Saturday, July 23, 2011

I couldn't decided on a title for this post...

"Another one bites the dust"
"It's happened again"
"They'll know we are Christians by...."
"The new 'unforgiveable sin' "...

We just heard of another pastor who was asked to resign.  He didn't get a chance to really "fight it".  The options were "resign now and get severance pay" or "don't resign now and you get no severance pay".  You may wonder what horrible thing he must have done.  Murder?  Adultery?  Embezzlement?  Nope... they just didn't have confidence in his leadership.  It happened to us two years ago.  It happens all the time to pastors all over the place.  (I know... I've talked to many of their wives!)

"Another one bites the dust" - Yep, another pastor is asked to resign, no second chances, "you're outta here".  "Turn in your keys and don't come back". 

"It's happened again" - Satan's tactics just don't change.  He knows what works, and when it works, why change?  Satan causes division which spreads by means of gossip and slander.  It's often coated in words like "concern, love, the best for..., etc."  It still smells like sulfur to me.

"They'll know we are Christians by..." - These days, people outside "the church" know we are Christians by this kind of "stuff".  I know plenty of people who don't go to church for these very reasons.  Why can't Christians get along?  I mean, aren't we supposed to be the most loving, kind, gracious and forgiving people?  Aren't we supposed to give people the benefit of the doubt?  Offer them second chances?  Christians are not known by love anymore. 

"The new 'unforgiveable sin' " - Apparently these days, it is absolutely a horrible, and unforgivable sin to lack confidence and not be a good (enough) leader.  Yep, a pastor could have an affair (they call it a "moral failure") and get all kinds of help, support, counseling, grace, love and even a  leave of absence.  But if his leadership isn't confident enough, that's it!  (We had one person tell us that if my husband had been unfaithful, they could have forgiven him, but, his lack of confidence... well, that's just too much!). 

It's sad.  It's not surprising.  I long for the day when all will be made right.  The church is full of sinners... every church... but there is supposed to be grace and forgiveness.  I think one of the problems is that we have become churches with a consumer mentality.  There are so many churches to choose from that it's easy to just move around when you get tired of a church (I want better music, cooler looking people, more technology, less technology, bigger and better programs...different color carpet, cafe's, etc).  It's also easy to just get rid of a pastor when you don't like something about him.   Marriages are the same way... too easy to split up and not work out our differences.  The marriage vows say "in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in plenty and in want, for richer and for poorer"... too bad churches don't go by this. 

Churches should be places of love, hope, grace, loyalty, steadfastness and forgiveness.

Friday, July 22, 2011

This is one of the books I'll read on vacation.  I'm a little skeptical about the story but am eager to read it.  With the losses we've gone through (our first baby 20 years ago, both of my parents in the past 10 years, and my nephew 4 months ago), I'm thinking more and more about heaven.  Someday we will have a grand reunion.  I can hardly wait!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Maybe it's because I spent the morning with my daughter getting senior pictures taken.  Or maybe it's because we spent a few hours last night talking, crying and then laughing with my brother and sis-in-law (remembering their son who passed away in March).  Or maybe it's realizing that in a few weeks my boys are back to college and my youngest starts 7th grade.  I'm realizing how short life is.  Obviously we cannot go back in time knowing all we know now.   I want to treasure every moment... freeze frame every image of my kids, husband, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, friends. I want to re-live moments of hilarious laughter.  I want to savor every hug. 
Each day is precious.  Each little "insignificant" moment is worth remembering.  Today, July 18th, is a gift.  Lord, help me to relish it, savor it, and soak in every moment, because it's from You.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Laughter is an instant vacation.  ~Milton Berle

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.  ~Victor Borge

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.  ~Yiddish Proverb

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion.  I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.  ~Kurt Vonnegut

Monday, July 11, 2011

This was me this morning.  
(Thank you to my niece who had this same image on her blog last week)

Friday, July 8, 2011

I've got Grandma Newman's Banana Bread in the oven.   My husband has been talking about his Mom's banana bread for years and I just recently got the recipe!!  He likes my banana bread fine, it's just "not the same" as his mom's.  Last week I made his mom's oatmeal cookies (we got a recipe book at the family reunion!) and they were SO good. 
I want to make his day better however I can.  I'm hoping this will help!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

No More Let Sins and Sorrows Grow...

...nor thorns infest the ground."  (lyrics from "Joy to the World")
These are "Goat Head" stickers.  We have about a million of them by our house.  My son went out to water the roses and came back inside with 186 stickers in the bottoms of his flip-flops!!  We are constantly stepping on them in the house! 
When Adam and Eve sinned (read Genesis 3), one of the results of that fall was that thorns would infest the ground.  You're not kiddin!
I look forward to the day when the rest of that verse is true...  "He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found!" 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer reading

I plan to write more about this later, but, I just finished reading the last Harry Potter book (#7).  My kids said I had to read it before the movie comes out of July 15th.
I have to admit that, for years, I did not want to read these and did not want my children reading them.  I didn't like the terms "witch" and "wizard" because of the huge amount of occult (witchcraft) so obvious in France, where I lived for 5 years.  I still do not like those terms. 
We finally relented and allowed our children to read the books. 
I have only read the 7th (but plan to read the first 6 this summer). 
I want to think about all this before I write more.  I have ordered a book that was highly recommended called "Looking for God in Harry Potter" .  It's due to arrive in a few days.  After I read through it then I might have something more intelligible to say. 
Meanwhile, I enjoyed the book.  It was very well written and it's clear to see some very Christian themes coming through.  The difference between good and evil is quite clear.  Love wins.  

Monday, July 4, 2011

Things I love:
*Driving mountain roads (and I drive them kinda fast)
*Them smell of pine trees and 65 degree weather in July
*My family - all of them! (Hubby, kids, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews...) I don't have any cousins.
*AC in the house and a pool in the backyard
*living in a country where we have so many freedoms!
*Memories of past "Fourth of July" celebrations (mixed with a tinge of sadness)
*No work tomorrow

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend, I brought my broken dreams to God, because He was my Friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help  with ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried, "How can You be so slow?"
"My child," He said, "what could I do" You never did let go."