Saturday, September 27, 2008

I'll be back....

Sorry guys for the lack of posts. My father-in-law passed away early Thursday morning, so things have been a bit busy around here. I will be out of town until at least Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not For Sale!!!

Things like THIS make me proud my daughter is at Gordon College. Go soccer team!!!

For more information about Not For Sale and how you can help check out this link to the organizations web site.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's just a spot of paint....

I have paint from Haiti on my shoe. Every time I look at my shoe I think of Marfranc, the Grand Anse Valley, the missionary house. I see the faces of the children. Every time I look at my shoe I remember. The poverty, the brokenness, the ruins, the corruption, the oppression. But I also remember the smiles, the joy, the community, the love and the friendship. Every time I look at my shoe, I pray.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Justice matters......

OK - time to get my focus off me, and get my head back in the game. Tomorrow night I have decided to go to to the ART*MUSIC*JUSTICE TOUR concert here in town.

"The tour is a unique concert opportunity to “add to the beauty, seek justice and give God praise,” desiring to further educate the church on God's heart for justice, gain advocates for the oppressed, and show evidence of a God at work in this world."

I am excited to go and hear the stories these artists have to tell, "stories of God's people in action and their heroic experiences across the globe", including "Incredible stories of rescue from the International Justice Mission."

Plus, I would pretty much go anywhere to hear Derek Webb, even if it's just a couple songs.... :)

I want to get back to being challenged, to having a heart for the poor and oppressed and to remember why justice matters. I want to see with Christ's eyes and feel with his heart. I want the passion to re-ignite.

I want to relax, listen to the music, recenter my heart and leave changed. It probably won't be a feel good night, but that's ok. Maybe a good thing.

Everyone I know is busy tomorrow night. Even my daughter. Because it matters so much I decided to just go by myself. Today my friend told me she and her husband can go and would meet me there. Nice.

As Sara says: "God is mighty to save and is actively rescuing the oppressed through His people,” ...“ Scripture references to the 'slave, the poor, the oppressed' are not figurative. There are 27 million people enslaved today, after more than in 400 years of trans-Atlantic slavery. God is calling us to respond. All of us on this tour want to convey, it is not a burden to help, it is an adventure. We’re excited to get out there and share what God is doing!"

Give me your eyes for just one second,
Give me your eyes so I can see,
Everything that I keep missing,
Give me your love for humanity.
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten.
Give me Your eyes so I can see.

Brandon Heath

Monday, September 15, 2008

Better.......................brooke fraser


Take my shoulder back now
Your head's too heavy for me
Please don't come around here no more
'Cos I asked you to stop
And you wouldn't

I would give anything to make you better
I would give anything to point you to free
I would give anything to help you realise

I loved you 'til it killed me
So my logic wouldn't hurt you
I know you might blame me anyway
Well I'm sorry, I'm so sorry

You're not helping yourself to me

I've tried all the things they told me
Trying to close up the wounds left open by you
And if I seem doubtful, distrusting.....I am
You said you wouldn't do it agin
You said you wouldn't do it again

You're not helping yourself
You're not helping yourself by hurting me

Anything just to try and help you see
You ain't helping yourself by hurting me
Time to let you go, time for you to see
You ain't helping you

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Got an Ark??

You can't get there from here was the theme of the day. It is officially one for the record books. The Chicagoland area got anywhere from 6 to 8 inches of rain in less than 24 hours, depending where you live. Retention ponds and rivers were over their banks. Kirk Rd, Butterfield Rd, Route 34 and many, many others were under water. Main street in Wheaton at Roosevelt road had several feet of water covering it and all of the Hubble middle school campus. O'Hare Airport's baggage area was flooded, the blue line was shut down, part of I-90 was closed as was part of I-94 and they opened the locks and reversed the river to flow into Lake Michigan to alleviate the flooding in the city. The Deep Tunnel was filled to capacity by 7:30 am. At times the rain looked like the back side of a waterfall. Parking lots all over were under several feet of water and you had to detour no matter where you went. And towns all over the area are dealing with 2-3 feet of water in their neighborhoods. In Des Plains they are evacuating neighborhoods. Needless to say basements were flooded all over too - including our neighbors because his sump pump failed. Our back yard literally had a river running through it, down hill and on through the neighbors yard - taking all vegetation in it's path with it. There's still have a lake back there.....
We are still expected to have another 3-5 inches, again depending on where you live as the remnants of Ike reach us tomorrow. You wonder when you leave the house if you will be able to get back home.......
What a crazy, weird day. In 137 years of recorded weather stats here in Illinois there has NEVER been a rainier day...... or worse flooding.

Chicago Suntimes News Article

Edit: Cook County has declared a State of Emergency. Roads are closed all around the area. Rivers are above their banks at record high - the last record for the DuPage river having been set just 12 years ago. Lot of detours. We can't get to Winfield from here unless we go North Ave. Sections of 290, 88, 56, 294 under water. Just a royal mess. Flooding everywhere you look, but we have been fortunate that our sump pump held out and the basement did not leak. :) The river, and the new Gerber Lake are still in the back yard.....

Edit: After horrible messes on the expressways, including 94 being totally shut down and the only good way into IL from IN being the Skyway, and after lots of school closings - including Kim's, and after water not only in the basements, but several feet high in main floors, and after DesPlaines (including the ORIGINAL McDonalds) being totally flooded and only a handful of roads even being open, and after seeing motor boats and kayaks in the streets, and after 6 counties including DuPage being declared disaster areas......the sun FINALLY came out!!!!

Our backyard lake is mostly gone, our neighbors have cleaned up their flooded basement, schools are open again, and travel from town to town has become almost normal again. Unfortunately it's still not over for some towns like DesPlaines - rivers still are way above flood stage, but starting to level off. We officially got 9.something inches of rain in West Chicago in those 2 days.
It's supposed to be sunny all week. Hopefully they are right!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Stooping to a new low.....

I realize that other politicos have dolls fashioned after them - it happens. But this is just disturbing. Sarah Palin ACTION HERO in a tight little mini skirt? Tacky. Just tacky. Altho, I guess if you are among the republicans touting Sarah as the "hot" governor 0r "Hottest VP" you might really love this doll. That's all I have to say about it, or the reason(s) Sarah Palin was chosen as McCain's running mate. You can fill in the rest of the blanks.....

Monday, September 08, 2008

Come to the church in the wildwood.....

Dang it, I woke up with "Jesus is my friend" bubbling away in my brain. Ack. I suppose I deserved it.....

It's raining outside, and I'm at work sitting by the window watching the drips. The cool air actually feels good.

Ooooo! I have a cricket in my room. I do not like crickets. They jump. On me. They may be considered lucky, and people may keep them in brass boxes, but, yuck.

It's a melancholy day - I miss my friends. I miss Haiti. I miss Via Christus.

Speaking of which, we still haven't found a church. Wait, back up. We still haven't started looking for a church. You would think with a plethora of churches in this area we could find something. It just stresses me out to have to begin again. Boo.

I know what I don't want. It's harder to pinpoint what I do want. But let me try. This just might be a good exercise for this rainy afternoon.

I know I don't want to be part of an audience, being talked at. Or part of an audience being entertained. I much prefer discussion, or at least an opportunity to ask questions....

I prefer things more informal. I like a circle. At least a semi-circle. Much friendlier and conducive to discussion and feeling included. And it kinda puts us all on the same level, not separating the learned from the unenlightened.

I like small. House churches are great. And not so easy to find... I would settle for a small, simple congregation. I like chairs. They can be configured anyway you need them. Unless you have couches. Those are even better. ;)

I like experimenting with different types of worship - not just music. I like liturgy - not because I have to, but because it is enriching and fulfilling.

I like to participate - in readings, different kinds of worship, art - I'm spoiled. I'll admit it. Even if I choose not to participate, I at least want the choice.

I want to be part of a thinking and questioning group. Not just a face in a crowd where the same old thing is preached in whatever way is "in" right now. I want to dig deeper, to understand culture, to see underlying messages.

I want a leader who is not afraid to say I don't know. And one who doesn't think that just because they went to seminary 15 years ago they know it all. World without end. Amen.

Life is fluid. Learning is fluid. Christianity is fluid. New understandings become apparent as the spirit works. New revelations come to life when we are not afraid to rethink our positions. Why do we have to believe that the only allowed interpretations of the Bible ended with the King James version and (cough) Scofield's further interpretation thereof? (Remember the "curse of Ham" theory???) Or if we are more enlightened we just might accept the NKJ....

I want a church that cares about poverty, justice, and compassion. Not black and white, who's in, who's out, judgment and legalism. I've seen legalism get better over the years, but it's just an updated version with different rules.

I want a church where people are more concerned about how you are than what you wear; who live with compassion instead of judgment; who realize life is messy, and everyone has problems rather than one that always wants to uphold that look of perfection.

I want a church where there is no racism, class-ism, sexism or ageism. Or any other kind of ism for that matter.

I want a church where you don't have to be a Republican to be a Christian......where one can think and vote for the candidate that best matches up with their views. Democrat, Republican, Green, Independent - or any other party.

I want a church that cares more about people than the size of the congregation. That would rather invest in people than in fancy buildings and cutting edge technology. That is relational instead of attractional. Jesus was pretty blunt that it is not easy to follow him, he didn't try to attract people with tricks and programs. Even the miracles he did were relational.

I want a church that recognizes diversity. We aren't all the same. So why should a church force us to pretend to be? I value differences and good conversations - I just might learn something. We can celebrate the differences. All we need to agree on are the basic tenets of faith; to be unified on the essentials. (eg. the Apostle's Creed.)

I want a church that believes in Loving God and Loving others. Everything else will follow. One that realizes we have been blessed by God to be a blessing to others. One that is grace filled and community oriented.

I want a community.

I want a church.......

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Ha Ha Ha Ha......Flashback attack....

No, I never heard this band. No, I don't know any of them. But it is SO typical of the "Christian" music of the late 70's.
There are a few links below from Doug in California who interviewed the lead singer.
Enjoy - and be careful, this here tune is catchy! :)

What? You wanna know more????

the interview

ha ha ha - still laughing....

walks off humming "He is like a mountie, he always gets his man.."

Edit: sorry the original poster took it down and I had to snag it from You Tube. Should be working now......
"If the Divine does not make us better, it will make us very much worse. Of all the bad men, religious bad men are the worst. Of all created beings, the wickedest is the one who originally stood in the immediate presence of God."

C.S. Lewis