Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Magic

The girls woke up Christmas morn, happy for their presents but Grace exclaimed "Aww, I wish it snowed!"

Two hours later, it was snowing, the first snow of the year. It was beautiful, even though it didn't stick.

This is one of the best times of year for me, at least when it's time to visit family. One and a half years ago there were three of us who dreamed of this Christmas; Becky, my sister-in-law, Terri, Ben's cousin-in-law, and I. I do believe I wrote a blog about us last Christmas, hmm.... We were all pregnant together within two month's span.

On Christmas day two of these babies were united, and it was something else:

And tomorrow our joy will be complete watching little Noah play with Maddy and Lijah. All of them crawling, all of them chubby and adorable and exploring the world with no fear so long as mommies are within eyeshot.

I think I am going to be allowing Ben to have all the pictures now on his picasa link, since it is easier to load and he's already been "stealing" some of my most favorite ones I've taken over the months. Be checking soon, for there will be more with the whole bunch coming shortly!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Carry me

It's the middle of the day and the rain outside is just as busily streaming down as is my life. I'm standing in the kitchen and I'm hugging my eldest daughter Grace. She lingers for more hug, more smiles. And so do I. Until she was in my arms I was in such a hurry to get to work on the kitchen, which sorely needs a cleaning. I had been secretly hoping that any moment she would decide to join her little sister upstairs for a movie; with the baby in a nap I was going to get something done. But when she was there I thought of how heavy she is. She wants me to hold her like I do the other two. Love me, carry me like I'm little again, her heart communicates. She deserves it, she's only six. And it's only going to be more difficult the longer I wait. So I tried. It wasn't a pretty lift into my strength, but I held her for a few moments.

When I let her go, she smiles again, sings a song and skips away upstairs.

there is a part of me that's only visiting
torn from eternity, a stranger here
so when the last notes of my soul's summer symphony
goes stealing through this old world's cool garden gaze
I will hold no fear as you close my book of flowers
and the hands of heaven carry me, carry me home to stay
"The Last Notes" by Shaun Groves

Come back, Grace, come back and stay a little longer with me my baby.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Angry super-savings grocery shopper

Today I was out on the other side of town grocery shopping. It's always a half-day event! Especially now that Grace is on winter break. So, you know, I time the whole meal thing for all three but little Lijah can't go as long as my girls can till it's the next time to eat. I have a methodology for mood-preservation, meaning, I take the time to attend to him for several minutes trying to keep the other two from breaking through the groceries, sitting in the parking lot before I start up the motor and go home. That way the car is filled with pleasant noises.

Most of the time I keep an eye out the window to make sure no one can look in at me and my babe. This time though, right in front of me there was a big argument taking place. This white man was literally spitting-angry at two Latino men. They were just standing there with frowns on their faces, taking it. I didn't know what it was about, but I immediately got upset. He wasn't listening to them hardly at all, just pointing at this and pointing at that, trying to justify himself in some kind of way. So, I decided to watch a little longer, risking being rude, to try and figure out who was at fault.

It looked like they were just done exchanging insurance information. They kept pointing at the back-end of the Latino men's car. The white man at one point put his hand on the shopping basket while he was being belligerent. So, I figured; the white man accidently pushed a basket into the latino men's car and they persisted to get insurance for the damage. If the white man was at fault, why was he the one who was all upset?

I kept looking down at Lijah to see if he was done. I was thinking about getting out of the car to go over and just insert myself in the issue. I wanted to help give the white man a reply which would ease his frustration. The white man didn't drive a very nice car at all, and it looked like he was on edge because his mom was sitting in the passenger seat, and she was listening to all of the conversation. The latino men looked much more well off by their car and clothes, and, it looks like they hadn't done anything wrong. I kept watching their faces. When were they going to stand up for themselves? I was mentally cheering them on. But, they just stood there and patiently let him yell at them.

I know exactly what I would say. First, nothing, because both of them I am sure would recount their whole side of the story. Plus there's a good chance the Latino men couldn't speak English -- the source of problems in a lot of cases. Then if my suspicions were true I'd keep it simple. I'd say to the white man, "Are you the one who injured their car?" He'd answer. I'd say, "Well then you shouldn't be angry; they should. You should say you're sorry, though I know it was probably an accident."

Even if I didn't say anything correcting to the man, I at least could stand there and patiently and respectfully listen to the Latino men talk. And that is what I wanted to do most of all anyway.

I kept thinking that maybe I should get out, but then maybe I shouldn't. I was hoping that circumstances would guide my conscience. Lijah wasn't done, and I always think in the back of my mind, "What would Ben think?" Not sure he'd be pleased, I ended up sitting there till Lijah was all done. Just as he finished the Latino men had felt it was time to get into their car and get away from him, so since their windshield was right in front of mine (I sit higher so no worries) I waited to see if they'd look at me. I looked at them with compassion and one of them kind of rolled his eyes. I nodded my head a bit.

Then I waited a few moments, just watching some more. I kept directing my attention at the white man and his mom, after they left. I wanted to see how he would fare under the scrutiny of another white person. He gave contact but then turned to his mom, still looking for someone to make excuses at.

I feel like this was an issue of race -- certainly you don't see those roles reversed very often, where Latinos get belligerent with whites in broad daylight. But, maybe it wouldn't have been helpful for me to get involved. After all, I'm not sure if I pass in looks as a white person. But at least I look like an intelligent, rational and active mom (so maybe not lower-class?), which lends credibility I'd hope, to me treating those two like human beings.

Gosh, he was angry. What could have possibly happened that made him so very angry?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Is this important?

I have been critical of the current methodology in proselytizing among those who are like me -- evangelicals. Is the criticism overdone? I don't know. I can admit that I have tended to label it as everyone's problem, but I am sure there are many who do it right. I myself am most known for doing it wrong. I've made a lot of mistakes. From those experiences, I want to do what I can to help those who are most like me in avoiding the same.

Let me ask you: how do you proselytize groups such as the LDS or Jehovah's Witnesses?

Is your answer "Oh; the LDS? Well, they have a unique set of difficulties and we really shouldn't get involved."

That's one answer I hear often. The other? To go and tell them what we know is the truth. A good description of the problems arising from usual methodologies can be found at Jeff Lindsay's blogsite in the post titled "How Can Anyone be so Stupid?", which was the recent topic of a thread at a LDS forum.

Feel free to read along if you're interested.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Like my "yestermorning"?

These days when life drifts for long enough, I can see that it causes me to become disoriented and confused.

"You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived." col 3:7


"'Everything is permissible for me' -- but I will not be mastered by anything." 1 cor 6:12

Praise God that the conscience comes to my aid; this may sound odd but I feel comforted when it's bothered. It's like He's telling me that He hasn't left this transformation up to me alone, and I take faith.

"Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like." james 1:23-24

Believing He knows and accepts that I'm just too confused, I've been praying since yestermorning, "LORD, order my thoughts." I love it! He's doing it. The drift is reversing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Swindoll's Sermon

I was listening to Chuck Swindoll's radio sermon last night. He was preaching part two in a series called Tough grace in difficult places. I just caught the end of it, but his message was to challenge us to be good neighbors. He said we ought to treat everyone the same regadless of religion, race, political party, income, etc. -- "can you do that?"

There was a young man he hadn't seen in some time who caught him up on his life. He had been living with a woman for a couple of years whom he had no intention to marry. Swindoll replied, "oh really?" That was the end of his reaction. They continued to have a good time the rest of their time together. Swindoll said "One day, that grace is going to pay off. And even if it doesn't, it always pays off. Is it any surprise that someone who doesn't know Christ is living against the standards of scripture? Who among us except Christians even have the power to live righteously, so, why are we surprised? Just think: When he confessed that to me I could have gasped indignation and said 'Don't you know what this book says?!?' But no one died and appointed me judge. He asked us not to judge others, and to let Him go about His work. That goes for people inside the church, and those who are in approach of it. Can we refrain from damaging the good name of Christ, and extend a little patience, a little mercy, to others who aren't living in the way we think they ought to, living in the way we would like them to?" [paraphrased]

Perfect. That's a really special message to come out of an evangelical mouth. This is the tightrope God is calling evangelicals to: not to cease preaching, teaching and rebuke, but, to balance it out and give it its place to work good when bound in the context of love. Love means peace: acceptance and being ultimately comfortable with the other person.

I can hear even in my own mind the scriptures, and they seem to be pleading for their moment to depart my lips. I'd rather let someone squirm with the Word of God alone in their own chamber than see myself their equal in Christ and have fellowship with them. Do you see how the Word is used as a mechanism to assess and drug ourselves righteous, and to make ourselves experts? The Word is often temptingly used as a wall to protect the supposed sanctity of our own lives.

What a lie this is, what an effort it is to try and overcome. I've been dealing with it in a real-life example for a few months, and, even though I preach this, it is so much easier said than done.

Monday, December 10, 2007

fundamentalist evangelical: some thoughts

In my mind I can hear the voice of the fundamentalist, making me feel guilty as I relate to the world in politics and in sharing my faith. The dialogue goes a little like this:

Fundy: "Don't you believe in preaching the gospel in season and out of season?"

Sanc: "Yes, the gospel shouldn't submit to the expectation of its audience. That doesn't mean that our voice should always dominate."

Fundy: "But Paul said, 'Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!' Isn't it our job to take the Word into every corner of the world so that they might accept the truth?"

Sanc: "Yes, but in the book of Acts we see how he was led along to places that were opened by God to the gospel, and away from those where it was not time to share. In the same way the sharing of the gospel can only be done Spiritually."

Fundy: "Well, don't you believe that when Jesus returns 'Every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He is LORD'? There is no more important message in the world than that to accept Christ."

Sanc: "Absolutely. Even at that time, not all will be believers. Though it is not his desire that any will reject the gospel, it is His plan. The book of Revelation tells us the ending, and we don't have to guess. God is going to glorify Himself in those who believe and in those who do not believe. We are heartbroken, but that is something God feels too."

I hear the voice of those who are oppressed by evangelical Christianity, who have heard its sermons given over and over to the point where they are no longer interested in listening. They have worn others down because they cannot accept their answer of "no thanks." They cry "You don't understand how great a gift you reject!" "I can't leave you alone till you at least see how wrong your beliefs are, and how you are a sinner before God."

This is not good news at all.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


At this moment I would like to invite readers to visit my new blog.

Reconstructing Jason Lee

It is just begun. But it is well on its way now. Would you like to take this journey of discovery with me?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

"Rekindled Nightlies," by yours truly

But, soft-en the remote; It is my lord of polity, O, fairest of all reports: Lehrer, art thy melody moderniz'd and where fore is Sir McNeil? Did he die, and Jennings too -- winged messengers of heaven -- pray it rumor? Hark! What yonder news breaks: Condoleezza Rice. Oil prices. Benazir Bhutto. Mortgage rates. I wilt entreat my ears steady in mine awakened love til morrow's evening cast.

blog archive

Phrase Search / Concordance
Words/Phrase To Search For
(e.g. Jesus faith love, or God of my salvation, or believ* ever*)