Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Is It Just Me?

Or does much of our lives revolve around food these days? I say maybe it's just me because I'm in one of those "I need to watch what I eat" phases. But seriously, it seems to me like food is often very near the central focus of our lives. Case in point: aren't we all just a little put out in Sunday School when someone forgets to bring the treat?!

I remember when I was little and sharing a popsicle with my sister out on the front stoop was a big treat. An even bigger treat was riding down the street with my gram to the little market and getting to pick out our own flavor of popsicle. The little Vietnamese woman who ran the place referred to my Gram as "the Popsicle Lady" because when she came, she always bought a big bag to take home and keep in the freezer. But that's beside the point. The point being, when I was a kid, "what are we going to do today" was usually answered with a proposal of work or play. Popsicles and ice cream cones were big treats, coffee was the Maxwell house morning brew (that lasted throughout the day) and eating out only happened on your birthday. Our days revolved around picking green beans in Gram's garden, helping her can tomatoes, and playing in the creek and almost falling in.

Today, getting together with friends always seems to revolve around food. Nothing wrong with that; eating is generally understood to be necessary to live. But isn't there anything else to do with people besides eat? How about looking through some photo albums? Visit a shut-in? Work together on a house project - two hands do make such work lighter. Take a walk or ride bikes? Memorize some scripture or pray together. Take a ride through the neighborhood where you grew up? And when hunger pangs hit, go home and make some good old spaghetti or throw a couple of hot dogs on the grill.

I'm not at all against picnics, parties and going out to eat. I'm just wondering if there isn't a bit more to life. If there aren't more ways to connect with people than over a meal?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Woo Hoo!

I passed the 1500 word mark of a short story I'm writing! That's a milestone for me, but Stephen Koch's book on writing has inspired me to seek out this story as though I were looking for buried treasure. I'm having fun!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Lord, Lord

I feel like a swinging pendulum.

When I first came to trust Christ as Savior, I was part of a very strict, fundamental denomination. Even as a young teen, I was under the impression that only members of that denomination could truly be saved.

I remember attending a youth camp at another church one summer. My mom thought it wise for me to socialize with other Christians outside my usual circle of friends. I was amazed to learn there were indeed others who knew Christ and yet worshipped a bit differently from me. My goodness, some of the girls even wore pants! I shut my eyes again, however, and shrank back to the "we alone" mentality during my years at Bible college. Years later, I left that denomination (and it's legalistic trappings) for good and once again opened my eyes and learned to embrace others who professed Christ as Savior but worshipped differently.

Lately I seem to keep bumping into people in my reading and on the Internet who call themselves Christians but don't have a clue what it's about. Their Christianity is based on their own perception of what they want God to be, a god of their own creation. I understand and believe that, while our fruits do bear witness of our salvation, it is not my place to determine whether or not someone is a Christian. That is between that person and God. However, Jesus did say that many will say to Him one day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And Christ will reply, "I never knew you." So while it is not my job to judge the condition of another's heart simply by what I can observe, I believe I am to be wise and remember that not all who profess the name of Christ really know Him.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

It's Not Ours Anyways!

How funny we humans are. We own two lots, the one our house sits on, and the one behind it, making our yard a nice expansive 200 ft. deep. Although the houses are closer together than I'd like, the spacious backyard is what appealed to us. Most of our neighbors own both lots, except for the house next to us. The old guy that lived there didn't venture outside much; we ended up cutting his small back yard for the remaining few years of his life.

That back lot has been overgrown with trees and bush, and afforded us a little extra privacy. Until today. The new neighbors, a young couple, decended upon it today with axes and chainsaws and have proceeded to clear it. Sniff sniff! I feel robbed, exposed and naked! My backyard retreat is gone. The funny thing is, I think the new neighbors assume we don't own our back lot either. But we do. We pay taxes on it, we've earned the right to enjoy it. They are just encroaching on their back lot! It seems kind of selfish to me to be ticked at them for clearing property that's not theirs, when I guess we've done the same thing. We've got a huge woodpile sitting half on that property we aren't looking forward to moving.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Inspect or Expect - What Will It Be?

Someone once said, probably in a management training class, that people do only what is inspected, not what is expected. That saying came to mind tonight on the way home from work as a big red SUV whizzed past me into the 50 mph. construction zone. Where's the cop that's been sitting there all week to ensure motorists slow down to a safe speed?

In my Christian life, I want to keep the speed limit even when there's no cop sitting around the bend. I want pleasing God to be my motivation, not staying clear of His wrath.

Just some random thoughts for today (actually not so random since I think God probably used that SUV today to turn my thoughts toward Him).

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Ah, I Get It! (Thoughts on Submission)

Typically when the subject of submission is taught or preached on, there's a sense of resistance conveyed, as though this is a hard thing. I guess it is. But it occurred to me today that some woman may not see submission as a particularly difficult area for them. These are the women married to laidback men who generally are fine with whatever their wives want to do. These are the women who, out of necessity, make many of the decisions in the home about money and the children, because their husbands have little or no interest in doing so.

If we think of submission as a willingness to allow another to lead, rather than being forced to bow to the will of another, submission is can be a blessing rather than a discipline to dread. Along with the idea of allowing someone else to lead comes a consideration for their preferences and continuous open communication and consultation on areas where we've been given free reign.

I don't have any funny stories (do I ever) or quotes to go along with this post, just plenty to think about.