Monday, February 28, 2005

Things That Make Sense To Me Today

From Kennon Callahan's book, Twelve Keys to An Effective Church:

"The watershed question for many people in many congregations is: Do you believe that your best years are behind you, or do you believe that your best years are yet before you?... Effective, sucessful churces live in the confidence of God's promise that some of their best years are yet to come. In Revelation 21:5 these words are found, "And he who sat upon the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' " This does not mean that the future will become progressively better and better. Rather, it means that amidst the pain, suffering and tragedies that lie before us in our future, God goes before us to make all things new - inviting us to that future that he has both promised and preared for us. God is not simpl in the past. God is in the present and the future leading and drawing us toward newness of life.

Hope is stronger than memory. Slavation is stronger than sin. Forgivness is stronger than bitterness. Reconciliation is stronger than hatred. Resurrection is stornger than crucifxion. Light is stronger than darkness... Hope is stronger than memory."

From a NY Times article on the lawsuits about the Ten Commandments being posted in federal courthouses:
(yeah yeah, you need a password, blah blah blah)
"Professor Laycock, who filed a brief on behalf of the Baptist Joint Committee against the display in the Texas case, Van Orden v. Perry, No. 03-1500, disparaged as "sham litigation" the effort to depict the Commandments as anything other than profoundly religious. To defend the Commandments as a historical or legal document is "to desacralize a sacred text, to rip it out of context and distort its meaning and significance," he said. "It ought to be unconvincing to people outside the religious tradition and insulting to those within it."

I feel like there was a third thing earlier... I guess that was before I was hungry for dinner.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Call Me Pollyanna If You Want

I was able to be part of a conversation today about pastoral care, and encouraging people to find God's grace and gift even in the most tragic circumstances. I absolutely believe that this is part of what Christians are called to do when we are hurting, and the community of faith can help us do that. Since family health issues are pulling more of my strings recently than I would like, I thought I'd work on looking for a few of those graces and gifts. So, from the midst of a not-so-good-day:
Thanks be to God that a friend planted the idea in my head of running as prayer time... and that I made it to the gym this morning and found out that she was right!
Thanks be to God that I have landed in an incredibly supportive and wonderful placement for my field ed. We may not always be the most organized, but I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.
Thanks be to God for reminding me that I have really great friends - ones who I can show up at their door because I need to, even though I said I didn't need to and wasn't coming on the phone ten minutes earlier. Its so easy to forget that we really can count on a little help from our friends.

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
-Phillippians 4:4-7

Monday, February 21, 2005

Memory All Alone in the Moonlight

The internet was down at work today. I had a good idea for a post earlier, but I've forgotten. Then, I checked Liz-at-Vassar's page. She posted the memory game (see below) and it made me smile because I have lots of fun memories with her that involve art museums, grilling of boys, spaghetti and ice cream and mock rocks and guitars. So, here it is, my copycat post.

If you read this, even if I don't speak to you often, you must post a memory of me. It can be anything you want, it can be good or bad, just so long as it happened.

Then post this to your journal/blog. See what people remember about you.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Shameless Plug

I have a new favorite drink.

Did I mention that Luke and I took a brief trip to South Bend about a week ago? We had a lot of fun, it was a Valetines Day thing. Anyway, we stopped in at Meijer while we were there - partly because we miss having a Meijer nearby (whats not to love about 24-hour stores?) and partly because we wanted some breakfast stuff. There was a case of juices from Bolthouse Farms. Luke had one of their drinks on a trip to Miami, so we bought them. Oh. My. Goodness. This vanilla chai drink is really just awesome. Everyone go out and buy one. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Is it really a shamless plug if I'm not advertising my own stuff?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

So Few People

We started our Lenten program at my field ed church last night. We're going to be looking at liturgy, specifically, the symbols of the Easter Vigil. The leader/speaker is studying at Notre Dame right now, and hes really quite wonderful. He is also, I'm guessing one of very few people in the world who, in a lecture on the meaning of liturgy and worship, would quote both Jacques Derrida and do an Eddie Izzard imitation. Wow. Church can be so surprising sometimes.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Arthur Miller, Legendary American Playwright, Is Dead at 89.

I hated reading in high school - something about having assigned books with stupid projects took all the fun out of it. Plus, they weren't assigning Nancy Drew mysteries. But I was also a theatre geek, and I wanted to go into arts management when I grew up. So, when a play was assigned, I usually read it. At least, I'd read most of it. Then, The Crucible was assigned reading in my 11th grade acclerated English class. I read the whole thing in one night - I couldn't put it down. I remember getting to the end and just sobbing as Elizabeth Proctor said goodbye to her husband in that jail cell. It was tragic and heroic and sad and wonderful - and it made me want to be courageous in my own life. It turns out that the theater wasn't my calling - but Arthur Miller's plays have a way of making me remember what a call is about. From what I've heard, he was a... complicated... man, but I remain grateful for the way his writing touched the heart of a sixteen year old.

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return, indeed.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Long Life

Woo hoo! Debra has a blog! Everyone go say hi! Long live blogging!

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. She spent her day playing bridge and going to choir rehearsal. Another family friend, who is exactly one day older than my mom, spent his day sailing in San Francisco Bay. His may seem more exotic, but hey - playing bridge might help prevent alzheimers! Anyway, when I am in my mid-sixties, I hope to be having that much fun. Happy Birthday Mom! Long live Moms!

The recent birthdays, and a recent chat with Si, have me thinking about mix CDs. Back in junior high and high school, we made mix tapes all the time. One of the first presents Luke ever gave me (long before we were dating) was a set of Classic Rock mixtapes. He was unhappy about my inability to distinguish the Doors from Led Zeppelin from Steve Miller Band. Well... he's still unhappy about that, but they were good tapes. Another friend made me a mix tape when she moved off to college, and all the titles of the songs fit into a long poem about our friendship since sixth grade. I still have the poem, even though the tape broke a long time ago.Anyway, this is a long way to say "Thank Goodness for iTunes!" Making mixes - on CD now, of course- is even better because you get to keep the mix on your own computer! So, in that spirit, as I got ready for work this morning I put on a mix I made for a friend last year called "Chicks with Guitars". Long live creative mixes!