caroline holzberger

Keepin' it real about motherhood, Jesus, life, and everything in between.

Oh Mutt Fun

Hey, friend! Remember that time I was blogging consistently? Ya, good times.

Then, December happened.

Enough said.

Statements like that used to annoy the fire out of me when I was flat on the couch. I would have given anything to have been able to complain about all I had to do around Christmastime. Instead, for the last three Christmases, I have been flat on my back, while everyone Tra La La La Las all around me. But, I am upright now, PRAISE GOD ALONE, and December did hit like a hundred tons of bricks. I was unprepared. But, it is what it is. Or should I say, it was what it was. December came and went.

I must extend me-the writer some grace as me-the wife/Mom/chauffeur/volunteer/friend/neighbor/daughter etc overdid it a bit this month. It wasn’t bad stuff either. Lots of it was Jesus stuff. But, regardless, it was a lot of stuff. And none of that stuff had anything to do with typing words down.

Not sure about you, but i kinda roll like this — grace flows freely from God, through me, to others. But often grace gets stopped up somewhere when it is supposed to go from God, through me to me. I am by far my own worst critic. All I can say is I’m working on it.

Moving on.

During this blessed holiday season (and it really was a precious time!) my darling Abigail delighted us with numerous moment of hilariousness, as only she can

None quite as funny as the video I am about to ask you to watch. This is classic Abigail. Click to watch sister friend teach her Daddy something new.

That’s right ladies and gents… “Oh Mutt fun it is to ride on a one horse open sleigh. Hey.”

That’s my girl.

I must commend my best girl for her dedication. Her confidence. Her joyful ignorance. She gets that from her father. But, clearly she was wrong. Like, com-plete-ly wrong.

But, oh she was cute. And, she was having fun. C’mon, people it wasn’t that far off, right? Still the same song overall, yes?

Um, sure, I guess. But, still…flat. out. wrong.

Lately, as I have been recovering from a world doneflippedupsidedown I kinda feel I’ve been doing the same. I’ve been singing Jingle Bells in my Christian life, but still Oh Mutt Fun-ing myself away from the true heart of the His song – my life.

And yes, God and I have chatted quite a bit regarding What in the heck does all this mean?!? Or something like that.

What now? What am I supposed to do with all this!?

My post-couch life?

My blog?

Publishing a book? Becoming a speaker? Writing a Bible study?

My heart for the needy.

His love for the poor He’s poured over me.

The three Hatmaker books he used to divinely screw up my life. Darn those Hatmakers

My burden for complacent Christians to wake up.

My heart breaking for those who are missing the boat.

The record player in my head of Beth Moore describing the book of James – “James won’t let you grace yourself out of obedience.”

Whoa, that’s a lot. Trust me, dude. I agree.

You mix all that together and toss in a few baaad cases of writer’s block and twelve hundred pounds of chocolate-holiday-eating…and you have the current status of my brain.

It ain’t been pretty.

Let’s be honest — my brain has never been super normal…but lately, it’s been down right trippin’.

No, not weirdo, un-Biblical, outlandish, losing my religion type of trippin’.

But, trippin’ all the same.

But then, this weekend I was doubly blessed.

My friend and pastor of my church, Bill Ramsey spoke this weekend about one of my favorite new verses of Scripture. Obviously the verse isn’t new…just my affection for it.

Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Pastor Bill (aka P.Bill – that’s my ‘street’ name for him. Which, if you knew him at all would make you laugh hysterically, because he couldn’t be more down-home-country.) spoke about being “On Target”. He asked us to stop and prayerfully evaluate if our lives were on target with God’s plan, His will for our lives? Do our choices line up with Scripture? How about our priorities? Our intentions? Our desires?

What I loooved about this sermon was that P.Bill was speaking to us just like Micah was speaking to the people of God a few thousand years ago. Micah was speaking to God’s people, who’d just enjoyed about forty years of peace and prosperity. They enjoyed God’s blessings but weren’t necessarily engaged with Him. They had a connection with Him, but were not living ‘on target’.

“Um, hello pot, I’m kettle, you’re looking black today.”

Does this not perfectly describe most of us me! me! me! Christianfolk nowadays? (ps. The answer is yes!)

We enjoy the blessings of a life with eternal security, but are we living the days we’ve been given with spiritual purpose? Are we doing these three simple requirements God spoke through Micah to His chosen people?

  1. Act justly
  2. Love mercy
  3. Walk humbly with your God

Friend, please note these aren’t suggestions or favors. They are not options or electives. They are requirements. Period.

If, in this life of abundance, we fail to complete His requirements, He will deal with that disobedience. It won’t go overlooked.

Panic begins.

Ok, so should I join a Bible study?

I wonder if I could still find that devotional book someone gave me last year!?!

Ummm, Maybe I should give money to church? Ooooh! And to the poor. Ya, ya, the poor too!

Ironically, in the two verses just prior, God’s people frantically ran through questions similar to these.

v.6-7 “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”

Whoa. That’s intense. They were so desperate to rectify this situation, they were willing to kill animals and even sacrifice their own firstborn. Ok, they win.

Oh wait. Nevermind, we both lose.

Micah’s simple answer so purely displays the heart of God, I can hardly stand it.

If it were me as God we’d all be screwed, I would have said “Stop it already! Quit trying to do, do, do as empty acts of nothingness. Instead…line your heart up with Mine, you fools. Love what I love. Serve who I served. If I can be humble on earth, you darn well should be humble too. It really ain’t rocket science, people. Which, by the way, I invented also.”

But, thankfully, it wasn’t me. It was God. And His direction was very simple.

Dear My darling stiff-necked people,

Act justly = Act in a just, righteous, fair way towards others. Not simply others who look like you, live like you or vote like you. (although act justly towards them too!) But to others, as in all others. Treat them (yea even them!) the way you want to be treated.

Love mercy = Don’t just show mercy, but love to show mercy. It isn’t an obligation. It is your honor to do this for Me. Give others the same measure of mercy you want to receive from Me. And trust me, you need a lot!

Walk humbly with your God = Remember who I am – your God. Supremely perfect but surprisingly personal. I am your God. If you keep that in mind, you will walk humbly before Me because you will see who you are in light of Who I Am.

Love,

The One Who Saved Your Scrawny Stiff-Neck For All Eternity

What God required of them was not mysterious or too difficult – they simply did not do it.

They were paralyzed in their obedience because of their greatest weakness – their own spiritual pride. Oh that we would not make that same mistake my friend!

I beg of you to stop seeing church as a place to serve you, please you, and tend to your needs.

I beg you to jump off the revolving door of worldliness that has blurred your Vision of what your life should stand for. it REALLY isn’t about all the crap that surrounds us.

I beg you to step out of your comfort zone and serve others who could never repay you. And those who wouldn’t even try. Like my friend and I say…we will serve those in need because Jesus told us to. We will do it if we get a “Thank you!” or an “F— you!”.

The very wise Charles Spurgeon said, “Humility must be in the heart, and then it will come out spontaneously as the outflow of life in every act that a man performs.

It is one thing to dip your heart and your mind down low for a moment, to serve someone…only to return back up high where you ‘belong’. That is just charity. Jesus wasn’t about charity. He was about humility. In fact, He still is.

Instead of dipping your heart down low to serve others with mercy…it is when you realize you too, are just as lowly…that is when true humility is born.

We, as Christians have come so far off target, we forgot which direction we were even shooting in. Micah reminds us exactly what aims directly at the heart of God. And if you are reading these words right now, you may no longer Oh Mutt Fun yourself through life, claiming ignorance.

You been done told, my friend.

So what the heck are you going to do now!?!

What the heck am I going to do now!?!

I have no stinkin’ clue.

But I do know this. The second blessing of my weekend was sharing a beloved fajita plate and a margarita didn’t share that part, she’s on her own there with a dear friend of mine.

She was the first person I ever told God had called me to write. She was the first person I told was supposed to write a blog. And a book. And a Bible study. She has lovingly sat by and strategically asked me “So…how’s it going?” for a few years now. She walked alongside me during the couch time — faithful and true. And the other night, she sat across the table from me, where I mayormaynot have completely hogged the chips and queso, as she gave me ‘the look’ and basically told me to get my butt in gear. In Jesus’ Name, of course.

She cautioned me to keep my priorities true. My God. My man. My kids. Then everything else.

But, she knows I’m lazy. She knows I’m undisciplined. She loves me in spite of my flakiness. She has seen my procrastination at its worst. And yet, she remarkably still believes I have a gift to share God’s truth. She has a way of building me up without puffing me up. That’s crucial in my world. And mostly, she knew I needed this loving kick in the hiney.

I am grateful for my friend. I am grateful for my pastor. Most of all, I am grateful for Micah for loving God’s holiness more than his own happiness. Micah desired His purpose, His calling, His Truth and His heart above the adoration of others. I am thankful He was willing to speak up to his fellow ‘Christ-followers’ to encourage them to, Oh I don’t know, actually follow Christ.

I only pray to do the same.

With my words.

With my actions.

With my heart.

Let me prepare you now that I will fail miserably quite a bit sometimes. Let grace abound in this place. Lord knows I need it! Ps. so do you. 🙂

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