Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yesterday's News

I've been so busy this week with my own stuff, I've failed to comment on some news items that caught my interest, items that have already lost their punch.

That's the fleeting of nature of news in a country with ADD,

Some things I would have commented on if I'd had the time -

  • The Senator who is suing God as a statement about frivolous lawsuits.
  • O.J. Simpson, Britney Spears, and Mike Tyson and the danger of fame and notoriety.
  • The bridge in Ketchikan that will not be built.
  • Flooding across West Africa (I may return to this one as I hear more).
  • The local family who had their children taken away because their house was too messy.

Monday, September 24, 2007


God's made a lot of good fruit and I'm a fan of most of it. But I've got to say that he was pretty smart to leave the asian pear for last. This morning I took my harvest of asian pears from Dad's tree and turned it into pear butter. The sweet fruit mixed with spices has livened my tastebuds for fall. At last, a reason not to dread the end of summer.

Judge Not...

Last Tuesday I sat around a table with a bunch of moms talking about how inconceivable it was that a teen from our youth group got left behind on an activity. How could the van driver not count the children? How could the kids in the van not notice she was gone?


Fast forward 3 days.

I was sitting in a circle with my prayer group when a police officer walked in with a friend's child.

All the kids were running and playing outside. What trouble had this one made?

No trouble from the kid, turns out. He was using the bathroom at my house when his family and mine loaded up cars and left. I assumed we were driving the same kids we'd had earlier. His mom assumed he'd hopped in my car instead. The other kids noticed an empty seat, but no one said anything. They played hide and seek for an hour and didn't notice he wasn't just hiding well.

Lest I ever say, "I would NEVER do that..." I've had yet another dose of humble pie. As, I think, has his mother.

The funny thing was, one of the first things this child said when reunited with his mom was, "I knew that was going to happen some day."

Thank you officer for reuniting this family. Thank you neighbor for calling the police. Thank you God that nothing horrible happened and for the reminder that I should never say I'll NEVER do that, for each one of us is capable of doing all those things we think we'd never do.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pies, Pies, Pies

Last night was our Karen Kingsbury event. We didn't have anywhere near the 800 we were hoping for, but about 120 showed up and I'd say the evening went well. Karen spoke, sharing special memories about her dad. Her whole family was there to support her. She sold and signed boxes and boxes of books.

So was the evening a success?

I'd say so.

Though I can never measure what went on in people's hearts, I must believe that God was faithful to bring in the people who needed to be there. I know he worked on me in the process of preparing the event and I suspect he worked on others, too.

And we've got enough dessert left over to serve 680 of our closest friends!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Congratulations to Lori F., visitor #10,000! Because of her impeccable timing (and the fact that she managed to be the 10,000th visitor despite the fact she might be the last person in America still using dial-up internet- a dedicated reader indeed!) she has won a MAJOR PRIZE!
Actually, Lori, I'll send or bring you Karen Kingsbury's latest book, Summer (auotographed, I hope) for your personal collection.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Balloon Effect

Wouldn't it be great if Karen Kingsbury would speak to the Mom's group at our church, to 20 women or so?

Sure, it would be great, but let's dream bigger.

What if we open it up to all the women of the congregation?

Bigger, but not big enough.

What if we spread the news around a little and turn it into a fund raiser?

Okay, but dream bigger still.

What if we pray to fill every one of the 800 chairs in our building, offer dessert and coffee and throw in a book signing for good measure? And what if all the proceeds could go to missions?

Now you're talking.

This Thursday... Vancouver Church of Christ... we're praying for God to answer prayers beyond what we can imagine.

Though I guess he already has.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

On the Ropes

Oh I wish I had a picture, but the camera was tucked safely away so no evidence could be gathered. We couldn't help ourselves-- we had to try out the new ropes element out at Camp Yamhill.

You know how sometimes you read a book that changes your life and someone else reads it just for fun?

That's how the course was for me. We'd already observed the church planters and assigned all sorts of personality and relationships traits to them based on how they handled the ropes. But when the four of us climbed up there, all the learning was over and we were out to have fun.

Okay, I'll admit, I did learn something...

1. I am NOT Tarzan. Elements that involved swinging on ropes were the hardest for me.

2. There is a series of muscles under my arms and across my shoulders that have been on vacation since 1984.

3. Tree hugging is not all bad, especially if the tree just saved your life.

4. Church secretaries can be a stubborn breed.

5. A little exercise in the great outdoors is a good thing.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I took part in a unique process this week - Kairos Discovery Lab. During the 5-day retreat, couples who are exploring the possibility of becoming church planters submit themselves to the following processes:

1. Telling their life story

2. Presenting a devotional (both for worship and to be judged)

3. Completing a battery of personality, aptitude and behavioral tests

4. Developing a strategy for a new church plant (teams, data, and target city are chosen to make the candidates the most uncomfortable possible).

5. Submitting to probing interviews and follow-up interviews

6. Completing challenge course elements as a team

No big deal, right? Now consider that during the entire five days, these couples are under a microscope. A team of 12 interviewers (I was one of them) follow them around, observing what they do, say, writing down their body language, their angst, their dreams. Also consider that these couples voluntarily submit themselves to this level of scrutiny because they want to use every tool they have available to make them successful in planting new churches, or in whatever ministry God leads them to.

With the kind of humility and openness I saw from these budding church planters, I can't wait to see what God's going to do in the next few years.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Well, one advantage of losing your wallet is it's a good chance to clean under chairs and couches.

The lost wallet has been found, exactly where I thought it might be, the only place I visited yesterday.

Sigh of relief, faith restored, another opportunity for God to answer insignificant prayers fulfilled.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


I've lost my wallet.

It had $1 in it.

I can picture pulling it out this morning, but I've called that place and they didn't see it.

If I call the bank to cancel my card, the wallet will show up 10 minutes later. If I don't call to cancel, I'll probably never see the thing again.



It's taken a while... almost 2 years... but my counter is going to reach 10,000 in the next week or so. Keep an eye on it.

If YOU are reader # 10,000, leave me a comment and I might just have a surprise for you.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Perceived Value

What determines the worth of an object? Is it the price tag? Or the illusion of a bargain? Is it the status that is gained by owning the object?

Isn't value determined by how much a person is willing to pay? Take the housing market, for instance. A house that might have sold in a few days for $300,000 a year ago sits on the market for months, not because it has decreased in quality or size, but because a buyer is unwilling to shell out the money for the house. Thus, its value has decreased though no physical factors have changed.

Or take the iPhone. In June, people were sitting in line for the privilege of shelling out $600 for the new phone. Were they paying for the technology, the status or bragging rights as the first users of this newest trend? If the latter, they got their money's worth. If the former, then I understand their gripe when Apple upped the gigs and cut the price by $200, offering a superior product for less cash.

What is the worth of a person?

There's a corny Polynesian movie about a man named Johnny Lingo who offered an outlandishly large bride price for a woman no one else wanted. "Six cows! Why would you pay six cows for her?" his friends asked. "She's shy and ugly. You could have got her for 1 cow, or maybe a goat." But Johnny insisted on paying 6 cows, though even the girl's father tried to talk down the price. Johnny went away and returned later for his new bride. She met him, beaming and beautiful, transformed by the fact that she had worth to him beyond the value anyone else had ever placed on her.

"Johnny made a good bargain," the people decided. "He was right to offer so much for such a beauty." But her beauty grew out of her perceived value, not the other way around.

I want to look at people like they're worth more than the world may think. I want to learn to look beyond a person's quirks or size or tone of voice and see them as God sees them.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Only 17 Years to Go

My new kindergartener, on her first day of "real" homeschool, did about half a page of math and put her pencil down.

"Mommy!" she called. "I'm quitting school!"

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Farewell to Summer

Four months ago we packed our books,
tucked pencils into boxes
recycled scads of paperwork
and went in search of foxes.

First outdoor school, then trav'ling north
in camper, van and ferry.
A week of fun in the old home town
to see a brother marry.

A flight back home with grandparents
to a garden overgrown
with radishes as big as beets
and cukes and beans full blown.

Three times we camped out on the coast
and once in our own grass,
though that time lasted 6 whole weeks
for B, our bonny lass.

A birthday bash with 26 guests,
a movie on the lawn,
and fun and games and baptisms,
Oh where has summer gone?

The books are dusted off once more;
The pencils are all sharp.
The math CDs are in their place,
as is the montrous harp.

Even the kids are set to learn,
to put their sloth away.
Is it just me or did this summer
pass in one short day?