Thursday, May 22, 2008

Email forwards gone bad

So my dad's wife sends me forwards. Lots and lots of forwards. Mostly about supporting the troops. Sometimes they are jokey and sometimes "a touching story about a little boy who...." Often they are emails about John McCain or how Republicans are the heroes who save the day.
I just delete them and go about my day. But today, I got irritated. See, she sent one email soiling Michelle Obama and another bashing Barack.
Look, I wouldn't ever share my political views with her except for the fact that she seems to think that it is quite alright to send me forward after forward damning the democrats. So this time, I shot a quickie back that calmly stated, "I'm not offended," I said, "but you ought to know that we support Obama." I even ended it with a smiley face. :)
My hope was that perhaps at the very least, she would remove my name from her email list. At the very most, I was hoping for an "oh, I beg your pardon."

Instead, I got this weird email telling me how surprised she is - especially coming from someone who "holds the bible so dear".
Then proceeded to talk about the financial implications of the Democrats being in power and how it basically lays to ruin everything she and my dad have worked for their whole lives.

She ended with "These are the reasons me and your dad are seeking permanent residence elsewhere". BTW, they just bought property in New Zealand.

Does being a republican automatically make you a Christian?
Does being a democrat automatically disqualify you for heaven?
Does my voting for Barack mean the take-down of all my folks have lived for?
Is it my support for Obama that has driven them to move to the opposite side of planet earth?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pam.



Which Office Character Are You?

You are Pam. You are sweet and likable, but your shyness makes it hard for you to express yourself sometimes. Regardless, you are always there for your friends and will usually come out of your shell to help anyone.

Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com

Eternally Yours

I was sitting in a group recently, discussing the book of Colossians. Rather than moving throughout the rich, life-giving, -gems to live by- sections of the text, one person pointed out a concern - - then the entire rest of the time was spent in circles.
Someone brought up Paul's statement, "The Gospel has been preached throughout the world".
"Clearly", she pointed out, "the Gospel has not been preached to the entire world". Thus, you guessed it, we talked for an hour about salvation, and what about people who never heard about Christ, and Christianity is exclusive, and if God is a loving God then why would he send people to hell, and what is hell anyway.... You get the picture.

A thought came to me. I was reminded about C.S. Lewis' book The Great Divorce. I thought about how in the narrative, every person who ever lived has the opportunity to choose heaven, ie. reality and wholeness. They get on a bus, take the same route everyday, and stop at heaven's bus stop. Never to rarely do they ever choose to get off the bus and stay. But the option is always there.

And I am sure you have also heard the C.S. Lewis quote, "At the end of our lives we will say to God, Thy Will Be Done. Or God will say to us, Thy will be done."

So, Don't really know where I am going with this except to suggest, what if... just what if we were all given an eternal opportunity to choose life and reality and wholeness, - - heaven, and eternity spent with Jesus?

Why not? Is the God of the universe limited my time and mortality? Is it possible that there is a power point presentation as a person passes from this life to the next, where all is revealed and they are given a final (or eternal) choice to confess the Lordship of Jesus?

Could it be that this choice is eternally yours?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Barackattack!

My friend emailed me and asked me what I see in Barack Obama. This is what I wrote back. I'm sure I have more to add - but this is a start...

He is the visionary leader that this country desperately needs.
He wants to change the way Washington is run.
I have heard him say with his own mouth that he is a Christian believer and a follower of Jesus Christ.
He wants to work toward universal health care. ((have you seen the movie Sicko?))
The liberals seem to care more about the poor, the environment and energy.
He was against the iraq war from the beginning.

Unfortunately, Barack is pro abortion as well as pro-stem cell research experiementation on human embryos.
We are for life.

For us, we had to come to the realization that there is no perfect candidate. But there is a best candidate. And I think this country is ready for a fresh breath of creative leadership.
Sure he is young. I know he has few legislative accomplishments under his belt (he is a junior senator). But he is intelligent, articulate, authentic and married to the same woman since 1992. PS, Michelle Obama is a strong, intelligent woman and they have two young daughters (6, 11) who I have watched footage of Barack showing physical affection to. He is a loving dad.

storypeople

When I die, she said, I'm coming back as a tree with deep roots & I'll wave my leaves at the children every morning on their way to school & whisper tree songs at night in their dreams.
Trees with deep roots know about the things children need.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Community?

There is so much talk about community. I have been pondering community lately. I am a person that pursues others and enjoys friendships. I would describe myself as an emotionally healthy person with much to share in relationship. So you would think that entering into community would be easy for me.
For some reason, since I have been in Lawrence, I have felt disconnected and margined. Oh, I will be fine.
My concern with this is that if I am feeling this, how much more are others feeling it? Others who don't know Jesus, others who have failing marriages, others who have estranged family, others who just moved to town....

Everyday I think, "I should go over there and introduce myself." Or I say to Creighton, "We should have so and so over for dinner and playtime (kids)."

And then I do nothing of the sort.

I simply go in my house, close my garage door, make dinner for my kids, check email/facebook, call my sister or my dallas friends, and call it a day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Kids in church

In a real-life actual conversation I recently had with a local pastor, the topic of children in church came up. I kid you not, the pastor said, and I quote, "Kids these days need to learn how to sit in worship just like their parents and grandparents did. That includes gum and candy and crayons and books - whatever it takes."
Because the conversation had to end abruptly, I asked if we could continue this conversation at another time.

I want to filter through my thoughts about it here.

1. "Sitting in worship" does not equal worship.
Children have a completely different capacity for learning than adults do. Our droning on with words and more words- prayers, liturgies, sermons, announcements - fails miserably to connect with the heart of a child. To force a child to sit quietly for an hour + is not fostering in them a love for worship. And I doubt the child is actually worshipping.
2. "Gum, candy, crayons and books - whatever it takes", does not help the situation.
This type of tactic makes absolutely no sense to me. Not only does it say, "we know that we have nothing to offer the child, so just try to keep them quiet". But it also says, "Mom and Dad, you will also get nothing out of the service because you will be spending the bulk of your time just trying to keep them quiet".
3. "These days" are no longer those days.
Does this pastor seriously think that the way our (current parents of young children - because that is what he meant by "their") parents and grandparents did it is the time-tested and perfected way of doing things? Newsflash. We no longer have a cultural obligation to go to church. We would rather spend quality time with the kids at home than take them to a place where they will gain and learn nothing. Half the time I wonder if I am gaining and learning anything! If a pastor cares about evangelism, he/she will put themselves into the shoes of a potential visitor and try to imagine what the worship experience might be like now, today, 2008. For most...for many...ok, I will speak for myself: If I visit your church, and you force my 6, 4 and 2 year old to sit in the service with me, I will turn around and walk out. Straight talk. NONE of us will get anything out of it - myself most of all. And I will probably only leave there either mad at my children, mad at the church or mad at myself because I am a terrible parent who has no control over her children.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Carrotmob

Worthy!
Please check this out and keep yourself informed on progress at carrotmob.org


Carrotmob Makes It Rain from carrotmob on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Our first "hide in the basement because of a tornado" experience

We have lived in Kansas for nearly two years. This is the first time we have actually snatched sleeping children out of their beds and raced down to the basement.
It was around 1:30 a.m. We were still awake because we had hosted an end of the year dinner for the Wesley students. Oh, and because it was Thursday and on Thursdays we have to stay up and watch "The Office" and "Lost".
So as I was saying. It was around 1:30 a.m. We were heading up to bed we heard a noise so freakishly loud we thought our house was going to blow down. I shouted to Creighton, "grab some kids!" I got Cosmo and ran down to the basement and Creighton was right behind me with the other two.
We waited out the storm in the bathtub of the bathroom of the playroom, watching weather updates on the laptop.
Our house remained standing, praise God. However, we lost 1/3 of our fence and part of our fort!
The updated weather info confirmed that there was actually a tornado in our area, but it did not do any significant or life-threatening damage.

It sure was scary though!