Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Barbies

There comes a time in everyone's life where we find we have grown out of our childhood toys. Sadly, for me I have come to realize this has happen to me and my Barbie.
The following are signs you are too old to play with your favorite plastic friends:

1. You don't care that Barbie has been wearing the same cocktail dress for the last ten years. 
2. And just the thought of trying to get her clothes over her non-bendable arms makes your arthritis flare.
3. You no longer think the short hair cut you gave her fits her face. 
4. You know that between Ken's flat feet and Barbie's six inch heels, you should have become a podiatrist. 
5. Setting up Barbie's Dream House now feels like more work than trying to get her to sit inside that Corvette she likes to drive around in. 
6. You starting thinking existentially about who Barbie really is and why her sister Skipper was brunette. Is it possible blondes have more fun?

I know there are more reasons but I have to go to work now and I can't take my Barbie with me.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"I don't know..."

These are three of the scariest words anyone could utter. They are uncomfortable and at times can make you look rather foolish. But if we are honest, I wonder if we don't wrestle with them and their meaning more than we care to let on.

This has been my life lately. I am asking lots of questions or being asked lots of questions about my life. For which, I simply don't have an answer. In one of my last posts, I wrote about figuring out what I am supposed to be doing or what my dream is in life. I do think for some it is a definable and practical thing but for others it isn't so clear.

I think I fall into the latter category. There are people who from the time they are kids grow up knowing exactly what they are going to do. Then there are people who no matter what job they work find ways to use their gifts and talents. And then there is everyone in between. What makes it hard in my opinion, at least to some degree, is that culturally as Americans we have little time for ambiguity. It's tedious, it's uncomfortable, and it doesn't provide tangible results of success, in most cases money.

However, if we flip this around a bit, this place of unknowing in terms of career or future plans could be defined as an area for faith to be exercised.
Before I say more lets talk about what I do know:
1. God created the world and me. (Genesis 1 & Psalm 139)
2. Because of the sin of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3) the world is no longer functioning as perfectly designed. Adam and Eve wanted to be like God and know all things-which lead to their disobedience and broken relationship with Him.
3.Thus we live in a world which is broken but by God's work alone in Christ we are reconciled to Him. (pick your New Testament book)
4. Then God calls us to "grow-up" in Christ and in community. And He has prepared things for us to do in advance. (Ephesians 4 &2)

And that where my knowledge "stops." What are the good works God has prepared for me? What am I supposed to be doing?
I don't know but by faith I will.

Moving Forward

Not long ago, I had to get honest with myself. My novel isn't working. For reasons I will eventually share the time to set it aside has come.

It was a tough decision because I love the characters and the story. However, sometimes letting a project go for another project that makes more sense is a better choice.

I think learning to write and finding one's voice means that every word is a step forward, whether it is finished story or not.

So fear not, I have plenty to write and one day that that novel will be finished. It just might not be the first story I really tell.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Who's Gonna Pray?

If you have ever been part of a group or community of Christians, there is one inevitable question which brings the group to a deafening silence. "Who would like to pray?"
These words are enough to make even mature Christians stare at their plate. The moment is guarantee to arrive any time we gather for a meal or Bible study but oddly enough it's one for which no one is ever prepared.

Well, fear no longer my Brothers and Sisters in Christ. I have found a way to head off these moments of awkward silence with suggestions as easy as knowing who is in your group. If all goes well, then your group's prayer volunteer hierarchy will be made clear.  And the next time this question is asked, you can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Groups which have pastors and/or missionaries have it easy, as they are the first and most obvious choice. If someone with a completed seminary or Bible degree is not an option. Don't worry, whoever has had a class or two a such an institution will do.
Should your community strike out there try for someone who holds a church office, such as elder or deacon or anyone who works in any capacity for a church of para-church ministry.
If your fellowship is lacking of members of these groups; then anyone who has participated in the most church activities is the next best choice. Those who have been on short term mission trips, taught Sunday school or VBS or attended a church retreat are the top candidates.
If none of these categories do not reveal prayer times most likely choice, double check, don't let those who may have retired or been formally involved in any of the aforementioned positions get by unnoticed. Let you conscience be your guide.

Yet, if the initial selection process is over without a clear pray-er order developing. There is nothing left to do at this point than to revert to the very situation I was trying to help you avoid. So when the question comes, sit and wait in that awkward silence.
Someone will crack.
They will either stumble into the cardinal mistake of making eye contact with the group leader or a volunteer will actually emerge. And at the risk of usurping my whole suggested hierarchy, this is the only way to truly avoid all of this.

Amen!


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 
Phil 4:6-7