Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Got back from Orlando on Monday, which made it a long day and then back to work on Tuesday. It was a good trip and about the right length for something like that. Three days is just about right. Kinsey had a great time, although a little scared at the beach by the ocean. It’s kind of funny. I remember when Kinsey was a bit younger that she wasn’t scared by much of anything. Now, a train at night or even the vacuum cleaner really makes her scared.

The other big thing I’m worried about now is her pacifier or passy. She didn’t really take it much when she was an infant, but now she HAS to have it in the car and in bed. I want to break her of it, but I know that’s going to be a bad experience. Sheryl and I have been talking to her about giving her passy’s away to her cousin when she’s born in a couple of weeks, and Kinsey’s seemed like she’s ok with that. However, I don’t think she understands that she won’t get them back.

Of course, last night, she called herself a big girl and when I pointed out that big girls don’t need passy’s, she didn’t seem broken up by that, but then gave her usual addendum that she needs it in her car seat and in bed.

One last Kinsey note. She’s been singing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King, and only that line from the song for the last couple of days. We’ve been trying to remind her that there are other songs in the world, but she doesn’t seem interested. On our way home from the grocery store last night, she started singing it again. So I started singing “Hakuna Matada” (sp?) at the same time. Then Sheryl started singing “Circle of Life.” So all of us were singing at the same time at the top of our lungs and trying not to die laughing at the same time. We had a blast.

I finished A New Kind of Christian the other day, but I’m going to have to reread it. There’s a lot of stuff in there that I’m not sure I comprehended and maybe not even agreed with. I may be too modern to grasp all of it, but I at least want to think about it. It's a different way of thinking about faith.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

My family and I traveled down to Orlando last night by plane. We’re here visiting her brother and his wife (and spending just a tad of money at Downtown Disney[thanks, Walt]).

Anyway, on the plane, I noticed myself doing something that I feel like is indicative of a lot of my spiritual walk. I’m reading Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christian right now and once Sheryl, Kinsey, and I got on the plane, I pulled it out and started reading. No big deal in and of itself, but I noticed in particular the way I held it. Up in front of my face. Ok, not really a big deal on that part either, but we were on the left side of the plane and the cover of the book wasn’t showing. And I was disappointed for a split second that no one (besides Sheryl) would be able to see me reading the book. Although most of Christendom isn’t very aware of it right now, I know that “the cool people” are aware of it and as a result would respect me or think better of me because I’m reading it.

I’ve always been a conforming non-conformist. I’ve found people that I like and respect and change my views accordingly. Most of these people are non-conformists, so as a result, I’ve generally taken the road less traveled, but by following someone else.

I went to Belmont Church because that was where my dad was and I wanted to rebel against my mom and stepdad.

I’m reading A New Kind of Christian because others have recommended it to me.

Maybe I’m being a little unfair to myself. Maybe God is using other people to get through to me and I need to recognize His work through them to get to me. Maybe He’s working on my heart to prepare me for something else, a deeper following of Jesus. All the conversations I’ve had over the last three months have been God’s hand working and pushing me to stretch my faith.

One last thing. I had a very interesting conversation with my sister-in-law today about faith. I told her that I didn’t think she and my brother in law had left Christianity. They’d left a version of Christianity that was useless to them. It was one where you went to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, not because you felt a reason to, but because you were checking off your church duty for the week. You judged people because you were right and they were wrong and it was your Christian duty to point that out to them. I think that’s why a lot of people walk away from Christianity. They don’t see a life-changing faith. They see a social club of people who are trying to keep out anyone who doesn’t agree with them on every jot and tittle. God calls us to community and He calls us to love.

Well, it’s getting late for such ramblings. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be more lucid, but don’t count on it.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Just some thoughts about the death of Pat Tillman today in Afghanistan.

I listen to a lot of sports talk, particularly the Dan Patrick show on ESPN Radio. They've talked a lot about the incredible nature of this guy and how he walked away from $3 million to go serve his country. It's mainly said with amazement. The challenging thing to me is that he did what we are all called spiritually to do. He put feet on his patriotism after September 11 in the way that I'm supposed to put feet on my faith. Dallas Willard said at one time that having money is not a problem. It's when the money has you that the problems start.

I admire Pat Tillman for the example he set in showing that there is more than money to life. I forget that too many times in this consumer-driven culture.

One last thought: I've got a face on a soldier who has died, but there are many others. Lift one up for all their families and the loss and that God will surround them in their grief.
So. I guess I'm getting on the blog wagon. Maybe one day I'll tell you about me.
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