Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Happy Birthday Madeline!

Today is Madeline's ninth birthday. It's hard for me to believe she's this old. I remember being nine myself. To celebrate today we made cupcakes for her class, and Madeline got to choose what to eat for dinner. She choose the all-you-can-eat Chinese food restaurant in town. We all enjoy it, and the self-serve ice cream for dessert is every kid's dream. Madeline had two bowls. Last night we also had cupcakes and Madeline's had nine candles. It was fun to honor her today. She is a blessing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Day in the Life

I thought it would be fun to post pictures of what happened after school at our house yesterday. The kids have been begging me to let them attack the last quarter of watermelon like I did last week. They made short and sticky work of it.

After eating the melon, and cleaning up their room, they went outside on our "front lawn" to play. It was a beautiful day, so all the other kids who play there too were over. I got to talk to one of the moms for a while. Here are all our neighbor kids.

I also got a shot of the doll house bush that the girls were putting together.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Hit the Fan

Some of you may have chosen to stop reading the sometimes painful "discussion" going on at Will's Blog. There's a lot of poop in the air over there. But really, you just must go look again. You'll see a portrait of the man I married. It's worth the cost of admission, and upkeep. You can see here too that The Wig made it onto all of us, or at least near us. Sam wouldn't let me touch him with the thing, and Abby was too horrified to show her face. Here we are.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Will and I rented a really interesting documentary all about Tammy Faye, her life, the whole PTL scandal and what has happened since then. I was only in Jr. High when the Bakker's ministry came crashing down. I didn't know many of the details. It was so fascinating to learn the timeline and what happened. We came away with the realization that being raised in California in the Evangelical culture, we were very unaware of a huge Christian flow that existed in other parts of the country.

I remember Grandmother Shackelford watching the 700 Club when she babysat us. We thought it was crazy...all the crying and hand raising and makeup. But I see now how previlant that experience and culture is/was for so many Christians. And I also believe that they were experiencing the Lord in an authentic way.

As I have moved into and experienced the Charismatic church, I have gotten to see the pendulum swing to the other side. On one side, as Evangelicals, we focus strongly on correct doctrine, reasonable faith, knowing the Bible and using it as our road map. As Charismatics, we focus strongly on hearing and knowing God in relationship through the Holy Spirit, finding direction on a daily basis from the Lord, and making spiritual reality part of our daily life. Both Evangelicals and Charismatics have keys that are necessicary for a balanced life of faith.

I remember feeling in College that we talked all about relationship with Christ, and we studied it, but I really couldn't say that I knew what that looked like. How do you talk to and hear from someone you can't see or hear? That question has been at the back of my mind for all these years. And I now feel that I have found an answer to that question. It's not in how much I know about God, or how many Bible verses I have memorized. It is through the Holy Spirit, who makes God known to me in a surprisingly tangible way. Yet it really isn't surprising. Jesus said that he had to leave so that he could send the Holy Spirit to be our comforter, counselor and teacher.

Tammy Faye has many things about her that can be offensive. She openly embraces homosexuals, she wears more makeup than anyone I've ever seen. She has been divorced and remarried, she loves to be on TV, and in front of a camera. She also demonstrates Christlike love to people who are easy to condemn. And isn't that exactly what Jesus did? Wasn't that his offense too? She talks constantly about forgiveness, and how to love. And she has had a lot to forgive. When it comes right down to it, I can learn more about Christ from her than I thought I could.