Monday, December 31, 2007

'Tis the Season

... to get engaged. We've had no fewer than three nice girls from the neighborhood get engaged this Christmas season. They had been dating for approximately 2.5 years, 2.5 months, and 2.5 days respectively.

Lucky for me, a new shipment of pottery from Desert Sun Pottery (aka Grammie) arrived today. Well, really it is lucky for the brides-to-be, because I like giving Grammie's pottery for wedding gifts.

As you can see, Grammie must be experimenting with a new multicolored glaze. Quite lovely.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Linda's Best Present

Actually, this was my anniversary present from my 32-years married husband.

Also, I got many nice things for Christmas, including a new set of silverware (12 place settings). I was glad David took the old set off my hands so I wouldn't feel too wasteful.

In another day or two I hope to post an album of all the Christmas activities.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Gary's Best Present

A universal remote as big as his head. Keys big enough for him to see, and no losing this puppy!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


"I enjoyed the Stars' game, but really, I like Mavericks' games better. The ball is bigger."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Clever Coffee Catcher

This photo is for all the church janitors out there in my reading audience. (Ma--are you there??)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Birthday, Marianna!

What did you do for the first 90 years of your life? Not much? Me, either.

Marianna, on the other hand, (along with Florence) translated the Bible into three languages before taking a job here in Dallas and then retiring. Today is Marianna's 90th birthday. They had a party for her in spite of her not wanting anyone to make a fuss.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Yellow Rose of Texas E'er Blooming

Rachel's yellow rose bush is blooming profusely right now, and the blossoms are much larger than they are in the summer. It is a peaceful song for Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It is More Blessed to Give Than to Receive

Especially when the thing you give is this festive duo, a ceramic Santa cookie jar and tea pot with gold embellishements. These gems were procured at a very exclusive boutique in south Dallas that specializes in white elephant gifts for the discerning missionary.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Cleaning

My coworker was not at the office today, so while the cat is away, the mouse will clean. I spent 3 hours cleaning the office, sorting supplies, and putting up a few Christmas decorations. I brought home two large bags of stuff for recycling which (I hope) she will never miss.

Sometimes I find cleaning to be therapeutic. Which isn't to say I really like to do it, but it does give one a good feeling when it is finished.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another Photo for Laura

Lord willing, a year from now, Andrew and Laura will have a child just about the age of Andrew in this photo from 1979.

I have now completed scanning one entire box of slides. Here is what I have learned so far:

  • many these photos are not worth keeping
  • most of the slides are speckled with dust or fungus
  • I'm so glad we don't dress like the 80s anymore
  • I had really cute kids back then!

Friday, December 07, 2007

We'd Be Two-thirds There!

I walk to work most days, crossing a two-lane road that has become busier as the years have gone by. The housing boom in our area might be good for the economy, but it isn't so good for the traffic. And somehow it seems that the more cars there are, the faster they go.

Anyway, they did put a crosswalk in to help us be safe as we walk to work, but many days I say to myself, "I'm going to get killed here one day!"

This morning was no exception. As I reached the other side, I met Joyce who was coming my way.

Me: Joyce, one day one of us is going to get killed here.
Joyce: Yes, and then we'd be one-third the way to getting it fixed.
Me: What do you mean?
Joyce: They said after three pedestrian deaths, they would put in a stop light!
Me: Well, then, if we both get killed, we'd be two-thirds there!

Thursday, December 06, 2007


I'm feeling just a little grumpy at the moment, so I probably shouldn't be writing at all. Sometimes I do this, then save my post as a draft and forget all about it.

This morning I sent out 30 letters. Last week it was 100+ emails. That's not really a big deal. I do it 3-4 times a year as part of my job. Most people do it it once a year at Christmas. But that process got me thinking about how often it happens to me that I attempt to communicate, and get no response.

It annoys me, but I should have learned by now to get over it. I suppose my mistake is thinking that people really should respond; and when they don't, I take it personally. I've concluded that while no one really dislikes me, they don't really have the motivation to respond, either. I'm important to them, just not that important!

Somehow it bothers me regardless of the form my communication takes--email, blog, forum, phone message, mail, in person.

I especially am annoyed when I send a gift to someone and receive no acknowledgment or thanks. I suppose the recipient either thinks (1) "she will understand that I don't have time or energy to respond," (2) "I'll get around to it soon," or (3) nothing.

I saw a bumper sticker once that I should take to heart: You'd worry less about what people think of you if you realized how seldom they do.

Everyone has their own life; I need to expect less. Then I won't get hurt.

(And of course, if you do communicate with me, THANK YOU! I APPRECIATE IT!!)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My Latest Gadget

I decided Gary could buy me a slide scanner for Christmas, so I went and bought one. I'll mention the fact that it was my Christmas present when all the kids ask him, "Did you buy mom a present??"

Like so many good missionaries, we have boxes and boxes of old slides. Many of them are worthless, but some are good photos and many others are great memories. My goal is to run them all through the "quick scan" on my new toy. There is a way to do a "slow scan" which pretty much assumes you have a degree in photograhy and graphic design. I think for my purposes, the quick and easy method will do.

So, I'll just have to post a few of my best memories for the Empty Nest as time goes by and I work through the boxes. I have it set up in such a way that I can do a few slides each day while I'm doing other things at the computer. The scans nicely land in my Picasa photo program where I can sort, label, and fix up, if I want to.

I plan to sell/rent/lend this machine to some other missionaries when I'm done with it.

These four photos are from our fist months in Dallas, in 1984. David was a baby, Rachel wasn't walking yet, and Andrew was a big Kindergartener.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What Blogs Are Good For

Rachel got a jury summons yesterday. She was already grumbling about having to go and not only that, by going she would miss a day of work thus denying her the chance to get a pay raise based on consecutive days. But then she got to reading the tiny print on the back of the summons and it said:
exemption if you have been empaneled on a jury of 6 or 12 people in Dallas County at either George Allen or Frank Crowley Court buildings since July 1, 2005.

Then we remembered this blog post, proving that she is eligible for this exemption.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Eating

Now that Thanksgiving is here, Gary felt free to open the fruitcake he receives as an annual gift from my mom. No need for him to worry about anyone eating it away from him.

Since I wasn't making a big Thanksgiving feast myself, I decided to make some homemade dips: guacamole, pico de gallo, queso con salsa and onion. And plain salsa which was out of a bottle.

Today we were invited to a post-Thanksgiving dinner with the Sages. Barb always makes a feast including cranberry punch and 7-layer dip for an appetizer. And creamed onions, but I'm wasn't brave enough for that.

And she always sets a lovely table. We had a great meal and then some more football.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I Have Something to Be Thankful For--It's a Baby!

Don't you think he* looks like his dad? Too bad, since his mom is lots prettier.

*which isn't to say it's a boy.

No Room for You

I should have gotten my lazy behind in gear and invited some friends over for Thanksgiving. Then I wouldn't be feeling sorry for myself today for being home alone. Well, not exactly alone--my husband and daughter are here too.

There were a couple awkward moments this past week when two different close friends cheerfully asked, "Do you have Thanksgiving plans?" To which I mumbled, "No, not really." Their demeanor immediately changed and they mumbled back, "Er, well, I'd like to invite you to my party, but, sorry, we don't have enough room."

"Not to worry," I cheerfully shot back, even it it was a half-lie. "We'll be having a big Christmas, so it is OK if we don't do anything special for Thanksgiving."

I did manage to invite ourselves over for dessert at one place, so we won't be alone entirely.

OK, I need stop pouting and go put that turkey in the oven anyway. Or maybe we should have popcorn.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Money Isn't Everything

I talked to Andrew today. He's having to change over his bank accounts since Bank A got bought by Bank B--bunch of work to do all that.

He was happy that is latest request for $2M just got approved (that is, 2million, not 2thousand). He reminded me that just because he did all the good work to get 2M, doesn't mean he personally gets a penny more.

I reminded him that I knew ALL about that phenomenon. And then did him one better by reminding him of when I had to pay for childcare so I could work as an unpaid volunteer. :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm an Oaf

Today I discovered a Walmart gift card from last Christmas. See, it pays to clean out your wallet at least once a year.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Walk in the Woods

Friday was our annual day of prayer. I joined the body for the morning time, but went it alone in the afternoon. It is OK to pray while you have your eyes open walking in the woods, isn't it?

Looks here like somebody had an early thanksgiving feast.

I think this butterfly is a red admiral, but I don't have any good butterfly books to know for sure. The camouflage works pretty well here.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Soup Group

We've started an experimental new church home group called "Soup Group." We're meeting every Tuesday at 6pm to eat soup and bread and do our Parchment homework as a group project. Parchments are study guides, written by church members, that are given out weekly and pertain to the following Sunday's theme for Sunday School and sermon.

This past Tuesday some missionaries joined us. As always, Rachel had fun with the babies. We're looking for one or two more folks to join us.

So far I've made lentil and pasta soup, split pea and ham soup, corn and potato chowder, and chicken rice vegetable soup. And I've found a really good, cheap bread recipe for that kind of bread that has a thick crust and is chewy on the inside. I'll post the recipe below. The trick to this bread is letting time do the work (so I start it on Monday nights) and also the specific way it is baked, in a large, covered, oven-proof pan (dutch oven, covered saucepan, ceramic bowl with another ceramic bowl on top).

No-Knead Bread
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1 1/2 hours plus 14 to 20 hours' rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1 1/2-pound loaf.

Friday, November 09, 2007

What I Learned in Kindergarten

We've all read the pithy wisdom of Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, quoted here in part:
  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don't hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don't take things that aren't yours.
  • Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Fulghum's words are just common sense politeness and we all benefit when those around us practice these things. Not bad things to learn in kindergarten. But if you're like me, you learned a few other things in kindergarten, too. Here are some things I learned in kindergarten that I've since had to reconsider:
  • Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
  • There is only one right person that you can be happily married to.
  • The earth can only be 7000 years old.
  • My church is the only right one.
  • Syncopation is of the devil.
  • The only thing worse than rock music is Christian rock music.
  • Only fanatics raise their hands during the singing time at church.
  • Catholics can not be real Christians.
  • There is only one right interpretation of scripture.
  • Speaking in tongues is not taught in Scripture.
  • Real Christians can’t dance, drink, or smoke.
  • The pastor is always right.

However, some of the things I learned in kindergarten have been tested and proven true:
  • Not everything is worth doing well.
  • If you can’t say anything nice, maybe you shouldn’t say anything at all.
  • Money isn’t everything.
  • The Bible is authoritative.
  • In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
  • No one is beyond redemption.
  • God loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life.
  • By faith we understand.
  • Jesus loves me.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Missions Sunday

Our church is full of missionaries, so just about any Sunday of the year could be missions Sunday. But our missions committee has planned a few special events to draw attention to world missions including a Saturday night youth event, missionaries eating meals in various homes during the week, and special Sunday services.

On Saturday night we enjoyed the lively world music of Izibongo. (Note: I said world music, not worldy music!) We would have enjoyed it even more if we had actually been in the sanctuary listening to it instead of hearing a distorted version of it over a cranky speaker in the church nursery were we were taking care of six kids, four of whom were MKs.

A subset of the band led worship for the Sunday service today, and I really enjoyed that. Kathy McAndrews has just about figured out how to perfectly sound like a Papua New Guinea woman! That was followed by an interesting talk by Neil Anderson--that is, Neil Anderson the missionary, not Neil Anderson the author of The Bondage Breaker.

We're planning on having a missionary family over for our newly instituted Tuesday night "Soup Group," a time of eating soup followed by doing our Sunday School homework together as a group exercise.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Expectations or Hope, part II

It seems like I've seen a lot of examples of hope moving into expectation moving into disappointment:

  • a pregnancy ends in miscarriage
  • an encouraging interview is followed up by someone else getting the job
  • an offer on a house ends with a rejection by the mortgage company
  • a broken engagement

In all these cases the pain of dashed expectations is worse than never having the expectation in the first place.

But still, there remains hope for, someday, a baby, job, house, or love.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Some More Wildflowers

Ugly as Dallas is, it does have nice wildflowers, even this late in the season. I found a few at the lake yesterday and were able to identify them.


Blue sage

Red autumn sage


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Creatures From The Urban Fish Lagoon

The weather was so beautiful today we just had to go for a hike at the lake. It is great having a state park just 5 miles away! Because of the great weather, and because the Cowboys were not playing today, I expected to see a lot more people there than we did. Today I have the creature photos. Tomorrow I'll post the wildflowers.

I don't know if the snake really left his skin exactly here, or if someone picked it up and stretched it out so nice to scare people walking by!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lunch With the Ladies

It was nice of Martha to get a year older so we could go to Mimi's and celebrate. The servings were all so big we had lots to bring home to our starving husbands.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Expectations or Hope?

What is the difference?

When we want something, we hope it will happen. Hope for that thing is distant and illusive, without specific time or place. The fact that we don't have the thing we want gives us a vague sadness, but there isn't real pain because the thing we hope for is still too far away to hurt very much. That distant hope may not actually affect our daily life in any meaningful way, yet it may have been the very thing we based important life decisions upon some time in the past.

But when circumstances change such that we are lead to think we might get the thing we hope for, the distance and illusion start to turn into immediacy and a distinct possibility. At that point, we start to have expectations. We start to make plans based on those expectations. We start to get excited and happy at the thought that our hopes are actually coming true. That expectation changes how we think and act.

So what is the difference between having one's expectations disappointed and one's hopes crushed? Having one's expectations disappointed hurts a lot. But having one's hopes crushed is death-giving.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Slow Week

I don't usually go an entire week between blogs, but I guess I haven't had much to say this week (besides the fact that I lent my camera to someone, so I haven't had any new photos to post).

Rachel was very sick a week ago with a migraine that just wouldn't go away, and which presented with more nausea than head pain. She missed two days of work because of it, then worked the rest of the week even though she didn't feel that great. She did find a couple friends to go to the Great State Fair of Texas with yesterday, and they seemed to have a good time. They got to hear part of a concert by Third Day, which Rachel enjoyed. She's hoping to get back to the regular schedule this week and that her stomach is calm.

Today had a few bumps for me--I got to church only to realize that it was my turn to bring cookies for the visitors, and I had forgotten. So I said I would go to the store to buy some. But I couldn't find a store. Our church is not in our own neighborhood, so I didn't know where the grocery stores are. I ended up half way to downtown Dallas before I found a grocery store. Then when I came out and went to unlock the car, my van key was missing from my key chain. I went back inside and looked, asked the cashier, but never did find it. Lucky for me, I had a hidden key in a magnetic holder, so I didn't get stranded where no one knew where I was!

This afternoon we ended up going to a lovely choir party that we originally thought we'd have to miss. It was fun and way too much good steak! I wish I'd brought my swim suit because they had a heated pool. Though it seems it would hardly need to have been heated since it has been about 15 degrees above normal for weeks.

Gary was traveling this past week too. He got home hours late on Wednesday night. His flight out of Boston was aborted on takeoff due to a light coming on. Turns out there was dirt in the fuel. You know, better late than NEVER!

I talked to David yesterday. Looks like we won't see him or Sarah for Thanksgiving, and won't see Sarah at Christmas either. She has such a heavy work schedule, and needs to save her vacation days so she can get married! I hope we see her again sometime before the wedding!

Rachel and I watched Night at the Museum while she was sick--not too bad of a movie. It is the kind of silly comedy that Gary likes, so he's watching it now before we have to turn it back in.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

40 Steps To Remove a Tube of Hand Cream from the Toilet

1. Cry and whine because a tube of hand cream accidently fell into the toilet while it was flushing.

2. Cry some more because the water (etc.) now won't go down the toilet.

3. Decide that to remove the tube of hand cream, one must uninstall the toilet.

4. Remmber that you can't replace the toilet with out a new wax gasket.

5. Go to bed. Do not use that particular toilet either before or after going to bed.

6. Go to church.

7. Go to the big home improvement store and try to figure out why there are so many different wax gaskets to choose from.

8. Buy one anyway.

9. Go home, eat lunch, read How to fix a Toilet in Fix it book. Notice there are no instructions for wax gaskets.

10. Get some tools.

11. Try to remove the rusted nuts.

12. Repeat steps 10 and 11 four or five times.

13. Get hack saw from garden shed.

14. Saw bolts off.

15 Remove toilet and spill water (etc.) all over bathroom floor.

16. Try to remove hand cream which is wedged in one of the S curves at the back of the toilet.

17. Cry.

18. Find a wire coat hanger and devise a fishing pole with a hook on the end.

19. Fish for hand cream from the underneath opening of the toilet.

20. Repeat step 19 for 45 minutes.

21. Notice that green hand cream is coming out the bottom of the toilet.

22. Pull even harder and retrieve tube of hand cream impaled on hooked coat hanger.

23. Be careful not to drop toilet bowl which is now cover with slimy green hand cream.

24. Use half a roll of paper towel to clean up hand cream.

25. Take a breath and be happy that the toilet is no longer clogged with a tube of hand cream.

26. Discover that new wax gasket does not include new bolts. Wish you had bought a different wax gasket that did include new bolts.

27. Find some other bolts.

28. Scrape up and discard gobs and gobs of brown sticky wax from the old gasket. Remember that just because it is soft and brown and comes from the toilet, it is STILL just wax.

29. Install new bolts which are way too long.

30. Install new wax gasket.

31. Set toilet onto new gasket, lining up bolts into holes.

32. Sit on toilet to squeeze down was gasket. This was easy.

33. Put wing nuts on upward protruding bolts. Don't overtighten.

34. Dump a few gallons of water into toilet and check for leaks.

35. Replace tank on top of bowl, taking care not to remove already-perishing rubber gasket.

36. Tighten tank bolts.

37. Turn on water, while praying.

38. Observe--no leaks.

39. Flush, just for fun.

40. Spend the next 30 minutes cleaning up the mess, putting away the tools, mopping the floor, scraping up more brown wax.

Plant Condos

My old plastic hanging planters that I had for several years started to break, so I decided to replace them with some ceramic ones. I actually ordered these from an online store set up by the Mennonites called Ten Thousand Villages. Gary and Rachel both reacted negatively to their shape and color, but I suppose they'll get used to them eventually.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Was This Baby Planned?

I don't know why, but for some reason this evening I was remembering a conversation with the doctor I went to to find out if I was pregnant the first time, back in 1978. We lived in a college town, Ithaca, NY, at the time.

I went to the doctor and did the pregnancy test. He told me it was positive. Then he asked me, "Was this a planned pregnancy?" I just said, "Yes," but thought that it was kind of a strange question, since it was actually none of his business whether this baby was planned or not. But when I got home I realized he was asking me if I wanted an abortion.

I didn't go back to him for prenatal care.

I also remember going to an expatriate doctor in the Solomon Islands when I was first pregnant with child #3. She started scolding me for having too many children too close together. That really made me mad, since that child too was planned, and it was none of her business even if it weren't. I didn't go back to her for prenatal care either.

Hmm, like I said, I don't know why I was thinking of this ancient history tonight.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Is it Gleaning, Scrounging, or Stealing?

There are three pecan trees growing along the sidewalk at the entrance to my neighborhood. I walk past them every day when I go to the office. Sometimes I stop and pull some weeds out of the nearby flower beds which usually look pretty bad due to neglect.

Now it is pecan season, so each time I walk by I stop and pick up a few pecans that have fallen to the ground. It looks like we're going to have a bumper crop this year. Then I come home and crack a few at a time and try not to eat them all so I can have some for later.

Probably somebody legally owns these trees, but no one seems to emotionally own them or the flowerbeds. I'm going to set that issue aside and just try to get to some of these lovely pecans before the squirrels do.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Further Proof of Global Warming

It is October, and there is both papaya and a mango seedling growing in my compost pile.

The mango actually got fried a few weeks ago with the scorching sun and the top leaves fell off.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Simple--In Four Parts

Some of my readers (that's a euphemism for all two of you) might be interested in a series of articles I have written entitled Simple Living in the 21st Century. These weekly installments have been posted on the Zeal For Truth blog. Here's the link to part 4--Appropriate Technology. You can see a photo of a computer box turned into a stove!

If you're interested in the earlier parts, just look around on the site and you'll find them.

Feel free to jump in and comment on my articles or any one else's--no need to register. Many of the articles are geared to politics, some to church life, and a mixture of a few other things.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My Visit to an Emerging Church

Last Sunday we were in Houston visiting my son and his fiancée. When we were making our plans the night before the word was, "We'll have to get there early or there won't be a place to sit."

So we hurried ourselves up, took the dog for a walk, got overdressed, and headed for ecclesia. No, I'm not trying to show off my Greek skills; that's the church's name.

When we arrived we got in the coffee line. Not just for the standard Mr. Coffee brew, but rather for a muko-choco-latto, or something like that. So while most sanctuaries have a sign outside saying: "No food or drink in Sanctuary," this one was just the opposite. Proceeds go to support the place.

What the church's name lacks in originality, the venue makes up for. The meeting was held in an art gallery with a name that seemed quite fitting for some of the artwork on display.
Two walls were a permanent display of interesting religious art; the other two were dedicated to moving exhibits.
The congregational singing was a combination of contemporary music and hymns, led by an average guitar player. The congregation was of many colors, mostly on the young side, and more comfortably dressed than I was. When the pastor got up to lead the opening prayer he was interrupted by a cute two year old asking, "Do you know where my mommy is?" The pastor smiled, held the child up so we could all see her and her mom could find her. That taken care of, back to his prayer. Not long after, the children were dismissed to their own service.

By this point I was beginning to suspect that this was an emergent church, but when I heard Brian McLaren's name invoked, then I knew for sure.

Next was the scripture reading, and I'm afraid to say this is the one part of the service that I had a little objection to. The reading was from Luke, but instead of actually reading from Luke, the pastor read from The Voice of Luke, Not Even Sandals, a retelling of Luke and Acts written by Brian McLaren. Don't get me wrong--I'm not opposed, in general, to paraphrases and even oral storying of scripture. But what bothered me, is it didn't seem like the pastor actually mentioned that's what he was doing. Here’s a link with info about McLaren’s book, if that interests you.

The service ended with communion, done by intinction, with both grape juice and wine offered. Having both options available was a new one for me.

I enjoyed my visit to ecclesia, and found it a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere. Since the place was busting out the seams, it must be doing something right. I'm aware of the criticisms of the emergent church movement and feel that some of those criticisms are valid. But, I also know they are not all cut from the same cookie cutter and I'd be willing to learn more.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Proud Mama

Pardon the link to my family blog, but I do say it was nice to get this article in the mail today in a publication from Best

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Caleb and Laura's Wedding

Our best wishes to Caleb and Laura for a very happy life together. It was a beautiful wedding, with the coolest groom's cake ever!