Thursday, June 29, 2006

525,600 Minutes

Yes, obviously, I watched Rent last night...I've never seen it before, shocking I know. I loved it. It is about a life very different from mine, or is it? Its about community, a community that loves each other and cares for each other no matter what. Its about a year in the character's lives and what transpires in that year.

One of the themes of the musical is "No Day But Today". I think its great to remember that we really only have today. We tend to get se bogged down in our past or so worried about our future that we miss today, this moment. I find myself, with two small children always living for bedtime or naptime instead of enjoying each moment I have with my children. My husband and I say, "won't it be fun when both of the kids are in school..." instead of enjoying today with all of its joy and sorrow....

So I leave you all with this....

"525,600 minutes, 525,600 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love.Seasons of love.

525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan. 525,600 minutes - how can you measure the life of a woman or man? In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried. In bridges he burned, or the way that she died. It's time now to sing out, tho the story never ends let's celebrate remember a year in the life of friends. Remember the love! Remember the love! Remember the love! Measure in love. Seasons of love! Seasons of love." Seasons of Love - Rent

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Broken Pieces

We did a really cool thing at church on Sunday. We are doing things a little differently this summer anyway, our services are more family oriented. We aren't having children's church and have geared the services to kids and adults alike. Its been really fun, we have been looking at different Old Testament passages in different ways. Then each week we have had an "expression" (or craft time to some) that we can all participate in that goes along with the passage we are looking at.

This week, we looked at the narrative on Ruth and Naomi. I had always heard this story from Ruth's point of view, but this week, we looked at it from Naomi's point. Naomi was, at one time, a wealthy wife with two sons and daughters in law. Her husband and both of her sons die and Naomi ends up a stranger in a strange land with her two daughters in law. One of her daughters goes back to her family but Ruth stays with her and they return to Naomi's homeland of Bethleham. Naomi returns a broken woman, no home, husband or money. Amazingly, Ruth falls in love with Boaz and they make a place for Naomi in their home...but we looked at her brokeness this week...the hard things in our lives that shake our faith or the tempations in our lives that we just can't get ahold of on our own.

We took ceramic tiles and wrote those hard things on the back, then we smashed the tiles and poured the pieces at the foot of the cross. We then took the pieces and made 4 mosaics that when put together, formed a cross. We are now going to take that cross and hang it in the front of our sanctuary as a wonderful reminder of what can be made with our lives when we give our brokeness to our wonderful, creative God.

It was a beautiful, meaningful service. Its amazing what can be made with broken pieces. It is amazing what God can make out of broken lives.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Its Just Hair

I'm thinking about compromise today. I've been married for 8 years to a wonderful man. He is patient and kind, funny and sweet, he is a great father...etc, etc, etc. We really only have one disagreement that comes up often, that subject hair. I like my hair long, he likes it short. I know, I should be thankful that he likes it short because most men are obsessed with long hair. Short hair is easier to take care of, I'm sure its better for the environment or something, less product used.

In all fairness to my husband, I have worn my hair in a ponytail for the last 7 days straight. I tend to do that, so I can sort of see his point. Anyway, I have a haircut scheduled today at 2:00 so the delimma becomes, do I compromise and cut my hair short to please my husband OR do I leave it long, just get a little trim and continue down my ponytailed pathway???

I'm leaning towards compromise...because it is summertime and its getting hotter and a new style would be nice....but as my family can attest, I am just rebellious enough to not want to do it just because I know he wants me to...Isn't that mature? In all honesty I actually like my hair both ways so I don't know what I'm dragging my feet about. We'll see and I'll let you know tomorrow if my better nature wins out. Its just hair.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Great Place to Start

I've been feeling so tired and overwhelmed with life this week. We just seem so busy and have so many responsibilities and activities, not a lot of "down time". I was feeling sorry for myself and then I received an e-mail from a friend that I met through my mom's group. We have a group of moms that meet that all have kids who go to the same early childhood center. Its for mom's who all have children with some delay or disablility.

Anyway, my friend's 10 month old baby died about 7 weeks ago. Talk about wake-up call to me to not whine about my petty problems! She is doing okay, not great. She's Buddhist and she said the most beautiful thing that her priest has told them. He told them to remember their son as a teacher that was sent to them to remind them of the beauty and frailty of life. I thought it was a beautiful statement and actually I liked it better than some of the platitudes that I've heard fellow Christians spout to grieving people at funerals. God didn't need another flower for His garden in heaven....and God didn't take him in order to teach his parents a lesson. But God can use his life to teach them and others to appreciate life and to see beauty and value even in a life that only lasted 10 months and that during that short time was wrought with struggle...I think it is good to see the beauty in other religions and what they can teach us about our own faith.

Instead of being afraid of or divided by our differences...embrace what is similar and grow from there. I pray often for my friend, that she will find comfort in her religion and that through it she might come to a greater knowledge of God and how much He loves her. I think that's a great place to start.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I'm Back!

Hello! I've been away, actually just without a laptop, but I'm back!

I go to a group at church on Monday nights, we call it "Underground". We called it that because we began meeting in the basement, sort of a clandestine underground revolution of sorts. A group of people that are truly wanting to know what it is Jesus said to do and a place to talk about how we do what He said. We're reading "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller together. He is a great author and the book is really good, if you haven't read it.

One of the chapters that we read last night was about a Christian writer that he went to listen to that he felt was using popular buzz terms and quoting things just to be "trendy". He felt like this author might be cheating on Jesus in order to be more popular with the world. I'm going through that in my life right now...I feel like I've become more "tolerant", which has become a dirty word in evangelical circles...I'm not sure why. But, I'm not sure of my motivation. I think its because I've come to believe that we, in the church, may have been focusing so exclusively on some issues that Jesus never even addressed, at the expense of issues that were near to his heart, such as taking care of the "least of these". We pick and choose issues, even picking up our picket signs and petitions, that I'm not completely convinced that God cares about. We even pick out scripture references from Leviticus to write on our picket signs but ignore the rest of Leviticus...have you ever really read that book? Its crazy! If you are blind, a dwarf or have crushed testicles, you can't be a priest, just so you know!

Even in the New Testament, we do the same...We chalk up Paul's statements about women in leadership to the culture and site that Jesus acutally elevated the status of women, but we don't do that with other issues. I just don't get it. Jesus spoke very directly about divorce, saying that it is okay in only very few cases and then even goes so far to say that if a man marries a divorced women he causes her to commit adultry! I don't see anyone with a petition about that. And I don't want us to start...but why to we pick certain issues and not others?

I have to look at the overarching theme of scripture and see that it is a book about love. About a God who loves us so much and desires a relationship with us so much that He tried every means He could think of to reach out to us, including sending His own Son to live among us to show us how to love each other. I think that when it comes down to it most of us are actually going to be surprised by the mercy of God toward some issues and the judgement about others....Taking care of the poor is referenced over 2,000 times in the New Testament alone, I think it is an important issue. Can we say the same about some of the issues that we have taken on as important?