Thursday, June 29, 2006

Those Rowdy Kids

Ever wonder about those rowdy kids in your congregation? Think they will grow up to be no good? When you tell them to behave, do you think that it is all they will remember about you 20 years later?

My grandmother died on Christmas Eve. After the service at the gravesite, one of the godly matriarchs of the church approached me. This church is the one in which I grew up: Baptist, conservative, rural, and small. This woman was concerned that the only image I had of her was of the time I was twisting up the curtains in a Sunday School classroom, and she sternly told me to stop. I was a bit taken aback. I had to search my memory a long time to even remember the incident; indeed, my recollection may be entirely lost now. Yet it has been a worry of this woman for 25 years.

Let me tell you what I remember about this woman.

She is the one that was always in charge of the mission groups at our church. Our focus on missions at Christmas and Easter were led by her. She encouraged me to do mission action projects. Even after interest among my peers had waned, she was the one who encouraged me to do another level of Acteens (a mission group for teenage girls in which you complete levels of service). This woman was truly one of the saints in that church when I was younger.

But I wonder if the only way she remembers me is as that little girl twisting up the curtains. After six months of wondering, I am beginning to believe that I will write her a letter and tell her that there is so much more that I remember.

Because of her, I took a special interest in missions. Because of that interest in missions, I felt called to the ministry. Because of that call, I went to divinity school for my Masters of Divinity. Because I went to divinity school, I had to take a preaching class. Because of that preaching class, I found out that I love to preach. Should this little, curtain-twisting girl dare to call herself a pastor?

For what it is worth, even the little children in our churches have a perception of older members. They learn through our actions and our teachings. They may not remember a one-time scolding 25 years later; but hopefully, we can plant a seed in their hearts that helps lead them to God.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Small Town Newspaper Articles

I was perusing a daily newspaper from one county over from my hometown. There are a couple of articles about women in ministry.

Here is the first: Balancing Ministry and Family.

And the second one: Women and the Church. I went to Gardner-Webb Divinity School, and Beverly was in some of my classes while we were both getting our M.Div degrees. It is a thrill to see her as the first female D.Min. to graduate from that divinity school.

Monday, June 26, 2006

State of Women in Baptist Life 2005

Baptist Women in Ministry has a paper that was presented last week entitled "Assessing the State of Women in Baptist Life". The link to the paper is on their website: Baptist Women in Ministry.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Friday Five Ice Cream Discussion

The RevGalBlogPals Friday Five is about ice cream this week. Here is my response.

1. Ice cream: for warm weather only or a year-round food?

Ice cream is a year-round, everyday food. I prefer to eat it in the winter particularily on the coldest day of the year (no joke).

2. Favorite flavor(s)

My favorite is actually frozen custard bought from Goodberry’s here in NC. They have a flavored custard, and you can mix in a concrete. My favorite is vanilla with peanut butter fudge mixed in (although I have been getting marshmallows mixed in of late). My favorite store-bought ice cream is Breyer’s Brownie Mud Pie.

3. Cake cone, sugar cone, waffle cone, cup?

All of the above. I usually get a cup because I know if I get a cone, my 3 year old will want one, too—and that would be a mess for me to clean up.

4. Childhood ice-cream memory

Eating Breyer’s vanilla ice cream and softening it up in the microwave for 5 seconds because we wanted it more like soft serve.

5. Banana splits: discuss.

We used to get banana split parties in grade school for making the honor roll. Banana splits have usually been out of my price range at the ice cream shop; however, my husband wants to investigate this Jr. Banana Split that is available for 99 cents at Sonic. That might be my weekend goal.

Bonus Question: What are the ingredients/steps for making an ice cream soda?

I have no idea how to make an ice cream soda. I would eat the ice cream and drink the soda separately.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I was very angry with myself on Monday night. It has nothing to do with ministry. It has every thing to do with the Stanley Cup Final game that was played on that night.

I knew when I woke up on Monday that I had to watch the game. It was Raleigh's big chance to shine. It would be great for the city to have a professional championship to claim (at least for the year). I had already invested time through watching the playoffs to see if the Hurricanes could go all the way. I had faith in them, and I was psyched up for game seven--the big one--on Monday.

And I missed it.

Somewhere on Monday, I ended up having to deal with a ravenous three-year-old (who is certainly going through a growth spurt as he eats SO much for a preschooler), and I also had to deal with an eleven-month-old (who is getting tooth number eight). And my husband worked late. By the time the hubby came home, I was sprinting toward the finish line and putting the kids to bed. It had been a long day. And then the younger one wanted to stay up a little. The game had already started. Finally, I was able to nurse him to sleep…and then I fell asleep, too.

Ahhhhhhh! I woke up at 11:30 PM--after the game had finished and the trophy was presented. I could not help but fall asleep, but why didn't my husband wake me? I am angry at myself for sleeping, and yet I don't know what else I could have done. I had been exhausted all day--taking the kids to the pool (by myself), following the younger son time and time again as he practices climbing the stairs, listening to the older one talk non-stop about everything that goes on in his day.

I cried over missing the game. I had so much invested by watching the previous games. It felt like it was time wasted. I could read about what happened in the game. I could see the highlights from the game. I could watch the parade and celebration the day after. But something doesn’t feel right. I have lost the enthusiasm. How much better it would have been to have actually watched the game!

And it makes me wonder if the people who actually saw Jesus—saw his miracles, listened to his radical teachings, followed him—had so much more enthusiasm than I have for Jesus. Sure, they may not have known everything about Jesus because all was being revealed during that time. They didn’t know the final score of the big game, but they were there to watch it. I suspect that I could have a lot more enthusiasm for what God is doing in my own life. I have the written account of God’s dealings with man. I can see the evidence of the church in my world. Could there be more enthusiasm? I bet so.

It is time to marvel at this gift of salvation. It is our undeserved trophy. For like the people of Raleigh who claim the Stanley Cup this year (but the team actually earned it), we didn’t actually earn salvation ourselves (it is the gift from God through Christ). Yet it is with enthusiasm that we proclaim our team number one. May it also be that way when Christians claim Christ as our number one.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

RevGalBlogPals Friday FiveZzzz (about sleep)

1. In what kind of environment do you sleep best? (e.g. amount of light and noise, temperature, number of pillows, breathe-right strip, sleeping in the buff, etc.)

I sleep whenever I am still. It takes me less than five minutes to fall asleep. If I awaken, I go back to sleep. With two kids, I have learned to sleep whenever I can. I can sleep with the light on. I can sleep with my kids playing in the room. I can sleep when it is cool or warm. I usually use a pillow, but I do not requre one.

2. How much sleep do you need to feel consistently well-rested?
How much can you get by on?
What are the consequences when you don't get enough?

To be well-rested, I think nine hours is best. However, I cannot say when the last time was that I got nine hours (before kids for sure). I can get by on three or four hours. When I don't get enough sleep, my oldest kid knows that mommy is grumpy that day and may fall asleep while watching television at some point in the late morning or early afternoon.

3. Night owl or morning person?

I am definitely a night owl--why else would I be typing this at 12:48 AM?!? I have always been a night owl.

4. Favorite cure for insomnia

What insomnia??

5. To snooze or not to snooze? Why or why not?

I never snooze. I have kids who wake me up in the morning and makes enough noise until mommy is up.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Time Capsule

I recently found my KJV Bible that I had in college. It was the one that my rural, Southern Baptist church gave me when I graduated from high school in 1994. I used it all through college, and I put a lot of stuff in it. Usually it was things that I wanted to keep, and looking through it the other night is like opening a time capsule in a way. I am such a different person now. Here is what I found.

A copy of St. Francis of Assisi’s “A Prayer of Christlike Service.”

Some gift tags from my wedding presents ten years ago. It makes me wonder if I ever sent the thank you notes for them.

A card from a Presbyterian church that I attended when I studied for a semester in Colorado. It has the message from the church on one side and the plan of salvation on the other.

A newspaper clipping of one of the times I made the Dean’s List (and I made the Dean’s List every semester—I am such a nerd).

One of my brother’s name cards that was in his high school graduation invitation from 1997.

A recipe for a breakfast casserole

Notes that I took during a Focus on the Family broadcast on September 28, 1995. From the looks of things, the broadcast was on how to be a good wife. A sample: always pay attention to the way you look: neat—never sloppy. And men resent women taking on masculine qualities. (Whatever. I am a totally different person now from the one who took those notes, and I know now not to believe everything that comes out of a FOTF broadcast.)

Ticket stub from an Amy Grant concert on August 18, 1995. My husband-to-be got two tickets: for him and a friend—but he didn’t know I would be free to go that evening, too. He went back and got me a ticket; and since he ordered one, he got me a better seat. I sat by myself in the better seat, too!

An offering envelope for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for Foreign Missions.

Sermon notes I took about worship.

A letter from my “might have been” guy that I met the summer before my senior year of high school. He wrote me this letter the year before I got married, and it contains general news about his life. It doesn’t have a date or a postmark (for some odd reason), but I know it is addressed to the dorm I lived in during the 1995-96 school year.

Two fortunes from cookies that my husband and I opened on the morning after we were married. Mine said, “The current year will bring you much happiness.” My husband’s said, “Stop searching forever, happiness is just next to you.”

School pictures of my husband’s sister and her then boyfriend.

A bookmark. Oh, yeah, I used to keep them in the Bible, too.

Half of an index card.

Article clipping from the Women’s Missionary Union magazine Royal Service from February 1995. It is entitled, “Year of Prayer for the Muslim Peoples.” My mother clipped it out for me because I got a roommate in January 1995 (my first roommate left me mid-year perhaps because I snore) who was from Morocco. She was a great roommate and is still a good friend.

Newspaper clipping about me being inducted to the Kappa Nu Sigma honor society in spring 1997. As I have mentioned already, I am a nerd.

An offering envelope for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for Home Missions. (Did I not give, or did I pick up extra envelopes?)

A post-it note with John 13:34-35 written on it. Also the words, “You are Loved!” are on it. I don’t remember who gave me this, but I know that I am loved.

A list of Bible verses that I included in a letter to my friend after the dorm caught fire. This occurred when I was studying in Colorado that semester. They had a hurricane and a fire that fall.

Notes that I took after reading a book about the end times. It was fiction, but well before the Left Behind series. I took the book rather seriously, I guess. I had never heard anything in my life but dispensationalism when I was growing up. I was well into divinity school before I even knew about other eschatological views. I consider it a type of psychological abuse by my church to only have been exposed to dispensationalism as a child and teenager. Now I am firmly amillennial because I am reacting to my upbringing.

A notecard listing the things that I value:
1. honesty
2. faithfulness in all my relationships
3. obedience to God
4. trust in God
5. patience and wise judgment in my decision-making

And there you have it. Anyone looking through that Bible would learn things about me, but I can say that I am a much different person today. I do not carry around so much spiritual baggage anymore. I don’t even read the King James Version anymore. I have the TNIV instead, but I don’t have anything stashed away in that one.

It also makes me wonder who I’ll be in another twelve years.