Monday, January 31, 2005

these are the lyrics... my new favorite song, "Let Go" by FrouFrou. It's the song that carries you into the credits from the last scene in "Garden State". Love it, love it, love it.

drink up baby doll / are you in or are you out? / leave your things behind / cause it's all going off without you / excuse me too busy / you're writing your tragedy / these mishaps you bubble wrap / when you've no idea what you're like / so let go, jump in, oh well, whatcha waiting for? / it's alright 'cause there's beauty in the breakdown / so let go, just get in, oh it's so amazing here / it's alright 'cause there's beauty in the breakdown/ it gains the more it gives / and it rises with the fall / so hand me that remote / can't you see that all that stuff's a sideshow / such boundless pleasure / we've no time for later / now you can't await your own arrival / you've 20 seconds to comply / so let go, jump in, oh well, whatcha waiting for? / it's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown / so let go, just get in, oh it's so amazing here / it's alright 'cause there's beauty in the breakdown

we're all missionaries

Yesterday morning, two recovered alcoholics shared their stories with our assembly. One of their points was that we don't have to be a paid professional or pepper our conversations with the word "God" to be a minister. I love that. I love that someone who has been to hell and back, and believes in the power of Jesus with every fiber of their being, can stand up and say that. It validates me.

When I hear folks talking "spiritual", I usually turn to Brandon and say, half-joking but half-serious, "Well, I guess they're a stronger Christian than I am, 'cause I just ain't feelin' it!" The men who shared their stories explained that everyone has a story to tell, and by sharing with others how God has rescued us and carried us through life, Christ works great things through us. No paycheck or holy lingo required. Amen.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

babywise vs attachment parenting

I just figured out that the guy who created the “Growing Kids God’s Way” curriculum is the same guy who authored “Babywise” (Gary Ezzo). Someone recently mentioned GKGW to me so I went a-surfin’. Lots of controversy over Ezzo’s theories! This set me to thinking about the one extreme of Babywise versus the other extreme of Attachment Parenting. I could go on and on about this issue for awhile…I really could…but why? It’s like our pediatrician said… “you’ve got your extremes and the best way to parent is usually somewhere in the middle.”

Monday, January 24, 2005

seeing god's word with new eyes

I love when God reveals something new to me through His word. It excites me to read something that I've read time and time again, and then ding! It suddenly makes sense to me! Yesterday the youth minister at our congregation -- who has been abundantly blessed with the gift of humor, I might add -- spoke about some scriptures in Romans 14. Some parts that really stood out to me: "One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind....if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean....the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin."

Does this mean sin has a different definition for all of us? Obviously, there are certain issues that Jesus spoke out against, no questions asked: "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'..." (Matt 15:19)

But what of all those "gray areas"? Issues that aren't pointedly addressed by Jesus? Instruments accompanying worship? Drinking a glass of wine with dinner? Women teaching men in the assembly? Using birth control? Spanking? The list goes on and on.

My intepretation of these scriptures is...what is right for you could be wrong for me. If I am convinced that drinking alcohol in moderation is okay, then for me, it's okay. But if you are convinced that drinking alcohol in any amount is dangerous, then for you, it's sinful. Thoughts?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

days of mourning

Monday was a long, hard, emotional day. Aside from hearing about a horrible accident that killed one child and injured seven others of a church where Brandon and I used to attend, I happened to catch a glimpse of news video of 101st Airborne soldiers who were being sent to Iraq again. The screen offered up clip after clip of grown-up men weeping into the necks of their children. Then, on Oprah, survivors of the December 26 tsunami talked about watching loved ones swept to their deaths by a raging sea.

And just now, I read the blog of a friend who is waiting, waiting, waiting for the birth of a seriously ill child. It all makes me very sad. The death...the illness...the absurd and unfair hands that life can plop on the table. I used to ask God "Why?" a lot. Not so much anymore. I have a new question these days..."How on earth do people go it alone?"

Monday, January 17, 2005

pray for highland

When Brandon and I lived in Abilene, we attended Highland Church of Christ. He taught in the toddlers' class. I worked with the class of 2005 during their 4th, 5th and 6th grade years. I also worked as an assistant to the youth minister. We were blessed with multi-generational friendships, a praying eldership, and the gifted words of Mike Cope every Sunday morning. Because of all this, the Highland family holds a special little place in my heart. Sometimes we talk about moving back to Abilene just so we can settle back in with our brothers and sisters at Highland.

Which is why it's difficult to be so far removed (timewise, geographically, emotionally) this morning, while they are experiencing such grief this week. A vehicle transporting eight members of Highland, seven of them children, was involved in a one-car, rollover accident on the way back to Abilene from a youth gathering in DFW. One child died. The adult driver and six other children were all injured. Most are in stable condition, and a few have been released from the hospital. Brandon and I know several of the children's parents and siblings. Mike Cope's son was among the injured and was flown to a children's hospital in the Metroplex. I also knew the woman driving the vehicle; she is the mother of one of the class of '05 girls I worked with.

We are grateful for all the optimistic news, but we grieve with the Highland family during this time of loss. Please pray for our family in Abilene. Strangely enough, I wish I was help carry the burden.

This morning, after Brandon told me about the accident, he said, "It's not right that a person should go through nine months of pregnancy and years of raising a child, only to have that child be gone in an instant. Children shouldn't die."

No. They shouldn't.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

sometimes it's just too simple

I'm feeling a little anxious this morning. Not sure why. Maybe because I ate four pieces of chocolate cake yesterday and the sugar is finally getting to me. Maybe because we're going to church and socializing with large numbers of people this morning. Like I said, not sure exactly why my palms are sweating, but they are for some reason. Brandon suggested that I sit down and do something relaxing. I responded to him with "I feel guilty about that because I feel like I'm always trying to do 'something relaxing' for myself!" He replied, "Jana, it's okay to be at peace."

Well, duh. Isn't that exactly what the Lord wants for us? To be at peace?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

what makes the muskrat guard his musk?

Courage. Something the Cowardly Lion lacked. Something I lack too. But apparently not Samuel L. Jackson, who recently appeared on Letterman wearing a kilt.

some noteworthy flicks

I finally got around to watching three of 2004's hottest and more controversial films this past month. Film #1: "Supersize Me" by Morgan Spurlock. You'll never eat fast food again. And if you do, you need your noggin x-rayed. Film #2: "Fahrenheit 9/11" by Michael Moore. Raises some interesting questions regarding the war in Iraq and the present administration. Yes, Moore bugs the tarnation out of me sometimes, but I appreciate his tenacity in asking questions and challenging those in power. Film #3: "The Passion of the Christ" by Mel Gibson. After all the hooplah last spring, I was really nervous about the violence in the film. And while I had to turn my head a few times, it was nothing like "Saving Private Ryan" or "Schindler's List". And you just can't beat the ending in Gibson's film. Literally! It doesn't get much better than Jesus resurrecting from the dead. What a hope-filled message. Go Mel! GO JESUS!!!

Because of some of the controversy surrounding these films, I'm guessing some of you out there have decided not to view them. And that's the great thing about America. You have the freedom to remain at home and watch commercial-laden sitcoms instead (hey, I do that, too). But if we want to connect with our culture, we need to stay up-to-date on the messages they're receiving.

Friday, January 07, 2005

mommies are busy

The other day Brandon came home from work and asked me what I'd done that day.'s see...two points. First, my memory is shot. I can't remember anything anymore. Pregnancy and sleep deprivation have apparently eaten up billions of brain cells. So asking me about anything before the previous thirty minutes is actually quite pointless. But if I sit there and ponder a few minutes, I might be able to squeeze out a memory or two. Which is what I did the other evening. That brings me to my second point. It takes a good portion of one's day to change Rowan's diaper a few times, strap him into his booster seat, feed him a couple meals, wipe off his face and bib and tray, nurse him, wash my hands, and eat lunch myself. Occasionally I'll get the laundry done, or watch half of a movie. Before I had a baby, if someone had said all this to me, I probably would have thought, 'Oh please. How long can it take to wipe down a baby's bib?' I know.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

happy new year

The first day of 2005...and I just spent a good majority of the morning holding and trying to console a screaming baby. And when I say screaming, what I actually mean is SCREAMING. Happy New Year, everyone!!! Just as the hospitals are always open and police departments and fire trucks are always on alert, so are the mommies. The baby doesn't stop crying just because it's New Year's Day and the Rose Bowl Parade is on. He doesn't spare you the bloodcurdling yells even though your brother and new sister-in-law are in town for an abbreviated visit before they head back to Texas and we probably won't see them again for at least another six months. No, the baby cries and screams whenever he wants to. And the mommy is always on alert. It helps to have a thoughtful husband, though. He could have sat downstairs and devoured donuts with our guests, but instead he came upstairs and sat with us...the crying baby and weary mommy. That husband of mine is sweeter than any Krispy Kreme delicacy. In this dawning new year, I am thankful for a jewel of a husband. And that kid of his.