Monday, July 31, 2006

Forgot to add this link!

Visit RELEVANT Magazine!

Quite an amazing site. If you wonder why it ain't your mama's "Old Rugged Cross" any more, then this will help explain why... And if you want to figure out how to keep the next generation active and growing in the local church, you'll have plenty of food for thought!

I've added it to my sidebar links (an oversight from my last re-edit!)

from our home to yours...


Saturday, July 29, 2006

So totally true...

It's true.. I AM!!

You Are Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Creative. Expressive. Unique.

(though I was hoping for Jamaican Me Crazy... ah well...)

time for a ice bath... whoosh it's hot...

from our home to yours...


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

On the outside looking in...

It has been thought-provoking being on the outside looking in the last few weeks. And all because I am not in the right group of moms...

Much to her dismay, we signed up 11 year old CJ for a round of swimming lessons after she told us she is not comfortable in the deep end of the pool. I believe in some basic swimming competency, so that was it. Click and swish through an on-line sign-up... She was in the class. SUCCESS!!

This has meant several early summer mornings over the last 2 weeks, trekking to the pool and doing the burbia mom waiting game. Since we have not been in lessons this all summer, I didn't know the drill and apparently committed a faux pas... I sat in the shade where the "swim team moms" like to sit.

At first, they ignored me. There was an empty table, shaded and out of the way. I found a corner, pulled out my book and read. The second day, things were spread over most of the table. I picked another shady corner and sat down. The third day, I was pointedly told that "only swim team parents sit here." (Mind you, this is a public pool and a public area.)


OK, fine. Except that it is 95 degrees in the shade. I was not going to sit in the sun! So I smiled and said, "oh, it's only for a half hour class." And sat down anyway. The glares and pointed conversations were obvious signals from these women that they were sure I was stupid. I put in my iPod ear buds (great way to ignore people... I can see why teens love them!) ...and went back to reading.

And I have not tried to shoe-horn my way into the shade since. In fact, I have dragged a chair away from the tables to a piece of shade that no one has apparently claimed. I would rather have met some moms, perhaps made a new friend. (That's the extrovert in me.) But even I could figure out that I was NOT welcome!

So it made me think...

When someone comes to church for the first time, do I notice? Do I make them feel welcome? Do I care if they sit in "my" usual row or seat? Do I find ways to encourage them to come back? (Hey, if CJ suddenly took off in her swimming skills and was a little fish, do you think I would pick THIS swim team for her to join??? Not in a million years!) Do I MAKE ROOM for someone when I am comfortable with who I already know and talk to and have in my life???

It's much easier to play it safe. It's much more risky to find room...

Matthew 25:32
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in...

From our home to yours...


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Forwarded Message...

Usually I don't forward a lot of these things... but this one was really good...

The Cell Phone vs. The Bible

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phones?

  • What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
  • What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
  • What if we flipped through it several times a day?
  • What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
  • What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
  • What if we gave it to our kids as gifts?
  • What if we used it as we traveled?
  • What if we used it in case of an emergency?
  • What if we upgraded it to get the latest version?
  • What if you had scripture verses memorized like phone numbers? Or even if you didn't have the verse, you could 'speed dial' and look it up really fast?
  • Oh, and one more thing... unlike our cell phones, we don't ever have to worry about being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill and has the fewest dropped calls!

Hmmmm.... where is my Bible??

from our home to yours...


Friday, July 14, 2006

Personal integrity...

Continued from my post on Brennan Manning's book A Glimpse of Jesus...

"Jesus' enemies had to acknowlege His integrity." [p. 119]

I make the following comments with the full knowlege that (a) I am not Jesus and (b) I have made people not like me over the years, at least a few times...

The greatest compliment someone who does not like me could say is "well, she stands for what she believes." That would include the PTA member who disagreed with my stand on what was "appropriate" for the eGroup message board (since I was the moderator), or the neighbor who was unhappy with our decision to fence in our yard because it made HIS yard look smaller. Neither action was done capriciously on my part (in fact with a lot of angst, a few tears and a round of second-guessing my decisions!) But despite our disagreements, at least my integrity is intact. And that is very VERY hard to keep.

Keeping my integrity (faith, life and practice) in concert is what I am beginning to see is what Christianity is all about. It gets interpreted differently for each generation. My kids, who are Generation iPod, will have to discover what this means as they grow up. I'm re-learning what it means alongside them. If I can't communicate to my neighbors (most of whom really DON'T get this God-thing) then I have no hope of being able to communicate to a church.

And I'm still mulling over the idea that "integrity" and "emotional honesty" might not be compatible... What I mean by that is that it may be more important to live gently and "Christianly" than to always prove I'm right.

From our home to yours...


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Occupation: Ghostbuster??

You listed your occupation as "ghostbuster?" WHY? asked an anonymous commenter. And then went on for a couple of paragraphs telling me it was a "bad witness".

Enough already! Lighten up! But I will explain...

Every parent has probably experienced it: the terror-stricken shriek of a preschooler over something that they are afraid of in the dark. One of our girls was afraid of "dragons". The other one was sure she saw "something" in the closet because the door was not shut tight. (She still double-checks the door to be sure it's shut before she climbs into bed.) So, we learned how to soothe away fears and dispel scarey things while still asleep on our feet. The job of a ghostbuster.

There. Now chill.

From our (ghostfree) home to yours...


Yes, it's still me...

I don't know why, but my template went away... so after fiddling and coding, this is what I chose to replace it.

Yerg... most annoying!!

Fortunately I have time to play with code this week!

from my grumble to yours...


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Becoming a Christian entrepreneur

I've just finished up Brennan Manning's A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred. What a great read. In the chapter on "Integrity and Self-Acceptance" comes this quote:

"Risktakers [are] ready to chance something... Writing the gospel afresh for one's own generation, and imaginative response to the needs of the church. Their dream... is contagious for some and delusional for the vociferous, lockstepping Majority." [p. 117]


"Scriptures testify that the innovator invites trouble. Guilt-tripping is a cruel and powerful weapon, especially in the hands of others." [p. 188]

Oh man! Does this ever resonate with me! After years of being stifled in the "lockstepping majority" I am finding a freshness in my spiritual Walk these days. Daring to dream that a woman could offer something to the Church beyond childcare or the occasional solo... Believing that the 'itch' to be God's woman in the world is not anathema... Letting others' judgmental attitudes wash by me and not let their "stuff" get mixed up with mine... Listening only to the Holy Spirit as I go...

I am in the midst of taking that risky step of daring to go back to school... after all these years! The prospect of papers and assignments and memorizing miniscule facts is a little daunting. Will my half-a-century old grey matter be able to accept anything else inside it? Dunno... but I'm sure going to try!

All entrepreneurs take risks... Church planter or franchise starter. But it's not a matter of copying a successful business model. It's a process of seeing what it is that needs to be expressed, used, sold or provided, and designing something that is unique to the need. I won't be a Bill Hybels or a Beth Moore. I never could sing like Jennifer Knapp or Twila Paris. I'm Deb. Simply and fully Deb. And how God wants to take that, shape it and sand it into what He wants is what I'm praying and studying towards...

From our home to yours...


Monday, July 10, 2006

Oops, they did it again...

It was in the paper today... From the High School Frontlines in the Culture War.

Normally I would have shrugged and said, "that was bad judgment on the part of one teacher"... EXCEPT that we've run into questionable decisions before on the part of school employees before today. And this summer, as our 15 year old is taking the state-mandated "Health" class, I'm a little more sensitized to these situations.

Every time we ask "how does this fit the curriculum?" or "is this film or outside speaker on the approved list?" we feel like cultural dinosaurs. And in some respects, we are. Particularly when it relates to showing "R" rated movies in history class or requiring research into topics for a "Health" class that are meant to keep a teen's attention because the subject matter is titillating. (Pick your topic, they are reading about it...)

Don't get me wrong. We want our kids to live in and experience their culture (screwy as it is) while they are living with us. At least they have a little moral support and help with filtering it through a Christian world-view. I just get a little tired of defending manners, morals and common decency.

The article I linked to above is probably not an exception. Yes, it was meant to be a "joke". I'm hoping the teacher was trying to make a point by way of a negative example. But this kind humor is written or presented at the expense of someone else's opinions and choices. I'm just tired of them being at the expense of mine...

I know my daughter's Health teacher is not happy with us. Oh well. That's how it goes. One can not make false statements about sexuality and values with the assumption that "kids know they can believe differently". It's not correct, politically or otherwise. And it sure doesn't pass our "PG" rating!!!


Sorry. Rant over...

From our home to yours...


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Who figures this stuff out???

I mean, it boggles the mind!!!!!

We have a palette of paint chips from BRAND X paint company. Who was the genius who figured out the names for ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY (yes! 140!!) colors of OFF-WHITE paints! Who knew? Who cared? And is there really a difference between "iced pearls" and "iced sky"? Really?

(Now, you're probably wondering WHY we counted all those colors. After about 10 pages of color chips, we couldn't believe there could be that many shades of off-white. So yes, we counted the pages and multiplied by the number of samples...)

Why is one color of light blue darker than the other? Will I have a cooler, hipper house if I use "Malibu blue" vs "blue hydrangea"? I won't discuss the colors of brown. We came up with our own names after a few years of parenthood.

It's even descended to boxes of Crayons now. They are not selling colors, they are selling a life style.


OK. Don't please.

All I know is, I had tears in my eyes from laughing at paint colors. Either I am really not tuned in to what is cool, or we really need to get out more.

from our home to yours...


P.S. Happy Birthday to CJ!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

No More DIY Shows!

There should be a warning with every DIY or home improvement show:


Talk about instant coveting... (which is kinda up there on the Big Ten) I have to remember that I don't have a thousand bucks for fixing up every room in the house (or a weekend to do each room!) Not to mention that I have limitations in my strength, artistic shortcomings and a deficient skill level in using power tools...

I know there's a balance between having a home that is welcoming vs. being a model home that you're afraid to sit on the furniture. Having a disaster area vs. looking like Mr. Clean lives there. (We don't own a white couch, so I think I'm good on that one.) There's just a lot of projects I would like to see DONE around here. It is hard to take them one at a time... without losing a finger or my husband in the process.

It goes back to being content with where we are, with what we have, with what God is asking us to do -- NOW.

Little lessons in baby steps... I'm getting there.

From our home to yours,