Friday, April 20, 2007

Meeting McLaren

Mark and I have a fun evening tonight. We get to go to dinner with Brian McLaren! He is coming for a Missional Learning Day tomorrow that is being held at SFC. Karen Ward, the Abbess at Apostle's Church in Fremont came and asked Mark if they could use our facility for this learning day. The focus is on how older urban churches, like ours, remain missional in their neighborhoods. I'll be working in Mosaic tomorrow and sneaking upstairs to hear Brian, and hopefully to catch Mark as he is on a panel with Brian and a couple other people...I'm really excited for the whole weekend!

I read "New Kind of Christian" and "The Story We Find Ourselves In" a couple of years ago and along with Donald Miller's "Blue Like Jazz" - found them life changing....Its funny, because I wasn't shocked by anything I read, like others seem to be...I credit my parents with raising both my brother and I to realize that its okay to have questions about God, they didn't come off like they had it all figured out, so it was okay for us to feel that way too and wonder about how it all works.

There is so much that I loved about these books, but one of my favorite scenes is the "conversion" scene in the coffeehouse. The simple explanation, the simple realization of the "convertee" that he does believe in God and Jesus. It wasn't necessary for him to be in church on Sunday - he didn't have to go down to an altar and say any "magic" words. It was simple, one friend talking to another - sharing each other's lives and experiences. I love that picture and I think this is how it happens more often than not.

I think all too often, we try to fit God into a tidy little box and say, "This is how it all works...this is how we approach God...This is what a relationship with God looks like." Even though I had found the opposite to be true in my life already - it was so nice to hear Christian authors saying it.

I'm really excited to meet Brian and just hope I don't gush too much, or make a fool of myself by crying or something....I'll let you all know how it goes!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I made a new friend last night at Mosaic, his name is Dennis. I had seen him at the coffeehouse before but hadn't had the chance to talk with him. Dennis has long grey, crazy looking hair with matching mutton chops, he's missing the bottom half of his teeth - he's not someone I would normally find myself talking with.

He came in last night while Heidi and I were working - it had been a slow night up to that point - he had a couple newspapers (of the 5 that he reads daily, I later learned)...ordered a soy chai and started talking to me. I found out that along with reading the 5 newspapers, Dennis is a Seattle cabbie who once was on the news because he decorated his cab for Valentine's day called it the "love cab" and sang love songs to his passengers, he once got a $450 tip from a faire for singing "Winter Wonderland", he wakes up at 3am most mornings to start his day in order to make ends meet, he would love to be able to come to church sometime but he has to work 7 days a week just to make it. Oh, and the funniest thing - he went to King's Garden Christian School from K-12 - we graduated from the same high we talked about our school - the fact that it used to be a TB santatorium...that the Chemistry classroom was the old morgue...about the underground tunnels that we all used to play in...

I liked Dennis...I was surprised by Dennis...I had things in common with Dennis...I might not have ever found that out were it not for a coffeehouse in the basement of a church...I am amazed by all that God is doing and feel blessed to even be a part.....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Knowledge is Power

Tonight, Mark and I attended a lecture at Mosaic that was put together by a friend from our preschool. It was by a woman named Amy Lang who has an organization called "Birds + Bees + Kids". First, let me say, I would highly recommend this lecture and speaker to anyone with children, especially kids under 5. Amy is a fun, hip speaker who talks in plain language about kids and how we begin to talk with them about sex.

The first thing that kind of "got" me was when she said that our kids should know the basics of how babies are made by age 5...that stunned me until she reminded us that by that age, they are entering school with older kids who are going to tell them all sorts of things about sex, right and wrong and she reminded us that at that age, its all about the science there is no emotion behind it for them yet...I was quickly reminded of the 7 or 8 year old boy from church that told me how babies were made when I was about 6, and boy was he wrong. I really want my kids to know the "real" scoop, from Mark and I, not some kid on the playground.

She also talked a lot about what is appropriate developmentally for kids to know/play at different ages. This helps to spot signs of sexual abuse that could be happening. I so appreciated this information.

I really loved her style and how she talked bluntly about the "mechanics" but also about values and seemed to respect all different values. Its staggering the statistics of teenage sex, and that scares me to death as my son enters the school system. I really want my kids to feel like they can talk to me about anything, that no subject is off limits, this is how I feel like I was raised - and I want to pass that on.

One of the quotes that stuck with me was that kids really need "200 one minute conversations about sex instead of one 200 minute conversation" at this age, they will actually listen to me, where they may not when they are 12 or 13. I so want to instill in my kids to respect themselves and other people so much and that the choices they make when they are young can impact their lives forever - its not just about waiting until marriage because that's what we want them to do, or that's what God would want them to do - but I want everything for them, love, trust, healthy relationships, great educations, wonderful careers, etc and getting someone pregnant, getting pregnant or dying from a disease could seriously affect that. I feel so proud to tell them that their dad is the only man I've ever had sex with, but I also want them to know that I love them no matter what mistakes they might make in their lives. And, that they are worth it, they are worth waiting for that person they will spend their life with, they are worth having healthy relationships, they are worth living a long, healthy life.

Anyway, I really appreciated the evening and again I would recommend this speaker to other parents. It is blunt, but we have to be honest with our kids...they are worth it.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

I haven't posted for awhile...we've been busy with Mosaic opening and Holy Week. This week is Spring Break and I'm looking forward to a few days staying in PJ's until noon, watching Dora and Spongebob with the kids and then maybe heading off to the park to schedule.

Today is Easter...I have a new friend that I've been spending quite a bit of time with and, on Friday, she asked me what Easter is anyway. It kind of took me back - even though she's from a different country, Iran, I thought everyone knew what Easter was. Its strange how I just assume things like that - how I think we all do. So, after trying to explain the basics without sounding like a complete lunatic - when you step back and listen to yourself explaining the story, it sounds a little crazy...and yet this crazy story and the life of the One the story is about changed history and changed millions of lives, including mine. And for that, I am forever grateful that the Father sent His Son to this world, not to condemn us...but to redeem us!

And, just because they are so's a picture of my kids on Easter...