Author - Lindsey Lautsbaugh

1
Wanted: Friends Who Judge
2
Immigrants, Orphans, and Jesus
3
I Struggle With Fear. Now What?
4
The Road Less Traveled – And Why Going It Alone Is Not God’s Idea
5
Good Leaders Have Good Friends
6
In Praise of Brokenness – From Dead to Alive in The School of Biblical Studies
7
Love Moves

Wanted: Friends Who Judge

Photo Credit: Thomas Lefebvre via Unsplash cc

This post was originally published on Lindsey Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.thisisloveactually.com/friends-who-judge/ and is re-posted with permission.

“I don’t want to be judged, I just want to be unconditionally loved.”
“No one wants a judge; everyone wants a friend.”
“Don’t judge me!”

It is universally accepted that true friends don’t judge. They simply love, accept, and support you.

In my early twenties, I was a young, single woman in the new South Africa. I loved the adventure and possibility of living and working in this nation. I was just beginning to form friendships in a diverse community of people. One weekend at the office, only myself and one other lady were there. We were trying to get ahead on work. New students were arriving that week. We discussed tasks and ideas back and forth. We were as different as night and day and so often would not see eye to eye. As the day wore on, I was getting more and more frustrated at her lack of seeing things my way. Eventually, I got so angry I went quiet and ominously brooded around the office, physically present but ignoring her in all other ways. I would show her!

Suddenly, I could hear her chair spin around and her strong voice break the silence. “Lindsey, are you going to talk about this, or do you plan to give me the silent treatment all day? I don’t like tantrums.”

I was shocked. She was direct almost to the point of rudeness. I stumbled over my words. Feebly, I attempted to sort things out… I don’t really remember how it resolved.

Two months later, someone asked me, “Lindsey, who do you hang out with? Who do you consider your friends here in South Africa?” To my surprise, this lady’s name immediately came out of my mouth.

I had other friends who I hung out with more, had more in common with. But this woman spoke truth to me – Truth that often offended me. Sometimes, it wasn’t truth, it was just her opinion, and she would apologise later. Sometimes, it came out a bit rude. But she kept speaking. Of all the people I was around, I knew this one was a friend. She was a friend who was willing to wound me. She was a friend who judged.

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Immigrants, Orphans, and Jesus

Photo Credit: BruceEmmerling via Pixabay cc

This post was originally published on Lindsey Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.thisisloveactually.com/immigrants-orphans-jesus/ on December 1, 2014 and is re-posted with permission.

My maternal grandparents were immigrants from Norway. My Grandma Edie would enthrall me with the story of her first sighting of American soil. As a young girl, she peaked through the window of the ship, and there stood the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island, New York City.

When Grandma Edie and Grandpa John fought around my sister and me, often they would do it in Norwegian so we couldn’t understand what they were saying! My grandmother made fish-balls and lutefisk and lefse. The town they lived in was full of Norwegian immigrants, and its official motto is still “Little Norway.”

Being surrounded by so many Norwegians brought the inevitable Swedish jokes. I just thought it was like an old high school rivalry. I didn’t know why Norwegians and Swedes teased each other; it’s just what we did. In fact, my Grandfather posted a sign at the top of his drive-way that said, “Norwegians Only! No Swedes Allowed!” Little did I know that this rivalry came out of a deep-rooted history. But it was all good fun for the family in those times.

The last two weeks I’ve thought a lot about my precious grandparents. I was always acutely aware we were a Norwegian-American family. But there was so much I never knew to ask them. They were immigrants. The family didn’t know English when they came, I know that. But what else? What was it like to be foreigners in a strange land?

The reason I thought of this was because I’ve been surrounded by a whole new set of “foreigners” here in South Africa. My husband and I bought a house, and we are doing a few renovations this month before we move in. We’ve had the privilege of hiring a number of men from Malawi to help us with some of the work.

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I Struggle With Fear. Now What?

Photo Credit: Kim Daniel via Unsplash cc

At YWAM Muizenberg’s worship evening recently, Lindsey Lautsbaugh shared about overcoming fear. We are privileged to have Lindsey bring that word to you here and hope you are encouraged IN the powerful and transforming Presence of Jesus.

As a child, my mother told me stories of her own childhood. The ones with danger were my favourite.

With her siblings, she scaled tall pine trees until they reached as close to the skinny top as possible. Then they tried to swing the treetop back and forth, bending and bowing towards the ground and back again. The sight of the thin pine tree with children swinging and clinging gave my grandmother a near heart attack. The danger made me excited and thrilled.

She also described laying on the dirt road, flat as a board against the ground. The older siblings then drove over her, wheels whirring by on either side. She could have been run over if the steering was not precise. I couldn’t hear that story enough.

Facing fear can be so thrilling when we are young. As we grow old, this can change. Fear, which once made us face challenges, grows. We don’t notice it growing; it is so gradual. Slowly, through the years, we accommodate the growing fear until we wake up one day and wonder, “How did I get to this place? Why do I struggle with fear so much?”

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The Road Less Traveled – And Why Going It Alone Is Not God’s Idea

Photo Credit: Linh Nguyen

This post was originally published on the author Lindsey Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.thisisloveactually.com/road-less-traveled/ on June 3, 2014 and is re-posted with permission.

Last week I left my house for a late afternoon run. I’m a hoofer who plods along slowly. Seeing me run would probably evoke less images of a light-footed deer and more images of a stray elephant looking for its herd. But, I digress.

That evening was beautiful, still, cool air, and beautiful clouds. I love running at that time of day; the streets are full of people walking home after a long day at work. There are large groups of gossiping Mamas noisily giving the updates of the day. Weary fathers pushing their young daughters home from preschool. Dusty men returning home after a hard day of manual labour.

That evening I took my normal route along the busiest roads, past the buzzing taxi ranks, and weaving along semi-crowded sidewalks. The next morning I woke up to learn that thirty minutes after I had run, there was a shooting along my route, killing several. It was part of a week of rising violence in our neighborhood.

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Good Leaders Have Good Friends

Photo Credit: Anil kumar B Bhatt

This post was originally published on the author Lindsey Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.thisisloveactually.com/good-leaders-good-friends/ and is re-posted with permission.

It seems to me that so much of the dysfunctions of leadership that I have seen over and over (and over and over) could be avoided. Leaders who wound others, leaders who are caught up in sin, leaders who trip themselves up by their lack of self-awareness. All these things could be prevented… if only those leaders had a real friend.

Many leaders don’t have healthy friendships. I’m nervous around leaders whom I observe who are not able to build and maintain healthy and true friendships.

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In Praise of Brokenness – From Dead to Alive in The School of Biblical Studies

Photo Credit: ahh.photo via Compfight cc

This post was originally published on the author Lindsey Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.thisisloveactually.com/praise-brokenness/ and is re-posted with permission.

The past felt hard, but the worst was yet to come. Thank God, I was oblivious to this fact. In the exact middle, between hurt and more hurt, I ventured off to a nine month, intensive, Biblical Studies program.

I wanted the learning for my future career in ministry but needed it for my own personal survival. In the wilderness of Montana I worked hard, day-in and day-out. Most days were between eight to nine hours with my nose in the Bible.

Many days, it was more.

The learning was mentally exhilarating. Emotionally, though, something new was digging in to me.

I remember the day clearly. In an effort to break up the monotony, a group of students decided to go to a local coffee shop to study. We all spread out to our own tables, ordered our bottomless coffee, and began to pound away at the work to be done. The book of Romans was our current task. This is no small feat to grasp if you are familiar with the Bible. I remember the exact table and the uncomfortable wooden chair I was sitting in. While classmates around me were doing a theological CrossFit routine in their minds… I was reading the same phrase over and over and over.

“so death spread to all”

“so death spread to all”

“so death spread to all”

Then, the tears just came.

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Love Moves

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Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Billy Graham… names we all recognize; people we want to emulate. Here’s the “bad news:” you and I won’t ever reach their heights. We likely won’t transform the history of whole nations. People won’t remember our names like theirs.

Sorry to break the news to you, but someone had to say it, I suppose.

Our inspiration so often comes from these heroes because the stories captivate us. Books can be written and films made. The result is that we can never measure up, and then, so often, we simply give up.

“I can’t ever do what he did, so why bother even trying?”

We shouldn’t give up though.

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