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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

things that shine.


 This time last night, I was in the heart of Hollywood. Running down the Hollywood Walk of Fame wearing sky-high leopord print heels, holding onto my sister's arm as we tripped over a red carpet for some premier happening on one side of the street, and fought the crowds to make it on time to a studio-filled audience on the other side of the street. The night proved to be full - of laughter, good plain fun, sisterly chats and ... a few more lessons for me to learn.
 
Even though I've lived my entire life just miles away from the craziness of LA...ya gotta know, I'm a home-body. I love being home, just hanging out. I love drinking coffee or hot chocolate, lighting my "Cinnamon Sugar Donut" scented candles, and listening to music. I'm a bubble-bath taking little nester and proud of it! Sorry, y'all...you might think I'm totally boring. But I'm no drinker, and I'm certainly not a partier on weekends. But hey, I love to have fun. Especially with Mandy (my sweet Sis)  So when we got free tickets to go see Jimmy Kimmel Live at his ABC studio, we decided to make it into a Girl's Night Out. And who better to go with? 'Cause she knows how to put on some bright lipstick and laugh. Sister knows how to have a good time.


 And who were the guests of the night, you ask?


Why, hello there Mr. Channing Tatum and Bachelor Ben!

  Honestly, I went to the taping, fully knowing that, although the production and the process in Hollywood can be fun to witness and be a part of, much of the talk and the perspectives of those involved and being interviewed are about 180 degrees from what I believe and everything I stand for. Yet, you have to go into things like this with your convictions and discernment well in hand and a smile on your face. {I always try to live by: "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing, and perfect will." -Romans 12:2}
  Let me tell ya, I love a well dressed man wearing a suit with a pocket square just as much as the next girl (maybe even more!) And I am pretty sure I caught a whiff of Channing's cologne....(Okay, maybe it was the guy sitting down the row from me. But we're just gonna go with the first one, 'k?) Yet as I watched the people around me, I began thinking about celebrity. And how we percieve and treat certain people. Just walking down Hollywood & Highland, you can't help but notice the obsession with movie stars - the lifesize posters, people standing in line waiting to get a glimpse of a celeb, cement stars that line the sidewalk. The screaming girls when Channing and Ben walked onto the stage. The attitude we have about movie stars, famous people, athletes. And I started to think...about worship.

 In our culture, certain people are worshipped. I know I'm not the only one who knows it. Go turn on your TV. Can you deny it? We all worship something. And for most of the world, it is not the Lord. Yet, amid the glitz and glam of a TV show recording, I kept thinking about this,

"...Jesus answered him,
'You shall worship the Lord your God
and Him only shall you serve.'"
-Luke 4:8

And I asked myself...
What am I (what are we) serving?  Having social status? Money? Being beautiful? Achieving "celebrity"?


The screaming girls. The shimmering lights. The red carpet.

What a contrast to what I experienced next.

Starved after the show, we ducked into a small taco shop next door to the studio for some food. The small, dark-haired lady wearing a black polyester collared shirt took my order, She moved slowly, her eyes dark and head low. As she ripped the receipt from the cash register and handed it me, I noticed her right hand was withered. Literally, she stands just a wall away from a stage where every night of the week, famous people sit and are admired on national TV.  
Nightly, beautiful celebrities are gazed at, crowds hanging on their every word. Nightly, this woman works a cash register in a stuffy kitchen, unrecognized...not cared for. And this occurs - just a wall away.

Moments later, as we walked to our car, I saw a young woman sitting up against a wall by the crosswalk. Her hair was dark and cropped short. She had piercings on her face, tattoos on her body. Her eyes were dark, hardened. She sat, weeping. Her face in her hands. On a dirty street lined with gold painted stars engraved with movie star's names. And just across the street, Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah were walked safely out of the Kodak Theatre, flanked by strong, suited body guards and driven away in their big, shiny black Escalades, safely to their next destination. And there she sat, scared...alone.


As we drove out of Hollywood, this was standing high, perched on top a building - up, above it all. Shining quietly. So unassuming. So understated, compared to the onslaught of larger-than-life, flashing billboards everywhere. So simple, as opposed to the huge spotlights filling the studio ceiling from earlier in the evening. It just stood silently above it all. Shining.


The Cross. Salvation. Jesus leaving the glories of Heaven, stooping down to the dirtiness of earth to save broken people He loves. In our sin, our idolatry. So we can have a better life, eternal life, with Him forever.

And yet we just race along, oblivious of Him. Making idols and gods out of other things, other people. Screaming for a handsome actor or a talented actress, when all the while He sits. Waiting. Whispering, "Come to Me...Worship Me." Sometimes we hear it. But do we respond? Do we listen? Sometimes I feel like I'm running 100 miles an hour with my hair on fire, trying to keep up, make ends meet, be prettier, richer, more popular, more fashionable, more successful. All the while, forgetting who is the lover of my soul ... Jesus. Forgetting about the hurting world. Breaks my heart like porcelain.

"For God so loved the world,
that He gave his one and only Son
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish
but have eternal life."
-John 3:16


Now, go...worship Him. And change the world with love.

XO

Erin

{PS - here I am, back home.
 With my hot chocolate & candles burning.
Hollywood can wait. I have big things to do.}

31 comments:

  1. Love this post. You don't have to be prettier, richer, hipper :) at all. Just be who God made you to be - which is truly awesome and inspiring. You are a great writer Erin!! Love your thoughts xo

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  2. What great perception you have my dear.
    :-)
    So many can forget what we truly put on a pedestal in this world, when it should be our savior. I have that issue with putting my hubby before Jesus. It's tough sometimes!

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  3. I love how observant you are. If we paid that much attention we would see situations like that everywhere. Thanks for sharing this!

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  4. I'm glad you had so much fun. I work in entertainment so I definitely feel you. It's so great that we're working towards something that is more permanent and substantial that fleeting beauty and fickle fame. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  5. Hello, I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago, and I just wanted to let you know that you are SO encouraging! You have a beautiful heart and you truly know what needs to come first in this life. God Bless you. He is pleased with His daughter.

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  6. Wonderful post!

    And great pictures too!

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  7. WOW! This post was AWESOME! It spoke right to me, becuz I have a hard time worshipping Christ cuz I'm always worshipping celebs. :) So ya.

    Love,
    Manda
    http://meandjesus-amanda.blogspot.com

    p.s. But I still think it would be awesome to live near Hollywood!!! ;)

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  8. What a sweet post!! So true and love that the cross was standing tall and shining bright. Thanks for the add and stop by... love finding new friends even from coast to coast :)

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  9. Looks like you had a GREAT night!! And I love that cross in the sky. What a great post! :) Thanks for sharing!! Thanks so much for the comment on my post. I always appreciate it!

    All The Love In The Universe
    Digger

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  10. First, let me say that I LOVE your heels Ahhh. Second, this was an excellent post!! Sounds like you had a fun night out and even some insight. Very inspiring post-definitely some food for thought for all of us. I must say I am the same way as you-definitely a homebody! But hey we still know how to have a good time! :)

    XO,
    Brittany

    buckeyebelle863.blogspot.com

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  11. What an eye-opening night. I am in awe of the way you look at life and the people in it. It is so refreshing to see someone who loves everyone, regardless of who they are and what they have done. No one is better than another. We are all loved by God :)

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  12. I just want to come to California and hang out with you. :) It is so easy to lose sight of why we are here and who we are... but, I am so thankful for moments like this when God uses someone else's words to speak to my heart!!

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  13. I loved reading about your experience! It sounds like you're a super deep girl, as am I! haha! I especially loved your reciting of Romans 12:2 to be kept in mind when going to events like that! That is one of my absolute favorite verses! It can be so easy to get caught up in all of the celebrity business and to want to just take the easier path as the world does, but Romans 12:2 is a great reminder to not care about the world's desires, but God's own desires for us! So glad you got to see God at work!

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  14. wow you look stunning!
    great post
    it was really interesting to read about your night :)
    xxx

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  15. I absolutely love this post. I've actually had a lot of these same thoughts before about "why do we treat celebrities the way we do?" and what not. Very insightful, thanks for sharing.

    katelyn-innervision.blogspot.com

    - Katelyn

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  16. I love love love this post! It's so true, this world is full of worship for everything but Christ. I've read 3 blogs today with posts about discontentment in this world (and of course I'm going to have to write one myself), and how we're always striving for more of everything. We are a culture that worships success, money, physical beauty and popularity. For a long time, I tried to let career success fill the hole that only God can fill. Thanks for sharing this! Such an important, yet oftentimes overlooked, topic.

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  17. I love your blog :) You are too cute!
    This post is awesome, and so truee!

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  18. Thanks for following! I've enjoyed reading your blog! This is a great post, thanks for sharing! I ventured to LA about a year and a half ago.. it gets kinda crazy!

    Looking forward to reading more!

    xo,
    Anna

    www.annabeeslittlebits.blogspot.com

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  19. I am so glad to have come across your blog. It's really beautiful, actually. I read through your posts, about, purity, and good girls and am so glad that there are girls out there like you promoting what good purity is. I really applaud your confidence. Great job with your blog & I am so happy to follow you !!

    XO. Britt
    The Magnolia Pair

    :)

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  20. p.s. I tagged you in a post!

    xo

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  21. I have so many friends who are celebrity-obsessed, and it makes me sad. I see them ignore their own lives in exchange for the fantasy of someone else's. Sometimes I think maybe that's easier for them than embracing their own life. For me, I'd rather face the challenges of my life head on rather than get caught up in the other stuff. Yeah, it's kind of messy, but it's way more fun than the alternative :)

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  22. such fun images, and you are rockin' those high leopard print heels. i'd be falling all over the place, ha
    xo TJ

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  23. hey!! by the way.. i awarded you on my blog!! :)

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  24. I love this post, Erin. Jesus is found where we least expect - and in Hollywood, that's a small taco shop or the sidewalk. "So unassuming," as you write, "so understated... So simple." It's the flashy, the noise, the spotlight that we're drawn to, but that's not where Jesus went, and I don't think that's necessarily where we should be, either.

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  25. Hey doll... what an observant heart you have. I hope you were able to catch her eye and smile. I wonder how many people notice someone like that.

    Girlie... an idea entered my head. One of my best friends in the whole world moved to LA in May. She's struggled to find like-minded friends and has ended up lonely and mostly just spending time with her boyfriend (who's a sweetheart). Would you be willing maybe to get together with her sometime? I think you'd love her. Email me at charlieandlu at gmail dot com.

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  26. Hi Erin, I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you! If you check out my post titled "Nominated! Me?!" you'll see what I wrote about you! Many Blessings!

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  27. Omg you picked a great day to go! I can't believe you saw Dolly! I'm so jealous ! My roomate and I have a trip planned to go to Dollywood haha. I am so like you I am such a home body. I think it's a good thing :) Hope you have a great weekend Erin!

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  28. Great post! I love reading your words and witnessing your kind heart. I am following you and I can't wait to read more.

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sweet friends, share your heart.

"kind words are like honey...sweet..and healing.." -proverbs 16:24.

xo.

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