here’s proof.

We’re spending the weekend with the Salmon crew + both sets of grandparents, and then after church on Sunday we’re hopping in a 15 passenger van with the Ma & Pa Salmon, Whit & one of his friends, and the new Mrs. & Mr. Smallwood and we’re heading to here:

Yup, that’s right. We’re roadtripping it to Florida to watch State play in a bowl game, and while we’re there we’re going to make a pit stop in one of my favorite places: Disney World.

No worries, I will do my best to get a picture of Ben in Mickey Ears.

This Christmas is going to be bitter-sweet for me. It’s not only my FIRST Christmas away from my family, it’s also my first official vacation with the whole Salmon family. So although I’m incredibly sad to be missing the Donald’s Christmas Eve Shrimp and Crab-leg dinner and my dad’s 50th birthday… I’m pretty excited about going to Disney World and spending time with the Salmons. Bitter-sweet.

So those are our plans… I’m not sure how much blogging will get done between now and the time we get back. I’m not making any plans… I’m footloose and fancy free. So if you don’t hear from me in a week… I’m having too much fun to write and will fill you in on our adventures once we return.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas!

Much Love.