Monday, January 29, 2007

He Leadeth Me

Philippians 3:13b-14 (TNIV)
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

I am in a better frame of mind than last week thanks to a good sermon at church yesterday and a good small group discussion last night.

"He Leadeth Me, O Blessed Thought"

He leadeth me, O blessed thought, O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate'er I do, where'er I be, still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.

He leadeth me, he leadeth me, by his own hand he leadeth me!
His faithful follower I would be, for by his hand he leadeth me.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I found a position to apply for last month. It was an associate preschool minister position. For once, I was qualified. I have the experience dealing with preschoolers in our church, and I am getting the education through a certification program over the next few years. The Baptist State Convention of NC is even having me train to be a Preschool Resource Specialist next week so that I can help train preschool workers and churches in the state.

So I had two interviews. I felt really good about both of them. The last one was Monday night, and I felt like the church would be a perfect fit for me. They would let me know very soon.

Wednesday morning I get a call.


They praise my talent and enthusiasm. They wish me well. But what is wrong with me?

It hurts so much.

A big part of it is that interviewing with a church makes you so vulnerable. You cannot misrepresent yourself--you have to be open, honest, revealing. I don't usually bear my heart to complete strangers when I have just met them. But you have to do that with search committees and personnel committees.

My heart is torn open. I feel naked.

I am angry; I am sad; I am hopeless.

I can't cry because my children will cry. They don't understand how useless I feel. As long as I am still there to make them lunch or change a diaper, I have an iota of value. But I want to be used for ministry. Isn't that what God has called me to all my life?

God, why do you call me to full-time ministry and never open a door?

"Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." Mark 7:28

One crumb. Is it too much to ask?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Reading the Chronicles of Narnia Aloud

If you look over to the right of my posts, you will see that I have been reading the final Chronicle of Narnia to my sons. We finished The Last Battle last night. I started reading the series to my sons as they were falling asleep after The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe came out on DVD last year. My 4 year old watched parts of it with me, and he was interested in hearing me read the story. I have to say though that most nights I end a chapter with both of them already asleep.

It will be a while before they can appreciate the stories like I do. I have read the series every 4-6 months for the past 10 years. I have read the stories to my boys in the order they were written instead of the chronological order that the publishers use to sell their editions. That order is: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; The Horse and His Boy; The Magician's Nephew; and The Last Battle.

I have found throughout the series that I get quite emotional when I read aloud the parts about Aslan coming into Narnia and meeting the children. I had listened to Focus on the Family Radio Theater's Chronicles of Narnia when I was driving to divinity school and back every week. That series is great, but I found that I enjoyed reading them aloud much more.

The real kicker was the last half page of the last book.

(Spoiler: Don't read on if you don't want to know the conclusion.)

That last half page is the one where Aslan tells the children that they do not have to fear being sent back to their own world because they are in Narnia to stay. A railway accident in the "Shadowlands" (as C.S. Lewis calls this life we live here on this earth) has brought the characters into Aslan's own country.

I'm glad my sons had already fallen asleep last night by the end of that final chapter. It would have been difficult to explain why I was crying. My oldest gets upset at my tears. Yet just like the title of my blog, I am one who is longing for home. I want to get to Aslan's own country, too. And one day I will.

Today at church, we sang two hymns: "How Great Thou Art" and "Victory in Jesus" (two hymns that I don't have to look at the lyrics to sing). Both end with a view of heaven. And I thought about heaven--a heaven shaped by what I had read last night.

The Last Battle is about the end of Narnia. It is an end filled with hope.

Aslan brings the children out of our world into Narnia so that by knowing Aslan there, they could know him better in their own world. I think that I do understand Aslan and Aslan's country a little better because of this series.

And tonight, I think that we will be starting the series all over again.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Women as Professors in SBC Seminaries

While I am no longer Southern Baptist, I still have my roots there. That is why I offer this blog about the removal of a woman from Southwestern Seminary's faculty. It is on Wade Burleson's weblog.

The story of Sheri Klouda's removal from the SWBTS faculty

I was very interested to learn how varied the response has been in this matter.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Warm Epiphany

I woke up this morning ready to clean the whole house. Spring fever has set in because of the mild temperature here today. It is in the 70s.

But it isn't Easter yet!! It is Epiphany.

I hope that I remember the warmth next week when it gets cooler.

Since the Christmas season is over now, I will take down my Christmas decorations. I never knew that Christmas lasted 12 days until after I discovered the Christian calendar in graduate school. Blame it on the baptist upbringing.

When I was growing up, we had to take down the Christmas tree by New Year's Day or it was bad luck. Most of my friends take their trees down the day after Christmas (or late on Christmas day). That is good for them because some of them had been enjoying the decorations since just after Halloween!

I leave my decorations up until Epiphany now. And just yesterday I remembered that I had two presents stashed away for my boys that I forgot about giving to them at Christmas (blame that on Christmas stress). Maybe it is time to start a new tradition--giving of gifts on Epiphany.

Oh, wait...I think that has already been done.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Scripture for the New Year

One of the laypeople at our church preached yesterday. And she did an excellent job. The lectionary passage Colossians 3:12-17 was the text. It is a worthy goal for the new year to live up to Paul's model as found in this passage.

Colossians 3
12. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

13. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

14. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

16. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

17. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Our speaker told us to hear this passage as if it were addressed to us. And that was enough to help me realize that if I could only do half as much as Paul is asking me to do here, I would have a good attitude to start 2007. I am hoping to keep this passage of scripture before me as my guide this year. Amen.