Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library

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In Defense of My Faith

In Defense of My Faith Banner {Living Outside the Stacks}

A few years ago, I wrote a post about religious civility and the lack of respect that some people show towards people of faith, specifically towards Christians. The post was a reaction to some of the things that a few of my friends and acquaintances had posted over Easter weekend.

I honestly hadn’t planned to address the issue again but after seeing the same recycled “jokes” this past weekend, I realized two things:

  • The Bible says if I deny Jesus here on earth, He’ll deny me in Heaven {Matthew 10:33}
  • The comments and jokes are hurtful and rude, and instead of letting it fester, I need to get it out of my system

I know that much of the animosity towards Christians stems from the vitriolic actions of a few. But understand this: my love for Christ isn’t based on the condemnation of others but on the free {and sacrificial} gift of His love for me {John 3:16 and John 15:13}.

When I was in the Army and we went through sexual harassment training, one of the speakers said something that stuck with me: “Nothing is wrong until you say it’s wrong.” Meaning the initial responsibility for protecting my body, my heart, my spirit begins with me. People may not know they’re being offensive until it’s pointed out. So I’m pointing it out: calling my Lord and Savior out of His name is offensive and hurtful.

I know that we may not share the same religious beliefs and you may not understand why I believe what I do, but that doesn’t give you the right to be mean or dismissive. I may not agree with your beliefs but you’ll never hear me say anything that would grieve your heart.

Writing this post may cause me to lose some friends and I’m OK with that. Just know that I care for you and I always will. I’ll miss you and will always respect you. And, yes, I’ll even pray for you, because that’s what friends do {1 Thessalonians 5:11}.

But, ultimately, this is about my relationship with Christ and I never want to be in a position where He can say “Depart from me, I never knew you…” {Matthew 7:23}. I love my Lord and Savior and it is His approval that I desire.

Daenel T

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Find the Beauty in the Brown

Find the Beauty in the Brown {Living Outside the Stacks}

Every day as I stare out my kitchen window, this is my view. Brown withered leaves, crunchy flower pods, splintered stems… Dead plants. sigh Yesterday, as I stood there preparing dinner, mentally complaining about the lack of life and color in my front yard, I started thinking about the things that are going on within me. And I realized, my problem isn’t external, it’s internal.

I’ve always been a creative person. And every job I’ve ever had has had an outlet for that creativity: when I was in the Army, I got to assist with meal planning {Have you ever planned a Thanksgiving meal for roughly 300 soldiers at a remote location? Trust me, you can get creative and have fun.}, when I was an archivist, I got to set up displays and write descriptions for the pictures, and when I was a librarian, I got to create and maintain our social media accounts… With this position, I’m all admin all the time. My days consist of paperwork, putting out fires, and making sure that things run smoothly. There’s no time or room for creative expression.

As I studied the dried plants through the window, I realized something, they’re not really dead. They’re dormant. In a few short months weeks, they’ll be bursting with color and alive with butterflies and hummingbirds. Within that dried crunchy foliage is hope and life.

Find Beauty in the Brown {Living Outside the Stacks}

So I took out my camera, and started trying to find the beauty in the brown. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” And I firmly believe that. Right now, I’m going through a dormant phase in my career. But, it’s up to me to find the beauty in the brown until I can dance in the colors.

Are you going through a dormant phase? How do you deal?

Daenel T

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The Bible in 365 Days: Day 13 {In the Church}

The Bible in 365 Days: A Year with God {Living Outside the Stacks}

Scripture

Genesis 14:15~16

And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.

Observation

Four things stick out to me from these two verses:

  • divided ~ Abram was a soldier and a protector of his family; he found out Lot and his wife had been taken and he rounded up everyone and formed an army
  • defeated ~ he beat them
  • pursued ~ not only did he defeat them but he chased them
  • brought back ~ he claimed what was the enemy had stolen {his family and his possessions}

Application

Abram was a warrior. In my head, I heard him giving a battle cry when he found out that Lot and his family had been taken. You know that deep belly cry, the one you see in the movies where all the birds take off flying from a central location? Yeah, that one. Then I saw him rounding up his men and telling them that they were going to take back what the enemy had stolen.

I think that’s how God wants us to be. When the enemy comes into our camp {our home} and steals our joy, God wants us to gather our army {Psalm 91:11} and take back our possessions.

Prayer

Dear Lord, please forgive me for any sins that I knowingly and unknowingly committed today. Help me to be a warrior like Abram. Grant me the wisdom to know how and when to pursue. And, Lord, help me to bring back all of my possessions. In your name, I pray, amen.

Daenel T

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