Wednesday, August 27, 2008

spiritual healing, crash dieting, and four bullet points to a perfect Christian walk

Do we really appreciate, in the Christian community, how long real healing and real growth take? I don't think so . . . It makes me think of the dieting cycle so prevalent in our society. of Gain weight over months or years. Decide to do better. Lose weight via grapefruits, South Beach, the latest new pill . . . okay, so the weight might come off temporarily, but are you really prepared to eat that much grapefruit forever? When things go back to "normal" is the weight going to come back? Usually, real change for a healthier body means starting by adjusting what our idea of normal is . . . what's our goal anyway? To look good? Or to actually be healthy? There is, after all, rather more to health than the ill-thought-out Body Mass Index.

Likewise in our churches. I wonder how much of what's being preached on any given Sunday in the U.S. amounts to the selling of the upside-down diet, or how to count your points . . . bullet points and strategies that might have some good foundational theology under there, but might not . . . are we really looking to know God and have him heal and transform every dark and broken area of our lives with his light and truth? Or are we looking for a bit of a tool kit so we can make ourselves look spiritually good for each other? Are we judging and practicing our theology against the standard of lasting sanctification? Or against measurable-by-next-Sunday results?

extraordinary, unsustainable efforts, for visible short-term reults . . .

shameless plug

my cousin and his family are some of the extras in the background of Brandon Heath's phenomenal new video "Give Me Your Eyes." (The reuniting family).

I've written before about what it would mean for us to deliberately look and try to see each other as Christ sees us. To see the checker at the grocery store as made in the very image of creative God. To see the brand new baby as the one whose sin Christ died for. To see the pain and hurt and frustrations that drive seemingly inexplicable bad decisions. And now, how do I be Jesus for them into their lives? Indeed, give me your eyes, Lord.

Oh, and if you need a first class Christian magician, check out my cousin Curt.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

back from the underground

hellooooo, zeeba neighba!

Well, the kids are back in the school and I'm easing back into something that feels like a more normal schedule for the school year. Looking back over the summer . . . and what? Three posts for July and nothing so far for August? Well, it's been a summer of swim lessons, vacations, in-laws, outlaws, relatives, concerts and church business, and finally trying to get into shape. But here's a sampling of the raw material of the posts that might have been this summer. (And might yet be for all that).

Lolcats have provided some good laughs

Erin, Jared, Happy, and others have explored our schizophrenic relationship with devotionals and Bible reading. I will admit to my own viewpoint being somewhat . . . schizophrenic.

Rob pointed me to a really good article on children's ministry in the church. I could write a book around this subject . . .

Tyler, Jennifer, Tara, and others write about the place of fear in our lives. L.M. Montgomery wrote of one of her characters, Walter, "Realites never frightened him--only his imagination could do that." This was a man who was accused of cowardice in the face of World War I because he did not want to face the ugliness of the trenches. Someone who as a boy, learned the truth of Shakespeare's observation that "Fear is more pain than the pain it fears." Which is in turn, I think, all tied up with worry, and fretting, and control issues, and of course real pains and hurt . . . a horrible mess from the pit of hell . . . certainly more than I'll untangle in one blog post.

We've had some great adjectives on Apples Two Apples

Heather did a rant against hymns series this summer. Some of her points I agreed with, and on some of them I thought that she was really off base, or historically ignorant of where these things were coming from, or both. But I'm certainly glad to see people taking what we sing seriously enough to hold it up for examination. I may disagree about specifics, but I agree that what we sing matters.

My toddler is potty training. Third time round, I'm finding the process more tedious than illuminating or spiritually refining. It takes a lot of time.

My husband got me Rome for my birthday. :)

I really liked the North Sea Drainage project . . . it's as off base as many of the ideas I come up with myself.

Yahoo Games put out a deadly-addictive little thing called Marble Lines

And oh, yeah. I've been reading comics. Lots and lots of comics. And occasionally mocking them, too.